Last updated: 31 December 2004
This page is for user comments and information specific to the Meade ETX-60AT and ETX-70AT. Additional information on these models is available on the ETX-60AT & ETX-70AT Announcements page. Comments on accessories and feedback items appropriate to other ETX models are posted on other pages. If you have any comments, suggestions, questions or answers to questions posed here, e-mail them to me and I'll post them. Please use an appropriate Subject Line on your message. Thanks.

Subject:	i have a newbie question about the etx 60at
Sent:	Wednesday, December 29, 2004 17:42:21
From:	Jason Williams (
Hi great web site!

i have the ETX 60at it currently has the #494 controller. my question
is... is it possible to upgrade to the #497 controller with this scope?
also i was wondering if i will be able to use the autostar suite with
the #494? i already have the 506 cable . thanks for you help.
Mike here: All ETX models will work with the #497 Autostar. And the Autostar Suite requires the #497.
Subject:	Meade ETX-70 - Motor problems
Sent:	Tuesday, December 28, 2004 14:04:55
From:	Simon James (
Hi There. I got a ETX 70 for Christmas and have been enjoying my early
exploration of the skies. I noticed that the horizontal / azimuth motor
switch didn't seem to stop manual movement as specified in the
instructions, but as I don't have anything to compare I didn;t know
whether this is normal. Tonight just after my first sighting of Saturns
rings, the horizontal motor stopped engaging. I could hear it running
but there was no movement. The vertical was working fine.

I also noticed the beeping, morse code type sound when the scope is

Any suggestions?

Mike here: There is no electronic beeping during tracking but you may be hearing the drives engaging. In Alt/Az mode, both drives are running, moving the telescope in two directions. I'm not certain what you mean about the horizontal movement. In normal operations, the drives run to compensate for the Earth's rotation.


The problem is that the scope isn't moving in the horizontal. I hear the
motor running but get no movement.
Mike here: Have you tried slewing at a higher speed?
Subject:	Unable to focus ETX-70AT
Sent:	Tuesday, December 28, 2004 03:25:52
From:	Alan Oliver (
Thanks for providing such a useful website!   I've read through the 2004
and half of the 2003 archives but cannot find a definitive answer to my

I wonder if you can tell me whether or not I am doing something stupid,
or whether you think that there may be a fault with my shiny new
ETX-70AT?   I am unable to satisfactorily focus my telescope.

With the Meade "kit" I received a 25mm lens (MA25), a 9mm lens (MA9)
plus a x3 Barlow Lens (part #128).

With the 25mm eyepiece I am JUST about able to focus on the moon with
the focal length set to dead shortest (the image is quite "bloomy" -
ordinary binoculars give a much crisper image!) - and I think that the
image is still not perfectly in focus.

With the 9mm lens, or with the Barlow plus either the 25mm or 9mm
eyepieces I cannot get the telescope to focus on the moon at all.  The
focus improves the shorter the focal length becomes - but the focus is
hitting the end-stop before focus can be achieved.

I have tried the full range on the focus knob (around 20 turns), and I
have also tried withdrawing the eyepieces a little (which clearly makes
the focus even worse).   I am wondering if the wrong 9mm and Barlow
lenses have been supplied, or whether the objective lens cell has been
assembled incorrectly?

Any ideas/suggestions?

Thanks in advance,
Mike here: There may be a simple solution if the focus knob is reaching the base plate before a focus is achieved: loosen the focus knob on its shaft (loosen the setscrew slightly) and slide it backwards somewhat, then tighten the setscrew. CAUTION: be certain the telescope is pointed skyward when you do this to avoid the focus shaft from slipping inside the tube. If that's not the problem, it is possible that the lens cell shifted during shipment; exchanging with your dealer would be the only option.
Subject:	Autostar&planets
Sent:	Monday, December 27, 2004 15:43:40
From:	David Schramm (
I just got my ETX-70at for CHristmas, and have not been able to enjoy it
due to problems. First off, it took me a while to find north, but when I
did( at least I think I did), I looked for the moon on the Autostar and
it pointed in a completely different area!

Also, when I enter in the remote for a planet, it slews towards it, but
I see nothing but stars and blackness. I havent been able to see a
planet or any other thing except stars. Ive tried focusing and different
lenses to no avail. I really want to get into astronomy, but this is
turning into a hassle instead of relaxing observing. Thankyou for your
time and wonderful site.
Mike here: Have you followed the instructions on doing the HOME position setup and aligning the Autostar?


I have followed the instructions, but when they say to rotate the
telescope counter-clockwise until it stops, it doesnt stop, so I figured
that it was just my model telescope, and continued. Just in-case Im
doing something wrong, let me go through the steps in which I set the
home posistion

1)I make sure that the rise is 0 degrees, and the telescope is facing

2) I turn it on, continuing on through the sun warning, and the
disclaimer thing, and then I enter my nearest city, date and time and so

3) I then select one of the three options for the alignment, usually the
easy align

4) when I then choose the stars to locate, it slews to them, but I
cannot find the brightest star in the view, usually they are all rather
dull stars

And after that, it says align succesful, and then I look up a planet or
something, and the thing totally goes in the wrong direction. Like the
telescope points somewhere near the moon, but nowhere near enough to see
it in the vicinity of the telescope. So, as you can tell, Im rather

I also make sure to enter the correct information such as time and
location, so I know thats probably not the problem. Also, Im a complete
amatuer since this is my first real telescope, so Im really in the dark
about the majority of things related to the subject.
Mike here: Are you using True North or Magnetic North? They can differ by up to about 20 degrees. But since you are getting a successful alignment that should rule out that problem. But I do wonder about the pointing error on the Moon. Have you tried a GOTO to a star? If that works and the Moon and planets don't, there is some date or time error in your settings.
Subject:	etx70 or etx 90
Sent:	Monday, December 27, 2004 11:34:28
From:	aws (
please could you tell me how much a difference the etx70 is to the etx
90.compared with the diference in price.
Mike here: See the article "Weasner Experiences the ETX-70AT!" linked from the top of the current "ETX-60, ETX-70" feedback page.
Subject:	Focus knob problems
Sent:	Saturday, December 25, 2004 18:35:39
From: (
I purchased an ext-70at for my son off of ebay.  The focus knob does not
seem to be turning.  The rod is fulling extended.  The picture in the
manual shows the knob much closer to the body of the telescope.  Is
there something he could be doing wrong?  Could it be broken?
Mike here: It takes MANY MANY MANY turns of the knob before any movement may be evident. While it is possible the shaft has become disconnected or the knob itself loose on the shaft (its setscrew can be tightened), I suspect it is just a matter of turning it more.


Thanks for the quick response.  The shaft knob either seems to just spin
or it is too tight to crank (depending on how tight the set screen is). 
There doesn't seem to be a happy medium.  Either it just spins or it is
too tight to turn.  Would it hurt to use pliers to get the shaft
turning?  We have turned it many many many times but it isn't going
Linda Johnson
Mike here: If the shaft has become disconnected from the moving lens cell (at the front of the telescope) then you have received a bad telescope. Getting it working again is best left to Meade.
Subject:	proublems with etx 70 from factory outlet, from kevin anderson
Sent:	Wednesday, December 22, 2004 16:40:46
From: (
love your site, lots of good info., just thought i'd let every one know
to check your scope carefully.

i recieved my scope from the factory outlet the other day, as i was
assembling it i found underneath the base (fork arm assembly) that the
mounting holes were not drilled or tapped, just a blank plate. so i
couldnt thread in the mounting bolts and secure the scope to the
tri-pod. lol. my wife and i thouhgt it was pretty funny.

also tried the flip mirror and then it stuck in postion, looking at it
closer, i found the mirror had detached its self from the plate. i could
see that meade used some sort of adhesive to mount it. i called  meade
on it and they were willing to fix it under warantee.

i ended up fixing both proublems my self with the aid of my wife and
drilled out the holes my self, + with the help of a little glue was able
to repair the mirror.wooow

i was just wondering if there was any info on disassembling the etx 70,
i couldnt figure how you remove the ota from the mirror housing, is it
glued on? would have made it much easyer to repair the loose mirror.
thanks and clear skies.
Mike here: Unlike the ETX-90/105/125, the ETX-60/70 can not be easily removed from the fork arms and is not recommended.
Subject:	etx 70 at
Sent:	Tuesday, December 21, 2004 03:31:35
From:	Luis Henriques (
I'm Luis from Portugal.
I've recently bought an EXT 70AT and the question I have for you is:
Why do I see land objects more enlarged when I'm using the #933 Erecting
Prism then when I put the same eyepiece (25mm) on the 90 eyepiece normal
39.4170N, 8.9830W 218m
Mike here: I don't have the #933 to check but it is possible that it lengthens the telescope focal length somewhat.
Subject:	meade autostar 494
Sent:	Sunday, December 19, 2004 09:30:30
From:	Boswinkel (
hello, i have just buy me the 494 autostar controller, i live in the
netherlands and i have a quetion.

when set the 494 to the netherlands i can only choise of 2 city's, is
that correct or must i do something else.

whit greetz  R  Boswinkel
Mike here: If there are only two cities listed, you can either select the closet one or go into the site location menu and edit the city or add your own. It best to edit.
Subject:	limits of the etx 70 at
Sent:	Thursday, December 16, 2004 19:32:36
From:	Melissa Devine (
i have just purchased an etx-70at at the meade factory outlet for 129.00
u.s. and am looking forward to using it but i just have the standard
eyepieces it comes with..what eyepieces do you suggest for the best
magnification possible and realistically will i be able to see the rings
of saturn,jupiter, horsehead nebula etc. any info would be greatly thinking of getting a 3x barlow and a 2.5 mm or a
4mm...any others?
Mike here: Forget about seeing the Horsehead Nebula visually. It is practically impossible to see with most reasonably sized telescopes. But you can see Saturn and its Ring, cloud bands on Jupiter and its four brighter moons. As to eyepieces, keep in mind the theoretical maximum magnification; see the FAQ page if you have questions about that. If you do decide to get a Barlow Lens, keep in mind that it doubles the number of magnifications you have available. So a 26mm would be like a 13mm (2X) or 9mm (3X). For more on what you can see with the ETX-70 see the Helpful Information: User Observations.
Subject:	3x barlow
Sent:	Thursday, December 16, 2004 19:26:46
From:	Melissa Devine (
does the focal length on the etx-70at have the capacity to use a 3x
barlow and still get crisp images or would you advise a 2x barlow
Mike here: I haven't tried the 3X Barlow Lens with the ETX-70 but there have been positive reports from others. Be certain to either get the Meade Barlow Lens for the ETX-70 or a "shorty" style.
Subject:	re: Meade Autostar
Sent:	Friday, December 10, 2004 21:12:18
From:	Richard Seymour (
Although the 494 cannot be reprogrammed to English,
Bill Vorce at telescope warehouse frequently has English 494's 
for sale for very low prices. 
and you can eMail him at:

..and he will ship to Europe.

Be careful that you get an ETX 494, not a "Starfinder"
(they look like a 494, but do not have the proper programming.
They are intended for the 4504 and 114EQ Polar-mounted telescopes.

My recommendation is to buy a 495 or 497... these have the
numeric keypad, and -can- be reprogrammed (and updated) easily.

have fun

Subject:	a problem with scope
Sent:	Thursday, December 9, 2004 22:32:52
From:	Max (
Hi! I just purchased a ETX-70scope. When I looking at the sky with a
25mm eyepiece, I only could see minor differences comparing with my eyes
viewing in the sky. I did adjusted the knob. Motor working correctly.
could that be some parts inside of the scope malfunctioning or other
problems? gThanks and greatly appreciated your helps!
Mike here: I suspect that you are expecting to see more magnification than the ETX-70 delivers with the 25mm eyepiece. Do you have other eyepieces or a Barlow Lens? Keep in mind that the ETX-70 is a short focal length refractor and so doesn't provide a lot of magnification. When you look at Jupiter or the Moon, do they appear larger in the telescope than what you see with your eye by itself?
Subject:	Erecting Prims #932 on ETX-70AT
Sent:	Tuesday, December 7, 2004 23:57:36
From:	Jorge Barrero (
Would a Erecting Prims #932 work on a ETX-70AT? I understand that the
model for this telescope is the #933, but I can get a #932 for a better
price than a #933.

I looked all over the site and I only found this answer about it:

Mike here: The 25mm and 9mm are NOT parfocal. If you have the Meade 45
degree Erecting Prism model #933 it should work. Model #932 will not
work on the ETX-60AT.

But it does not answer specifically if #932 would work with the

Incredible site you have developed !! Great help for someone with an
ETX. I appreciate any help and suggestions you can offer. Thanks for
your time.

Jorge Barrero
Mike here: Since the ETX-60 and -70 are the same optically except for the aperture, the #932 won't work with the ETX-70 either.
Subject:	[none]
Sent:	Tuesday, December 7, 2004 09:10:50
From:	Fab (
I have purchased a ETX-70AT with 494 Autostar. My problem is after it is
powered. It gives the sun warning, then the date and time screen. But
when it gets to Daylight savings, I press Enter and it just sits there
and display does not change. I am unable to get into any other menus. So
I'm not able to do a reset or anything. I can use the arrow keys to move
the scope. I intend to try calling Meade, but I thought I would ask your
advice first.
Thank you very much for any advice you may have.  Sincerely
Robert Praudeau
Mike here: PLEASE read the Email Etiquette item on the ETX Site Home Page; your message was originally DELETED UNREAD as SPAM due to the blank subject line. Obviously I would not be able to respond to a DELETED message, and that would not help you. Thanks for understanding.
There have been similar reports; replacement seems the only viable option.
Subject:	Meade Autostar
Sent:	Sunday, December 5, 2004 14:06:16
From:	Ivan Rook (
I have just purchased a METX-70AT .I am English and Live in Spain I am
at the moment trying to get the instruction Book in English But is there
a way to change the language on the Autostar as it is in Spanish
Ivan Rook
 Mondron Spain
Mike here: If the Autostar HAS multiple languages installed (and it may not), see the FAQ page for info on changing it. If it doesn't, you are out of luck. You would have to replace it with another Autostar.
Subject: etx 70 motor noise while tracking
From: "pp.amesz" (
Date: December 2, 2004 14:33:58 PST
I just bought an etx 70 at. When the scope is tracking I hear a beeping
sound like someone is sending a morse code. Is this normal for this
scope or should I send it back.?
Peter Amesz
Mike here: There should not be any beeping sound (electronic or otherwise). You should hear the tracking motors running (quietly).
Subject: none
Date: December 1, 2004 18:51:13 PST
I finally decided to buy a telescope I asked to different people to have
some advice abuot what kind of telescope to buy. I chose a meade etx
60at becouse is a refactor telescope so I can use it for "stars
watching" and for terrestrial view. But unfortunatelly I realized that
it came without autostar.
Now I would like to buy a good one.
Is it a 494 or a 497 a good one?
Please reply me soon becouse I want to use my telescope properly.
Sorry for my english but I am italian so I am doing my best.

Thank you
I am going to wait for you reply
ciao, Michele
Mike here: PLEASE read the Email Etiquette item on the ETX Home Page; your message was originally DELETED UNREAD as SPAM due to the missing subject entry.
The ETX-60AT should have come with an Autostar #474. You can use either a #494 or a #497 with the ETX-60. The #497 is the better choice as you can more easily connect it to a computer and you can do software upgrades (which is not possible with the #494).
Subject: Setting up a novice with correct equipment
From: "simon c. robinson" (
Date: December 1, 2004 08:36:39 PST
I have just managed to spend all morning on your website, like everyone
else has said thanks. There are a few items I am having trouble finding
information on, the first being a view finder for the etx70at. I have
never used a telescope (and knew very little up to last week) and have
bought the etx70 for my parents who also have never used a telescope.
The ultimate goal is ease of use and installation. I do not think they
will buy a more expensive telescope in the future so I am not looking
for upgradeable options. Having said that what view finder would be the
best preferably a bolt on and is it necessary? Would you recommend a 45
degree angle on it? Also do you have any idea what adapters I would need
to hook the following camera up to the telescope?

From the information I can find it almost looks like 2 adapters are
required one from Meade then a specific one for the camera which looks
like a small ring? If you do not know do not trouble yourself too much I
understand you probably get a million emails similar to this a day;
however, I have read your site and been on multiple sites and can not
find a concise answer!

Lastly do you feel any other accessories are needed for the first timer,
such as lenses/filters? The things I have purchased are a 2X Barlow lens
(tried to order the 3X but canceled that one due to
compatibility issues which your sites indicates it would probably be
fine but stretching the limits of the optics), a dew shield, and the
expensive flexifocus.

Thank you so much for your time, I am dying to get this up a running at
Christmas and hopefully have a new addiction for the family.


Simon Robinson

Technical Support Specialist

Shimadzu Scientific Instruments
Mike here: Meade has a finderscope especially for the ETX-70. You might want to check that out. As to the camera, that link didn't work but in general, there are a couple of ways to attach a camera: without an eyepiece and with an eyepiece. If the camera has a removeable lens you can do either; if the lens is not removeable then you can only use the eyepiece (known as "afocal") method. Check the Accessory Reviews - Astrophotography page for some of these. As to other accessories, learn your telescope first; then you will be able to better understand what will work and what won't AND what you will get the best use from.


Thank you for the advice it is much appreciated.  I do have one other
question, is it necessary to have a finderscope?  It seems like it may
be a must have item to align the telescope.
Mike here: When a telescope has a small field of view it is really essential. However, with a wide field instrument like the ETX-60 and ETX-70, it is less needed.


I see, once again thanks for the info.  I think I have purchased
everything I require to make this a complete gift.  I may have to buy my
self one, I have really gotten into it after all the research I have
Your help is greatly appreciated,

Simon Robinson

Subject: ETX-70 problem
From: "Marvin Hesket" (
Date: November 27, 2004 19:40:57 PST
My ETX-70 has started 'jumping' in RA every 6 to 7 seconds. It has
worked fine for a year but has picked up this problem. It is annoying at
low power (25 mm eyepiece) but really jumps about1/4 of the field of
view with a high power piece like a 6 mm.

The tighter I clutch in down in RA, the more it jumps. If I loosen too
much to stop the jump, I slips in RA.

I found the switch on in the trunk of the car recently while the unit
was laying down mounted on the tripod. I wonder if a gear tooth was worn
off trying toturn in RA while clutched down tight but unable to turn?
(I'll loosen the clutch next time when not in use.)

If the gear is worn down or off, or debris is inside the unit, is the
unit easy to take apart to examine?

What does Meade charge to fix something like that. It's useable but not
near as much fun when distracted by the jumping image.

Thanx for your attention.

M. Hesket
Mike here: I doubt there was any attempted movement while in the trunk unless it was left on with the alignment done and tracking going. You probably changed the batteries (or should); then do a CALIBRATE and TRAIN DRIVES. Let me know if that cures the jumping.


Wow!  Quick response.  Thanx.  I'll try those and let you know.  Thanks

Subject: ETX-70 8*25 view finder
From: "g0lws" (
Date: November 27, 2004 12:12:06 PST
A couple of questions for you though if I may.

Firstly I find when you put the telescope back in its case, it moves the
inner part of the finder scope around so the eyepiece moves round to the
side. I can't quite work out if this knocks it out of alignment or not.
You can move it anyway and also slide the inner part backwards and
forwards>which could also know it out of alignment. What are your
experiences of this?

Secondly I find when using eyepieces that are short in length, you
cannot get your eye on them because the finder scope eyepiece gets in
the way. Have you had any experience of this?

Mike here: I don't have a finderscope on my ETX-70 but perhaps someone else will respond.

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