ETX-60AT & ETX-70AT USER FEEDBACK
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Last updated: 30 November 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:	RE: Question regarding purchase of ETX70AT
Sent:	Saturday, November 29, 2003 08:42:37
From:	sid@herbage.ca (Sid Herbage)
Another thing Mike Hohbein should check and take into account are
the shipping charges, import duties and taxes (VAT) associated with
importing the equipment from the USA. These are not likely to be trivial
and he certainly won't save the 150 pounds that he expects.

..... Sid

Subject:	Question regarding purchase of ETX70AT
Sent:	Monday, November 24, 2003 01:55:25
From:	M.Hohbein@earth.cf.ac.uk (Michael Hohbein)
I am going to buy a Meade ETX telescope for use as an amateur observer.
I have a couple of quick questions and I would value your advice
greatly.

1) In the UK the ETX 70AT costs around 300, but I have seen on
Amazon.com that I could get the scope for $264 (about 155). Are the
scopes we buy here in the UK the same as the ones on sale in the states,
and therefore could I buy one from the states and save about 150? I
presume it would work over here (batteries etc)?

Secondly, if the answer to the above question is that the scopes sold in
the UK are the same as the USA, and therefore I could buy one from
America, do you think it would be worth buying an Meade ETX90EC for $470
(about 275, less than the cost of the ETX70AT if bought here in the UK).
Is the increase in performance of the scope worth spending more money
on? If there is not a great improvement maybe I would be best to stick
with the ETX70AT and save some money?

I would very much appreciate any help you could offer regarding these
questions

Very best regards

Mike Hohbein

Postgraduate Researcher
3DLab
School of Earth, Ocean and Planetary Sciences,
Cardiff University,
Wales,
UK
Mike here: I would assume they are the same models. HOWEVER, warranty work is only valid in the country where purchased. And yes, there is a noticeable difference in focal length (350mm vs 1250mm). For an indication of what this could mean to you, see My Astrophotography Gallery - The Planets page where I compare the size of Mars through several different telescopes.
Subject:	#494 Hand Controller
Sent:	Wednesday, November 19, 2003 08:33:04
From:	MDuggan911@aol.com
I have a ETX70AT with a #494 Hand Controller. I tried to download the
updated software to my system and it said that there is no update for
the #494. Is this true?  Also, I have the #506 AstroFinder software and
all the cables hooked up to my laptop and it all works fine. My question
is with this hookup, is there a way to get a live picture from my scope
to the PC?

Thanks, Mike
Mike here: There is no update for the #494 Autostar available on Meade's site. And yes, you can use various webcams and digital cameras, the SAC imager, and the Meade Lunar Planetary Imager to display views on the computer. See the Helpful Information - Astrophotography page for more info.
Subject:	prices of etx-70AT's
Sent:	Monday, November 17, 2003 11:11:38
From:	PDLRC@aol.com
Sorry to bother you with such an unimportant question but I saw an
ETX-70AT today for 299 and was wondering if this was good value for
this telescope as I haven't seen one for this price before! Just thought
I'd ask in case you yelled, "No! Buy one straight from the
manufacturer!" or something like that! It was in a proper camera shop so
no dodgy goings on or anything. Is it a good one to get? Would I need to
buy lots of other lenses like a Barlow lens and moon filter etc in order
to see anything decent?
  Thanks
    Becky
Mike here: I just brought up one of the UK dealer sites listed on the Astronomy Links page and found the ETX-70AT for 285.00 GBP. Whether you will be satisfied with the ETX-70 will depend upon what you want to do with it and what your expectations are. See the Helpful Information - User Observations page as well the My Astrophotography - The Planets (for a comparison of views). As to other accessories, again that depends upon what you want to do but a Moon Filter and Barlow Lens are handy.
Subject:	Meade ETX-60AT Autostar 494 Controller Frozen at Day Light Savings screen
Sent:	Saturday, November 15, 2003 15:41:52
From:	terryoakes@clara.co.uk (Terry Oakes)
Thank goodness I found your comprehensive site. 

I have recently bought the above telescope.  On first using the
telescope I  was able to initialise Autostar.  I altered the site
location from the setup menu and now I cannot get beyond the "Daylight
Savings" screen - it will not accept the ENTER command.  When I switch
on the telescope I receive the warning which I can remove by pressing
the help key, then I can enter the date and time but then the hand set
freezes and will not respond to any key.  I have tried switching OFF and
ON several times and I have disconnected the batteries but the procedure
will not go any further.  Can you help please?

Regards

Terry Oakes
Lowestoft
Suffolk  NR33 0LQ
England
Mike here: You can try to get to the RESET menu; after you skip the sun warning, press the MODE key several times (ignore the entries). Hopefully it will allow you to get to the SETUP menu. If it does, try scrolling until you see RESET and then press ENTER. Let me know.

And:

Thank you very much for your swift response - it's greatly appreciated.

I've tried what you suggested but just can't get past the Day Light
Savings screen.  After pressing the help key to remove the warning, when
I press of the Mode key I scroll through the date and time screens only
to reach the frozen Day Light Savings screen.

I've also found out I can't upgrade the database on the 494, so does
this mean I shall have to return the controller to the retailer?

Thank you

Terry Oakes
Mike here: Yep.
Subject:	ETX 70 AT AC/DC Adapter Question
Sent:	Saturday, November 15, 2003 12:45:06
From:	wingarn@chartermi.net (Aaron Renee and Nick)
I am purchasing an ETX-70AT Scope, and am looking for an adapter to use
for both AC (house hold electric), and DC (Car lighter) applications. I
could not find an adapter for this scope for the DC application anywhere
except an adapter I found on ebay
(cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2964473539&category=
29954>). Could you please look at this adapter and let me know if it is
useable on the ETX-70AT Scope? This the email I received when I
contacted the seller:

Hi,

This adapter is compatible with the Meade #546 AC Adapter.  The reason
the etx 70at is not listed is because Meade doesn't specify whether this
telescope accepts a DC Input.

If there is a spot to plug in an AC Adapter then this will work.

Thanks,

Aaron Wing
Mike here: As you can see in the photo of the Meade AC Adapter on the Accessory Reviews - Miscellaneous page on my ETX Site, you have to bring the battery pak connector outside of the base. So, no, there is no real external power port. However, see the "Power Supplies" section on the Telescope Tech Tips page for other options.
Subject:	Starter Telescope Question
Sent:	Friday, November 14, 2003 11:28:15
From:	Shawn.Hill@BellSouth.com (Hill, Shawn R)
First off, I have an ETX-125 and I love it.  I find your site to be a
great source for tips, tricks, and inspiration.  Thank you for providing
such a valuable resource.

Secondly, I have a co-worker that has an 8 year old son that is starting
to express an interest in Astronomy.  He is wanting to purchase his son
a decent but inexpensive telescope for starters to see if its just a
faze or active interest.  Do you have any recommendations on a ~$100
Starter Scope? Another co-worker knows a guy with an ETX-70 and tripod
for sale for ~$150 which is tempting but I cannot locate sufficient
specs on its capabilities to pass along to the Dad.  He likes to know
details of items he purchases and other telescopes he has seen list
stuff like 350x magnification, etc.  I can't find the same info for the
ETX70.  Do you have any good sites with telescope specs for the lay
person?
 
I appreciate any help and suggestions you can offer.
 
Thanks
 
Shawn R. Hill
Mike here: Check the FAQ page; info on manuals is there. The specs are in the manual. You might also print out some of the ETX-70 (and -60) User Observations pages.
Subject:	Meade ETX70
Sent:	Tuesday, November 11, 2003 08:59:50
From:	Dennis.Lee@carefirst.com
Hello, I just recently purchased a Meade ETX70  telescope and have a
question. I see there there is a port on the back to attach a camera.
Will there be any extra magnification or will it be whatever the
magnification of the camera is? I am interested in taking pictures and
want to know what the best method is using this telescope. I am new to
all this and right now I hold my camera up to the eyepiece and shoot. I
see Orion has a device that attached to the eyepiece but was wondering
about any options with the ETX70. Thanks in advance. Dennis Lee.
Mike here: See the Helpful Information - Astrophotography page for lots of info. When you attach a 35mm camera at the rear port you essentially have a 350mm telephoto lens. Using eyepiece projection or afocal photography (which also shorts through the eyepiece) you get additional magnification as well as additional problems (tracking errors, vibration, effects from poor seeing). If you decide to get the rear port camera adapter, check your manual for the proper model number.
Subject:	Downloadign information to ETX 70 AT
Sent:	Saturday, November 8, 2003 18:51:45
From:	ShamrockJJ14@aol.com
I just recently downloaded new updates from dc3 website. I also have the
#506 cable connection and acp program. I do not know how to download the
information from the computer to the telescope. The information i wanted
to download was updates on satelite tracking, updates on stars and
planets.  can u help me?

Josh
Mike here: See the Autostar Information page. There is a lot of info on using the Meade Autostar Updater application as well as entering satellite info.
Subject:	Pushing a 70 too far??
Sent:	Monday, November 3, 2003 01:59:56
From:	markthomasz@ozemail.com.au (Mark Thomas)
Great site - I apologise if I have missed a discussion on this topic,
but there is a lot to wade thru..

My question is, what are the optical problems that I should expect when
pushing a scope too far with an eyepiece?  I understand the limits of
magnification, and so on.  But I decided to give a very powerful
eyepiece a shot, just to see the results.  And I am now puzzled..

The eyepiece in question is a bloody enormous Celestron 2.3mm, and on a
little ETX-70!!  Dang near tips the scope over!  It's their latest
design - the X-Cel series, extra eye relief, supposedly very good, and
quite costly.

The results - well, I have not really tested it out thoroughly, but on
first viewing of the Moon at dusk, I was very surprised to see
remarkably good detail - quite clearly defined and quite sharp.
Significant loss of contrast and brightness, no surprise there, but the
image was very usable... EXCEPT... for HORRIBLE chromatic aberration at
the light/dark edges, ie moon/sky. This is CA like you wouldn't believe
- a huge purple halo that would be close to a tenth of the entire field
of view - probably twenty times the size of the details it was easily
resolving!  The aberration is consistent right across the image, not
worse at the outer edges as I would expect from my photography
experience (which I guess isn't aplicable here).


Is that what you would expect, or could it in fact be a faulty eyepiece?
I don't have the experience to know what to expect when a scope is
pushed beyond its design limit.

In other words, do I concede defeat and ask for a lesser magnification -
the guy gave it to me to try on that basis - or should I complain about
the quality of this eyepiece?   It cost a LOT, and it just seems
puzzling to have such nice detail, but such AWFUL aberrations - not
knowing if it is just the scope's limit, or the eyepiece, is
frustrating.

Any advice or comments would be greatly appreciated.


Kind regards,

Mark Thomas
Mike here: It is possible to get useable views when exceeding the theoretical maximum magnification when viewing bright objects like the Moon and brighter planets. How good the views will be depends upon many factors: seeing conditions, quality of all the optics in the light path, brightness of the object, expectations of the observer. Keep in mind that you are not only magnifying the object, but all the chromatic aberration in the optics. So, what you are seeing is normal for the telescope, eyepiece, object combination.
Subject:	re: ETX70 Question
Sent:	Saturday, November 1, 2003 16:55:48
From:	rseymour@wolfenet.com (Richard Seymour)
To:	MDuggan911@aol.com
I don't understand what you are trying to ask.

By "See", do you mean "see on my PC screen what i see through the eyepiece"?

If so: No.  You would need to buy a -camera- of some type, since the
Telescope only passes light through, without any means of capturing it.
You would put the camera (such as Meade's LPI package, or Meade's
Electronic Eyepiece, or almost any "webcam") in place of the telescope eyepiece.
How you then "saw" the results, and how, and -what- you hook the camera
-to-, depends upon the camera.  The "Electronic Eyepiece" has a video cable
that would attach to a VCR or television with a video jack.
The LPI (Lunar Planetary Imager) has a USB cable, so it can only talk
to computers with a USB socket.

The "506" cable Mike was talking about is for -control- of your telescope,
or for letting a "planetarium" program on your PC know where the 
telescope is pointing, so it can show you a star-chart of that area.
Meade's AutostarSuite (which comes with the LPI) is one such,
StarryNight, TheSky, Cartes du Ciel, Astroplanner... are a bunch of others.

If you have an Autostar 497 (with numeric keypad) instead of the 70's
normal no-number-keys 494 Autostar, then you would use a 505 cable,
and it plugs into a second hole on the bottom of the Autostar, 
not into the AUX jacks.  But it still cannot "see" what the telescope "sees".

have fun
--dick

Subject:	etx-60 cannot focus
Sent:	Saturday, November 1, 2003 12:31:40
From:	dbve01@hotmail.com (david van etten)
i am an amatuer (just starting ) and i bought an etx 60 with a 9mm and a
25mm eyepiece, an erecting prism for the straight thru hole in the back
and the adapters neccesary for putting an olympus digital camera on it.
my problem is this when i put the different eyepieces in the top sight i
can get it to focus and gives me a clear view when i try to flip to the
straight thru veiw i cannot get it to focus it is almost like it doesnt
go far enough and also when i change eyepieces (on the top viewfinder )
it does not stay in focus. all my pieces are from meade and i believe
they should be "parfocal"? not needing to adjust the tube length to keep
a clear view? am i right ? when i use the rear view finder i have the
erecting prism and an eyepiece and it wont focus in to something i could
focus in on when i look thru the top viewfinder. please help me im
getting frustrated trying to get this to work and i would really like to
use my camera with it .

thanks  dave 
Mike here: The 25mm and 9mm are NOT parfocal. If you have the Meade 45 degree Erecting Prism model #933 it should work. Model #932 will not work on the ETX-60AT.

And:

thank you mike for the advice but i have to ask how do you tell the 933 from 
the 932 there are no #s onit and i bought it a while ago so i dont have the 
box anymore:( the picture that i found of the 933 looks the same  as the 932

could i have the wrong lenses too? i have the ma25mm and the ma9mm thank
you again i just found your site today and it seems very useful thanks
for the quick reply to my first email

thanks
dave
Mike here: I don't have one so can't say. But one works and the other won't. The ETX-60 and -70 models came with the 25mm and 9mm eyepieces.

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