Last updated: 31 October 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:	ETX Questions
Sent:	Monday, October 31, 2005 12:15:10
From:	Robert Zaballa (
I recently got an ETX-80. I have a couple of quick questions.

Is the AC adapter for the ETX-70 compatible with the ETX-80?

Also, do you know if one can use an f/3.3 focal reducer on an ETX-80?

Mike here: Don't know specifically about the AC Adapter. It probably will work OK. As to a focal reducer, depending upon the type it may or may not work. You will need an adapter to mount it at the rear port.
Subject:	a new website dedicated to Imaging with the ETX 70
Sent:	Friday, October 28, 2005 19:30:32
From:	N Mukkavilli (
I know you are going to be away this weekend but I just wanted to let
you know that I have posted nearly 50 images taken with an ETX70 and an
Atik 1C on a newly created site at

..if you like it, would you consider adding the site to your links page?



Subject:	Re: ETX 70AT - Horizontal drive not working
Sent:	Wednesday, October 26, 2005 11:00:03
From:	Andrew Donald (
Thanks for your help.  The scope isn't actually mine, and I have found
out that it isn't new, but was purchased second hand.  I have spoken to
the UK importers regarding repairs, and they say the ETX70's are
difficult to repair due to their construction.  Are there any last
resorts I could try to get the thing moving please?


Mike here: Well, there are a couple of things; one easy and one more serious. The easy one: redistribute the lubrication by unlocking the axis and slowly move the OTA by hand back and forth for several rotations in each direction. The other, which I don't even know whether it will help with the ETX-70, is to slightly lock the axis and slowly move the OTA one complete rotation in both directions. On the ETX-90 this helped to "smooth out" any deformations.

And an update:

All sorted.  Please ignore my last email.  I took the base apart, and
found that the motor had moved slightly so wasn't in line with the
horizontal cog. I moved it back and wedged something to prevent it
moving back and all is working.

Ta for your help.

Mike here: That would do it too!
Subject:	meade etx 70
Sent:	Wednesday, October 26, 2005 08:04:22
I have just purchased a Meade etx 70 and I spent 2 hours trying to get
it set up last night. and I keep getting a motor fault. does anyone know
how to overcome this problem?
Thanks, Colin. 
Mike here: Do you get the MUF right away or during alignment? If not right away, did you do a CALIBRATE MOTORS? If not, then give that a shot.


I get the motor fault when I align the scope on the initialization
procedure. I did a calibrate motors and it still comes up with the
fault. I have ordered a power supply for the scope to save on batteries
and hopefully get a better result from the motors. Is there any where I
can take it to be checked out? I bought it from Germany so it is not
easy for me to send back.
Mike here: You can check for local Meade dealers; see the Meade web site.
Subject:	new ETX70
Sent:	Sunday, October 23, 2005 16:21:23
From:	Allen Sellick (
I thought you might want to pass this on that Meade is having a close
out sale on ETX-70 on there factory outlet store. And they seem to have
a great deal new ETX-70 with hand controller, no  Ep or Auto Star but
you can get them cheap on eBay.  But just telescope for $99.00 and free

Subject:	ETX 70AT - Horizontal drive not working
Sent:	Sunday, October 23, 2005 13:11:08
From:	Andrew Donald (
I have a new ETX 70 and the vertical movement via Autostar is fine, but
horizontal isn't working at all.  I have tried adjusting the RA lock and
altering the tension, but the best I can get is slight movement either
way with a bit of a push.  It doesn't feel like the cogs inside are
engaged fully.  When I tighten the RA lock fully (so the scope can't be
moved horizontally by hand) there is no movement at all.  Is there
anything else I can try before I take it in to an expert?
Many thanks.
Suffolk, England
Mike here: With the axix unlocked when you move the OTA by hand can you feel anything "catching" or otherwise preventing smooth movement? Have you done a CALIBRATE MOTORS? Does this happen at all slew speeds or just the slowest ones?


Thanks for the fast response!!   I have now loosened the axix so that
when I move it by hand, I can't feel anything catching.  However, if I
tighten it at all, I can feel two cogs gently grinding against each
other.  The other two questions, I will look into!




I have now calibrated the motors and checked at different speeds.  It
seems to be moving erratically now, a few degrees then stops then a few
more.  It will still need a nudge from me to get it moving as well.  The
speed doesn't seem to affect this.


Mike here: OK, since it is new the best thing to do is to contact your dealer for an exchange.
Subject:	Connection between PC and Meade ETX-70 AT
Sent:	Saturday, October 22, 2005 03:25:06
From:	Piet van Leuveren (
Recently I bought a new Meade ETX-70 AT telescope in combination with

On my PC I installed 2 applications (being Meade Cartes du Ciel and
HNSKY). Both software packages support the connection with a telescope.

Unfortunately I have some problems with the connection between the
applications mentioned and my Meade ETX-70 AT telescope.

I have the following questions:

How does my telescope have to be connected?
Should it be from my COM port (PC side) to the HBX port on my telescope,
or should it be to the AUX port?
What kind of cable do I need for the physical connection between my PC
and my telescope?
Which connector do I need on the PC side and on the telescope side?

Are there other items of importance?

Many thanks in advance for your help!

Kind regards and clear skies,
Piet van Leuveren

Piet van Leuveren
Houtlaan 197
9403 EZ  ASSEN
The Netherlands
Mike here: For the ETX-70 you have two alternatives: You need to purchase a Meade #506 serial cable, or you need to purchase an Autostar #497 AND make or purchase a #505 serial cable. The #494 Autostar that comes with the ETX-70 does not support the simpler #505 cable. Instructions for making a #505 cable are on the Helpful Information: Autostar Info page. As to connections, the #506 cable connects to the AUX port on the base of the ETX, whereas the #505 connects to the Autostar #497 directly. Both cables are connected to a RS-232 serial port (not modem) on your computer. If your computer does not have a real serial port but does have a USB port then you need to purchase a USB-serial adapter. I use a Keyspan model on my Macintosh.


Thanks for your answer.

Kind regards,
Piet van Leuveren

Subject:	etx70 handset
Sent:	Tuesday, October 11, 2005 15:16:11
From:	jon (
i am using my etx70 on an equitorial wedge for polar setting, but when i
try to change the settings in the hand set it wont alter it from alt az
to polar, also from etx60 to etx70
please help
Mike here: Do you mean that the wrong settings appear first (without a ">" to show they are selected) or that the ">" pointer indicates the wrong settings?


the ETX-60  shows in the handset without the >
so i scroll to see ETX70 then the > appears
Mike here: Normal. The ">" shows the current setting.


yes i know this
what i am saying is that it doesent
Mike here: You have me confused. You said the ETX-70 shows a ">", which means that model is selected. But you say it isn't selected. Huh?


it does not show that, thats why i key arrow down to select the etx70
and also polar mount
Mike here: When you scroll back to the selected entry it should show the ">". Does "Daylight Savings" show "Yes" or "No" as the selection? In any case, I would suggest doing a RESET. You will need to CALIBRATE MOTORS and TRAIN DRIVES again as well as reselecting your site.


ok lets take it through live here

i have just reset
i am in telescope mode
i select mount
i press enter key
it shows >altaz
i key down to polar
it shows no arrow
so i press enter

when i press enter again
it shows alt az with no >

so does this mean it is not in alt az mode

sorry to confuse myself
let alone you

And an update:

thanks mike
yes i was confused, when i scroll back the arrow is at the changed
i did not know this was the datum,
thought the old setting would not show duuuuu .
nice one

best regards

while im here do you think i should download the handset upgrades, is
there a site for this

Mike here: There is no user installable update for the #494 Autostar from Meade.
Subject:	Re: ETX flipped?
Sent:	Friday, October 7, 2005 11:48:47
From:	D. Zba. (
AT I believe, I know it's not teretial.  I use it for astronomy anyway.

Mike Weasner wrote:
> Normal for an astronomical telescope. You can get a Meade 45 degree
> Erecting Prism (#933: for ETX-70AT) to correct that for terrestrial
> viewing.

Subject:	ETX flipped?
Sent:	Thursday, October 6, 2005 15:16:53
From:	D. Zba. (
When I look through my ETX-70 things appear flipped.  What's going on?
Mike here: Normal for an astronomical telescope. You can get a Meade 45 degree Erecting Prism (#933: for ETX-70AT) to correct that for terrestrial viewing.
Subject:	Re: ETX-70AT Dew shield removal issues
Sent:	Tuesday, October 4, 2005 17:09:42
From:	Sean Niemeyer (
Well I actually had time today to try and remove the dew shield. This
time I used to silicone pot holders and changed the way I was grabbing
the dew shield and it gave and came off without any problems. I checked
the threads and they look good, so i don't think that I cross-threaded
it like I had originally feared. I may have just tightened it a little
more than I originally thought. Thanks for all the help.

Subject:	Re: Grinding Motor on the ETX70
Sent:	Tuesday, October 4, 2005 04:45:44
From:	Robert Mata (
Thanks for the quick reply.  I did the calibration and training, still
behaves the same.  When in training, moving back to center the object,
the motor made the same low level grinding noise, but did move the
scope. I also noticed sometimes it goes into this "grinding" mode all by

When doing an ALIGN, the scope slews properly up to a point then goes
into this very slow "grinding" mode for a short period just before it
stops and beeps. Perhaps this is normal?  Does the motor shift into a
slow mode when approaching its final destination?
Mike here: The motor does move more slowly as it gets close to the object. And there is a short period of what could be described as "grinding". So maybe what you are hearing is normal for your telescope.


From:	Richard Seymour (
When the scope is finishing a GoTo (or alignment) slew,
it slows down for the final "touch up"...
When it asks you to "Center the Star", it -also- switches
to a very slow speed...
i suspect that's all that's happening.. the "grinding" is
just the noise of the scope at slow motion.

Try doing an alignment, and when it asks you to center
the star, first tap the SPEED (?/speed) key to change the
speed upwards... i would bet that
(a) it will then move (it was just too slow to notice before)
(b) it'll sound different.

have fun

Subject:	I am hearing a weird noise with my etx-70at.
Sent:	Monday, October 3, 2005 16:09:34
From:	Zakary Burkley (
Hello again.  Just last night I started to hear a weird noise with
etx-70at.  Whenever I moved left or right it would make a grinding noise
much louder than when I would move it up or down, but unfortunately
later on in the night when i moved it up or down it would stop for a
second while i was still trying to move it.  I tried calibrating the
motors and that didn't seem to really do anything.  It might just need
broken in since i just got it, but i am not really sure.

Thanks for getting back to me as soon you can
Zak Burkley
Mike here: Check the battery level (MODE key, scroll until you see it). If low, change the batteries; don't forget to reCALIBRATE MOTORS after changing the batteries. Also, if the batteries ARE low and you don't have any handy, you can possibly help by doing the CALIBRATE MOTORS.


I will try that and tell you what happens.  Once again I am amazed by
how fast you respond back to my emails.  I will tell you what happens
hopefully soon if not probably tomorrow. Thanks

Subject:	Grinding Motor on the ETX70
Sent:	Sunday, October 2, 2005 12:42:12
From:	Robert Mata (
Hi, complete newbie here.  I purchased this unit used, I believe it has
a problem.  The Model is the ETX-70AT with the #494 Handbox (no numeric
keypad).  I have put in fresh batteries and done a RESET, not fixed. 
The arrows move the scope left right up down with no problem in manual
mode.  But on startup, when doing an alignment, the following happens:
The unit slews to the first star normally, but towards the end of the
run, it begins to go very slow and has a grinding noise, it does not
move at this point, then it beeps and asks for the second star.  At this
point, I press the arrow keys as if to center the first star and get the
same grinding noise, and no motion of the scope. I press ENTER to go to
the second star and it slews normally (no grinding), until the end of
the run at which it does the same grinding action. One thing I have
noticed that may be a clue is that when the vertical lock on the fork is
loosened, the scope does not swing downwards, as is warned in the
manual.  In other words, the friction in the opposite fork bearing is
more than sufficient to support its weight.  I can move it, and it
doesn't take a great deal of force, but it is not "loose." I have no
basis of comparison to determine if this is important.  I am not
familiar with the sky, so I can't say if the scope is slewing close to
where it is suppose to on alignment.  I have read about CALIBRATE and
TRAIN, but can't find any info on it on your site.  Any help,
appreciated, thanks.
Mike here: First, try a CALIBRATE MOTORS and TRAIN DRIVES on the Autostar. Just select those from the menu tree. CALIBRATE MOTORS requires no user intervention; just select it and the motors will briefly run. TRAIN DRIVES does require some actions; just follow the onscreen prompts.
Subject:	Controllers for ETX-70AT
Sent:	Saturday, October 1, 2005 23:46:10
From:	Marcos Andrade (
I recently bought a used ETX-70AT telescope with an Autostar controller
#494 (no numerical keypad). I did not realize at that time of the
"limitations" of the 494 controller. Reading at posts in your site I
have the impression that I can buy a more advanced controller #495 or
#497 for my telescope. Is that correct?

Shopping on the web for the 497 controller I noticed that the seller
specifications do not mention ETX-70AT. That confused me. Is there
anything that makes difficult (if not impossible) to use the controller
497 on an ETX-70AT telescope that came originally with a 494?

Thanks beforehand for your comments,

Mike here: As can be read on Meade's Autostar Update page (, the #497 will work fine.
Thanks a lot Mike!

Subject:	ETX-70AT Dew shield removal issues
Sent:	Saturday, October 1, 2005 19:49:48
From:	Sean Niemeyer (
I have a ETX-70AT and have the screw on dew shield that Meade
manufacturers for my telescope. Last night I screwed the dew shield on
with out any difficulty and proceeded to use the telescope. After
observing a while I decided to pack up and when I tried to remove the
dew shield it would not come off. I tried for a little while to remove
it but it appears to be on good and tight. Even after letting the scope
sit for a while and trying to remove it later, it still would not budge.
Is there anything that I can try to remove the dew shield without
damaging the telescope?

Sean Niemeyer
Mike here: Have you tried gripping it with a sheet of rubber (i.e., a "jar lid opener") or while wearing soft rubber gloves?

Yeppers I tried just about everything before I sent you an e-mail. I
thought about it over night and I have this fear that I wasn't paying
attention and cross-threaded it when i put it on. If i did that there's
probably no good way of removing.
Mike here: If you cross-threaded it it could still be made to come off, with some force. Just be certain to keep the objective lens cell fixed and don't let it move (to prevent damage). You could try some ice along the threads circumference.

Hmm never thought about using ice. I'll give it a try and see what happens.

Subject:	Converting Autostar #494 to #497
Sent:	Saturday, October 1, 2005 19:46:18
From:	Mathew Pedersen (
I know this sounds odd but i want to convert the autostar on my ETX-60AT
to the #497 autostar. Can this be done. Thank you for your help.

P.S. I have this weird dream of haveing the most powerful ETX-60 on the
Mike here: Will work fine.
Subject:	ETX 80 ?
Sent:	Saturday, October 1, 2005 10:18:38
From:	Harold Ogden (
Cant find any info on this, first clue was the new case offered by Meade
for the ETX80 any specs yet  Harold
Mike here: See:

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