Last updated: 30 November 2002
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:	ETX-70AT video capabilities
Sent:	Saturday, November 30, 2002 11:40:35
I have recently decided to invest in telescope.  I have no prior
experience and/or knowledge of telescopes or Astrology.  I have come to
a decision on the ETX-70AT model from Meade.  I have done extensive
internet research and found that for the money this seems like the best
deal out there.  I don't want to spend more than $300.  I also require
portability and TV / Video options.  Considering your expertise, am I
making the right decision.  As I am new to telescopes, I wanted
something we could take camping with us, or just relax on the porch,
weighing all the options out concerning portrability, Autostar computer
control, and ease of use.  Also, any websites you recommend for buying
the scope online?

Any insight you could give me would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you
in advance.


Kevin Haynes
Mike here: You need to decide upon your expectations of what you will see before making a purchase decision. As you will have discovered from your research, the ETX-70AT is a short focal length telescope, meaning that magnification is limited but in exchange you get nice wide field views. You can use the ETX-70AT for still and video photography, with the right adapters and right cameras. However, astrophotography options are somewhat limited but can be done. One last recommendation: don't use the telescope for astrology. It is difficult to determine its "astrological sign". Use it for astronomy. ;) As to online dealers, OPT, Shutan, and Scopetronix come to mind as excellent dealers with whom I and many others have experience.

Subject:	ETX60 RA Motor Problem Fixed!
Sent:	Friday, November 29, 2002 07:31:47
From: (Neil Bristow)
Following your publication of my drive motor problem (motor runs but
scope does not move) one of your readers (Alan Patterson) sent me a
detailed method of disassembly for the ETX60. When I eventually got
inside the base I discovered that a small piece of black plastic had
broken away from the motor holding bracket, thus allowing the worm gear
to disengage from the gear wheel. I fixed it by sticking a small piece
of self-adhesive rubber to the bracket to re-position the motor. (As
used for the feet on the base of the scope).

All is now well.  Many thanks to you and Alan for the assistance.

Best regards,

Neil Bristow


Subject:	Help
Sent:	Tuesday, November 26, 2002 9:09:44
Just purchased the 70At and have been playing around with it.  Instead
of using 6AA batteries, I used a 9volt. Can this cause problems???

Mike here: It may or may not. If it does it will likely be at high power demands, like slewing or GOTOs. If a problem occurs I suspect it would likely be a "Motor Fault".
Subject:	Meade ETX-70AT
Sent:	Tuesday, November 26, 2002 8:14:17
I have no experience with telescopes but wanted to purchase one for
myself to use and my children who are 8,7 and 5.  This seems like a good
beginners model.  What do you think?  Any other recommendations.  Thanks
in advance and I like the website.  Bill in Chicago.
Mike here: See my ETX-70AT comments (linked from the current "ETX-60AT, ETX-70AT" feedback page and the User Observations page. Whether you will be satisfied with this short focal length refractor will depend upon how you plan to use it and what your expectations are.
Subject:	Play in R.A. Shaft bearing
Sent:	Sunday, November 24, 2002 19:24:48
From: (Jim Colwell)
I tried a search of the feedbacks, but didn't find anything to help me.
I have an ETX-60 that I have had for about 2 years. It's been great. I
have noticed an increasing large amount of "flex" or play between the
base and the the fork mount section. I literally can hold the base and
the forks in separate hands and wiggle them. I have disassembled the
base and found the nylon sleeve bearing betweeen the shaft and the base.
I couldn't see any undue wear or anything out of place, but I haven't
been able to tighten this up. Any ideas? Everything is still working,
but this has concerned me.

Thanks for you time.

Jim Colwell
From: (Clay Sherrod)
I strongly suspect that you have been slightly overtightening (or
perhaps "way" overtightening) the RA clamp with each use until the close
tolerance between the nylon bushing and the cast plastic of the drive
base has diminished;  wrapping the main axel with Teflon tape may help,
but this will just be temporary.  I would suggest that you attempt to
improve the overall clamping of the scope so that undue pressure on the
clamp is not necessary. What is undone cannot be done back, but this
might help in the long run.

This is a pretty common problem, and one that has fast (but negative)
results when tightening too firmly.

Dr. Clay
Arkansas Sky Observatory
MPC/cbat Obs. H43

Subject:	Great Website
Sent:	Sunday, November 24, 2002 17:41:07
From: (Andrea & Rob)
I just came across your website.  It looks very useful however, I have
never used a telescope in my life, and I just purchased the ETX-70AT. 
Any recommendations of where to start?  I have seen several stars, and
Im not sure what im seeing is what im supposed to be seing as far as

Thanks for your help.

Mike here: Start by reading the manual, several times, and playing with the telescope and the Autostar INDOORS. That will make your use less frustrating than trying to learn a new telescope in the dark under the pressure of actually trying to see something. As to what you can see with the ETX-70AT, take a look at the reports on the User Observations page as well as my review (linked from the top of the current "ETX-60AT, ETX-70AT" feedback page).
Subject:	Re: ETX-70AT - Horizontal motor but scope is not moving - Update
Sent:	Friday, November 22, 2002 19:48:07
From: (Ed Carlos)
I finally got the scope back from Meade. Everything seems to be working.
They simply replaced it with a new one after four weeks.  The one that
they sent was bad however.  The flip mirror was glued and could not be
moved. And there were finger prints from white glue all over the flip
mirror and white glue on the walls.  The screw for the view finder was
also stuck  So, I called back Meade support and they explained that the
scope can be replaced right away.  They did.  They even UPS air it to me
and they picked up the bad one for return for free.

One thing's for sure, Meade support is very helpful and quick.  It's
unfortunate that they have quite a few problems with the products.  I
just returned an AC adapter for this scope as well because the 9volt
connector fell apart.

Quick question - the new scope's view finder screw is also stuck.  I
tried using the hex tool to remove it but it ended up messing up the hex
head.  I asked Meade support and they recommended using a screw
extractor.  I bought a set but it looks like it does not work.  Any

Mike here: Screw extractors should work. You might also be able to grip the head with small pliers.
Subject:	Meade ETX 70 AT
Sent:	Thursday, November 21, 2002 21:01:41
From: (Brian Rakowski)
Hi, I have just got the Meade ETX 70 AT on the 20th of Nov. I am a
beginer with basicly no knowledge of the night sky except I can find the
Big Dipper and of course the Moon. I unpackaged the Telescope and read
the instructions and proceeded with the primary intialization of the
scope I then proceeded to set the Declination at 0 degrees and pointed
the scope North I then proceeded to do the Easy Two Star Alignment it
first searched for Capella and then Vega now since I have no knowledge
of Star Locations I don't know if the Scope was really pointing to these
Stars or not so I hoped for the best and then I proceeded to do a GOTO
Moon and it was not there it was in the vicinity but it was off both
ALT/AZ. I have tried several times to do this and everytime it was off
except one time the ALT was correct but not the AZ. I don't know
pecisely how much it was off but I turned the whole scope in the
position it was in about 4 inches maybe a little more or less and the
Moon was visible and centered but all tries after that the ALT/AZ was
off. I also tried training the drives seeings how the instruction book
says to do this if you are expierencing any pointing accuracy problems
or a reset at least every 3 months I did this because I figured this
Scope was sitting on a shelf for some time and things probaly had to be
tuned up so I did the training and the problem persists I even used a
compass to hepl me fine tune the North direction and stood North with
the compass and the needle was offset to the right 2 lines I moved in
that direction until the needle was on North and set the horizontal lock
to that postion as well as to the position that I thought was North and
these problems are still there. I live in Erie, Pennsylvania so it
should be easy to find North cause all you need to do is face Lake Erie
which is North. Now Erie is in Northwestern Pennsylvania but my home is
located in Southeast, Erie. So I 'm not sure what is wrong if I'm doing
something wrong or if something is wrong with the Scope or if it has
something to do with my Geographical location or what. I want to be able
to use the Scope with the GOTO capabilities and see everything that
possibly can be seen with this Scope and buy additional accesories like
Lenses,Filters,Tripod Etc. But I'm afraid to if I can get the Scope to
function. So can you help and assist me with this problem. Also not
sure what your level of expertise is in Astronmy and related stuff but
here is my Lat and Long if this would help you at all according to
Sky and Telescopes website LAT 42' 07' N     LONG
79' 60' W .  Not sure if this is my home's approximate or exact
location. So if you or if you know someone could help please do.

Thank You.

Brian Rakowski
Mike here: There are many settings that affect the alignment accuracy: using Magnetic North instead of True North (which can differ by up to about 20 degrees due to Magnetic Variation or even more if there are interferring objects), or having the wrong location, date (check the year), time (including DST on or off), and telescope model input into the Autostar. So, check all those.
Sent:	Wednesday, November 6, 2002 7:35:43
From: (Neil Bristow)
My 18 month old ETX 60 AT has developed a problem. The Declination
(up/down) motor/s work fine, but the Azimuth? (left/right) doesn't move
the scope, even though I can har the motor/s turning. I guess it needs
stripping down to fix it?

I have removed 3 screws in the base and managed to obviously loosen the
something (it rattles) but have not managed to get any further. I
suspect I need to remove the allen screw in the chrome locking lever as
well. Is there anything else? 

As I am based in UK, I cannot find any other source of help.

Best regards,

Neil Bristow

FinishAdapt Ltd
Unit 14 Westmead Industrial Estate
Mike here: When the azimuth axis is locked, can you move the forks by hand (gentlely, please)? If so then the axis is not getting locked. All you may need to do is reposition the lock lever to allow more "locking" to be applied. See the FAQ for help on this.
Subject:	ETX 70AT
Sent:	Tuesday, November 5, 2002 22:36:32
My ETX70 is my first telescope and I am not sure if there is a problem
with the optics. I cannot get the stars to focus to a point and bright
objects such as Venus,Jupiter and Saturn have a yellow haze over them.
The stars look "spikey". Is this normal? I would appreciate any comments
or advice. Your website has tons of useful info,thanks!
Mike here: Depending upon the seeing conditions you may or may not get stars to focus to a point. Also, depending on the eyepiece used, the same applies. But you should be able to get to a pretty crisp view with the supplied 25 or 26mm eyepiece. On bright objects you may notice the yellow-ish tint but it should not be a haze. You may also see some "chromatic aberration" or color fringing; red on one side and blue on the other of bright objects.

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