ETX-60AT & ETX-70AT USER FEEDBACK
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Last updated: 27 May 2004
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.


Weasner Experiences the ETX-70AT! (6/17/01)
QuickTime VR of the ETX-60AT
Movie (2.4MB) of the ETX-60AT TV Commercial (11/3/00)
Courtesy of Pyros Pictures

Subject:	German 494 Autostar
Sent:	Wednesday, May 26, 2004 03:55:45
From:	sbauto@vol.net.mt (sbauto@vol.net.mt)
I have an ETX70AT and the 494 autostar is in German version 10G. I like
to change it to English, and followed one of your replies for a similar
problem, but it is not working. I have the original serial cable , is it
possible to download another patch or version that may have English. It
extremely difficult to navigate the 494 in German. Your help will be
much appreciated.
Joseph Bajada
MALTA
Mike here: Unfortunately, there is no user-installable version of the #494 software. I suggest you get a #497 or a used #495 (which can be software upgraded to a #497).
Subject:	ETX 70 cable #506 home made?
Sent:	Tuesday, May 25, 2004 10:28:02
From:	Prof. Dr. Ch. Schrdter (schroedter@fh-heilbronn.de)
I just came over this big site searching for hints on fabricating a #506
cable on my own because of its fancy price although it comes with some
software (which I don't need) and since obviously there are no updates
available for the #494 Autostar unit. Meanwhile I understood there has
some signal conversion to be done. Does anyone know how to accomplish
this? (I'm quite capable of assembling some DIL chips).

Thanks
Chris
Mike here: Check the "Cable and Power Information" section on the Autostar Info page.
Subject:	Meade ETX-60A 
Sent:	Thursday, May 13, 2004 06:39:20
From:	eric reiffenstein (ereiffenstein@usnews.com)
A co-worker is selling a Meade ETX-60A with the #882 standard field
tripod w/ carrier bag and Meade Electronic Eyepiece,with about 30' of
co-ax cable.

He is asking for $250. I have not been able to find pricing for the
ETX-60A. Is this a reasonable price for this Telescope. I am looking for
something that will be fun for the family and easily portable.

Thanks

ERic
Mike here: The ETX-60AT originally sold for $299 with the Autostar #494 and tripod #882. As it was being discontinued it sold for $99 at discount stores.
Subject:	RE: ETX70AT problem
Sent:	Saturday, May 8, 2004 12:52:31
From:	"Marnix Verschraegen" (max2206@skynet.be)
OK even after RESET-CALIBRATE-TRAIN it does not work the problem stays
even with another autostar.
Mike here: Very strange. Wish I had more ideas on this.
Subject:	how do I use the 2x-3x variable power barlow lens? 
Sent:	Thursday, May 6, 2004 16:22:46
From:	peanutnuthead@yahoo.com
How do I use the 2x-3x variable power balow lens? And can I use it for
my Meade ETX-60AT?
Mike here: I don't have one but usually you turn or move something on the Barlow Lens to change the X factor. And depending upon the model, it may or may not be usable on the ETX-60. You need a "shorty" model to work with all eyepieces.
Subject:	RE: ETX70AT Azimutal movement problem
Sent:	Wednesday, May 5, 2004 02:22:29
From:	"Marnix Verschraegen" (max2206@skynet.be)
The autostar was also replaced. Going to try it !!!
And:
Ok i've tried this several times already. Problem is unchanged In trying
to align after he went to one of the align-stars he is very slow slewing
in the direction he was moving. and on my autostar the message slwing is
staying. After a time press Enter is displayed but the slow slewing
stays even after i pressed enter.

Marnix
Mike here: Now I'm stumped. You have probably done this already but check the telescope model and mounting mode. If the telescope keeps slewing after the beep when it finishes slewing to an alignment star, something is wrong someplace.

And:

Already checked
Telescope model and mount is OK in the Autostar
Mike here: Any chance you could find someone (like a local dealer) with a different Autostar, perhaps a #497?

And:

How much V & amp. needs a 497
does it need 9V 1.5amp or 12V 1.5amp ???
Mike here: The Meade AC Adapter for the ETX-70 puts out 12VDC 1000mA. The Autostar itself can run on 9V.

And an update:

I tried it with a Autostar 497.
The alignment is Now OK but after i press Enter for the last time in
alignment i receive a motor failure error. So tomorrow (It's here 00h45
AM) i will do the BASIC . RESET-CALIBRATE-TRAIN
Mike here: Don't forget to set the telescope model and mounting mode.
Subject:	ETX70AT Azimutal movement problem
Sent:	Sunday, May 2, 2004 06:16:04
From:	"Marnix Verschraegen" (max2206@skynet.be)
I just received a Meade ETX70AT as a present from my girlfriend.

I have a big problem with this scope.

When i try to move it azimutal/horizontal with the autostar. Sometimes
he does not move at all (i hear the motor working). Then i have to push
on the scope and the movement starts. of course then i receive a motor
failure. Sometimes he is moving. But the movement stops and the motor is
still working !!!

What can i do ????
pse help me

Marnix Verschraegen
Belgium

PS: How can i open the ETX70AT ???
Mike here: It sounds like you are overtightening the horizontal axis lock; it should NOT be moved the full width of the groove it is in. The lock should only be sufficiently tight to allow the telescope to slew when the Autostar wants to move it. Since this is a new telescope, why and what part do you want to open?

And:

It's possible but why does it move without any problem sometimes and it
locks up after 15 to 30 degrees of movement ???
Mike here: The lock is a friction mechanism; it could be that it "grabs" harder at some point.

And:

The lock you are talking is situated on top of the mountbox (where the
battcomp is)

I believe it's a small lever.

So i only have to move the lever to the right a little bit and try ...
Mike here: That is the horizontal lock lever; only push it until the OTA moves until Autostar control. If you were overtightening you will quickly get a feel for how tight to make it.

And:

I tried it the problem stays the same.
Sometimes lock up while az movement or it does not move at all. A little
push and it is moving again.
Mike here: What happens if you try a faster slewing speed?

And:

sometimes it moves but locks up or sometimes it does not move at all. In
the 2 situations a little push and he turns, of course after that you
receive a motor fault
Mike here: OK, lets go back to some basics. Do a RESET, set the telescope model and mounting mode in the Autostar, do a CALIBRATE, and then finally a TRAIN DRIVES (on both axes).

And an update:

I have good and bad news ...
The importer took my scope back and gave me a new one.
But the Bad news is there is also a problem with it.
When i do easy alignment and the scope is slewing to a star it goes to a
star in full speed. When i have the star in my oculair the scope does
not stop. It is slowly slewing(moving around). and on the autostar the
slewing msg stays ...
Mike here: If they swapped just the telescope, you may need to just RESET, CALIBRATE, and TRAIN DRIVES on the Autostar. But in any case, try that.
Subject:	help!
Sent:	Saturday, May 1, 2004 19:42:26
From:	A&K Cifaretto (ourcave@optonline.net)
I am an extremely ameture astronomer, but I love the sky. I keep reading
that the Meade ETX telescopes are so simple to use. Either I am a
complete moron and need to be taught as if I was 5 years old or ...I
don't know! I am getting so frustrated!

My husband bought me a Meade ETX-70AT for Christmas. I tried it out a
couple of nights and things were not working out for me. And, it was way
too cold to stay out very long. Now that the weather is warmer, I am
back out - and still having problems.

I have set the Dec. setting to zero, leveled the telescope and tried to
use Easy Alignment and Two Star alignment and it never seems to find
anything. My latest problems are that it keeps showing me "motor
failure". I replaced the batteries and it worked for a few minutes and
then gave me the same message. Shut it off, turned it on, it worked for
a short time and then message again.

Also, when sometimes when it says it's slewing, it's making the noises,
but it's not moving anywhere! The horizontal lock was locked. Then after
futzing with the autostar, it moves when it slews. ????
Mike here: Sorry about your frustration. I almost added to that frustration because your email was originally deleted UNREAD as SPAM due to the ambiguous subject. As noted on my ETX Site Home Page, new visitors should read the Email Etiquette item BEFORE sending me any emails.
As to the motor failure problem, my first thought is that you are overtightening the axis lock. They should be just tight enough to allow the telescope to move when the Autostar wants it to move. The lock for the horizontal axes should not move the entire width of the slot it is in. You should read through some of the alignment tips articles on the Autostar Info page; perhaps they will point out a step that you are doing wrong. (Ignore any references to moving to a hardstop since the ETX-70 does not have hardstops. Once you've read through them and tried those techniques, let me know if you are still having problems. Be as precise as possible when you describe what you did and what the Autostar did.

And:

Thank you for your quick response. 

Yes, I'm sorry that I didn't read through the email etiquette. I did a
search on yahoo and it took me directly to the posting page, so I didn't
see any of that. I didn't even read through the details on your
website...I just skimmed through to find other people with the same
problems I was having. I will read it now...

Yes, my email was cut short, but it wasn't important. For some reason my
computer sent my email before I was done typing! I had resent the email
after I had finished it, but it was returned to me saying something
about your address being unknown. Obviously you got my first one.

I was able to get outside last night and at first was having an awful
time. After loosening and tightening everything a couple of times and
turning autostar on & off, the motor failure message went away. But I am
still having a hard time with autostar finding anything in the sky. I
believe I am setting it up correctly (dec. at 0, leveling, pointed polar
north, etc). But when I tell it to go to a star that I know, it isn't
even close. So, I move it with the arrows and hit enter when I finally
have it centered, thinking that would correct the calculations. From
there I tell it to go to the moon and it is again no where in the right
area! I am confused. I even went back to reset my information, time,
etc.  Should I retrain the drives?? I just don't know.

I did have a nice view of the moon and Jupiter though. I finally saw
Jupiter and its 4 moons! I was so excited! I was surprised at how well I
could see it with only the 9mm lens. I can't wait to see it through the
2x Barlow that I am soon to buy. I'd eventually like to try my hand at
astrophotography, as photography is another one of my ameture hobbies.

Anyway, thanks again. Your help is greatly appreciated. You seem to be
very knowledgable.

Keri in NJ 
Mike here: Anytime the Autostar acts up, a CALIBRATE and TRAIN DRIVES usually solves any problems. If the first alignment star is way off, that usually means that either the HOME position is incorrect or some setting in the Autostar is incorrect. If the former you can correct it by picking up the entire telescope and positioning it until the telescope is pointed as close as possible to the star, then slew to center the star. Do the second alignement star normally.

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