Last updated: 26 September 2002
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:	Somethong for the brits
Sent:	Thursday, September 26, 2002 7:49:16
From: (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.


Subject:	help
Sent:	Wednesday, September 25, 2002 18:34:20
How do you past a motor unit fault. I have a ETX-60AT
Mike 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: (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?
Mike 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: (
To: (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


PS Thanks Mike!

Subject:	ETX-70AT as a started telescope
Sent:	Monday, September 23, 2002 3:51:27
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: (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 Cady
Mike 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: (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, Canada
Mike 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!!!


Subject:	Alt/Azimuth for ETX 70
Sent:	Thursday, September 19, 2002 1:27:53
From: (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.


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: (Richard Seymour)
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

Subject:	etx 70 at
Sent:	Tuesday, September 17, 2002 10:24:59
From: (
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

Mike 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: (Richard Seymour)
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

Subject:	ETX 70 AT
Sent:	Saturday, September 14, 2002 6:01:21
From: (
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 Shakeshaft
Mike 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: (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.

Rev. Lewis Montague Coward 
Mike 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: (Richard Seymour)
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

Subject:	re:  New user of etx-60at focusing
Sent:	Monday, September 9, 2002 1:03:57
From: (Richard Seymour)
The ETX-60 can take over 50 (fifty) full turns to focus travel

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

Subject:	New user of etx-60at focusing
Sent:	Saturday, September 7, 2002 21:36:18
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.
Sent:	Saturday, September 7, 2002 13:56:38
From: (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.


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: (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, Ken
Mike 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: (Ted Wilbur)
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!

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