ETX-60, ETX-70, & ETX-80 USER FEEDBACK
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Last updated: 30 March 2006

This page is for user comments and information specific to the Meade ETX-60AT, ETX-70AT, ETX-80AT-TC, and ETX-80BB. Additional information 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:	Meade ETX-60AT - $120
Sent:	Tuesday, March 28, 2006 19:07:33
From:	Tom Colt (tom@tcolt.com)
I don't know if this is a good place to ask but.. I have found this
scope for $120 and I'm told He only used it once and is in good shape I
will be meeting him Sat to buy it any feedback would be great ( I have
not even looked through a telescope in 10 years but I have a 7 year old
asking questions now.   Thanks
Mike here: Whether it is a good telescope for you will depend upon your expectations. I suggest you read my comments on the ETX-70 (which is essentially the same as the ETX-60 with a slightly larger aperture) on the Helpful Information: Buyer/New User Tips page and reports on the ETX-60/70/80 on the Helpful Information: User Observations page.

And:

Did that already I was wondering about the price and general can see the
moon Saturn's rings ect Meads site kinda leaves that unanswered

Looked at that also Still browsing on your site now very helpful :-) 
Mike here: Did you read the article "ETX-70AT Saturn Report" on the User Observations page?

And:

I'm about 3 away from that thanks for taking time to email me, I'm sure
you have things to do good night and thanks again.

Thank you for the site and the info it provides.   About updating and
cables and such. If you install something to a USB port you must plug it
in to the same port next time or the computer will think its new and
reinstall the software soon troubles will happen.
Mike here: That is true of Windows but not Mac OS X.
Subject:	ETX-80 w/internal barlow
Sent:	Sunday, March 26, 2006 10:52:08
From:	ACPIUSA@aol.com
As I sent my ETX-125PE back to Meade for repair, I stopped by a local
store and bought a ETX-80. It has the internal barlow.

1. Observing Jupiter last nite with the 26mm eyepiece, the planet looked
about the same as in my Canon 10x50 IS binos. I put the higher power
piece, 9.7mm and I could just begin to make out the hemispheres in a
small image.

How high mag an eyepiece can I use to improve the viewing larger?

2. The internal barlow doesn't seem to work.. and I tried one of my
barlows, a shorty, and can't seem to see anything but a gray circle with
darker bits of dust on it.
 
Am I doing something wrong here?
 
Bob Collins
Ormond Beach, FL
Mike here: The ETX-80 has a focal length of 400mm, which combined with the 26mm eyepiece yields a magnification of 15X. So it is not surprising that the view is similar to your 10X binoculars. As to what the maximum magnification would be, see the FAQ page for how to determine that and how to calculate magnification if you are unsure about that.
Subject:	English firmware for ETX-70
Sent:	Saturday, March 25, 2006 22:54:57
From:	Peter M Stein (pm-stein@gmx.de)
I bought a ETX-70 in Spain with spanish firmware. Is there a possibility
to load an english one?
Thanks for your cooperation.
Peter M Stein
Schwalbach
Germany
Mike here: Meade has not made a user-installable ROM update for the Autostar #494 available. Your choices are to find an old #495 and update it yourself (which turns it into a #497) or to get an Autostar #497.
Subject:	Re: Stuck flip-mirror on ETX-60AT
Sent:	Saturday, March 25, 2006 08:52:05
From:	Mary Yugo (maryyugo@yahoo.com)
I'm leaning towards a mirror that fell off and went under the mechanism
during transport, jamming the works. But maybe we'll see.  It'll be a
few weeks before we get to it.  Best regards.
Mike here: If that's the case then the mirror may be scratched. You might want to consider using a Visual Back, such as the described on the Accessory Reviews: Showcase Products page. I believe Scopetronix also has one.

And:

Good point, thanks!  Or maybe we'll get another ETX-60.  They're now
cheep cheep little critters.

Subject:	etx-80at-tc
Sent:	Friday, March 24, 2006 22:53:16
From:	JOSEPH BERRY (j_berry@verizon.net)
i was wondering if these were a pretty good telescopes. it would be used
by me and my two sons. we would like to be able to see the planets and
nebulas. would that  possible with this telescope? any advice or
couragement would be great! im about pulling my hair out figuring out
what to get.(we are newbies if you havent noticed)   thank you so much
Mike here: It is a fine telescope for its size (aperture and focal length) but whether it will meet your expectations, only you can say. I suggest you read my ETX-70 comments on the Helpful Information: Buyer/New User Tips page as well as the ETX-60/70/80 comments on the Helpful Information: User Observations page. The ETX-80 is similar to the ETX-60 and ETX-70 in what you will see.
Subject:	Stuck flip-mirror on ETX-60AT
Sent:	Friday, March 24, 2006 08:37:37
From:	Mary Yugo (maryyugo@yahoo.com)
Hi!  I have an ETX-60AT of unknown age and it has a stuck flip mirror. 
It's locked in the position that sends light through the back, or I'd
leave it alone.  I looked through tech tips on your wonderful web site,
found the blurry pics from one guy and the clear ones from the French
gent but nothing I could see shows me the flipper part.  Before I tear
into it, any hints?  I'm sure it's long past warranty and not worth
paying Meade to fix.  It cost me just $80 on eBay including shipping
(without the Autostar paddle but we have one of those from another
scope) so I guess I don't mind tearing it up.   If I do, I promise to
send you some *clear* photos, LOL.  Please keep up this terrific site
you have.  I've never seen such a good effort in support of a product! 
Best regards.  (you can publish this if you like, including the email
address).
Mike here: No articles (that I recall) on this. But check for a broken shaft or an obstruction. Looking forward to the repair article/photos!
Subject:	New ETX-80 Question (pretty simple one!)
Sent:	Saturday, March 18, 2006 13:18:40
From:	Steve Taylor (maclifer@gmail.com)
I love your website!  Since I picked up my new scope just the day before
our 3rd daughter was born, I knew it would probably be about a month or
so before i'd get a chance to give it a good work out - wow, what a
beauty these ETX's are! :-)  Your website has kept me very busy in
gaining new knowledge and finding wonderful links to explore.  A great
way to start as a beginner.

Here's my question (i'm a bit embarrassed to ask it!) - My backyard
faces southeast, so if I put the scope in the home position, i'm unable
to align it pointing north since I live in a townhouse and the yard is
fairly small (i.e. at the far end, still not enough northern exposure
plus too much light that direction).  Is it able to be aligned without a
clear northern view?

Not sure if the question sounds sensible or not, but figured you'd know.
 Thanks Mike!

Sincerely,
Steve Taylor
maclifer@gmail.com

(such a basic question that if you are able to individually answer
instead of posting i'd appreciate it - or feel free to chop down & edit
to just the basic question/concept. <grin>
Mike here: If you can guess where True North is (by using a magnetic compass, correcting for your local magnetic variation or by using the local street layout if they run in the Cardinal directions) then you can just point in the approximate direction of True North. The just follow the steps to center the alignment stars.

And:

Okay, that makes sense - now, the second part of my question -- when i
put it in the home position (facing north, level - not a problem, i'm a
geocacher, so i'm real comfortable with the compass :-)  ) it is
pointing at my home - i guess that if it picks stars in the north
direction i have to keep skipping to another star for alignment?  Sorry
to waste any of your time if this is too basic.

Thanks Mike!
Steve
Mike here: Yes, for an accurate alignment you should skip to another star and use one that is visible. HOWEVER, if you have an accurate HOME position the first star (and second star) should be pointed to very close to accurate. So you can assume it is centered and press ENTER. I do this when aligning in the daytime or a star is hidden by a tree or building.

And:

Wonderful news - thanks Mike.  I appreciate that you have taken your
time to help me out.  I'm a long-time 'net user (24+ years) and
absolutely love the wealth of information your site contains and links
to.  Best wishes for clear skies --ST

Subject:	ETX60-80 DEC Slippage
Sent:	Saturday, March 18, 2006 10:30:33
From:	CaptGarvin (jgarvin@bellsouth.net)
It takes a scary amount of torque when tightening the DEC knob to get
the scope to hold its position and slew/track properly. The ETX80 is the
worst of the two and was very hard to get it where it would not just
drop after tightening. And as I feared last night the knob popped off
right at the base of the threads before I could get enough tightness.
Instead of sending it back (only 3 days old) I was able to unscrew the
threaded section out, super-glue it back on the knob, scored the inside
wall of the threaded portion with a knife, and then filled the entire
hollow section of the knob up to the top of the threaded section with
fiberglass. I did the knob on the other side also since they were
identical. Now I have super strong knobs, but the problem lies in the
material used for the clutch (if clutch is wrong term, then the friction
material between knob and DEC axis shaft of scope). It looks like a
average thin oring. Orings and areas were cleaned of any lubricants with
no improvement. ETX 60 not as bad due to lightness of OTA. Has this been
addressed before? I am looking for a thin fibrous material replacement
that will give some bite. Thanks CaptG
Mike here: Not specific to the refractor models but there are two DEC lock mods on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips that might help you out.

And:

I just sent email on DEC clutch slippage and knob breaking off. After a
couple of hours going thru other mods and fixes on your site I found
that the actual clutch material is inside the arm (white nylon bushing
or gasket) from a ETX70 repair page. I suspect I need to get inside and
clean grease off of it. Sorry to waste your time and will research
harder before next crisis. Least I have rock solid knobs now. Thanks
CaptG
Mike here: Oh yeah, there are the two articles "ETX-70AT Repair Guide" and "Inside the ETX-70AT" on the Telescope Tech Tips page.
Subject:	ETX 70 tracking commands
Sent:	Friday, March 17, 2006 07:09:01
From:	Alejandro Haro (harito16@hotmail.com)
My name is ALex and I would like to know if the ETX 70 is capable of
receiving tracking correction commands?

THank you for your time.

Alejandro Haro  
Mike here: If you mean can you control the Autostar #494 via a computer, the answer is yes. For more info see the item "Autostar commands" on the Helpful Information: Autostar Info page if you want to write your own software as opposed to using one of the many commercial/shareware products for Macs and PCs.

And:

Thank you for answering so quickly. My question was more like if the
ETX70 could receive tracking correction commands from an autoguider?

Thank you once again.
Mike here: Well, no and maybe. If you mean using Meade's Autostar Suite, no, as it requires the Autostar #497 and won't work with the #494 that comes with the ETX-70. You can use a #497 with the ETX-70 however. If you have other software in mind, maybe. Whether other software will work will depend upon whether it requires a #497 or whether it can use a subset of the LX200 commands, which the #494 (and #497) support (in a limited way).
Subject:	wacky idea
Sent:	Thursday, March 16, 2006 15:37:30
From:	Lyndon Thompson (mail@lyndonthompson.co.uk)
This is a totally wacky idea, so much so that I dare not post it on a
forum, but do you happen to know the additional weight that an ETX 80
will accept? The reason being I was wondering if such a scope could cope
with a big CCD like an STL11K for wide field views whilst on vacation.
 
Probably a non starter but I thought 'd ask.
Mike here: The ETX line can handle many cameras and imagers piggyback style and at the eyepiece and rear ports. But there is a limit, even with counterweights since the drive mechanism relies on friction to be engaged. Too much weight, whatever that is as I've not seen a defined answer (but can tell you that an ETX-90 OTA piggybacked on an ETX-90 is too much), and you will get slippage. By the way, it is NOT a wacky question.

And:

Thanks. I just thought if it would work, it would make an extremely good
portable wide field setup.

Subject:	Meade etx-70at
Sent:	Monday, March 6, 2006 02:38:32
From:	ROBERT MCARTHUR (rabb69@btinternet.com)
I purchased my scope in Italy last week whilst on a visit and feel like
a complete idiot because the manual and Autostar are of course in
italian.Iv'e looked at various sites on your great web page but i'm
still puzzled with one thing.On various scopes it tells you to unscrew
the lock key and turn the scope anti-clockwise until it locks....mine
does'nt  could it be faulty...I would be grateful for any advise.
 
Cheers...Rabb
Mike here: The ETX-60/70/80 models do not have this hard stop. No need to do the rotation.

And:

Cheers Mike thanks for responding 

Rabb

Subject:	Astro Engineering - ETX to SCT Thread Adaptor
Sent:	Sunday, March 5, 2006 06:05:13
From:	david rapp (drapp3@columbus.rr.com)
Will the Astro Engineering ETX to SCT Thread Adapter fit my ETX 70AT ?
And can I thread on a mirror diagonal to the adapter ?
 
http://www.mwetech.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=Astro-Engineering-AC312&Category_Code=digitec-optical-sale-items&Product_Count=10
 
thx david
Mike here: The port is the same on all ETX models. So yes, it will fit. HOWEVER, whether you can use it for a particular accessory on the ETX-70 will depend upon whether you can reach a focus with your choice of eyepieces/imagers.
Subject:	Focusing Thumb screw
Sent:	Thursday, March 2, 2006 23:36:25
From:	Pete Burgess (peteandsands@hotmail.com)
I have been reading through your site and it is fantasic. There has been
alot of work put in, helping owners of the ETX range. I have recently
aquired an ETX 70 myself. I noticed a lot of people are having problems
with the focus knob. I have small fingers, so It doesnt really bother
me, however mine came loose and needed tightening. I didn't have the
meade supplied allen key (hex key in the US?) and didnt want to wait for
meade to send one. I went through my rifle tools box and found my  
0.050 fitted perfectly. I see many people asking what size it is and
wanted to let everyone know, once and for all. I'm sure you all know
this already, but I couldnt find it on the site and guessed others
coundn't either.

As a side note, I added a fixed 12v Power supply to my meade and it runs
a lot smoother and faster now. The contoller responds very quicky too.
Thanks for the tip.
 
Pete Burgess
Wiltshire, UK.
Mike here: One of these days, I, or someone else, will compile a list of all the screw sizes used in the various ETX models.
Subject:	re: Meade #494 autostar ETX-70AT +  #506 Astrofinder 
Sent:	Tuesday, February 28, 2006 22:17:59
From:	richard seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
What year was the Astrofinder disk created?

If it's the "old" (roughly 2001) software, it requires many patches
to operate properly (in OCtober 2001 it used to report the Autostar's
date as February 2006 ... so -this month- makes it difficult to see
that example of an error).  Unfortunately StarryNightBundle (which was
on the old disk) is now so old that it is very difficult to locate
the patch files (i have not looked for them for years.).

You might try Cartes du Ciel, a free program which can also control
the telescope.

have fun
--dick

And:

From:	ArmCon A/S (armcon@armcon.dk)
This should be OK I hope; the description of the cable type 232 from
Sandberg

Windows Plug and Play
USB (type A) to serial (COM) RS232 adapter
Cable length 30 cm
Up to 500 Kbit/s data transfer rate
Complies with USB 1.0 and 1.1 specifications
Supports PDAs, digital cameras, modems and mobile phones. (Advanced
devices/software must support signal conversion to USB).

I got a mail from Richard Seymour telling that the software was to old
and he is right, as the date/year on the package shows 2000, so it would
need a lot of patches not available anymore from Meade  OR ?

It cannot be right that they sell outdated software from Meade or ?

Richard do propose Cartes du Ciel in stead and I do have that too on a
cd-rom from Meade, but no prodution year is mentioned on the disk!
 
Should I try that then ?
 
Best Regards Thorsten
Mike here: You can try that or the ones I suggested previously.

And:

Thanks it works with Cartes de Ciel and even with the sandberg USB to
serial But is starry night not a better one or? is it an oldfashioned
model by now?

Thanks a lot from Thorsten DK
Mike here: The current version of Starry Night is quite capable. But so are many others as well, depending upon your needs.

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