Last updated: 31 October 2003
This page is for user comments and information specific to the Meade ETX-90RA (originally known as the "ETX Astro"), the ETX-90EC, and the ETX-90AT. 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:	ETX-90 Right Tube Adapter failure
Sent:	Thursday, October 30, 2003 13:35:41
I wrote a couple weeks ago and you kindly pointed me toward the Right
Tube Adapter failure and Meade's replacement kit.

In my right tube (after following replacement instructions) I have two
anomalies that depart from the generic failure.

1) the lower hard stop (next to the worm gear) is nearly sheared off. 
Is this something that can be glued (i.e., is subjected to minimal
pressure)?  Or, do I need to order the outside housing of the Right Tube

2) it appears that the worm drive cog that fits over the center piece in
the right tube adapter *should* be free on the center spindle, and be
locked when the outside knob is tightened down.  In my case, it is a
VERY tight fit - no spinning will ever be possible - in fact, I'm now
afraid of damaging the replacement kit parts just taking it off again.

Any enlightenment (and I understand this may include "contact Meade")
will be appreciated!

Mike Stroup

Subject:	ETX90EC
Sent:	Monday, October 27, 2003 06:04:50
From: (John Jacobs)
Do you know where I can buy a azimuth drive housing for an ETX 90EC?  I
have attached a 55KB photo of the azimuth drive open.  The housing
somehow broke and now the pins dont hold the gears in place.  This was
how I bought it.  Pity I didn't read your web page before trying to fix
it myself, since now I have other problems!

If you can help, thanks,

John Jacobs
RA Drive

Mike here: Try Telescope Warehouse (see the Astronomy Links page).

Subject:	ETX-90RA RA Slop
Sent:	Sunday, October 26, 2003 22:23:42
From: (George Hofmann)
I bought an ETX-90RA recently. Two things bug me greatly. The first is
that tightening the RA lock causes the OTA to significantly tilt. I can
see that the baseplate that the scope sits on is being forced up and
away from the mount. Is there any way to prevent this?

The second problem is that the dec adjuster feels like it is bent
internally. Turning it I feel alternating tightness and looseness for
every 360 degrees of rotation. How about a solution for this?

A third thing is that the RA scale tape slips. I guess I can live with
that, but the other two problems bug me.

George Hofmann
Mike here: Could you be overtightening the RA lock? The DEC lock should not allow rotation of 360 degrees. Are you sure it is locking? As to the tape slipping, a small piece of tape will help that. Tape it down after you adjust the setting circle for that observing session.


No I am not overtightening the RA lock. Quite the contrary. There's just
a huge amount of slop in the base and the plate that the forks are
attached to.

I am not talking about the DEC lock, but rather the DEC adjustment knob.

I'll try the tape trick, but that sure seems lame.

Mike here: The setting circle tape is supposed to be movable obviously but it sounds like yours might be too loose since it slips. You could remove it and try to adjust it but tape is probably less problematic. Sorry I got confused by your statement "The second problem is that the dec adjuster feels like it is bent internally. Turning it I feel alternating tightness and looseness for every 360 degrees of rotation." There is a cure for a RA "bumpiness"; see the articles "ETX-90RA Right Ascension Play Fix" and "ETX-90RA "sticky" R.A. movement fix" on the Telescope Tech Tips page; they might help.
Subject:	Optics coatings
Sent:	Saturday, October 25, 2003 20:33:00
From: (John)
I will be purchasing my first Scope in the very near future.  I've
decided on an ETX-90 AT.

I talked to one of the "Technical Reps" of a dealer nearby.  I asked
about whether or not the UHTC coatings should be purchased for the
ETX-90.  "We don't recommend the coatings for small scopes", was his

I would be interested in your views on this.

Thanks in advance for all your help.
John Norris
Mike here: I've looked through an ETX-90 with and one without UHTC. The difference was dramatic and real. I recommend getting UHTC.
Subject:	Meade ETX 90AT
Sent:	Thursday, October 23, 2003 10:20:26
From: (Michael K. Fridkin)
You have a great website!  Here are my questions.  I have been using an
ETX 90RA for six years.  I love its optics and portability.  However, it
just fell in the sand, so I'm using this as an excuse to buy an ETX 90AT
(or another similarly priced and ultra portable Go-to scope).  Reading
over your website, I am concerned that there have been software and
mechanical problems with the ETX 90AT.  What is the current consensus of
the reliability of the ETX 90AT for performing up to its advertised
qualities?  Is there another 90mm go-to scope that performs better?
Also, I have sometimes enjoyed, sometimes hated using the setting
circles manually on my 90RA for finding deep sky objects (depending on
my degree of success).  Can the 90AT be used manually like an RA (if,
for example, the Autostar is malfunctioning, or if I just feel like
Michael K. Fridkin
Mike here: There are Orion, Celestron, and Meade GOTO telescopes. The ETX-90 model has been pretty reliable and so has the Autostar. Many problems get reported as users learn to use the system. Meade's documentation is a little sparse. But there is a lot of help on the Site. And yes, the ETX-90AT still includes the setting circles so you can use them. But without the Autostar (or a standard handcontroller, which is no longer included) you can not run the RA drive.
Subject:	ETX-90EC Dec Lock Problems
Sent:	Friday, October 17, 2003 06:36:24
From: (Denise Borthwick)
I went to my ETX-90EC last night and found the tube pointing to the
ground. It looks like the Right Tube Adapter has broken, a fault I know
you have highlighted on numerous occasions.  I am very disappointed as I
have only tightened the Dec Lock once, when I first bought the ETX, and
it has sat on it's tripod ever since, and is just carried outside when
required for use, and returned to it's safe corner after use, with the
Tube always left in the Horizontal position.

Anyway, I thought I should remove the Tube from the Forks to check,
using your handy guide, but I have not been provided with the allen key.
 So I have raided my toolkit, but cannot find a key to fit:

 2.5mm is to small, 3mm is to big
 3/32 is to small, 1/8 is to big

Do you know which size of allen key I should be looking for.  Also being
a resident of the UK, should I contact Meade in the USA or is there a UK

I hope you can help, Meade not having an Email facility has made me feel
quite helpless.

Thanking you in advance and also thank you very much for providing such
an authorative and thoroughly enthrailing Website.

Best Regards

Kevin Borthwick
Lower Burwithian
St Day
TR16 5LG
Mike here: There is a Meade in Germany:
7/64 (at least according to my measuring tool)
Subject:	Re: Re: Re: ETX-90 Collimation
Sent:	Thursday, October 16, 2003 11:12:16
From: (Morris Kamelgarn)
I think I found out what the problem was. I think the primary mirror
might be okay, but I looked at the scope again and I noticed that the
secondary baffle wasn't centered on the corrector. I did adjust the
primary a little and the image seems to be a little sharper than before,
so do you think I should try taking off the corrector plate and fix the
baffle, or just leave it alone.

Mike here: This can happen, especially on older ETX-90 models. See the articles "ETX-90RA Secondary Baffle Fix" and "Re-attaching the Baffle" on the Telescope Tech Tips page.
Subject:	New DSX-90 and DSX-125 replacing the ETX Series?
Sent:	Monday, October 13, 2003 08:46:49
Is there any information on whether Meade is replacing the ETX series
with the DSX series. I saw a posting on your web site that referred to
it on your Weasner's Meade ETX-90 User Feedback but the link was broken
(probably due to a date cutoff for current comments).

I saw the scope at Brookstone and it resembles the Nexstar series with
an offset single fork. This would allow back mounted cameras more room
to maneuver the scope with impacting the current vertical forks of the
ETX series. Oddly, the Meade site (or anywhere else) do not mention this
series at all.

There was not enough information to know whether the Scope had a UHTC
coating or whether the 497 controller was included.

I was considering buying an ETX125 series. Should I wait until the DSX
125's come out?


P.S.  Great job on your website!!!! Thanks much for your effort!
Mike here: I have no info regarding Meade's future direction. It does appear that the DSX-90AT model includes an Autostar but beyond that I can't tell from the ads.
Subject:	newbie here
Sent:	Sunday, October 12, 2003 09:05:07
From: (Tom Hutchins)
First Off ... Many thanks To the person's on this forum... Especially
The person named Mike who seems to be the most helpful person... Well I
just bough my first real telescope a 90ETX RA  (well what I considered
real). I had Bought one  (department store brand) a long time ago when
Haleys was around. I really want to get back into astronomy and now
showing my son the Planets . I know my new scope comes with a 26mm  
What would be the wise choice of lens to buy to see the Planets and
things like M57 ? I figure I'll try out this 90 RA and If I get the hang
of it go for a 125EC . Also has anyone taken advantage of the 99.00 lens
kit that Meade is offering right now  Is it a good deal ?

Thanks In advance for all your help and I look forward to participating
in the group in the Future..

Mike here: Many people have purchased the $99 Eyepiece Deal; recommended. (But I don't recall if the ETX-90RA model qualifies.) For more on eyepieces see the Accessory Reviews - Eyepieces and Buyer/New User Tips pages.
Subject:	help
Sent:	Thursday, October 2, 2003 18:51:39
From: (Mark Stanford)
the secondary baffle appears to be glued on to the corrector plate.  it
has started to migrate.  i sent it to meade when it was under warranty
and they sent me a  new corrector.  years later ,  out of warranty,  it
has moved again .  any idea on how to fix this without ruining the
corrector and coatings?

thanks for any assistance you could render.

mark stanford 

one of the first etx 90 ra owners
Mike here: Please read the Email Etiquette page on the ETX Site; your email was almost deleted UNREAD as it looked like SPAM.
See the article "ETX-90RA Secondary Baffle Fix" on the Telescope Tech Tips page.
Subject:	Re: Re: ETX-90 Collimation
Sent:	Wednesday, October 1, 2003 10:04:15
From: (Morris Kamelgarn)
Thanks a lot for your help. I looked at your 'collimation tips' page,
and I'm going to try it as soon as I get the right tools. I think I
should be okay as long as I don't touch the optics; I don't think I can
mess the collimation up much worse than it already is.


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