Last updated: 26 September 2002
Subject: Somethong for the brits Sent: Thursday, September 26, 2002 7:49:16 From: Scott.A.Nicolson@btopenworld.com (Scott) As i am sure you are well aware there is nothing worse than buying something and finding it cheaper else were, Here is something for the brits= Meade ETX-70AT 295 comes with 3x barlow lens, tripod and #506 Astrofinder software and lead and adaptor ring for camera. Had mine for a month or so when this one came through the door, so slightly cheesed off. Can be obtained by odering from NAUTICALIA on (++44) 0870 905 5090, order# 91551 though would ask to make sure. Regards Scott
Subject: help Sent: Wednesday, September 25, 2002 18:34:20 From: Dwk20@aol.com How do you past a motor unit fault. I have a ETX-60ATMike here: Replace batteries, RESET, CALIBRATE, TRAIN DRIVES, check cable and connections, check for obstructions preventing free movement.
Subject: Observing Saturn Sent: Wednesday, September 25, 2002 13:56:16 From: email@example.com (William Hernandez) I just came in from outside and observing Saturn for the first time in about a month. I went out and used my old telescope, it's made by Meade, but the cheap brand. It's a 4" (114mm) reflector with a f/5 (I think). It has like one inch size eye pieces which are 4mm and a 2.5mm. My 4mm didn't work too well, but I put in my 2.5 one and a little adjusting began to see the planet. Still, it was small like a little dot, but I still saw the rings and possibly one or two of it's satellites. Then I went back inside and got my etx-70 and set it up. I focused in on the planet using my 25mm and I saw the planet, but couldn't tell apart the rings. Then I slipped my 2x Barlow lens and my 25 and then it became clear. Then I got my 9mm lens and my Barlow and it became more obvious and more distinctive of the rings on the planet. As I was looking at the planet, I started noticing little stars around the planet. Even with my old telescope I saw these little stars, but then I remembered about the satellites of Saturn. With the rings at a vertical position, or close to it, one of the satellites was to the top of the planet (I guess this would be south). I looked up on my software that I got with the telescope and it appeared to me that it was Titan. The other satellites were still hard to see, but I wasn't too sure of it. What do you think? WilliamMike here: As I recall, all the other moons are beyond the reach of a small telescope (like the ETX).
Subject: Re: etx 70 at Sent: Tuesday, September 24, 2002 8:19:24 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (email@example.com) To: firstname.lastname@example.org (Richard Seymour) Hi Dick I traded the 70 in for a 90 but without the Auto Star equipment. Unfortunately the sterling price exceeds the US $ price , ie I paid 525 for a scope which lists at $495! So the Auto Star will have to wait. However, I think the discipline of identifying stars will be a great way to learn my way around the sky. I'm pretty excited and am hoping for a clear night tonight. Kind regards Greg PS Thanks Mike!
Subject: ETX-70AT as a started telescope Sent: Monday, September 23, 2002 3:51:27 From: email@example.com What do you think of a ETX-70 for a start?Mike here: See my ETX-70AT Comments linked at the top of the current "ETX-60AT, ETX-70AT" Feedback page on my ETX Site. Whether it will meet your expectations depends upon what those expectations are.
Subject: ETX 70 AT ra drive Sent: Sunday, September 22, 2002 16:09:41 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Soldier Creek Farm) The ra drive motor works,the gears are ok but the worm gear does not mesh with the driven gear. How do I get the base off so i can check it out? Gary CadyMike here: See the "ETX-125EC Right Ascension Drive Fix" article on the Telescope Tech Tips page. It may help.
Subject: Newbie ETX AT 60 User Sent: Sunday, September 22, 2002 3:45:48 From: email@example.com (Michael C. Howe) Thank-you for your great site!! I have two very simple questions regarding set-up for the Meade EXT AT-60 scope. When the manual states that to prepare the scope for use with AUTOSTAR that it should be pointed north, is that magnetic north or true north to which they refer? Also, do you recommend 'training" the scope after each AUTOSTAR reset? Mike Howe New Brunswick, CanadaMike here: Since the Earth rotates around its axis, which points to True North, you should use True North not Magnetic North. Magnetic North varies from True North (called "Magnetic Variation") from 0 to about 20 degrees, depending upon your location on the Earth. If you can see the "North Star" named Polaris, use it to indicate where on your horizon is True North. Normally, you should not need to RESET the Autostar unless it is acting up. But yes, I would reTRAIN following a RESET.
Appreciate you getting back to me so quickly! Many thanks. Wishing you clear skies!!! Mike
Subject: Alt/Azimuth for ETX 70 Sent: Thursday, September 19, 2002 1:27:53 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Newey, Ian D.) Just a quickie. I've had a bit of trouble lately doing the 2 star alignment with my 70. The way that I have been doing it is getting Polaris in the centre of the eyepiece and then bringing the scope down to 0 declination. Am I right in saying that 0 declination would run the scope parallel to level ground and if so would I be better off using a spirit level just in case I'm on a slight slope. Thanks Ian (UK)Mike here: Yes, leveling the tube is correct but the base should also be level. However, the Autostar can correct for leveling errors.
Subject: re: etx 70 at Sent: Wednesday, September 18, 2002 21:24:13 From: email@example.com (Richard Seymour) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Yes, the Meade-supplied CD does NOT WORK properly.. for ANY model of Autostar (so don't feel bad about the ETX70). There are two patch kits (or was it three?) which were available for free from the StarryNight and ACP folks. The two StarryNight patches were a huge one to improve the program, and a smaller, hard-to-find one for the Autostar. (it was buried in their user forum or FAQ/buglist pages) (i don't have them on this PC, or i'd be sorely tempted to include them as patches) The patches even fix the "Oct 12, 2006" bug... Once you've loaded the patches, the "supplied CD" does operate the ETX70at quite handily... good luck --dick
Subject: etx 70 at Sent: Tuesday, September 17, 2002 10:24:59 From: email@example.com (firstname.lastname@example.org) Further to my last. I've now got a 506 cable and have successfully connected to my scope. However, I get the impression that the 70AT with the 494 AutoStar is a poor relation. The software supplied (Astronomer's Control Panel) doesn't work in the supplied form. The downloaded revision works only in the most basic fashion and not really in a practical "field" setting. As for updating the AS software I down loaded the "*.rom" file which seemed to be gobaldy goop! What can I do with my 70 AT and the 506 connector kit? Sorry if I sound a little disgruntled. Hopefully I just need pointing in the right direction. Best regards GregMike here: Currently there is NO update to the #494 Autostar ROM. You can use the software to add objects to the #494 however. Or if you get the latest ACP from the vendor you can control the ETX-70AT from your computer.
Subject: re: ETX 70 Question (POWER) Sent: Sunday, September 15, 2002 23:57:52 From: email@example.com (Richard Seymour) To: firstname.lastname@example.org You asked: 1. Does the 497 use more 'power' than the 494? Yes, but not -that- much more... the motors are the big consumers. 2. Is an hour worth of good viewing enough to flatten the batteries? ( Messier hunt - 15 objects) I get about 20 hours of operation of my ETX90 and 497 with AA cells. 3. Would Duracell's be better? All alkalines should give you at least 10 hours... except: My etx90 is a 12v system... the autostar starts to fail when the batteries drop to about 7 volts. Your ETX70 is a 9 volt sysstem. It doesn't take long for that lower starting voltage to drop to 7 volts, where the autostar might start hiccoughing. 4. When I did the initial set-up, I selected the ETX 70. The 497 gave me the option of either a 60 or 70. I selected the 70. However, when I checked, the 60 was displayed. I do not think that this would matter to much??? The scopes are more a less the same? Mike answered that well about the ">" being the real selection flag. That is true throughout the menu system. I believe the ETX70 will suffer no harm at 12v. I would suspect Meade's unregulated AC adapter to put out at least that much. So the 12 volt car cable should be fine (it'll slew MUCH faster). Do not exceed 15 volts. Motor Unit Failure messages can be sometimes reduced by doing a Setup>Telescope>Calibrate[enter] (your alignment will be lost). That re-adjusts the internal sensor system for the (now) lower power supply voltage. have fun --dick
Subject: ETX 70 AT Sent: Saturday, September 14, 2002 6:01:21 From: email@example.com (firstname.lastname@example.org) I'm very new to astronomy and have just purchased an ETX 70 AT. I asked for an RS232 cable to be sent so that I could interface with my laptop. The cable instructions say not to connect to the AUX socket. However, there are no other sockets on the 70AT. Any ideas please? Greg ShakeshaftMike here: If you have the #494 Autostar (no keypad and standard with the ETX-70AT) then you must use the #506 cable. This cable has a small box inline in the cable. It must connect to the AUX port on the base of the ETX-70AT. If you have the #497 Autostar (with a keypad) then you must use a #505 cable (no box) and connect it to the Autostar itself.
Got it! Thanks Mike. Great web site. Greg Shakeshaft
Subject: ETX 70 Question (POWER) Sent: Friday, September 13, 2002 18:18:26 From: email@example.com (Lewis M. Coward) I recently purchased an Autostar 497 for my 70. To date, I have no problems at all, that is, the normal Alt/Az, rubber-banding etc. Except of course that I spent about an hour outside the other night after putting in a new set of batteries (energizers). This evening, only after a half an hour I got that dreaded message "motor failure". The system said that either the batteries were dead, handset had been moved between scopes etc. I looked at the battery level and it was 30%. When using the 494 previously, I could use the same said for quite a good viewing sessions? I am 100% sure thaqt all parameters were entered correctly when it was originally initialised! 1. Does the 497 use more 'power' than the 494? 2. Is an hour worth of good viewing enough to flatten the batteries? ( Messier hunt - 15 objects) 3. Would Duracell's be better? 4. When I did the initial set-up, I selected the ETX 70. The 497 gave me the option of either a 60 or 70. I selected the 70. However, when I checked, the 60 was displayed. I do not think that this would matter to much??? The scopes are more a less the same? Any advice would be appreciated Finally, can I use the car-lighter cable for the 70. it delivers 12v. Not being electro-literate ... a confirmation would be appreciated. Regards, Rev. Lewis Montague CowardMike here: First off, once you select the ETX-70AT it is remembered. When you go back to the display, it just defaults to showing the first one in the list, in this case the ETX-60AT. If you scroll the list you should see the ">" by the ETX-70AT. As to batteries, you should be able to get more usage from any good set of batteries. Under normal use they should last for many many hours.
Subject: re: ETX-70 Alt / Az percentage settings? Sent: Monday, September 9, 2002 1:08:56 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Richard Seymour) To: email@example.com The percentage settings are one of those "each scope is different" items. If your gears are nice and "tight", it'll be small. If the gears are "loose", it'll be large. My ETX90 uses 1% in Az, and up to 30% in Alt. So there is no "ultimate" answer... there's only the trial-and-improve value you find for -your- scope. have fun --dick
Subject: re: New user of etx-60at focusing Sent: Monday, September 9, 2002 1:03:57 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Richard Seymour) To: AnnaBShreve@aol.com The ETX-60 can take over 50 (fifty) full turns to focus travel end-to-end. Use the 26mm eyepiece instead of the 9mm... it's easier to attain an image. Another trick to try is to put the eyepiece in, and then gradually lift it out of the holder, trying to stay in line with the light coming out of the scope... see if you can reach a spot (yes, in mid-air) where focus begins to happen. That will at least reassure you that -any- focus is possible. good luck --dick
Subject: New user of etx-60at focusing Sent: Saturday, September 7, 2002 21:36:18 From: AnnaBShreve@aol.com Hi...I bought my daughter an etx-60at for her birthday and have attempted to do the two star alignment it but have been unable to see anything. We have turned the focus knob numerous times. We've had this telescope put away for a while and my daughter is getting very anxious to try it out! Please help. Thanks.Mike here: Before trying it at night, try it on something during the day. Say a building down the street. That should allow you to focus easier. Be certain that the lens cover is removed and the flip mirror is set to bounce the light to the eyepiece hole on top (normally the lever is vertical). If you can see light in the eyepiece, keep turning the focus knob in one direction; the image will either get clearer or more blurry. If it gets more blurry reverse the direction of turning. As you turn the focus knob you should be able to see the objective lens housing move very slightly.
Subject: ETX-70AT SETUP PROBLEMS Sent: Saturday, September 7, 2002 13:56:38 From: EricRayner@erayner.fsbusiness.co.uk (Eric Rayner) I have recently acquired a Meade ETX-70AT telescope that has not been set up before. On going through the set up process and entering the date, time and daylight saving I expect to then select the country and nearest city as per the instruction manual. Unfortunately the country option does not appear, it goes straight to the align option. If you have any suggestions as to what I may need to do they would be much appreciated. Regards, Eric.Mike here: See the article "Setting/Resetting Any Autostar Model" on the Autostar Information page.
Subject: ETX-70 Alt / Az percentage settings? Sent: Monday, September 2, 2002 9:48:07 From: email@example.com (Ken Martin) Can someone offer advice on the Alt / Az percentage settings? When manually slewing with the Autostar, it seems to hesitate before slewing. I tried 10% and it seemed to slew immediately. Just wondering if anyone has found the ultimate settings. Thanks, KenMike here: I seem to recall someone mentioning some on the August 2002 ETX-70AT feedback page or the Autostar feedback page (see the Feedback Archives).
Thanks - I should have thought to do a search of the site. I did find some information. Hopefully it will help. And perhaps others will comment on their experience with the issue. Thanks, Ken
Subject: Barlow for ETX70 Sent: Monday, September 2, 2002 06:46:05 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Ted Wilbur) To: email@example.com I just read your post on Mike Weasner's site regarding the 3X Barlow lense for the ETX70. The link you provided is for the Meade #128 short Barlow which -is- the correct lense for the ETX70. I have an ETX70 and both the 2X and 3X Barlow lenses. I have found that the 2X (#124) with the 9mm eyepiece gives the clearest views of Jupiter and Saturn. Also, I often use the 3x with a 15mm eyepiece. That said, I am able to achieve focus with either Barlow using the 9mm eyepiece. The critical focus point is VERY small when magnification gets high. You should move the focus knob in the smallest increments possible to try to catch the perfect spot. If you don't have a flexifocus focus knob attachment, I strongly suggest you get or make one. This will help with focusing in general, and particularly with the issue of achieving critical focus at high magnification. As you noted, the ETX70 isn't a great planetary scope. But, it is an -incredible- value if you want to view or do astroimaging of the larger and brighter deep sky objects. Have fun! Ted
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