Last updated: 13 April 2008

This page is for user comments and information specific to the Meade ETX-60AT, ETX-70AT, ETX-80AT-TC, and ETX-80BB. Additional information is available on the ETX-60AT & ETX-70AT Announcements page. 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:	Re: ETX-80AT-BB (motor unit failure)
Sent:	Sunday, April 13, 2008 07:43:48
From:	Stepn Krupicka (
thank you for your eMail. New handbox arrived on Friday. At beginning I
was little bit angry, because of handset had strange behavior.
Everything works well, but if I try to train motors, movement in Az
direction was OK, but in Alt direction motor was running at full speed
without regards to speed settings. This was my fault - I forgot to
calibrate motors (it was normally not needed, because of motors are
calibrated from factory). After motors calibration everything works fine
as expected. I had no opportunity to try longtime slewing (there is
cloudy), but I hope that handset will be OK. So my terrible case is
succesfully over after three and half months and lot of communication
and postage fees. Now I will try to make electric focusing (stepper
motor from 5 1/4 floppy). As power source I am using 12V 4Ah sealed lead
battery (weight 0.75 kg) with IO 7809 voltage regulator - output 8.99 V,
so it will be sufficient also for 12V stepper. I will send you my

Regards Stepan
Mike here: "Factory" motor calibration may or may not be good for indvidual power sources. The calibration step measures the output from the batteries (or other power source) and so can slightly vary. I recommend doing it on first use with a new power source, whether from swapping batteries or switching from batteries to external power.
Subject:	Astro Web Site
Sent:	Thursday, April 10, 2008 07:22:32
From:	Steve Hollar (
I wanted to give you this link to my web site. Oh no, not another one!

It's just a start now, but, I hope to build it up fairly quick. If you
could provide a link on your site, I would appreciate it. I've got one
on mine to yours. Thanks a lot. Oh, I'm planning to go to the SCAE in
Oceanside, probably on July 19th. Maybe I'll run into you.

Steve Hollar

Subject:	Re: ETX-80AT-BB (motor unit failure)
Sent:	Tuesday, April 8, 2008 07:47:18
From:	Stepn Krupicka (
Let me share my own experience. Last year just for Christmas I bought in
action ETX-70 with backpack (this seems to me wonderful small telescope
for travelling - I supposed to write some software to drive it from my
PDA). It was Christmas action (price cca 300 USD) in Czech Republic. On
Christmas Eve we try to switch it on, and see the sky. Everything runs
OK, but this piece was localized version and czech language has some
accented characters which were not displayed by microcontroller. I
bought connection cable (option #506) and asked Meade in Germany for
original english ROM file to reflash it. They reply to me, that
reflashing it by myself is not possible - it will be no working - and I
have to send it to Germany. OK I send it to Germany and approx. at the
end of January I obtained reflashed handset. Now english was working,
but from time to time during slewing handset switched off (according to
me there was wrong connection in connector). I asked once more  Meade to
help me. After short communication they recomend to send back telescope
together with handset. In the meanwhile I  asked them for possibility to
pay extra for upgrade to ETX-80, but they reply that it is not possible
and I have to buy new ETX-80 for full price (300 EUR + P&P) and sell
repaired ETX-70 to my own. OK, at the end of February returns repaired
ETX-70 with handset, but surprise surprise - there appears the same
failure as described in mail ETX-80AT-BB (motor unit failure). After
short slewing appears message "motor unit failure" followed by a message
"Under constructio". I asked again Meade for help and as result send it
to Germany once more for replacing to new one. At beginning of April I
got parcel with new scope with handset. Scope is working well, slewing
etc. but display is slightly strange. In scrolling text there appears
some points very bright while others are totally dimm - no visible.
Static text is OK. Meade recommends to decrease scrolling speed - this
little bit helps, but scrolling should be very slow cca 2 chars/sec and
some characters are displayed twice sometimes more times ("Puut theee
scoopee to thee ..."). After short communication Meade promissed to
replace handset - never ending story. Now more than three moths after
Christmas I am still waiting for my working scope.


Stepan Krupicka
Czech Republic

Subject:	Just bought an ETX-80!
Sent:	Monday, April 7, 2008 16:58:48
From:	Cadi Tierney (
I just bought a Meade Etx-80. I've been looking at your site for a few
weeks and it seems great. Thanks for putting this up.

This is my first scope, except for a little one when I was younger.
Tonight's the first clear night and I can't wait to get out and try it.

I'll post more soon, hopefully get some pics.


p.s. I got it at Wolf Camera. They are having a 50% off sale on scopes.
So it cost only $149. Sweet price. Not sure if this is at all Wolf shops
or just the one near my house. You should let people know so they can
check it out. Thanks.

Subject:	Re: Broken Elevation counter spring mount
Sent:	Saturday, April 5, 2008 19:37:40
From:	Glenn AE0Q (
You might try "JB Weld", it is available at most hardware stores and is
an awesome adhesive for unusual materials.

Regards - Glenn Pladsen
Arvada, CO

Subject:	ETX-80AT-BB (motor unit failure)
Sent:	Saturday, April 5, 2008 00:04:19
From:	Paul Stearns (
We just brought home a ETX-80AT-BB for our daughters 10th birthday.  We
are setting it up for her as a surprise (for tommorrow night). When I
turn on the Autostar unit and bypass the sun warning it goes into it's
motor test.  We are getting a message that says "motor unit fault".  We
have taken out the batteries and my husband has tested them with his
volt meter. We have retighten both the vertical and horizontal lock.
After the failed test we can move the scope vertically and horizontally
with the arrow keys.  Vertically we can hold down the arrow key and it
will go in a full range of motion.  When we press the horizontal key it
will move several inches, then stop... press again... several inches,
then stop...etc..  When we move the motors around with the arrows the
error message changes to "under-construction".  When we press mode or
anyother key then it retests the motors and we get the error message

My husband drove 3 hours round trip to pick this up today and we are
about to throw it out the door.  Of course it is 11:00pm on a Friday
night and Meade customer service won't be open till Monday morning. We
have six ten year olds coming for an Astronomy birthday party tommorrow
night and we would be grateful for any help you can give.


Newman, CA
Mike here: Could you be overtightening the axis locks? They should be just finger-tight. Also, if you can get to the CALIBRATE MOTOR menu item, try selecting that.


Thank-you for your quick reply, we tried your suggestions and have
concluded that we think we got a lemon.  We are waiting for Meade
customer service to open and we will arrange an exchange.

Thanks again

Subject:	Broken Elevation counter spring mount
Sent:	Wednesday, April 2, 2008 08:43:38
From:	Ashby, Peter (
I am trying to reply to Bill Higdon with the broken ETX spring arm, but
his mailbox has returned my mail saying its full, I have a spare ETX 
part I would willingly let him have if he can give me his postal
address,  I don't even ask for postage costs, all I ask is that some
time in the future if he finds he can help someone and pass on the
favour  that he does.
Peter Ashby

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