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ETX-60AT & ETX-70AT USER FEEDBACK
Last updated: 31 August 2001

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:	Question re. attaching a camera to EXT-60AT
Sent:	Friday, August 31, 2001 16:26:08
From:	plwebb@pacbell.net (Pat Webb)
I bought the EXT-60AT from Costco and I am wondering what T-mount/T-ring
I need for my Epson 850Z digital camera. This camera is not listed at
anywhere that sells Meade products. They list 35mm cameras such as the
Minolta, Nikon, Canon, Olympus and Pentax only. I know that I need the
#64ST adapter but I don't have a clue as to which T-mount. Can you help
me with this?

Thanks,

Pat
Mike here: See the items on the Accessory Reviews - Astrophotography page on my ETX Site for adapters that work well with digital cameras and most telescopes.

And: Thanks for the info. Is that adapter all I will need or will I still need the #64ST? Thanks again! Mike here: You really only need one of the adapters, such as the Digi-T. The #64 is really for 35mm film cameras.


Subject:	ETX -70 Solar Filter-Cheap!
Sent:	Friday, August 31, 2001 07:23:43
From:	phillips@vzpacifica.net (Jim Phillips)
I'm sitting here on Saipan awaiting the arrival of my new LX200 12" and
decided to get an ETX-70 to tide me over (an possibly piggyback on the
12" later.  I decided the ETX-70 would probably be a nifty sun scope,
since the night sky's around the island seem to be filled with clouds
and water lately. So.....

I made a nice solar filter for my 'lil ETX70 today out of a 3" diameter
circle of Baader film I bought from OPT and a 3" black ABS pipe cover
that I bought from ACE Hardware for $1.49.  It's a nice, snug (but not
overly tight) fit.

I cut the cap with a hole saw in my electric drill, and dressed the
rough opening with some 80 grit rough sandpaper.  I secured the film
inside the flange I left in the end of the cap with some really good
double face mounting tape.  It will not come loose!  I also got a 2-1/4"
cap that I thing will fit over the 8x50 finderscope on the 12", but I'll
have to wait and see.

Of course, it immediately clouded up and began to rain about the time I
had this fitted to the ETX!!!

Thought someone might like an idea.

Thanks,

Jim Phillips
Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands
15-09N  145-44E  GMT +10

Subject:	ETX-70EC Problems
Sent:	Thursday, August 30, 2001 02:49:18
From:	Schockeng@aol.com
I purchased an ETX-70EC 'Special Edition' scope (with ETX-90 base, 495
Autostar, and extra accessories) from Astronomics at a good price.  I
basically like the scope (nice portable size, good wide-field
capability, and those smart electronics), but I think I have some
serious optical problems.  What do you think?

Tonight, a clear though moonlit night, I decided to do a thorough
optical test.  Here are my results:

Seeing was average, with very little atmospheric disturbance at the
zenith; closer to the horizon, a small amount of 'twinkling' in the
brighter stars.  3/4 moon in south.  Limiting visual magnitude was about
4 to 4.5.

Using the supplied Meade 9mm MA eyepiece along with the Meade shorty 2x
Barlow (77x), I observed the star Vega near the zenith.

1.  Sharp focus was not possible.  Overall sense was fuzziness and less
than dark background compared to star (not great contrast).  Though the
star image was still, it could not be brought to a point of light,
remaining irregularly distorted.  A small blue-violet 'V' was visible to
the upper left, and a slightly larger yellow-green spikes of light
extended to the upper right and lower left.  The center of the image was
nearly white.

2.  At 1/8 turn outside focus (counterclockwise turn of focus knob), the
yellow-green coma haze to the upper left increased with a more distinct
violet pike in it, a hint of diffraction rings visible in the coma
forming off-center to upper-left from star.  The yellow-green spike to
upper-right and lower left longer and more distinct.  The center of the
star took on a blue-violet color, surrounded by white or yellow-white.

3.  Another 1/8 turn outside focus (total 1/4 turn outside), and the
center of the star image is blue-violet to upper left, red-pink to lower
right.  Coma halo to upper left extend further and is yellow-green in
color.

4.  At a full 1/2 turn outside focus, there is a yellow-green halo haze
surrounding an elliptical violet center; axis of center oval is lower
left to upper right.

5.  At 1/8 turn INSIDE focus (clockwise), there is a slight 'V' shape to
upper left, blue-violet at edges.  Star is yellow-green at center.

6.  Another 1/8 turn inside focus (clockwise, total 1/4 turn), and two
distinct yellow-green diffraction rings are visible in center, with a
third outside ring that's fizzy at the edges, turning to blue-violet at
edges.  The diffraction pattern is not round; it's oval/eliptical, with
its major axis from upper left to lower right, plus a 'bump' on the top.
 Kind of irregularly egg-shaped.

7.  All of these image defects were fairly consistent across the field
of the eyepiece.  Rotating eyepiece in holder did not change affect.

8.  With the 9mm eyepiece alone, Vega appeared somewhat cross-shaped at
sharpest focus with the majority of the star appearing as a long oval
left to right/upper-right, white with violet edges.  The up-down axis
was slightly v'd to left, yellow-green in color, and smaller and more
distinct than the other axis.

9.  The effects inside and outside of focus with the 9mm MA are the same
as described for the 9mm/2xBarlow combo, except that they are more
sharply defined and with more contract.

10.  With a 20mm Plossl, effects were again consistent with those
described above, but again more sharply defined and with more contrast. 
Still no pinpoint focus.  20mm with 2xBarlow yielded results just a
little sharper than the 9mm alone.

11.  Observed Mars with same eyepiece combinations; at no time was a
sharp planetary disk able to be focused, even considering the higher
degree of atmospheric disturbance at its low altitude.  Same thing
observed last week at a dark sky location with near-perfect seeing. 
Always a 'splotch'.

Other problems: 12.  There is almost 1.5 degrees of 'slop' in the
altitude gear mesh, and nearly 2 degrees of 'slop' in the azimuth gear
mesh.  That is excessive to the point of making tracking nearly
impossible.  It also makes the slewing controls unusable except for the
highest speeds.

13.  Moving the eyepiece inside and outside focus creates an image shift
of about 1/4 degree as the objective end of the OTA torques left and
right. The end of the tube moves almost 4mm as I turn the focus back and
forth.  Is that supposed to happen?

14.  The altitude clamp mechanism is increasingly difficult to clamp,
requiring more pressure than I think it should take.

15.  The go-to performance of the telescope has degraded over the period
of my use of the scope, though my care and method in setup has remained
constant, or improved.

Should I expect better optics than I have?

I know that Clay Sherrod's tune-up tips and those on the Scopetronix
site provide pretty thorough solutions to the mechanical and tracking
issues.  But has anyone has any success in getting Meade to follow
through and provide what they promise (i.e., do they offer their own
tune-up under warranty?, and is it successful?)  After all, I spent some
good money, don't I have a right to expect the promised performance from
the manufacturer?

Interestingly, the Astronomics information/spec data posted for the
ETX-70EC Special Edition go-to refractor on 7/16/01 stated that the
"Highest Useful Power" for the instrument is 140x, consistent with the
40x to 50x per inch of aperture one expects for a quality telescope.  
Now, their info for the ETX-70 scope has been changed to read"Highest
Useful Power" as 85x.  That's a 40% decrease, and only 30x per inch!

Shouldn't I be able to achieve at least 40x/inch with good results?

Also, this 'Special Edition' came with Meade's 20mm Series 400 Plossl
instead of the 25 mm MA/Kellner.  I find it an extremely difficult
eyepiece to look through.  It's hard for me to line my eye up over the
exit pupil of the eyepiece, so the view is always changing in clarity
and brightness.  Any thoughts.

Don Schock
Mike here: So much for this "Special Edition". Although some color fringing will occur with refractors, the "V-shape" you describe doesn't appear on my ETX-70AT. As to the gear slop/GOTO problems, have you RETRAINed the Autostar? Is the Autostar even set for the ETX-70EC? As with all telescopes, the theoretical max magnification is just that: theoretical and is normally only usable during excellent seeing on bright objects using excellent optical components, including the eyepiece. And yes, the objective end of the ETX-70 (and ETX-60) moves during focusing; that is how this design works. Other designs will move the eyepiece. If you are unhappy with your purchase, return it to the dealer.

And:

Thanks for your incredibly quick response.  Re 'Special Edition', I am
sure I will be able to resolve the optical problems with either
Astronomics or Meade - thanks for confirming it is probably out of the
ordinary.  At $219 for the scope plus the accessories on the ETX-90
base, it was still a relative 'steal', regardless of the procedure I'll
have to go through to get better optics.  I'm just 'unlucky' on the unit
I received - I went into it with open eyes, having studied yours and
other sites prior to purchase.  It's a good compact wide-field 'scope
that my kids can learn with. I'll try the re-training of the Autostar. 
My question about the movement of the objective was related to the great
amount of side-to-side swing, not the fact that it's supposed to move in
and out.  Is your (or others) experience similar with almost 4mm of
'sway' of the end of the assembly, and 1/4 degree image shift?

Could you please respond to the other two issues I mentioned: 
1.  Has anyone had any luck getting Meade to provide a better 'tune-up'
to their scope than was received?
2.  When using the Meade Series 4000 20mm Plossl with the scope, I found
it hard to maintain a good view - hard to stay on the exit pupil.  Is
that typical?
Mike here: In case you don't know, Costco is selling the ETX-60AT with #494 Autostar for $99. No tripod though. I don't recall any image shift in the ETX-70AT I have. And I haven't noticed any "side-to-side swing" when slewing using the Autostar (which is how you should move the telescope for pointing). I'm not certain what you mean about Meade doing a "tune-up". If there are problems with the unit, they should correct them under warranty. For a fee, their will correct problems that appear after the scope is out of warranty. Many eyepieces have a short "eye relief". I don't know if the 20mm is that way but the 9.7mm is.

Subject:	ETX60 Tripod
Sent:	Wednesday, August 29, 2001 21:56:45
From:	jcburges@pacbell.net (JayCb)
First off, what a great site for ETX users.

Now, my question. I just purchased one of the "Costco Special" ETX 60's.
A good deal at the price but I need to purchase a tripod to use it at my
location. Based on user's experience and the problems with the Meade
#882, what do users think. What's a good aftermarket choice? Thanks in
advance for your advice.

Jay
Mike here: I hope the leg clamp problems with some initial #882 tripods have been solved. But if you are looking for alternatives, see the Accessory Reviews - Tripods page for some ideas.

Subject:	EXT-60
Sent:	Wednesday, August 29, 2001 10:14:59
From:	bernie.meyers@honeywell.com (Meyers, Bernie)
Is their a ext-60 model (no AT)?  I saw one at Costco.
 
Bernie Meyers
Program Manager
Mike here: If it comes with the Autostar, then it is an "AT" model. When it was first introduced there was an "EC" model that did not include the Autostar. But I don't think the Costco promotion includes a tripod.

Subject:	Help with ETX 60at
Sent:	Wednesday, August 29, 2001 01:39:36
From:	mberman@loop.com (Michael Berman)
I know the ETX 60 AT is not a very good telescope, but I was given one
as a gift.

I noticed you need to have a special tripod to use it due to the
fittings on the bottom of the scope.

I own a few very expensive hydraulic head tripods already, is there an
adaptor I can buy or easily make to be able to use the telescope on
these camerea tripods.

Thanks for any help you can give me.
Mike here: The ETX-60AT is a fine scope, when used for its intended purpose. See the Accessories - Tripods page for some adapters and visit the Scopetronix web site as well. Alternatively, see the Telescope Tech Tips page for info on making your own adapter.

Subject:	Meade Telescope EXT 60, $99.00
Sent:	Tuesday, August 28, 2001 16:58:11
From:	EdHiker@mediaone.net (Ed Johnson)
I noticed that Costco is selling "Meade Telescope EXT 60" for $99.
Includes Autostar Computerized Hand Controller with 1400 object
database.

www.costco.com/frameset.asp?trg=product%2Easp&catid=111&subid=113&hierid=1564&prdid=10011406&log=

Ed
And:
Subject:	sale
Sent:	Tuesday, August 28, 2001 17:02:55
From:	rgend@pd.co.contra-costa.ca.us
Nice ETX page...thanks!

Costco.com has an ETX 60 on sale for under $100 with use of a $30 off
coupon which is automatically deducted. Sale ends Sep 2d, and offer is
apparently available in stores with the actual coupon.

Rob
Mike here: Yep but apparently doesn't include the tripod.

Subject:	Upgrade question
Sent:	Tuesday, August 28, 2001 12:19:56
From:	jerryg@gaiser.org (Jerry Gaiser)
First off, Mike, wonderful site. I've spent the last week trying to
absorb info waiting for my ETX-60AT to arrive.

Now... Confusion... Looking at the flash version in my newly arrived
ETX-60, I see 1.0k. Reading your site you mention that 1.0e is the
latest (I suspect that the 1.0k *is* the latest for the 494).

The confusion starts when looking at your unoffical software archive.
The section on "Autostar Updater 2.4 and #497 Autostar ROM 2.1ek" seems
to imply that this will work with the 494. Is this right??

Too many controllers, too much information...

Jerry Gaiser (waiting for a clear night for a test run)

45 41 35 N
123 02 31 W
-- 
Jerry Gaiser in Oregon
http://www.gaiser.org/
Mike here: When I got my ETX-70AT from Meade, 1.0E was the latest. It is certainly possible that newer models have a newer version. Unfortunately, there is currently no ROM update available for the #494. Where the confusion comes is that the Autostar Updater client application 2.4 is used with ALL models of the Autostar but can only be used for object data with the #494.

And:

Thanks for the quick response, Mike...

I've got a #506 cable on order and I'll take a look at the Autostar
updater when it arrives.

Still a bit too cloudy here in Oregon to give the 60 a good tryout, but
I'm looking forward seeing what it can do.

Thanks.

Subject:	Some advice please
Sent:	Tuesday, August 28, 2001 07:05:13
From:	m.coward@react.org.uk (Monty Coward)
I have recently purchased a ETX 70 and have only two questions.  Is it
realistic to assume that 20hrs, with slewing manually as well... is
about right for 6 AA Batteries. Second, when I set up my unit in "Home"
mode, just prior to aligning, I notice that with the "0" is lined up
with the pointer mark, the tube is slightly elevated and not horizontal
as in the picture in the manual.  It is about 5 - 8 degrees out.

I thank you for your assistance.

Rev L M Coward (Sheffield - England)
+(44) 1142452897
Mike here: Depending upon the batteries and usage, 20-50 hours seems like a good range. As to the DEC scale, see that item on the ETX Site FAQ page.

Subject:	Costco ETX 60 sale
Sent:	Monday, August 27, 2001 21:53:39
From:	brgates@earthlink.net (Ben Gates)
I notice that Costco will be selling the ETX 60 starting 8/27 to 9/2 for
$98.99.  This sounds like a good price.

It this a great deal or is it a stripped down version.  Please let me
know if you have any ideas as I was thinking of purchasing one.

Thanks in advance, 

Ben Gates
Mike here: It may not include the #882 tripod.

Subject:	RE: Costco ETX 60
Sent:	Sunday, August 26, 2001 22:02:58
From:	WOOFERENT@aol.com
Would this unit be good to use as a spotting scope for target shooting??

Thanks,

Earl T
Mike here: It could. Depends upon the magnification you need. It is a short focal length telescope with a small aperture so magnification is limited.

Subject:	questions answered
Sent:	Friday, August 24, 2001 14:53:39
From:	genenm@riolink.com (Gene Turchin)
Thanks for a nice site! I had some questions because, like so many
people, I was interested in Costco's sale on the etx 60. You can't buy a
decent pair of binoculars for even twice the price, so I'll buy
it-supplies permitting-I have to drive 154 miles to Costco and get there
early, I'm sure.
Gene Turchin

Subject:	ETX-70 AT Coma Problems
Sent:	Friday, August 24, 2001 10:17:38
From:	JonIsaacs@aol.com
I wrote you a few weeks ago about my ETX-70 with Coma problems.   I
exchanged it with OPT and now have tested the second one to adequately
determine that this one also has the identical problem.

I have done a bit more testing to identify the problem.  First I taped
and eyepiece to the camera port and looked at Pi Bootes which is a mag 4
double with 5.8 arc second split.  Though it was difficult, it seemed to
be coma free.

Someone suggested that the flip mirror was probably not properly
aligned, that this would cause this problem so I made a mask to fit the
front with a CAD program complete with target rings.   Then using my
laser collimator, I checked the alignment.  It showed that the center of
the beam did not coincide with the center of the objective.

Next I made an eyepiece adaptor for the camera port.   It turns out that
the back of the ETX is a 1.375 x 24 thread which is the same thing that
bicycles use for both the rear freewheel and the left side of the bottom
bracket.  I was able to use a bicycle lock ring glued to a 1.25 ID tube
to make a decent adaptor.

Last night I finally had clear skies and was able to check it out. 
Again looking at Pi Bootes, though the camera adaptor there was no Coma,
but using the flip mirror again there was Coma.   The straight through
image of the camera port is more than satisfactory, it seemed quite
decent at 105X, so I think the objective is good.

Next I played with the flip mirror while looking at Polaris, moving it
to adjust for reduced coma.   This is difficult as the flip mirror will
not stay placed.   However I think I did enough to indicate that the
problem the angle of the flip mirror is wrong.   Again I will discuss
this with OPT, they will handle it to my satisfaction I am sure.

My current plan is to replace the knob on the flip mirror with a bar
with adjustor screws at each end that allow me to set the angle of the
flip mirror.   I hope to try this today.

Possibly you know better ways to adjust repair this difficulty, please
recommend them.

A closing comment:  I have had two of these and they both had the same
apparent problem.  While I am not super optical guy, I have several
years experience looking through scopes and I was able to tell there is
a problem.

I suspect that many of these scope suffer from this Coma problem but
that most users do not have sufficient knowledge and experience to know
that something is wrong.   With this scope, when I try to focus on
Polaris, I get the classic seagull pattern, a point with two wings.

Also, I designed an adaptor plate that allows my scope to be attached to
a standard photo tripod.  It also has holes for 6 eyepieces.  If anyone
were interested, I could send you an engineering drawing with dimensions
and a photo.

Thanks for your help.

Jon Isaacs
Mike here: Interesting. It does seem like the flip mirror is the culprit. One point: the flip mirror is meant to lock in one of two positions, up or down. It could be difficult to get it to stay put in some intermediate position. So, I'd go the exchange.

Subject:	Scrolling text speed on the ETX-60
Sent:	Friday, August 24, 2001 09:21:52
From:	rwilloughby@richmond.bbb.org (Ross Willoughby)
Just purchased the ETX-60AT and I'm having a hard time trying to read
the text zipping across the Autostar display screen.  Is there a way to
slow it down?
 
Thanks for your advice.
Mike here: You can change the speed. Hold down the up/down scroll keys to change it.

Subject:	ETX60-AT with 497 Autostar Controller
Sent:	Thursday, August 23, 2001 18:33:39
From:	starwars@ntlworld.com (Star Wars)
First Class Site!
Just wondering if a 497 ETX Autostar controller can be connected to my
ETX60-AT & finally let me position the telescope from my PC, or is there
any workround on the standard controller that came with the telescope,
as i'm told that only the firmware can be updated & no control of the
telescope is possible.

Regards
Tony
Mike here: Yes, the #497 Autostar can be connected. But you can control the #494 from a computer if you have the right software and the #506 cable. Currently you can NOT update the ROM in the #494.

And:

Thanks for your help. I'm just about to order The #506 cable but as this
comes with the Astrofinder software, will this software work OK in
positioning the ETX60-AT from the PC.

Cheers
Tony
Mike here: I believe so.

Subject:	Zoom eyepiece for ETX-60
Sent:	Thursday, August 23, 2001 14:33:46
From:	mehvincent@hotmail.com (meh vincent)
What kind of performance can I expect with a zoom eyepiece in the
ETX-60?
Mike here: Simply put, the same as with any telescope. Keep in mind the limitations of the short focal length and small aperture when selecting any additional eyepieces for the ETX-60AT (and ETX-70AT).

Subject:	Meade ETX-70
Sent:	Tuesday, August 21, 2001 16:33:42
From:	JeffStone@u1.net (Jeff Stone)
I have a couple of small kids that are very interested in space, stars,
etc ... and I wanted to get an introductory telescope for the family to
use to help nurture this curiosity ...  I am somewhat interested in the
Meade ETX-70 scope as it appears to be suited for the beginner, which I
will be.

Can you give me some brief feedback on this scope and any accessories
that will be essential to get this going.

Thanks in advance
Jeff
Mike here: See my comments on the ETX-70AT linked from the top of the current "ETX-60AT, ETX-70AT" Feedback page. Read through other user comments and suggestions. Also, see the Buyer/New User Tips page and the various accessory pages.

Subject:	ETX70 with 495 Autostar
Sent:	Monday, August 20, 2001 21:22:08
From:	abcomputing@swbell.net (LWM)
Just got an ETX 70AT with the 495 Autostar. The closest model that the
495 has listed is the ETX 90. Is there any way to add an ETX 70 to the
available list? Or is selecting the ETX 90 sufficient to operate
properly?  The 495 has 22eh identified in it's info.

Thanks
Mike here: As noted on the Autostar Models page (linked from the Autostar Information page), yes, it can be used on the ETX-70AT. You probably need to do a RESET and then the Autostar should detect the new scope. If it doesn't, let me know.

I just did a reset and only three models show up as a possible
selection: ETX90, ETX125 and LX90.  I did another reset with the same
results.  Am I doing something wrong?  Do I need to get the proper cable
and flash the unit?

Thanks,
  Larry
And from our resident Autostar expert:
From:	rseymour@wolfenet.com (richard seymour)
I haven't run 22eH against my ETX70... but it -should- be willing
to list "ETX70" as a model (and the full DS list, too).

hmmm... i just fired up my 22eR, and you're right! It's not 
listed -there- either. (however, my Autostar is connected to
my ETX90... and i *have* used my 22eR Autostar on my ETX70at,
and it knew about that model.
  So if you upgrade to 22eR, it WILL  work. (mine does).

But... to punt, You can use "ETX90" ... and then scroll through
the SETUP > TELESCOPE choices to AZ RATIO.
Press [enter] ... it'll show something like 1.36888
change that to  0.95197
press [enter]
now scroll to  ALT RATIO, press [enter] ... it'll show 1.36888 too.
Change that to 1.01500
press [enter]

Your scope should now operate properly.
IF you ever select a different (or the same) Telescope Model,
 it'll reset the ratios back to that scope.  And you'll have
to do the above steps again.

By the way: if you have loaded 22eH, you now have a 497 Autostar.
Forget that you ever heard the number "495"... it IS a 497.

have fun
--dick

Subject:	ETX-60AT 
Sent:	Monday, August 20, 2001 17:32:56
From:	Sheldon.Johnson@motorola.com (Johnson Sheldon-P13426)
I have read several of the FAQ on the ETX-60AT and have a question
regarding tracking viewing and Equatorial mounts. Can the ETX-60AT track
objects for viewing such as the moon, planets or stars with out the
Deluxe tripod #883's ability to tilt (polar alignment)? Can this be
accomplished without a tripod at all or with the standard tripod #882?
The reason I bought this scope was for the tracking capability.

Thank You

Sheldon L. Johnson
Mike here: As described in the ETX-70AT manual, it will track in Alt/Az (or Polar) mounting by using the Autostar. You can put it on a tripod or any stable flat surface for Alt/Az. Once you have properly aligned to the Autostar, the telescope will track objects as the Earth rotates.

And:

Thank you for the indirect answer to a very carefully worded question
about the EXT-60AT. I will run right out and buy a EXT-70AT so that I
can read the manual. I guess the 60 and 70 drive mechanisms are the
same. However I would not know that since I do not own both and I am not
the expert. I would prefer to use a tripod for ergonomic reasons. I
would also prefer to spend $100.00 for the #882 over $200.00 for the
#883 if it is not necessary.
Mike here: My apologies. I thought you were already an ETX-60AT owner. That's what I get for trying to keep up on the massive email load while on vacation and using a slow modem! The #882 tripod is perfectly adequate for the ETX-60AT.

Subject:	ETX-60/70 capabilities
Sent:	Monday, August 20, 2001 13:53:26
From:	esiegmnd@megsinet.net (Emil G Siegmund)
I have read and enjoyed your user feedback pages but I still have a
question regarding the capabilities of these ETX's. Is the name
Astro-Telescope a misnomer? From what I have read the ETX-60 is not much
better than good binonculars as far as seeing any details of celestial
objects. Can one actually see any detail of Saturn or Jupiter, the
largest of the planets, with any detai or will they appear as a round
blob? As others have noted Costco is offering a good deal on the ETX-60l
at $100. I think the best part of this system is the Autostar to locate
otherwise difficult to find objects. Could I expect better resolution
with a 6" Dobsonian than the ETX-60?

Still searching for the right scope.
Mike here: Certainly the ETX-60AT and ETX-70AT have their place as astronomical instruments. The same applies to binoculars and to 6" Dobs. See my comments on the ETX-70AT (linked from the top of the current "ETX-60AT, ETX-70AT" Feedback page. If makes a great wide field telescope. But if planetary details are your quest, then you need a telescope better suited to planetary observing.

Subject:	Favor to ask...
Sent:	Monday, August 20, 2001 02:35:20
From:	carolann@tbaytel.net (carolann)
My name is Tyler, I'm 15 years of age and very interested in astronomy.
I'm diligently thinking about which EXT telescope to purchase. I'm
looking at the EXT-70's and 90mm. I believe I'll end up going with the
70, because of the price.

I live in Canada, and after all the US exchange rates apply to the $300
EXT-70 it will cost nearly $500 canadian. Which is a lot of money for my
age.

I wanted to ask you if you could take a picture of the moon or some
other astronomical body with your EXT-70 using lenses you have, and try
to get the best shot of the object as you can. So many newbies including
myself can get a good idea about its capabilities.

If you aren't too busy, I would appreciate this very much, especially if
you have a pic of the same object but from a EXT-90 or possibly 125 to
compare it to.

Thanks,

Tyler W (keep up the good work on your site)
Mike here: See my writeup on the ETX-70AT linked from the top of the current "ETX-60AT, ETX-70AT Feedback" page. It also has some comparative photos.

Subject:	506 cable
Sent:	Sunday, August 19, 2001 12:21:54
From:	mercman@kalama.com (mercman)
Do you have the wiring diagram to make a 506 cable.

If so, please let me know.

Thank you.

J van den houten
Mike here: See the "Cable #505 vs #506" article on the Autostar Information page.

Subject:	etx accessories
Sent:	Saturday, August 18, 2001 09:45:23
From:	Perfectnan@aol.com
Hi Like your site-What an expert. My question is are the accessories
interchangeable for etx 60 and 70? What would the approx. price be of a
camera adapter be? Thank you
n.Oeckler
Mike here: I'm not sure of the price for the 35mm camera adapter for the ETX-60AT and ETX-70AT. Probably comparable to the one for the other ETX models. Also, there are digital camera adapters that will work with all telescopes. See the Accessories - Astrophotography page for more info all both 35mm and digital camera adapters.

Subject:	slow slewing speed
Sent:	Saturday, August 18, 2001 02:58:12
From:	kenariz@juno.com (Ken W Anderson)
I recently purchased an ETX70ec. I find a significant problem with it.
When I allign stars after I set it in home position and towards north.
Once you pick the first star it slews to the position it thinks it is
in, but when I hit the movement keys to center the object it takes
forever to get to center.....SUPER SLOW. Any tips or hints?
Mike here: Have you tried changing the slew speed? It seems to default to a slow speed.

And:

Slew speed is at 64x and works when I turn it on and just start moving
it, but when Im doing the alignment it seems to slew very slowly.
Mike here: So, are you saying that changing the slew speed during or after the alignment does NOT change the slew speed to something faster?

And an update:

My mistake Mike once it slews in to position I thought I could just hit
the arrow keys and move it but alas I have to pick a slew speed after it
goes to an alignment star. Thanx though and clear skies.

Subject:	Help Me Please!?!
Sent:	Saturday, August 18, 2001 00:40:54
From:	PhoenixFire957@msn.com (Sergio Garciduenas)
My name is Sergio and I really enjoy your website, I just think it is so
helpful. I received an ETX-60 telescope last Christmas and since I live
up here in Seattle, I have just been able to take it out and observe the
wonderful and endless night sky. And so far the few times I have taken
my ETX out to observe, I have had nothing but disappointment. I have
figured out how to set the home position for my ETX and how to do the
Two Star Alignment and I am quite familiar with the night sky. The
problem I have is that I have not been able to see any planets nor
galaxies very well, all I see is  small star. For example, a couple days
ago I asked the ETX to move to Mars, and when I looked at the planet
through my ETX, I only see a small star. What is wrong? Why is it that I
only see a small star? What eyepieces should I get in order to see
planets and galaxies pretty well? So far, I have the standard 25 mm
eyepiece and the 9 mm, and I recently just bought the 3x Barlow lenses.
I would greatly appreciate your ideas and response to my problem,
because I would love to get a good glimpse of Jupiter or Mars and
especially other galaxies, I am just so curious of what is out there.
Thank you Mr. Weasner for your time and thought,

 your ETX amigo,

 Sergio Garciduenas-Sease
Mike here: Your disappointment is due to an expectation of the telescope that it was not designed to meet. See my ETX-70AT comments (linked from the top of the current "ETX-60AT, ETX-70AT Feedback" page for what can and can not be seen with this telescope. For planetary details you would need a telescope with a much longer focal length than the -60AT's 350mm. Using shorter focal length eyepieces will not help that much because very quickly you run into the low maximum magnication of the -60, which is 120X.

Subject:	Handbox for the etx-70at
Sent:	Friday, August 17, 2001 00:05:59
From:	jcwillette@lvcm.com (jcwillette)
i understand that the handbox for the etx-70at is #494. i have a chance
to get the #497 handbox. i am wondering if this is a workable
replacement and if so what kind of mods do i need to perform to make it
workable. thanks for all the help
Mike here: Yes, the #497 will work with the ETX-70AT. Just plug it into the same port that the #494 was in, power up, and select the right telescope model in the Telescope menu. Check that "cord wrap" is off. By the way, be certain that the #497 has somewhat recent software, at least 2.2Ek or preferably, 2.2Er (the current version). If the #497 was used with another telescope, you should RESET and RETRAIN.

Subject:	#494 Autostar
Sent:	Thursday, August 16, 2001 00:44:54
From:	neil@wci.ab.ca (N.Armstrong)
The curly wire that goes into my Autostar has slipped out, leaving the
internal wires exposed. If I don't fix this fast, a couple of more
"bends" and the control wires will break off  from the handbox
completely.

Where on the site is there a picture of how to open the Autostar
controller handbox?

And also how do you remove the bottom drum on the ETX-70AT? Where on the
site is a picture or instructions?
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Other non-related topics:

The Autostar Update for the #494 is very frustrating. It is very slow
and difficult to use. Eventually, it does work and it is way easier to
enter satellite data on the IBM than directly into the Autostar.

The ETX-70AT in the U.S. has crosshairs, is that correct? The ones in
Canada don't, at least not the one I have. My ETX is blue, the ETX's
down there are black, right?

Now for the clincher, the prices here are way higher. I got mine for 800
Canadian. That's with a tripod. Since then Meade has had a sale and the
scope and #882 tripod are 589 but then there is f------ G.S.T.

Regards
Mike here: Sorry, there are no pictures on opening the Autostar. I'm on travel, otherwise I would like at mine to see if there are screws that can be undone. As to getting into the base, there are some photos of different aspects of the insides but again, no unified disassembly instructions. The #494 Autostar is the low-end, no frills Autostar. The #497 has more user-friendly features, like a keypad. You can enter satellite TLEs using the Autostar Update client application version 2.4 (on Meade's site) with the #494. There is no finderscope with the ETX-70AT model so no crosshairs, whether US or non-US. The ETX-70AT I have has a blue tube and it is a US model. As to our non-global world economic systems, no comment.

Subject:	ETX-60
Sent:	Tuesday, August 14, 2001 19:26:22
From:	bcrack@pacbell.net (Brian Cracchiola)
I have been online shopping for a Telescope for my wife, it will be her
first. I have looked at others but keep coming back to the Etx-60, is
this a good scope for a beginer? I have read the posts and am still up
in the air. I found the scope with the autostar and Meade's #882 tripod
for $198.00 at eagle optics. This seems to be a reasonable price as I
have only found it for $250+ everywhere else. Please advise.
Thanks a bunch,
Brian Cracchiola
Mike here: See my comments on the ETX-70AT (which is almost the same telescope as the ETX-60AT) linked from the top of the current "ETX-60AT, ETX-70AT Feedback" page. If the description of objects viewed through the -70 matches your expectations of what you want to see through the telescope, then it makes a fine beginner's telescope. If not, then you may want to look for a larger aperture/longer focal length telescope.

Subject:	#506 cable /software
Sent:	Monday, August 13, 2001 01:17:02
From:	exp2@fyi.net (dan walter)
thanks everyone for the help ...like i said  before i'm not computer
literate ,but with your guidance and down loads /updates it all seems to
work WELL.i have  updated my satellites,comets and added 2 tours to my
#494...couldn't have done it alone...dan

Subject:	Solar observation
Sent:	Thursday, August 9, 2001 21:57:59
From:	kenariz@juno.com (Ken W Anderson)
I dig your site. I have a question about solar viewing I just received
an ETX70-EC and I happen to have a solar silter that fits it. But I dont
find the sun as one of the solar sytem objects in the #495 autostar. Is
there a way I can track the sun?? besides having to keep slewing it in
place?
Mike here: There are two ways to go. One simple, one a little more complex. First: put the solar view filter securely inplace OVER the objective lens. Simple: just enter the appropriate date/time (for your daytime viewing). Then do a normal easy align; when you are asked to center the alignment star just press ENTER to accept the star as being centered in the eyepiece. If your HOME position was reasonably accurate, then tracking will probably be OK for the duration of your solar viewing. Then just slew the Sun's location and start viewing. Complex: see the "Adding the Sun" article on the Autostar Information page. I've not tried this with the #494 Autostar.

Subject:	Costco EST-60AT
Sent:	Thursday, August 9, 2001 11:15:45
From:	mschmidt@mediaone.net (Marty Schmidt)
You have an incredibly informative site. I don't know how you find the
time. Please correct your student's work.

The Costco EST-60AT contains the same accessories as the EST-70AT you
reviewed except the tripod is replaced with the Star Navigator software.
At $98.99 on 8/27/01 it is something I believe will fill the bill for
me. The questions I have are follows:

1. Is it possible to use the EST-60AT without a tripod?

2. I see two screw holes on the bottom of the base and was wondering if
I made a mounting jig could my Camcorder tripod work with the telescope?

3. If I purchased a Barlow #128 3x the included MA9mm (39x) would be
117x and the included MA25 (14x) would be 42x. I believe, using your
teaching, the theoretical maximum magnification for the EST-60AT would
be 120x. Meade literature states maximum practical visual power at 200x
but I am sure that is in laboratory.

Thanks for the site
Marty
Mike here: Yes, you can use the ETX-60AT without a tripod. Just set it on a flat, stable surface. And yes, you can attach it to many photographic tripods as long as they are sturdy enough. You do have to use an adapter plate. Scopetronix sells one; see the "ETX Accessories for all models" on their site (www.scopetronix.com). Theoretical and practical maximum magnifications will be different, depending upon the object being viewed, viewing conditions, and the eyepieces/barlow lens being used. You can exceed the theoretical max; just don't expect a clear view.

Subject:	Question regarding the EXT-60At
Sent:	Thursday, August 9, 2001 1:15:15
From:	richard1513@home.com (Rich Brown)
Like a whole lot of other people, I'm glad I found your page.  I am
trying to rediscover my passion for astrophotography and I recently made
a purchase on ebay for a Minolta Maxxum 7000 camera.  Anyhow, that got
the old juices going so I started looking for an inexpensive telescope. 
Well, I don't have the cash but I do have the credit, so I stopped by my
JCPenney store and ordered the EXT-60AT.  It was retail $299.  Came out
over $330, including tax and shipping.

Well, here I am searching the internet for information on this new
telescope I just ordered and I stumble across your feedback page.  To my
surprise I read something about Costco having the same telescope for
less than a $100. (I also seen them on Ebay for $125 to $175)  Well, I
went to go check my coupons and sure enough, there it is.  Needless to
say, I'm going to cancel the order from JCPenney first thing in the
morning.

My question to you, considering the EXT-60AT is practically just a 350mm
lens with an awesome tracking system should I just save my money and not
buy the EXT-60AT?  Reason, I know it's not going to give me the quality
I'm looking for; that would come from larger scopes, but like you
mentioned, even the guys with the big scopes aren't satisfied and are
wanting Pallomar or Hubble quality.  Although I haven't received my
camera yet, it will come with a 210mm lens.  I'm figuring that the
EXT-60AT and the Maxxum 210mm lens will give me about the same type of
FOV in regards to shooting the night sky.  I mean, all hopes of getting
quality shots of M31, M57 the Orion nebulas, etc. are all gone.  My only
hopes now are getting a decent shot of the Milky Way, which I'll be able
to do with out a telescope.  Basically, I wanted another telescope so I
can hook the Maxxum 7000 to it to take some decent pics.  My old
reflector telescopes would not qualify.

One last question, Does the EXT-60AT 'track' the objects?  Meaning, once
you input what you want to look at, does it automatically track the
object for as long as you desire?  So that if you did piggyback a camera
to it, you can take exposures for like 1 hour?

Thanks for letting me bend your 'eyes'

Regards

Richard Brown
Mike here: The ETX-60AT (and all the ETX models) will track the sky's movement. Yes, you may find that the difference between the ETX-60AT and a telephoto lens too small to matter. Of course, the telephoto doesn't have the Right Ascension drive (although you can make one fairly easily). Since you indicate you want to photograph some faint objects you should consider a larger telescope; one more designed for astrophotography. As you can see on the ETX Site, you can take some pretty good shots of some things, and piggyback photography will work well with almost any telescope. One consideration for piggyback photography is that you really need to mount the telescope in Polar mode instead of Alt/Az to avoid the field rotating on the 35mm film frame. Hope this helps.

And:

Thanks for responding back Mike.  Yes, this information helps.  Although
the price is great, it would be a disappointment buying another
telescope by trying to be thrifty.  I think I'll wait and invest in a 8
inch scope.

Rich

Subject:	ETX60 purchase
Sent:	Tuesday, August 7, 2001 12:49:48
From:	mtalbert@pcc.edu (Talbert, Michael)
I have never owned a telescope before. Costco is having a sale on Aug.
27th for the ETX60 at $99. Is this a good beginning telescope for
someone who doesn't feel that they qualify as a novice yet? Do you know
if it comes with a tripod? Costco is evidently going to get a shipment
in for the 27th sale. I was told that the ETX60 is being discontinued by
Meade. Is that something I should consider before buying it?

A local store is having a sale on refractor Meade telescopes (that they
say are also being discontinued). Can I get more bang for my buck buying
one of these? What is the difference between the two for a beginner?

Sorry about the elementary questions, but that is where I am. It is
hoped that this will teach our son (4 yrs) and my daughter (presently
too young - 15 mos) about the night sky, not to mention their father!

	Mike Talbert
Mike here: I suspect the Costco sale is without the tripod. As to a comparison with other refractors, depends upon which models you are referring to. Basically, the ETX-60AT (and ETX-70AT) are short focal length telescopes, suitable for wide-field (and low magnification) viewing. For planetary details you will need a larger (and longer focal length) telescope. See my comments on the ETX-70AT linked at the top of the "ETX-60AT, ETX-70AT Feedback" page.

Subject:	Bug in autostar ETX70-AT
Sent:	Tuesday, August 7, 2001 3:09:07
From:	jm.rayon@jmrconseils.fr (Jean Michel Rayon)
I have a problem with my ETX-70 in polar mode (version 1.0k) :
- Alignment 1 star all is well 
- Alignment 2 star, the telescope slew well, but the drive is reversed 

I am in the search of a mini wedge with adjustments alt and azm to put
on my tripod #882

Tanks you and cordially of France

Jean Michel RAYON

NB : Always no answer to dismount my ETX-70

Subject:	ETX-60AT
Sent:	Monday, August 6, 2001 13:04:56
From:	david@alongtheway.org (David Bert)
There's a deal on the Meade ETX-60AT here where I can purchase the
telescope new for $100. Seems like a bargain. At the moment the only
thing I have to observe with is my 10x50 binoculars. I'm not sure that
the resolution will be all that much different. Think it's worth it?

(If I do get the telescope I look forward to using you wonderful web
sight for reference)

David Bert
Mike here: With the ETX-60AT (350mm focal length) you'll get (or should get) two eyepieces: a 25mm eyepiece (yielding 14X) and a 9mm eyepiece (39X). Is that sufficiently different from your 10x50 binoculars for you? Of course, you also get the Autostar, which your binoculars don't have. Be certain to see my comments on the ETX-70AT linked at the top of the "ETX-60AT, ETX-70AT Feedback" page.

And:

Thanks for your prompt reply. I'm impressed to find that you're a Mac
user. :-)

From what I read on you page it seems like this is a good little starter
telescope. (Especially for $100) Although I worry about my large hands
and the focus.

I think that I'll use my friends PC to update the software rather than
buying all the necessary cables and VPC.

The one thing I'm interested in is how the magnification compares with
my 10x50 binocs. It isn't necessary for me to know I'm just interested.
I have to admit to ignorance about how I compare 14X and 39X with 10x50.

And unless I've missed the point I can make this a significantly better
telescope by purchasing the Barlow 3X lens as well as the 6mm Plossl
eyepiece. With that combination how close will my image be to the
picture you took of the moon with the ETX-125EC?

Thanks again for the wonderful service you provide.
Mike here: Your 10x50 binoculars give you 10X of magnification. Not much different than 14X. However, objects will appear almost four times as large with the 39X as with the binoculars. The 50mm refers to the aperture of the binoculars; the ETX-60AT is 60mm. Keep in mind that the normal usable maximum magnification of a telescope is twice its aperture in mm, or 120X for the ETX-60AT.

Thanks. That was a great explanation. Should be on the box of every
beginner telescope. So it looks like it's a waste of money to get both
the 3X Barlow lens as well as the 6mm Plossl eyepiece because combined
they will take me past the 120X limit of this telescope.

Again, many thanks for you prompt replies.

Subject:	ETX-70 Scope Images
Sent:	Monday, August 6, 2001 3:01:55
From:	wdenobre@techconcepts.co.za (Wayne de Nobrega)
I recently purchased (2 months ago) the ETX70 with a 3X Barlow Lense and
various filters.  I have been very disappointed by the quality of the
images.  Looking at the moon with the 3X Barlow Lense and the 9mm lense
that comes with the scope is not bad although not impressive in terms of
the level of detail I expected.

Looking at any other planets, I end up with a small white blob and
nothing else.  It is very small in the eye piece.

Am I doing something wrong or do I need to get the lenses checked???  Do
I need to use different lenses.

I am based in Johannesburg South Africa.

Many thanks

Wayne de Nobrega
email: wdenobre@techconcepts.co.za
Mike here: See my comments on the ETX-70AT on the Helpful Information: Buyer/New User Tips page. Also, see the "Observations with ETX-60AT" (which is nearly the same as the ETX-70AT) on the "User Observations" page. And read through the user comments on the "ETX-60AT, ETX-70AT Feedback" pages, current and in the "Feedback Archive".

Subject:	Meade ETX-60AT for $129
Sent:	Sunday, August 5, 2001 17:41:59
From:	daneger@hotmail.com (James Eger)
I just purchased the Meade ETX-60AT from Costco Wholesale in Northridge
(southern California) for $129. This is the scope with the #494
controller, 25mm modified Achromatic, and 9mm modified Achromatic
eyepeices. After thinking of buying an ETX for the last year or so, this
was a deal I couldn't pass up! I'm sure that there are other people out
there in the south-west united states that have access to this store
that will jump immeadatly on this, even though x-mas is a few months
away.

I visited your site for the first time 3 days ago, IMPRESSIVE! I am so
glad I found it, It made me realize that I probably won't be happy until
I get a EXT125, but for the price i'll take this step first. The purpose
for this scope for me is to get familure with the ETX and astronomy
(this is my first scope) and to have a very portable scope with me on my
off-road excursions. At the very least this scope will suite the later.
I really wanted a scope for my once a year week long off-road trip to
the Rubicon Trail in central California.

I look forward to many hours of reading on your web site about this.

Thank you,

Dan Eger
Chatsworth, California
daneger@hotmail.com

Subject:	Re: #506cable&software
Sent:	Sunday, August 5, 2001 15:19:53
From:	RMOLLISE@aol.com
>i bought this for$50,i want to update satellites&comets
>ina494autostar.i'm not very computer literate.i got astarry night
>bundlethat i already had. the astronmer control panel date is feb 7
>2007.don't  know how to change it. is there a manual to help
>me...danexp2@fyi.net

The poster will find, if he looks on the CD that came with the
cable/software package, that there's an extensive help file that can be
viewed or printed. As for ACP itself, this is only used for remote
control of the ETX from a PC (works quite well, BTW). ACP can be used
with Starry Night, so it's not necessary to set the date or anything
else on ACP. Just open Starry Night (make sure the date and time are
correct in Starry Night) and click on "open communication" in the
"Telescope" menu  to establish communications with the ETX (the ETX must
be plugged into the computer via the 506 cable, naturally, and aligned).
As long as both programs are installed, all will be well.

Peace,
Rod Mollise,
Author of _Choosing and Using a Schmidt Cassegrain Telescope_
http://members.aol.com/RMOLLISE/index.html
And:
From:	rseymour@wolfenet.com (richard seymour)
The Astronomer's Control Panel which comes on the CD has many bugs.
One of them is that "Feb 7 2007" date you are seeing.

It is possible to download updated versions of the software
from the original vendors (not Meade)... but the two downloads
(StarryNight and ACP) are very large... one of them is 15 meagbytes.

To send Satellite data to your 494, use the 506 cable and the 
A2.4 Updater program available from Meade.

The Meade download page is:
http://www.meade.com/support/auto.html

The specific link for the A2.4 Updater is:
http://www.meade.com/support/auto/Auto.exe

When you have downloaded that "auto.exe", locate the file on
your PC and double-click on it.  It will self-install.

You cannot update the "firmware" on your 494, but you -can- 
update the satellite, comet, asteroid etx. data.

There are many postings on Mike's site going into some of the
details about sedinging TLE adata to the Autostar.  They all apply
to your 494

good luck
--dick

Subject:	Hello
Sent:	Sunday, August 5, 2001 12:59:15
From:	webmaster@moondust.de (Markus M.)
I Look for a Homemade Cable for the Meade ETX 70 AT #506
Can you help me ?
Hopefull
  Markus
www.moondust.de
Mike here: The #506 cable contains electronics that are required for the ETX-70AT and Autostar #494. No one has offered up specs on how to make one.

Subject:	Question: Meade ETX-70 motor trouble
Sent:	Friday, August 3, 2001 18:05:56
From:	micael@humlehytten.dk (Micael Baerens)
I purchased a Meade ETX-70 yesterday, and am quite pleased with it -
however, it seems to experience some motorproblems. The problem is: when
I try manually slewing the telescope vertically, it seems very jerky at
slow speeds - it kind of jumps from one position to another. At high
speeds there is no problem. I've tried tightening the vertical lock with
different strength, but am unsure how much to tighten it... (I've been
very careful not to tighten it to much - the dealer was very clear on
that. Two fingers only). Any ideas?

Also, a couple of more questions (yes - I'm a newbie at this :-). I've
trained the drives on a terrestrial object, but each time the scope
moves away from the object and back, it is far off center (almost an
entire field with 26mm) - is this normal? (Both vertical and
horizontal).

And the final question: I live in a big city, with only a limited view
of the sky. Polaris is obstructed (AFAIK) - is there any way to use a
compass to align north, and compensate for the deviation?

Thanks in advance, and thanks for the great site - there's enough info
here to keep me busy for the next couple of months :-))

Kind regards,
Micael Baerens, Aspiring Amateur Astronomer
Mike here: You might be able to smooth out the jerkiness by manually moving the tube in altitude with the axis lock unlocked. Do that several times through 0 to 90 degrees and back to 0 degrees (horizontal). As to the training, this is normal. The scope moves off then back "on" to the target. The Autostar wants you to tell it how much it missed the "on" position by centering the target again. You only have to do this once for each axis (unless oddities begin occurring with the GOTOs).

And:

Thank you for the quick reply,

I tried moving the tube like you said, unfortunately with no effect. I
did however notice a strange thing - with the altitude lock fully
disengaged, and then trying to move vertically with the motor - the
motor makes a jerky sound... Kinda like *wrrr* *pause* *wrrr* *pause*.
This suggest to me that it might not be the vertical lock that's the
problem. The batteries are only 2 days old, and I've only been using
them for 3-4 hours - they can't be depleted allready, can they?
Mike here: I doubt the batteries are the cause. Since it is new, exchange it with the dealer.

Subject:	Dismount ETX-70
Sent:	Thursday, August 2, 2001 22:26:21
From:	jm.rayon@jmrconseils.fr (Jean Michel Rayon)
I went 2 week on holiday to Tunisia with my ETX-70, all it passed well.
How to dismount ETX-70 to remove possible sand? Which precautions must I
take ?

Cordially of France

Jean Michel
Mike here: Unlike the ETX-90 and ETX-125, there are no rectangular Tube Adapters on the left and right sides of the tube holding it to the fork arms. Those had small hex screws holding them in place. I don't see anything like this on the ETX-70AT. So, perhaps tube is not meant to be removed. Doesn't mean it can't be done, it may just mean that more "surgery" is required. As to cleaning, you might want to check the "Telescope Maintenance" article (on the Buyer/New User Tips page) for some info on cleaning.

Subject:	#506cable&software
Sent:	Thursday, August 2, 2001 16:32:39
From:	exp2@fyi.net (dan walter)
i bought this for$50,i want to update satellites&comets in
a494autostar.i'm not very computer literate.i got astarry night bundle
that i already had. the astronmer control panel date is feb 7 2007.
don't  know how to change it. is there a manual to help me...dan
exp2@fyi.net
Mike here: I don't have the astronmer control panel software. As far as entered satellite data, you can do that from the handset, albeit painfully since you have to scroll through numbers and letters using the keypad arrow keys.

And:

thanks for the reply,
i,m really pleased with my scope, accessaries (eye pieces, 3X barlow,
filters & hard case) but this software is a disapointment, its the same
disk they give away!!!!   {:(   
great site.....dan

Subject:	ETX 70 AT
Sent:	Thursday, August 2, 2001 10:08:49
From:	jisaacs@halebopp.ucsd.edu (Jon Isaacs)
Perhaps you could help me a bit.   I just got an ETX 70 AT to use as a
wide field scope, sort of GOTO binoculars as it were. (This in not my
first scope, I have a few, a 5 inch Celestron short tube Newtonian, an
Orion XT-8 Dob and an 12.5 inch Discovery Tube Dob.)

The electronics is working great but the optics seem to have a large
amount of coma, the thing looks like an out of collimation Newt, big
seagull on a brighter start.

Last Night I was viewing Mizar and it would split Mizar at 20 or 30X. I
could focus it so that the double was 2 dots but the Coma was severe.
Looking over the field of view with a 32 mm Plossl, I saw no region
where the direction of the Coma/seagull changed.

The moon is OK at low powers, Mars is never a disk.

To me this seems like the optics must be mis-collimated.   Is this
normal for these little 70 mm F5 scopes?  I know they are rather
inexpensive but this seems a bit out of line.

I really like the scope but the Coma is a problem and it seems like it
should not be there.

Any help or advice would be appreciated.

Jon Isaacs
Senior Development Engineer
Center of Excellence for Advanced Materials
Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering.
University of California, San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-0416
Mike here: I seem to vaguely recall one similar report. I think the optics were out of alignment on that one. I presume you have tried several (at least more than one) eyepieces.

And an update:

I have tried all sorts of eyepieces.  I have a 12.5 inch F 4.1 DOB and
my eyepieces seem to work well with that scope.

I did contact OPT where I bought the scope and they told me to bring it
in and they would exchange it.   I did do that this morning so I will
know this evening.

Thanks for taking the time to reply.

Initially I was very negative about these scopes.  However now I think
of it as a "GOTO monocular, " sort of a replacement for binoculars, and
I think it is a great scope for wide field viewing.

jon isaacs

Subject:	ETX-70 Slew speed
Sent:	Tuesday, July 31, 2001 21:37:01
From:	texas5@home.com (texas5)
THANK YOU! My son and I went back out tonight and tried again and it was
the slew speed that was messing us up! After I adjusted it all was well.
I was so discouraged this weekend that the thought of figuring out how
to retrain the drive needed a day or so of gearing up! But thanks to you
wonderful guys my son had a delightful evening and I didn't have to
learn how to do that yet!!! I am going to email Meade about this--- it
should be in the instruction manual for beginners like me. Thanks again
for the excellent advice!      Helene

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