Last updated: 30 September 2004
Weasner Experiences the ETX-70AT! (6/17/01)
QuickTime VR of the ETX-60AT
Movie (2.4MB) of the ETX-60AT TV Commercial (11/3/00)
Courtesy of Pyros Pictures
Subject: I need some help with mi ETX 70 Sent: Monday, September 27, 2004 22:26:43 From: Emanuel Tobal (email@example.com) I just bought a EXT-70 At and i got a problem the autostar say that there is a motor failure the motor moves in the sides direction but i Doesn't move up and down do you have any idea about this do you think can i fix it by mi self or i will have to send to the company please help!! Thanks a lot for having this wonderful website. Atte EmanuelMike here: When does the problem occur, on power on or when aligning? Could you be overtightening the altitude axis lock? If not, try a different set of batteries. Not much else you should do on a new telescope; best bet would be to exchange at the dealer.
Subject: etx-60at Sent: Tuesday, September 21, 2004 10:01:17 From: Kirk Van Allen (firstname.lastname@example.org) I bought an etx-60at and on the box it has pictures of Saturn and the andromeda galaxy. I searched the internet for pictures taken by the telescope and I can't find any. Is the box a sells pitch or the real deal. Since I live in Rexburg Idaho I figured I would great images because of the less light pollution. Can you tell me the real deal on this telescope. From Kirk email@example.comMike here: You can see photos done with the ETX-70 (and maybe ETX-60, but the -70 is similar) on the ETX Site; just look through the astrophotography galleries. And yes, you can see Saturn's rings and the Andromeda Galaxy; but don't expect the views to look like photographs. So yes, the box is marketing.
I've got another question about the type of things you see through the etx-60 telescope. Now when youre looking at the andronmeda galaxy is a dot of light or do see some shape.Your probably wondering why I just don't try it out but its been cloudy for nearly three weeks and I've only have another week to determine to keep or return it to the retailer. Thank you for all of your help Oh! one last question. What is the life span of one of these telescopes, because in a couple of months I will be leaving the country for 2 years and would like to get at least several years use out of it, again thank youMike here: As I describe in my book "Using the Meade ETX", most nebulae and galaxies will appear as "faint fuzzy blobs". With M31, when you look at it with a small telescope, you are typically just seeing the nucleus. However, with a wide field view from a very dark site you can see a hint of the spiral arms. As to the lifetime of telescopes, I still have my Christmas 1961 Edmund Scientific 3" Newtonian Reflector. I still have my 1996 ETX-90RA.
Subject: ETX-60AT CD is Broked Sent: Friday, September 17, 2004 05:35:05 From: byder jpreen (firstname.lastname@example.org) My ETX-60AT CD is Broked How Can i get the Tools and sofware that were in the CD and the most of important software is ( AstroFinder ) and the Device For the Cable connection i wonder if i can Download it from some Site or link ... i well be so thankful For any help that i can get the broplem that am from jordan and the Telescope was a gift from my dear friend in the US he send me it thats were befor like 4 years and its still working but not like befor i just need the softwares and tools that they ware in the CD so i can be able to Display it on my Personal Computer Hopfuly to get Some help Best Regards Byder
Mike here: The #506 cable is not easily made for the Autostar #494. So if you want the software on the CD you might as well purchase the CD/cable kit. Otherwise you will have to use 3rd party software and get a #497 Autostar (and make or buy a #505 cable). And:
i have the Cable But i Only need the software and the Cabe Device coz here in jordan there is No Dealer For Meade Co. So can u Lead me into Some how to get the Device For (AUX Port) and The Software AstroFinder Please just Give me a Link Or Some where that i can got them please i don't know what to do Ebay and Other websites jordan is not supported For this service ..help me please .Mike here: I don't believe AstroFinder is available as a download however there are many other applications that will work fine. See the Helpful Information: Autostar Info page for some (Scopedriver, AstroPlanner, others).
Subject: Re: ETX-70 question Sent: Tuesday, September 14, 2004 16:54:11 From: Tobie and David (tobdav at cox.net) I have increased the slewing speed to "Max" and attempted to slew right and left. The sound of the slewing motor is audible, but no movement. Thanks, DavidMike here: One more test. With the azimuth axis locked, can you move the telescope by hand? If so, that would indicate that the axis is not getting locked. Don't force any movement; just see if there is any resistance or not.
With the axis locked, I am able to move the scope about the horizontal. It is not "floppy" loose; rather, there is some -- but not a great deal of -- resistance. DavidMike here: OK, that tells us that the axis lock in not engaging properly. Two choices I think: contact Meade or contact Dr. Clay Sherrod. I'm not certain if Dr. Clay can do anything with the ETX-70 but can't hurt to ask him.
Will do. Thank you very much for your patient help. I really do appreciate it. Take care. David
Subject: ETX-70 question Sent: Saturday, September 11, 2004 22:13:48 From: Tobie and David (tobdav at cox.net) I own a Meade ETX-70 telescope purchased new in 2001and has not been used but once or twice since then. Now that my boys are old enough to appreciate astronomy and we pulled the scope out of the closet, we find that the scope's RA mechanism does not work. Specifically, when the Autostar controller is activated to move the scope right/left (horizontally) the drive motor plainly whirrs, but the scope just sits there motionless. I have read several articles on your website reporting a similar problem with one or another ETX scope, including the 70, and describing repairs. I have tried the simplest reported fix by removing the friction lever and repositioning it over the bolt head (on the base of the scope) to tighten the clutch mechanism, but it had no effect. I am not sure that I am up to the task of digging further into the mechanism myself; so I probably must send the scope off somewhere to be repaired. Here is my question: do you recommend sending it back to Meade, or is there another repair facility somewhere that would do a better job? Or, is there some other simple fix that I have missed? Thanks for your fabulous website. I appreciate your help. Sincerely, David Hyman Tulsa, Okla.Mike here: Have you tried to increase the slewing speed? Any change?
Subject: Re: ETX-70 That Has Suffered At The Hands Of Fate Sent: Wednesday, September 8, 2004 19:56:26 From: email@example.com (firstname.lastname@example.org) Thank you for responding so quickly! I was hoping you would say that regarding the controller; I feared you would say that regarding the right tube adapter. But I have found some intriguing ideas on that page and have a few of my own; if I'm successful I'll send the procedures I used to make this repair. I am a little dismayed about the quality of the construction in this area; of course others have made this observation before... Wonderful site and many thanks, I would like to rescue this little 'scope. Alex
Subject: ETX-70 That Has Suffered At The Hands Of Fate Sent: Wednesday, September 8, 2004 18:54:07 From: email@example.com (firstname.lastname@example.org) I love your site and really apprciate all of the help you've given to people with Meade telescopes. I hope maybe you can also help me. A several years ago (1999), I was given an ETX-70EC (that is the model number on the BOTTOM of the scope; wait, there's more) telescope as a gift, purchased from a Wal-Mart in New Jersey. I used it for about a year and a half and then it was damaged in a flood. I was very upset about it, but had more important things to take care of than the gift telescope, so I put the scope in a box and wrote it off for a while. I moved, and I've decided to open the box and survey the damage. It appears that this telescope is in fact (despite the model designation on the bottom of the scope) the one seen on one of your pages (scroll down, photos attached): http://www.weasner.com/etx/archive/70atJun00.html The fact that it was also purchased at a Wal-Mart leads me to suspect that I have the same scope mentioned in those photos; also, the Autostar controller is the same as the one pictured, as is the base my scope (jacks in the base, not the fork). Back to the damage: The optics got wet and some mildew/fungus developed on the inside of the tube. I was able to partially disassemble the main optics, very carefully clean the lenses and the mirror, clean out the tube (an ARDUOUS process -- lots of compressed air and careful work). But the good news is that upon reassembly they're fine! Focuses very well and everything seems clear and tight as the day it was new. It even looks new again. I have two problems: #1: The Autostar controller is DOA. I have tried battery replacements, cleaning terminals. Upon disassembly, the water got to several parts of the PCB and one of the capacitors on the board looks pretty corroded internally and externally, and there is crud inside the casing. Not pretty. #2: The telescope will not maintain vertical lock any more and the tube just swings freely between the forks, for a very good reason: The plastic post that the vertical lock knob is screwed into has sheared, flush with the face of the metal gear that engages the worm drive inside the fork. This probably happened when the scope fell to the floor during the chaos of the flood. I took everything apart and extracted this plastic piece (it is about 1/2" long and keyed into the rotating hard stop mechanism that would normally restrict the vertical movement of the tube.) I suppose I could try to epoxy this thing back together or get really creative in the shed, but I'm wondering if I can just get the whole right-hand plastic mount itself, since it unscrews from the tube and is a single piece of molded plastic? I know this is getting long so here are my two questions: Do I have a 495 Autostar unit on this scope??? Can I replace it with one of the 495 Autostars available from eBay or elsewhere (they say they are for DS telescopes!) The firmware inside the unit reads AUTO12GL.ROM VER 1.2 U5 and AUTO12GH.ROM VER 1.2 U80 and the PCB is 1999 AUTOSTAR PCB REV C, P/N 15-8002-00. Obviously I am a do-it-yourself person and I am also becoming a little long winded here, but since the scope's optics seem fine and the base unit seems OK, I'd like to try to get it working again with a little epoxy (or a replacement right hand tube mount) and a new controller. Really I just need to know if my assumption that I can plug any 495 controller into this scope is correct or not. Anyway, thank you for taking the time to read this far and I would really appreciate any help you can give me. Sincerely, Alex Kowalski P.S. - Luckily, the eyepieces weren't damaged at all in the flood - they were upstairs at the time, including the #126 2x barlow, which came with the scope and is the other I believe I have the same package mentioned in the ad.
Subject: New Astronomer Has a Question! Sent: Tuesday, September 7, 2004 00:22:07 From: Greg Emanuel (email@example.com) Thanks for the site - it's excellent. I have a question - I have just purchased an ETX - 70 (My first scope) I have read the instructions and followed links on this site regarding setting up etc. However, when I set the scope up on level ground (Using a bubble level in the eyepiece slot) then point the scope to north -fine, I then move the scope around by hand and find that the bubble is only level when the scope is pointing north - I have checked that the ground is level and have even put the scope on a flat table to check. Its always out by a few degrees. Is the scope faulty? I have a aligned the motors on several occasions, or would it be just a case of slight inaccuracies. Greg from Exeter Devon,GBMike here: Precise leveling is not required when using the Autostar. From your description it is difficult to know exactly what is occurring but I suspect you shouldn't worry about it as long as your GOTOs are accurate.
Subject: ETX-70 - ReMount Optical Assembly Sent: Monday, September 6, 2004 15:56:46 From: Ron Schulte (firstname.lastname@example.org) I was given an ETX-70 with an inoperable - actually partially dismantled - base. I would like to remount the optical tube on a simple Alt/Az mount. I haven't taken the optical tube off the forks yet so I don't know what to expect. Any suggestions? RonMike here: Reports are that it is not easy to remove the OTA from the fork arms. If you do attempt it, I'll post your results if you can document and take some photographs of the steps.
With your comments in mind, I might try to leave the scope in the forks (manual azimuth is smooth enough) and re-configure the base to something that "slides" more smoothly. I'll let you know how it works out. Ron
Subject: [none] Sent: Monday, September 6, 2004 15:16:14 From: matt r sohn (email@example.com) Great Web Page. Can you recommend a rechargeable power supply for my ETX-70? The only one I have found is the Celestron Power Tank. Thank you for your help. MattMike here: Glad you like the Site but as noted on the Home Page, new site visitors should read the Email Etiquette page; your message was originally DELETED unread as SPAM due to the missing Subject entry. As to power supplies, see the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.
Subject: Meade ETX 70 focus problem Sent: Sunday, September 5, 2004 17:53:47 From: William Menchine (firstname.lastname@example.org) I just bought a Meade ETX 70 used from Ebay and like many other Ebay items I have purchased in the past, it has "issues". It seems that in the course it's life someone has really forced the focus mechanism to the degree that the "hub" built into the end cap that restrains the focusing shaft has be broken out of the end cap. It is a little hard for me to even tell what the original parts are supposed to look like as the plastic pieces at the focus knob of my unit are somewhat squished and distorted. I think that I can fix the unit by machining a small brass sleeve and gluing it to the case with epoxy. What is not clear to me is how the backlash is supposed to be adjusted. Is the knurled knob position on the shaft supposed to limit the "push-pull" slop in the system or was there a plastic "spring" of sorts behind the knob? If anyone has a digital camera and can send me a close up picture if the original boss or can describe the components I would be most appreciative. Thanks in advance for any help on this. best regards, Will
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