Last updated: 14 February 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:	ScopeTronix Flexi-Focus for the ETX-60
Sent:	Tuesday, February 12, 2008 08:35:00
From:	Peter Petersen (
I just bought the Meade ETX-60 and ordered the ScopeTronix Flexi-FocusT
based on the posted reviews. My scope does not have a set screw on the
focus knob how do you get it off to install the ScopeTronix
Mike here: I hope you have also seen the reports on difficulties with ordering from Scopetronix. As to the setscrew, my ETX-70 has one on the side of the knob; I'd be surprised if the ETX-60 doesn't have one.
Subject:	re:  Connector type of Meade #506 cable
Sent:	Monday, February 11, 2008 21:12:26
From:	richard seymour (
As Mike wrote, you cannot build a 506 cable.
Here are photographs of the electronics which are required
in the -middle- of the cable.

good luck

Subject:	ETX 60 "Stuff"
Sent:	Monday, February 11, 2008 18:50:13
From:	Ed Ludt (
I've been perusing your site - lots of good info there.
I just bought one of the Wal-Mart clearance ETX-60 Backpack Observatory
units for $49 - such a deal!  As an avid photographer, I was interested
in astrophotograpy but didn't want to fork over the $$' s for adapters -
so I built my own.

If you're interested I will send photos etc. of the adapter I made for
my SONY DSC-W1 camera.  It wasqute simple and inexpensive.  I also found
a Sears toolbox ($16.47) that accomodates my ETX-60 and has compartments
in the lid for eyepieces and other stuff.
Mike here: Would love to post the tip! Thanks!
Subject:	Connector type of Meade #506 cable
Sent:	Monday, February 11, 2008 13:19:01
From:	Rodrigo Dig (
Well, I live in Brazil and have a Meade ETX-70. I can't find the #506
cable that will allow me to connect my scope to the computer.

I was thinking that I will search at the brazilian's market for a cable
that have a phone and a serial socket, but i can't find the exact type
of plug they are. Will it works??

I need to know the exactly types of connectors. The AUX port on my
ETX-70's use what connector? RJ-11 with 4-pin or RJ-22 (also knows RJ-9
or RJ-10)???

Well, tell me all what I need to buy the correct cable.

Thank you very much for the attention!

Mike here: Just having a correct cable wire with the proper connectors will not allow you to connect a computer to the #494 AutoStar. The #506 that works with the #494 has some special electronics embedded in the cable and without those it won't work. If you have a #497 AutoStar you can make the simpler #505 serial cable; see the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page for cable (pinout and jack) info.
Subject:	RV: camera in piggyback with etx  70
Sent:	Friday, February 8, 2008 04:52:12
From:	Luca Levoni (
What is the limit weight to put on piggyback in a etx 70 to take a
Luca from Spain.
Mike here: My Nikon D70 DSLR was too heavy for the ETX-70. Had I made a counterweight for it I suspect the problems might have gone away. So, without a counterweight expect to experience slippage and tracking errors with almost any camera unless it is really lightweight. For info on making a counterweight see the Helpful Information: Astrophotography page. Remember, for long duration piggyback astrophotography you will have to mount the ETX in Polar Mode to avoid star trailing from "field rotation".
Subject:	Fwd: ETX70AT
Sent:	Thursday, February 7, 2008 00:53:32
From:	Andres Hebberecht (
I had this conversation with Dr.Clay, untightned the azimuth axis and
slewing worked perfectly afterwards.Thank you for all the help and your
good advices. andrew

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Andres Hebberecht 
Date: 06-feb-2008 17:41
Subject: Re: ETX70AT
To: "P. Clay Sherrod"

2008/2/6, P. Clay Sherrod
Good luck!

----- Original Message -----
From: "Andres Hebberecht"
To: "P. Clay Sherrod"
Sent: Wednesday, February 06, 2008 10:13 AM
Subject: Re: ETX70AT

> 2008/2/6, P. Clay Sherrod
>> That may be the problem or it might be the small adjustment nut on the end
>> of the screw
>> gear (the cylindrical gear that drives the main RA gear).  Typically that
>> is the cause
>> of jerky motion.  Check that first.
>> Dr. Clay
>> -------------
>> Arkansas Sky Observatories
>> Harvard MPC/ H43 (Conway)
>> Harvard MPC/ H41 (Petit Jean Mountain)
>> Harvard MPC/ H45 (Petit Jean Mtn. South)
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "Andres Hebberecht"
>> Sent: Wednesday, February 06, 2008 4:12 AM
>> Subject: ETX70AT
>> > Mike recommended me to get in touch with you about the following problem
>> on
>> > my ETX70AT scope:Tracking of objects in order to do astrofotografy ( of
>> the
>> > moon) is almost impossible because of "rocking" on the azimuth
>> > axis.Thedeclination slewes perfectly, the azimuth does not move at all
>> > and every now
>> > and than jumps to the required position. I guess this is a too tight
>> > setting.Loosening a bit the central screw would perhaps make the axis to
>> > work perfectly ??. thanks for your answer. andrew.

Subject:	Use of 12 Volts and Autostar #497 with ETX 60
Sent:	Wednesday, February 6, 2008 19:55:26
From:	Stan Herman (
My thoughts are with you on your recent house robbery.  Why this has to
happen to a giving person such as you is beyond me.  I truly hope that
the situation will be successfully resolved.

I'm picking up a fairly new ETX 60 from an Astromarter.  I'd like to
know the answers to two questions.  (1) Can I use an external 12 volt
battery with this scope? and (2) Can I use my Autostar #497 in lieu of
the supplied Autostar #494?  In reading your site info, I believe the
answer to both is yes; however, I want to be sure.

Mike here: Yes and Yes.


Thanks.  I was hoping to hear that.  I admire your unwavering support to
us, given the terrible theft and house break in that you have endured. 
You truly are a treasured asset to all of us.

Stan Herman

Subject:	RJ comminication cable burned
Sent:	Tuesday, February 5, 2008 16:21:46
From:	Dominguez Ivan-FID001 (
Today I have received the #506 astrofinder software with the cable; at
the same time last week I also bough the powersupply for the ETX-60 so I
don't have to worry about batteries. JUST NOW....I have the scope
connected to the power supply perform HOME and prompted to connect the
cable for me to start using the auto start suite edition. After few
seconds trying to establish communication with the scope a weird smell
came from my computer(like something is burning) I though my computer
was burning but then realized it was the square electric device that
surrounds the cable - now it has a hole in it and not sure what could
have caused it to burned that way. Was it the power supply?

I was able to established connection with the scope last week using
batteries...not sure what has happened now. Any ideas?


Ivan D.
Mike here: What port on the ETX and on the computer did you connect the cable to?


Computer = RS232 comm port 1 .

ETX Aux port.

Like I said it worked fine when I had the batteries, but with the
powersupply somehow it burned the cable. Surprisingly it did not do
anything do the computer.


Ivan D.
Mike here: Glad your computer has a real RS-232 port. Most computers today don't. They may have a modem port and most likely USB (and if a Mac, Firewire). I don't suspect the power supply (assuming it is the Meade one) unless it had a major failure.


Yes I still have one comport Db9. Funny part I'm still using the power
supply to provide power to the scope without a problem.

I don't believe is the comport either to burned an electronic device
that bad!!!! I wonder if it is the AUX port - although, I have been able
to use it with batteries....Not sure.!!! Thanks though.

And more:

Take a look at the hole in the mini electronic box it is burned...... 


Mike here: Wow, that was some serious heat. But hard to say just what caused the failure without testing the power levels on all the ports. You are using the Meade power supply, correct?


Yes I bought it on scopetronics. It is currently working - The question
is if I replace the cable should I use the PS again? Good question

Model SP48-121000
Output: 12vdc 1000ma
Mike here: You might want to contact Scopetronix and see what they say. The voltage and amperage is correct.
Subject:	ETX70AT scope
Sent:	Tuesday, February 5, 2008 11:03:10
From:	Andres Hebberecht (
Where can I find in the voluminous mail you have details about "rocking
on the azimuth circle" while slewing an object,impossible to make any
photos !! thank you.andres
Mike here: There are MANY tech tips on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page on my ETX Site.


yes,I know,but they all refer to " declination rocking".thank you.andres
Mike here: You could try the search facility on the ETX Site Home Page. You might also find something in Dr. Clay's "Performance Enhancement" articles on the Telescope Tech Tips page. But those don't specifically have ETX-70 info.


thank you,I'll get around with the informations.All the best, I hope you
find your stolen goods soon !!!. andres.

Subject:	ETX70AT(spanish)
Sent:	Monday, February 4, 2008 14:38:14
From:	james bolton (
Hope you can help!
Have purchased a Meades ETX70AT whilst in Spain, but unfortunately the
Autostar display is in Spanish!
Do you know if there is any way that it can be 're-programmed to English'?
jim bolton
Mike here: You have several choices: contact Meade to have it reprogrammed (there is no user-installable ROM available), purchase a #494, #495 (if you can find one), or a #497 AutoStar (the #497 would be preferable), or learn Spanish.

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