Last updated: 31 October 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:	Question?
Sent:	Friday, October 31, 2003 05:55:59
Hi........Let's say that all I wanted to do was see what my ETX 70AT was
seeing through my computer and not "move" it through it, would all I
need is a 25' 8 pin telephone extension cable? If so then would I just
plug it in the Aux socket of the telescope?

Thanks, Mike
Mike here: Please see the Email Etiquette page on the ETX Site; your email was almost deleted unread as SPAM.
You need the #506 cable to communicate slewing through the Autostar #494.
Subject:	ETX70 astrophotograghy
Sent:	Saturday, October 25, 2003 13:33:09
From: (Green Boys)
I have an ETX70 and I want to do astrophotography and I was wondering if
a webcam is better over a 35mm camera.

Mike here: Both will work with the proper attachments and experience. See the Helpful Information - Astrophotography for lots of info. However, keep in mind the short focal length of the ETX-70 when setting your expectations.
Subject:	Why can't I see more detail on Mars?
Sent:	Saturday, October 25, 2003 10:03:22
From: (Bart Spreeuwenberg)
First of all I want to tell you I love the site. It's wonderfull. Here
it comes. This summer I bought an EXT 70 with an 25 mm eyepiece, a 9 mm
eyepiece, and a barlow lens. I sure love that tiny thing, and I have had
a lot of fun witand sleepless nights with it. Howerver, I wanted to see
Mars and other things better, because I couldn"t see details.  Mars is
nothing more than a very btight smaal light destructing my eyes. So I
bought an 6 mm and an 4 mm eyepiece, to get it bigger and more detailed.
The night after I bought them, it was a clear, moonless night. So of I
went with the telescope. I couldn't waith to use the new eyepieces. When
I tryed them on Mars, I was very, very, very disapointed, it just
wouldn't get bigger, i couldn't see details. Mars was still destroying
my eyes. It just wont get bigger. 4mm is the same as with the 9mm. I
even tryed 6 mm with 2 times barlow and 4 mm with 2 times barlow. Saturn
was the same, I see the rings, but have to try hard to see them. And
yes, i always make the things I want to see as small as possible. Could
you please tell me what I'm doing wrong?
Thanks a lot, Bart

(PS. sorry for my poor English)
Mike here: Well, there are two factors at work. One is that the distance between the Earth and Mars is increasing now (since August 27th) and so Mars is getting smaller again. The second is your expectations. The 4mm WILL show Mars approximately twice as large as the 9mm (do the math on the magnifications). BUT you will really need to get over 100X to see more details. Keep in mind that as you get closer to the theoretical maximum magnification (for any telescope) image quality deteriorates. (See the FAQ page if you are uncertain how to calculate magnification and the theoretical maximum magnification.)
Subject:	aligning my telescope
Sent:	Saturday, October 25, 2003 08:45:53
From: (Green Boys)
I bought an ETX70 and i am having trouble aligning my scope so i can use
the goto. i follow the procedures given in the book but it never works.
i would like to be able to track and photograph objects but since i
can't get it aligned properly i can't do that. PLEASE HELP!

Mike here: There are many alignment tips on the Autostar Information page. Check there. If they don't help, please describe what you are doing and the results.
Subject:	EXT-70AT Motor Problems
Sent:	Friday, October 24, 2003 21:06:01
From: (Roy E. Claverie, Jr.)
I faxed the following letter to Meade on Friday.  Do you have any
suggestions as to what may be my problem.

Dear Meade Technical Support,

I think my ETX-70 AT Autostar motor is possessed.  Since I purchased
this telescope in August I have had no luck getting the Autostar to
align and work properly.  The problem is I am not even close when
attempting a two star alignment using any of the right stars.  The
telescope slews right past were the star should be and keeps going,
without ever stopping.  This is despite the fact that the display screen
says center the star.

I have read my instructions backwards and forwards..  I have used
compasses and levelers to make sure I am pointing the right directions
and that the telescope is level.  I doubled checked my time and verified
my location and telescope model.  I have switched batteries.  I have
even tried unsuccessfully to train the drive (I cannot control the
motor's movements when training the drive).  Furthermore I am getting
random drive motor errors and there are no blockages and my batteries
are new.

Finally here is the icing on the cake.  I tuned the computer on and all
of a sudden I hear pop..psssssssssssssttt, almost like air leaking from
a tire.  This lasted 2 - 3 seconds.  I have no idea what this was.  I
figured something has really gone wrong now.  So I decided to register
my telescope and contact you.  I made the following observation in the
process of locating the serial number for my telescope, (which I figured
may be on a sticker in my battery case since it is not visable anywhere
else) I noticed oil pooled in the bottom of the battery case.  What is
going on  Help!!!!


Mike here: If the telescope keeping turning and never stops when aligning then there is something wrong. You say you tried the TRAIN DRIVES but that you can not control the motors. What do you mean by that? When training, the Autostar slews away from the selected object and back in one direction only. You then press the indicated arrow key to recenter the object. Is this not working? When you first turn on the telescope can you slew with the arrow keys? Anyway, with the "oil" you are seeing I suspect something is really wrong. Did you contact the dealer where you purchased the telescope? It almost sounds like you got a used system (and some batteries leaked). At any rate, let me know what you hear from Meade.


To answer your questions.
When I was training the Autostar it slews away and I cannot ever get it
to stop slewing, so I cannot recenter it.  Even when I quit out of the
training mode it just keeps going evenually making a circle. When I do
turn the telescope on I have to turn the speed to max to get any
movement. I purchased the telescope from the Discovery Channel store.  I
will contact them, and I have faxed Meade.

Have you heard of anyone else having motor problems?  Do they usually
just need time to break in?

I am trying not to use you as a supplement to Meade Tech support.

Thanks for your help.


PS:  Thanks for having such a great web site!
Mike here: What you are experiencing is not normal. But if you haven't tried this, do a RESET, select the ETX-70 as the telescope model, do a CALIBRATE, and then do the TRAIN DRIVES. See if there is any improvement.
Subject:	ETX-70AT Question
Sent:	Tuesday, October 21, 2003 20:40:08
From: (eunice laguna)
My name is Eunice and I live in the light-polluted city of Chicago.  I
just bought the ETX-70AT and have tried to use it many times.  The
problems I am having is seeing mars, jupiter, etc... clearly.  All I see
is a bright light.  I am looking into buying the LPR and the Barlow Lens
but would like to know if maybe I am not aligning the telescope
correctly or maybe it is the light pollution this city has.  I am an
amateur to astronomy but am definitely looking into "higher education"
for lack of better words.  I think this web-site is OUTSTANDING and has
TONS of useful information.  I thank you
Mike here: A common new user error, especially with a short focal length telescope like the ETX-70, is to use the focus knob to try and make the image of the planet as LARGE as possible rather than as small as possible. The in focus image will be small. See the My Astrophotography Gallery - The Planets for some comparisons of Mars taken with different telescopes, including the ETX-70.
Subject:	ETX-70AT -  First Time Use
Sent:	Sunday, October 12, 2003 19:15:29
I found your site Weasner Experiences the ETX-70AT! and ETX-60AT &

You have a wonderful web site, It is appreciated.

About 20-years ago I took an astronomy course at Texas A & M University.
As I recall we used a 16" Newtonian in the field.  It was difficult to
align the scope and find what we were looking for.  We found Saturn with
the rings and moons, they were cleary visible.  That glimpse of Saturn
made me feel very small, I felt insignificant when I realized what was
out there.

Last week I received a ETX-70AT for my birthday.  There was not any good
weather for viewing except for one night.  I had practiced using the
ETX-70AT on the kitchen counter, understanding all operations and
reading the Instruction Manual thoroughly.  That one good weather night
I took the ETX-70AT outside and used the easy star alignment.

I was unable to find one of the stars during the alignment procedure
with the 9mm eyepiece.  At that time I realized the need to use the 25mm
eyepiece.  I repeated the alignment procedure and everything worked
perfectly.  I was only able to find two objects, Mars and the Moon, but
they were perfectly centered.  WOW --- that was much easier than it was
20-years ago.

I feel great about the success so far, but I have some questions.  

1)  Do you have any suggestions on methods for telescope alignment using
higher magnification eyepieces?
2)  Should I use a lower magnification eyepiece during alignment and
then switch to a higher magnification after alignment?
3)  The #882 Standard Field Tripod seems unstable, the legs want to fold
inwards.  Is there a higher quality tripod at a reasonable price that I
can purchase?
4)  I twist, twist, twist, twist, and then still twist on that tiny
focus knob before obtaining focus (I was focused on twisting).  Is there
a method or attachment that will make focusing easier?
5)  What eyepiece(s) and Barlow lens attachments would you suggest for a

Your help is appreciated.


Robert & Karen Atkinson
Houston, Texas 
Mike here: 1&2) I normally stick with the 26mm eyepiece and just center the alignment star in the center of the field-of-view. Takes some practice but it can be done. Alternatively, you "center" the star in the 26mm and then switch to a higher power eyepiece and refine the "centering". 3) There are many options including the #884 tripod from Meade; see the Accessory Reviews - Tripods page and perhaps the Telescope Tech Tips page (if you want to make your own). 4) Scopetronix makes a FlexiFocus for the ETX models; see the Accessory Reviews - Miscellaneous page. Alternatively, again if you want to make your own, see the Telescope Tech Tips page. 5) Until you decide just HOW you plan to use the ETX-70, stick with the eyepieces (26mm and 9mm?) that you received. You could add the 2X or 3X Barlow Lens to provide additional magnification options.
Subject:	question about "spots"
Sent:	Saturday, October 11, 2003 16:51:45
Hello. We just bought the ETX70 for our daughter. We have seen a few
stars and Mars pretty good. Something odd happens when we look at the
moon though - there are black spots that look like dust on the lens -
but I don't notice them when looking at objects that are further away.
Is this because the moon comes in so much brighter - does it illuminate
the dust or make it show up more? Is there some phenomenon when viewing
with lots of light pollution that interferes with clarity? I am almost
afraid to try to clean anything after reading about the harm I could do
to it. I ordered some more eyepieces too - just to see if it makes a
Debbie Nelson
Mike here: By "spots" I presume you don't mean those craters on the Moon. Have you tried a different eyepiece? Do the "spots" move? If they move around they are probably what are known as "floaters" inside your eyeball.


I would say they don't move - I'm sure they are not craters because I
move the telescope a little and they stay in the same place - this has
happened a few times. I'm hoping there is not dirt or dust somewhere in
there. I guess I should start by asking other family members if we are
all seeing the same thing. Would a new telescope have dust or dirt right
Mike here: When you rotate the eyepiece, do the spots rotate as well? And no, there should not be any dust on the optics UNLESS the telescope was on display.


I haven't tried rotating the eyepiece yet - I have only pressed the
arrow buttons to move the telescope- and no they don't move then. I will
try rotating it when I try it next time. I'll also put in the other eye
piece and try that. I've only been using the 9mm - I haven't even looked
at the moon with the 25mm yet. I have 2 more coming - so it will be
interesting to see if this happens with the other eyepieces - maybe that
is just dirty.

Subject:	etx 60 battery housing problem
Sent:	Saturday, October 11, 2003 16:17:05
From: (Andres Acosta)
I am having some trouble with my etx 60 telescope and saw that you know
alot about these telescopes from the internet.  I must have put my
battery housing in to the slot incorrectly because the wires were
pinched off and broke.  Now I cant use it, and trying to fix it through
the small area is proving difficult.  My question is this:  Is there a
way to remove the telescope off of the motarized pod or removing the pod
housing without breaking any of the internals?  Thanks for any help you
can provde.
Mike here: Check the article "Inside the ETX-70AT" on the Telescope Tech Tips page.
Subject:	upgrading
Sent:	Sunday, October 5, 2003 17:35:39
From: (alex casciato)
ive owned a meade ext 70 telescope for about 2 years now,if seen many
nice objects in the sky with it.i was wondering,do you think upgrading
to a 6' lxd 55 refractor would be a good idea?

Alex Casciato
Mike here: Sure! A SIX FOOT aperture refractor would really be something! Oh, I bet you meant 6" (inch)? From all reports that I recall, the LXD55-6"AR is nice. Check out my LXD55 Site ( for some comments.

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