Last updated: 30 June 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:	ETX-70 loose flip mirror
Sent:	Tuesday, June 28, 2005 22:23:19
From:	Manda Mafy (
I received an ETX-70 with a loose flip mirror. I want to open the tube
housing to get the mirror and glue it back in place but can't seem to
figure out how to open the tube. I unscrewed the screws at the back end
of the tube but have no idea what I'm unscrewing.
Any suggestions?
Erik Mulder
Mike here: Check the article "ETX-70AT Repair Guide" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page for some guidance. HOWEVER, this is not something you should undertake lightly. You can affect the optical performance of the telescope by misaligning the mirror or even damage the mirror or the flip mechanism. If the scope is new I recommend you contact your dealer for an exchange.
Subject:	Blue/red halo images with etx70 with meade 5mm lens 
Sent:	Tuesday, June 28, 2005 20:13:25
From:	SimHall (
I purchased a 5mm plossl lens and the images appears to have a ghost
type blue/red halo to it. At least during the day not sure at night but
would assume so

My 9mm and 28mm seem fine perhaps a slight halo with the 9mm.

Is this normal for this scope? I am using with the mirror so perhaps
that might be the cause?

Would the super plossl lens being higher quality iliminate this?

Thanks Lindsey
Mike here: This is normal with low-end refractors.


So would this be the same with the etx90?
Mike here: No. The ETX-90 is not a low-end refractor. In fact, it is not a refractor at all, it is a Maksutov-Cassegrain.
Subject:	#494 Autostar updates?
Sent:	Tuesday, June 28, 2005 12:09:48
From:	H Schaeffer (
I'm trying to help a friend with his ETX-70, and I can't find the
updates for the #494 Autostar on the Meade website.  Where are they?

Also, will the #361 updater (or the latest version, #4-something) work
on the 494?
Harden Schaeffer
Mike here: If you looked at this page: and didn't see any for the #494 that is because Meade has never released any user-installable updates for the #494. 3.61 and 4.1 (really 4.2 currently on Meade's site even though it says 4.1) will work with any Autostar for all functions except updating the #494 since there are no updates.


Thanks, Mike.  Count on you to come up with information on the ETX
that's unavailable elsewhere. 

Isn't that just like Meade these days - make a hanset that's
upgradeable, sell you a cable for upgrading it, and then not provide any
upgrades.  I get more disgusted with those jackasses by the minute. 
Mike here: Actually I think the #506 cable is marketed as a way to use to a computer to control the telescope, not do any upgrades since Meade has made no upgrades available.
Subject:	ETX-70 and 506 cable sync problems
Sent:	Monday, June 27, 2005 08:29:35
From:	Patton, Dale (
looking for a source with information on the ETX-70, 494 Contoller and
#506 cable.  I've tried loading software and etc, on the 506 on two
laptops, can't get a sync with the com ports on either computer.  Says
rs232 connection and comports not connected or protocal not set. 
Getting frustrated, has their been problems with the cable, or I'm doing
something wrong.  Even tried to use a IOMEGA RS232 to usb adapter ,
hoping to connect that way. But can't get anyware.

Can you give me some advice?


Dale Patton
Mike here: From your message it is unclear whether you are using a real RS-232 port (not a modem port) or a USB-serial adapter. There have been issues with some USB-adapters (although I've had good luck with my Keyspan one on my Macintosh).
Subject:	re: A 9 volt PS for the ETX-70AT
Sent:	Sunday, June 26, 2005 11:12:03
From:	Richard Seymour (
> What do the batteries have that my PS doesn't have??

Absolutely -no- ripple.  I didn't see the word "capacitor" anywhere in
your circuit description.

>... that the telescope goes to the first alignment star then
>stalls!!  And then it just sits there and sort of chatters ...

These are also symptoms of not having done a 
Setup > Telescope > Calibrate   
operation -before- attempting the alignment.

Since you radically changed the power supply,
 a Calibrate operation is a MUST DO.

I have successfully run my ETX-70AT from a 1 amp wall-wart 9v supply...
but remember that the cheap wall-warts can supply -more- than their
rated voltage, if they're not being asked to supply their rated current.

Sometimes a carefully regulated supply is -not- the answer one wants...

have fun
From: (
There's quite a large capacitor across the output of my AC to DC
converter--I think it's well filtered.  In a later message I wrote, I
mentioned that I had changed the step-down transformer output current
rating from a 2.0 ampere to a 3.0 ampere by using a different
transformer and it had a secondary voltage reading of 14.0 volts AC
(rms).  This one change did the trick!!  But, I will definitely follow
your advice of a Setup>Telescope> Calibrate -before- attempting an
Many thanks for everybody's comments!!   Jerry    Houston
And more on this:
Subject:	Meade ETX70AT Power Supply
Sent:	Monday, June 27, 2005 01:26:52
From:	Ian Green (
Great web site.
I was particularly interested to read Jerry's (
solution to powering up his ETX70AT, and intrigued at your end comment.
I have been trying to find a now discontinued BC&F AC338 Portable Power
Station for my ETX70 as an alternative to batteries which as Jerry says
is expensive. You say,  "You really need to use 12v DC" ?   Is it really
safe to power up a 9v DC system on 12v DC?
Ian M. Green
St. Merryn
United Kingdom
Mike here: The Meade ETX-70 AC Adapter is 12 VDC, 1000mA.
Subject:	A 9 volt PS for the ETX-70AT
Sent:	Saturday, June 25, 2005 13:45:27
From: (
I recently purchased an ETX-70AT Meade T. and decided to build my own
power supply. (the 9v battery pact works quite well, but the cost can
add up). Today, I put together a power supply running on 110 V ac.  The
AC is stepped down and rectified with a 50v piv, 4 amp., bridge to
around 12 volts DC or so, then regulated down to 9V DC with an NTE970,
which is supposed to be the equivalent of an LM350, which will supply up
to 3 amperes at 9 v DC. These are not 9v regulators direct, but two
resistors must be included to produce the 9 v DC.  But what happens when
the ETX is started up into the alignment procedure using my AC powered
supply is that the telescope goes to the first alignment star then
stalls!!  And then it just sits there and sort of chatters and of course
I turn all off! Going back to the batteries, all is fine and an
alignment follows with no problem! I can't believe that the ETX wants
more than 3 amps at 9 volts??  What do the batteries have that my PS
doesn't have??
Thanks,  Jerry,
Mike need: You really need to use 12 VDC.
Subject:	possibility to use etx60/70 in parallactic mode eg for better photographie
Sent:	Wednesday, June 22, 2005 09:34:20
From: (
since owning an 8" Newton on a german mount, there is the wish to get an
small easy scope for fast observings.

The meade etx-60/70 seem to be the right stuff, especially because of
their widefield-capabilities (the milkyway might

look more impressive with 350mm instead than 1600mm) and actual price.
Also i think this small scopes will be good tele-

objectives, instead a "real" one for my SLR.

But now i have read,that its not possible to switch the etx-60/70 into
parallactic/equatorial mode like the bigger models (i know

have to use a tripod with polar adjustment).

Is this true and are there some tricks (like making the polar adjustment
via a tripod and tell the scope your position is the

northpole, so that only the drive in the base of the scope has to move -
so you wont get a rotation in your picture) ?

Thanks for your help and clear skies,

Markus Welters
Moenchengladbach, Germany
Mike here: The Autostar #494 that comes with the ETX-60 and ETX-70 can be switched into Polar mode. So you would need to buy or make a wedge for the tripod. Lots of tips on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.
Subject:	Can I use the autostar with my Dell 6000
Sent:	Saturday, June 4, 2005 17:55:40
From:	Rob Reif (
I recently purchased a Dell 6000 notebook and was wondering if there was
a way to run my ETX 70 with the autostar hand controller through it. I
am an extremely amatuer astronomer, but I do know my way around Windows.
I'm hoping with its assistance I can become more comfortable with my
telescopeand alas, the night sky. If there is a way, could you give me
some pointers and maybe suggest a good software program.

Thank you and I'm looking forward to your response, Rob Reif
Mike here: Yes, you can use the computer to control the ETX and Autostar. With the Autostar #494 that comes with the ETX-70 you will need to purchase a Meade #506 serial cable. If you get an Autostar #497 you can easily make (or buy) a #505 serial cable. If the Dell notebook does not have a real RS-232 serial port you will need to get a USB-serial converter.


Thank you for a quick response to my question on using my notebook to
control my telescope. I will absolutely recommend this site to some of
my buddies who may have problems or quetions of their own. If I have any
more questions I definitely won't hesitate to e-mail again.
Thank you,
Rob Reif

Subject:	Use of a 497 hand box on Etx 70
Sent:	Thursday, June 2, 2005 07:25:52
From:	Doug Grebe (
I currently have a LX-90 telescope and I am getting a etx-70 for the
kids in my class to use.  Will the 497 hand box work with the etx-70.  I
would get one just to have a spare for the Lx-90 if it could also be
used with the etx-70.

Doug Grebe  
Mike here: Yes, it will.
Subject:	RE: ETX Help Never Mind
Sent:	Wednesday, June 1, 2005 03:27:38
From:	John Suhr (
Well I got it sort of figured out, Downloaded the new software and
figured out my speed was too low to see anything move.

Got my first shot at the moon 3:30AM Wow! Great Scope especially for a
newbee, too bad my kids are asleep

Now I'll have fun trying to figure out what star is what so I can line
it up, that is my next challenge, thanks for the website! I have some
studying to do!

Subject:	EXT-70 strange motor failures
Sent:	Tuesday, May 31, 2005 22:10:41
From: (
Well, everything has been working up to now.  My DSI-Pro arrived and the
sky was clear.  I am running my ETX-70 on its correct power adapter. 
Strangely, i consistently got motor failure messages.  Every few minutes
this would happen and require a restart.  I have recalibrated and
trained the drives.

Also in this session the motor would occasionally sound like it was
moving, but the telescope would stop slewing for a moment.

Is this just autostar, or do i have something wrong with my motors???

Mike here: Could be one of several problems. Bad/loose connections, flakey power, dirty encoders, overlocking the axes, Autostar needing a RESET. Check for those first.

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