Last updated: 30 November 2006

This page is for user comments and information specific to the Meade ETX-60AT, ETX-70AT, ETX-80AT-TC, and ETX-80BB. Additional information 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:	Difference Between ETX-80AT-TC and ETX-80BB Tripod
Sent:	Monday, November 27, 2006 18:14:15
From:	Mike Melinda (
In a User Feedback post you noted that one of the differences between
the ETX-80AT-TC and ETX-80BB is the tripod.  What is the difference
between the tripods?
Thanks for your assistance.
Michael M.
Albany, California
Mike here: All I know is what I see from the photos.
Subject:	Problem with my horizontal motor on my ETX 60.
Sent:	Sunday, November 19, 2006 14:45:57
From:	Rodney Clabaugh (
Ihave a problem with my motor on my goto ETX 60 telescope. I think it
got turned by hand while in the lock position. Now when I go to use it
in the horizontal movement it sound like it is slewing but it doesnt
move. The other motor is fine( up and down motion) This really sucks
since it renders mygo to ability useless. Any ideas or who to contact to
fix. Frankly if it cost too much I would probably just purchase a etx90 
and upgrade.  Thanks---- Rod---
Mike here: When the horizontal axis is locked can you easily move the telescope in that axis? If so, then the locking mechanism is likely busted. You may or may not be able to fix it. However, if it is difficult to move then you may be OK. Do a CALIBRATE MOTOR and then do a TRAIN DRIVES. If the telescope moves during the azimuth training you should be OK again.
Subject:	Meade ETX-80AT & ETX-80BB Comparison
Sent:	Thursday, November 16, 2006 15:12:56
From:	Douglas E Dickey (
I am trying to figure out the differences, if any, between the ETX-80AT
& ETX-80BB (BB = BackPack) telescopes. My assumption is that they are
identical, except for the addition of a backpack on the BB model.
Possibly the software offering is different? Can you give me any advice,
as this is my first telescope purchase, and i would like to make it a
good one. The only place that seems to offer the BB model is Discovery

Doug Dickey
Mike here: The included tripod is different plus you get the backpack with the BB model. That is about it I believe. However, keep in mind that whether this telescope model is "good one" for you will depend on how you plan to use and what you expectations are. If you haven't already done so, you might want to read my ETX-70 comments on the Helpful Information: Buyer/New User Tips page as well as the ETX-60, 70, 80 comments on the Helpful Information: User Observations page.
Subject:	ETX-70 Barlow lens
Sent:	Tuesday, November 14, 2006 18:16:54
My 13 year old son inherited a ETX-70 with Autostar from my brother.  He
wants some new eye pieces to increase his magnification.  Is any Barlow
lens okay, or do we need a specific size? Could you direct me to a
reputable site to buy from?

Mike here: For the ETX models you need a "shorty" style Barlow Lens. Meade has one specifically for the ETX-70: model #124. Oceanside Photo and Telescope and Shutan Camera and Video are two of the many reputation dealers available. (Note: I have a relationship with OPT.)
Subject:	ETX 70 Focus Knob
Sent:	Tuesday, November 14, 2006 14:55:47
From:	Daniel McCormick (
First off, thanks for the great site!  I have the Meade ETX-70.  I was
observing M31 on Saturday night, and the focus knob just fell off.  I
started to turn it, and it made a grinding noise.  I wasn't doing
anything different.  After it fell off, the whole optics tube came lose,
and I could take it out of the whole telescope base.  I saw one page on
your site that sort of was my problem, but I don't think it was my
issue.  Do you have any suggestions for me?  If you have any questions
for me, please feel free to contact me back!

Dan McCormick
Mike here: See the article "ETX-70 Focus Knob Fix" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.


I got the focus knob fixed, but now the optics tube - that goes into the
telescope body - is loose and wobbly.  It can be turned to the left and
right, it can also be pulled out a little.  I couldn't find anything on
your site, unless I was searching wrong.  Anymore advice?
Mike here: It sounds like some retaining material or ring is missing or slipped. It may have to go back to Meade.
Subject:	Photography with EXT 70AT
Sent:	Thursday, November 9, 2006 15:56:04
From:	Irish, Patrick (
I recently purchased a Cannon SLR camera the Rebel XTi. I am having a
difficult time getting the proper adaptors to connect the camera to my
EXT 70AT. I talked to the discovery store about the T ring and they told
me to contact Meade because they have a note not to sell any adaptors
for the 70AT. I have been trying to communicate (i.e. phone) with Meade
but they will not call me back. I purchased 1 T ring which connects to
the scope but I still need the tube and the other ring. Any ideas?


PS Great site I have been with you for a while now. Keep it up!
Mike here: See the Accessory Reviews: Astrophotography page for info on adapters. HOWEVER, many cameras, especially SLRs and DSLRs may be too heavy for the ETX-70 and will create slewing and tracking problems.
Subject:	70etx
Sent:	Wednesday, November 8, 2006 07:11:03
From:	quest (
great site, could you give me your opinion ,,or if you came across this
problem befor ,,, i have a 70 etx with the 494 hand control and when i
get passed the date and time it ask for daylight saving time ,,yes or no
,, no matter which one i enter ,,it locks up , so now i shut it down 
and start over again and it will again only get to daylight saving and
locks up again ,, befor it locks i can control the scopes up and down
etc.  ,,  ,,
  thanks mike
Mike here: Potentially not a good sign! It could be that the AutoStar software is corrupted. Sometimes, doing a RESET (if you can get to that menu item) will solve it. If not, with the #494 the only options are to return it to Meade for repair or get another AutoStar. If you do decide to get a replacement I recommend going for the #497 model which has more capabilities, including user installable updates.
Subject:	Autostar 494 upgrade to 497 for etx80
Sent:	Monday, November 6, 2006 07:11:50
From: (
I have a etx-80AT-TC and it came with a #494 controller. I perused a lot
of the Mighty etx site and could not find any reference to my question.
(great site by the way)

My question can I buy a 497 controller and just plug it in to my scope,
if compatible, then just go through the initialization.

Thanks and keep this site up I loveit....Dave Lehocky   Hometown IL
Mike here: Perusing is helpful but so is searching. For example, searching the Site for "etx-80 497" would have gotten you the answer, which is "yes". Depending on the age of the AutoStar #497 you may or may not have to update it.


Thanks a bunch

Boy do I feel silly. found what you directed me to and now I cant wait
to get started.

Love your site  Dave

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