Last updated: 29 October 2002
This page is for user comments and information specific to the Meade ETX-90RA (originally known as the "ETX Astro") and the ETX-90EC. Comments on accessories and feedback items appropriate to other ETX and DS 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:	your site
Sent:	Monday, October 28, 2002 14:08:50
From: (Kenny Stewart)
A friend was selling his ETX90RA for $200, after reading the research
and being on a tight budget I went ahead with the purchase.  Even though
the site pertains to newer models the optics are the same and I have
learned a great deal from your site.    I would like to thank you for
your dilligence and work on the site, it has taught me a great deal.

Kenny Stewart
Springfield, MO
Mike here: Certainly the ETX-90RA continues as a fine telescope. I still use mine a lot.
Subject:	re: Regarding upgrading an RA to something like an EC
Sent:	Wednesday, October 23, 2002 0:08:26
From: (Richard Seymour)
Somewhere recently in one of the various YAhoo discussion groups,
i -think- someone has hung an ETX90ra barrel in an ETX60 mount.
...but i can't find it to reference, or to guarantee that i'm
not misremembering the messages.  The ETX60 and ETX70 have the
same sized barrel.  The ETX90 barrel is larger diameter.

an -alternate- method is to hang that ETX90 in a DS-60's mount.
Mike's site has photos of -that- conversion.

good luck

P.S.  There is the recently added Telescope Tech Tip article on this.

Subject:	Regarding upgrading an RA to something like an EC
Sent:	Sunday, October 20, 2002 19:02:32
From: (Michael W. Hoy)
I am interested in giving my old ETX 90-RA some capabillity using drive
controllers. I saw a couple of reviews for "Microstar I + II" on your
site but Scopetronix no longer lists them at their page. I have written
Scopetronix but am still waiting on a reply. So here is my crazy idea,
since I don't want to spend a lot I thought maybe the fork mount
assemblies from a 70mm new ETX might accept the Optical Tube Assembly
from the 90mm RA (M) model? Has anyone tried this? Are their other
alternatives for giving the old RA (M) model Dual Axis control?
Thank You For Your Time,
Michael W. Hoy
Mike here: Unless you make a LOT of mods you can't put the ETX-90 tube into the ETX-70 forks.


OK LOTS of mods, but do you know if it's possible? Like is the width
between the 70's arms enough to accept a 90? Is it basically the same
mount as a 90 EC just with a smaller OTA and spacers? Or is it totally
downsized including the mount? So much of the ETX's mounts are made of
plastic some modifications should be easy for someone of moderate too
experianced hotrodding skills.
Mike here: Unless you can come up with really interesting mods, the tube and adapters won't fit.
Subject:	re: distortion
Sent:	Tuesday, October 15, 2002 22:22:55
From: (Richard Seymour)
To:	Gary
In damp, rising air it is -very- difficult to get non-distorted views.

I'm fairly in-city in Seattle... and my clearest viewing is west over
Puget Sound... but i CANNOT get good images with anything "shorter" than
13mm in my ETX90... the humid city and over-water air just won't allow it.

The -best- image you'll get is straight up.  (least atmosphere).

Until you can escape to better air, trying for higher than 100x will
be intensely frustrating... but take the same telescope to stable,
clean air in dark skies and it -will- be able to crank up to far 
higher powers.

good luck
Mike here: A couple of the "Telescope Performance" articles on the Observational Guides/References page might be useful.


From:	Gary Coleman

Thanks for giving such personal one one support,, Its really nice to be
able to get The Real Picture so to speak from a Pro.  I'd like to thank
you for posting my e-mail on your site because one really gets to meet
(electronically) a lot of nice people who are so willing to share their

Thanks Again

Subject:	re: Problem with ETX90
Sent:	Tuesday, October 15, 2002 22:13:15
From: (Richard Seymour)
If you have luck, the problem may be as simple as a connector 
falling off its pins inside the scope.

You can remove the bottom cover plate (three screws hiding under the
rubber feet), carefully (remove the batteries, and be careful of the
thin wires which connect the battery hold to the power panel).

There are many photos at Mike's site (look under Tech Tips, and the
various TuneUp articles... even the ETX125 photos help.).

Good luck
From: (Andrés Soulas)
Dick's advice solved my problem! Thanks for the contact.

Subject:	Problem with ETX90
Sent:	Monday, October 14, 2002 9:14:41
From: (Andrés Soulas)
I'd appreciate some help with the following problem in my ETX90-EC. 
Since last night the telescope would move fine up and down  but NOT
side to  side anymore!  I've already checked the electric
connections and they seem to be OK. I  live in Costa Rica (Central
America) where the humidity is high.
Any ideas?
Mike here: Can you hear the drive running when you attempt to slew? Is the problem with the standard controller as well as with an Autostar (assuming you have both)? With the azimuth axis unlocked, when you move the tube from hard stop to hard stop do you feel any grabbing? With the axis locked, can you move the tube by hand (don't force it if it doesn't want to move).


No noise of drive running, the Autostar I haven't connected yet because
I have the #495 and need to buy the cable #505 to update the software to
make it a #497 which is the right one for the ETX90 (got a bad salesman
when I bought the pair).

No grabbing from hard stop to hard stop.  With the axis locked I
can't move it.  One more thing, when I turn it on, when I press the
controller for the first time for the thing to do its initial
"adjustment" for a few seconds, if I press the left or right arrow it
actually moves -so I guess the electronic connection is somewhat
working- but it moves upwards!
Mike here: Things do seem rather odd. It almost sounds like some wires are crossed.
Subject:	distortion
Sent:	Saturday, October 12, 2002 14:11:04
From:	Gary Coleman
I live in central florida and just purchased a ETX 90 M from a
discounter who stated that meade had discontinued this model in favor of
the new autostar models.  I have had mainly cloudy nights and haven't
been able to even get a shot at viewing the lunar surface.  I have tried
looking terrestially looking at various objects . for example a large
tower with a red flashing light on top of it , this object is at least a
mile from where I live.  In my attempts to view the tower during the
daytime (take in mind the temps are in the 90's ) I get nothing but a
shimmery type image useing the 50X lens,,,the same happens with the 138X
but is only multipied . I know they the shimmering are waves of heat but
what I'm trying to say is that even when waiting untill 11:30 pm I can't
obtain a clear image of the light or tower...the image at 138x puts one
looking at the top of the tower and light from 30 or so yards.   What do
you think is wrong,,,,I can't seem to get anything in very good focus. 
A note I am continuing this plea for help 24 hours plus.  Last night
there was a quarter moon and I couldn't get it to come into focus using
50X--- I'm really flustrated--- because I can look at a tree top a
quarter mile away and get a halfway decent view....Whats wrong me or the
instrument any input that will put me on view will be apreciated.
Mike here: The image of the Moon should be crystal sharp when using the supplied 25 or 26mm eyepiece. If not, perhaps the eyepiece is bad. If you shake it (lightly) do you hear any of the glass components rattling? Can you focus by sliding the eyepiece in and out? Alternately, perhaps the telescope is out of collimation. In either case, if you know the seeing is good and you can not reach a focus, exchange it at the dealer.


thanks for the prompt reply.  I bought a Plossl  6mm eyepeice which took
me up to 225X,,,Well Before I get the cart too ahead of the horse I was
finally able to get a look at the moon at 50X-138X and I guess the
problem was that I'm not used to the focus this lock that sort of thing
and that stupo spotting scope that is all but impossible to stay on
target because the left rear adjustable screw is shrouded from all but
the most minute or dexterious fingers...One would have thought they
(Meade) could have designed a fixed tube spotting scope. Oh well to get
on with the story the Plossl brought in an almost crystal clear of the
lunar surface,,,Here in florida it is really hard to get a clear sky for
viewing.  Mike what I wanted to ask you was that Meade Tech. Support
said I could take the 90 ETX m to 375X before distortion would become a
problem .  The gentleman at the camera shop said that anything over 225X
would cause me to become flustrated with the scope and not enjoy it  the
way it should be.  I do know the Plossl eye peice is of better quality
or so it seems than those supplied with the scope because after looking
at the large tower I told you about even at 225X it brought in a
certainly closer image but a better quality one also.  I would like for
you tell me what magnification I can take the ETX up to (sorta an at
this power image quality is good but beyond, there would be quite a bit
of notable inability to focus ect..   I know I'm not gonna get nothing
like the pictures seen on the box the unit came in,,,They must think
everybody will reach into their pockets and pay $10,000 in the hope of
getting to those views. but I do want to at least hopefully be able to
get maybe a view of the hubble or space station and some much more
detailed looks at the lunar surface.   You know these things are
addictive,,,kinda like the more you have the more you want......  I just
want you to tell me what will give me the most out of what I have and by
reviewing your web site there is no one better suited to do so.   I'd
like to interject I bought a package of four basic
filters,,,yellow,green,orange,blue. OK doc, tell me like it is, I can
handle the truth.

Thanking you in advance
Mike here: There is a theoretical maximum magnification for every telescope. It is expressed it two ways: either 50-60x per inch of aperture, or twice the aperture in millimeters. The latter is more conservative. So, for the ETX-90 the maximum is around 180x. So, what does this mean? As you get closer to the "max" the image begins to get fuzzier and fuzzier, especially on fainter objects. With bright objects like the Moon you can exceed the max on good nights but you will still see some image deteoriation. I have used my ETX-90RA successfully at 256X on some objects.
Subject:	Re: ETX90 RA for Planet Spotting
Sent:	Monday, October 7, 2002 22:53:55
From: (Stuart Williams)
Following your advice and reading through your site, I have ordered a
Meade ETX90RA plus tripod, which outfit our main UK dealer (BC&F) are
currently selling off as a package at a discount price.

It arrives here Wednesday - knowing my luck it will now be cloudy for
month!  I'll let you know how I get on.



Stuart Williams
Bloxwich, England
Mike here: Cloudy weather is good when you first get a new telescope. Lets you learn to use the telescope without the pressure of wanting to see something and trying to use learn to use the telescope in the dark!


My new Meade ETX90RA (model M) arrived yesterday, and true to form the
skies clouded over!

However, as you suggested, it allows time to check the beast out before
venturing into the backyard.  Not that there is anything complicated
about it.

Rather pleased that the outfit I ordered included the new #884 tripod
and its carrying 'sports bag', way superior to the #883.  By British
standards the whole kit was a serious bargain - 200 UK pounds for the
ETX plus 199 UK pounds for the tripod, sold as an outfit.

Also pleased to note that the drive baseplate is aluminium, as I had
heard the earlier plastic baseplate was a bit too flexy?

We always seem to pay pound for dollar prices here because of the
distributor/dealer markup, but this is still a seriously good price
compared with the original price of the ETX.  It is currently only
available from the UK distributors, Broadhurst, Clarkson & Fuller, in

I'll report on my experiences with the ETX when time and skies permit!
Meanwhile it's standing next to my LX90, looking a little like 'Son of
Kong' ;0)



Subject:	Very nice site; M31 observation
Sent:	Sunday, October 6, 2002 16:19:48
From: (rickhorton)
I have a couple "Wally world" AKA Wal-Mart scopes, an ETX 60 and DX
2130. The first scope I ever owned was a DX 2114, which was terrible
with goto, and the first one was defective.

I just purchased a new Meade ETX 90EC, but it was sent back because the
focuser would barely turn at all. Also the hard case was damaged in
transit, just my luck. At least Science & Hobby is backing up the
product, shipping me replacements with return labels!

I looked at one of the "tips" sections about disassembling an ETX 90.
For sheer curiosity, I popped off the scope from the brackets and
removed the plastic back, viola the focus knob worked. It took me a
little patience looking, since I never looked at this before, but
noticed that the mirror end was crooked inside of the purple part of the
tube. I think they are either pressed on wrong OR cross threaded if it
screws in. It actually appears that the scope had been dropped but no
"tell tale" signs exist.  How they ever managed to collimate that thing
is beyond me. I did try it out last night, while waiting for the
replacement. I was a little disappointed in looking at Andromeda, at
least I am pretty sure I had the right galaxy. It appeared about the
same as the ETX 60, just a fuzzy cloud that would not focus? I did not
use a GOTO, just star hopped to it.  I waited till around 2AM and looked
at Saturn. Not as big as I expected, but definitely better than the ETX
60. High power was too fuzzy. It looked good through the standard
eyepiece. However, I think the eyepiece from the ETX 60 (25mm) does a
better job, better field of view and more light. I did go ahead and pay
them extra for the UTHC coatings on the replacement they are sending; I
hope it's worth the 50 bucks.
Rick Horton
Mike here: Sorry about the problems you have had. When looking at M31, the Andromeda Galaxy, with a telescope, the faint fuzzy object you see is the nucleus of the galaxy (which is the brightest part). You won't see spiral arms. M31 is very large; too see it all use a good pair of 7x50 binoculars from a dark site on a good night.
Subject:	etx 90 ec uhtc
Sent:	Thursday, October 3, 2002 18:13:19
From: (Gina Ballew)
I am contemplating the purchase of a ETX 90 EC UHTC along with the EXT
Autostar Computer Controller, and the EXT Field Tripod.  I am a beginner
and I have never really used a telescope, so forgive the ignorance of my
questions.  I am trying to decide if I should go with the 90 or move to
the 105 or the 125.  I want to be able to enjoy the scope, and I am
concerned that with the 90 I may not be get  a good view of the planets
and the constellations.  Do you have any tips or recommendations? 
Second question is that if I order the 90 with the above extras, are
there any additional extras you would recommend for a beginner like me? 
Thanks for any input you can provide.  By the way, great website.

Mike here: This has been discussed on recent feedback pages. The difference between the -90 and -105 is slight; the difference between the -90 and -125 is greater. These differences are in physical size (portability and ease of setup) as well as magnification and ability to view details. The ETX-90 makes a fine small telescope. So it comes down to money and your expections. As to other options, unless you expect to use the ETX from really dark skies I suspect the UHTC will not add that much more light to the ETX-90. It could be more useful with the larger telescopes. As to other accessories, see the Buyer/New User Tips page and the various Accessory Reviews.

Subject:	ETX90 RA for Planet Spotting
Sent:	Wednesday, October 2, 2002 16:51:57
From: (Stuart Williams)
Really enjoyed your ETX website  a true classic!

Im looking for a small scope to take to my local astronomy club meetings
and maybe on holiday, and since the ETX 90 RA still seems to be
available I was wondering if you would recommend it?

I did consider the Skywatcher 90mm Maksutov, but since there is not much
price difference over here (50 UK pounds) Im also considering the
ETX90RA. Would the ETX optics be better?

Im mainly interested in casual planet spotting on such occasions, and
therefore dont really need a GOTO computer system, for obvious reasons. 
My main scope is a Meade LX90, which serves me well for general use.

I have a solid standard camera tripod  would this work with the ETX?

Thanks in advance for your advice,



Stuart Williams
Bloxwich, England
Mike here: I have no experience with the Skywatcher but the ETX-90 optics have been favourably compared to the Questar, which is the king of small telescopes. I use my ETX-90RA (and have since 1996) for a lot of things. In fact, I brought it with me to the 2nd Annual Mighty ETX Star Party this week, where I am the rest of this week. It travels well, even on planes. Look through the User Observations for some good reports on the ETX-90. Also, check out my "Initial Impressions" (which are about the original ETX model, now known as the ETX-90RA) on the Buyer/New User Tips page. As to a photographic tripod, yes, a sturdy one will work. You'll want to get a tripod adapter for the ETX-90RA; several companies sell them, such as Scopetronix. However, even if it is the least bit unstable you'll get vibrations from a breeze or when focusing.

Subject:	ETX 90 EC vs Nexstar 4
Sent:	Tuesday, October 1, 2002 9:48:53
From: (Gravel, Cris)
First off, thanks for hosting such an informative site. I have been
considering a small GOTO scope such as the ETX 90 EC or the Nexstar 4. I
was wondering if you have any experience with the N4 and how it compares
optically with the ETX. On the surface, the N4 looks like a better deal
as it comes with the GOTO controller (although its data base is smaller)
and has slightly larger diameter optics. I have heard that the N4 optics
are not as good as the Meades. Would appreciate any input on this 

Cris G 
Mike here: I have no experience with the NexStar4 although I did compare the NexStar5 to the ETX-125EC (link at the top of the ETX-125EC Feedback page).
Subject:	ETX90 RA Sale
Sent:	Tuesday, October 1, 2002 8:10:34
From: (Dario Rodas)
I would like that the ETX90 fans know about this Sale on ETX90RA but I
do not know where to post it (I am not related to Just
I think is a very good price)

The link is:
myStype=Maksutov-Cassegrains&styp=4&bURL=tMeade.asp&vid=1&product_type_id=1&sku=M3RA&op= Thank you in advance, ===== José Darío Rodas

Subject:	ETX 60 mount
Sent:	Monday, September 30, 2002 22:09:35
Has any sucessfully put the OTA of an older ETX 90 onto the mount of a
ETX 60? How did it work, and how was it done?

Ralph Libby
Mike here: They are basically incompatible unless you want to make some serious modifications to both the forks and the ETX-90. For other mounting ideas, see the Telescope Tech Tips page.

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