Last updated: 31 December 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:	Please Help Me, I have a problem with my ETX-80
Sent:	Tuesday, December 30, 2008 18:35:05
From:	steve zalewski (
Please help me, I'm having a problem with my ETX-80 AT-TC telescope.  
Due to very humid conditions, even in colder months, I need the dew-cap
for my telescope.

I have made calls to Mead and have expressed my unhappiness that they
will not include this part in the box, but they supply it with the Meade
ETX-80BB version.  Not only does this not make any sense, but to be
honest it does not give me a favorable impression of Meade's products as
I'm a first time purchaser of their telescope which I purchased on
December 28, 2008.

This is the first time in all the years that I have had refracting
telescopes that one did not come with a dew cap.   A cheap Empire, or
Selsi, or some other brand off brand that I had as a kid in the 1960s
even included a dew cap.    Yet Meade apparently does this, in order to
save a few pennies by not supplying the dew-cap and then either makes it
an optional item, which I don't think that I should have to buy, since
it should be included in the box. It appears that I can't buy it now,
because I can't find any reference to it on Meade's website, and I can't
find it on the sites for B&H and Adorama in New York City and they both
are major Meade dealers.

I have not been able to find any listing on Meade's Website that gives
the part number and price for this item, and my phone calls to Meade
have been fruitless.  I'm very unhappy.

Any help would be appreciated.    Thank You for your assistance.  
Please accept my apologies for sending out this request twice, but I
thought that my first posting would have been regarded as Spam and
ignored.  Thank You again for your help, and for posting this message on
your ETX message board.
Steve Zalewski
Syracuse, NY
Mike here: Different models have difficult included accessories. That's true for all telescope manufacturers and even computer and camera manufacturers. We don't always like it or agree with the decisions but that's just the way it is. Fortunately, you can easily make a dewshield. There are several articles on dewshields on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.


Thank You for your help, I will refer to the telescope tech pages.
Steve Zalewski

Subject:	meade etx-80-
Sent:	Saturday, December 27, 2008 16:17:30
From:	maribel agredo (
hi i got my telescope for schristmas, and the motors worked fine until
yesterday when the telescope kept moving down instead of up. I tried to
calibrate the motors but it doesnt move only down,and left and right, i
did the test drives and it only worked once and it staretd to go up
again. but then it stopped and now it cant go up..any advices?
Mike here: Assuming you didn't break the Altitude Axis Lock by overtightening, do a RESET, followed by a CALIBRATE MOTOR and TRAIN DRIVES. You can check the axis lock by unlocking the axis, raising the tube above the horizontal by hand and holding it there, and then locking the axis finger-tight. Then let go of the tube. If it tends to fall back down then the lock is busted.


Thank you for the advice but its not busted and its weird like i can
hear its trying to go up and right when it tries i hear a little crack
noise and it doesnt go up
Mike here: So, the RESET, CALIBRATE MOTOR, and TRAIN DRIVES didn't solve the problem. Check that you are not overtightening the axis lock. Check one more thing: with the lock UNLOCKED, does the tube raise and lower smoothly?


no it didnt solve the probblem,and its not overtighten,,and it does move
freely without the lock
Mike here: OK, lets try some things to troubleshoot it. You can do these tests indoors. After you power up, can you do an Easy Align? Does the telescope slew properly when pointing to the alignment stars? What about when doing a GOTO an object? When using the slew arrows with the speed set to its fastest speed, can you slew up, down, left, and right?


thats the thing i cant align because it doesnt move up,,it moves down
left and right but i cant move up,,it triees but it stays there and i
try to make it a loose as possible
Mike here: When you try to slew upwards, can you hear the motor running?


yes but it doesnt move up at all
Mike here: OK. Best bet would be take it back to the dealer for an exchange under the new telescope warranty program.


what do you think is wrong with it??it worked before the two nights i
tried it but then the next one it didnt work
Mike here: Could one of several things: bad motor, bad wire, disconnected wire, bad solder, loose connection, dirty encoder, bad circuit board, loose motor, loose gearbox, bad AutoStar, corrupted AutoStar software, and probably a few more possibilities.


ohh thanks for your hellp
Mike here: Let me know how it works out with the dealer.
Subject:	New ETX-80AT-TC issues
Sent:	Friday, December 26, 2008 23:15:52
From:	Miller, BJ (
I purchased an ETX-80AT-TC from a seller on eBay.  The unit was in the
box, factory sealed, perfect condition.  I put batteries (Duracell) into
the unit, and immediately got a 'motor unit failure'.  I continued to
fool around with it, with varying degrees of success and additional
strange behavior.  I tried new batteries (EverReady Gold) and eventually
got to where I could get to the menu, but still got the motor unit
failure.  More fooling around, and I was able to calibrate the motors,
set the thing up in my den and do a mock 'Align', then slew to an
object.  With more use/fooling around the strange behaviors started to
disappear and the unit became more predictable.  It was almost like the
more I used it the better it got.  At present, it is relatively stable
and predictable, but I have some questions as I have never owned one of

1. When I select an object, it slews then starts tracking it.  Is it
normal for there to be a fair amount of noise when it is tracking?  The
noise in question is hard to describe.  It is not unlike the noise made
when your cell phone is too close to speaker or radio receiver.  It is
sort of a combination low growl and upper mid-pitched vibration,
accented with some higher frequency chirping/morse code.  I can easily
hear it 10 feet away from the scope, and I have a hearing loss in one

2. Do most/all of the tips/tricks/mods for the ETX-60/70 work for the

3. Any idea what may have caused the erratic out-of-the-box behavior?
Some of the strange behaviors:
1. Motor Unit Failure immediately after power up - before any motors
moved or the splash screen.
2. Motor Unit Failure, then without command or touching a button the
scope would start turning on its horizontal axis and keep doing that
(making circles) until the unit was powered off.
3. Once past 1 and 2, when you hit 'Calibrate Motors' it would move the
vertical axis for a second or two, then Motor Unit Failure.
4. Once past that, and after a successful calibrate and align, the hand
unit became unresponsive after tracking an object for 10 or so minutes.
Thanks in advance ~ BJ
Mike here: There is some noise while tracking. There are two motors running to turns gears on both axes to track in Alt/Az mode. Many ETX-60/70 tips, etc, will work for the ETX-80. However, don't assume that you need to apply to tip/enhancement before ensuring that it is aplicable and worthwhile. Motor faults could be do to overtightening the axes. It could also be due to other issues. The continuous turning you describe may be cured by doing a RESET. Then do a CALIBRATE MOTOR, and TRAIN DRIVES (on both axes). If the AutoStar goes to sleep, press any key to wake it back up.
Subject:	Video assisted astronomy and the ETX 80?
Sent:	Sunday, December 7, 2008 21:02:06
From:	Andersen, Steve L. (
Hello;  I have been looking around the web in vain for any information
on using live video (Stellacam or Mallincam) and the ETX80.  the video
camera reviews all say that even in small refractors, and integration
times of 10 seconds or less, one can get impressive live video, but no
mention the the ETX.

Would the ETX80 and video be a good combination?

Mike here: It should work. See the "Video Cameras" section on the Helpful Information: Astrophotography page.
Subject:	Re ETX 70AT
Sent:	Wednesday, December 3, 2008 12:32:04
I have a ETX70AT  which the horizontal lock is not working, as this is
an old telescope and out of warrenty I was wondering if there is any way
I can repair the telescope my self.
Yours Faithfully
Mick Yendell 
Mike here: There are several horizontal (Right Ascension, Azimuth) repair tips on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page. For the most part, all but the original ETX (ETX-90RA) have similar locking mechanisms.

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