Last updated: 31 December 2003
This page is for user comments and information specific to the Meade ETX-90RA (originally known as the "ETX Astro"), the ETX-90EC, and the ETX-90AT. Comments on accessories and feedback items appropriate to other ETX and DS 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: ETX90 Drive problems
Date: 12/30/03, 21:27
From: The Shudras (
Fantastic web site.
Santa brought us an ETX 90.

Everything is great once we finally has some clear skys last night.  Did
not polar align or let it track.  Just slewed in the moon and our first
glimps of Saturn!  We were excited even though we only had a 26mm
eyepiece! Tonight.

Won't rotate. Only raises the scope up and down. Very sad.

New batteries. Installed correctly.

Followed all the suggestions in the manual for plugging and unplugging
to get things going.

Any ideas?
Mike here: Have you tried changing the slew speed to a faster one?

Subject: Barlow for ETX 90
Date: 12/30/03, 08:33
From: Brian Deckert (
I bought a ETX90 and with it I got a #124 2x barlow, 4mm and 6mm
eyepieces.  I also just recieved the $99 special.  Should I use this
barlow to view Saturn and if so what eyepiece would you recommend? 
Thank You for your help. Brian D.
Mike here: Since you have all the eyepieces, use a single eyepiece instead of a combination eyepiece+Barlow Lens. You'll get better image quality. Try all your eyepieces and see which ones YOU like but keep in mind the maximum theoretical magnification for any telescope (see the FAQ page if you are uncertain what this is).

Subject: Motor Problems
Date: 12/29/03, 14:12
This may sound like a very strange request,do you have a clear
photograph of the inside of an ETX90.Since i had my base in bits to
carry out some repairs strange things are happening,i think i may have
inadvertently got the motor supplies mixed up. when i use my autostar to
move the scope Az/Alt i have to use the   keys. your help would be
  Mike Cook
Mike here: It does sound like you reversed the control wires. I'm not certain article will show things the best but check through the Telescope Tech Tips page; there should be several images that might show you what you are looking for.


I have looked through the Tech tips so now it looks like a bit of trial
and error,i should tell you that this has been almost a complete rebuild
of the base unit after i found a fault on one of the circuit boards.
  Regards Mike Cook 

Subject: ETX 90
Date: Mon, 29 Dec 2003 12:02:18 EST
What would be the best lenze combo for viewing Saturn in northern
Illinois. I have a 2x barlow and the $99 eyepiece set from Meade.  Any
help would be great.  Thank you Brian.
Mike here: Depending upon the seeing, any of the eyepieces in your $99 set will give you nice views. Just keep in mind that there is a maximum usable magnification for any telescope; see the FAQ page if you are unsure how to calculate this.

Subject: ETX90 RA electronics on eBay
Date: Mon, 29 Dec 2003 08:27:09 -0800
From: Richard Seymour (
(copied from Chris' message on the Meade-Uncensored  yahoo group)

For those ETX-90RA owners who either have damaged electronics
or are worried about having spare parts for the future, Bill
Vorce of the Telescope Warehouse has a mess of RA base
assemblies for sale on eBay.

Looks like Meade is dumping their ETX-90RA spare parts inventory.

I have no affiliation with Bill other than that of a satisfied

"My advice is free and worth every penny!"


Subject: Questions on digital cameras
Date: Sun, 28 Dec 2003 08:51:03 -0800
I received digital camera for a present and do not see how it can be
used with my telescope ETX 90.  It has a fixed 7mm lens with no lens
cover.  It has 3 power digital zoom.  It produces pictures 3.2
megapixels.  It is a Digimax 300.  What would be a better choice for a
camera that has internal zoom like the Astronomy magazine speaks of and
exposure control.  Around how much would that cost and what would be its
brand and designation.  Thank you.
Happy New Year  
Skip Carter 
Kent Wash
Mike here: See the Helpful Information - Astrophotography page for info on cameras and adapters. You can spend $100-$2000 for a digital camera that can take astrophotos of some objects; the Moon and brighter planets are easy; faint nebulae and galaxies are more challenging (and perhaps impossible) but can be done as can been seen in the Gallerys and examples.

Subject: ETX-90EC Proper Lens Question
Date: Sat, 27 Dec 2003 04:00:12 EST
I receently got an ETX-90 EC  I have the 26 mm lens it came with
and also a series 4000 4.7 mm ultra wide angle.  I am familiar with
the sky by sight, and would like to view the planets more closely.
 Which lens is going to give me the best view. My son wants to see
the rings of saturn and with the two lenses that I have all the planets
we locate still look like tiny stars.  Is it possible to view any
of the planets clearly with this scope?  I know venus is very close
to the moon shortly after dusk right now, but when we try to view it, it
just looks like a bigger star.  Please tell me what I need to buy.
 Hope you can help, thank you, Angela
Mike here: Since you recently purchased the ETX-90, you are eligible for Meade's $99 eyepiece deal. It is a good offer; see their website for details. HOWEVER, it sounds like you are possibly expecting too much for the ETX-90. You CAN see the Rings of Saturn with the ETX-90 and 26mm eyepiece and they will appear even larger with the 4.7mm eyepiece. Jupiter will also appear very nice, showing some cloud bands. As to Venus, right now it is very small and a partial phase so it will appear very small in your 26mm eyepiece. Since it is so low in the sky at dusk the 4.7mm won't be much good due to atmospheric turbulence.


Thank you for your input. I will try to get that set from meade.

Subject: ETX
From: "John" (
Date: Fri, 26 Dec 2003 22:45:41 -0500
I haven't written in a couple of weeks.  Just wanted to say WOW about
the ETX-90.  I got my scope a couple of months ago, I ordered the Meade
30th anniversary eyepiece special, the representative said that it would
be two months before delivery, bummer.  I actually received the
eyepieces some seventeen days after the check cleared the bank.  Good
Work Meade! I think that everything that can possibly go wrong
(atmospherically this is) has gone wrong since the scope arrived, rain,
snow, clouds, you know the story.  Well tonight was pretty clear and
cold 32 degrees with 70% humidity about 8:00 P.M. local time. With my
ETX-90 I could see the rings of saturn with no problem  the Cassenni
(forgive the spelling) division was clear and the shadow of the planet
on the rings.  WOW! talking about a happy camper. I used the 15mm
eyepiece and 2x barlow for about 165X over 200x just wasn't worth it. 
All of this from a 90mm scope, amazing.

Just thought I would brag a little.

Wishing you and yours a happy New Year
and clear skies from East Central Indiana

John Norris

Subject: Dsx-90AT
Date: Fri, 19 Dec 2003 07:24:11 -0800 (PST)
From: dawn Yana (
Hey.... Just received one of these as a gift.  Glad to know there's
someone out there with lots of info.. Am a complete novice... but eager.
 Guess I should keep it????

Mike here: Anxious to hear a user report on the DSX-90.

Subject:	Meade ETX-90EC w/UHTC
Sent:	Wednesday, December 10, 2003 20:16:29
From: (David Summerville)
I am in Central Ohio.  I have had about 6 nights of good seeing since I
bought my scope on Oct. 13.  Perhaps my expectations are unrealistic,
but I have been disappointed with this scope.  Jupiter is a fuzzy white
ball about the size of a head of a pin held at arm's length (26mm).  Is
that  all one get's with this size scope? With a Barlow 2X it just
looses more detail.
Mike here: Well, 48X and even 96X isn't that much magnification for planets. Although you should be able to see cloud bands, the Great Red Spot (which is more orange than red) when it is visible, and of course the Rings of Saturn. So, yes, perhaps you expected more but then you would need to get a larger telescope.


Let me say on an unrelated topic that your website is fantastic. Yes, I
think I may try rent-a-scope to get a reality check (no pun intended).
-David Summerville
Mike here: Check out local star parties. Local telescope dealers should be able to help.
Subject:	ETX 90 mm Maintenance... from Nepal
Sent:	Saturday, December 6, 2003 02:35:15
From: (Kedar P Badu - CDEP/GASPO)
This is Kedar Badu from Nepal. We belong to a local Astro Group here,
called GASPO-Nepal. We have got a Meade 90 mm ETX. But would like to
know more practical steps for its regular maintenance with the small
wrenches. After inserting the wrench, to which direction should we
rotate the wrench so that the slow motion screws get tightened? Not much
about this is given in the operation Manual from Meade. If there is some
pictorial presentation of the steps on using these wrenches, it would
have been great help for us.

I got your email address from George Whitesides of PTD. Hope you know
him. George has assisted us greatly through his permission to dream
programme based in California, so that we can explore the Universe and
change life on Earth!

Yours faithfully
Kedar P Badu, President
Galileo Astronomical Society of Pokhara - GASPO
Kathmandu Nepal
Mike here: The screws all turn "clockwise" to tighten. However, there is no need to use the small allen wrenches to do that. The wrenches are typically used to disassemble some component for some specific purpose. From your description I don't think you are wanting to disassemble or adjust anything. But if you talking about the knobs, then you can tighten (clockwise) and loosen (counter-clockwise) the small screws if you need to adjust the position of the knob on its shaft.


Thanks Mike for your help
Welcome to Nepal..


Subject:	DS 2130 vs. ETX 90
Sent:	Wednesday, December 3, 2003 07:21:01
Great website. As a true beginner to astronomy the useful information
here is tremendous.

Let me give you a little background. I have recently purchased the DS
from Wal-Mart for $300 and it came with Autostar which after a couple of
uses works ok. I bought it knowing that I can return it. It is slow and
sometimes the motor takes time to respond, anyway.

My big question is that the DS for the money seems to me to have a lot
and is a very functional scope. I collaminated the mirrors which were
out of alignment it sounds like this is typical with the Newtonian
design. I have borrowed a old Newtonian for the past two years and have
progressively used it more and more. Mostly for planets and the moon. I
am now ready to look for deep sky objects.

I do most of my observing from my backyard, lots of light pollution in
the Washington D.C. area but I do frequent a site in the country that is
only 45 minutes from home with good viewing.

From the feedback on your site about the ETX 90 it seems the finderscope
needs immediate replacing and is not very functional. Also I read about
placing a "wedge" near the mount. Would I have to do this where I live?
The observations on your site made with the ETX 90 look great but I
wonder how many "extras" were needed to get those views.

My question is. Is the ETX 90 a much better scope than the DS 2130. I do
not mind investing in the new ETX90 (seems like around $900)  with the
UHTC coatings, the $99 eye piece set, and Autostar. If the views will be
that much better and if the scope will last a long long time. Without a
lot of tinkering involved. The DS 2130 just after a few days of use and
transporting seems rickedty and I wonder how long it would last. View
Mars in the country site on a fairly windy day with the DS was a
challenge. Lots of shaking. Is the ETX on a field tripod a more stable
device. Any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks.

Mike here: Whether the ETX-90 is the scope you need or not depends upon how you will use it and what your expectations are for the views through it. Most consumer tripods will cause the image to shake in the wind; you can alleviate this somewhat by lowering it to its lowest height and adding some extra weight (like a brick) to the central eyepiece tray or just hang it from the tripod head. But the difference in those two telescopes comes down to aperture and focal lenght; consider whether you want a larger aperture or a longer focal length. Yes, the portability of the ETX-90 is nice and the ETX (with normal care) should last a long time; I've had and used mine for over seven years). With the Autostar you won't need a wedge or even need to polar mount the ETX on the tripod unless you want to do some moderately long duration astrophotography OR plan to view objects near the zenith. As to the finderscope, it is fine in some orientations; some people prefer different types of finders.
Subject:	Re: etx 90ra
Sent:	Sunday, November 30, 2003 20:23:53
From: (Michael Kelly)
hi mike thanks for a quick answer...i have taped up the holes and slot
on the ota and yes things have improved.

i have saturn in the centre of a 26mm super plossl meade eyepiece and
there is still a disc of light around the image of the planet but now as
i move the image away from the centre of view the image brightens
immensly and the disc dissapears. i am assuming i have and optics
problem as well as light leakage to contend with? i hope you are not
annoyed with me contacting you again but i am at a loss as what to do as
i said i am fairly new to astronomy. hope to hear soon (again) mik kelly
Mike here: Can you see if the light baffle (at the end of tube) is in place? There is a diagram on Meade's site:

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