Last updated: 28 October 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: flip mirror replacement Sent: Friday, October 26, 2007 06:33:17 From: Ashby, Peter (Peter.Ashby@edfenergy.com) Well yesterday I was lucky to pick up a scrap etx80, the problem, well sitting in 2" of water wasn't helping any, and the flip mirror was loose and flapping around inside., OK I thought, since this thing has got to come to pieces to be dried, lets strip it down. That went quite easily, and within an hour I had a box full of parts, and some zip lock bags with all the small parts. Now to look at the mirror, well once I got the lithium grease off of it (very carefully), I inspected to flip mirror mechanism, now how did it go in, and how does it come out. Very gently, pushing on the blank end of the shaft, and carefully at the same time using a screwdriver blade to stop the flip mechanism (quite thin plastic) from moving you only need to get this a short way and the shaft comes off of the flip section, and can then be withdrawn through the holes. Fixing the mirror back is very easy as you have superb access to the surface, and a good quality epoxy does the trick, refitting is the reverse of removing Peter Ashby
Subject: telescope Sent: Wednesday, October 24, 2007 14:47:45 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (email@example.com) We have etx-60at and we are wondering how to locate the ISS in our location. Our zipcode is 92354. Thanks. RpeveriniMike here: There are several articles on the ISS on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page. Also, be certain to check www.Heavens-Above.com for visibility information.
Subject: Moveable Objective Lens Cell "Broke" Off Sent: Thursday, October 18, 2007 18:41:21 From: Cheryl Isaacs (firstname.lastname@example.org) Yesterday one of the lovely neighbor kids must have picked up our ETX-70AT by the end of the tube because my son found his telescope in 2 pieces. The moveable objective lens was completely separated from the optical tube. There are 3 plastic pieces sticking out on the moveable part (the part that moves back and forth when focusing) and it looked like if I just pushed those toward the center I could slide it back on. First I decided to call our local camera/telescope shop that sells the telescope but they referred me directly to Meade. The Meade technician (after checking with another tech-she seemed unclear herself) said that the telescope was unrepairable. She said that there was a seal broken internally and that there is nothing to be done to fix it. They offered me an upgrade to the 80AT for $209 or the 90AT for $489. I forgot to ask if these were new or refurbished. So here are my 2 questions: 1) Is the telescope toast or can I selvage it? I carefully placed the moveable objective lens back in place and it did go back but doesn't feel as solid as before. It is not moving back and forth smoothly when trying to focus. Now the technician said I would not even see anything through the scope (which I can!) so was she correct? The issue now seems to be focusing! 2) IF I upgrade, what do you think of the 80AT? I already have the original lenses that came with this telescope (25mm and 9mm) and have recently purchased the 2X Barlow lens. Are they all interchangable? I checked around but wasn't sure I saw as many good reviews of the 80AT and I did for the 70AT when I purchased it. Not sure I want to spend the money to upgrade to the 90AT since this was not in my budget to purchase a new scope right now. Just got a new digital camera and planned on getting the accessories to use my camera to take lunar pictures for my son. So I need to make sure that I can get the pieces to do this with whatever I purchase. Any info you can provide me with would be so appreciated as I have a 13 year old in tears right now! CherylMike here: If the focus shaft connection is broken, then using the telescope without a lot of manual work to focus an eyepiece or using an alternative focus control will be a pain. It is also possible that the optics are now misaligned. You may or may not be able to repair the telescope, depending on the full extent of the damage and your skills with optics and mechnicals. As to a replacement, if you are happy with the views through the ETX-70 then the ETX-80 will make a nice replacement. You could also look online for a used ETX-70. As to an ETX-90AT, check the current offerings on new PE models with the rebate. You may find that a better deal than a used (potentially) ETX-90AT.
Thank you so much for getting back to me so quickly Mike. I wound the focus button all the way forward and back twice each and it is moving smoothly now. I have not taken it outside yet but set it up in the house and can get a clear focus on objects in the next room. I still don't know what the Meade tech meant about not being able to see anything through the tube. I clearly have a picture and the image is crisp and clear. She told me it was not fixable only after speaking to another tech as she said she was not familiar with the piece I mentioned (the moveable objective lens). I hope to prove her wrong and save a bunch of $$! The moon is not visible now as it has fallen below the level of all the houses in the neighborhood but may give it a try tomorrow night if weather permits. Is is possible that the optics are fine? My best guess is that it was picked it up by the end of the tube and it pulled out of the proximal part of the tube. The plastic appendages that I mentioned on the moveable portion of the tube were all without breakage. Also, the focus shaft was fine. Just needed to thread it through the hole in the base tube and reattach the focus button. I don't believe that the base/tube portion fell while it came apart. I would have heard that from downstairs. I hope and pray that we have resurrected it. Would much rather put the money into accessories this Christmas as I had planned. May take it out now and see what else I can view. Thank you so much again. Wish me luck! CherylMike here: It is certainly possible there was no additional damage other than the focus shaft being disconnected. If that was all that happens, thank your lucky stars!
And an update:
Well, I'm not so sure I have corrected it. I felt the distal part of the tube move again as I put the lens cap on. Will take it to a local store tomorrow and see what they have to say. They have been helpful with accessories in the past and are listed on Meade's website. Thank you again, Cheryl
Subject: Re: ETX70 Sent: Tuesday, October 16, 2007 10:56:27 From: William Russo (email@example.com) is it best to use a 2X Barlow or a 3X Barlow with this scope? with a 26mm eyepiece, or a 9mm eyepiece. thanks Willy RussoMike here: As with any telescope, using a Barlow Lens reduces image quality slightly over what you get with an eyepiece alone of the corresponding magnification. And as with any telescope, approaching the theoretical maximum magnification for that telescope will cause the image quality to deteriorate (see the FAQ page for how to determine magnification and maximum magnification if you don't know how). That said, a 2X Barlow Lens will usually give better results than a 3X Barlow Lens but it also depends on the eyepieces used.
From: Rose Hansen (firstname.lastname@example.org) My name is Rose and I am William Russo's significant other. I apologize for his using all CAPS, but he knows nothing about, nor cares about the conventions that others easily follow. I tell him, too but he doesn't listen. So, sorry for that. (He was a musician and is not verbally inclined. In addition, he is dyslexic and has his own problems deciphering writing conventions.) I used the scope the other night, and I put the scope in the home position, leveled the scope and made sure it was pointed to north. The only thing I didn't do was to check the declination setting. When I turned the scope on, it never read the sun warning, nor did it ask for country or state or city. It did ask for the date and the time. I entered the time in the AM/PM format rather than military time. I had it in Alt/AZ and did a two-star alignment. The scope was pretty far off target. I had used the scope the previous night, and the tracking was right on target, so I was really surprised. I don't know what made the difference. Willy assumes automatically that I did something wrong, even though I was confident that I had followed proper procedure. For me, this scope is a fun thing, and I don't want to make it a full time job and spoil the fun of using it. If I can't enjoy it, I don't want to do it. So, learning about it casually and at my own pace is the way to go. Of course, I welcome constructive advice and suggestions, but he goes into full blown investigation mode and gets mad at me if I don't want to do the same thing. If you e-mail him again, please tell him to relax, chill out, and enjoy the adventure. I tell him, but he isn't listening, and it spoils my enjoyment of the activity. However, please don't just hit "reply." It would be better to begin an all new e-mail; he'd be furious if he knew what I just said. Thanks, Rose HansenMike here: Enjoying the what the Universe has to offer is what is it all about! So you are correct in wanting to do just that. The country, etc, stuff are only asked for on initial use and once set they are stored (unless you do a RESET or otherwise want to change them). In some versions of the AutoStar you can disable the Sun Warning (and Getting Started display); you must have done that at some point. Your set up sounds generally correct; once you did the alignment stars centering steps, were the GOTOs correct?
We actually got this scope from someone in our astronomy club, so I think he is the one who disabled the sun warning and put in the country, state and city. Willy worked with it a little yesterday and discovered some of the settings in the utilities menu. The next time I take it out, I will make sure to set the declination as well. The GOTOs were close, but not perfect. RoseMike here: Keep me posted. And remember, the more accurate your HOME position and initial centering of the alignment stars, the more accurate the GOTOs will be.
OK--will do! And thanks for your input. Rose
Subject: Taking pictures with ETX-80 Sent: Monday, October 15, 2007 10:01:47 From: Makepeace, Caleb (Caleb_Makepeace@ADP.com) I am brand new to telescopes and astrophotography in general. My fianc just bought me an etx-80 for my birthday. I have taken the telescope out on a couple of evenings and am very happy with what I have been able to see through the eye piece so far. I do have a few questions however. 1. What "basic" equipment do I need in order to actually take pictures through my telescope? I'm on a shoe string budget so I am not looking to spend a lot of money but would like to be able to take some good pictures. 2. I find that the internal Barlow Lens of the etx-80 makes things extremely dark and I have to do a lot of re-focusing in order to see anything at all with the Barlow engaged. Any hints on this or can you explain the reason for this in further detail? 3. If I am using a 4mm eye piece, and the focal length of the etx-80 is 400mm - then magnification would = 100x? with Barlow turned on roughly 200X? Is this math correct? Thank you! CalebMike here: 1. Almost any camera can take images of bright objects through the eyepiece. Focus the telescope to your eye on the Moon (a good target right now); focus the camera lens at infinity and aim the camera lens through the eyepiece and shoot. If your camera has a viewer screen you should be able to see the Moon's image on it before you take the shot. Play with the exposure settings (if they are adjustable). Keep at it and you'll be amazed at what you can do. If you want to go beyond just that there are many options available to you; see the Helpful Information: Astrophotography for lots of information. 2. The Barlow Lens increased the telescope's focal length and make objects appear larger, spreading the light out over a larger area. The addition of more glass and this spreading out of the light results in a fainter image. 3. You got it correct.
Subject: ETX70 Sent: Saturday, October 13, 2007 17:43:55 From: William Russo (email@example.com) How do I get more infocus? I tried a 26mm and a 9 an a 12, to focus the sun using a sun filter, but all I need it a bit more infocus. HELP! Willy RMike here: Can you describe what you mean by "infocus"? Normally, the focus is very obvious, especially with a 26mm eyepiece. Are the images, including distant land objects, not in focus (i.e., blurry), or are you seeing "color fringes"? Or something else?
I WAS LOOKING AT A STAR, AND I TURNED THE FOCUS KNOB ALL THE WAY TO THE RIGHT, AND ALL I NEEDED WAS A BIT MORE AND THE STAR WOULD BE IN PERFECT FOCUS. I THINK I FIXED IT, THE FRONT LENS WAS HITTING A SUN FINDER I PUT ON THE SCOPE.SO I MOVED IT WAY BACK. ALSO WHEN I TELL THE SCOPE TO GO TO A STAR IT'S WAY OFF. DO YOU THINK IT'S THE BATTERIES?Mike here: Please read the Email Etiquette item on the ETX Home Page regarding the use of ALL CAPS. Thanks for understanding.
Subject: Meade etx 70mm broken Lock Nut Sent: Thursday, October 11, 2007 12:17:47 From: BRENNAN THACKRAY recently got an etx 70mm at. being heavy handed i overtightened the vertical lock nut and broke it off! reglued it and ok but now when i try to align the scope autostar says "slewing to this object the telescope may hit the mount" is there a reset procedure ? many thanks bren.Mike here: I am not certain why you now get that message. Check that the telescope model and mounting mode selected in the AutoStar are correct.
thanks for the rapid response ive reset country/location/scope and mount all seem to be working fine now fantastic site many many thanks again clear skies bren
Subject: Re: [Bulk] Re: Is there any way to restore ROM on a 494 handset? Sent: Monday, October 8, 2007 13:50:36 From: Kyle Hunter (firstname.lastname@example.org) Thank you for your quick response. I did contact Meade, and a new controller is their advice as well, (big surprise), but I'll keep my eye out for one on ebay. Thanks again and I love your site, very informative. Kyle
Subject: Motor Controller Problem Sent: Sunday, October 7, 2007 21:40:57 From: Richard (email@example.com) I bought a ETX-60AT this saturday in a yard sale. It was in its original box with all the books and software. I was told it had been used one time in Hawaii where it was purchased in 2001. The Autostar controller still had the protective tape on the display panel. When I check the battery holder it had batteries in it and they had leaked and caused some minor corrosion but it cleaned up easily. I installed new batteries and turned on the power switch. No response. I rechecked the connection, it was ok. Figuring it was probably corroded contacts on the switch I disassembled the scope to gain access to the electronics. The switch is ok. I then check the battery connection to the motor control board., 8.9 volts. I turned the switch to the on position and the voltage dropped to 1.5 volts. I disconnected the motor leads, optical sensors and LED's one at a time, same voltage drop. With everything disconnected from the board the voltage still drops to a little over 1 volt and Q1 and Q2 start to warm up if I leave power on it. I'm assuming that it was put in the box with the power on and the controller wedged as to push one of the directional buttons and fried the board. I lost seven scopes when Katrina destroyed our home here in Biloxi. Having rebuilt and starting to have some time to "look up" I'd like to fix this little scope if possible for now. Later I plan on bigger and better things. . The board number is 15-6855-00 Rev b-c. I have searched the net looking for parts to no avail. That's how I found your site. I will call Meade tomorrow and see if parts are still available and if the will sell them to me. I am also trying to repair a Celestron 114 GT I recovered. Celestron WILL NOT sell me parts for it. Bottom line, do you know where I can get a board for this ETX and is it worth the effort? Thank you, Dick YarberMike here: Meade will likely not sell the circuit board to you either. You could try Telescope Warehouse (link on the Astronomy Links page). As to whether it is worth the effort depends on what you paid and what you want to do. If you remove the OTA from the forks you could mount it on another mount.
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