ETX-60AT & ETX-70AT USER FEEDBACK
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Last updated: 30 April 2004
This page is for user comments and information specific to the Meade ETX-60AT and ETX-70AT. Additional information on these models 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:	MEADE #497 Autostar Computer Controller Compatibility
Sent:	Monday, April 26, 2004 20:22:24
From:	"Paul D. Gregory" (pgregory@stny.rr.com)
Is the MEADE #497 Autostar Computer Controller compatible with a Meade
ETX-70AT?
Mike here: As shown on Meade's Autostar page (http://www.meade.com/support/auto.html), yes.

And:

Thanks for the quick response.  I truly appreciate your time.  I am
awaiting delivery of my ETX 70AT and can not wait to start learning how
to use it.

I have been browsing your website and have found it to be very useful
and informative.

Thanks again,

Paul  D. Gregory
Mike here: If you want to read the manual, check the FAQ page for the link to Meade's manuals page.
Subject:	ETX 70 focusing problem 
Sent:	Sunday, April 25, 2004 08:43:31
From:	"kcaldwell" (kcaldwell@citlink.net)
Love your site. Hope you can help me.

My ETX 70 got knocked over. The front of the telescope came off with the
focusing threaded rod intact. I was able to re-insert the rod throught
the holes provided inside the tube (through the guides on the side) and
out of the focusing knob hole.

The problem is when I turn the focusing knob, the image doesn't change
for the first ten turns, then when it starts to change the focusing knob
gets tight. One other thing: when I turn the focusing knob, the threaded
rod that the knob is attached to movesin and out before it gets tight.

Is there a more in depth manual with a pictureordrawing showing the
inside of the optical tube? Or, have you heard of this problem before?
I'm confident that the cost of repair ( from Meade ) will be more than a
new unit. I found ETX70 refurbished units for $179.00.

Thanks for you help, and for a great site.

Kevin T. Caldwell
Mike here: See the "ETX-70AT Repair Guide" on the Telescope Tech Tips page.
Subject:	re:   ETX-60 Crashing
Sent:	Thursday, April 22, 2004 22:28:07
From:	Richard Seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
The two of you got off on that soldering binge, and i think Jim
missed (he certainly didn't echo or comment upon) Mike's original
suggestion to

RESET

the Autostar.  Mode out of the Alignment, and scroll to
Setup > Reset [enter][enter]

...this really does clear up a lot of situations like this.

good luck
--dick

Subject:	etx-70 polar alignment
Sent:	Tuesday, April 20, 2004 02:48:14
From:	DC60ASTR@aol.com
I have just now completed a home made wedge for the above and am
confused as to how to perform the initialization setting procedure with
the telescope in the polar mode on the tripod. Please could you direct
me to a site that explains this as I find the manual a little rusty in
explaining this.

I hope you do not mind me contacting you again as I found your previous
advice of great help.

Many thanks.
 Derek C. DC60ASTR @AOL.COM.
 
Mike here: See the Alignment Tips section on the Autostar Info page.
Subject:	ETX-60 Crashing
Sent:	Monday, April 19, 2004 17:11:41
From:	"Jim Dishman" (Jim@Dishman.com)
I am trying to figure out the problem in my sons ETX-60

During an alignment, it slews to each of 2 alignment stars.  After
completing the second star and pressing enter, the handbox either locks
up where is says "calculating", or just goes black.

I have already tried a reset.  Anyone else ever seen this problem?

Please email replys to jim@dishman.com

Thank you.
Mike here: I presume you have the original #494 Autostar (no number keys). Since you've already tried a RESET, have you replaced the batteries and checked the connections?

And:

Thanks for the reply Mike.

Yes I have the original 494 Autostar.  I am running off of a 12V
portable battery with the lighter adapter so power isnt the issue.  The
soldered connections for the Autostar connection had come loose from the
little circuit board in the fork arm and I soldered them back.

Now if I can just figure this crash out.
Mike here: Hum... Could you have done some damage?

And:

I dont believe so as I did it under a magnifying stand with a needle
nose solder iron and was very very careful.
Mike here: If you were soldering near the circuit board you could have done something bad.

And:

basically all I did was put the needle soldering iron on the existing
contacts until the existing solder remelted onto the pins of the plug
socket.
Mike here: If you were working on the Autostar end, then you could still have damaged the board. Or not.

And:

Cound be.  I will examine the work area again under high magnificaation
and see if perhaps some solder bridged onto a contact where it should
not be.

Subject:	ETX 60AT and the 497 Autostar
Sent:	Sunday, April 18, 2004 15:55:43
From:	admin@northwest-denture.com
I see that the 494 Autostar on the ETX 70AT can be swapped for the 497
does this also hold true for the EXT 60AT? I friedmy 494 (crushed with
car tireis more like it) so I either need to get a"NEW" 494 @$60 or
for $90 I can buy a 497 and have "More features".

I just want to make sure it will work and that I won't cook anything
before getting it.

Thanks in Advance
Joe D.
Mike here: Yep, it will work fine.

And:

Thanks for the fast reply and thank you for the info

Joe

Subject:	Re: question simular to Chris's question about a week ago.
Sent:	Monday, April 12, 2004 20:28:15
From:	"Boyd Lewis" (boydlewis@hotmail.com)
thanks..I'll do that. and thanks again for all your advise.

So what do you do Mike?  how long have you been in astronomy? what scope
or scopes do you have?  I've done a little astronomy studies, have
always had an interest in all the sciences, which is the degree I'm
currently working on, now my engineering degree is finished.  I've been
waiting for meade to release a smaller scope (ie less $$)  which can
really do a CCD justice.  I understand the smallest that meade has with
quality which is worth mentioning is the 8in.($$)  Do you know
another... meade or otherwise?  I had thought of a digital camera to the
meade ETX(T) connector weight and limit of movement may be a problem. 
Would like to setup an IP device connection to one for remote control at
my rural property in N.GA.

Thoughts?

really thanks again,
Boyd
Mike here: See My Astrophotography Gallery - The Planets for four of the five telescopes I have (the 5th is shown in the article "Some "Ancient" History" on the Just for Fun page). I've been into astronomy since I was six years old. See our home page if you really want to learn more about me (www.weasner.com). As to remote controlling an ETX, LXD55, or LX200GPS, see the article "Autostar Suite on a Macintosh" on the Autostar Info page (the Autostar Suite includes network capability). As to digital cameras, see the Helpful Information - Astrophotography page.
Subject:	ETX 60AT with ACP
Sent:	Monday, April 12, 2004 19:53:46
From:	"John T. Marino" (jtmpsu96@optonline.net)
I have an ETX 60AT whichcame withthe Starry Night Bundle Edition (v.
2.1) and Astronomer's Control Panel (v. 1.2.9) software which I've
loaded onto my Windows XP laptop. My question is that my ACP is giving
the wrong time, and also month, date and year information. If I can't
update this info the scope won't slew correctly, right? When I try to
update the ACP time and date info from the PC, I get an errorwindow
which pops up and tells me that the PC time and date is illegal. As an
FYI before I even opened the ACP software I updated the time, date, and
viewing location on the ETX 60AT using the Autostar#494(as directed in
the manual) and also checkedthe viewing locationand time in
StarryNight software, whichare accurate. So is this an Windows XP
issue? A DC3 issue? Any info you can provide would be most
appreciated.

Thanks,

John M.
Mike here: You likely need the current ACP version, available from their website (linked from the Astronomy Links page). The older version had a date problem.

And:

Thanks for your rapid response!  I guess I'll have to download ACP 1.3
SP2 from the DC3 Dreams Site.

Regards,

John

Subject:	Problem with my 70AT vertical motor
Sent:	Monday, April 12, 2004 18:38:29
From:	"Angus Lo" (gurugurutrex@hotmail.com)
I just got my new 70AT a week ago, but it's not working so well. It can
turn left, right, and down without any problem, but it just can't go
"up". I can hear the motor and the gear is moving, but the telescope
itself didn't move at all. I tried to use new batteries, 9V power supply
and 12V power supply, but it still doesn't work. I'm pretty sure the
vertical lock isn't over tight. Do you have any idea why?

Angus
Mike here: When you lock the vertical axis, does the tube stay in place at whatever angle you put the tube? Or does it "sag" back downward? Also, moving up has to overcome gravity so undertightening the axis lock could be the problem.

And an update:

It does stay in place at whatever angle I put it. I tried to lay the
telescope sideway, the tube can move up and down without any problem so
I'm pretty sure the axis motor and gears are working fine.

I think the problem is there is too much grease on the vertical axis so
that it keeps the tube stay still from moving up. So I tried to tighten
the lock from "firm" to "tight", but it doesn't work. Then I tried to
make it REALLY tight, and it works now!!! You're right! undertightening
the axis lock is the problem but I never know that I should make it THAT
tight, LOL.

Thanks for your help Mike, your site is great!
Mike here: Glad that worked! But use caution and don't overtighten it!
Subject:	Re: etx60at
Sent:	Sunday, April 11, 2004 14:39:25
From:	alison moski (alm2765@yahoo.com)
I was able to focus on some trees about 1500 feet away today using the
25mm lens. What would be my next step in assessing what I need to do to
view objects at night?

Sincerely,

Alison
Mike here: Don't change that focus position. Try it on Saturn tonight (if the sky is clear for you). Saturn should be nearly in focus.

And:

From:	Richard Seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
This is not an uncommon problem.
I loaned my ETX70 to a friend, who was having no luck using it.
I finally called her on a clear evening, and discovered that
she (like many people who have never used a telescope) had been
turing the focus knob the wrong way.

The ETX60 has about 50 or 60 turns end-to-end on the focus knob.
(so stopping at 20 is far too soon).  
And the number of turns from "a distant tree" to "a star" is
still quite a few.

If you are trying to focus on a star or planet, turn 
the knob to make the image -smaller- (not larger).
When you reach "focus" (and go past it) the image will
start to get larger again.  Go back to the tiniest spot
you can achieve.

At the present, Venus is being a very nice focus target 
high in the west in the early evening.

good luck
--dick

Subject:	etx60at
Sent:	Saturday, April 10, 2004 06:23:56
From:	alison moski (alm2765@yahoo.com)
I have received the etx60at telescope as a gift recently, but have not
been able to focus on anything yet. I found info online about turning
the focus knob 20-30 revolutions, but I still can't seem to focus on a
full moon. I was hoping you could help me identify what I am doing wrong
and how to remedy the problem. 

Thanks.

Sincerely,

Alison
Mike here: Which eyepiece are you using? What do you see when you look at a building in the daytime?

And:

Thanks for the quick response.

I am using the 25mm eyepiece.

I went outside in the daylight and was able to focus perfectly on one of
my neighbors house.

Now I am perplexed.
Mike here: Try a more distant object.
Subject:	question simular to Chris's question about a week ago.
Sent:	Friday, April 9, 2004 21:42:54
From:	"Boyd Lewis" (boydlewis@hotmail.com)
My name is Boyd Lewis, my dad also has an etx-70, worked fine a few time
but has since responed in the following way.  both standard eyepieces
will not reach a focus point unless they are about 2inches out of the
eyepiece hole.  All adjustment that can be made have been made to the
focus.  since this is not just one eyepience but both that we have I'm
leaning toward a problem with the scope.  Thoughts? suggestions?

Thanks for your time,
Boyd
Chickamauga,  GA 30707
Mike here: I take it from your description that turning the focus knob doesn't change the focus. It does take many, many turns to change the focus from one eyepiece to the other but if the focus is not changing then the focus mechanism may have come loose (assuming the knob is tight on the shaft). Unfortunately, if that is the problem, the repair really needs to be done by Meade.

And:

thank you for the response, I was thinking that way already but didn't
want to if the problem is an embarassingly easy one to fix.  Will check
with Meade on the cost of repair.

Thanks,
boyd
Mike here: When you turn the focus knob, the objective lens housing should move along the OTA. Does it? (Movement is small and hard to see.)

And:

the little silver adjustment screw on the right turns and adjusts the
housing a bit, without the eyepiece in you can see the adjustment.  the
same problem exist for both streight through and above view.
Mike here: OK, then the focus mechanism is working as it should. But if the prime focus is so far outside the eyepiece hole position that you have to hold an eyepiece 2" away, then I would say that the objective lens housing is mis-positioned. How that could occur, I don't know, unless the objective end of the tube took some direct hit and pushed the housing backwards.

And:

It is not mine, but my stepdad's, he said that he can think of no time
when such happened.  But sounds right to me.  do you think I should send
it to meade or attempt to take it apart.  I'm leaning on Meade, as I
know how percise this would have to be.

Boyd E. Lewis
Mike here: Use Meade.
Subject: Meade ETX 70 AT
Date: 4/8/04, 21:24
From: john moore (johnfmooresr@worldnet.att.net)
I bought a Meade ETX70AT the other day and can only say I am extremely
disappointed, notwithstanding I paid only half price. I live in two
areas, Florida on the east coast and Texas in Austin, My intention was
to use the scope in Both places. In reading through the totally
inadequate setup instructions I find that the initial setup information
to be entered, can only be done one time, ie at the first set up and
alignment or after a RESET is performed. RESET is mentined twice, but
NEVER how it is accomplished. In point of fact as I wander through the
setup routines (which by the way don't work as described in the totally
inadequate instructions) it appears the city/state is KABUL.!!!??? I
need to reset and initialize, realign every six months when i move from
one area to the other.- Another point, (disappoint) The box shows a
section of the moon's edge with deep craters etc., and Saturn with
clearly separated rings.There is not even a SUSPICION that these will
not be achieved with the materials in the box. Alas, they MAY be
achieved with additional eyepieces, but who knows??? RITZ claims to sell
them for a, three eyepiece set (4mm, 5mm, 2x lens) @ $39/set and b, 3x
lens for $39 but they are not in stock, none at the warehouse, just give
them a credit card number and they will ship when as, and if. Purchase
on the internet? No way! There appears to be no standard pricing, no
sets, all individual lenses, and all (well the ones I checked) claiming
to be the low price seller while charging more.
Mike here: You can change the location (called Site in the Autostar menu). It is under the SETUP menu. Yes, marketing materials (from any manufacturer) can be misleading. See the User Observations page for actual ETX-70 user reports.

And:

Found it. Thanks. Thanks also for quick reply

Subject: Focusing the ETX70AT
Date: 4/1/04, 13:58
From: Chris Doyle (doyle1701@ntlworld.com)
I have a problem with my new ETX 70AT and I wondered if you could help.
When I place an eyepiece in the scope everything is blurred. I tried
looking at a full moon but could see nothing, having turned the focusing
knob from one end to the other. I then pulled the eyepiece out of the
holder and everything became clear. I can only see things with an
eyepiece just inside the holder, with most of the chrome part of the
eyepiece showing. Could it be that the scope needs setting up properly
??. I'm pretty new to this hobby so please allow for that. Could it just
need adjustment, or am I doing something wrong?.

Great site by the way.
 
Chris Doyle - UK 
Mike here: There are MANY MANY MANY turns of the focus knob from one extreme to the other. If you have a really gone from one end to the other and the supplied 25mm eyepiece will not reach a focus on the Moon with the eyepiece fully inserted, then it is likely there is a problem, with either telescope or the eyepiece. Does this happen with the 9mm eyepiece? When you turn the focus knob you are really moving the objective lens cell at the other end of the telescope tube. Can you see if moving when turning the focus knob? Movement will be VERY small.

And:

Hi Mike, you were right, there are MANY turns of the focus knob from one
extreme to the other.

I've just tried a 9mm eyepiece on an almost full moon and it looked
great. I've only just bought the Meade and I've attatched an extended
focusing knob. I've still a lot to learn about this scope so I'll
probably make a few more errors, don't we all, but thanks for your
input.

Once again you have a great site, I saw an email from a guy in England
who bought a case to carry his scope, I'll probably get one from the
same supplier. It's good to know there's a site like yours where we can
get feedback on all problems, large or small. Keep up the great work.

Best regards - Chris 

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