ETX-60AT & ETX-70AT USER FEEDBACK
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Last updated: 28 February 2005
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:	ETX 70 Astrophotography question
Sent:	Friday, February 25, 2005 09:23:28
From:	RGDavies@aol.com (RGDavies@aol.com)
Please help! I would like to try and take some pictures with my ETX 70
but I'm not sure which camera to get, I'm torn between a Toucam Pro 2
web cam with adaptor or the Meade LPI camera as I cant afford the DSI at
the moment. Which would you recommend? I've been reading up on them and
trying to compare but I'm still not sure! Or am I wasting my time trying
to take decent photo's with the ETX 70 and should I wait until I can get
a bigger telescope in the future instead to take photo's? Thanks for
your time.
                                Ray.
Mike here: Both will allow you to take some decent photos of brighter objects with the ETX-70. However, given that the Autostar Suite software for the LPI (and DSI) require the #497 to take full advantage of the software, you would have to get a #497 (assuming you have only the #494 Autostar).
Subject:	Metal filings in ETX-70 motors?
Sent:	Thursday, February 24, 2005 16:15:07
From:	Dog Wooof (hrg68@yahoo.com)
In concurrence with another e-mail from December 22, 2004: I bought an
ETX-70 from the outlet in December. I had to drill the threading holes
for the tripod mounting bolts myself.  The alignment procedure worked
well the first night out, but not since then (about two months ago), and
I was wondering if the DC motor gears could be open and exposed to any
of the filings which may have resulted from that operation... I have
been spending the last two months getting to know my scope REALLY well,
and I have been concerned that the alignment problems I have been having
were caused by this.

In all fairness, I am extremely pleased with the optical clarity of the
scope, and the things I have been looking through it unaligned (rings of
Saturn, moons of Jupiter, the Lunar surface, and the Orion nebula) have
paid me back for my intial cash investment already.  I just don't want
to think I "screwed up" by having to tap the mount holes myself...

Also, having watched the ETX tutorial video on the Meade site, I
realized that my ETX-70 doesnt seem to have a "hard stop" when I rotate
the OTA counterclockwise for alignment.  This and the above problem are
really making me want to open the thing up with a screwdriver and see
what's on the inside!

Thanks,
Duke in Reno
Mike here: The ETX-60 and ETX-70 models do not have the azimuth hard stops that are on the other models. But metal filings COULD get into bad places inside the base and you probably want to try to clean up any you can find.

And:

Thanks for the information- I will get to it if I have any problems!
-Duke

Subject:	ext 70a
Sent:	Monday, February 21, 2005 08:42:00
From:	Miles, Clyde (CMD@cbsnews.com)
Help! I recently purchase the ext 70a, and follow the instructions,
regarding the sun-state-country. For some reason my telescope will slew
right to left but not up and down.  What do I need to do to correct
this.
Mike here: When you lock the Altitude axis does the telescope tube stay put or does it tend to go back down to the base?

And:

Thank you for responding, When you refer to the altitude axis, are you
referring to vertical lock/horizontal lock? 

It tends to move downward.
Mike here: You indicate you can't slew up/down. That is the "Altitude" axis. If the tube doesn't stay put when the axis is "locked", the Right Tube Adapter is likely broken. A possible cause is overtightening it. Another possible cause is just a mechanical failure. In any case, it will likely have to go to Meade for a replacement of the Right Tube Adapter as it is not as easy to replace as on the other ETX models.
Subject:	max magnification with the etx 70
Sent:	Sunday, February 20, 2005 09:44:45
From:	Pascal Robberechts (pr.1962@pandora.be)
i have a MA 25 mm and MA 12mm oculair and a 2x and 3x barlow and a
plossl 7.5mm with the 7.5mm and 3x barlox i have a magn. of  X 140

can i go higher  , i want to buy a vixen lvo 4mm  or a Orion lanthanum
3.8 mm do you think the etx 70 can go to a magnification of  175x with
the 2x barlow of to 262 x with the 3x barlow these two oculair are of a
very good quality,tey sead in the store i want to know this before i buy
it

pascal from belgium  europe
Mike here: Whenever you want to try to exceed the theoretical maximum for any telescope (140X in this case) you need to be aware of several factors: seeing, optical cleanliness, optical quality (all the optics in the chain), mount stability, AND the object being viewed. It is possible to exceed the maximum when viewing bright objects like the Moon and the brighter planets on nights of good seeing. The higher you go above the max theoretical magnification the more those above factors will affect the image. And then there is how much image deterioration YOU will accept.
Subject:	Feedback for ETX 70 AT
Sent:	Thursday, February 17, 2005 11:31:53
From:	Dave Chadwick
Here is my post for your boards, they've been enormously helpful to me. 
Many thanks for your great work in continuing to run the site:

Further to Dr Adrian Jones post in the January 2005 archive.

I am also in England and noticed I could buy an ETX-70AT considerably
cheaper from Germany than I could here in the UK.  I bought from
http://www.burkhards-shop.de

I got the "2005 special limited edition" (total cost inc. shipping, 251
euros)

(The actual link as of today is
http://www.burkhards-shop.de/electronik/start.htm?
d_0110075_Meade_ETX_70_Spezial_Limited_Edition_2005_statt_429_nur_222_Eu
ro488.htm)

It came with a German only language ROM Autostar 494.  My schoolboy
German really isn't up to scratch, so I contacted the UK distributor of
Meade products (Telescope House) to get an English version. 
Unfortunately, they were only able to offer to supply me with another
Autostar 494 for which I'd have to pay full price, or a second hand one.

I then contacted the parent company (Meade Instruments Europe, based in
Germany). They have immediately exchanged the unit (free of charge), for
an English version, and English instructions.  They also returned the
German instructions I sent them, which are glossier, coloured and more
comprehensive than the English ones (they also sent me).

I can't praise Meade (Germany) highly enough, excellent customer
service.

The total package is also considerably upgraded from that offered in
England.

The tripod is an upgraded version with a built in bubble level, eyepiece
holders and swivel lock with weight hook.

The Telescope base comes with an extra battery cover which protrudes at
the front to accomodate the Autostar very neatly.

3 eyepieces were supplied (4mm, 12mm and 20mm), 3 times Barlow lens and
an "Amici" correcting prism for terrestrial viewing.

A rigid plastic dew shield which screws in place.

A Nylon rucksack (black and blue with Meade branding) which houses
everything nicely.

It was also supplied with 4 bolts to secure the telescope to the tripod
(that's 2 spares).

In addition it is covered by a 5 year warranty.

I hope the above information helps anyone else out there thinking of
taking the plunge.

Many thanks to Adrian for original post, Burkhard for his reasonable
pricing and Meade (Germany) for their excellent customer service.

Dave Chadwick

Subject:	ETX-70 attachments
Sent:	Tuesday, February 15, 2005 12:08:04
From:	Jack Fox (Jack.Fox@vdacs.virginia.gov)
I have purchased a wide field adapter, visual back and a 90 degree
correct image diagonal for my ETX-125 and all 3 work fine.  I tried
using them on my ETX-70 and could not get any eyepiece to focus.  I even
tried a 1" eyepiece extender.  Is it something about the 70 that does
not allow for these attachments?

Jack Fox
Mike here: Due to the different design of the ETX-70, you would need to use ETX-70 specific ones to ensure that all eyepieces will focus.
Subject:	etx 70 magnification limits
Sent:	Sunday, February 13, 2005 18:08:41
From:	Kv8Andr@aol.com
well since my last entry ie (the guy who had to drill and tap mounting
holes in base of fork mount) got a chance to take out the scope last
week.

optics seemed great although didnt have much chance to star test, very
little false color, even with out aid of baader fringe filter i have.
tracked fine, goto's were decent, sure to be better next time if i level
scope.

my question this time is, how far could i push, or have you heard people
pushing there etx 70's on magnification. i could only look at saturn
under 50x using my zoom eye piece, which wasnt very pleasing. would like
to purchase additional eye pieces but dont want to wast my money on to
much mag. a 5mm + barlow would give me 175x, am i bitting off more than
i can see.

thanks kevin anderson northern ky.
Mike here: Keep in mind the maximum theoretical magnification (see the FAQ page if you are unsure how to determine this). On bright objects (like the Moon and brighter planets) it is possible to exceed the maximum on nights of excellent seeing and with high quality optics.

And:

thanks for the quick response, ill check out the faq page on mag. limits
+ keep you posted on progress
           thanks kev

Subject:	WG: Autostar 494 Updates
Sent:	Saturday, February 12, 2005 03:27:37
From:	Wilfried Wiehler (volitpacem@gmx.de)
thought you might be interested in this thread.

I have learned so much from your site. Thank you so much!

Best wishes

Wilfried

-----Ursprngliche Nachricht-----
Von: Engineer [mailto:engineer@meade.com] 
Gesendet: Donnerstag, 10. Februar 2005 19:48
Betreff: RE: Autostar 494 Updates

Dear Mr. Wiehler,

There are currently no updates available for the 494.  The PEC function
requires a great deal of internal memory that is not available in the
494 handbox so it is an unlikely candidate for this function in the
future.

Best wishes on your imaging.

Regards, Meade Engineering

-----Original Message-----
From: Wilfried Wiehler
Sent: Thursday, February 10, 2005 12:13 AM
To: engineer@meade.com
Subject: Autostar 494 Updates

Dear Meade engineers,

are there any updates available for autostar 494? I would love to have
pec on my etx 70 too...

It seems to me as if only autostar 497 is maintained by Meade.

o.k. the etx 70 is just your entry level scope, but I have imaged the
horsehead with it already:

http://www.8ung.at/volitpacem/j2ww_tools/j2ww_tools_6.htm

It would be a superb portable deep sky imaging platform if the
motors/mechanics were better... It think you could earn some more cash
with an etx70 "premium".

Thanks in advance

Wilfried (from Germany)
Mike here: Yes, there is no software upgrade for the #494 but a #497 will work on the ETX-70. Nice Horsehead image! Congrats!
Subject:	ETX 70 Solar Filter
Sent:	Friday, February 11, 2005 12:54:32
From:	Anthony Favata (tonyerin@epix.net)
Recently purchased a Thread on solar filter for the ETX 60/70 through
ScopeTronix.  After the first use of the filter, I placed the telescope
aside with the dust filters on.  When I went to use the scope later,
there was a powerful smell coming from the area that houses the
eyepieces.  It smelled like birthday candles that were recently blown
out.  Is this normal?  Other than this, the scope appears to be working
fine.

 Thank you,
 Tony
 
Mike here: When you say you placed the "telescope aside" I presume you mean it wasn't pointed at the Sun and that you removed the solar filter. So I'm not certain what the smell could be. Was a part of the telescope hot from being used IN the Sun? If so, it could be possible that some metal piece was hot.

And:

I apologize for not being detailed enough in my request.  Yes:  I
removed the solar filter and removed the scope from the sun.  I placed
the dust covers on shortly afterward.  It was a high noon-time sun, so
is it possible that the scope was warm from the use in the sun and the
oder was trapped in by the dust covers?  As I mentioned before, the
scope appears to work fine--it is just there is a persistent oder.

Thanks.
Mike here: I suspect it was just the hot plastic.
Subject:	Motor unit failure on ETX-70
Sent:	Saturday, February 5, 2005 15:50:55
From:	Anthony Favata (tonyerin@epix.net)
I have a new ETX-70 (got it for Christmas).  It worked fine until last
night (2/4/2005).  I attached an AC adapter designed for the ETX-70
(purchased through ScopeTronix).  When I attempted to align, the motor
just continued to slew the scope--pointing the scope vertically but
never coming to a stop.  I had to shut the Autostar unit off to stop the
movement.  I then replaced the batteries and attempted to run the scope
on battery power.  I then received the message motor unit failure.  I
then attempted the AC power adapter again--same problem.  Continues to
slew but does not hone in on an object.

I did nothing unusual outside of my usual routine.  However, I did have
the scope sitting outside for about 20 minutes before going out to get
things going.  It was about 35 degrees F with a little moisture in the
air.  Would this impact motor performance?

Thank you,
 Tony
 
Mike here: That temperature would have that affect, especially on AC. But when you switched power sources you should CALIBRATE MOTORS again from the Autostar's menu. Let me know if that cures the problem.
Subject:	Re: Fwd: Correct glue for tube repair
Sent:	Friday, February 4, 2005 20:47:30
From:	Catherine Zimmerman (t_zimmerman@ameritech.net)
Thanks, Mike.  Thanks also to Dr. Clay.  I bought his book "A Complete
Manual of Amateur Astronomy" many years ago and found it most helpful. 
It was pretty cool to get his advice.  Keep up the great work!
Tom

Subject:	Correct glue for tube repair
Sent:	Wednesday, February 2, 2005 19:26:26
From:	t_zimmerman@ameritech.net
I recently purchased an ETX-70 through the mail and it arrived slightly
damaged.  The tube that encases the objective lens cell is loose and I
can move it back and forth.  Is there a recommended glue for
re-attaching this part?
Thanks for your help and the great site.
Tom
Mike here: Do you mean the objective lens cell moves along the telescope tube? If so, it should BUT only a very small amount as the focus knob is turned. If it moves by itself then the shaft has become disconnected. If that is the case see the article "ETX-70AT Repair Guide" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.

And:

I've attached 2 photos that should illustrate the problem I want to
solve.  The scope focuses just fine so the cable is still attached. It's
the plastic "shroud" that's glued to the lens cell that has become
detached.  I don't want to use just any glue in case it ruins the
plastic.  Hope this helps explain my problem better.

photo photozimmerman
Thanks for your help and your quick response Tom
Mike here: Argh! I'm going to forward this to Dr. Clay Sherrod. He's our resident hardware expert:

From:	P. Clay Sherrod (drclay@tcworks.net)
This is a very delicate matter since you do not want the fumes nor
cement from affecting the coatings on the lens; I would suggest using
only Loctite Contact Cement (not the liquid superglue type, only the
thick tube type).  Apply a thin coat to both surfaces and allow to set
for about 5 minutes before attaching the components; that will allow a
tack to set in AND will give time for the fumes from exposure to oxygen
to dissipate somewhat.
That should do it.
Best of luck!

Dr. Clay
--------------------
Arkansas Sky Observatories
Harvard MPC H41 (Petit Jean Mountain)
Harvard MPC H43 (Conway)
Harvard MPC H44 (Cascade Mountain)
http://www.arksky.org/

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