Last updated: 31 May 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:	ETX70AT Recommended Viewing et al.....
Sent:	Thursday, May 29, 2003 15:35:19
From: (Vampire Le Stat)
We've been having lousy weather in the UK for the past few weeks so I
haven't been able to get the 'scope out much (plus I've been sidelined
with a minor op...). I have a few simple questions that you might be
able to help me with:

1) With the semi-hot week we English call 'Summer' nearly upon us, is
there a list anywhere for recommended viewing for the ETX70? I have a
#497 controller now, but that contains simply too many objects for me to
view using the little 'un. Can I estimate if an object is within it's
capability by refering to FOV & Magnitude?

2) With the recent Transit of Mercury and our forthcoming Annular
Eclipse we've been receiving a lot of "Never look at the sun through a
'scope" type of advice. But some sources our advising using 'eyepiece
projection'. Is this safe and if so, how would you do it? I would have
thought the heat gain on the field stops within the little 'un would be
immense and would lead to large scale plasticisation distortion.

3) I've just started watching a film called "The Mechanic" starring
Charles Bronson and it showed a reflector spotting scope called a
"Questar". Was there such a 'scope? It looks very much like a
Neanderthal ETX90RA.....

Many Thanks,

Mike here: You can use the Guided Tours of the Autostar to see really nice objects. However, many of those will be small and very faint in the ETX-70AT. But from a dark sky location you should see some of them. Checkout the User Observations page for what people are seeing with their ETX-70AT. Yes, you can use magnitude as an indicator of whether or not you will see the object, but again, sky darkness will be a factor. NEVER use eyepiece projection with the ETX models; you will definitely cause some damage. There are good solar filters available for the ETX-70AT. See the Accessory Reviews - Filters page and then contact your preferred dealer. Yes, the Questar telescope has been around for 50 years. It is the same optical design as the ETX-90. Visit their website:
Subject:	ETX-70AT
Sent:	Friday, May 16, 2003 13:15:59
I am interested in getting an ETX 70AT and I want to hook it up to
Starry Night. Is this possible and do you what cable I would need. I see
that a lot of people are doing this with the ETX 90 and above but I have
ready that the interface is slightly different on the 70. Do you have
any info? Thank you!

"Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing."
- Wernher von Braun 
Mike here: You need the #506 cable (which can not be homemade). Alternatively you could purchase a used Autostar #495 and buy or make a #505 cable (easy) and update it using the software on Meade's site; you would end up with a #497 Autostar.


Thank you Mike!

Subject:	Upgrading  #494 handsets...
Sent:	Friday, May 16, 2003 08:12:56
Your site is great, but can you please help.
I've bought an ETX-70 with a #494 handset, and the #506 cable. i've
tried to find info on upgrading/adding to it , but not all is clear. Can
I do it?
I'm also about to adapt ds motors and 494 to fit onto my old meade 10".
If you can help....
many thanks 
Nottingham (UK)
Mike here: Currently, Meade has not provided any update to the #494 Autostar. If you can find a #495 on eBay or elsewhere you can upgrade that with a #505 cable to the current #497 ROM. As to adapting drives, see 'Steve Bedair's "Go To" Mounts' linked on the Astronomy Links page.
Subject:	setting circle adjustment
Sent:	Friday, May 16, 2003 04:59:21
From: (Greg Simms)
Hello, I recently purchased a meade etx-60at, when I put the telescope
in the "home" position for alignment, the declination setting circle is
reading 60 instead of 0, can I position the setting circle my self?
Mike here: See the FAQ page for info on making this adjustment.


Thank you Michael, the declination setting circle adjusted perfectly!

I was beginning to think I would have to return the scope to the dealer
to get it adjusted...that would have been a real hassle, awesome web

Greg Simms,
Petawawa, Ontario

Subject:	RE: ETX-70AT Erecting Prism
Sent:	Monday, May 12, 2003 02:10:33
From: (Tom Mansel)
It is in fact a Meade erecting prism made specifically for the ETX-70,
but I still have problems with blurry focus. Thanks so much for your

Mike here: Guess you will have to change the focus knob position then as described previously.
Subject:	ETX-60AT Manual
Sent:	Sunday, May 11, 2003 14:14:02
From: (Eric Briggs)
Do you know anywhere I might be able to download a copy of the manual
for the discontinued ETX-60AT?

Mike here: See the FAQ page for where to find the manual.
Subject:	tripod for etx60-at telescope
Sent:	Saturday, May 10, 2003 12:11:57
From: (Spencer)
I was one of those people that purchased the Costco special (etx60-at).
A great scope for cheap ($99).

Of course, Meade's own website doesn't even acknowledge the existence of
the 60 anymore.

Now I'm thinking about purchasing a tripod for it. At the time the 882
was readily available. Now I'm having trouble even finding one. Of
course the tripod would cost as much as the telescope originally did.
The question is, will a 883 tripod work with the 60? I would like to
someday upgrade to a 125 anyway, and the tripod would work for the 125.
Or is there some,cheaper, adequate alternative that will work for the

Thank you,
Spencer See
San Diego, CA
Mike here: Yes, the #883 or #884 will work.
Subject:	ETX-70AT Erecting Prism
Sent:	Friday, May 9, 2003 06:06:03
From: (Tom Mansel)
My name is Tom Mansel and Im writing from sunny England. Im not sure if
I should be directing this to you: given the size and comprehensive
nature of your web site (truly mighty) my assumption is that youre a
busy man. However, I recently bought an erecting prism for my scope
(ETX-70) and I find that viewing through it is not clear. I have
(carefully) dusted the optics on the prism but it still seems a little
blurry. Viewing through the vertical is fine, so I am a little stumped,

Any ideas on how to rectify this?

Many thanks


p.s. your web site is a fantastic source of information.
Mike here: Did you buy one specially made for the ETX-70AT? Some erecting prisms for other telescopes may not reach a focus with the ETX-70AT. You might be able to reach a focus by adjusting the position of the focus knob to allow more travel (if the knob is reaching the telescope backend just before a focus is reached). Point the telescope upwards at about 45 degrees (to keep the focus shaft from slipping inside the OTA) and loosen the setscrew on the side of the focus knob. Then slide the knob a little ways out on the shaft and retighten the setscrew. That might allow you to reach a focus with the erecting prism.
Subject:	AUTOSTAR #494 VS1
Sent:	Thursday, May 8, 2003 21:08:43
From: (Russ Lund)
I picked up a Autostar #494 with drive motors and adapted it to my CG-5
mount. Is there a downloadable manual for the Auto star #494?

The CG-5 mount is the same as the mount for the LXD 55 series German EQ

Thanks for your help,

Russ Lund
Cool Observatory
Mike here: See the FAQ page for the ETX-70AT manual. It has the instructions for the #494.
Subject:	ETX-70 Bearings Question
Sent:	Monday, May 5, 2003 08:18:28
From: (Dave Hahne)
I have heard that Meade made a design change in their ETX mounts
switching from slide bearings to ball bearings.  Any idea when this
change occured, if it affects the EXT-70 mounts, and does it improve the
periodic error in the tracking.  Thanks.
Dave Hahne
Poquoson, VA
Mike here: Nope, no direct info and when to which models.


Thanks Mike.  As a follow up, do you know if any of the performance
enhancements (in the multi-part article on the Tech Tips page) are
applicable to the ETX-70?  Although for the 90 and 105 I imagine at
least the "electronic" enhancements are transferable.
Mike here: Generally, the techniques would be applicable (if you are having problems) although the descriptions might be slightly off.
Subject:	ETX 70AT Question
Sent:	Friday, May 2, 2003 23:33:30
From: (walter branch)
You answered a question earlier in the week about my new ETX 125 and
after more carefully aligning the scope (avoiding hard stops) I have had
no more problems.  Thanks again.

I hope you don't mind another question.  Do you know if there are two
different models of the ETX 70AT; one with a purple tube and one with a
black tube?

Mike here: If memory serves, the ETX-70EC tube was a slightly different color than the ETX-70AT, which made an appearance later. On the other hand, it could also be a model for a different market.


Thanks.  The reason why I asked is because I used to own a 70AT but sold
it to help finance the 125.  My little girl wanted one "like daddy's" so
I picked up a 70AT off ebay from Vann's for only $182.00 (with tripod
and autostar) a couple of weeks ago.  I thought my old 70AT had a purple
tube, like the 125 but I might be mistaken as I tend not to pay
attention to details such as that.  Perhaps not.

The one I got for $182.00 runs perfectly and the optics are great. This
was a great deal.


Subject:	Re: ETX 60 power supply
Sent:	Thursday, May 1, 2003 01:29:11
Hi Tom,
Just saw your question posted on Weasner's fantastic website. Having
looked up the info on the LM317T, it seems you have the incorrect
pinouts for the chip.

Basically, pin 2 is unregulated power input; pin 1 should go to pot &
pin 3 is regulated output.

Hope this helps!

Jim smith

Aside to Mike - Love your ETX website, I have recently bought an ETX70
and am hoping to start using it in earnest soon!
And an update:
pin 1 goes to pot

pin 2 goes to output (you should also find this pin internally connected
to heatsink)

pin 3 goes to input

I hope this helps you!

Regards Jim
And this:
From: (Dave Wallace)
I am an electrical engineer, so maybe I can help.

1.	You need about two volts more at pin 1 of the regulator circuit
than you expect to get at the output -- if you're trying to get 9V out
of pin 2, you need 11V or better at pin 1.  With no load, you might get
9V out from less than 11V in, but the regulator can't supply the needed
current under load.

2.	Is the regulator on a good heat sink?  You might be getting
thermal shut-down if the regulator's not mounted on a heat sink.  Though
this usually won't happen instantaneously and will depend on the actual
load current.

3.	C1 and C2 seem a little small.  The LM-317 could be going into
oscillation. Most of the application notes show C2 at around 1 uF.  If
the input voltage is coming from zinc-carbon batteries or the like, you
might want to add another 1 uF capacitor in parallel with C1.  Be sure
to observe polarity and choose a high enough working voltage.

3.	As a side note:  consider what voltage you'd get when the
potentiometer is set to maximum resistance!  As drawn, when the arm of
the potentiometer is all the way to the top, the output voltage
(assuming the input voltage is high enough to allow it, which is
unlikely) would be over 55 Volts!  Using the 10K potentiometer gives you
way too much range of adjustment for the output voltage.  It's better to
use a small potentiometer and a fixed resistor rather than a large
potentiometer.  I'd probably choose to use an 82 ohm resistor for R1, a
100 ohm potentiometer for R2 but instead of connecting one end of R2 to
ground, I'd add a 470 ohm resistor between that terminal and ground. 
That way, the output voltage adjustment is from roughly 8.1 to 9.5
From: (Tom Gardner)
thanks for posting my inquiry. I have had a lot of suggestions. Probably
the best one was to just go buy a power converter instead of making one

What do "you" know about the running the etx 60 on anything other than
the 9 volts? I was told that you could operate it safely on up to 15

                   Thanks Tom
Mike here: See the Telescope Tech Tips page for some power supply comments.

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