Last updated: 4 August 2006

This page is for user comments and information specific to the Meade ETX-60AT, ETX-70AT, ETX-80AT-TC, and ETX-80BB. Additional information 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 initialization
Sent:	Friday, August 4, 2006 05:21:10
From:	Gail Bradshaw (
During the initialization process, I came to a step which asked which
model telescope, the ETX 60 or 70.  Unfortunately, my friend was pushing
the hand held remote and skipped over that step.

Now, I cannot figure out how to go back to verify if the correct model
was entered.
Mike here: Go to the SETUP -> TELESCOPE menu and select TELESCOPE MODEL, then ETX-70.


I am very sorry but how do you get to or navigate to SETUP?

I should admit to you that I am technologically challenged.

Mike here: When you power up the telescope, press MODE several times until you see SETUP. Press ENTER. Use the UP/DOWN scroll arrows keys to scroll through the options. Press ENTER when you get to the one you want. For more on using the Autostar, see the telescope manual.
Subject:	ETX 70 - Mount for Optical Tube Only
Sent:	Tuesday, August 1, 2006 17:26:51
From:	Ron Schulte (
I have an ETX 70 optical tube which has been removed from the original
mounts. It still has the plastic pinion assembly mounted on the tube. I
would like to mount the OTA by using a mounting ring, but am at a loss
as how to remove the plastic pinion assembly without damaging the OTA.
Can you help?

Subject:	EXT-70AT - Language change
Sent:	Monday, July 31, 2006 23:17:44
From:	Martin Clayton (
I have just purchased the EXT-70AT and am learning the functions but
slightly hindered by the fact that I mainly live in Spain and bought the
unit there.

I have downloaded the manual in English so that part is easy but the
Autostar is in Spanish. I have been on the net and have tried the one
method of changing to English but it appears that I may only have a
Spanish Rom.

Is there a way I can acquire and English ROM?

Meanwhile, the telescope is superior to my previous devices and the
Autostar is remarkable. A very clever device and also the optics are
good too.

Best regards

Martin Clayton
Mike here: If changing the country didn't change the language then only that language is installed. You have a couple of choices: work an exchange with your dealer (or Meade) or get a #497 and install the English language software yourself.


Thanks for responding - no sweat on times at all..

Before I go down the path of buying another unit, (this one is from
Spain and I am in Spain so can't really complain about language) is the
instructions in the FAQ correct.. when I go through it I just come back
to the copyright header and Sun Warning..
The FAQ is as follows:
Q. My Autostar is displaying a foreign language. How do I change it?
A. Turn on the telescope, press "ENTER" for the date, "ENTER" for the
time, and then "ENTER" for Daylight Savings. Next press MODE once and
then press the up arrow key (lower left of the keypad) once. Press ENTER
twice to reset. You should now be at the language prompt. This assumes
that your Autostar ROM contains multiple languages.
If this is the case, can the ROM be acquired and changed?

That's it, the location here is good for dark skies as it looks out over
the Med so very little light pollution but have restricted vision and my
main quadrant is North to South East and currently the moon is out of my
line of vision so cant wait until it all starts happening..

Best regards

Martin Clayton la Duquesa
Mike here: The FAQ is correct, if, as it says, your Autostar contains multiple languages. If your Autostar does not, then you are stuck as there is no user-installable update for the Autostar #494.
Subject:	[none]
Sent:	Monday, July 31, 2006 20:11:03
From:	C SMITH (
Mike here: Your message was originally classified as SPAM and DELETED UNREAD due to the missing subject. PLEASE read the Email Etiquette item on the ETX Site Home Page. Thanks for understanding.
As noted on Meade's Autostar page (, the #497 works with all ETX models,
Subject:	RE: ETX-70 AT: motor doesn't stop
Sent:	Monday, July 24, 2006 13:31:58
From:	Johann Jungbacker (
Thanks for your reply, I appreciate it. I will get some new batteries
and callibrate the motor; I'll let you know the result.

Kind regards,


Subject:	Question on SuperCharge
Sent:	Tuesday, July 18, 2006 22:08:15
From:	DJuan Carter (
I was scouring the web searching for information on the ETX-70 telescope
when I came across your site.  It has been a great resource for me as i
try and get into astronamy. The question I have is I was thinking about
getting Dr. Clay's SuperCharge service done to my telescope but I am not
sure if if it is worth it.  I have a ETX-70 with 494 autostar
controller.  I purchased this telescope second hand and I am not sure of
the condition of its optics or any other of the other functions of the
scope.  I do know that I can manually align jupiter and the RA and DEC
seem to be off with where it is supposed to be in the sky and where it
actually is. I know currently that scope i have is selling second hand
for about 120 dollars and the supercharge service costs about 250 or so.
Should I look into investing in a newer scope or do you think that the
supercharge service could find and fix any flaws that my scope might

Thanks for your time.

DJuan Carter
Mike here: If Dr. Clay does the ETX-70 models, it may or may not be worth it to you, depending on whether the ETX-70 will be a telescope that will meet your expectations.
Subject:	Re: Eyepiece Question
Sent:	Sunday, July 16, 2006 10:51:17
From:	Daniel McCormick (
Thanks for the reply!  I looked in your FAQ and found my answer, however
I'm still a little confused.  I would like to purchase the Series 4000
eyepeice set/filter adapters/and aluminum case.  However, I do not want
to buy this and possibly wasting my money if the eyepeice won't work. 
It looks like some might be to big to fit but I'm not sure.  Again, I'm
using the ETX-70 and around the lense, it says F=350mm, D=70mm f/5.0. 
If you could help, it would be great!  Thanks.
Mike here: The eyepieces will work; they are all 1.25" diameter, same as the ETX uses. HOWEVER, keep in mind that max magnification.


What would the max eyepeice look like from the series 4000 in my
telescope?  How blury would it be?  Also, if you had the etx-70, would
you buy this kit?  Thanks!


hmm now that I am looking, I see that Series 4000 has a 6.4mm eyepiece
and that is smaller than my 25mm eyepiece that is standard with this
telescope.  Why do they offer smaller eyepieces?  What is the
advantage/disadvantage of them?  Thanks!


Sorry, I ment to ad that then I see a 40mm eyepiece that I like a lot! 
Thanks Mike, your great!


edit: I had that reversed ... Sorry for all of the emails!
Mike here: I have the ETX-70 (see my comments on the Helpful Information: Buyer/New User Tips page) and I have several of the Series 4000 eyepieces. Whenever you get close or exceed the maximum theoretical magnification on any telescope the image breaks down and gets fuzzy. As the FAQ says, brighter objects experince this less than dimmer objects; dim objects may become invisible. The reason for having eyepieces of various focal lengths is to provide different amounts of magnification; see the FAQ page again for how to determine magnification using the eyepiece and telescope focal lengths.


Thank you.  First off, I hope you don't mind all of the e-mails!  You
provide great help, along with great service!  What is the difference
between the ETX-70 and the ETX-70AT?  On the bottom of my scope, it just
says ETX-70 however, I cannot find the ETX-70 on the Meade site anywhere
- my manual is also for the ETX-60AT and ETX-70AT.  So, do you think it
would be worth using some of my graduation ( H.S.) money to buy new
eyepieces?  I would like to just be able to see more detail in planets. 
A few nights ago I was able to see Jupiter and its four moons, however,
Jupiter just looked like a very bright star - I saw no detail.  Would
more magnification help this?  Thanks so much, Mike!

Mike here: They are the same; the AT models includes the Autostar as standard and tripod as standard equipment. Whether adding shorter length eyepieces will provide you with a view that will match your expectations only you can say. Keep in mind that the ETX-70 is a short focal length telescope, best suited to wide angle and low magnification views. See my comments on the ETX-70 as well as that of other ETX-60 and 70 users on the Helpful Information: User Observations page.


hm that's strange.  I got mine about a year ago from the Discovery
store.  It came with the standard field tripod and autostar all
Mike here: Nothing strange about that. The "EC" model was only available a short time before Meade went with the AT model.


ah ok ... thats a little dissapointment as long as there isnt much of a
difference in the magnification in the scope itself.  So, do you think I
should go for this set?  Will there more of a good or dramatic
improvement?  Thanks again!
Mike here: The AT model is newer than the EC but there is NO diffence in the telescope itself; just in what is included (Autostar and tripod). As to eyepieces; do the math and decide for yourself which ones you should get. Don't get ones that give similar magnifications. Also, you might consider the #124 Barlow Lens which doubles the effective magnification of any eyepiece. That can essentially double your selection of available magnifications.


hm ok ... so I should just buy individual eyepieces - thats better to do?
Mike here: That is an option. Depends on prices. For more on eyepieces, see the Accessory Reviews: Eyepieces page. Keep in mind that what 1.25" eyepieces you buy today can be used if you decide to upgrade to a larger telescope.


yes ... i'm sorry if I asked this, but what eyepiece(s) do you use with
ur etx-70?
Mike here: I'm the wrong person to answer that. Since I have so many telescopes (and the others have longer focal lengths), I use the ETX-70 for wide angle viewing, hence I typically stick with the 25mm eyepiece.


Thanks for all of your help Mike!  I think I'm going to go with the kit...
hopefully I wont be dissapointed! :)


Subject:	ETX-70 AT: motor doesn't stop
Sent:	Friday, July 14, 2006 10:05:46
From:	Johann Jungbacker (
My father in law bought the ETX-70 AT and i currently I may use this
telescope for a while.

But something strange occurred; when I use the arrow keys to move the
telescope, the motor won't stop and keeps moving the tube until the
limit is reached. The only thing I can do to stop this, is turning of
the power, we used it this way before without any problems. The only
thing I can think of is that the battery power is to low because I left
it on for some days, but it's still strange that the tube moves when
battery are low?

I did a reset but it didn't solve the problem and moving the telescope
manually is not something that works very well

Maybe you know what's wrong?
Thanks in advance,
Johann (from Holland)
Mike here: Low battery power can cause all sorts of oddities. Replacing with fresh ones is probably called for. When you put in new batteries you should always to a CALIBRATE MOTOR from the Autostar's Telescope menu; this sets things for the new power level. The same thing applies if the power gets really low and you don't have a spare set handy; do a CALIBRATE MOTOR and you may improve things (temporarily).
Subject:	Eyepiece Question
Sent:	Friday, July 14, 2006 08:55:03
From:	Daniel McCormick (
First, great job with your site.  Keep it up!  I am using the Meade
ETX-70 scope which I think is a great little scope.  Can you tell me the
maximum eyepiece I could use in my scope before the image would get too
distorted?  The 25mm and 9mm just aren't cutting it too much for me. 

Mike here: For how to determine the maximum theoretical magnification for any telescope, see the FAQ page.
Subject:	ETX-80AC-TC Flip up Barlow
Sent:	Monday, July 10, 2006 10:57:30
From:	Chris Nowland (
I having been studying astronomy for awhile but finally purchased my
first scope.  I went small to ensure my enjoyment, especially due to my
light polluted area.  I purchased the ETX-80AC-TC online.  Up to this
point, I am enjoying the views and capabilities of this scope.  I have
been slewing now, not using the GOTO function, due to cloudy nights.  I
know I will buying the big one by years end.

My question is:  When I have Jupiter focused using the 9.2 plossel,
things look great.  When switching to the Barlow, I am unable to locate
Jupiter.  Not sure what I am doing wrong.  Do I need to have the scope
aligned?   Do I have to use th GOTO feature to keep it centered?
Thanks for your help in advance.
Mike here: If the object is centered when using the eyepiece by itself it should be reasonably centered with the Barlow Lens. However, there could be slight image shift (I don't have the ETX-80 so don't know how much). It could be just enough to put the object just outside the field of view. Also, you may have to refocus the image (again, don't have one so don't know for sure).
Subject:	controlling  a meade etx80 with xp
Sent:	Monday, July 10, 2006 10:06:27
From:	Nigel Harrison (
Hope you can help with info or direction to the right part of your

Just purchased an ETX80 and lpi. Got the lpi to work no problems, but
how do I get autostar on the pc ( not the hand held version) to drive
the scope?

Any help would be appreciated.

Cheers Nigel, UK
Mike here: To use the LPI Autostar Suite software with the ETX you need to have an Autostar #497 instead of the Autostar #494 that comes with the ETX-80. Then you can use the #505 serial cable that came with the LPI to connect to a computer's RS-232 serial port. Alternatively you can use a #506 serial cable (which you will have to purchase) and any software package that will talk to the Autostar (except the Autostar Suite). If your computer has only USB you will need a USB-serial adapter; see the article "Autostar and USB" on the Helpful Information: Autostar Info page.
Subject:	Motor failure error on ETX  70AT
Sent:	Thursday, July 6, 2006 19:47:23
From:	krcm (
First off great site, Lots of helpful info! I am new to astronomy, I
purchased the above scope for my daughter from an older woman who never
really took it out of the box.

I am having  a slight problem with this scope, Every time i try to align
it gives me a motor drive failure error. I have even placed it directly
under polaris and did a one star alignment and it still gives me this
error. There is a #497 handbox attched to it w/ 1.9 software on it
(circa 1999?), I am guessing that this may be the root my problem? My
main question to You is would a simple software upgrade solve my
headaches?  I am quickly finding that I have developed more interest in
it than I have anticipated (having since spent a great deal of $ on
books). The inability of the autostar to function has actually helped me
do my own "homework", So i guess thats a good thing.

I appreciate your insight!
Sean Conway
Mike here: The software likely pre-dates the ETX-70 so updating to the current version will solve that problem. But you can check by checking the telescope model menu and see if the ETX-70 appears. If not, do the update. Doing the update won't hurt so you should update it anyway. If the ETX-70 model does appear, do a CALIBRATE MOTOR and TRAIN DRIVES from the Autostar menu. That may solve it; if not do a RESET, CALIBRATE MOTOR, and TRAIN DRIVE. Otherwise, be certain that you are not overtightening the axis locks.


Thanks for the quick response! I will follow your instructions below,
They are greatly appreciated.

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