ETX-60AT & ETX-70AT USER FEEDBACK
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Last updated: 31 March 2003
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:	Question
Sent:	Saturday, March 29, 2003 5:24:54
From:	pat@patashley.com (Patrick Ashley)
Great site, I am a bit envious! Thanks for putting so much work and
passion into it, it is helpful to newbies like me!

Of course, I have a couple of questions!  ;)

ETX-70. Last night, I found Saturn and Jupiter, which was pretty cool.
However, I was a bit puzzled about what I saw thru the eyepiece. Both
planets appear quite whitish, to the point of washing out details, and
also appear quite small, even when using a 6mm eyepiece. This is just a
standard eyepiece, not Plossl or Super-Plossl. I took a look at some of
the other ETX-70 and -90 photos on your site, and they seem to magnify
much more (with comparable size eyepieces) than what I am getting. I
realize my scope is not going to give Hubble-quality images, but I
thought it would produce a bit better then what I am seeing.

I am reasoning that perhaps I need to invest in a Plossl or Super Plossl
eyepiece, and perhaps some type of filters to help me out? Perhaps a 2x
Barlow would be helpful too? Can you advise me please?

God bless,

Pat
Mike here: With the low magnification all the light from a planet is condensed into a small area, hence the brightness and "wash out" you describe. Filters can help that. Adding a 2X or 3X Barlow Lens is also useful to increase the magnification. However, keep two things in mind: 1. The ETX-70AT is a very short focal length telescope so you won't get high magnifications. 2. Photos don't always show the same image size and details (or lack of) that the eye will see.

And:

Thanks for the helpful response, Mike!

Subject:	Right angle finder scopes fot ETX 70
Sent:	Thursday, March 27, 2003 11:52:10
From:	TRAVIS.WHITLOW@newarkinone.com
This is a response to the person who wants to mount a Meade right angle
finder on an ETX 70.

When I bought my ETX 70 from Natures Wonders, the salesperson convinced
me to buy a finderscope. He sold me the #825, which does not come with a
bracket. It is intended for the ETX 90, which already has a mounting
bracket on it.

What I needed was the #827, which is intended for the ETX 60 and 70.
It's the same finder as the #825, but it comes with a bracket for
attachment only to the ETX 60 and ETX 70 (the bracket won't work on any
other Meade telescope). Because Natures Wonders had gone out of
business, I couldn't return the finder, but when I called Meade and
explained the situation they said if I sent them the #825 and a copy of
my receipt, they would swap for the correct finder, which they did.

Go to the Meade website. It describes both.

Subject:	re:   how to focus?
Sent:	Tuesday, March 25, 2003 22:12:48
From:	rseymour@wolfenet.com (Richard Seymour)
To:	BtOwNGuH@aol.com
Mike wrote: "and you may have to turn it through several rotations"

on my ETX70, it is 50 (fifty!) full turns to cover the entire focus
range... and the -closest- it can focus is over 150 feet (50 meters)
away!.
Just don't give up if it doesn't focus after only 10 turns,
and do NOT use a close object as a target.

good luck
--dick

Subject:	Erecting Prism
Sent:	Tuesday, March 25, 2003 16:16:49
From:	tonym81@msn.com (Anthony Jimenez)
I was curious as to whether you have used the 933 erecting prism with
the ETX 70 for astronomical use. Is this a good idea?

Thanks,

Tony
Mike here: I used the #932 on my ETX-90; see the Accessory Reviews - Miscellaneous page. I suspect the results would be similar with the ETX-70AT (except for the magnification/details).
Subject:	ETX-70 - Finderscope
Sent:	Tuesday, March 25, 2003 5:52:23
From:	mark@pvsltd.co.uk (Mark Dunnett)
I have been given a meade right angle finderscope. I would like to add
it to my ETX-70. Is this possible and is there a bracket available.
 
Thanks
Mark
 
P.s Your site is excellent. Keep up the good work!!!
Mike here: I recently heard from another user about the bracket from Meade, so yes, there seems to be one. I don't have any info on it but that email should be on the "ETX-60AT, ETX-70AT" Feedback page within the last couple of months.
Subject:	how to focus?
Sent:	Tuesday, March 25, 2003 2:57:41
From:	BtOwNGuH@aol.com
hello there..im sure youre awful busy but my name is Kim Nguyen..i
recently received an ETX 70 scope as a gift..I have absolutely no clue
on how it works..if they had a book for dummies , I would purchase
it..so im here to ask u for some help..i have read the manual on how to
set it up and i dont have a problem with it..my problem is to focus
it...Please take time to return my email..there are no astronomer's club
in my area and my friends think im nutts to be interested in astronomy
but i am...starring into space gives me a wonderful felling..now that i
have a telescope i dont know how to use it.......HELP!!!!!!!
Mike here: Do the following in the daytime, preferably outside, where you can see trees or better, buildings in the distance. Place the flip mirror in the eyepiece position by flipping either lever at the rear of the telescope to be vertical. Without an eyepiece, look down into the eyepiece hole on the top of the tube and you should be able to see the small mirror that will reflect light up through the eyepiece hole. Then place the 25mm eyepiece into the eyepiece hole and point the telescope at something off in the distance. To focus turn the focus knob (that's the small silver round knob at the rear of the telescope tube). As you turn (and you may have to turn it through several rotations) you will either see the image in the eyepiece clear up or get blurrier. If it is getting clearer then you are turning in the right direction.
Subject:	ETX-70
Sent:	Saturday, March 22, 2003 18:06:53
From:	scottm2@hiwaay.net (Scott McDonald)
I just purchased a used Meade ETX-70 from a pawn shop. It is in good
physical condition, but I don't think the optics are right because I
cannot get it to focus. I have been searching for a description of the
lens assembly on the objective and came across your site. Can you help
me determine the orientation of the two large lenses? I know that the
one with a concave surface goes in the tube first and that the concave
side faces out towards the objective end. But the outer lens has
different radius on each side and I don't know which way it goes. Any
help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Scott
Mike here: It sounds like you talking about an eyepiece; see the "Eyepiece Designs" article on the Telescope Tech Tips page. For focusing test, you a distant object during the day.

And:

Actually, I am not asking about an eyepiece. I'm talking about the large
lenses at the large end of the scope tube. I can find nothing about the
assembly of the two seperate pieces of glass.
Mike here: Thanks for the clarification. I haven't disassembled my ETX-70 but just looked at the objective lens; although hard to tell it appears the outside is pretty flat. I can't speak about multiple lenses in the objective cell.
Subject:	Focus shaft moves
Sent:	Thursday, March 20, 2003 5:11:15
From:	altair8800@adelphia.net (Neil A Kunkel Jr)
I have a question, but first, you have one heck of a web site. :-) I
love it.

I have a ETX-70AT. The problem is that the focus shaft when I rotate the
knob to move the lens out ( counter clockwise ), the shaft moves out of
the back of the scope,  the front part of the scope doesnt go
forward.

Any ideas, I couldn't find anything on your web pages. If I look at
Saturn, and I have it in focus, as soon as I let the focus knob go, the
front part of the scope slides down and the shaft comes out of the back
of the scope?

Thanks,

Neil Jr.
Mike here: Egads. Not good. I don't think this is it easily fixable. Best bet: contact Meade.

And:

I emailed you about my ETX-70AT's focus shaft comes out the back of the
scope. I am thinking of trying to fix it myself. I just got it, its
used. The person who shipped it, shipped it with the front of the tube
all the way out. I think during shipping the tube got hit and got drove
down. It took out the stop that holds the focus shaft.

I called Meade before and I had to wait 27 minutes to talk to someone.
This was at their opening time. 8:30 am. Aweful
And:
I called Meade about my focus shaft problem. It has to go in, $70 to fix
it.  I dont think its worth it. I will make something.

Regards,

Neil Jr.

Subject:	Buying new eyepieces
Sent:	Tuesday, March 18, 2003 21:51:08
From:	davidkharding@hotmail.com (David Harding)
I've had a Meade ETX-60, with the 9mm and 25mm Plossl eyepieces that
comes with it, for about a year now. I'm considering buying some new
eyepieces, but I'm not sure what I want. (I mainly use my telescope for
observing the moon, planets, and sometimes terrestrial viewing). I'm
also thinking about getting a 2 or 3x Barlow lens. What do you guys
think? Let me know, please. :)

- Tap
Mike here: Given the short focal length and small aperture of the ETX-60, I'd recomend just getting a 2X or perhaps a 3X Barlow Lens. That will effectly double the number of eyepieces you have and provide a good range of magnifications.

And:

Thanks for the advice, much appreciated. I suppose for now I'll go with
the 2x Barlow Lens. BTW, your site is VERY helpful. Thanks again!

- Tap

Subject:	jupiter in etx70
Sent:	Friday, March 14, 2003 14:07:38
From:	abest@zoom.co.uk (alb)
Is there anyone out there who can help?

I still can't get a decent crisp image of Jupiter in my etx70. I've
tried everything, low power, filters (red, green, blue, yellow, light
pollution, moon and even minus violet).

There just seems to be a constant haze in front of the disc.

At low power (x42, 25mm plossl + 3x barlow) I can just make out the two
main belts but no matter how hard I try to focus there is always a
little yellow smudge to one side.

Taking the power up to about 77 (9mm ortho +3 x barlow) I just becomes
this hazy blob,

The Moon focuses ok and even Saturn seems ok.

Does anyone else have this problem?
Anybody got any suggestions?
Have I got a dodgy etx70?
Is it misaligned?
How do I test?
HELP PLEASE!!!!

Thanks

A.Best.
Mike here: Since you say that Saturn is OK I wonder if your optics are dirty. If there was something coating the optics that should not be there, the Moon might be too bright to let it appear and Saturn not bright enough, but it could appear with Jupiter. However, I wouldn't clean the optics unless you KNOW that is the problem. Is this a new scope? Have the optics suffered a lot of "dew-ing"?

And:

I found this pic on a website that says this is how Jupiter would look
through a 50-100mm telescope at x100

Is this at all accurate?
Mike here: Photos may or may not be an accurate indication of what you will see visually.
Subject:	AC Adapter  for ETX-70
Sent:	Wednesday, March 12, 2003 19:48:34
From:	jackfox@mindspring.com (Jack Fox)
I have read on your page about alternative ways to use the AC adapter,
but they are beyond my ability to figure out. I am electronically
challenged.

Is it possible to use one of those Power Inverters units safely that
plugs into your car lighter socket that converts the 12 volt battery to
AC and plug in the AC Adapter for ETX-70 in to run the telescope?
Mike here: It should work.
Subject:	ETX-70 .. best eyepieces?
Sent:	Monday, March 10, 2003 4:02:16
From:	Paul.Anderson@scottish.parliament.uk
I've just purchased an ETX-7O which I use mainly for lunar and planetary
viewing. The 2 standard 9mm and 25mm eyepieces came with the scope. I
also use the 3 x Barlow lens supplied. Is it worth me purchasing any
other eyepieces - a 40mm Plossl for example? - to make the most of this
model? What difference would a 40mm Plossl make? Many thanks for your
advice.

Visit  the Parliament's website at  http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/
or watch the Parliamentary business live at
http://www.scottishparliamentlive.com/"
Mike here: The 40mm wouldn't add that much to your capabilities and with the 3X Barlow Lens you have a pretty good combination of magnifications. Keep in mind the limitations of the ETX-70AT due to its short focal length and small aperture.

And:

Useful. Many thanks, Mike.
P.

Subject:	Question on Tripods
Sent:	Friday, March 7, 2003 16:07:54
From:	allen@globemarkets.com (William Allen)
I am getting conflicting answers from various dealers, so I will rely on
you or your group as the best source:

I have a Meade ETX 60 and I would like to buy a more sturdy tripod than
the 882 that traditionally comes with it.  Do you know if the 883 or 884
will fit it or can be made to fit it?  Or is there another make of
tripod that you recommend?

Thank you very much in advance for any help you can give.
 
Regards,
Bill Allen
allen@globemarkets.com
 
P.S.  Thanks for the very helpful website.
Mike here: Yes, either will work.

And:

I'm sorry, so you mean that the 882, 883, and the 884 will all work on
the ETX 60?
Mike here: I believe so. The ETX-60AT, ETX-70AT, and ETX-90 all have the same measurements for the tripod mounting (according to my rough measurements).

And:

Great, thanks so much for your help.

Regards,
Bill Allen

Subject:	Home Position ETX70 AT
Sent:	Wednesday, March 5, 2003 6:17:14
From:	Alan.Brown@Shell.com (Brown, Alan R SITI-ITDLE312)
I am newcomer to astronomy and have just purchased a Meade ETX70 AT. I
have read the instructions accompanying the scope and also have
downloaded the tutorial from your site on how to align. Something that
is puzzling me is that when I set the dial to zero the scope is not
horizonaly level but points up slightly. Is this correct or is something
wrong. Your help would be much appreciated.

Regards

Alan Brown
Aberdeen
Scotland
Mike here: See the FAQ page for adjusting the scale to read correctly. Or just do what I do: "eyeball" the leveling and forget the scale.

And:

Thanks very much for a such a quick response. I will do as you say and
also terrific website keep it up.

Kindest Regards

Alan

Subject:	ETX-70AT replaced
Sent:	Sunday, March 2, 2003 9:16:53
From:	peter.de.ruddere@village.uunet.be (De Ruddere Peter)
Just let you know, that the shop exchanged my scope for a new one. (
great service ! ). I want to thank you again for your help, and hope now
that i can explore with my ETX. But next step is to purchase your book !

Thanks again,
Peter De Ruddere

Subject:	ETX60AT
Sent:	Saturday, March 1, 2003 9:41:01
From:	al.massaro@earthlink.net (Al Massaro)
I have the opportunity to purchase a scope from a friend for what I
believe is a good price ($100). It is new and in the box.

I have set the thing up and done all the things that the so-called
manual said to do, it always tells me that everything is below the
horizon (Saturn is outside my window). The unit is assembled and I am
thinking that it is on the base incorrectly(180 out) is this possible?
Does it matter as the unit is supposed to align itself after you set it
on 2 stars.

I am somewhat new to this, but I have done quite a bit of entry level,
if you will, research using astronomy programs and mapping programs.

My location is 36.50.18 N, -107.59.37 W, -7.0hrsUTC. Would or could you
give me an idea as to where the problem lies?

Thank You In Advance
    Al Massaro
    Aztec N.M.
Mike here: I would suggest doing the following: RESET, reselect your country and location, and then when doing the alignment be certain to enter the correct date (check the year), time (watch AM/PM), and Daylight Savings. Let me know.

And:

In the interim, that is exactly what I did, everything is working well
now.If I can but get an evening of cloud free sky I will try this unit
out. I thoroughly appreciate your web site and plan to make good use of
it, I also am going to purchase your book if I buy this unit. If I
should purchase the Autostar software/cable kit would that allow for
aiming and control from my PC? I already have 2 programs that have the
LX200 module in them, would they work as well?
Thank You Again
Mike here: Yes, you can control the Autostar from a computer. You can either buy a #506 cable or you could try to get a used #495 or #407 Autostar, make the #505 cable, and upgrade to the current software on Meade's site. Either way, there are a lot of different types of "planetarium" software to control the Autostar. For the software you have you might check if they have a specific ETX/Autostar driver; many do. Otherwise, it should work with the Autostar for some things.

And:

It is such a pleasure to have someone reply to questions as you have!
Thank You
Al Massaro

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