Last updated: 31 August 2006

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:	I Would like some help for my ETX-70
Sent:	Monday, August 28, 2006 22:06:52
From:	william peterson (
I Have a ETX-70 and my laptop can not find it and it tells me that turn
power on of scope I have the proper soft ware on my computer but is
there any other soft ware I can use?
Thank You for your help

Bill Peterson
Mike here: I need more information from you. Mac or Windows? Do you have a real RS-232 serial port or are using a serial-USB adapter and if so, from which manufacturer? Do you have the #506 serial cable from Meade?
Subject:	ETX-60 or 70 Parts Schematic or Breakdown?
Sent:	Monday, August 21, 2006 11:47:52
From:	Cafarella, Edward M. (
my $90 COSTCO Meade ETX 60's right declination motor stopped turning the
scope so I decided to take the scope apart to inspect it.  After
disassembling it and breaking that white plastic nut, I came to the
conclusion it was toast.  I went out and bought a ETX 125PE to take its
place.  Now, looking at all those parts of the ETX 60 sitting on my
workbench, I really want to try and reassemble it and maybe get it
running again.  My problem is that there are a few parts that I'm not
too sure where they go.  Do you know of an illustrated parks breakdown
or a schematic for this scope (or the ETX 70) or maybe a source for
parts?  Or maybe something on your site, that I've missed, that shows
the parts?   Thanks!
Ed Cafarella
Mike here: Check the articles "ETX-70AT Repair Guide" and "Inside the ETX-70AT" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.


Thanks Mike, great site, great book!

Subject:	ETX-80-AT-TC
Sent:	Saturday, August 19, 2006 18:21:45
From:	Jerry Costanza (
With my ETX, you know how it has a built in barlow lens, right. How much
magnification is that 2 time, 3 times. Get back to me. Thanks.
Mike here: As noted on page 8 of the manual (which I had to download from Meade's site since I don't have the ETX-80), it "doubles the magnification of your eyepiece".
Subject:	ETX70 powerpack
Sent:	Saturday, August 12, 2006 18:43:38
From:	Tim Gavin (
I have both an etx70 and an etx125.  I have been looking for a larger
power supply for longer viewing secessions and purchased a "d" cell
battery holder that holds 8 "D" cell batteries, at 1 1/2 volt each that
gives me 12 volts which replaces the 12volt "AA" battery unit that comes
with the the ETX 125 scope. However, in looking for a power pack for the
ETX70 I also see that same configeration (8 D cells batteries) with the
9 volt battery connector.  I am understanding that you can actually
replace the 9 volt battery system on the ETX70 with the same "D" cell 12
volt battery unit that powers the ETX125?
Thanks Mike  
Mike here: A 9V battery won't work (reliably). That is just the connector style that Meade uses. For the ETX-70 you need 12VDC 1000mA.
Subject:	EXT 80 and the LPI 
Sent:	Saturday, August 12, 2006 15:53:22
From:	Josh Hickey (
I was wondering if you knew just how limited the LPI functions would be
with my ETX 80 because of the autostar differences.  I am only
interested in basic photography of the moon, planets, and very bright
deep space objects.
Thanks again for you wisdom,
Mike here: The LPI can be used with any telescope; you just lose using the Autostar Suite software capability of controlling the telescope if you don't have an Autostar #497.
Subject:	Re: some ETX-70AT problems
Sent:	Wednesday, August 9, 2006 10:54:55
From:	Mark van den Heuvel (
It is an used model, i did the RESET, CALIBRATE MOTOR and TRAIN DRIVES,
now the telescope is moving when i do the EASY ALIGN but after that he

This error i also get when i do the CALIBRATE MOTOR, is there a motor
damaged? Can i Maybe fix this with an Software update or something, how
can i see what version of software is installed on my Telescope?

Mike here: If you have the Autostar #494 (normally supplied with the ETX-70 model) then there is no user installable update. You could get an Autostar #497 and use that with the ETX-70 and it has user installable upgrades from Meade. This may be your best choice since it is possible the Autostar that came with the used ETX is bad (did the seller say anything about that?). However, it is also possible that the cable, connections, or circuit board inside the ETX base have gone bad. But have you replaced the batteries with fresh ones (non-rechargeable type, please). Also, could you be overtightening the axis locks? If they are too tight the motors can't move the telescope properly and errors can occur.
Subject:	some ETX-70AT problems
Sent:	Tuesday, August 8, 2006 17:09:34
From:	Mark van den Heuvel (
I have some questions, i bought an ETX-70AT and downloaded the
instruction guide, when i try to do the easy alignment and press enter
after "daylight savings" then i see "searching" in my display and then i
get  " Not Found" in my display, i can't find any information about
this, do you know what this means? i do exactly what is in the
instruction book..

When i try to align with the "One Star" function a got an error "Motor
Unit Fault" is the motor damaged?

Hope you have an answer for me..

Kind regards,

Mike here: Is this a new or used model? Some possibly solutions: do a RESET, CALIBRATE MOTOR, and TRAIN DRIVES (it could be that the Autostar software is slightly corrupted); replace the batteries with new one (checking that they are inserted correctly); check the cable connection to be certain it is fully inserted.
Subject:	re: EXT-70AT - Language change
Sent:	Monday, August 7, 2006 22:11:46
From:	richard seymour (
Whether the Autostar can be changed from Spanish depends upon one thing:
What type of Autostar is it?

a 494 Autostar (no numeric keypad) cannot be changed. It is Spanish forever.

a 495 or 497 Autostar (has numbered keypad) -can- be changed, by downloading the
English firmware from MEade's website, and updating the Autostar to that version.

The "multiple languages" describe on Mike's site refers to -old- Autostar
firmware versions (older than 2001).  Since 2001 Meade has issued
one-language-only versions, since it is simple to change a 497's firmware.

good luck

Subject:	re: ETX 70 initialization
Sent:	Monday, August 7, 2006 22:07:05
From:	richard seymour (
Michael asked:
>> how do you get to or navigate to SETUP?

Mike wrote:
> Mike here: When you power up the telescope, press MODE several times until you see
> SETUP. Press ENTER. Use the UP/DOWN scroll arrows keys to scroll through the options.
> Press ENTER when you get to the one you want. For more on using the Autostar, see the
>  telescope manual.

Unfortunately, that's not quite right.
IF you press [mode] many times, you eventually reach  Select/Object on the display.
*Now* you must press the "scroll up" key (lower rightmost on keypad) once.
Now you're at Select/Setup
Press [enter] once.
Now you're at Setup/Align
Press [scroll down] (lower leftmost key) many times to reach Setup/Telescope
Press [enter]

Now you're at Telescope/Telescope Model
press [enter]
You're now at Telescope Model/ > XXXXXXXX
(with XXXX being whatever model it now thinks you have).
Press [scroll down] many times to reach the ETX 70,
Press [enter] so that the ">" appears (indicating "selected").

You may now tap [mode] many times to get back up to Select/Object

have fun
Mike here: Thanks Dick. That's what I get for trying to respond from memory while on vacation and away from my scopes!
Subject:	User guide ETX-70AT
Sent:	Monday, August 7, 2006 13:39:57
From:	Mark van den Heuvel (
Do you know if there is an User Guide of the ETX-70AT? maybe in PDF

Kind regards,

Mike here: See the FAQ page for the link to Meade's manuals page. You will find it there.
Subject:	ETX 494 Controller Firmware Question
Sent:	Saturday, August 5, 2006 16:30:59
From:	W. H. Phinizy (
Mike and other esteemed visitors to Mike's site:
I recently dragged my ETX-60AT out of the closet and was setting it up
only to  discover a problem with the 494 controller. Specifically, when
I power up the unit, it puts me directly into the setup ("Getting
Started") mode after I push the SPEED/?button. Only  "Enter" "or "Mode"
respond -- and both of those immediately dump me into the  "Enter Date"
prompt. From thence, it goes to "Enter Time" and then the "Daylight 
Savings" prompt. When I (finally) reached a Meade representatives, I was
informed that this was a firmware glitch and, since it was out of
warranty they would  "fix" the problem by zapping the firmware with a
later version or most probably replace the unit. I was told that the
hourly rate  for this would be $75.

In any event, not that I wish to cheap out, but I was wondering if there
is some way that the software can be rest or otherwise "zapped" out of
its lethargy.

I am given to understand from another post on your site, Mike, that one
cannot update the firmware, but I'd just thought I'd ask.

My sincere thanks in advance for any assistance.
W. Phinizy
Fountain Valley, California
Mike here: You can disable the Getting Started item from the Setup (or is it the Utility; I can never remember) menu. But once you have "permanently" skipped or acknowledged the text (by pressing a key) you are supposed to get to the date/time/daylight saving prompts. No error there. And you are correct, there is no user installable update for the #494 Autostar.



Then I must assume what they told me is true -- that the firmware is
hosed -- because I cannot get past the >DAYLIGHT SAVINGS? prompt. I
guess I'll just look out on eBay for a new 494 unit.

Thanks -- and your sight is a great resource! Once I get things working,
I'll drop by more often.


Mike here: A better choice would be a #497, which is user upgradable.


I really do like the site! Right now, the "re-discovery" of my ETX-60
has stirred my old fervor for astronomy. The ETX series are so much
easier to use than the Newtonian reflector with the equatorial mounts. I
can easily set it up on the patio ~~ up but having the 494 go South on
me is frustrating.

I hate to keep harping on this but, if you or some of your site visitors
could tell me if new Autostar software be downloaded to the 494 with a
#506 connector cable? I looked at the "Operating Instructions" for the
#506 and it seems to indicate that. I just wanted to know if that was

Also, I wonder if there are any specifications out on the internet on
how to write software like Autostar..

..hmmmm. If I find the answer to that one, I'll share with your

Thanks again.

Mike here: As I previously mentioned, there is no user installable update for the #494; the #506 serial cable is for computer control or adding library objects. As to writing software to control the Autostar, for starters you can use the LX200 command set (see the article on this on the Helpful Information: Autostar Info page).



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