ETX-60AT, ETX-70AT, & ETX-80AT-TC USER FEEDBACK
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Last updated: 1 September 2005
This page is for user comments and information specific to the Meade ETX-60AT, ETX-70AT, and ETX-80AT-TC. 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:	Your friend at dhanych@email.com just sent you this
Sent:	Thursday, September 1, 2005 07:25:52
From:	dhanych@email.com
New ETX 80mm refractor scope now avaiable from Anacortes.

Your friend at dhanych@email.com wants you to know about this product:

Meade ETX-80AT-TC w/Tripod and GOTO Hand Controller
Price: $279.99
The new, larger aperture ETX-80AT-TC with built-in Barlow lens is a
powerful companion for exploring the universe at an incredibly
attractive price.  For the casual observer interested in viewing the
Moon, planets, bright deep-space objects and terrestrial landmarks, the
ETX-80-AT-TC may be the perfect instrument.

You can view more product details at http://www.buytelescopes.com/product.asp?pid=9777

Anacortes Telescope & Wild Bird
http://www.buytelescopes.com
AstroBird Classifieds
http://www.selltelescopes.com

Subject:	azimuth jitters on etx70
Sent:	Wednesday, August 24, 2005 14:53:27
From:	jon (zeron@btinternet.com)
Hi, great site you have 

Please help on my etx70, its on the base drive, I think its called the
azimuth . if I place the scope in its base and set the drive in motion
to track a star every 10 seconds the build up of non tracking makes a
jump to where it should have gradually tracked to, this is also the case
when I slew at slow speed ,the base will not slep progressively but just
in short jumps

Do you have a help on this

Best regards

jon
Mike here: There could be several reasons for this, some simple to fix and some would require a trip to a repair facility. So, lets start with the simple. Could you be overtightening the axis lock? Have you done a CALIBRATE MOTORS and TRAIN DRIVES on the Autostar? If not, do those. If that doesn't fix it, then the lubrication may need to be redistributed. Unlock the axis and rotate the telescope horizontally (in azimuth) on its base through several rotations in both directions.

And:

Ok mike ill start with those suggestions from scratch , and get back to
you.
Thanks
jon
And an update:
I have trained the drive and rotated about the axis as you suggest,

I have noticed that I can find a quieter more stable point by rotating
the base, locking it up and fine slewing, until I get a point where its
less noticeable, is this info any use to you,
Thanks
jon
Mike here: It could be that a gear tooth is broken off.
Subject:	ETX-70 fuzzy planetary viewing
Sent:	Sunday, August 21, 2005 14:46:56
From:	Todd Holzhauser (tbholz@hotmail.com)
I've got an ETX-70, which has been a lot of fun to use, but I'd like to
see more detail of planets.  I purchased a Meade Barlow lens (the 140)
and a 5.5mm Plossl lens.  (If I did the math right, this would be pretty
much the max magnification possible with the ETX-70.)  When I put this
combination together, however, the image is so fuzzy that it's not
useful.  The 5.5mm eyepiece by itself seems better, but still with
enough "halo" that it's hard to pick out any detail at all.  (No rings,
no moons, etc.)  Shouldn't it be pretty sharp?  Am I just asking too
much from my 'scope?

Any thoughts you have on the situation would be greatly appreciated!

Todd Holzhauser
Mike here: Keep in mind that the theoretical maximum magnification for any telescope is just that: theoretical. Actual performance will depend upon the quality of ALL the optics, the seeing conditions, the air temperature inside the tube. and the object being viewed. As you get closer to the max, the image starts to deteoriate; how close you can get without it becoming fuzzy will depend upon those factors.
Subject:	Unable to get a 60 ETX to focus
Sent:	Saturday, August 20, 2005 09:15:10
From:	Michael Watson (michalyn80@yahoo.com)
I cannot get my 60 ETX to focus! When turning the focus knob, I cannot
see any movement on the "tube section" holding the optics. Also, upon
taking the end cap (next to mirrors) and closing the mirror (so I could
look straight down the tube) it did seem that the "interior" of the lens
was dirty. Can you help me with a couple of tips on how I can begin
seeing something clearly and "in focus"! Thanks in advance for your
help!
 
Best Regards,
 
Mike Watson
Friendswood, TX
Mike here: The lens section movement is very slight and it takes MANY MANY times of the knob to bring an object into focus, depending upon the starting position. Have you turned the knob all the way from one extreme to the other? As to cleaning, unless this was a used abused scope I doubt that it is in need of cleaning. It is easy to see "dirt" and assume it is worse than it really is. So, unless you think performance is being impacted don't worry about it.
Subject:	ETX 70 discontinued?
Sent:	Monday, August 15, 2005 17:08:04
From:	David Hanych (dhanych@email.com)
I heard a rumor at a star party this past weekend that Meade is
discontinuing the ETX 70 and replacing it with a new ETX 80 model. Does
anyone have any information about this?

David H.
Mike here: Anything is possible. Only time will tell.
Subject:	compare meade 70 to 90
Sent:	Monday, August 15, 2005 19:33:13
From:	StuKrentcil@aol.com (StuKrentcil@aol.com)
I am trying to decide which Meade telescope to purchase. It is between
the EXT - 70 AT and the 90. There is a $300 cost difference.

The scope will be used by me and my son. I will also use it to
photograph.

I appreciate the photos you showed between the 70 and 90, and I guess I
am leaning toward the 90.

Any thoughts on which one and the price differential.

Thanks
Stu
Mike here: Well, there is more than a price differential. The telescopes are of two totally different designs, f/ ratios, and focal lengths. In addition, there is the Autostar model difference. Simply put, the ETX-70 is a fine wide field instrument but the ETX-90 will give you more details.

And:

Mike thanks,

But now I find out I can buy a Meade DSX-90AT for $275.00 verus a Meadre
ETX-90AT with UHTC for $650.00

I have read your feedback of the two, and as this is our first telescope
I am not sure if the newer ETX with UHTC is worth the cost difference,
or is it? We will also be using it for photography.

Your input would be appreciated.

Thanks
 Stu
Mike here: The DSX line has the same optics as the ETX line but with a different mount and somewhat different capabilities. The single fork arm could limit you in how much weight you can add (like a camera); I don't have specifics but it might make a difference. Also, UHTC (highly recommended) is not available on the DSX models. However, this all is not to say that you can't get years of enjoyment out of a DSX model.

And:

Thank you for your help.
 
As I mentioned this is our first telescope and with a $375 price
difference we will probably go for the DSX 90. This price is still less
then the new ETX-70AT and offers more optical power, and after seeing
your photos of the 70-90-125 the additional power may be worth the trade
off of the newer model. I hope so..

I am not sure if it has a camera capibility as Meade is only selling it
on their Ebay site and can not find any info on this.

Thank you for your help again, I will forward any info I may find out
about the DSX 90.
 
Stu
Mike here: Any astrophotography accessories for the ETX-90 will work for the DSX-90.

And an update:

I ordered the DSX 90 last night. When I first looked at the site a few
days ago they had 146 left, last night they had 50 so I ordered it  I
will let you know how it works out.
 
Thank you for you help
 
Stu

Subject:	A True Beginner with the ETX-70 AT 
Sent:	Friday, August 12, 2005 16:59:12
From:	Nancy Cimino (Ncimino@mktstrategies.net)
I have been reading all the questions & comments on your site.  I must
say first, that I am a true beginner.  I have never owned a telescope, &
I thought it would be a great activity for the family.  My 8 year old
son is really looking forward to viewing the meteor shower tonight with
his new telescope that he received on Christmas.

My husband I tried to use the telescope a few months & we thought we
followed the basic instructions.  Unfortunately we saw nothing.  The
Autostar worked, but when we looked through the lens that the telescope
came with, everything was black.  Obviously we were doing something
wrong.  At this time, I am not concerned about different details only
that my son can see something when he looks through the lens.

We live in Loudoun County, Virginia.  If we get this telescope to work,
what time should we start looking for the meteor shower, or would we be
able to see it all tonight?  Any help you can give us would be greatly
appreciated.

Thank you,
 
Nancy
Mike here: As you may have discovered by now, your son will not be using the telescope to observe the meteor shower. That is pretty much a naked eye activity. The best meteor shower viewing will start after midnight. For the telescope, when you point it at the Moon what do you see?

And:

When we look through the lens, we see nothing.  Also, we just came in
from trying to look at the meteor shower & it is very cloudy in the
Virginia sky.

Do you think we will see anything tonight?

Thank You,

Nancy
Mike here: Have you removed the lens cover (easily forgotten). Have you inserted the eyepiece? Have you flipped the mirror to the upward position? Have you tried looking through the telescope in the daytime. As to the clouds, that will likely prevent you from seeing any meteors.

And:

Yes, we did remove the lens cover &the eyepiece is inserted.  I will
check on the mirror to make sure that it is flipped upward.  No, I
haven't tried to look through the telescope in the daytime.  I know my
questions are very basic compared to the experts on your site.  I am
sure it is something very simple that we are not doing & eventually we
will figure it out.  I really appreciate you taking the time to help me.

Thanks,

Nancy

Subject: re: Carry Case
To:	fanichu@aol.com
Mike here: In getting ready to go to Oracle Observatory this weekend I found my Meade ETX-90 softcase. The ETX-70 will fit into the case but it is a tight fit (the case will bulge slightly on the ends. You will have to turn the focus knob all the way to bring the objective lens all the way to rear stop.

And:

From:	fanichu@aol.com (fanichu@aol.com)
Ok.  I wonder why Meade doesn't make a soft case for the ETX-70? 
 
Thank you for all your help~!!   
 
- Fanny

Subject:	Replacing ETX-60 optical tube
Sent:	Thursday, August 4, 2005 11:50:03
From:	Nick Quan (Nick@resnikpr.com)
I love the ETX-60 but I've found that planetary viewing is all I can
muster where I'm located.  I'm thinking about either replacing the
optical tube with a decent 80mm refractor or mounting it on the tube
itself using clamps.  Anyone ever try this?  Will this burn out the
motors?
 
Nick Quan
Mike here: The ETX-60 mount/drives/locks will not handle much weight so this is not a recommended approach. You can put an ETX-90 OTA into the forks with some effort; see the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.

And:

Thanks Mike. 

Subject:	Autostar problem
Sent:	Tuesday, August 2, 2005 19:11:37
From:	Zach Ranger (hockeyfreak64@yahoo.com)
I read your experiences with the Meade ETX 70AT and you made it sound
simple to use.  However, when I turn on my autostar, I go through the
setup meticulously and make sure everything is precise.  I use the easy
alignment and the stars are always off, so I center them.  But when I
slew to an object, it is always off by several degrees.  Do you think
there is a problem with my autostar or is it human error?
Mike here: Since you indicate that the alignment stars are way off, that usually means a problem with either the HOME position or one or more of the settings you made in the Autostar. Lets start with the HOME position. Use True North and not Magnetic North. Be certain the base and tube are as level as you can make them (although I normally just eyeball this). The more accurate the HOME position the more accurate the initial slews to the alignment stars. Next, be certain you have entered the proper DATE and TIME, including the Daylight Savings setting. If the telescope is about 15 degrees off from the first alignment star it usually means the Daylight Savings setting is incorrect. Also, check your site location. Also, be certain you have done a CALIBRATE MOTORS, and perhaps a TRAIN DRIVES.

And:

What does a CALIBRATE MOTORS or TRAIN DRIVES do for the alignment and
how do I perform these processes?
Mike here: Calibrate motors is a menu option; just select it and it runs automatically. train drives is also a menu option; just follow the prompts. be certain to do both axes. Simply put they improve the how the Autostar controls the drives.
Subject:	Regarding previous email...
Sent:	Sunday, July 31, 2005 12:20:30
From:	fanichu@aol.com (fanichu@aol.com)
http://www.meade.com/etx/etx_specs.html
 
BTW... what I meant was... I see the statistical differences but like...
Is the 90ETX that much better than 70?  What can I do to the 70ETX to
make it as good at 90ETX?
 
- Fanny
Mike here: In my article that I mentioned previously, you can see some comparison photos. Given the 350mm focal length of the ETX-70 vs the 1250mm FL of the ETX-90, there isn't much comparison when it comes to performance. If you want a wide field instrument for low power use then the ETX-70 is fine.
By the way, apologies for the delay in responding. Your message was originally marked as SPAM due to the ambiguous subject. See the Email Etiquette guidelines on the ETX Site to avoid this happening in the future. As mentioned there, email that gets marked as SPAM can be deleted UNREAD and may even be returned to sender as "undeliverable".

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Copyright © 2005 Michael L. Weasner / etx@me.com
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