ETX-60AT, ETX-70AT, & ETX-80AT-TC USER FEEDBACK
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Last updated: 26 November 2005

This page is for user comments and information specific to the Meade ETX-60AT, ETX-70AT, and ETX-80AT-TC. 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:	Please list website in links section
Sent:	Friday, November 25, 2005 00:28:30
From:	Dan Dabson (dan@dabson.us)
My name is Dan Dabson.  I have started a beginner astronomy web page.  I
am expanding the information daily.  Your site has given me so much
insight into my Meade ETX 70 that I have added it in a link section on
my page.  I hope you do not mind.  If there are any problems with me
listing your site please let me know and I will remove the link.  I am
asking for you to list my site on your links page.  I would appreciate
it very much.  Thanks.

www.dabson.us/astronomy

Dan Dabson

Currently serving in USAF

RAF Lakenheath,  UK

Subject:	Cord Wrap
Sent:	Wednesday, November 23, 2005 05:04:16
From:	Jim Drzewiecki (jimmyd1@tds.net)
I came across this article on your site,  "Another ETX-70AT Power
Supply"
 
http://www.weasner.com/etx/techtips/etx60-70_ps2.html
 
You need to warn about cord wrap! First night out you got it!!
Mike here: Good point! Since the ETX refractor models have a rotating base, unlike the other ETX models, the control panel moves and hence anything connected to the control panel, including the Autostar and external power cables, will also move.
Subject:	ETX-70
Sent:	Friday, November 18, 2005 13:02:45
From:	Terry Byatt (terry@byatt.tv)
I bought a ETX-70 about two years ago and would say that "It's a load of
rubbish"!

Poor quality optics, lots of backlash on the drive, a very poor
instruction manual and a focusing system that's impossible to use above
a 45 degree elevation. Beginners would do far better spending the money
on tripod mounted binoculars and a star chart.

Regards

Terry

PS I see that a finder scope can be bought for this scope. What's the
point of a finder scope on a telescope that has about the same
magnification?

Subject:	A.C. ADAPTER QUESTION.
Sent:	Thursday, November 17, 2005 11:33:12
From:	albert heiling (albev@sbcglobal.net)
I JUST WANTED TO KNOW IF YOU KNEW THE POWER PLUG SIZE FOR THE ETX70 EC
MOUNT. ANY INFO WOULD BE GREAT. THANK YOU!-- BE WELL--AND GOD BLESS!
"MR. BILL"
Mike here: Check the Power Supplies articles on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page. By the way, please read the Email Etiquette item on the ETX Home Page regarding message text. Thanks for understanding.
Subject:	Aligning My Scope Comments (ETX-70, etc.)
Sent:	Tuesday, November 15, 2005 22:06:19
From:	Thomas Henry (thomas.henry@magician.org)
I'll jump in here with a few comments for Bryant.  I've had an ETX-70AT
for some four years now and it always performs extremely well for me. 
Here's what I've done to ensure this:

1. I glued a bubble level to the telescope base (to ensure the platform
is level to the plane of my horizon).

2. I also glued a bubble level to the tube itself, so I can tell when it
is level during alignment.

3. I always use Polaris to determine north.  Throw away the compass.

4. I always set my watch, and then the scope controller accurately. 
There are free programs to tie into the national time standard service
for this.

5. I always use the two-star alignment, with a pair stars way apart from
each other.

By following these five steps during alignment, my unit gives excellent
results every time.  In other words, just two minutes of care at the
outset of each night gives wonderful results for the rest of the night
and has done for some time now.

I'm not kidding; for four years now I've never had anything but
perfection in the scope's behavior.  (Well, there is some chromatic
aberration, but that's another story...)

Hope this helps,

Thomas Henry

Subject:	aligning my scope
Sent:	Monday, November 14, 2005 10:35:51
From:	Bryant, William PO2 (WBryant@msomobile.uscg.mil)
I have an ETX-60ATE. I have a quick ? about aligning the scope. I have
read everything there is to the manual and I am still having trouble
getting to be close to the alignment stars once I get there. I do the
easy and the star is no where in site, my ? is, can I use the
directional keys to bring the star in site than press enter to keep the
coordinates than find the other star or if I use one star to align the
scope would that be closer than using easy.

MK2 WILLIAM S. BRYANT
Mike here: Yes, you can (and should) center the alignment stars using the directional keys on the Autostar. Depending upon how accurate your HOME position is, you might want to try the technique of picking up the telescope/tripod combination and rotate it horizontally until you get the first alignment star as close as possible where the telescope wants to point to the star. Then complete the centering using the keypad. For the second star use only the keypad to center it. One other thing to keep in mind is to NOT use a magnetic compass to indicate where North is unless you correct for your local Magnetic Variation. True North and Magnetic North can vary by up to about 20 degrees.
Subject:	ETX 80AT-TC
Sent:	Saturday, November 12, 2005 11:54:55
From:	MartinSMitchell@aol.com (MartinSMitchell@aol.com)
After reading some comments on the ETX series from Meade I decided to
pre-order the new 80AT model back in September '05.

I am a novice astronomer and most of my experience is based upn that of
a young teenager using the usual firstscope that parents buy as xmas
presents.

30 years later I decided to buy a better scope with which to explore the
night sky and eagerly awaited the arrival of the 80AT. During my wait
though I decided to also buy a pair of binoc's with which to find my way
around the night sky. Because I don't  have much sight in my right eye I
decided instead on a spotting scope.

The model I bought is the Opticron MM2 "Mighty Midget" and was more than
impressed with the quality of the optics and the general build quality.
This model sells for around 230 stirling in the UK, the ETX 80 sells for
around 300.

I've done much successful stargazing with the MM2 including resolving
many double stars including Albireo, I was expecting the ETX to eclipse
this scope.

The ETX 80 has been for me a tad disappointing, although for the price I
guess you get quite a lot but the optics are, well, not good. The moon
is quite impressive and views of the Plieades are spot on using the 25mm
eyepiece. However I find using the 9mm eyepiece to be disappointing and
I seriously doubt I'll be able to see many of the objects in the
Autostar.

A view of Venus this evening showed it as a crescent but the abherration
was appalling.

Main comments are, the focuser feels cheap in use, like a toy compared
with the Opticron, and there's so much backlash in the mechanism that 
sometimes the image visibly moves half way across the field of view when
focussing.

Generally I feel the optics to be not good at all when using anything
greater than the 25mm eyepiece and the built in Barlow is not good
either.

On the plus side with regard to cost, the tripod is not bad at all and
the Autostar makes finding objects a breeze although it takes some
practice at getting the alignment correct.

Overall, I feel the optics are not much of a step up from a pair of
binocs but the overall value for money is pretty good for a starter
scope.

Hope this helps anyone else contemplating buying one of these scopes.

regards
 Mitch, Staffordshire, England
Mike here: Re: aberration when viewing Venus; was that due to the scope or the low altitude (and hence due to the Earth's atmosphere)? Yes, there is some with the ETX-70 but also some could have been due to the low altitude, which affects all telescopes.

And:

Yes it was low altitude, but the Opticron showed no abherration at all,
I think overall the scope is value for money afterall I'm using an old
camera tripod (albeit a Manfrotto) for the opticron. Point is, I think,
that if you combined the optics and build quality of the Opticron with
the mount and Autostar of the Meade you'd have one hot bit of kit. Of
course it would probably be twice the price.

I think Meade have oversold this scope with comments like "The lens
yields razor-sharp images of astronomical and terrestrial subjects. "
for the ETX70, my ETX80 certainly isn't razor sharp. Though I accept
that if I lived at the top of a mountain in the centre of Arizona then I
suppose it might :o)

thanks for putting together such an interesting site!

Mitch

www.hms-arethusa.co.uk

Subject:	etx-70at or etx 80-at tc?
Sent:	Friday, November 11, 2005 20:25:34
From:	Chris Roule (croule@mac.com)
Hello, i am frantically trying to decide on the purchase of one of these
for a gift, i love your forum! what are your thought's on the difference
between them?

reagrds,

chris
Mike here: I haven't yet had a chance to try out the new ETX-80 but it is essentially and a slightly upsized ETX-70; larger aperture and longer focal length. You can read some user reports on the ETX-80 on the Helpful Information: User Observations page.

And:

Thank you for your reply,

I was wondering, if there was something in the similar price range you
would recommend? I appreciate any thoughts you may have on this matter,

kind regards,

c.roule 
Mike here: Depending upon how you plan to use a telescope, you might want to check out the Meade DS and DSX models. Of course, there other manufacturers of telescopes as well.

And:

What are you thoughts on the etx-90 or dsx-90at goto...?
i saw those on the meade closeout sale....i am still looking at the etx
80.

regards,

christopher 
Mike here: I have no experience with the DSX models but you can read some reports on the Helpful Information: User Observations page. Keep in mind that the mount options are limited with the stock DSX vs the stock ETX. But the OTA is the same.

And:

well thank you for for that info,
i am checking the sites now.

regards,

chris roule 
Mike here: Keep in mind that the best telescope for you is the one that gets used and doesn't end up in the closet. Decide HOW you want to USE a telescope and what your EXPECTATIONS are. Then get a telescope that comes as close to that as possible within your budget. Also, keep in mind that having some of the budget for accessories might be nice.

And:

Yes that is wise advice, i hadn't thought of accessories.
still searching, really tough choice.

thanks again.

Subject:	ETX-70
Sent:	Wednesday, November 9, 2005 12:15:50
From:	AmeriGas La Grande (aglagrande@uci.net)
Well I told you a few weeks ago about Meade doing a close out of the
ETX-70 in ebay well I got mine and the DEC shaft was broke right off
when I pulled it out of the box the OTA almost fell off. So I called
Meade right away and never did get to a person. so I told them I was a
dealer and got right through. I told the Man what I found and he said
some one should call me back tonight. I love the Producks but I realy
dont understand how some thing like that could get shiped out. Well I
hope that they are true to there work and get back to me soon. The realy
bad new is the man said they dont have parts so they will have to send
me a nother one but if they are all gone I gess i am SOL. Thanks for
letting me vent and take care
 
Allen Sellick

And:

Hey do you have a better Phone # for Meade customer support than the
1-949-451-1450. Just in case they don't get back to me.

Thank
Mike here: (800) 626-3233

And:

Do you have a good # for Meade customer service I have been trying all
day to get some one about a ETX-70 that I just got in the mail and it
has a bad DEC lock.
 
Thank you for any help
 
Allen sellick
Mike here: (800) 626-3233
Subject:	Etx 70 Germany to UK export
Sent:	Tuesday, November 8, 2005 14:21:09
From:	Mark & Sally (markandsally.prentice@ukonline.co.uk)
I am thinking of buying to above, but I understand it will come with
german instructions and cdrom.

In your archives there is a post from a Dave Chadwick who has done just
that and got them swapped by

Meade Europe in germany.

Unfortunatly there is no email on his post I was wondering if you had it
or could give me any info on this.

Also do you know much about this "2005 special limited edition" 
version?

Is it better?  It seems to have some extras but the lack of  "AT " at
the end worries me.

Thanks Mike

Mark Prentice
Mike here: Hadn't heard of this limited edition. You can try the Meade Europe page; there may be an email address there (I couldn't check because I couldn't get their intro animation to skip).
Subject:	RE: Problem with Alt Axis in ETX 70 AT
Sent:	Tuesday, November 8, 2005 01:50:50
From:	Kenneth O'Neill (AT/LMI) (kenneth.oneill@ericsson.com)
I went through the whole procedure of Train Drives and Calibrate motors
and it generally works fine. The problem only seems to occurs when the
speed of the motor is changed to something below 0.5 degrees. After
playing around with it again at the weekend, I have come to the
conclusion that there is actually a problem with the motor and I should
get it replaced.
Cheers
Ken

Subject:	ETX 60 and motorized focuser
Sent:	Monday, November 7, 2005 23:58:56
From:	Oldfield So (oldfield.so@gmail.com)
I want to add a motorized focuser for my ETX 60, and it must be able to
be controlled via Autostar, is such thing available?

If not, Meade seems to have a 1240 focuser for DS series which has a
similar AUX port with the ETX, wonder if any one tried it on ETX?

Thanks.

Oldfield
-- 
The HOME astronomer
Mike here: There are a couple of electronic focusers for the ETX-70 discussed on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page; these are do-it-yourself add-ons.

And:

Thanks for your quick response, you're really very helpful to those ETX
community.

I understand there are some OEM electric focusers, but wonder if they
can be accessed via Autostar?  I asked this since I want to use my ETX
remotely on the sun via Internet.  Those I know of, cannot be connected
to the Autostar, thank you.
 
Oldfield
Mike here: Doubtful.
Subject:	ETX 80 BB
Sent:	Friday, November 4, 2005 08:59:14
From:	Runion, Steven N. SSG ITB/MiTT S6 (steven.runion@kirkush.net)
Hello, my name is Steve Runion. I am serving our country right now in
Kirkush,  Iraq. Back in the US I live in West Virginia. I have owned
three scopes in the past but all are too big to ship to me here. My
question is about the Meade ETX 80 BB. Have you any comments on the
quality and do you think it would make me a good travel type scope to
use over here. The nights here are usually very clear and beautiful. I
have a perfect location on top of my three story building to use the
scope. The building is all very thick concrete so vibrations will be
minimal.  Is the ETX 80 what I should be looking at. Its priced at a
mere $300 so even if its descent I would think it would be good. Back
home I had a 6" refractor and two 8" SC goto's. I have sold all of them
but I kept the eyepieces and flip mirrors and all the extras. Thanks for
maintaining your site for all these years. When I get home next August
06 I am going to get another big scope. I would appreciate any info you
can give me on this scope or suggestions you may have. Thanks again,
Steve Runion

Runion, Steven N SSG ITB/MiTT S6
Mike here: Yes, the ETX-80 is portable but keep in mind that it is a short focal length refractor. It is nicely suited to wide angle viewing. You might want to read through the ETX-70 and ETX-80 reports on the Helpful Information: User Observations page so help determine whether it will meet your expectations.
Subject:	Problem with Alt Axis in ETX 70 AT
Sent:	Friday, November 4, 2005 02:38:40
From:	Kenneth O'Neill (AT/LMI) (kenneth.oneill@ericsson.com)
I bought a second hand ETX 70 recently for next to nothing, which had a
few problems, but thanks to your great site I managed to fix them all,
so thanks for that.

Now however a new problem has developed which I can't seem to find a
solution to on your site. Basically the Motor on the Alt axis (the up
and down axis, just in case I've gotten confused myself) seems to cut
out. When the telescope is slewing to the first alignment star it will
slew so far and then only the Az motor will keep running, when it tries
to slew in Alt again it stops and a Motor Unit Fault error appears on
the Autostar.

I've replaced the batteries, used rechargable ones, lithium ones, normal
ones everything and the problem exists with the all, so it is not a
power supply problem.

I've switched the cables so that pressing left / right on the hand box
moves the scope up / down and it works fine. Switch the cables back, and
it works fine. Do not use the Alignment, or change the speed and it
works fine. As soon as I turn off the Autostar and try to align it,
again the motor unit fault occurs. If seen the fault occur if I change
the speed of the motors.

Hopefully you or someone else might have experienced the fault before or
at least might have an idea of what is going on, because I sure don't.
 
Many Thanks
Ken
Mike here: You didn't say; have you done a CALIBRATE MOTORS? If not, do that and a TRAIN DRIVES.
Subject:	etx 80 barlow
Sent:	Tuesday, November 1, 2005 15:41:25
From:	douglas wolf (dwolf15@wi.rr.com)
I just bought my first scope, etx 80.  it has a built in 2x barlow.  My
question is if I put on a barlow will that effectively give my 4x
magnification?  Please excuse my ignorance.
Thanks for your time
Doug
P.S.. I probably wouldn't have bought the etx scope if I had not seen
your site you should get a kick back from Meade
Mike here: Effectively, yes. However, the views you see may or may not be satisfactory since you'll be doubling and already doubled image and adding more optical components. Also, keep in mind that there is a theoretical maximum magnification for any telescope; see the FAQ page if you are unsure how to determine this.

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Copyright © 2005 Michael L. Weasner / etx@me.com
Submittals Copyright © 2005 by the Submitter
URL = http://www.weasner.com/etx/archive/feedbackNov05/70.html