Last updated: 31 October 2000

This page is for user comments and information specific to the Meade ETX-90EC. Comments on accessories and feedback items appropriate to other ETX models are posted on other pages. If you have any comments, suggestions, questions or answers to questions posed here, e-mail them to me and I'll post them. Please use an appropriate Subject Line on your message. Thanks.

Subject:	 ETX-90 EC Overtightened DEC Lock
Sent:	Friday, October 27, 2000 21:04:44
From:	jpedicini@reliacast.com (Jeff Pedicini)
I'm pretty sure this is my fault - I think I over tightened the DEC lock
on my ETX-90 EC, but the problem is that it won't loosen.  The knob can
turn counter-clockwise with resistance, but it doesn't back off or get
any easier to turn.  Any advice on what I should try to free it up ?


Mike here: Does the DEC lock appear to be locked? That is, can you move the tube easily in declination? If so, can you lock it so that it doesn't move easily? If the tube moves no matter whether you lock or unlock the DEC lock, then the Right Tube Adapter has failed. It is easy to replace but you need to contact Meade for a free replacement part. You can read more about this failure and some photos of the replacement process near the bottom of my first ETX-90EC comments page. You can search the site for "Right Tube Adapter" (set the pop-up menu to "exact match" to see other comments.

Added later:

Thanks.  The DEC lock seems to be locked.  I mean, I can move the entire
OTA but only with firm pressure - it doesn't slip around.  If I do move
the OTA the DEC lock knob turns.  The problem is that as I turn the DEC
lock knob - which is fairly difficult to turn, the OTA doesn't move at
all - but the DEC lock knob also doesn't loosen at all.

Actually I had it aligned like this last night and it worked fine.

Anyhow, I decided to try to disassemble it as describe on your page. I
removed the OTA but the next step is to unscrew the DEC Lock knob - and
I can't do that - it will turn with firm pressure but it doesn't loosen
at all.  So far, I can't figure out how to loosen it.

I'll call Meade Monday morning - but if you've got any other ideas, I'd
sure appreciate it.  I hate to have to send it to Meade.
Mike here: When you try to turn the DEC knob does the OTA try to move? If so, try holding the OTA in position while turning the DEC knob.

And more:

I think what has happened is that the brass screw with the star pattern
that is embedded in the DEC knob has stripped, so the knob itself is
slipping over the inset brass screw.  I can't seem to figure out a way
out of this one.  I tend to be very handy mechanically, but short of
prying off the DEC knob I'm not sure what to do and I really don't want
to do that as I'm afraid to scratch up the disk or other surfaces.
Finally got it by pressing hard outward (toward the fork) while turning
the tube arm and holding the DEC knob. Other than the disk being a
little bent toward the center, all appears to be well.  Indeed I can't
think of how else it could have gotten "stuck", so either the brass
screw or the brass threads must have been slipping and I'm pretty sure
it was the brass screw in the DEC knob.

It appears to still work fine now that I reassembled it. I guess I could
extract the brass screw and put a drop of epoxy in there if it causes me
any trouble again.

Thanks for the great site.
Mike here: Glad you got it moving. Check out the Scopetronix DEC tip: home.att.net/~jblessin/etxdec.htm

And still more:

That must be the old ETX-90 - is it the RA ?, that Jordan is showing
here - I don't believe my ETX-90 EC has that little DEC lock knob that
he shows - mine just tightens with the logo bolt.

I'm very new to all this, just got this ETX a few weeks ago and it is my
very first telescope.  Your site has been a tremendous help.  I've had
some trouble with the AutoStar software update - it doesn't seem to run
on Windows 2000 and Meade doesn't seem to return e-mails sent to
engineer@meade.com.  Oh well, I'll find another PC to use to do the

I should mention that I do have the Starry Nights software which came
with the serial adapter and while I haven't been outside with the scope
hooked up to the PC yet - the program is still very useful, at least for
a beginner, just to get an idea on where the basic things should be -
like at least on which side of the house.  I've had great luck with the
moon, Jupiter and Saturn

I got myself a T-adapter and a 37mm ring so I could attempt to hook my
Sony TRV-20 digital camcorder up to the scope. This hasn't worked too
well so far - I don't think the camcorder has enough range in the focus.
I did a little better after slipping the 26mm lens inside the
T-adapter, but I only get a small field of view in the center of the
camcorder viewfinder.  The first night I tried it without this I tried
to get the moon, but it was just a blurry bright spot with a dark spot
in the middle.  Is the basic idea to just screw a camera to the
T-adapter and be able to snap photo's or am I really supposed to have to
insert some kind of lens inside this contraption ?  My guess is that
what I really need is a different camera better suited for this purpose.
Any suggestions ?
Mike here: Sorry about the link. I meant to use: etxtu.htm As to photography, in normal prime focus work there are no lens used in the camera (the ETX acts like a telephoto). What you attempted with the 26mm was afocal photography. This can be done; if you get lots of vignetting (which it sounds like you did), try zooming the camera lens to magnify the image from the eyepiece.

And then:

Thanks for all the help - I also found lots of info on the site about
the SACIVc now, so I might give that a go - what fun!


Subject:	 Can you please help a newbie.?
Sent:	Thursday, October 12, 2000 00:59:46
From:	big_stump@hotmail.com (Robby Haggins)
I own an etx90ec. I am on the mailing list , but didnt know how to post
to it so I wrote you. I am having a few problems with my scope. Maybe
(Im sure) you can help.

First off, I love to quality of my etx. The images I see in it are
superb compared to my old 60mm... Anyway, I bought the right angle
viewfinder for it, but when I slew the scopeclose to the zenith, it
knocks my viewfinder out of allignment. The corner of it seems to hit
the sidearm. Have you experienced this? Also, I have tried I dont know
how many times to get my autostar to align. I know once I get the hang
of it , it will be a cinch, but Ive had it since July, and no luck yet.
I am getting really frustrated with it and am about to just give up and
stick with my maunal search.I bought the connector cable and have tried
upgrading it, but I can only get the autostar to accept 2.0-(H?) when I
tried to load new satalite db for it, it said it ran out of memory. What
else can I do??

Clear skies
Mike here: Since you are member of the ETX Mailing List (assuming that's the list you mean), you send messages to it by just addressing your message to "etx@listbot.com". As the finderscope hitting the fork arm, you can probably cure that by sliding the finder tube further forward in its mounting bracket. As to aligning the Autostar, check out all the tips on the Autostar Information page. As to running out of memory when attempting to load satellite data, perhaps the data is not in the correct format or that there really isn't room. Of course, that is assuming you have the #497 Autostar for the ETX-90EC, not one of the other model Autostars.

Subject:	 ETX-90EC; comments
Sent:	Wednesday, October 11, 2000 10:40:23
From:	martinic@nbnet.nb.ca (Calvin Martini)
I really love your site! It helped close the deal on which scope I was
going to end up with. It is my first scope and all I can say is that I
love it!  I had been using binoculars for a couple years and getting my
feet wet, but sooner or later that old bug bites and you want a REAL
telescope.  I guess that after hearing me whine enough my husband
decided now would be a good time to get me one! He thought a DOB would
be a good starter, but after I spent hours drooling at telescope ads and
researching etc. I decided that the ETX-90 EC was the one for me.

I live in Canada so the  package didnt come cheap, but I think it is
more than worth the money I shelled out for it. I added the #497
Autostar, Celestron 2x Barlow, Rigel quickfinder(love that thing! soooo
easy), Scopetronix base plate and  flexifocus(very neat!), and a
homemade dewsheild(just foam and velcro).

I am still playing around with my Autostar, have not quite got it
working bang on...but LOVE it anyway! All I can say is that this little
beauty has surpassed my hopes and I still have to get it working
100%(the weather has been pitiful here and am just starting to get the
chance to take it out a lot).  Jupiter & moons and Satrun leave my mouth
hanging open!

I really appreciate all the hard work you and your contributors do. I
come looking for updates every couple days and would probably be lost
without this great site.  I know that if I am stumped or have a question
about something I can probably find the answer right here.

I am looking forward to many nights with my little scope and I have your
great site to thank for that :).

Keep up the great work Mike! PS. That Dick Seymour is a wealth of great
information!! I always look forward to seeing a new tidbit from him.

Thanks again all!
Vernita M.

Subject:	 Advise for ETX-90EC
Sent:	Wednesday, October 11, 2000 09:14:09
From:	hchung@corecomm.net (Howard H. Chung)
I enjoyed reading your web pages on ETX-90EC.
Please provide me some help:

    1.    Where can I get the best price on ETX-90EC?
    2.    I recently bought Meade Model 4504 (4.5" f8.0 Equatorial
    Reflecting Telescope) from Costco at $250 that I think I should
    return and buy ETX-90EC.

Please advise.


Howard Chung, PhD
Mike here: Outside of sales at some dealers, discounting on the (non mass market) ETX models is rare due to their popularity. But watch the various dealer web sites for short notice specials. Certainly the ETX-90EC is a capable and portable telescope that can give you years of enjoyment. But it will cost you more than what you paid.

Subject:	 ETX
Sent:	Thursday, October 5, 2000 13:22:14
From:	jamesche@microsoft.com (Jim Cheshire)
Brian, the guy on your ETX-90EC User Feedback page is having this
problem, I think, because he hasn't aligned the scope.  He needs to
either manually align by choosing stars or auto-align.

Subject:	 Pictor Autoguider/Imager and the ETX 90EC
Sent:	Saturday, September 30, 2000 14:53:28
From:	mikebt@ihug.co.nz (Mike Thompson)
I'm trying to find out if the Pictor 208XT Autoguider/Imager can be used
with an ETX 90 EC both for imaging and autoguiding. I see that this sort
of question has come up on your site before, but no aswer seems to be
available. I have tried to ask the question of Meade (by snail mail) but
have received no response as yet.

If anyone out there does know.... Can the ETX be autoguided by the
Pictor? If so, how does the Pictor attach to the ETX for autoguidance
(Via the Autostar, or instead of the autostar, or to the Aux port on the
ETX base)? How does the Autostar 'know' about the Pictor Autoguidance
signals? ie What stops a 'fight' betwwen the Autostar and the Autoguider
for control of the scope motors? (For reference) How does all this work
on the LX200 with autostar (Which clearly can be autoguided)?

The Pictor 208XT seems to give me a cheap dorway to astrophotography,
when I take into account the fact that I'd still need an autoguider to
perform traditional photography using the ETX and a regular camera.

Any assistance that you can give me will be greatly appreciated
Thanks in advance

  MikeT :)

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