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: firstname.lastname@example.org (email@example.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 MedinaMike 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.
Thanks for your fast response. Most appreciated. Best Regards
Subject: ETX70 Sent: Tuesday, July 22, 2008 11:44:20 From: Philip Norton (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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 NortonMike here: No schematic but there are some articles on motor drive fixes on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.
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 (email@example.com) 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.comMike 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.
Thanks Mike, That was a fast reply. Got an easy day today??? LOL. Seriously thanks for the help. Its appreciated. SteveMike 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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, DavidMike 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.
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 (email@example.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 againMike 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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/
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...
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 (email@example.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 PauloMike 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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 PortugalMike 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?
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? PauloMike 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.
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 PauloMike 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).
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 (email@example.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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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
From: Martin Cacheiro (email@example.com) 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
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 KyMike 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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 PaulMike 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 (email@example.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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