Last updated: 28 June 2003
This page is for user comments and information specific to the Meade ETX-90RA (originally known as the "ETX Astro") and the ETX-90EC. 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:	ETX 90 RA
Sent:	Friday, June 27, 2003 11:01:03
From: (L&P Schmidt)
I have a ETX 90 RA and was wondering if I somehow get a Autostar fork
mount and base to attach the ETX 90 scope to instead of having to
purchase a complete ETX 90 EC setup.The Meade site does not have any
contact info that I could find there.

Lenny Schmidt
Mike here: See the FAQ page. Also, see the Telescope Tech Tips page for alternatives.
Subject:	Questions about ETX 90
Sent:	Thursday, June 26, 2003 21:41:41
From: (brian may)
Hi, Im a very new beginner into astronomy, Im planning to buy a ETX 90.
The question is whether to select the estandard ETX90 AT or the one with
UTHC coatings which is suposed to give about 20% more light gathering.
From your experience, do you think that a very new astronomer hobbist
can tell the difference between those models? The price difference is
only about $50 and I would like to know if that extra money is worthy of

Thank you very much
Mike here: Images WILL be brighter in the UHTC model. I've compared the views through an ETX-90 without UHTC and one with; the difference was very noticeable.
Subject:	ETX 90RA Motor Drive Accuracy
Sent:	Monday, June 23, 2003 05:21:17
From: (Hank)
As a new person to this I have gravitated to photographing the moon. I
have had OK results with a 2.1 MPl camera. I recently upgraded to a 5 MP
camera an am waiting for a good night to try it out on the moon and

My concern is that I really dont know how to judge if the polar
alignment is correct.  I seem to have the objects not maintain a
stationary position through the eyepiece.  I followed the instructions
with the RA but found that there was nothing said about leveling the
scope which is mounted on the Meade mount with the tilt base. I need a
checklist and a way to measure whether the scope's motor is working
properly.  Or does this device have a history of inaccuracy that is
known and requires adjustment.  Appreciate any comments.  Thanks.
Mike here: When properly polar aligned, the drive normally tracks well enough for visual work but not for long duration astrophotography. There are some drive mods described on the Telescope Tech Tips page.


Thanks.  I bet you get lots of emails and you have done a great job with
the web site.  I am not too much of a techie but I can see where lots of
folks eat this up.  While I have your attention,  I am led to believe
that the ETX90 will not be adequate to see any features on Mars. If that
is true then what would I need to go to an ETX 125?
Mike here: Thanks. Depends upon what "features" you expect to see. You will see a Polar Icecap and dark areas. Maybe even a storm dust (although we hope not!). Larger telescopes will obviously show more.
Subject:	ETX90EC Vertcal lock problem
Sent:	Thursday, June 19, 2003 15:23:52
From: (Paul Atkins)
I recently purchased an ETX90EC and had excitedly unpacked and set up
the scope to begin the usual familiarisation process. All was fine,
during the early evening had viewed the moon, impressed with product.

Then I started having a problem with the Dec motors/clutches, the OTA
would only move approx 5 degrees in either direction before a loud
clicking noise could be heard (suspect clutch noise). The manual is
specific in its instruction regarding the tightness of the vertical lock
knob 'to a firm feel only'. I had followed this instruction yet still
ran into trouble. Having discussed the issue with the UK importers of
Meade Scopes they suggested tightening and then loosening the vertical
lock several times. Tried this as requested, but no improvement. So I
have returned the scope to the supplier and await either a replacement
or rectification of my scope.

Is this fault common with ETX range? Or have I messed up in some way and
if so how do I avoid doing it again? Would feel somewhat embarrassed to
have only had scope for 12 hours before breaking it.

Looking forward to your response.


Paul G Atkins
Mike here: I suspect some mechanical problem developed. And no, such failures are not common but can occur (as with any mechanical device). Keep me posted.
Subject:	QUESTION ABOUT etx90
Sent:	Thursday, June 19, 2003 14:50:32
From: (jose moctezuma)
Im trying to get started into this amazing universe of astronomy and Im
willing to buy the ETX 90 AT (thas is the one that already comes with
the autostar thing). Ive also got a pair of binoculars to start learning
the sky and here is where my question prompts. Since I wear glasses Ive
found some problems trying to focus both eyepieces of my binoculars. Now
taking about the ETX90AT, do I have to look for a special kind of
eyepiece in order to correct my eyes focusing? I have astigmatism and
myopic problems. Can I take my glasses off while stargazing? I would be
very glad if you help me with these questions, by the way your website
has helped me a lot in deciding for the ETX 90, oh my second choice for
a telescope is the DS 2070AT also from Meade, do you have any experience
with that one? Would you recommend it for a very beginner? Thanx a lot.
Jose M. from Mxico
Mike here: I have no experience with the DS models but they do make nice models for a beginner. So does the ETX-90. To see if you need to wear your glasses when looking through the telescope, try just focusing the binoculars when using just one eye. If you can see a clear image with a single eyepiece on the binoculars you should be OK with the telescope.


Ok I did the test: One eye, one eyepiece and Im afraid I cant get the
image as clear as I do wearing my glasses so I guees I will have to use
them while stargazin although it will reduce the field of viewing, is
that right? So dou you think itll be ok to use the standard eyepiece
included with the ETX and my glasses? Is there a better choice so I get
the most out of the view widht?

And once again thank you very much for that quick response and your

Ill let you know as soon as I discover a new comet.....(just
kiddin........well, anything can happen)
Mike here: You can fold down or remove the rubber eye guard on most eyepieces for use when wearing eyeglasses. So, yes, the standard 26mm eyepiece can be used with eyeglasses. The alternative is purchasing eyepieces with long eye reliefs.
Subject:	ETX 90 Question
Sent:	Thursday, June 19, 2003 13:34:28
From: (Gerhard Watzig)
There are some good deals for the ETX 90 on ebay.  I am thinking of
getting one.  I currently have a 10" dobsonian, and a Celestron C90 with
RA drive and a wedge.  I like the portability of the C90, and the great
optics.  I was able to observe the comets hit Jupitor on this little
scope from my backyard in Portland Oregon.  I really hate the barrel
focuser on the C90 and that is why I am contemplating geting the ETX 90.
Are the optics as good on the ETX as the C90?.  Thanks for your time.
Mike here: If you are familiar with the Questar 3", the ETX-90 optics have been favorably compared to the Questar. I have no experience with the C90 but a properly collimated and maintained ETX-90 will perform admirably, as you can read on the ETX Site.


Thank you for the information. Happy seeing!

Gerhard Watzig

Subject:	Expected view through the eyepiece
Sent:	Tuesday, June 17, 2003 06:19:54
From: (Marty Muench)
What a great website!  Do you or perhaps one of the people who visit
your website know of any pictures of planets, galaxies, clusters (etc.,
etc., etc.,) taken from the eyepiece of an ETX-90EC scope, but are not
stacked and processed?  In other words, I would like to get an idea of
what I can expect to see through the eyepiece during times of average
and/or good "seeing".

I purchased my ETX-90 EC about three months ago and I must say that I am
more than a little disappointed with what I can see, as well as the
usual tracking, backlash, etc. problems with the scopes motors,
creeping, image shift, etc.

I have been unable to see colors in any object (planets, stars, etc.) 
Everything is white, including Mars.  On Jupiter, I can barely make out
the 2 main bands, I haven't been able to see Saturn's Cassini Division,

I understand that seeing conditions are  not always perfect (or even
good), but I have probably used the scope 15 times, and .I can't believe
that seeing was that poor each of those times.

I have been using the standard 26mm as well as the # 125 2X Barlow, 4mm
and 6mm Plossl.  Anyway, I would like to be able to see what I can
expect, so I am seeking photos that show the view from the eyepiece with
out processing, etc.

Thanks in advance for any help that you may provide,
MIke here: First off, photographs, even unprocessed ones, will not show the same image as the eye will see. But to help, see the articles on Telescope Performance on the Observational Guides/References page. You could have poor seeing or be expecting too much. You could also be exceeding the maximum magnification depending upon the eyepiece+barlow combination.
Subject:	ETX what??
Sent:	Monday, June 16, 2003 18:16:44
I have recently been looking into the ETX series and its seems as if
they have two cheaper telescopes with pretty good optics for a resonable
price, the ETX 70 and the ETX 90. Right now I have about A $400 to $500
budget, and I am mainly intrested in the ETX 90, but on you site and
others they have two seperate models The ETX-90 and the ETX-RA. Whats
the diffrence between theese two? And do both come with the AutoStar


Mike here: The ETX-90RA is the original ETX model (1996). In 1999 the ETX-90EC arrived with the optional Autostar controller. Today that model has the Autostar included, hence the "AT" designation. The ETX-70 and ETX-90 are not the same design; one is a refractor (-70) and the other a Maksutov-Cassegrain. And no, the RA model can not be upgraded to an Autostar-capable model.
Subject:	Autotracking accessories for ETX 90 RA?
Sent:	Friday, June 13, 2003 16:03:21
Hi again, 
You help with my last wuestion has allowed me to take some wonderful
shots of the moon.  Now I'd like to try stars and Jupiter, however, I
find it very annoying to try and focus on Jupiter while it moves so fast
in the sky.  Is there anything available to allow my ETX90RA to track
better than the clock drive?  I was reading on your site about the
romote motor add-ons by scopetronix as well as JMI but they don;t seem
to exist as most of that post is more than a year old.  Can you help me
in steering me in the right direction?  Thanks again.

Dez Lee
Newbie Astrophotographer.
Mike here: When the EC model came out, the market for those types of add-ons for the ETX-90RA rather went away (unfortunately). You might still be able to find some for sale at some of the "used or discontinued item dealers". Alternatively, you could buy a new mount that has dual drive movement and attach the ETX to it.
Subject:	ETX90 Secondary Baffle fell off
Sent:	Sunday, June 8, 2003 19:39:59
From: (B R U C E   B E R G E R)
Stumbled (Googled, rather) across your web site after someone gave our
club an older ETX90 as a donation. This is an older scope with just an
RA clock drive - no hand controller, no Dec motor, etc.

The problem with the scope is that the secondary baffle was loose inside
the OTA. I've disassembled the scope and retrieved the baffle. It
appears that it was put on with double stick tape, and it seems possible
that its former owner let it get a little too hot in a car.

I have made several scopes, and have refurbished everything from
Newtonians to 14" Celestron SCT scopes. What I'm saying is that I know
what I'm doing (usually) and am not afraid of this stuff.

My question is, after I get the glue residue off of the secondary and
primary, clean the filthy flip mirror, etc., how would I best re-attach
the secondary baffle? I searched your site, and other than a couple of
posts on cutting the secondary baffle in half, no other posts address my

Bruce Berger
Vice President, Amateur Telescoep Makers of Boston
Mike here: See the article "ETX-90RA Secondary Baffle Fix" on the Telescope Tech Tips page. You will likely need to recollimate after reattaching the baffle; collimating is not an easy task.


I found the article. Thanks, Mike.....

Subject:	ETX-90RA Declination Lock broken
Sent:	Tuesday, June 3, 2003 08:41:41
From: (Richard Moon)
My declination lock is broken making it difficult to operate. The
plastic clamp section has snapped where the lock rod passes through. Is
there a replacement piece I can purchase to replace the broken
I live in Yorkshire in the uk.
Would be glad of some help with this.


Richard Moon
Mike here: You would have to contact Meade directly for any replacement part. I don't know whether they consider this a "user replaceable part" or not.
Subject:	Hi
Sent:	Sunday, June 1, 2003 22:33:44
From: (Dez Lee)
I feel bad for bothing you with a very Newbie question, but here is my
question.  I just bought an ETX 90 and it's awesome, but I can't seem to
polar align it.  The only real problem I have is that in the manual, it
says to set the center leg to my latitude.  Well I'm in Calgary, Canada
and my latitude dosen't show up (51.04N).  I'm stumped because I want to
learn how to track and find object, but I can't without aligning the
telescope first. Please help if you can.  Anthing will be appreciated. 
Thank You.

Dez Lee
Head Coach
Jing Wo Martial Arts of Canada
Mike here: It sounds like you have the ETX-90RA with the table top legs. There is a High Latitude leg available from Meade. I forget how high it goes though. Alternatively, you could make (see the Telescope Tech Tips page) or buy (see Accessory Reviews - Tripods) or tripod or other mount.

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