ETX-60, ETX-70, & ETX-80 USER FEEDBACK
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Last updated: 25 August 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: Alignment problem ETX 60
Sent:	Friday, August 22, 2008 15:31:02
From:	Lorin Spaulding (lspa@pacbell.net)
Thank you so much! I'm having so much fun with the scope!

Lorin

Subject:	Alignment problem ETX 60
Sent:	Wednesday, August 20, 2008 16:22:50
From:	Lorin Spaulding (lspa@pacbell.net)
I have an ETX 60 that has had consistent alignment problems since I
bought it.

I have properly initialized the Autostar (after a Reset and Train
Drive), have leveled the tripod, have positioned the OTA in Home
Position, level and facing North, and gone through the 2-star ALT/AZ
alignment. I'm careful to center the alignment stars.

Every time I do this, the scope ends up way off, by 10 to 20 degrees off
near the horizon, and 1 degree near the zenith.

Is there anything I'm missing? I really like the little scope, and am
thinking of getting an ETX125, but I'm leary of Autostar/GOTO glitches
like this...

Any input would be great!

Longtime visitor, firstime emailer... love your site.

Lorin

Lorin Spaulding
Mike here: Have you done a CALIBRATE MOTOR? If not, do that and then TRAIN DRIVES. Also, check the Daylight Saving setting.

And:

Thanks for the reply! I'm pretty sure I've done Calibrate Motor... but
I'll try your suggestions here.

Thanks again!

Lorin

And an update:

I tried your suggestion and bingo, it worked like a charm. Thank you so
much! After i ran Calibrate Motor, the Train Drive was way off: now I'm
right on.  Should I have to do Calibrate Motor and Train Drive very 
often?

Thank you again!

Lorin
Mike here: You only need to do the CALIBRATE MOTOR when changing batteries, switching between internal and external power sources, or if the batteries get low and fresh ones are not available. TRAIN DRIVES only needs to be done occasionally, maybe every few months, unless you see GOTO errors cropping up.
Subject:	ETX-80 seems to have stopped focusing!
Sent:	Tuesday, August 19, 2008 02:11:35
From:	Lee (leejfc@googlemail.com)
I hope you can give me some advice, I purchased a Meade ETX-80 at the
start of last week and due to clouds nearly every night I have only had
a few glimpses of the moon, not too bad so far with both supplied
eyepieces. Whilst the weather has been bad I've been trying to
familiarise myself with the scope pointed down the garden but twiddling
the focuser doesn't seem to be doing much anymore. It originally seemed
to stiffen up in each direction, which I assumed was the limit but just
seems to go round now. I did remove the small panel just behind it and
ensured that both cogs are spinning but I certainly don't want to delve
any further. Currently I found it seems to be focused, with the 26mm
lens, on the wall about 2 metres ahead!
 
Thanks,
Lee
Mike here: When you rotate the focus knob can you see any movement in the objective lens housing? It only moves a small amount so it can take many turns of the knob to notice the movement. If the housing is not moving there are two possible reasons: either the focus shaft has become disconnected from the housing or the focus knob is loose on the housing. If the latter, check for a loose setscrew in the side of the focus knob. If the former, I don't recommend trying to fix it yourself, especially since the telescope is still under warranty. In any case if you can no longer focus you may want to contact your dealer for an exchange.

And:

Thanks Mike, a very quick reply :)
 
Seems as if it has become partially disconnected from the housing so the
supplier is collecting it all up tomorrow and will dispatch a new one
when it is received back. I had a 2nd small fault in that the eyepiece
screw went a few mm in before engaging so i couldn't tighten anything
easily. Maybe it was a Friday afternoon production!
 
Lee
Mike here: Sometimes a metal burr or paint can prevent the eyepiece screw from turning easily. That usually corrects itself with use.
Subject:	Advice with buying a Meade ETX-70
Sent:	Saturday, August 16, 2008 08:57:30
From:	Anonymous
I was impressed by your webpage. One million thanks for its existence!
I am thinking of buying a Meade ETX-70 that I saw today in a supermarket
here in Austria for just 150 Euros!

I want to ask you two questions:

- First, can I also use move the axis of the telescope to find an object
manually?
- Second, is the telescope worth for finding deep sky objects such as
M31, M27, M104, M51, M33 or galaxies of magnitude ~9  like NGC7331? Have
you had good results using the 14x and 39X eyepieces? And objects like
M57?

I previously had a 60mm refractor 900mm focal length for years. I had
many good observations of many objects.
Now I also have in mind buying a 10 inch LightBridge but since I am
living in a city and abroad, it just not seem the perfect timing for it.
And maybe with the ETX-70 I can start also astrophotography which I
never did before!

Best, and clear skies,
Mike here: The ETX-70 is a fine wide-field instrument, especially when used from a dark sky site. Its short focal length and smaller aperture will yield good views at small magnifications. Whether or not you will be disappointed with the small size and faintness of many DSOs will depend on your expectations. For more information you can read my ETX-70 report on the Helpful Information: Buyer/New User Tips page and that of other users on the Helpful Information: User Observations page. As to astrophotograpy, it can be done with the ETX-70 (there are many examples on my ETX Site) however keep in mind that the mount won't take much weight if you plan to attach a heavy camera.
Subject:	attaching telrad finderscope
Sent:	Thursday, August 14, 2008 16:31:48
From:	THOMAS MCNAMARA (THOMASMCNAMARA671@HOTMAIL.COM)
just bought the above item for my meade etx 70. do I need to attach this
to my scopes tube a certain way? I do not know. thanks
Mike here: There are some Telrad reviews on the Accessory Reviews: Finderscopes page that may help. Also, if you search the ETX Site for "telrad" you will find lots of mentions, some of which may help.
Subject:	Meade ETX-70AT vs Celestron  Nexstar 114GT for my Senior Brother
Sent:	Monday, August 4, 2008 09:24:42
From:	Al Sterling (alsterling@earthlink.net)
I'm trying to quickly find a scope for my 73 year old brother. He
attended an astronomy club meeting in the Temecula, CA area, and walked
away thinking he should first buy a (for example) 25x100 binocular based
system.

Money is an object, and I've convinced him that "new-used" would be his
best bet for a first piece of hardware, from which he could then resell
and upgrade. I've found both a Celestron Nexstar 114GT for $150, and a
Meade ETX-70AT for $200. Oddly, and a bit curious to me, both owners say
the units were never used, just opened the box for inspection and
photos, etc. (funny how so many ads say that the scopes were "never
used......given by a relative as a gift.....etc.") I never thought of
telescopes as being an unwanted gift? Bottom line, it sounds like the
mortality of entry level hobbyists is really high! (not the only hobby
that suffers that fault.)

In brief, I don't have much time, (to get him a scope...not that I'm ill
or anything. In fact, my health is OK...at least I think so..."ignorance
is bliss", right?) Anyway, I digress.......... I would like to get one
or the other this week. Any quick opinions on both. I realize that your
site is dedicated to the Meade product, but figured I should, at least,
ask.
 
Thanks in advance, Al
Mike here: Well, first you need to know what his (and yours) expectations are for what you will see. Short focal length refractors like the ETX-70AT will yield low magnifications (sort of like those binoculars). They make great wide-field instruments for viewing stars from dark sites. The Moon is also a great target. But planets and deep sky objects (galaxies and nebulae) will be more challenging and sometimes disappointing to users who expected to see more. You might want to read through my ETX-70 comments on the Helpful Information: Buyer/New User Tips page as well as comments from other users on the Helpful Information: User Observations page. Lastly, you might want to look at my presentation "What You Can See With a Meade ETX" on the Helpful Information: Tutorials page. As to the Nexstar, I don't have an experience with that model.

And:

Thanks for the input. Your explanation of the limitations of this entry
level scope makes sense. I've spent my life with photography as a hobby
and an avocation. My Vietnam era stint in combat photo is on a site I
generated nearly ten years ago for my old unit based out of Ubon,
Thailand:  www.601st.com As an all-around techno-geek, (electronics, ham
radio, tooling, etc.), I'm amazed that I never got into astronomy? Maybe
it's on the horizon via my brother?

I did go back into your site this AM and looked through the FAQ's and
the ETX related pages. Good information, and interesting to read other
ETX users comments and concerns from your forum section. Regardless of
the decision, I do appreciate your website and your responding to my
email.
 
Thanks again, Al

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Copyright © 2008 Michael L. Weasner / etx@me.com
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URL = http://www.weasner.com/etx/archive/aug08/70.html