ETX-60, ETX-70, & ETX-80 USER FEEDBACK
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Last updated: 31 July 2008

This page is for user comments and information specific to the Meade ETX-60AT, ETX-70AT, ETX-80AT-TC, and ETX-80BB. Additional information 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:	Please HELP: Questions about Meade ETX-60/70
Sent:	Monday, July 28, 2008 11:57:12
From:	sadoc.medina@holcim.com (sadoc.medina@holcim.com)
I have a couple of questions:

1) My telescope Meade ETX-60 has the "eyepiece holder" slightly out of
one side from its base. Is there any way I can take it back to its
original position?

2) The flip-mirror just came off. How Can I put it back and glue it
(which type of glue)?

Thansk for all your help
Regards
_____________________

Sadoc Medina
Mike here: You should be able to reattach the holder but would likely have to disassemble the OTA (not an easy task). See the article "ETX-70AT Repair Guide" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page for some guidance. There are a couple of articles on "flip mirror repairs" on the Telescope Tech Tips page. Keep mind that you may have to play with the final position to get the optics back in line.

And:

Thanks for your fast response. Most appreciated.

Best Regards

Subject:	ETX70
Sent:	Tuesday, July 22, 2008 11:44:20
From:	Philip Norton (philip.norton@virgin.net)
I have searched your excellent website but can't find what I am looking
for.

I have an intermittent contact somewhere on my ETX 70 RA drive. Is there
a circuit diagram anywhere of the drive electronics?
 
Regards
 
Phil Norton
Mike here: No schematic but there are some articles on motor drive fixes on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.

And:

Thanks for the quick response. If I get down to the PCB level. I will
send a schematic for the website.

Regards

Phil Norton

Subject:	Hey Mike...ETX80 handbox
Sent:	Monday, July 21, 2008 12:11:11
From:	Stephen Olson (steve34@comcast.net)
How are you Mike? Long time. Just got myself a little ETX80. It comes
with the 494 handbox. Can I use the 497 from my LXD75 SN8 to control it
and get all the extra functions without messing things up? If so is
there anything else I may need to do to get it setup properly?
 
Thanks,
 
Steve
 
www.TheUrbanSky.com
Mike here: As you can see on Meade's AutoStar page (http://www.meade.com/support/auto.html), the #497 will work with all ETX models. You will need to set the telescope model, proper mount mode, CALIBRATE MOTOR, and TRAIN DRIVES each time you move it from one telescope to the other one.

And:

Thanks Mike,

That was a fast reply. Got an easy day today??? LOL. Seriously thanks
for the help. Its appreciated.

Steve
Mike here: Yep, easy day, working on today's Site update.
Subject:	ETX-60 at question
Sent:	Sunday, July 20, 2008 22:35:06
From:	David Wagner (warez_hunter2001@yahoo.com)
Hello i have ran accrossed your page several times but i can not seem to
find a fix for what mine is doing during alignment it stops and goes to
motor fault warning. Shut it off and retry again same thing... Do you
have any solutions i have the 494# autostar by the way. Would it be best
to just invest in the 497 and will it work with the 60 model?
 
Thanks in advance,
David
Mike here: Have you done a CALIBRATE MOTOR and then TRAIN DRIVES? If not, try that. If that doesn't help, do a RESET, followed by the CALIBRATE MOTOR and TRAIN DRIVES. If that still doesn't help, the problem could be in the mount or with the AutoStar 494. If the mount has the problem, then using a different AutoStar won't help. So you should check the mount for free and appropriate movement in all directions.

And:

I did all that and still it reverts to motor unit fault both axis move
freely and i can move the scope using the < > ^ and down arrows. When i
do a calibrate motors it faults and train drives seems to work
correctly. And I do appriciate all the info you have provided on the
website i am still going through all of it. Your a astronomers godsend.
So would you think this would be a mount or autostar issue?
Mike here: It is probably some fault in the mount, either a motor problem or a communication problem. If a communication problem between the telescope and AutoStar, you could check for a bent or dirty pin on the AutoStar cable connectors and jacks.
Subject:	Meade ETX 60 Problems
Sent:	Thursday, July 17, 2008 05:59:17
From:	Ronnie May (ron626@yahoo.com)
Hello, I just bought a used etx60 and it has a few problems that I was
hoping you could help me with. First, the telescope will move up and
down but not left or right using the handset. The motor runs but nothing
happens. You can move it manually and the lock mechanism just moves back
and forth like it's not catching. I took the base apart and found a
yellow part that has what looks like some washers on it. I'm guessing
it's part of the clutch. Well, that yellow part has 3 little feet that
goes through one of the washers, and I noticed one of the feet is
broken. I put it back together but the thing still moves freely. The top
gears in the base turns with power. I can also manually move the big
bottom gear with the base taken apart. I checked the teeth and all was
fine. I'll send you some pics of what I'm talking about if you can't
figure it out in your head hehe. Also, the focus knob turns but the
telescope won't focus. the only way I can focus it is to take a pair of
pliers and turn the rod that the knob is attached too. I guess I could
maybe take a very small drill and drill and new hole and insert a key
but if you have another method I would appreciate it. I'm kind of dead
in the water if the scope won't move left and right because of the Go To
capabilities. Any help would be very much appreciated. Also, Thanks for
building the etx site, it has been real helpful.....Thanks again
Mike here: Regarding the focus problem, have you checked that the setscrew inside the focus knob is tight? It is deeply reset and so hard to reach. As to the locking problem, I'll let our resident hardware expert, Dr. Clay Sherrod, respond.
From:	P. Clay Sherrod (drclay@tcworks.net)
Ouch.....
My first advice is to try to get a rebate from the seller; it is obvious
that this telescope did not work when sold.
The focus knob may well be disconnected from the focusing mechanism
inside the OTA; if so you will need to disassemble the rear of the
telescope to gain access to this.

As for the RA drive, you have a real mess it sounds like and this is not
good at all.....Meade no longer accepts these ETX60's for repair nor do
they have any of the parts that you need for repair.  Are you saying
that - when clamped - the azimuth drive turns freely and cannot be
clamped to stop rotating?  Or are you saying that it clamps but will not
turn under power, using the pushbuttons?  You might try removing the
yellow clutch pad and substituting a FLAT FIBER washer (you can take the
yellow one to Lowe's and find a size match) or perhaps even TWO of them
stacked.  If you clean all surfaces and rough up the surface of the
fiber washer a bit, it will engage the drive when clamped.  However IF
you cannot clamp enough to stop the scope from rotating, then we have
perhaps an even deeper issue.

Dr. Clay
-------------
Arkansas Sky Observatories
Harvard MPC/ H43 (Conway)
Harvard MPC/ H41 (Petit Jean Mountain)
Harvard MPC/ H45 (Petit Jean Mtn. South)
http://www.arksky.org/

And:

Well, I knew the telescope needed repair when I bought it so I can't get
a refund. As for the focus knob, I think the small pin that holds the
knob to the rod broke, because you can move the rod and the telescope
will focus fine, it's just the actual knob that just turns and does
nothing. As far as the gears go I'll make a trip to Lowes and see if I
can find anything. That little plastic foot was the only thing I saw
broken on the scope. Everything else looked good. The clamp doesn't seem
to want to tighten. I got it as tight as I could but after a few turns
it moves back and forth freely. The base moves around freely as well
because I guess nothing is engaged. When I get home I'll take it apart
and snap some pics to send you. They may be a piece missing that you
might be able to catch. Thanks for the quick replies...

And:

Keep me posted on this.....the knob to the focuser is held by a #4 set
screw, not a pin....it may be stripped out.

I hope that you can get the azimuth axis to lock....get back in touch
when you have something to report and good luck.

Dr. Clay

Subject:	APD???
Sent:	Thursday, July 10, 2008 02:17:46
From:	Paulo Pinto (ct1ete@gmail.com)
Sorry for taking your time. As I am new to astronomy and as I know you
have a long experience with ETX-70AT, I would like to pose you a couple
of questions if you don't mind.

Yesterday I made my first observation of Jupiter. Jupiter was still low
in the horizon but it was the only spot from my backyard (north
oriented). I picked it when it was moving from East to Southeast. First,
I used the 25mm eyepiece. Jupiter was small, with no visible bands and a
very strong red light on the south. The red was son intense that seemed
about half size of Jupiter. The three moons were there (i believe
Ganimedes, Europa and Io). I changed to the 12mm eyepiece and then to
4mm, but results were not very pleasant. I made some googling and I
found that the red light is due to atmospheric prismatic dispersion and
that when celestial bodies are low atmospheric turbulence is bigger. I
think that explains my poor results. Can I expect to see the bands
clearly with a higher declination? If so, can I use the 12mm eyepiece
for that purpose? I now that it depends on several factors, but I hope
you can giv me a better idea of what to expect.
 
Thanks
 
Paulo
Mike here: Objects low in the sky will suffer from distortion and coloration. As to seeing some cloud bands on Jupiter, you will need more magnification, typically above 100X to see cloud bands well.
Subject:	etx-70at problem
Sent:	Tuesday, July 8, 2008 15:53:54
From:	Paulo Pinto (ct1ete@gmail.com)
I bought recently a ETX-70AT and today I tried to align it with
Autostar. I found a problem. If I use the telescope without Autostar I
am able to move it up and down, left and right, with the cursor keys of
the command. Within the Align with two stars, when I'm prompted to
center the stars, the cursor keys just don't move the etx-70at. I tried
several positions with the vertical and horizontal release knobs but no
success. Is there anything wrong that I'm doing?

Your help is appreciated

Thanks

Paulo Pinto
Portugal
Mike here: I'm confused. You say "without AutoStar" you can move the telescope with the cursor keys? If the AutoStar is not connected how are you moving the telescope? As to the aligning stars problem, have you tried to increase the slewing speed? Also, have you done a CALIBRATE MOTOR and TRAIN DRIVES?

And:

Thanks for the reply.

Sorry for my english. "Without the Autostar" I mean without the align +
goto modes. The Autostar is connected and I use it to control the
movement of RA and DEC with the cursor keys. It works ok. Whan I am
aligning it doesn't work, The cursor keys just don't move it. I did not
tried to increase the speed. As for the calibration of the motor and
train drives and just don't find any instructions for that in the
manual. Is there any link where I can learn that?

Paulo
Mike here: To CALIBRATE MOTOR just select it from the Setup --> Telescope menu item. It briefly runs the motors. To TRAIN DRIVES select that from the Setup --> Telescope menu. There are two: Alt and Az. Do both. Select the drive to train and follow the prompts on the display.

And:

Thanks for the tips.

I changed the speed and now I have movement. I noticed that the
telescope doesn't move imediately. After a few seconds of key pressure
it begins to move. I realized that at maximum speed, 64x and 32x. I had
it at 8x.

regards

Paulo
Mike here: Doing the TRAIN DRIVES should help the movement. It is best done during the daytime on a distant terrestrial object using a moderately high power eyepiece (like the 9mm).

And:

I'll do it Mike. Thanks very much for you staggering help.

regards
Paulo

Subject:	re: ETX 70 to Pc
Sent:	Sunday, July 6, 2008 20:07:10
From:	richard seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
It's not clear from your note if you are trying to replace the 494 with a PC,
or simply connect the 494 -to- a PC (without buying a Meade 506).

If the latter, then Gene's 506/909 replacement is nearing completion as a kit
(Although you could build one from his list of parts and schematic):
http://home.comcast.net/~lynol1000/as_494/as494_i2c_bus.htm
also, (same parts, more functions):
http://home.comcast.net/~lynol1000/as_909/as_909_clone.htm
http://home.comcast.net/~lynol1000/as_909/full_board1.jpg

also available as a kit on eBay:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=140246052474

have fun
--dick

Subject:	serial cable 506
Sent:	Saturday, July 5, 2008 00:35:10
From:	Henrik van Holthoon (henrik.van.holthoon@wanadoo.fr)
You are not too far away from me I live in Les Landes, France.

Apart from what Mike told you need also a special serial cable #506 from
Meade this cable has electronics integrated into the cable to convert
AUX port from ETX70 to serial out-input.

Regards Henrik

And:

From:	Martin Cacheiro (martincm@usc.es)
Hi Henrik,

I already knew about the cable but I was reluctant to buy until I knew
for sure that there was a USB adaptor to be able to use my computer
which doesn't have a serial port.

I have already ordered the adaptor and the #506 cable. I'm looking
forward to start playing with them.

Thanks a lot for your help.
Best regards,
Martin

Subject:	Replacing an ETX 80 OTA mount
Sent:	Thursday, July 3, 2008 12:51:41
From:	PARRISH SKIES (PARRISHSKIES@TAMPABAY.RR.COM)
Thanks for doing what you do. I have referred to your site numerous
times and found it most helpful.

The reason I am writing is our ETX 80 has been failing during setup.
When I operated manually, it just didn't feel right. Upon investigation,
I found the OTA 'mount' to be broken (not sure what it is really
called). I have attached a JPEG of the same.

Is this fixable or replaceable? If so, where would I find one? If not,
could I cannibalize the OTA and use as a guide scope on my LXD 75 SN8? I
know the focus knob on the 80 is less than adequate for fine focus, but
it might get me by until I can upgrade.
 
Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.
 
Clear Skies,
Tom Connor

photo

Mike here: Ouch. Unless you can machine a new part you are likely out of luck with the fork arm adapter. You could use the OTA as a guidescope; check Losmandy or ScopeStuff for mounting rings.
Subject:	Question about my etx...
Sent:	Thursday, July 3, 2008 08:50:12
From:	Scott Rief
I was wondering if you could answer any of my etx questions.

I received an ETX 70 4 years ago as a gift.  I have never been able to
focus on anything, I gave it to a friend who knows more about
telescopes, and he was also unable to get anything into focus.  I called
Meade and they said that the etx 70 is out of production and they wont
even repair it.

My question is... Do you know anyone who can help me fix this problem. 
I would like to bea able to use my telescope, but I just can't make it
focus.  Is there anyone who fixes these things? I'm willing to pay to
have it looked at and fixed.
 
Thanks
Scott Rief in Louisville Ky
Mike here: Lets try to see if there really is a problem. What eyepiece are you using? When you turn the focus knob does the objective lens housing at the end of the telescope tube move along the tube? Are you trying to focus on land objects or objects in the sky? Keep in mind that the ETX-70 (and ETX-60) may require a LOT of turns of the focus knob to reach a focus.
Subject:	ETX 70 to Pc
Sent:	Thursday, July 3, 2008 05:28:02
From:	Paul (paulbg@gmx.net)
recently I got a Meade ETX 70 from Ebay. Now I want to connect the ETX
to my PC directly without an extra kit from meade. Did you ever heard of
a DIY connection ?
 
greets from Germany
Paul
Mike here: Due to the electronics that are inside the #506 cable (required for the AutoStar #494) you would need to find those electronics and assemble it properly. But if you want to try, there are three articles on the #506 on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page. Alternatively, get an AutoStar #497 and made the simple #505 serial cable. For both solutions you need a RS-232 serial port on your computer; if your computer has only USB you will need a USB-serial adapter. But not such adapters work reliably with the AutoStar; see the article "AutoStar and USB" on the AutoStar Info page.
Subject:	ETX-80AT not slewing to the proper star
Sent:	Thursday, July 3, 2008 04:45:53
From:	dd (denis_cdn@hotmail.com)
This is my first post to your site. I've been reading your forums since
I received my new telescope. (about 1 month now), And I must say I've
learned a lot. Thank you.

My dilemma is that after I've trained the motors and set the home
position. The scope doesn't slew to the right star still but the
Autostar Suite states that it found the right star. I'm presently using
Window Vista Home Ed. laptop with a moderately high-end machine.
Autostar Suite is version 5.0. What am I doing wrong?  Do I have to
retrain the scope again until its right or do I have a lemon.
Mike here: Take the computer out of the system and lets concentrate on just the telescope. Have you done a CALIBRATE MOTOR? When you set your location did you use City Name or ZIPCODE? (I find that City Name works best.) When you put the telescope in the Home position, are you using True North or Magnetic North? When doing an EASY ALIGN, how far off is the first alignment star?

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