Last updated: 27 May 2004
This page is for user comments and information specific to the Meade ETX-90RA (originally known as the "ETX Astro"), the ETX-90EC, and the ETX-90AT. 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.

Weasner Experiences the ETX-90EC! (7/31/99)
Sky & Telescope ETX-90EC review (4/30/99)
ETX-90EC, NexStar5 comparison (2/24/01)
ETX-90EC Press Release (1/28/99)
ETX-90EC Accessories (1/28/99)
DSX-90 Photos (12/03/03)

Subject:	ETX-90 ViewFinder Question
Sent:	Thursday, May 27, 2004 07:44:37
From:	Larry Harrison (
You helped me out the other day on getting an ETX-90 EC model with a
note stating that I should have received an AutoStar Controller.
DiscoveryStore refused to assist me in that matter. I called Meade
yesterday. I had to fax my receipt and a copy of the AutoStar letter to
them. They in turn would mail me an AutoStar Controller. That was great
news!! Thanks for your assist.

Secondly: I bought your book. Very informative!!

Lastly: Can I utilize a Meade 8 x 50mm ViewFinder on my ETX-90 or would
I have to modify the scope/finder? OR Can I utilize an Orion ViewFinder
or will I have to do some modifications?

Regards, Larry Harrison
Mike here: yes, you could use some but you will have to come up with your own attachment for mounting it. See the Accessory Reviews - Finderscopes for some comments on other finders.
Subject:	Re: Info on ETX 90RA upgrade
Sent:	Thursday, May 27, 2004 02:51:57
From:	Jrgen Blust (
I just received the upgraded ETX from Meade Instruments Europe. It came
with the Autostar #497 (version 3.1 German) an a user manual for ETX
telescopes. The fork mount is brand new. I just can't await to train the
drives and check out the GOTO capabilities.

Meade really doesn't offer an upgrade for old ETX RA models officially.
But if you ask, they will do it. Well, at least they did it for me.

The price for this was 410 Euros (taxes included)  that's not really
cheap, but worth it. Especially when you plan to use the Scope for the
next years.

Nevertheless I will spare money for a bigger telescope; I dream of
owning a LX200. Until then, I hope to have a lot of fun and exciting
views with my new old ETX 90.

The link below shows the original.

Best wishes from Germany and clear skies
Juergen Blust

Sent:	Friday, May 7, 2004 08:27:37
From:	"rong86" (
I have an older Meade ETX telescope and the base doesn't have any
electronic panel for AUTOSTAR  compatibility. I have no paperwork for
this scope at present but it seems to function quite well manually. Is
there a means by which to convert the base to an AT type so as to avail
the use of  AUTOSTAR? I didn't know if Meade offered such an upgrade or
if I'm stuck in manual vortex for eternity.
Thanks in advance for any advice you may furnish.

Ronald R. Green
Mike here: PLEASE read the Email Etiquette item on the ETX Site; your message was originally deleted UNREAD as SPAM due to the missing subject entry.
As to your question, short answer "no". For a slightly longer answer see the FAQ page.
Subject:	Info on ETX 90RA upgrade
Sent:	Thursday, May 6, 2004 16:17:40
From:	Jrgen Blust (
I was just visiting your excellent ETX site (your site is THE source for
ETX owners!).

In the section "buyer/new user tips" you write at "telescope models",
that the ETX 90RA models are not upgradeable to the EC models. As I
could figure out last week, this information is officially true, but
inofficially wrong :-) Being curious about the ability of upgrading my
ETX 90RA with GOTO features, I spent many hours of searching the
internet for useful informations.

I found a very interesting offer on the website of Baader-Planetarium
(  sorry german
language only). You can purchase a Celestron GT mount including a tripod
and controller for 375 Euros. That's probably the cheapest way of
"computerizing" old ETX models and the spotting scopes. Then I wrote an
e-mail to Meade Instruments Europe ( and asked them
if they could offer me an original ETX EC mount for my 90RA. I was
asking for a mount with transport damage that may be optically ruined
but technically working, which they could sell to me for a nice price.
The answer came within two hours: They offered me to change the mount
with an original EC fork mount for 200 Euros plus taxes. They explained
that it is necessary to take apart the optics off the tube to replace
the main mirror housing due to completely different adjustment points
for the EC fork mount. After that an alingnment of the optics is highly
recommended, but they also will do that for the money. The Autostar is
to be purchased seperately for 148 Euros.

So I sent my beloved ETX to Meade Instruments Europe last monday (May
3rd), and I hope to have the "refurbished" ETX 90 back for the transit
of Venus in June. Otherwise I'll have so buy a cheaper ETX 70 on ebay to
be able to watch the transit...

Maybe this information is useful for other ETX 90RA owners.

Best greetings from Germany :-)
Jrgen Blust

(N 48.183, E 7.900)
Mike here: It is true that the RA model is not upgradable to the EC or now AT model. But the OTA can be mounted on different GOTO mounts to get similar functionality. As described in many articles on the Telescope Tech Tips page, people have done this. Thanks for the additional tip.

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