Last updated: 26 June 2007

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:	Autostar #494 vs #497 for ETX70AT
Sent:	Monday, June 25, 2007 05:47:36
From: (
My question is:

I have an ETX70AT with a #494 Autostar.

With the half price of a #497, I can buy a #506 cable for my #494.

I don't care the +30,000 objects of the #497, because the ones I want, I
will download them into my #494 by PC or directly by keypad.

What are the REAL advantages of using a #497 instead of a #494 for an
ETX70AT, not counting the more memory available ? More precision ? Some
#494 bugs fixed on #497 ? ...

Many thanks in advance for your reply !

Mike here: There are two DEFINITE advantages: user upgradability and the numeric keypad. User upgradability is handy for those rare times when the AutoStar becomes corrupted. With the #494 you have to return it to Meade; with the #497 (and the simpler #505 serial cable that you can make yourself) you can do the ROM upgrade. Plus when Meade releases a new version of the #497 software you can install it yourself (with the #505 cable). The numeric keypad allows direct entry of numbers, making it faster to find objects and enter values.


Ok Mike, many thanks for your very precise answer !

Subject:	Autostar 494 and polar alignment
Sent:	Wednesday, June 20, 2007 14:49:54
From:	Jamison graf (
I have an ETX 70-AT and an  ETX 80 AT and a 884 tripod. The handboxes
are  the standard 494 model. Can I use this handbox for polar alignment
or do I need teh 497 model?
Jamie Graf
Mike here: #494 is fine.


Thanks Mike. Its always nice to save money in this hobby.
Mike here: So that you can spend it on other accessories...


I knew you knew that Mike!

I was wondering if you could point me to any pieces on your site that
detail polar alignment with an ETX 70 AT and a 884 tripod? I'm pretty
sure I know how to, but its always nice to read how others do it too.
Thanks - Jamie
Mike here: Lots of alignment tips on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page. Nothing specifically different needs to be done with the ETX-70 or #884 tripod (other than setting it for your latitude).
Subject:	ETX-60AT
Sent:	Tuesday, June 5, 2007 12:48:35
From:	Dan Kies (
I was wondering if a ETX-80 will fit on an ETX-60AT tripod and also fit
in the ETX-60AT case ?
Dan Kies


Additional information: Tripod is standard # 882 and case is original
hard shell case that came with scope.
Mike here: You would likely have to slightly modify the case to make room for the larger aperture lens. The eyepiece end is also slightly different from the ETX-70 so more case mods might have to be made. The tripod should work though.


Thanks for your input and quick response.

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