Last updated: 30 November 2002
Subject: ETX-70AT video capabilities Sent: Saturday, November 30, 2002 11:40:35 From: KHAYNES2@cfl.rr.com (KEVIN HAYNES) 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. Regards, Kevin HaynesMike 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: firstname.lastname@example.org (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 Swindon Wiltshire UK
Subject: Help Sent: Tuesday, November 26, 2002 9:09:44 From: BSCPHL@aol.com Just purchased the 70At and have been playing around with it. Instead of using 6AA batteries, I used a 9volt. Can this cause problems??? ThanksMike 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 From: Five00000@aol.com 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: email@example.com (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 ColwellAnd:
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (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 www.arksky.org MPC/cbat Obs. H43
Subject: Great Website Sent: Sunday, November 24, 2002 17:41:07 From: email@example.com (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 clarity. Thanks for your help. RobMike 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: firstname.lastname@example.org (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 ideas? Thanks EdMike 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: email@example.com (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 RakowskiMike 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.
Subject: ETX60AT DRIVE MOTOR PROBLEM Sent: Wednesday, November 6, 2002 7:35:43 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (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 Swindon Wiltshire UK SN5 7YTMike 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 From: Kingadrianryan@aol.com 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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