ETX-60AT & ETX-70AT USER FEEDBACK
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Last updated: 31 July 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:	Carry case
Sent:	Sunday, July 31, 2005 12:33:41
From:	fanichu@aol.com (fanichu@aol.com)
Can I put my 70ETX telescope into the soft carry case MEADE came out
with for 90ETX? 
 
- Fanny
Mike here: I seemed to have misplaced my Meade case! But just eyeballing the differences between the two telescopes it could be a tight fit. I'll keep looking for my case and let you know if I find it.
Subject:	Meade ETX 70 vs ETX 90
Sent:	Sunday, July 31, 2005 12:09:15
From:	fanichu@aol.com (fanichu@aol.com)
I'm new to atronomy and purchased the ETX 70 a year ago.  Lately I've
been hearing alot on the ETX 90.  Whats the difference?
 
- Fanny
Mike here: A lot. Read my comments on the ETX-70 on the Helpful Information: Buyer/New User Tips page.
Subject:	RE: ETX - 70AT defect.
Sent:	Thursday, July 28, 2005 23:13:27
From:	Heidema, P.S. (Peter) (P.Heidema@pve.agro.nl)
The axis is locked, I even tryed it halfway.
Mike here: OK. Try the RESET, CALIBRATE MOTORS, and TRAIN DRIVES sequence.

And:

Sorry, how is this done?
Mike here: RESET is an Autostar Menu option. Just select it. You may need to re-enter your site location. CALIBRATE MOTORS is also a menu option; just select it and it runs automatically. TRAIN DRIVES is also a menu option; just follow the prompts. Be certain to do both axes.
Subject:	ETX 60 AT focusing knob is jammed
Sent:	Thursday, July 28, 2005 19:00:14
From:	main identity (kimallen07@bellsouth.net)
I recently aquired a ETX 60 AT from my nephew that had it for a few
years and never used it. We had an unfortunate incident where the tripod
was knocked over and the telescope hit the carpeted floor. Everything
seems to be ok as it was not a real hard impact, but now the focusing
knob is stuck and will not turn. Is this something I can fix myself? The
warranty is surely long gone and I would like to be able to repair it
myself if possible.
 
Thanks
 
Darryl
Mike here: Check the article "ETX-70AT Repair Guide" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page. It may help. BUT the repair may or may not be easy.
Subject:	ETX - 70AT defect.
Sent:	Thursday, July 28, 2005 06:37:20
From:	Heidema, P.S. (Peter) (P.Heidema@pve.agro.nl)
First of all a great site, I have translated some things so my oldest
son could use it.

My name is Peter Heidema, I am from the Netherland and live in small
village called Monster, it is near the Hage. Last december I bought my
son Stefan the ETX - 70AT, it is his first scope. When he is aligning
the scope there are some problems.

1)  What do they mean bij true North, is it the North on the compass or not.
2)  When the scope is in home position (pointing north on the compass
and level), and it is alligning to the first star, it is no where near
the pr selected  star.
3)  When the scope makes a 45 or 90 degrees turn the motor makes a loud
sound, the scope stops turning bud the motor keeps running.

It would be nice if you could help out.

Thanks,


Peter Heidema
p.heidema@pve.agro.nl

Please forgive my English, it has been some time I wrote this language.
Mike here: True North is different than Magnetic North (which is what a compass shows). If you can see the North Star "Polaris" use that to indicate where True North lies along your horizon. If you can not see Polaris then you can use Magnetic North but will need to adjust for your local Magnetic Variation (links on the Astronomy Links page). Getting the proper HOME position (True North) will help find that first alignment star. When slewing at high speeds the drive motors will sound louder; once it stops slewing, it begins to track, which is a much slower movement.

And:

Your quick,

Thanks so far, but what I ment about the slewing, the motor is stil
turning/spinning at high speed bud there is no movement to the left or
the right.

Peter.
Mike here: Is the axis locked or unlocked? Is is overtightened?
Subject:	Re: Attaching a ETX 70 to an 884 tripod
Sent:	Friday, July 22, 2005 21:09:50
From:	Doug Grebe (jgrebed@astound.net)
Talked to Meade this morning.  Customer Service just said that you can't
attach an ETX-70 to an 884 tripod.  Do you know who to write a letter to
at Meade to Complain that it was stupid to switch from the old 1/4-20
bolt to a new one.  I checked and the bolt for the tripod  will fit any
camera.

Doug Grebe
Mike here: Must have been a recent change. I suspect it could be to avoid users attaching the heavier ETX models to the #882 tripod. Using the #882 with those heavier models is not a good idea. As to writing to Meade, address on their web site; you can send to Customer Service.
Subject:	ETX 70AT help
Sent:	Friday, July 22, 2005 07:32:32
From:	alex kiselevich (diablo33180@yahoo.com)
hey i just got the telescope and i have read some of the things off your
website and u seem to help alot of people ok my fisrt thing to ask is
when you are looking at the full moon the picture of the moon is just
big i can not see holes or get VERY close to it close like the picture
on the box why all i see is the moon maybe like 7 times biger and closer
i see some meteor hit but not alot it was a full moon. #2 is there only
1 focus i can focus at a house near by and i dont have to change that i
look at the moon with that focus and the starts witch look the same when
i look with my eye there is just more of them and if i try to zoom in
all it gets it gets unfocus gets burly and smokey looken but the
telescope autostar and the telescope it self is well ok i saw stars in
the sky that was not there it was a bit hazy outside and the moon was
VERY bright  the most i ever seen well hopfully u can anser my things
thanks
Mike here: You can increase the magnification of the Moon (and other objects) by using eyepieces with shorter focal lengths (up to a point; see the FAQ page for in on the maximm magnification). But at Full Moon, there are no shadows so seeing craters is more difficult. As to focusing, the telescope is just like your eye; it has a different focus position for near objects vs distant objects. So focus on the Moon (when it is crisp you have achieved the right focus.
Subject:	Attaching a ETX 70 to a 884 Tripod
Sent:	Tuesday, July 19, 2005 21:10:43
From:	Doug Grebe
I am trying to attach a ETX 70 to  a 884 tripod and the threads for the
bolts don't seem to match.  Do you know the thread of the etx 70 bolts
and the bolts for a etx 90.  My 90 is in the shop and I was going to use
the 70 on the better tripod.  Is there an adapter plate or a link to
make a wood adapter plate.
 
Thanks in advance.
 
Doug Grebe
Mike here: As far as I can see the threads are the same size. But I can try my ETX-70 on my #884 later tonight. I'll let you know.
Fits fine on the #884. Bolts appear to be the same thread size (which is as I expected).

And:

I will send a digital picture of both of my bolts and the 70 appears to
have  fine pitch bolts and the 884 appears to have course.  Mine will
not thread.  They appear to be the same size just different threads.
And:
I have a fairly new ETX 70 that I purchased from Scopetronics in May.  I
thought that it would fit easily on the 884 tripod.  I have attached a
photo of the two sets of attachment bolts and you can see that they have
a different thread pitch.  I don't know when they made the switch but
they differently do not fit for my scope.  The real kicker is that the
70's bolts do not go through the tripod's threaded holes.  I am thinking
of making a wooden spacer plate and attaching the telescope to the
wooden plate and the plate to the tripod.  I haven't asked Meade's
Customer Service yet but will try that tomorrow.  Thanks again  Doug
Grebe

photo
Mike here: Hum. Looks like they changed it alright! Let me know what you hear from Meade.
Subject:	Re: [Norton AntiSpam] Re: ETX 70 Autostar failure.
Sent:	Tuesday, July 19, 2005 01:56:22
From:	Maurice Dolphin (maurice@dolphinm.freeserve.co.uk)
Hi Mike thank you for your speedy reply.  I have tried your
recommendation, and used a spirit level to ensure that the scope is
level but when I say it misses the selected star I mean by at least a
spread hand width at arms length.  I am at a loss to make any sense of
it.
Maurice.
Mike here: "spread hand width" -- sounds close to being 15 degrees, which sounds like a Daylight Savings setting set wrong. Check that.

And:

Ok Mike thanks for your help
Maurice

Subject:	ETX 70 Autostar failure.
Sent:	Monday, July 18, 2005 07:00:03
From:	Maurice Dolphin (maurice@dolphinm.freeserve.co.uk)
can you please assist me with a problem with my ETX70 autostar alignment
failure.  I am new to astronomy and owned the telescope since January
2005.  When I try to carry out the two star alignment procedure the
scope looks for the first star but finishes a long way short of the star
and below the correct altitude.  I manually centre the star and it then
goes for the second star.  The same thing happens.  I centre the star,
press enter and the autostar shows FAILURE in the screen.

I have trained the drive.  Ensured that it starts by pointing to the
north star (and I use a compass) and I have confirmed that it is
starting from the correct location, (Birmingham England.) I have even
used both yes and no for daylight saving time to see what happens, but
it is the same on both occasions other than the alignment is slightly
different for each as you would expect. I have not tried a reset because
I am not sure what this would actually do.

This is the first telescope I have owned and therefore I am not very
conversant with the technical details of telescopes.

Your assistance would be appreciated.
Maurice Dolphin
England,
Mike here: "Ensured that it starts by pointing to the north star" -- that's the problem. The proper HOME position is the tube LEVEL and pointed towards True North, not at the Pole Star.
Subject:	Joseph in San Antonio Texas EXT-70
Sent:	Saturday, July 16, 2005 20:11:49
From:	Joe (kc5mip@earthlink.net)
I have enjoyed your site and it have been real helpful. I just got from
Meade the #902  electronic eyepiece it should be in next week. have you
ever use one on the EXT 70 and will it work ok for a small scope and I
am also converting my lap top cam "Creative" to do astro-photography.
what Iam trying to do is to learn how to use the autosrat right and then
try my hand on astrophotography so it will ready me for a much bigger
scope. I was thing  in trims like a 125  EXT I think they make one.
would that do the trick. thank for your site
Mike here: I have not used an electronic eyepiece. It should work on the ETX-70 for an object like the Moon. But don't expect too much from it on other objects. Yes, there is an ETX-125 model. As with all the ETX models, it is covered on the ETX Site.
Subject:	ETX-70 Flip Mirror stuck in down position (out of box)
Sent:	Tuesday, July 12, 2005 08:09:52
From:	Kyle Dodig (elykgidod@yahoo.com)
I just purchased a new ETX-70.  I read over the user manual and looked
through your ETX site for the same type of flip-mirror problem.  I tried
to view terrestrial objects from my office window.  In order to do so, I
must move the flip mirror into the up position, but it will not move as
stated in the instructions.  The knob itself is stationed at about a
45-degree angle with the top of the knob stationed toward the back of
the scope.  The knob rattles a bit (clicks back and fourth - very
little, like a degree or so) moving what appears to be a plastic piece
inside(which I am assuming is the back of the flip mirror). The plastic
piece is balck and labeled with a recycling emblem, then the next line
reads "OTHER"; beneath that, the following line reads "ACETAL" and the
last line  reads "04-6845-00".  Is what I am seeing the back of the flip
mirror?  Am I missing something to get it to turn? Where do I go from
here?
 
Thank you,
 
Kyle D.
Mike here: It sounds as though something is interferring with the movement. Trying to force it could/would damage the mechanism and/or the flip mirror. I suggest exchanging it at your dealer.
Subject:	re:   #494 Autostar updates?
Sent:	Monday, July 11, 2005 22:03:19
From:	Richard Seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
The sequence is: Calibrate Motors, Train Drives, set Backlash Percent.

As Mike said, doing a Calibrate Motors does not necessarily invalidate
a previous Train Drives result.

Backgrounder:
http://www.weasner.com/etx/autostar/as_info.html

have fun
--dick
And:
From:	Harden Schaeffer (aitchbar1@yahoo.co.uk)
Mike & Dick:
Thanks - especially for the link.  This clarifies that question a lot.
 
Harden

Subject:	Re: ETX 70AT observing
Sent:	Monday, July 11, 2005 19:38:32
From:	Zach Ranger (hockeyfreak64@yahoo.com)
Thanks for your help.  I am thinking about purchasing a barlow lens.  Do
you have any suggestions as to what type or brand I buy that will be
compatible with my ETX 70AT?
Mike here: I would suggest the Meade 2X or 3X designed for the ETX-70 unless you plan to get higher-end telescope at some point. But in any case you need a "shorty" style Barlow Lens.

And:

I have found two barlow lenses on telescopes.com that would be
compatible for my telescope.

One was a Meade 2x lens.
http://www.telescopes.com/products/Meade_126_2x_Short-Focus_Barlow_Lens_1.25_Inch_for_all_ETX_models_6377.html

and the other a 3x lens.
http://www.telescopes.com/products/Meade_128_3X_Barlow_Lens_1.25_Inch_11433.html

The 3x gives you a higher magnification but it costs less than the 2x,
so I wasn't sure about its performance.  Which one would you suggest? 

Thanks for your help.

                      -Zach
Mike here: The #126 is a higher quality one and will suffer less visual degradation than the 3X one. You may or may not notice the difference; it can depend somewhat on your experience as well as your seeing habits and objects observed.
Subject:	ETX 70AT alignment
Sent:	Monday, July 11, 2005 19:28:40
From:	Zach Ranger (hockeyfreak64@yahoo.com)
I am having trouble aligning my telescope using the easy alignment
option.  When it tries to align itself with the correct star, the star
is not centered in the telescope.  But when I try to center it, I can't
tell which star it is supposed to be aligning with.  I know it is the
brightest star in that area and I can see it when I look up to the sky,
but when I look through my telescope I just see a bunch of stars and it
is hard to tell which one is the alignement star.  I think it is due to
the fact that the ETX 70AT does not come equipped with a spotting scope.
What do you suggest I do?  Thanks ahead of time for the help.

                           -Zach
Mike here: Sight along the side of the tube and slew the telescope until that brightest star is where the telescope is pointed. With practice you will get good at it; then you can refine the centering through the eyepiece. It will help if your HOME position and date/time/DST/location is as accurate as possible. If you think alignment star charts will help, see the article "Alignment/High Precision/Star Charts" on the Helpful Information: Autostar Info page.
Subject:	ETX 60 Azimuth Lock Assembly
Sent:	Monday, July 11, 2005 12:55:51
From:	Dan Kies (Dan@smallpartsmfg.com)
My ETX 60  quit rotating, so I took the lock assembly apart to remove
the base. After I reassembled it, the base nut keeps coming loose. What
is the correct assembly of the lock mechanism supposed to be ?
 
Thanks,
Daniel

Subject:	ETX 70AT observing
Sent:	Monday, July 11, 2005 09:39:07
From:	Zach Ranger (hockeyfreak64@yahoo.com)
I'm pretty new to astronomy and I just bought an ETX 70AT which is my
first "real" telescope.  I have done some observing in my backyard and I
can get good looks at the moon, but that's about it.  Whenever I try to
look at other objects, such as planets, all I can see is a little dot
and hardly any detail.  I have used both the 9mm and 25mm lens, but it
doesn't make any difference.  Do you suggest I get a barlow lens or a
eyepiece with a higher magnification or something?

Thanks for all the help and for your great site.

                            -Zach
Mike here: Due to the short focal length of the ETX-70, magnification is understandably limited. Yes, adding a Barlow Lens will help. You might want to read my ETX-70 comments on the Helpful Information: Buyer/New User Tips page.
Subject:	re:  #494 Autostar updates?
Sent:	Wednesday, July 6, 2005 19:21:18
From:	Richard Seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
... the "can't update a 494" was firmly established long before Diebel left.

have fun
--dick
And:
From:	Harden Schaeffer (aitchbar1@yahoo.co.uk)
After you do a CALIBRATE MOTORS, don't you have to go through the SET
BACKLASH PERCENT and TRAIN DRIVES,  too?  or do you?

I'm not too sure what all these settings do to each other.
 
Harden
Mike here: Not necessarily. Recalibration does not change other settings. But it doesn't hurt to redo the training. There are some articles on the Autostar Info page on these.
Subject:	Re: #494 Autostar updates?
Sent:	Friday, July 1, 2005 11:17:24
From:	Harden Schaeffer (aitchbar1@yahoo.co.uk)
Well, that's obviously the way it turned out; however, they sure led
their would-be customers to believe there would be firmware upgrades
available.

I tell you, Mike, I'm getting so sick of the way post-Diebel Meade is
treating its customers I can't even stand the sight of a blue CAR
anymore!
 
Harden
Mike here: I agree that there SHOULD be user-installable updates for the #494. Can't say why there isn't.

And:

Okay, one last question on the subject - I know the #497 Autostar can be
used on the ETX-70, but HOW?  My Autostars (on my ETX-125 and LX-90) get
kind of rubberbrained at 80%-83% voltage, which amounts to 9.6-9.9V. 
The '70 starts out with 9 volts.  How can a 497 live with 75% voltage
when it's not reliable at 80%?
 
Harden
Mike here: When the voltage drops have you done a CALIBRATE MOTORS? That can cure such problems. Same with the ETX-70.

And:

Ohhhhh... no, I haven't done a CALIBRATE MOTORS yet.  I've always done a
REPLACE BATTERIES instead.
 
Harden
Mike here: Have to do that even when replacing the batteries with fresh ones.
Subject:	re: ETX-70 and 506 cable sync problems
Sent:	Friday, July 1, 2005 07:52:33
From:	Richard Seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
Here's my "how to test the serial hookup" page,
but be aware that Hyperterminal cannot handle -some- USB-to-serial adapters.

http://www.weasner.com/etx/autostar/as_testing.html

have fun
--dick
And more:
OH... that "tests" page was written for the 505 cable.

The 506 cable will not operate unless it's plugged into the
AUX socket at the base of the telescope.  

So the "tie the two pins together" tests won't work
(i haven't -tried- ting the DB-9 pins together on a 506,
it -may- do the "press all keys" operation, i don't know)

So, for a 506, it's mainly the Hyperterminal stuff which is useful.

have fun
--dick

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