Last updated: 28 February 2007

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: Photography and the ETX 80
Sent:	Monday, February 26, 2007 13:04:57
From:	Webmaster (
I've just received my 497 controller today.  Not only have I purchased
an LPI, I've also inherited an ETX-90.  My sister bought it years ago
and it's been in storage since 2000.  It's a beautiful 'scope!

BTW-I will me moving away from Windows to Linux.  I'm looking at a
program called KStars.  Do you have any experience with this program?

C. Hall
Mike here: Don't have any experience with KStars. Keep in mind that there is an AutoStar updater for Linux, "Lin_AutoStar", available on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page. You might also want to checkout the item "LPI Under Linux" on the Helpful Information: Astrophotography.
Subject:	Problems with ETX 70AT during alignmment
Sent:	Wednesday, February 21, 2007 23:18:00
From:	Steve & Lizzie (
I've just bought a second hand ETX70 - very good condition but under
used. Focus adjustment was seized but freed up OK, everything else
seemed OK until I came to alignment.

I attempted this in my living room - stars well hidden - I wanted to
make sure I understood the process etc. Following prompts I added
relevant information- location, date, time etc, but when I picked a star
and the scope started to move, the tube went from horizontal (start
position) to vertical and the whole unit started to rotate on the base.
This rotation went on for over two full revolutions and I couldn't stop
it with the controller, I had to turn the unit off. Have I done
something wrong here or is my scope a dud?

Also I've noticed that when I move the scope using directional buttons,
occasionally (I think if I've double clicked a button?) the drive I'm
moving stays on and I've been unable to stop it! Is this more evidence
of a duff unit?
Any help is greatly appreciated.
Many thanks, Steve 
Mike here: Likely a simple cure: do a CALIBRATE MOTORS from the AutoStar telescope menu and then a TRAIN DRIVE (do each axis separately). Anytime the power source is changed, including swapping out batteries, you need to CALIBRATE MOTORS.


Many thanks - great advice, problem sorted. I have another now though!
When calibrating last night the drive started to become shaky. I
suspected batteries even though new ones were fitted a couple of days
ago and I've hardly used the scope. I opened the compartment and it was
full of battery acid! I've cleaned this out and fitted more batteries
and things seem better, but could it be the batteries are having to work
too hard? i.e. there is a greater physical resistance on the drive than
there should be.

Although things seem fine now and the drives are moving much smoother
than when I first fired up, I'm wondering if it's worth me doing some
cleaning and lubrication. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks

Mike here: Battery leakage can be caused by improperly inserting them (backwards, reversing polarity, etc) or just a bad battery.  So hopefully just cleaning up the leak mess AND doing the CALIBRATE MOTOR and TRAIN DRIVES will solve the problem.
Subject:	Re: ETX-70AT Motor Fault & Autostar #494 not working
Sent:	Monday, February 19, 2007 20:03:12
From:	richard seymour (
The 494's i've met have all had a glued case.
Some responded more readily than the others to a broad-bladed
prying motion to "pop" the joint.

I assume you did try a "Setup/Telescope/Calibrate Motors",
but for loose connections i'd start at the plug which goes
into the telescope base (those crimp connections are not
always "solid").  If there is a computer shop or office
telephone shop nearby, perhaps they can "crimp" the "RJ45"
connector in their specialized pliers.  This has rescued
many Autostar cables.
After that, it's open the case (photo at )
and inspect/test (with an ohmmeter) where the wires
meet the circuit card, and then across the 8 small gray lumps
just above that point (they're feed-through inductors, and can
act like fuses).

good luck

Subject:	Re: ETX-70AT Motor Fault & Autostar #494 not working
Sent:	Sunday, February 18, 2007 03:48:58
From:	Grant Robery (
I took the scope to Telescope House and they tried out another 494
Autostar and it all worked perfectly, so it seems I have a problem with
my Autostar handset. Before I consider paying out quite a bit for
another one I was wondering whether it woul dbe worth tinkering with the
old one, any tips on how I should go about it? Is it easy to access the
inside and if so would there be any obvious places to look for a loose
Thanks, Grant
Mike here: I'll leave the tinkering comments to Dick Seymour but if you do decide to get a replacement, go for the #497.
Subject:	ETX-80BB Tracking Problems
Sent:	Saturday, February 17, 2007 06:46:32
From:	Lee Miller (
Great Website!!!

I've got a ETX-80 mounted on a equatorial mount, last week while taking
pictures of Saturn using a LPI I noticed that the ETX-80 R.A. tracking
would jump about every 10 seconds.  It seemed like it was over
correcting because I could see Saturn drifting then the ETX would
attempt to track but the image jumped back about a  degree.  Here is
what I have done so far:
	1.	Changed out batteries with new batteries
	2.	Reset Autostar
	3.	Re-entered Location, Time, Date, Mount type, etc.
	4.	Calibrated motor
	5.	Conducted Train Drive for both Alt & Az
It seems like the R.A. drive is sticking, and when it finally tracks it
overcompensates.  Before I take it apart I wanted to see if you had any
Thankyou Very Much,
Mike here: Do you hear any "clicking" sound when the "jump" occurs? If so, it could be a loose motor housing or gear. Alternatively, it could be a dirty encoder or just the lubrication needs to be redistributed. You can sometimes easily redistribute the lubrication by unlocking the axis, slowly moving the telescope for a couple of full rotations in one direction, and then reverse in the other direction for a couple of rotations.


I will check it tonight, do you think temperature would have anything to
do with it?  It has been in the low 20's while using the telescope.


Mike here: Possibly. Lubrication will "stiffen" up at low temperatures and the batteries will be less efficient. If it is the batteries, doing a CALIBRATE MOTOR could help.
Subject:	Photography and the ETX 80
Sent:	Friday, February 16, 2007 12:49:51
From:	Webmaster (
I've just purchased an ETX - 80.  For the price it has good optics.
What's the best way to do astrophotography with this scope?  My Canon
30D is a bit too heavy to use with the T mount. Is there some way to
piggy-back a camera?  Finally, is the Lunar Planetary Imager worth the

I took the below shot with a stationary tripod and film camera with a
50mm lens. I know I will not have planetarium results with this 'scope,
but want to do something a little more than with a stationary camera.

C. Hall
Mike here: There are piggyback camera adapters for the ETX-70 and ETX-80. You will need to mount the telescope in Polar Mode for best results. Yes, the LPI makes an excellent first imager however you need to get the AutoStar #497 if you want to use the AutoStar Suite software with the LPI.
Subject:	ETX-70 TELESCOPE 
Sent:	Wednesday, February 7, 2007 05:37:43
From: (
Hi/ I own an etx 70 scope and unfortunately the ribbed hand locking
wheel on the right hand fork assembly has broken off so i cannot lock
the scope.Do you think there is any point in pursuing a repairer for
this or is it a simple DIY task. As you are experienced on these scopes
I wondered if you would advize me please.I live in the uk so im probably
going to have difficulty locating someone.

Sincerely Derek C. DC60ASTR@AOL.COM
Mike here: See if the article "ETX-90EC DEC fix" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page helps you.
Subject:	ETX 70 clutches
Sent:	Thursday, February 1, 2007 22:02:45
I already have an LX200gps and am familiar with the use of the clutch,
byt my new ETX 70AT clearly has grease contamination of both clutches
which therefore slip. It is difficult for me to get the telescope to a
dealer. Is it possible to dismantle the clutches and clean them?
Richard Hamm
Mike here: A couple of articles that should help you are "ETX-60AT Tuneup" and "ETX-70AT Repair Guide" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.


Very many thanks for your rapid reply!!
Richard Hamm

Subject:	Meade 60mm AT Backpacker
Sent:	Thursday, February 1, 2007 10:32:35
From:	Rori Baldari (
I am an ETX-125 owner. For my upcoming trip to the desert, I just
purchased on eBay a brand new in box Meade 60mm AT Backpacker for $150
(includes shipping). I thought this was a great price. Then I found out
that this is a discontinued model, and that the new one is 80mm. You can
imagine my disappointment.

I thought I was getting the larger one, and failed to realize the 60mm
spec. Stupid me.

My question is, will I be able to see ANYTHING  worthwhile with such a
small aperture? Is this little thing a decent telescope in your opinion?
I couldn't find too much on it on your ETX site.

Thanks for your comment.

Mike here: If it is similar to the ETX-60 model then yes, you will be able to see SOMETHING. Actually, lots of SOMETHINGS. See the Helpful Information: User Observations page for reports from ETX-60 users.

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