Last updated: 29 March 2002
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-90EC trouble
Sent:	Thursday, March 28, 2002 21:07:50
From: (dave)
I bought a Meade ETX-90EC scope abuot a year ago. Today, I've noticed
there is a 1/4" gap in the base where the forks attauche to the rest of
the base of the scope. Is this normal or do I have something to worry
about? Also, I've noticed that an object centered in the eyepiece FOV,
after 10 or 15 Sec., wanders around in the FOV for an additional 10 to15
Sec., then tracks perfectly. To fix this problem, I calibrated the
motors to match the autostar to the scope.Do you think this will fix it
or not. And as for the base,have you heard of this problem?
Mike here: Do you mean the plastic has separated? Or is there a crack in the plastic? As to the Autostar, besides recalibrating, you should redo the drive TRAINing. That should fix the problem. You might also want to consider upgrading to the latest Autostar software from Meade's site.


There isn't any crack in the plastic. Where the fork assembly joins to
the base assembly,there is a widing gap( not a crack in the base, my
mistake ).The joint is suppose to be there so the forks can rotate,it
just seems to be coming apart.
And from our hardware expert:
From: (Clay Sherrod)
That gap sounds perfectly normal, provided that the user is not
experiencing excessive slop and slack when lifting the scope upward by
the fork arms. Some ETX scopes have a bit more space than others.

Now, regarding the wandering about of the object, this sounds very close
to classic rubber-banding to me.  "Calibrating" the motors will not help
this must do this sequence:


In that order.  The training should be done very carefully, slowly and
at very high magnification to assure accuracy.

Clay Sherrod

Subject:	ETX question.
Sent:	Thursday, March 28, 2002 21:02:41
I just got an ETX90-RA and found a piece of masking tape blocking my
view (the tape can be seen when I open the photo port.  I didn't see
anything regarding this tape in the booklet so I don't know if it's
supposed to be there or was put there after getting serviced or what?  I
bought this scope from Shutan with the understanding that it was new. 
Any input?  Thanks and thanks for the great site!
Mike here: Can you better describe the position of the tape? Is on the flip mirror someplace or just covering the rear port? Can you see it when the flip mirror is flipped out of the way? Can you see it through the top port when the flip mirror is in the normal position? Is it evident when looking through an eyepiece in the normal position?


The best way to describe it is that if you put your camera on the scope
to take pictures, you'd get a picture of the tape.  I was able to remove
it (barely) with my fingernail.  Meade said it shouldn't be on there,
but the guy was short and that's all he had to say about it.  The place
I got it from said they've seen some of that from time to time and that
tape was just never removed post-production, which was my assumption
after Meade had told me that they don't refurbish and resell any
telescopes anyway.

I removed it and the scope works nicely although I was dissappointed
with Jupiter. I was just a little bigger than I've seen with my cheap
Tasco scope.  I'm scanning your site for eyepiece recommendations but
feel free to give me one- I'd really like to get the most out of this

Thanks alot for your response!
Mike here: Glad you got that resolved! As to eyepieces, lots of info on the Buyer/New User Tips page and the Accessory Reviews - Eyepieces page.
Subject:	rough focus shaft movement
Sent:	Wednesday, March 27, 2002 22:40:03
From: (grushgang1)
I purchased my ETX90EC three month ago.  I can feel some rough spots
when adjusting the focus knob as though the threads might be slightly
damaged. It makes critical focusing more difficult and extremely
difficult when I try to use a focus knob extension. Is this lack of
smooth movement of the focus knob shaft normal? Would it be advisable to
try and lubricate the threaded portion of the shaft or simply give Meade
a call?
Mike here: Since it is still under warranty I would talk to your dealer first. I would NOT attempt any lubrication of the shaft.
Subject:	Help with eyepieces!!!
Sent:	Wednesday, March 27, 2002 17:18:15
From: (Ryan Davies)
i got a big problem i need figured out. i have a meade etx 90-ec and i
cant see anything without the proper eyepiece. so i bought a
aprochromatic 2x barlow and a meade series 3000 6.7 eyepiece. i see
jupiter blurry and it isnt that close to jupiter but it shouldnt be
blurry. even with the 6.7 itself it is blurry. i need help because im
wasting money and time. please tell me what im doing wrong or the
eyepiece i need or anything else. its so hard to keep up with the
planets too but i dont have the money now to buy that stuff.
Mike here: Does the 26mm that came with the telescope work? Can you get a good focus with it? What about it when combined with the 2X Barlow? However, in answer to your question about the 6.7mm with or without the Barlow, you are exceeding the maximum magnification for the telescope. See the FAQ page for info on determining the maximum for any telescope. When you exceed (or even begin to get close to) the maximum theoretical maximum, objects will get noticeably dimmer and fuzzier.


Now that i know that it is too high magnification, well, which is a good
eyepiece then for seeing jupiter really well; or is it just the 90- ec
by itself because thats a waste of $700. im not trying to waste money
but i just want to know, your advice, on what eyepiece i should buy. for
looking at jupiter well in the scope with detail or saturn in focus not
fuzzy. because you said it is too high so it would be fuzzy but if it
wasnt high all i see is a dot with a ring around it. venus, well all i
see of that rite now is the sun's glare on it. i think of you as an
expert on this you must see a lot with your 125. maybe i need a filter
for colors or i need a electronic focuser i dont know.
Mike here: It may well be that your expectations are too high for a small telescope. Don't expect to see images like you see on the box or in magazines. There are many excellent eyepieces to choose from; see the Accessory Reviews - Eyepieces page as well as the Buyer/New User Tips page. You might also want to look at the Telescope Performance section on the "Observational Guides/References" page; lots of good info there. You might also want to read through some of the User Observations as well. Bottom line, use the 26mm and 2X Barlow until you get comfortable with what you can expect from your ETX-90. As has been said by myself and many others over the last 5+ years, the ETX-90 can provide a lot of enjoyment and viewing pleasure as long as your expectations match its capabilities.
Subject:	GREAT price on ETX-90EC
Sent:	Wednesday, March 20, 2002 13:15:59
From: (Robert Wrobel)
Found that JC Penny's catalog is selling this telescope for $379.99
!!!!. I haven't found ANYONE selling it for this price. Most are $495.00
or more.You may want to post this on your website. I ordered mine and
hope to have it in a few days !!!!

                                          Bob Wrobel

Subject:	ETX 90RA
Sent:	Saturday, March 16, 2002 7:32:36
Purchased mine at Astronomics for 250-three days later threw in the 884
tripod for 100.-wonderful company to deal with.ETX has great optics and
is ultra portable.It does need the flex focuser and red dot finderscope.

Subject:	ETX-90EC photos
Sent:	Sunday, March 10, 2002 17:43:51
Hello.  I was wondering if you have any photos of some of the images
seen through the ETX-90EC.  If so, may I see them?  Thank you.

Mike here: There are lots of ETX-90 images in the Astrophotography section and Galleries.
Subject:	ETX-90EC Question
Sent:	Thursday, March 7, 2002 17:40:37
From: (Mark R Monica)
Is the only tripod available for the ETX-90EC the #884 or can the less
expensive #882 be used?  I've also seen adaptors for photo tripods.  Are
these reliable?

I just purchased this telescope and spent as much money as I could on
the telescope figuring I could buy extra's later.  The same method I go
with computers (most processor up front for money).

Thanks for your help and your wonderful site!

Mike here: Sturdy photographic tripods can be used. But it really needs to be a sturdy one, especially if you want to have the ETX in Polar Mode. So, yes, the adapter plates work but unless you already have a sturdy tripod you can spend as much for one as for a good ETX tripod. The #882 is a little too lightweight for the ETX-90EC; you'd be better off with at least the #883 (which may be hard to find now) or the better #884.
Subject:	ETX-90RA
Sent:	Thursday, March 7, 2002 9:05:05
From: (Bob McGhehey)
I have just received a new ETX-90RA and have some questions. I received
the shipment via UPS and the box looked good but you could hear
something loose inside, the eye pieces/plastic holders had dislodged
from their holes in the cardboard. The 25mm eyepiece was partially
disassembled and one lens was chipped. This gives you an idea of how the
box was handled.

It seems like the focus knob is rotated almost all the way clockwise to
focus on terrestrial objects of several miles away when using the normal
(90deg) eye piece location. When I use the optional #932 45 deg eyepiece
holder the focus knob is turned in all the way clockwise and all I can
focus on is my back fence 40 yards away. Can you tell what might be
wrong and is it normal for the focus knob to use only the clockwise most
portion for the entire focus range. I have not been able to look at
anything other that terrestrial due to the weather.


Bob Mc
Mike here: Egads. Rough treatment. As to the focusing, you can adjust the knob to get more travel; turn it until it reaches the backplate and then tilt the scope upwards about 45 degrees (to keep the focus shaft from falling inside the tube), loosen the setscrew on the side of the focus knob, slide the knob a little further out on the shaft, and then retighten the setscrew.
Subject:	How do I remove the OTA?
Sent:	Thursday, March 7, 2002 5:17:27
From: (Jack Merskin)
Mike, thanks for the quick response.  I fiddled with the flip mirror
last night and was able to get an airy disk.  Wasn't a good disk but
better than the sea gulls.  I'll try the fix that is described on Doc's
site.  One minor problem is I didn't receive a manual with the used
ETX-90 RA and the download from Meade doesn't explain how to disassemble
the OTA from the mount.  I assume that I'll have to do this before I can
get the rear cell off to do the set screw fix.  Is there somewhere on
your site that has diagrams or explanations on how to disassemble the

Again thanks in advance.
Mike here: Thanks for the update. See the bottom of my report on the ETX-90EC ( for info on removing the OTA from the forks.
Subject:	Meade ETX-90AT
Sent:	Sunday, March 3, 2002 17:03:39
From: (Hibbitts, Keith)
The American Express Rewards Catalog does reference the "Meade ETX90AT
Portable Digital Telescope Package" and says it does come with the
Autostar computer controller to locate "more than 14,000 celestial
wonders of the night sky with the push of a button".  What model could
this be if there is no "AT"?  I'm sure the operators there wouldn't have
any more information than is advertised.

In general, what's the general difference between the "EC" and the "AT"
models?  Thank you,

Mike here: The only models that changed from EC to AT (at least before now) were the ETX-60EC and ETX-70EC. When they switched to AT models the control panel was moved to the fork from the base and the Autostar #494 was made standard. If there is a photo of this "ETX-90AT" is the control panel on the fork arm? The Autostar sounds like the original #497 Autostar that had 12,000-14,000 objects.

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