Last updated: 25 January 2004
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: 1244 focuser rubbing problem
Date: 1/24/04, 18:36
From: "Jim and Kathy P." (
I recently purchased the 1244 focuser for my new ETX-90EC an found that
the 1244 housing rubs on the fork when the scope gets near vertical.
Meade telephone tech support said it was normal and is not a problem. I
found the drag interfering with motor operation, especially with a
camera riding along. Still, the tech guy said it was normal. So I filed
some material off the side of the 1244 and it is much better but not
quite friction-free. I did not want to create a hole in the unit by
filing it away so I faxed a note to Meade explaining my problem and
disappointment with their tech's answer. I received a phone call from a
Meade employee saying that they have not seen this problem and would be
glad to look at it if I send it in. I am hesistant to send my new ETX
away without first asking if anyone else is familiar with this problem
and if there is a simple do-it-yourself fix or adjustment. Any advice is
Jim Porubyanski

Subject: Meade 90 etx ra opinion
Date: 1/21/04, 08:55
From: Mohit ANAND (
I plan to have a travel scope . Please opine on performance of Meade etx
ra 90mm on DSO & pLANETS .

I have Photo Tripod & Celstron eyepieces.

I have to decide between Orion 102mm & an etx.

Thanks-Mohit from India
Mike here: See the article "ETX - My First Impressions" and "Additional Impressions" on the Buyer/New User Tips page on my ETX Site. The ETX I discuss there is the original model, now known as the ETX-90RA (or ETX Astro Model M).

Subject: ETX90 feedback : ETX-90EC hardcase
Date: 1/5/04, 06:22
I know of your problem 'finderscope out of alignment'. I never managed
to fix the finderscope such firm (without damaging the screws) that it
does not get disaligned if carrying the scope (in my softcase)  So I fix
it only slightly (no harm during transport) and starting observation I
realign at a bright star. It's quick and easy. May be that helps you.

Always clear skies,
Dieter Wolf (Munich, Germany)
Yes, I suspect yours is the only practical option, unless I go back to
the straight finderscope and end up with a neck strain. Thanks for the


Subject: ETX 90 mm Maintenance - Once again
Date: 1/3/04, 17:54
From: Kedar P Badu - CDEP/GASPO (
I have one small question or rather problem with our ETX.

The Image trembles when we turn on the motor.

I guess that it is due to the tilt of the telescope as we are in the
Southern latitude (28 N) as compared to your's.

Another factor may be that the telescope looks un-symmetrical as we have
to target the object when it is low in the horizon (between 1730-2000
Hrs). The local police doesnot allow observation after 8 PM because of
the poor security situation here. So the telescope is heavily inclined
to the East in an un-symmetrical position. This is just may guess, as
there may be other factors causing the image to shake.
Is there any solution to this Problem?
Galileo Astronomical Society of Pokhara - GASPO
Pokhara Nepal
Mike here: Which model ETX-90 do you have? Are you using a tripod and if so, which one? Are you using an Autostar and if so, what mounting mode?


We use it on table top mode, scope mounted on 3 small legs, one leg at
the bottom of the scope needs to be adjusted as per the latitude of your
location for north polar alignment. We have ETX model M. We are not
using the autostar.
Hope this helps.
Mike here: Sorry about the delay in responding. I was watching the live newsconference from JPL on the Spirit Mars Rover landing this evening. There can be several causes of "image vibration" in the ETX-90RA (same as the Model M): 1) RA lock too tight, 2) Unsteady surface (i.e., shakey table), 3) Latitude Leg extended a lot (creating a balance problem as well), 4) "teflon pads" loose. If you rule out the first three, search the Site for "teflon" and you will find several references on the problem and solutions.


Thanks a lot Mike for this valuable information

By the way when are you coming to Nepal for trekking or mountaineering?
Mount Everest? Not a big problem!
Mike here: Not anytime soon...

Subject: #124 barlow with ETX90-RA?
Date: 1/2/04, 00:49
From: ga (
I was given a #124 barlow by a friend for my old ETX90-RA and it doesn't
seem to fit. Should it slide into the scope as easily and all the way in
as eyepieces do? The barlow just barely goes into the opening... maybe a
couple of mm at most. This just doesn't seem right.
Mike here: It should fit. Have you checked for nicks, burrs, or out-of-round on the silver tube?


Thanks for the reply. The barlow appears 'correct.' My initial thought
was that the 124 might actually be only for the ETX70... maybe the
eyepiece opening is 'ever so slightly' larger on it than on the ETX90?
But then again, I don't have access to a 70 to drop in the barlow. Could
explain why meade never associates the 124 with the 90.

Thanks again and thanks for the site!!!!
Mike here: All the ETX models use the same 1.25" eyepiece diameter standard.

Subject: ETX-90 EC hard case
Date: 1/1/04, 23:07
From: Greg Yeomans (
I love your site!
I just bought a used ETX-90 EC with Autostar, some extra eyepieces etc.
Included was the Meade hard carry case. I like the case, but when I
replaced the straight through viewfinder with the Meade right-angle
viewfinder, it seems the RA viewfinder is pressing hard against the case
foam. I am concerned about potential damage to the viewfinder if it is
effectively coming into contact with the case walls, and also if the
pressure on the viewfinder might push it out of alignment. Any thoughts?
Mike here: Yes, the pressure could move the finderscope out of alignment. Many people remove the finderscope (which also puts it out of alignment!). Others will re-position the finderscope (rotate it until its eyepiece doesn't reach the case side anymore).


Thanks. (a) sounds like make work. I'll try (b) and see if the resulting
postion doesn't twist my neck excessively. No free lunch, huh?

Subject: Fw: ETX90 Drive problems
Date: 1/1/04, 18:04
From: The Shudras (
Went back to Discovery Store.  Problem was the controller.  Scope drives
work fine.

Thanks for sending me an email.
What are your thoughts about Antares eyepieces?
Mike here: Glad the store was able to help you. No experience with those eyepieces.

And this:

Subject: ETX90 Drive problems - follow up ( and worn gear)
From: Tony (
Same Santa present, same problem , same night, same symptoms, as I was
trying to align the some courage, opened the bottom and find
out that one of the nylon/plastic gears was worn, lost some teeth and
therefore no more full est-west motion. Now I am trying to find the best
way to get it fixed. Do you hear the drive when you try to slew est-west
direction (RA)? If not, you might have a drive problem, and in this case
just call Meade and get it fixed, it will take time (I know the

Has anybody had my problem before...where can I find replacement gears?

Thx and Happy New Year

Thx for your great site

Mike here: Turns out their problem was the handcontroller. They got a replacement and all is well now. As to the gears, contacting Meade is one choice. Contacting Dr. Clay Sherrod for his Supercharge Tune-up service (details on the ETX Site is another. BUT if the scope is new, exchanging with the dealer is the best choice.

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