ETX-60AT & ETX-70AT USER FEEDBACK
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Last updated: 30 June 2004
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-60 Horizontal Movement Problem
Sent:	Wednesday, June 30, 2004 19:55:08
From:	Richard Dunsmore (rdunsmore63@yahoo.com)
We have an ETX-60 that is experiencing problems moving horizontally. The
vertical movement works fine but when trying to move horizontally with
the directional keys, we can hear the motor running but the telescope
does not move. The motor sounds smooth with no grinding or clunking
sounds that other readers have described. In reviewing your FAQ, one of
the items seemed to address this issue related to tightening the lock
lever. This sounded like the problem so I tried this and loosened the
set screw in the horizontal lock to allow me to tighten it further but
to know avail. I've tried the full range of different amounts of
tightness for the horizontal lock mechanism but it will still not move.
Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Rick
Mike here: Does this happen at all slewing speeds?

And:

Yes, speed seems to make no difference. Motor always sounds fine but no
movement. Thank for the quick reply.
Mike here: OK, lets try a RESET, CALIBRATE, and TRAIN DRIVES.

And:

OK, I'll give it a shot and let you know how it goes. Thanks.
And more:
Sorry, still doesn't work. RESET seemed to work okay. CALIBRATE still
didn't move horizontally so thus couldn't complete TRAIN DRIVES
procedure.
Mike here: Have you changed the batteries lately?

And:

Swapped in a new set just to test last night and behavior remained the
same.
Mike here: With the azimuth axis unlocked, can you move the telescope by hand easily both left and right several turns?

And:

I can move it but there is some resistance. Could it be too tight?
Mike here: Could be some obstruction or the locking nut inside the base is too tight.

And:

I just took off the horizontal lock lever again and tried various levels
of tightness on the locking bolt and no difference in behavior.

If it is an obstruction or the locking nut, do I need to take the base
apart to get at it. The only easily accessable area I see is some sort
of pop-off cap on the base. I popped it off and took a look but nothing
in there looks obviously wrong to me. Are any part of the visible items
under the cap supposed to move when I try to move the telescope
horizontally (because nothing does)?
Mike here: See the articles "ETX-70AT Repair Guide" and "Inside the ETX-70AT" on the Telescope Tech Tips page.

And:

OK. Thanks for all your patience and assistance. I'll let you know if
I'm successful.

Subject:	ETX70AT Guidescope Modification
Sent:	Tuesday, June 29, 2004 09:28:50
From:	tkorzeniowski@megapathdsl.net
I'm a member of the MAPUG, and own an LX90 along with a Meade ETX70AT
(which was what hooked me into astronomy). I've a no-name (Baytronix)
80mm refractor that I've mounted as a guide scope, but have been
pondering whether it might be feasible to use my ETX70AT in that mode
(better optical quality, perhaps?).

I've been in contact with Russell Optics, which had marketed modified
ETX70 guidescopes, but has discontinued that line. Gary Russell has
rings, and a 25mm reticle EP, which he'd sell me for a do-it-yourself
modification. Looking at my ETX70, and comparing it to the pic he sent
me (attached), I'm concerned that the work may be beyond my abilities,
especially as concerns the disassembly and removal of the fairings that
extend from the rear of the OTA to the fork mount.

ETX-70 finderscope
I would very much appreciate any observations or insights you might have on this issue before I proceed to order any materials. My LX90 has been returned to Meade for re-work after I experienced consistent problems with goto and tracking operations, and my little ETX70AT has helped to fill the void until it's returned. I'm reluctant to attempt modifications that would ruin the little bugger for future use. Thank you Mike. Tom
Mike here: See the article "ETX-70AT Repair Guide" on the Telescope Tech Tips page; it isn't something simple like with the ETX-90/105/125.
Subject:	Telescope advice
Sent:	Thursday, June 24, 2004 13:49:13
From:	Chris Young (csyoung04@comcast.net)
I have been reading your site sine my wife wanted to buy me a telescope
for fathers day.  I have always loved stargazing, but only really ever
did it with the naked eye.

I have been checking out various models and have found good deals on the
Meade ETX-70AT and the DS2114ATS. (both refurb. w/ warranty, $169 and
$199, respectively)

Can you offer any advice to a newbie about which one would be a better
deal. I would like to look at both planets and DSO's, but I am probably
going to spend more time observing objects that I can get the greatest
level of detail from.

I know the 2114 has a longer focal length, but am not sure how this will
correspond to what I want to see (mainly detail, which I assume would be
planets/moons), but I would also like to be able to get a look at
galaxies, etc. The ETX-70 is 350mm f/5 and the DS2114 is 910mm f/8, but
I am sure you knew that.

Is there a reason I _wouldn't_ want to spend the extra $30 for the
bigger model?

Thanks,
Chris Young
Mike here: Your inquiry is very similar to the email "Questions on Telescopes" on the General and DS Models feedback pages. Read through those emails and my responses.

And:

Thanks for your prompt reply.

I had read that page (and just re-read it to be sure).  I still didn't
see anything that directly compared/contrasted the positives and
negatives of the ETX-70 vs the DS2114.

Since both have GOTO and the DS has better focal length and max
magnification, I think I am going to go for the DS2114.  I am sure they
either unit would be a good choice.

Thanks for all the info on your site.  Well done!

Chris

Subject:	ETX70AT
Sent:	Tuesday, June 22, 2004 12:15:32
From:	Bruce Eckes (beckes@wausausteel.com)
I just purchased the Etx70at from Meade and it was a refurbished
unit.When you lock it for clockwise to counter clockwise the motors
start to skip and grind. At one point it wouldnt turn at all. I read a
little bit about it and loosened the locking device and turned the bolt
a little. After that it seemed better but I believe its too loose as it
does not lock tight.Y ou can rotate it by hand with little effort. Should
I send it back or is there a easy fix ?

Is this a good beginers scope ? How much will I get to see with it and
which lenses should I have. It came with a 25mm and a 9mm.Any help would
be appreciated.

Thanks,
Bruce
Mike here: Are you trying to overtighten the azimuth axis lock? If you try to move the telescope by hand there should be some resistance but it will still move (it is just a friction lock mechanism). As to what you can see, read my ETX-70AT report (linked from the top of the current "ETX-60, ETX-70" feedback page as well as reports from others on the Helpful Information - User Observations page. As to what additional items you should get, first get to know your telescope and decide how you plan to use it. Then you'll have a better idea of what you might need. Then you can visit the appropriate Accessory Reviews pages on the ETX Site.
Subject:	etx-60 broken by fall
Sent:	Friday, June 18, 2004 11:21:00
From:	Stan Alexander (alexander_stan@hotmail.com)
I was given an ETX-60AT by a neighbor who was moving and needed to clean
out unwanteds.  He claimed that his father (almost 90 years old) used
this telescope.  The neighbor said it had fallen over, and grandpa tried
to fix it and took it apart, but couldn't remember how to get it back
together.  It was given to me in a bag, all in parts.

2 eyepieces (w/ standard protective case)
2 lenses, 1 concave, 1 convex, neatly wrapped and bagged individually
A couple of screws and parts
A small washer
caps and covers
base unit with OTA attached

Testing the autostar tracking, it seemed to be working fine, all motors
good.  However the mirror had came off the mount, jingling around, and
the two lenses puzzled me.  The mirror, if I can get it it, I can
superglue back on the "pivoting arm" device.  All the parts and pieces,
I've found homes for in appropriate spots based on your websites
pictures and discussions.

With respect to the lenses, I can't figure out how they fit into the
tube!  It seems they are either too small in diameter for the tube, or
I'm missing a " mount ring" or something to keep the lense in its place.

Is this a lost cause?  I really want to figure it out because I love a
challenge, but most importantly, I work with youth in a shelter that
would love learn about the night sky.

My grattitude in advance for your response and advice.

Stanley Alexander
Mike here: Are these lenses roughly 60mm in diameter or much smaller?

And:

I found some clean "wedging" cardboard to test where they should be, and
it works pretty good, so I'm assuming that I'm missing a keeper/spacer
piece...is that right?
Mike here: could be

And:

Alright, I'm convinced.  Where can I get a spacer? Do you have one, or
do I contact the manufacturer?  (I live about 15 minutes from Irvine,
but somehow it doesn't make me feel more obliged)

Thanks for your input so far.

Stanley Alexander
Mike here: You could contact Meade but I doubt they will provide one. You could also contact Telescope Warehouse (link on the Astronomy Links page); they may or may not have one but might have a complete unit they would sell you.
Subject:	Re: ETX-60 question (below)
Sent:	Wednesday, June 9, 2004 01:24:58
From:	Paul Davies (paul@wizrod.com)
Once again, you are of course, exactly right. I hadn't noticed the
arrow. I guess this is one more item to add to the ETX control program
I'm writing to avoid me fumbling with the controller in the dark! (or
even in the daylight). Many thanks

cheers

Paul

Subject:	ETX-60 question
Sent:	Tuesday, June 8, 2004 09:54:06
From:	Paul Davies (paul@wizrod.com)
The #494 Autostar, contains an option to
set it to Polar alignment. However, if I select this, it is immediately
forgotten. For example, if I select the mount type from the menu, and
change the value to 'Polar', then immediately select the mount type from
the menu, again, it has returned to Alt-Az.. It allows you to select
Polar, it just refuses to remember it.

Is this something you have come across? Is the a way round it, or would
I need to get hold of a #497 Autostar to be able to use the ETX-60 in
Polar mode?

TIA

cheers

Paul
Mike here: Are you SURE it doesn't remember it? Where is the ">" pointer? The value that appears first when you go to this menu item may not be the one that is selected.
Subject:	Refurbished ETX-70 feedback and power questions
Sent:	Tuesday, June 8, 2004 08:49:24
From:	McGettigan Family (mcgettis@peak.org)
I just ordered one of the refurbished ETX-70's from Anacortes Telescope,
it was cheap and there is a full warranty with it. Have you heard any
feedback at all from others so I know what to keep an eye out for? Also,
I have a 12 volt, 7amp/hr battery that I use with my Atlas 8. What is
the simplest way to modify it for the ETX use?

Thanks!
Steve
Mike here: No feedback yet but perhaps someone will respond after I post your email tonight. As to power supplies, see the "Power Supplies" section on the Telescope Tech Tips page.
Subject:	ETX-70AT Grinding noise.
Sent:	Sunday, June 6, 2004 10:48:56
From:	Rajasi Joshi (rajasi24@yahoo.com)
You website has been very helpful to me so far. And I am hoping you will
be able to help me with the problem I am having with my scope. I just
bought ETX-70 and I have been trying to align the telescope using the
Easy two star alighment option. Now before I start the alignment
process, I am able to move the telescope using the arrows just fine. But
once I align it, it makes this grinding noise and wont respond to any
commands. I have used the Reset function, just incase, and went through
the whole process of setting it up again. I was not able to follow the
steps to train the drive as it wont respond to any of the arrows.

Now here's other thing, I tried to update the software on #494 Autostar
using the download feature and it was basically frozen and so after
waiting for 30 minutes or so, I decided to turn it off. I started having
these problems after I tried connecting it to the computer and
downloading the software. I am not sure if they are related.

I also checked the horizontal and vertical locks just to make sure that
they are not over-tight or tooloose. But they just seem fine to me.
 
 Please help.

Thank you,
Rajasi.
Mike here: There is NO update for the #494 Autostar. The Autostar Update application should not have tried to update it. When you RESET the Autostar, you now need to do the CALIBRATE and TRAIN DRIVES again. Be certain to check the proper telescope model and mounting mode. You say you couldn't do the TRAIN DRIVES; have you tried to change the slewing speed?

And:

I am not too sure if I changed the slewing speed or not. I will give it
a try once I get back home. Where can I find instructions on how to
CALIBRATE?

I wasn't able to TRAIN DRIVE because it wont respond to the arrow keys,
it just keeps making this grinding noise. Also Do I need to align the
telescope to Train Drive?

Thanks a lot.
Mike here: There is nothing to do when selecting CALIBRATE other than just selecting it from the menu. The drives will run and that's it. Then do the TRAIN DRIVES. Aligning is done to actually use the Autostar to GOTO objects. Do the training in the day time on a distant object.

And:

I will give that a try. Thank you.

Subject:	ETX 70 for novice????
Sent:	Saturday, June 5, 2004 08:36:39
From:	dawn Yana (mdyana@sbcglobal.net)
Perhaps you could let me know if you have any feedback on the ETX 70 for
a novice.  I had a bad experience with the DSX90 from Brookstone
(defective & returned)and they told me that the 70 was so bad that the
company was no longer carrying them.  I strongly suspect that I was
being "fed" a line and thought you might shed some "light".

Thanks for any advice.

Dawn Yana
Mike here: See the Helpful Information - User Observations page for reports on the ETX-70. Also see my report on the ETX-70, linked from the top of the "ETX-60, ETX-70" Feedback page. Keep in mind that the focal length of the ETX-70 is much shorter than the ETX-90. So depending upon your expectations, you may or may not be satisfied. But read those reports.
Subject:	meade etx70
Sent:	Thursday, June 3, 2004 12:49:43
From:	Kmhusbands@aol.com (Kmhusbands@aol.com)
I have just got a ETX70 & on setting up I wish to input the country of
UK but there isn't any countrys in the menu. please can you assist.

 malcolm
Mike here: Since you just got it, do a RESET on the Autostar (under the SETUP menu); that will restore the "factory default" condition and you will get all the new-user prompts.
Subject:	ETX-70AT loose focus knob
Sent:	Monday, May 31, 2004 22:03:47
From:	Robert Edmondson (raehot@hotmail.com)
The focus knob on my ETX-70AT has a lot of "play" in it.  There is an
empty space about 1/2 revolution wide where the knob is not moving the
optics.  I have to turn through this area of play in either direction as
I do fine focussing.  The knob itself is not loose on the focus shaft
though.  I am planning to buy a focus extender, but I do not expect that
to solve this problem of too much play in the focus mechanism.  Is there
anything I can do to tighten it up and eliminate the empty space in the
focus rotation?

- Robert
Mike here: Not easy but see the article "ETX-70AT Repair Guide" on the Telescope Tech Tips page. Something there might help.

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Copyright © 2004 Michael L. Weasner / etx@me.com
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