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Last updated: 25 June 2012

This page is for comments and user feedback about ETX telescopes. ETX models discussed on this page include the ETX-60/70/80/90/105/125 (EC, AT, BB, Premier Edition). This page also includes comments and feedback of a general nature. Comments on accessories and feedback items appropriate to the ETX-90RA, DSX, and DS models are posted on other pages. If you have any comments, suggestions, questions or answers to questions posed here, e-mail them to me for posting. Please use an appropriate Subject Line on your message per the Site Email Etiquette. Thanks. Remember, tips described on this site may invalidate the warranty on your telescope or accessories. Neither the submitter nor myself are responsible for any damage caused by using any contributed tips.

Subject:	Focuser for ETX-80
Sent:	Sunday, June 24, 2012 11:24:55
From:	Mike Egan (
I have read through the postings regarding to focussed for the ETX line
but I didn't see anything about a focuser for the 80. Will the JML fit
on the 80?
Mike here: Don't know. The focuser attaches to a screw on the back of the ETX. That screw might be in a different location on the ETX-80. Contact JMI; they are very helpful.

Subject:	Meade etx70at management
Sent:	Saturday, June 23, 2012 15:08:53
From:	Gavin Lacey (
I have got a Meade etx70at and the ra is showing stickyness when moving.
 I need to take this apart and lubricate.  A friend of mine suggested to
contact yourself as he thinks you may have created a how to guide in
taking the mount apart?

Many thanks


Sent from my iPad
Mike here: First, before opening up, try just redistributing the lubrication: unlock the axis and slowly rotate the telescope around several times, back and forth. Sometimes that is all that is required. If that doesn't help and you still want to open things up, see the article "ETX-70AT Repair Guide" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page. I recommend you read the article "Disassembly Procedure" on the Telescope Tech Tips page before you start.

Subject:	think focus shaft is disconnect
Sent:	Saturday, June 23, 2012 07:48:01
From:	stan andersen (
I have an etx 90 and think by using it to focus on a  real close object
during the day disconnected the shaft.  Right now it is very blurry and
using the autofocuser i get a clicking noise and no real effect.  I
found the article earlier and and now  I cant find the instructions to
remove the back end and reconnect.  If i could get the link and any
advice i'd really appreciate it.

thx Stan  
Mike here: See the article "Focus Shaft Fix" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.


thx btw your site is a great help
take care,

Subject:	Illuminated reticle eyepiece
Sent:	Friday, June 22, 2012 04:50:41
From:	Mike Egan (
What is the purpose of an illuminated reticle eyepiece?
Mike here: See my reviews of the "Celestron Guide Eyepiece" and the "Meade 12mm Reticle Eyepiece" on the Accessory Reviews: Eyepieces page. That should help you understand what illuminated reticle eyepieces do. Also, some people will use them for very precise star centering during the AutoStar alignment steps. Lastly, using a reticle like in the Celestron eyepiece aids in position angle determination for double stars and for other PA measurements.

Subject:	Beginner help required please
Sent:	Tuesday, June 19, 2012 03:40:27
From:	Adam Taylor (
I found your site through google as I have been struggling to find
information on a scope that I have been offered.

I have always had a fascination with the stars but have never owned a
telescope.  I have been offered the below boxed as new for 80.  That all
sounds very good to a beginner but what would make the information more
'real' is if I could see photos of what I could see through the scope,
as the specs don't mean much to me.  I've really struggled finding
anything on the web though.  I don't suppose you have any images to give
me an indication of what I could see through the scope do you?

The package I've been offered is listed below.  Any advice you could
give me would be greatly appreciated.

Meade GOTO ETX70
25mm, 12mm, 4mm eyepieces 
Star diagonal
Red dot finder

Many thanks

Adam Taylor

London, England

Sent from my iPhone
Mike here: See "My ETX-70AT Experiences" on the Helpful Information: Buyer/New User Tips page as well the "ETX-60, ETX-70, ETX-80" section on the Helpful Information: User Observations page on my ETX Site. Keep in mind that the ETX-70 is a short focal length telescope. It is a fine wide-field instrument for viewing the moon and larger deep sky objects. Depending on your expectations, you may find views of planets disappointing.


Thanks very much Mike.. That's really helpful! :-)

Subject:	SKY WIRE FOR ETX 125pe
Sent:	Monday, June 18, 2012 12:25:15
From: (
What an incredible device, in tandem with Sky Safari from ITunes

.It is good with an IPhone, but mind blowing with an IPad.

In the UK we have had a poor Spring for observing, so practising my
technique and planning future observing sessions has been my salvation
.Money in the bank for when brighter skies return. Even with poor
visibility, the ETX is a fantastic scope for planning ahead. Even
indoors the whirring motors provide a thrill of what maybe in store when
clear skies return. I suppose the simple message is - don't let dark
skies ruin your ETX experience. Use cloudy nights to your advantage &
you will be rewarded in the long run.

Mark (St.Albans, England)
Mike here: Totally agree! For those who are unfamiliar with the SkyWire, check my review.

Subject:	ETX 125 altitude gear box
Sent:	Friday, June 15, 2012 14:58:37
From:	Chip Freitag (
Thanks for the great collection of info on the Meade scopes.

The declination/altitude motor on my 125 is not working.   I
disassembled per your instructions, and the motor/gearbox housing is
shattered.  I've been watching ebay for 125 mounts, I've missed out on
2 already with good dec/alt drives.
Now there is an ETX90 mount listed.

Any advice on the interchangeability of the 90 and 125 dec/alt motor

Chip Freitag
Mike here: Don't know how interchangeable they are. There is an article on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page discussing a source for replacement gears. You could also try Telescope Warehouse (link on the Astronomy Links page).

Subject:	#884 magnetic quality
Sent:	Wednesday, June 13, 2012 10:36:30
From:	Mark Henthorne (
I purchased earlier this year an ETX-90PE as a minor move up from my
ETX-90EC grab and go 'scope. In transferring accessories, I added my
Astro Engineering piggy back camera mount. It was only then that I tried
out the full LNT process, and found that the 'scope could never find
north. Thinking initially that the unit was faulty and that I'd bought a
pup, I then began to wonder about the piggy back mount, for this is made
from steel. I removed this and found that the 'scope could then readily
find magnetic north. Brilliant!
I then got to thinking about the #884 tripod. Surely this would have an
effect upon the 'scope's ability to find magnetic north, but no, it
didn't. I still wasn't fully convinced, so I got hold of a small magnet
to check the tripod, and lo and behold, it must be quality stainless
steel for it is totally non-magnetic. I checked my ETX-90EC #884 tripod,
and the magnet stuck solidly to that. So that was that. All seemed
Today, I have just acquired an ETX-105PE, and the #884 that came with
that grabs the magnet with ease. I suspected this would be the case, for
it utilises a metal spreader plate like the 90EC, and not the plastic
one as used by the 90PE.
Sorry for the long drawn out pre-amble, but what I was hoping you might
be able to do is throw some light on the history of the #884 tripod
changes/versions, and was the non-magnetic stainless steel version
introduced for LNT 'scopes, or is that simply chance or coincidene? I'm
just wondering if the former owner of my new acquisition perhaps had a
couple of scopes and mixed up the mounts.
Kind regards,
Mark Henthorne
Mike here: Interesting discovery! I don't recall anyone else ever noting this. I don't have any history on the evolution of the #884 tripod. It will be interesting to see what others report. I have two older #884 tripods (circa 2005 for an ETX-105PE and late 2007). The silver legs on both hold a magnet just fine. The rest of the both tripods do not hold a magnet.


Thanks for that info Mike.

I feel happy that at least my 105PE therefore has its original #884. The
ETX-90PE, which came with the non-magnetic legs is a blue tube model with
the finder is mounted on the left (in the location that the finderscope
would have been on an EC scope). I don't know which is the older model, but
the 105PE I just obtained today, with the magnetically attractive legs, has
the module right on top of the 'scope. At the end of the day, I feel
confident that when I get it all set up it will work fine given that your
2005 PE also had the magnetically attractive legs. That's good really, for I
much prefer the metal spreader plate that it came with, rather than the
plastic one that came with the 90PE.

Thankyou ever so much for your time in answering. It is much appreciated.

Kind regards,
Mark Henthorne 
Mike here: My 2005 (original) ETX-105PE is shown here:


That's what my 105PE looks like, with the module centered on the scope. The
90PE has the type of module that is located where the former finderscope of
an EC would have been, offset to the left as viewed from the rear.

With you saying that no one has noted the differing #884 tripods in terms of
being magnetically attractive or not, maybe even Meade are not aware of
this. I'm guessing the tripods were made in China, and it could just have
been a different batch of tubing that was used. I think I read sometime ago
that the amount of nickel used in making stainless steel determines whether
it is magnetic or not. For casual interest, my Meade LX50 tripod is
magnetic, whereas my Celestron CG5 tripod is not. As neither mount to my
knowledge employed anything to determine magnetic north, I rather think that
my "discovery" is just one great big red herring and nothing to do with
there being an LNT unit on the PE 'scopes.

Thanks again Mike. I know it is oft repeated, but where would we all be
without your site.


Subject:	ETX-80 Barlow problem
Sent:	Wednesday, June 13, 2012 05:24:56
From:	Mike Egan (
I recently purchased a Meade ETX-80 and I love it.  However, I can't get
the Barlow to focus on any objects.  Is this a known issue with the ETX
Thank you,
Mike here: No. You should be able to focus on any astronomical object using the supplied eyepieces.


When I switch to the Barlow do I focus out or focus in?
Mike here: I do not have an ETX-80 so can't answer directly. But you should see a change when rotating the focus knob. With the longest supplied focal length eyepiece, can you see any change when rotating the knob when using the Barlow Lens?


When I am focusing out I start seeing the sides of the Barlow holder.
Mike here: And as you continue to rotate the knob?


Yes.  In the past I have used an external Barlow.  Maybe I have to get
used to the internal one.
Mike here: It sounds like something is out of alignment if all you see is the side. Since it is new, I suggest you return it to the dealer for an exchange.


Or, I can buy an external Barlow...right?
Mike here: Yes, as long as it is a "shorty" style. However, if there is an optical alignment problem, it could affect more than just the internal Barlow Lens.


I know you are busy but I would like to ask one more thing.  I would
like to get into astrophotography.  I see that the SBIG and ATIK
equipment is very expensive.  Yet, there are digital imagers from Orion
and Meade for between $200 and $400.  Can I take deep sky pictures with
the Orion or Meade imagers?   Is it possible to take deep sky images
with the ETX-80?

As you can see I have many questions.
Mike here: Yes, with some limitations. There are astrophotography examples using the ETX refractor models on the Helpful Information: Astrophotography Gallery Archive page, so it can be done. If you get a Meade DSI you need an AutoStar #497 (your ETX-80 probably came with the #494, no number keys on the keypad). Since the ETX-80 (like the ETX-60 and ETX-70 models) makes a fine wide-field instrument, you will find that you can only capture large and bright DSOs. You will also likely want to get a better tripod to improve stabilility. For other types of astrophotography, you can use a digital camera, even a cell phone camera. See the Helpful Information: Astrophotography page for more info.


Thank you very much for the information.  I appreciate your quick
response.  I am feeling better about my purchase.

Talk to you soon,
Mike here: Keep me posted. I'd still be concerned about the alignment.

Subject:	Changes in new (2012) ETX 90 HOME position
Sent:	Tuesday, June 12, 2012 19:08:59
This may be old news, but I just got a brand new ETX 90 through Amazon,
and there are some things different from previous models. Probably most
significant, "HOME" position is true north with OTA level; there aren't
hard stops on RA, although parts of the shipped-with manual, probably
copied from earlier versions, implies that there are. Page 9 of the new
manual appears to be correct, however. I suspect this is because
internal redesign of the base has put the RA motor in the moving part,
along with the batteries, etc. Welcome change, too. 

I'm so excited! with luck, first light is tonight (fingers and toes

Subject:	ETX mount problem.
Sent:	Tuesday, June 12, 2012 00:36:30
I have a problem with vertical drive. Molten lead gear. Can you help
with the drawings of the transmission. I want to order them from the
metal. I will be very grateful to you for help. I hope you understood

Mihail Sar.
Russia. city Novosibirsk.


Mike here: I think something was lost in translation. However, there are many articles on repairing the DEC gear on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page. Look through those and you may find what you need.


Unfortunately I could not find myself on your site drawings or analysis
dec drive. I thought you told me to specify my desired page material. I
do not have a good understanding of English as you think. I know English
only technically, read fluently, I can not it.
Mike here: Sorry about the difficulties locating what you need. There are no drawings or schematics available. But there are several articles on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page on my ETX Site that have photos of the disassembled fork arm with the DEC gears. If you look through those articles you may find some information that will help you.

And an update:

I clarified an exact problem. The white box is necessary to me. In it
transmissions were erased. At us in the country spare parts aren't on
sale. You couldn't specify where it is possible to buy this detail?
Mike here: Glad you were able to identity the problem. You can try a local model hobby shop for replacement gears. Or see the article "Replacement Gears source" on the Telescope Tech Tips page. You could also try Telescope Warehouse (link on the Astronomy Links page). Lastly, see the article "Gearbox Replacement" on the Telescope Tech Tips page.

Subject:	Re: meade replacement parts
Sent:	Saturday, June 9, 2012 07:38:36
From:	Andr Moutinho (
Do you thing the internal plastic flip mirror is the same for all etx models?
Mike here: Not certain whether the flip mirror mechanism is the same on all models that have shipped since 1996.

Subject:	meade replacement parts
Sent:	Friday, June 8, 2012 20:41:56
From:	andre_moutinho (
congratulations for you excellent site!
I believe you may help me.
I need replacement for:
1)  LNT base only
2) flip diagonal plastic base

Can I use an Ec autostar version with the PE version?

Mike here: Hello from my observatory.
You can try Telescope Warehouse (link on the Astronomy Links page) for replacement parts. And the AutoStar #497 (if it has 4.3Eg, or thereabouts) will work with the PE model.


Thanks for your answer. Could not find any etx replacement at telescpe
warehouse. Can I get directly from Meade or authorized? Mine autostar
found the LNT but when I start Automatic align it move the scope down in
altitude until it hits the base during leveling.. Any idea?
Mike here: You can try Meade or a dealer for an entire LNT. It may or may not match the model you currently have. As to the bad movement, do a CALIBRATE MOTOR; that usually solves such problems. Any time you replace the ETX batteries or swap from internal to external power (or vice versa), you should do a CALIBRATE MOTOR.


Why you told me the LNT does not mach my Etx90 PE model?
What about the plastic flip diagonal base replacement? Do you think I
can try meade? Do you know any good Authorized? Living in Brazil.. Cant
ship the scope back to USA.
Mike here: During the lifetime of the ETX PE models, Meade released two different models of the LNT module. I am not aware of any Meade dealers in Brazil; there may be some however. Replacement parts are difficult to come by. You can always try eBay.


Can buy from any store in USA. Does Meade still manufactures this model? Mine has a glass on the side not on the top.
Mike here: Some dealers will ship some things out of the country. You can try OPT ( The PE model was discontinued a few years ago.

Subject:	transit of Venus
Sent:	Wednesday, June 6, 2012 14:58:10
From:	jose rua (
Great job with the pic's of Venus you posted.  Love your site.  Please
keep it up.  Thanks, J. Rua


I've been following your site since '02.  Learned a lot form it about
the ETX line.  Our set up includes an old 125 PE.  Keep it up.  J. Rua

Subject:	ETX tripod
Sent:	Tuesday, June 5, 2012 16:50:24
From:	Howard Thomas (
Greetings, I own an ETX 60 telescope and have been searching diligently
for a proper tripod for said scope. Do you have one? Or can you direct
me to a source or equivalent which will work? Thank you for your time:)

Howard G. Thomas
BS Computer Security and Forensics
NSCS National Honor Society Kaplan Chapter
Mike here: Hello from my observatory. I'm viewing the Transit of Venus.
As noted on the ETX Site home page, I am not a telescope dealer. You can try Telescope Warehouse or any of the online dealers. See the Astronomy Links page for URLs.

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