Last updated: 13 February 2003

Alignment Tool for Telescopes like Meade ETX-70

By Gunther Zielosko (


Computer telescopes like Meade ETX-70 with topocentric (Alt/Az) coordinates have to be align before using the computer control. One of the most used alignment techniques is to align the telescope to north and horizontal first. Both is not easy in a natural place. You can use a compass and a spirit level for good results. But what fails is a simple tool, fast and easy to use. Here is an idea for do it yourself and for Meade to produce it.


First you need a plastic or metal tube with 1 ΒΌ inches or 31,75 mm outer diameter like the ocular diameter. It could have a length of  1 inch.  If there are no matching parts you have to use a thicker tube and a turning lathe. Then you need 2 parts from a tool shop, a small compass with liquid in it to cushion the movement of the needle and the main part of a spirit level (picture 1). Then you need a plate of plastic or wood with a hole for the tube. The plate and the tube have to be connected with glue in a right angle how to see in picture 2. The compass and the spirit level tube then will be mounted on the plate or in the prepared holes of the plate (picture 3). Both parts have to be adjusted,  the spirit level tube horizontal and the compass to the north (picture 4). The best way to do this is to use the ocular tube of the telescope when it is aligned exactly (horizontal and to north). Now you can adjust the both parts so on the plate that the compass is directed to north and the spirit level tube horizontal with the whole telescope. You have to mark the position of the ocular clamp screw on the plastic tube and drill a small hole at this position later. This is necessary for a quick adjustment of the tool in the correct direction. The tool is ready for use now (picture 5).


Picture 1 the both main parts for the tool

Picture 2 the tube and the plate connected by glue

Picture 3 both parts inserted in the holes of the plate...

Picture 4 ...and mounted in the ocular tube


Picture 5 the tool is ready for use




Return to the top of this page.

Go back to the Tech Tips page.

Go back to the ETX Home Page.

Copyright ©2003 Michael L. Weasner /
Submittal Copyright © 2003 by the Submitter