Last updated: 31 March 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:	voltage right?
Sent:	Wednesday, March 28, 2007 05:33:33
From:	Ton Meijer (
Subject:    Poweradaptor for ETX 70 AT
You said: "The Meade AC Adapter for the ETX-70 is rated at 12VDC,
1000mA. You might get away with the 10.6 VDC one. Don't forget to
CALIBRATE MOTOR. Also, use the correct polarity; center pin is
Mike here: Yes, that is what the Meade AC adapter says. You can see the label here:
And yes, the batteries put out lower voltage so you can get away with less.


Thank you very much, I saw on the sticker that output is 12 V DC. My
adapter is flexible, from 3 - 12 V, so I can use 12 V.
Succes with your very usefull site.
Best regards

And more:

I am sorry to bother you again but your statement is not correct.
In the German manual I found:

Lebensdauer der Batterien
Bei normaler Benutzung des Teleskops mit dem Autostar (ca. 1-1,5 Std.
pro Beobachtung) betrgt die Lebensdauer der Batterien ca. 20 Std. Werden
stndig neue Himmels- oder Erd-Objekte angefahren, kann sich die
Lebensdauer auf unter 3 Stunden verkrzen. Bei hufiger Nutzung empfehlen
wir, ein Universalnetzteil mit 9V min. 800 mA zu beschaffen.

This concerns the lifetime of the batteries. Translation of the
important part:
Bei hufiger Nutzung empfehlen wir, ein Universalnetzteil mit 9V min. 800
mA zu beschaffen.

Translation: when used frequently we advise to achieve an adaptor with
9V, minimal 800 mA.

Conclusion: there are several types of ETX70 AT on the market, powered
with 9V as well as 12V.
Maybe in Europe 9 V is used. I suggest you may mention it on your site.
Longtime currency overkill will damage the drives.

Best regards

Subject:	ETX 60MM Set Up
Sent:	Tuesday, March 27, 2007 05:48:53
From:	Rori Baldari (
I just acquired a 60mm ETX, - backpacker version, since I can't take my
125-ETX with me on my trip to Arizona. I noticed that there seems to be
a difference in how you place the 60mm in the home position,
specifically, you don't do that counter-clockwise rotation that is
necessary for the larger ETX scopes. Is that correct, and if so, why is
Mike here: The ETX refractor models don't have azimuth hard stops so no need to set up in the same orientation as with the other ETX models.
Subject:	re: Poweradaptor for ETX 70 AT 
Sent:	Friday, March 23, 2007 19:28:47
From:	richard seymour (
To calibrate the drives, look under
the Setup/Telescope menu, and scroll down until
you see "Calibrate Drives".

Tap [enter] and the motors will run for 2 seconds.

That does it!
 (you will need to realign if you were already aligned)

have fun

Subject:	Poweradaptor for ETX 70 AT 
Sent:	Thursday, March 22, 2007 08:53:03
From:	Andres Hebberecht (
I have a Meade ETX 70 AT telescope and 494 Autostar, and would like to
use a poweradaptor to overcome problems with the drives of motors. In
order to avoid buying an adaptor I have two chargers outputs 10.6 V-at
1.32A and a 5.3 V at 140 mA. Which of both could I use. Thank you for
your answer to :
Mike here: The Meade AC Adapter for the ETX-70 is rated at 12VDC, 1000mA. You might get away with the 10.6 VDC one. Don't forget to CALIBRATE MOTOR. Also, use the correct polarity; center pin is positive.


Thank you very much for your advise, I put the HP poweradaptor ( 10.6 v
at 1.32 A) in service and all works fine. You said I have to calibrate
the motor but I don't know how to do it, i'll have a look through your
"often asked questions" to see if there is anything that can help me.
And if I don't calibrate.. what happens ? isn't there any means to
overcome the error?
Thank you for your answer.
Mike here: CALIBRATE MOTOR is done from the AutoStar. Look under the Setup: Telescope menu. Just select it; it is automatic. It calibrates to the output of the encoders. You should do it anytime swapping the power source or after recharging or if the power level gets low.
Subject:	ETX-60 Reset Procedure
Sent:	Tuesday, March 20, 2007 23:05:42
From:	Steve (
Hey Mike....great site...thanks for all your time and effort you've put
in here over the years. I just purchased a used etx60 for my daughter
and will be getting me either the etx 90 or 105, depending on what deals
I come across in the next few weeks.

Well, I know it's here somewhere, and I've searched, but could you link
me up to the reset procedure so I can reinitialize my little etx60?
Can't find it in the manual or on Meade's site either...I must be blind!
Thanks buddy,
Mike here: If you mean resetting the AutoStar back to its "factory default" condition, look under the Setup menu. If you mean the "SAFE LOAD" procedure, then that won't apply if you have the #494 AutoStar (no number keys on the keypad).


Thanks Mike, found the reset under Setup...guess I didn't look hard

Scored a great deal on a nice littel DS-80EC for $60 today. The lady
used it once to look at Mars last year...never used the Autostar or
drive motors at all! A little clean up, and she's like brand new.

I'm gonna keep this up at our family's mountain cabin at 11,000' in the
Colo Rockies....great views up there.

Been talking to a guy, locally, who has a barely used ETX-125 w/ a
couple extra lenses for only $575. If I buy this, it would be my main
scope, and I would think with all the upgrades available (especially the
diy ones from this great site) I should not want for another scope.
Thanks again,
Mike here: Once hooked, you WILL always WANT a larger telescope. It is known as "aperture fever". Of course, reality usually hits when you look at the cost vs your budget.


Somehow, I knew you'd say that, Mike!

Subject:	ETX 70 experiencing problems of stalling and "slipping" on azimuth axis
Sent:	Friday, March 16, 2007 22:43:20
From:	Keith Proctor (
My ETX70 developed a weird stall on the azimuth axis tonite. I have it
polar mounted and when slewing and making a rotation that would cause
the drive to have "pull" the OTA from a downward postion up to a right
angle, the base azimuth drive would stall. I did get a motor fault once.
The base made this knocking noise sort of like somethign slipping. It
appears to work fine in AltAz mode. I am going to investigate this more
tomorrow. I am suspect of the power from a battery. I am going to try AC
power source tomorrow, but if its not that, any suggestions as to what
it could be?
Keith Proctor 
Mike here: I have seen slipping in Polar Mode with my ETX-70 but only when a camera was mounted. I suspect the axis locks just couldn't handle the extra load.
Subject:	884 tripod and ETX 80AT
Sent:	Friday, March 16, 2007 07:01:16
Re Renee's query about using an ETX 80 with an 844 tripod, I can confirm
the mounting holes are the same ( I have used my ETX 80 with an 844

Regards and thanks again for your great site

Subject:	nut missing on ext-70at
Sent:	Thursday, March 15, 2007 16:37:33
From:	Jamie (
I have looked on the web and it seems you are the number one guru on the
EXT. I hope you don't mind me sending you this but I don't know what
else to do.

I have just brought an EXT-70AT second hand and found that the previous
owner has taken it apart it looks like there is a large nut or bolt
missins from the underside so the base unit is loose and will come away
if the unit is lifted.

Do you know where I can get one of these bolts all the dealers in the UK
have said they cannot help.
Regards and thanks for your time
Jamie Edwards
Mike here: Try Telescope Warehouse (link on the Astronomy Links page).
Subject:	ETX 70 vertical lock knob
Sent:	Wednesday, March 14, 2007 17:20:41
From:	Craig (
This is for the guy who has the broken Alt knob on his ETX70. I happeend
to know where one was when I read of his issue.

Subject:	884 tripod and ETX 80AT
Sent:	Wednesday, March 14, 2007 16:45:39
From:	Renee Ann Wirick (
Just wondering if you know if the ETX 80AT will fir on the 884 field
tripod from Meade.  I am thinking about spending yet more money, I am
getting okay results with the DSI in Atl/Az but think they would be much
better and less streeking and elongated stars if I use it in polar mode,
yes?  Thanks as always for you advice,
Renee Wirick
Mike here: I don't have an ETX-80 to check but I would suspect that the mounting holes would be the same as on the other ETX models.
Subject:	ETX-60AT with 497 controller.
Sent:	Tuesday, March 6, 2007 07:25:02
From: (
Have you seen any cases where a 497 controller will not even power up
when connected to a ETX-60AT (Blue tube with connectors on the fork)?
Time and time again you say that the 497 should work with ETX 60/70/80
units, as long as you setup the controller saying it is a "ETX90".

I purchased a used 497 on the web for about 1/2 the price of a new one.
When I got it, and plugged it in, nothing happened - no display and
there was no response with any buttons. When I plugged the original 494
back in, everything is fine. I tried brand new batteries, with no help.
I tried a known good short 8 wire cable that I use for a network card
for my laptop, no help. I tried communicating with it with the autostar
suite from my LPI kit, no communication. Just dead. (Yes, I did have the
497 connected to the scope for power at the time)

I sent the controller back to the seller who gave me a full refund, but
claimed it works fine on his end connected to a LDX75 mount and claims
the problem must be on my end with my scope. Note that the seller has
extremely positive feedback from many other purchasers, so I am
questioning my scope now.

My ETX60 and the 497 works just fine in all other respects. I use it in
the polar mode with a 883 tripod, and want to controll the LPI and the
scope with the autostar suite, but I need a working 497 to do it

Do you suggest I try another 497 unit, possibly a brand new one. Or is
there something I missed? It seems to me, that when I plug in a 497 from
any scope, I at least should get a display???

Any help appreciated.

Mike here: As you can see on Meade's AutoStar page ( it should be working. Using the network cable is not a good test but I assume you got a Meade coiled cable with the AutoStar. Have you done a "continuity check" on the cable? Also, check the pins in the connectors (both ends) to be certain they are clean and not too depressed. Same for the jack in the ETX base.
Subject:	Mis-aligned with Two-Star Alignment
Sent:	Monday, March 5, 2007 18:30:51
From:	William Baker (
Just got a ETX-80AT-TC scope w/ a 494 Autostar (will confess - I am a
beginner), read the instruction and feel confident that all the correct
information was enter in properly to program the scope (see below), but
it seems everytime I do the alignment and think I got the right stars
and then try to go to a simple object i.e. Moon, it's off somewhat.
Whatever advise you can give, I would appreciate it.

One last question, with the 9 mm or 25 mm eyepieces, can we see Saturn
with the ETX80?

Daylight saving = off
Time zone = -5
Location zip = 06751; Lat = 41.60 N (really should be 41.63N(can't go
that high); Long = 73.21W

Bill Baker
Mike here: Define "off somewhat". Just how much is somewhat? I ask because that can be a clue to where you might be going wrong. Some things to check on: use True North and not Magnetic North; the year setting (you'd be surprised to hear that people have messed that up); use a City Name instead of Zipcode.


Thanks for the quick response. As for off - it's Dec coordinate (my
guess), had experiment with the most recent Lunar Eclipse, at 6:48 PM
EST had tried the GOTO function for the Moon, scope slewed to the
suppose location, which was a waste of time I realize that the moon
would not be in sight because we live in a valley (da), but I figure
from the angle of the where the scope was pointing to, the moon would be
in view within 15 minutes, was wrong is was about 30 minutes, but the
R.A. was on the money; did verify the year setting - 3/6/07; now as for
True North, you just hit the problem on the head, been using the bubble
level compass that came with the scope, guess now I have to get familar
with the heavens and find Polaris or do you have a simpler way to find
True North; last I will reconfigure my location to reflect
country/state/city instead of zip. Will not be able to test tonight due
to it's 9 degree out.

Again thank you.
Mike here: You can use the magnetic compass if you can't see Polaris. But you would still need to know the sky well enough to locate the alignment stars. (There are alignment star charts on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page.) So what you can do is set up pointing approximately True North (or towards Magnetic North if you prefer). Then let the AutoStar pick the first alignment star (assuming Easy Align). When you are asked to center that star, first pick up the telescope and tripod and rotate it horizontally until you can get as close as possible to the selected star. The finish the alignment star centering using the AutoStar to slew to it. Next do the 2nd star normally; DO NOT move the tripod. What that first manual rotation does is take out the True North - Magnetic North variation. You could also look up your "Magnetic Variation" (also called "Magnetic Declination") and adjust your HOME position for it. See the Astronomy Links page for sites that calculate this for you.
Subject:	ETX 70 vertical lock knob
Sent:	Saturday, March 3, 2007 08:03:06
From:	Rob (
Hello!  I have a ETX 70AT and the vertical lock knob has broken off.  I
was perusing through the letters and the tech page but did not see a
solution.   I'm looking for either a replacement or a tech tip!

I attached the picture so you can have a clear idea of what my problem
is.  I would appreciate any help!



Mike here: You might check out the "ETX-70AT Repair Guide" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page. Depending on how extensive the damage is you may or may not be able to come up with a repair solution. Probably your best solution would be to contact Meade for a repair.
Subject:	ETX 70 Polar Alignment
Sent:	Thursday, March 1, 2007 08:48:15
From:	Jack Fox (
Is the correct procedure for polar aligning the ETX 70 is first to
change the mode in the Autostar to Polar, then do a calibrate motors and
then train the drives?  Do you train the drives with the scope in the
Alt/Az home position or the Polar home position or does it matter with
the 70?  I have built a polar wedge for the ETX 70 that fits on the
standard ETX tripod.  Thanks.
Jack Fox
Mike here: CALIBRATE MOTOR only checks the power output. And TRAIN DRIVES only checks the pulses. So orientation does not have any impact on these.

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