Last updated: 30 September 2003
Subject: no subject Sent: Sunday, September 28, 2003 05:49:18 From: email@example.com (Thomas Fioriglio) I am new to astronomy and I have done my research. The Meade ETX-70AT seems perfect for me - a novice on a limited budget. I have one question for you. I see that the ETX-70 was introduced in 1996, how often has it been updated since then? And when was the last update for it? I guess I am thinking in terms of other technical equipment like computers whose hardware and software are updated fairly frequently. Do telescopes fall into that catagory as well or is there very little to change once they have the design down. Thanks for the help. Thomas FioriglioMike here: PLEASE read the Email Etiquette page; your email was initially deleted from the incoming mail list because it looked like SPAM.
Subject: two questions about my etx-70 if you do not mind Sent: Friday, September 26, 2003 02:58:55 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (hisham d) 1- What is the need for filters and what is the best filter i could use for my etx-70 ? 2-what is the best Accessory or eyepieces i could use for the wide field so i can see big part of the sky ? i have the 25mm eyepiece but i think that there are Accessories that gives me a wide and big fieldMike here: One of the "blue fringe eliminator" filters would be a good choice for the ETX-70, as well as a Moon filter. You could add a wide field eyepiece but the ETX-70 is already a pretty wide field telescope; I suspect you'd not gain much from the use of one.
Thanks But what is need the for filters and how can they help me? And how could I add a wide field eyepiece and what is the eyepiece I should add? and what accessory would help me with the wide field??? i am sorry about the many questions i asked you about...Mike here: If you have looked through a refractor telescope (like the ETX-70) you may have noticed a color fringing around bright objects. The blue fringe type filter eliminates that. A Moon filter acts like sunglasses for viewing the Moon when it is bright. As to a wide field eyepiece, personally I don't recommend that you spend the money on one for the ETX-70.
Subject: Another WTX question... Sent: Thursday, September 25, 2003 04:33:19 From: email@example.com (Joltz) Sorry to bother you again Mike, but I forgot to ask you 1 more question, I hope you don't mind. As I said previously I own a etx70AT, my friend is going to give me his ETX90 M/RA as he has upgraded to a lx or something model. This specific etx90 model doesn't have the autostar controller, but looking at everything else the way it moves around its basically identical. I was wondering if i was to get the etx90 and remove the basically the whole scope from the pitchforks, will it fit into the ETX70's pitchforks so i could use the autostar to move it around? Thanks for your help.Mike here: Check the Telescope Tech Tips page.
Subject: heavy eyepieces on the etx 60/70 Sent: Wednesday, September 24, 2003 11:59:35 From: firstname.lastname@example.org I have a 13mm nagler, and was wondering if the etx motor would have any problems working on this load. I was also intending on getting a binoviewer, probably similar weight, but may be a bit more. Thanks, H MMike here: In some orientations the extra weight could be a drag. You could add a counterweight; see the Helpful Information - Astrophotography page for some ideas.
Subject: ETX70- ALIGNEMENT NO NORTH Sent: Wednesday, September 24, 2003 00:05:50 From: email@example.com Is there any procedure to align when no north visibility is available because of building obstruction?Mike here: You can use a magnetic compass if you correct for your local Magnetic Variation. You can also use street maps to help point the way to True North. Lacking these you can always set up in what you believe is the correct position, then let the Autostar slew to the first alignment star. Physically pick up the telescope/tripod and rotate it horizontally to point the telescope as close as possible to the star. Then complete the centering of the first star using the Autostar. When the second star is slewed to, use only the Autostar to center it.
Subject: ETX70+LPR FILTER Sent: Tuesday, September 23, 2003 07:08:30 From: firstname.lastname@example.org Most of the year I stargaze from a balcony sited in the middle of the town with streetlights, homeligths surrounding, ... Would a LPR filter help?Mike here: See my report of using one with the ETX-90 on the Accessory Reviews - Filters page. Objects will appear even dimmer on the ETX-70.
Subject: ETX70 eyepieces and barlow lenses Sent: Tuesday, September 23, 2003 03:47:24 From: email@example.com What is your opinion of using a 3X barlow with both 9 and 4 mm eyepieces?Mike here: Keep in mind the maximum magnification for the ETX-70 (140X) when pushing magnification. And the difference in tripled 9mm (= effective 3mm) and a 4mm eyepiece is not that much. But adding any Barlow Lens affects the image quality so using a 4mm eyepiece would be preferred if you already have one.
In case I already have the 9mm + 3x barlow, should I buy the 4mm?Mike here: Do the math. Would you benefit from the magnification difference between the 4mm vs 3mm? Or could you use the money elsewhere?
Subject: Trouble with ETX70A Sent: Thursday, September 18, 2003 03:42:16 From: MattKidd12@aol.com Hi. I was having a little bit of difficulty with my ETX 70A. I have straightened the OTA so it is pointed vertical, but the dial (dec) reads 83, not 90 as it is supposed to. How do I go about fixing this problem. I cannot unscrew the one that has numbers on the dial. Thanks, Matt Kidd.Mike here: See the FAQ page. If you can't turn the knob use a rubber "jar-lid" opener or rubber gloves.
Subject: ETX-70AT eyepiece selection/alternative Sent: Wednesday, September 17, 2003 09:46:47 From: KF4ILI@aol.com I recently purchased an ETX-70, and my knowledge of telescopes and astronomy is slim to none, so please excuse me if you've already covered this subject. I see many choices of eyepieces out there, and because of the cost, I hesite making random selections. I have an old telescope with a pretty good selection of .965" diameter eyepieces and was wondering if there is an adapter to allow me to use these in my 1.25" diameter eyepiece recepticle, or would I be diminishing the quality of my viewing? I have seen some 2" to 1.25" reducing adapters out there, but none for the .985" eyepieces. I have the ability to fabricate one because I have a machine shop at my disposal, but I think I would have to calculate the distance from the lens to the mirror to avoid more unnecessary focusing. About Barlow lenses (2X) - I see several different model numbers in the 1.25". This telescope appears to use the #124. Is there a difference in this one and other models? In the ETX-70 manual in the optional accessories section, they list the PL4, 5 & 6mm and the WA18mm. Would this be a good choice? One of the on-line retailers have a "special purchase" including a 4 & 6mm Plossl and a #124 2x Barlow for $39. This looks like an even better choice. I am also new to your web site, and it looks great from what I've seen so far. Your opinion on the eyepiece issues would be appreciated. Regards, Chuck J.Mike here: See the Accessory Reviews - Eyepieces page for the adapter (called a "bushing"). If they are reasonable quality eyepieces you should be OK. The #124 is ideally suited to the ETX-70; you can use higher quality ones (ie, more expensive) but you likely won't notice any significant difference. And yes, those eyepieces could make a nice addition if you don't have those focal lengths already. However, keep in mind that if you get a 2X Barlow Lens and you already have a 9mm eyepiece, then you'd have the same as a 4.5mm eyepiece when doubled.
Subject: Need assistance "fixing" flip mirror on ETX-70 Sent: Saturday, September 13, 2003 15:37:32 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Dennis Swindle) I just purchased a ETX-70. I discovered that after flipping the mirror up for visual observing, the mirror ended up going past the correct alignment point by 6-10 degrees. Trying to "bring it back" a few degrees and keeping it there is an exercise in frustration. While this may not have a great bearing on image quality, it sure bothers me to look straight down the eyepiece tube and see only 75% of the mirror. Can you help me correct this? Thanks! Dennis S.Mike here: There are some articles on flip mirrors on the Telescope Tech Tips page; perhaps something there will help. But if you just purchased it new you might want to consider an exchange.
Subject: #933 Erecting Prism Sent: Wednesday, September 10, 2003 07:22:28 From: email@example.com Did you ever use this erecting prism for ETX70 astronomical observations? What was the feeling? Does it fit properly without quality degradation within the whole range of eyepieces and barlow lenses?Mike here: Sorry, I have only used the #932 on the ETX-90.
Subject: MARS ON AN ETX70 Sent: Wednesday, September 10, 2003 07:11:53 From: firstname.lastname@example.org What can I see of Mars with a 4mm +2x or 3x barlow? How full moon proximity will affect the quality of the observation?Mike here: See my article "Mars 2003 - What should you expect to see?" on the Buyer/New User Tips page. No effect on planet observing, unless both are in the same field of view.
Subject: Sent: Wednesday, September 10, 2003 06:17:23 From: email@example.com Can you give any insights of stargazing under nearly full moon conditions? What effects can we expect in a ETX70 scope? ThanksMike here: Please read the Email Etiqutte page linked from the ETX Site home page; your email was almost deleted unread as SPAM.
Subject: RE: EXT70AT - Horizontal Motorskips now after power supply cord wrapped on tripod Sent: Tuesday, September 9, 2003 08:21:04 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Robert Stojkovic) I calibrated and trained the drives again. Still get a hesitation every 10 to 15 Degrees of movement. Below 64x it just stalls for a few seconds and then starts to move. Any ideas. Thanks. Robert Stojkovic email@example.com Providing Rocking Innovative Collaboration Every DayMike here: Unlock the axis and move the telescope by hand several times back and forth several times through complete rotations. Maybe the grease needs to be distributed.
Subject: An ETX question from a New User Sent: Monday, September 8, 2003 22:46:48 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Zero Fenix) My name is Zach Levine and recently I bought a Meade ETX-70EC Telescope for my birthday. I'm a physics major at San Francisco State University and ironically I've had very little hands on telescope experience. I stumbled upon your site hoping you could answer a question I desperately am looking for an answer to. So, if you would be so kind to listen and offer any advice I would very much appreciate it :) here goes... After assembling my scope, I set up all of the alignment electronically and such and started free viewing across the sky. At first I didn't see much so I thought I could always try my luck with the moon as I'm sure most do for their first view. So, I blindly (and using the remote for small adjustments) navigated my way to the moon and finally found it except...that it was blurry - horribly blurry. I thought at first it was the focus so I adjusted it both ways - no luck. I realized after a couple minutes that it wasn't particularly blurry, but had an odd halo surrounding the moon that was solid (almost like a bad case of glare). Confused I put the scope back and blamed the error on a number of things (fog particularly even though I was sure there wasn't any). So, next night I tried again. This time I'm sure theres no fog. Headed back up for the moon and alas, the same odd encompassing white glare surrounding the moon. Odd. Since mars was so close to the moon I again navigated to mars only to see that it too had a halo surrounding it (proportional to the shape exactly which ruled out the possibility that I smudged the lens or got fingerprints on it). Hmm...back to the moon. I realized this time that if I stood back from the scope entirely the moon was clear, then as I got in closer to the lens it started to glare more. I finally figured out that this solid halo is the projection of light (from the reflecting mirror up to the viewing glass I was looking through). This was the case for both lenses that came stock with the scope, so I doubt it was an eyepeice defect. So, since I'm 90% sure it's something I didn't do, I wonder if you could help me figure out whats wrong. Is this common in new scopes or inexperienced amateurs to have the light glare shoot back up in the lens and blur the image? is there something I can do? (focusing makes no difference considering the halo always covers the image.) If it's need of something specific I have some experienced users on campus that would most likely help but hopefully you can help me out before I resort to them and lug it out on a night trip. Any advice would be appreciated as well as any time answering. All the best and thanks for the long read. Clear skies Mike - Sincerely - Zach LevineMike here: Could you be viewing a reflection of the Moon instead of the primary image? This has been known to happen, usually when people view the Sun (using the proper protections, of course). Also, what about dew? Do you see any condensation on the objective? Lastly, are you SURE you have the image properly focused? A common new user error is to use the focus knob to change the size of the object being viewed instead of making it a crisp image. On the Moon do you clearly see the craters? Does Mars appear as a SMALL dot? Remember, with planets, the infocus image will be the smallest image possible.
Subject: ETX-70AT Question Sent: Monday, September 8, 2003 21:53:36 From: email@example.com (Jason Stromback) Well i think i found some of my questions in my last email on your website. But the one thing i still can't figure out is how the heck do i do a RESET? I took out the batteries, and the thing kept everything in the memory! What the heck... IS there a button i have to push or is it stashed somewhere in the controller? Currently i am still having a problem with the Scope having a mind of its own, spinning around during the alignment and not stopping. I am thinking i need to RESET, Calibrate drives, and train drives, but i cant find the RESET button.. I need help.. arghhhh ive had this scope for 1 week now, and i still havent been able to fully use the controller! Ive spent almost 2 hours every night trying to figure it out. Thanks for any info you can give me Jason S.Mike here: Select SETUP and Scroll until you see RESET, then press ENTER.
Subject: Would upgrading from an ETX70-AT to an ETX90 make it easier to get some eye relief? Sent: Monday, September 8, 2003 12:10:28 From: ERenger@harlandfs.com (Eric Renger) I was recently hypnotized by Mars Mania and purchased an ETX70-AT. It came with the 25mm and 9mm MA eyepieces, and I also bought some additional Meade eyepieces that were offered as a set at a special price (4mm Plossl, 6mm Plossl, and 2x Barlow). Because I live in the city, and many of the deep sky objects are difficult to see at home, the thing that I have enjoyed most has been looking at the Moon. I've tried all the eyepieces alone and in combination with the Barlow, and I am impressed with what I can see with the Plossl eyepieces and the Barlow (although I understand I am probably over-magnifying the telescope with the 4mm and the Barlow). The problem is that, with my severe astigmatism, I really need to use my eyeglasses, and I can't keep them on and use the Plossl eyepieces. I have to take them off and jam my eyeball right up against the eyepiece to see anything. Even then, I feel like I am peeking through a keyhole. The 25mm and 9mm are a lot more comfortable, but I don't get the magnification I would like. So, I've started reading about some of the Super Wide-Angle and Ultra Wide-Angle eyepieces that have some better eye relief. I see that these are not usually recommended as accessories to the ETX70. Is that because they are kind of economically out of whack with the less expensive telescope, or is there a technical reason they are not recommended? Also, I've read that one of the ways to get better eye relief is to use a Barlow to increase the effective focal length of the scope, and then use a longer focal length eyepiece to get the same magnification you would with the shorter focal length eyepiece. I understand the longer focal length eyepiece will generally have better eye relief. So that got me thinking that what I really may need is a longer focal length scope like the ETX90. The wider angle eyepieces are recommended accessories for the 90, and you would not need as short a focal length eyepiece to get up to the maximum practical magnification anyway. I have only had the 70 for a short time, and I can probably still exchange it for a 90. So I'm wondering if that is likely to get me closer to what I really want, which is to be able to comfortably wear my glasses and observe the Moon at close to the maximum magnification for the scope. Am I on the right track, or is there something else you would recommend? I estimate it will cost me more than twice what it cost for the 70 to upgrade to the 90 and buy the Autostar and carrying case that were included with the 70. So I want to make sure I know what I'm doing before I decide. If I do stick with the 70, what combination of eyepieces and Barlows would you recommend to get eye relief at high magnification? If I go with the 90, what eyepieces and Barlows should I consider? Thanks, Eric RengerMike here: You might want to upgrade to the ETX-90 but if you don't need or want the Autostar you can get an ETX-90RA for a lot less than the ETX-90AT. But then you would still have to add the tripod, unless you can use the tabletop legs. And from your description I suspect you would be happier with the -90. With many wide angle eyepieces the ETX-70 would likely show some significant vignetting, which would be reduced on the ETX-90. Plus you would still have the benefit of the longer focal length of the ETX-90.
Thanks for the reply. I think I will try to exchange the -70 and upgrade to the -90 if the store will allow it. I would still like to have the Autostar, even if it is not really necessary for my moon gazing. When I get a chance to go to an area with a darker sky, I think I will want it. I really wish that the people at the shop that sold me the scope had been able to explain the issues to me. I looked at the ETXs at a Discovery store (which is where I bought it), and at a Ritz and a Wolf Camera. Those people seemed to know next to nothing about the telescopes, and I could not find any other shops within reasonable distance. They basically said that the -90 is bigger than the -70 and gathers more light --- didn't discuss focal length and what that would mean. And it seemed like a lot of stuff that came packaged with the -70 did not come with the -90 (the Autostar and the hard case). I guess it's hard to commit $600-$700 to a hobby you are not sure you will enjoy, especially when there is a $300 alternative, but if I had understood the focal length issue better, I think I would have just bought the -90. Thanks again for the info. Eric
Subject: ETX Star Navigator software Sent: Sunday, September 7, 2003 12:50:00 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Doug Scott) I just purchased an ETX70 from Ebay and the only thing that was missing is the navigator software. How can I get a copy of that and do I need it anyway. Doug ScottMike here: Do you need it? No. Could you use it? Perhaps. But there are alternatives. See the Accessory Reviews - Software page for some software that will control the ETX. For the ETX-70 you will need a #506 cable (which can not be homemade). Alternatively you could purchase a #495 (which can be upgraded to a #497) or a #497 and then make (details on the Autostar Information page) or buy a #505 cable. You need Windows and a serial port to do the Autostar upgrades but there is control software for Mac and Windows.
Subject: ETX-70AT Alignment problems Sent: Sunday, September 7, 2003 09:51:28 From: email@example.com (Jason Stromback) First I am glad I found your website, there is a lot of things I learned from it. Also, ill tell you right now, a newbie to telescopes. I just bought the ETX-70AT about a week ago. I have looked at mars and the moon quite a bit, and I am just in love with the scope but I can't seem to get the alignment correct.(Autostar alignment that is) I have some questions, and I was hoping you could help me out. I am trying to do the EASY 2 star alignment. 1. During alignment, I know the telescope has to sit, North, be at 0 vertically, and I am guessing horizontally. Do I need to level the tripod or the telescope when doing this? I haven't so far. Also, exactly where at north should the scope be pointing? I just have a $4 Wal-Mart compass to aim it north? Do I need to like point it more accurately then that? 2. When the scope makes its first move to line up with the stars, and I have to center it. I am looking for basically the brightest star in the area correct? Do you use the handbox to move it or do you manually move the scope where it should be? 3 Do you think its worth buy both a 2x barlow and 3x barlow or is that probably a waste of money? I currently have on order the 2x barlow with a 4 pl, and a 6pl. Getting these questions answered would help me out a lot. I think I have to train the drives now. I believe the scope doesnt even want to find the first star anymore. Last night it just kept going around and around. Thank you for reading this email. Jason S.Mike here: See the alignment tips articles on the Autostar Information. Generally, the more precise you make the HOME position the better the alignment and the more accurate the initial pointing to the alignment stars. Yes, you need the tube level and the ETX base level (but I just normally "eyeball" it). True North (which is here you point the telescope) and Magnetic North (where your compass points) can be up to about 20 degrees different, depending upon where you live. Use Polaris if you can see it; otherwise see the Astronomy Links page for site that provide Magnetic Variation values. Normally you use the Autostar to center the alignment stars but on the first star (and only the first one) you can physically pick up the entire telescope and tripod and rotate them horizontally to get them as close as possible to the alignment star. Then fine-tune it with the handcontroller. If you got the right initial star centered, this corrects for an error in North pointing. Generally, there is no need to purchase both Barlow Lens; keep in mind the maximum usable magnification for your telescope (see the FAQ page if you don't know how to calculate magnification and the max). Lastly, see the Email Etiquette page; it does help to limit questions per email.
Subject: Meade ETX-70AT Problem...Defective Telescope, or Defective Operator? Sent: Saturday, September 6, 2003 23:45:55 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Steve Smith) My brother and I just got a Meade ETX-70AT this week, and I am having some problems. Setting aside for the moment that I have been unable to configure AutoStar, I'm not sure what I am seeing, when I look at Mars. To make sure that light was actually coming through the scope, we started with the moon. I was surprised at how much I had to turn the focus knob to get it into focus. I have no lunar filter as yet, so it was quite brilliant. After successfully focusing in on the moon with the 25mm eyepiece, we manually moved to Mars. We were able to center it in the scope, but it was extremely small. I got the 9 mm and the 4 mm eyepieces, and we saw a disk, but there were odd shadows that reminded me of looking at bacteria through a microscope. So I'm not sure if we were seeing extremely large surface features of Mars, or crud on one of the lenses in the telescope. Please let me know what you think as I am contemplating sending the telescope back and just looking at images on the web. Also, I noticed that the moon's image was reversed (right to left) in the telescope. I thought the ETX-70AT was a refracting telescope and that there would be no reversal of image. Any insights or advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Steve Smith Corpus Christi, TXMike here: Try using sunglasses when viewing a bright moon; really helps. And yes, the focus knob has to be turned quite a bit when changing eyepieces. You can make some eyepieces more "parfocal" by only inserting them part way. Experiment with your eyepieces and then add a band (label maker plastic works well) around the tube to get the eyepiece from going into the hole too far. As to what you could have been seeing, yes, you could have seen some dark markings on Mars. See my article "Mars 2003 - What should you expect to see?" on the Buyer/New User Tips page. The ETX-70 is a refractor but there is a mirror at the end to direct light 90 degrees up through the eyepiece hole.
Subject: Meade ETX-60AT Sent: Saturday, September 6, 2003 13:03:31 From: Verd.email@example.com Please see if you can help. I need to reset the city and state for the telescope and can not find in the Instruction manual how to reset. Could you please advise? I would really be thankful as we have not used the telescope as of yet. You may also return the answer to our other email address firstname.lastname@example.org Donna VerdMike here: From the SETUP menu, select RESET. You can also select the location from the Site menu.
Subject: ETX AT-70 Sent: Saturday, September 6, 2003 07:08:07 From: email@example.com (David Linville) Has anyone had problems with the AutoStar powering down during use. Mine completely powers down and will not repower for sometimes hours. The manual states that it will go into a sleep mode and will reactivate by depressing one of the control buttons. Mine does not respond to depressing any button. DavidMike here: I presume you have the #494. There is a sleep mode (turns off the display) but you should still be able to slew even if the screen doesn't reappear. Have you tried changing to new batteries? If so, try a RESET. Then do a CALIBRATE and TRAIN DRIVES.
Subject: New Meade ETX-70AT Sent: Friday, September 5, 2003 08:27:33 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Mike Oh) Hi, Just came across your website, and I appreciate it very much. I just bought a Meade ETX-70AT, and haven't had a chance to see anything yet. However, I noticed that there are some dust particles from packing material on the 'inside' of the lense. They must've gotten in thru the eyepiece hole, 'cause the cap was off when I unpacked it. Do you happen to know how to clean it out? I'm sure I'll have more questions, but this is all for now. Thanks, -MikeMike here: Are these large particles or just small and only a few? They may or may not noticely affect the view you see. If they are large, I would contact the dealer. Trying to remove the foam from the inside of the tube could create more problems.
Subject: ETX 60 AT problems Sent: Friday, September 5, 2003 08:26:44 From: JAlberti@co.tulare.ca.us (Joe Alberti) I have an ETX 60 AT that I have had for over a year, and it has a problem. I bought the scope brand new from a dealer on eBay, and have never taken it out of the box until last week. When I try to use the AutoStar, it says Motor Unit Fault and then goes blank. I've tried three sets of brand new batteries, and no luck. Once in a while, the scope will move up and down, on power up, but that is rare. Any idea what could be wrong and how to fix it? Thanks for any help. JoeMike here: Well, it is now out of warranty (that's the danger of not trying out a new product until the warranty expires). Could you be overtightening the axis locks? At what stage do you see the Motor Fault? Is it during initialization or do you get a complete alignment and then you see the error when GOTOing an object?
Thanks for the reply. It happens as soon as I power on the telescope. As soon as I hit the switch, it says 'Motor Unit Fault'. I tried loosening the locks, and it does the same thing. Tried yet another fresh set of batteries, and still the same. Do you have any other thoughts? Thanks for the help. JoeMike here: When you get the Motor Fault, can you still use the Autostar to select a menu item? If so, do a RESET. If not and there is a Meade dealer near where you live you could go there and ask to try a different Autostar. Alternatively, there are several articles in the Other Tips section of the Autostar Information page that might help you test and/or repair the Autostar, if indeed the Autostar is the problem.
Subject: Re: Angry ETX-70AT (New) User Sent: Tuesday, September 2, 2003 02:49:23 From: email@example.com (Midwest Analog Products) Hello Mike, Your comments to the chap expressing disappointment in Mars through an ETX-70AT are more or less accurate. However, there is another factor: observing is a learned art. A newcomer's eyes might be physically as good as (or even better) than a seasoned pro's, and yet the eye-brain connection might not be as well rehearsed. In other words, the same amount of light more-or-less hits all of our retinas in more-or-less the same way. And yet someone who has spent more nights than another looking at faint or small objects will be able detect more detail. For example, I have a nephew with perfect vision who was sorely disappointed in M13 through the scope; he claimed he couldn't see anything. Yet his father and I (who both have lousy vision due to age) were enthralled with the detail of the globular. But, unlike my nephew, both of us have spent some 40-odd years learning the heavens with naked eye, binocs and cheap homemade scopes; a view through something like an ETX-70AT was a quantum leap (as it surely would have been for Galileo who has "seen" even more than I ever have). My point then: be patient, "learn" how to look, use averted vision, dark-adapt your eyes, and practice, practice, practice. A person can actually see the "continents" and one polar ice cap on Mars with just a 9mm and 2X Barlow---I know I have, and I've been waiting all my life for this experience! (I will admit, though, it looks better with a 6mm and the 2X Barlow). Anyway, while most of the questions on your site have been about eyepieces, Barlows, filters, etc., as improvements for viewing through the ETX-70AT, I contend that racking up some experience observing (with and without a scope) is just as important. In short, we see with our brains. Best wishes, Thomas HenryMike here: Excellent point! And absolutely correct.
Subject: The Use of Deepsky filters for the ETX-70AT Sent: Tuesday, September 2, 2003 02:14:12 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Jim) I was enquiring to the use of deep-sky filters on such a small aperture. I live in well built up area with masses of light pollution, if I venture into the rich tapestry of the countryside the sky is still bathed in the urban glow. I have read various reviews regarding the use of these filters, in particular the Lumicon (Oxygen III) and the Orion (Ultra-Block) and am concerned to the effectiveness of the filter on this scope. Will it create too dark a sky for suitable viewing and are there other suitable filters that are more suited to the 70 AT? Cheers J Knowles (UK)Mike here: Except for bright objects like M31, M42, and perhaps M57, their effectiveness on the ETX-70 will be very limited due to the small aperture.
Subject: EXT 70AT Parts List Sent: Monday, September 1, 2003 18:59:42 From: Dnichl12@aol.com Is a parts list or schematic drawing available for the EXT 70 ? The focus adjustment was turned past its limits and is missing a small part or two. DickMike here: Not publicly available. You could contact Meade; they might send you the part you need.
Subject: Mars, Meade and advertising hype Sent: Sunday, August 31, 2003 10:02:08 From: FINNR@BOT.KU.DK (Finn N. Rasmussen) "Angry new user Wyckoff Gerry" quoted Meade for this about what you can see in the ETX70: "All of the major planets except Pluto are easily observable through the ETX-70AT. Study Saturn and its ring system; the primary cloud belts of Jupiter as well as its four major satellites; the Moonlike phases of Mercury and Venus; prominent features on Mars; the starlike images of the distant planets Uranus and Neptune." Actually, this is all true. You can see that these objects are really there, but they will not look very impressive, and you may have problems with glare and colour fringing. On Mars, you should be able to see the southern ice cap. It is at the bottom of the tiny reddish ball, sort of tilted towards the left. It helps to increase magnification (at least 9 mm+ Barlow), and it may also help to filter. On nights with good seeing I can barely make out a darker rim between the icecap and the rest of the planet, that is the icecap melting I have been told. Mars will usually appear mottled, but I have not been able to make out any real surface details. I use a 6.4 mm eyepiece and the 2x barlow, sometimes also Meade's "planetary filters" or the Astronomik light pollution filter, which shifts the colour fringing so it is less disturbing. - Mars observations require some patience. Let your scope stay out and cool down for a while before you start observing. Do not expect to see subtle details the first 15 minutes - your eyes must adapt. If the seeing is bad (air movement, stars twinkle) you must wait for moments of steady air. Be happy that autostar will keep Mars in the field of view all the time! Do not forget to look at Uranus and Neptune when your are in this region of the sky. They are indeed starlike and difficult to distinguish from all the real stars of the same size. A good planetary program like CdC (freeware!) helps a lot. When you return to them after some days, you will see that they have moved a little bit relative to the real stars - that is how they were revealed as planets in the first place! Happy Mars observing! Finn Rasmussen, Copenhagen
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