|Info||Votes||Messages||More Stats||Up One Level|
Subject: Meade ETX 70-AT voting
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.83.102)
Date: 04/29/2003 03:12:27 am PST
I have owned many beginners' scopes for 4 years (since I was 8) after finding there isn't a perfect one that's especially for me. I ended up gathering up lots of info and sketches and I decided to start writing reviews. I was majorly hooked.
I got my ETX-70AT at Scope City when it was about $349 at Scope City. I was a beginner back then, and I traded it for a Nexstar 80 GT, so I didn't really get to test it out much. When I came in to the store, I knew this scope was the one for me. It was compact and $349 seemed like a pretty good price for a computerized scope (it's too bad the price started to go down fast right after I bought it). Since you can lay it on the table without a tripod and move it in alt-az motion with ease, this scope grabbed much more attention than my 4.5" reflector standing right by it even though it had an advantage of light grasp. Well, the scope's small and easy to use, but could you see anything through it?
Along with the hand control in the box, the ETX comes with two eyepieces: a 25 and a 9mm Modified Achromats (Meade's trademark for Kellners) in nice twist-open plastic cases. You shouldn't expect much from these eyepieces considering the fast focal ratio of the ETXs, but how often can you find a beginner scope equipped with 2 decent eyepieces? On the side of the box is a pretty well written manual and a small catalog of Meade products.
The f/5 ETX-70 OTA is attached to the dual fork drive and base similar to it's larger ETX and LX brothers (with setting circles). The base has a HBX (handbox/ the Autostar) and AUX (Auxillary) connectors on the base. Unlike plugging an RS-232 to the bottom of the hand controller of a 497 Autostar, using the AUX connector with a Meade 506 jack connected to the 9-pin plug in your computer, this scope can be comtrolled from your computer with programs just like it's giant brothers. A small panel on one of the arms has a power swich and an LED indicator. The Autostar hand controller is a simplified version of the #497 we're fimiliar with. The number keypads are removed, leaving the 4-directional buttons, the goto, mode, and enter keys, the speed/help key, and two up/down scroll buttons.
Setup was as easy as taking the gadgets and gizmos out of the box, putting in the 6 AA batteries (should last 20 hours) and the Autostar, and inputting some data such as location and time. There are 3 alignment options to choose from: Easy Align (AT finds stars for you), Two-Star Align (more accurate than one-star), and One-Star Align (move scope to a star in the sky).
What was my first object? I pressed a couple of buttons and scrolled to "objects" then "solar system"I chose Jupiter since it was 45 degrees to the east and bright. It was clearly seen and easy to tell from Saturn. After a beep from the AT, I found the planet smack dab in the center of the 25mm MA field. It was kind of cumber some to focus with the slowness of the focusing method: moving the oobjective forward and back. I complained to Scope City, but I found it was normal. I decided to crank the mag. up to over 100x with the 9mm MA and a 3x barlow. There was a lot of color, of course, but the image was nice. I don't really remember what I saw, but I found a quick sketch that showed 4 bands. Of course, I was a beginner and I absolutely cannot see very well back then, but 2 of the bands were very clear.
Next up? The one and only Luna. Since Luna's position change was different from the fixed stars, the Autostar took a while to calculate some math, but after a few secs of humming, Luna was in the 14x field. The AT showed some info and a short story about the moon, and it was fun to gaze. I remembered seeing many craters along the terminator at 110x, and it was great seeing the moon for one of the first couple times.
I decided to try a little deep-sky. Of course, I'd want to look at my first nebulae the Scope City guys talked about. M-42 was dead center. The whole picturesqueness of the sword was shown. It was a ver atractive sight. M-42 was no more than a fuzzy blob under Vegas skies, but it still was amazing. At 110x, the Trapezum was clearly resolved. It was as beautiful as M-45 through my old Jason 60mm. All of M-45 was in the 3.5 degree field, but I could not detect any nebulosity under Vegas skies and inexperienced eyes.
This was a great portable scope. With a large off-axis DMG dob, this would've made a great combo, but I guess the Nexstar 80 can do, also. At Costco, you can find the EC for $139.99. At that price I'd've got it again, but $349 was a good price for it. The #494 AT is easy to use and it works great. Planetary and Lunar work is acceptable and deep-sky views are wide-field picturesque photos! I'll give it an 8 for optics (compared to other larger scopes[with a fast focal ratio, this scope really stayed in the race!]) and an 8 for the mount (or at least for the accuracy of the autostar [-2 for the flimsy tripod]). Ease-of-use is a 10 and value is 7 since Orion and other manufacturers sell some other great scopes (6" dobs and such) in the same price range.
Subject: ETX 70AT
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.186.153)
Date: 12/06/2004 05:39:00 am PST
I was a little hard on the #882 tripod. It's much better if you tighten up all the bolts and sleftapping screws. Just a pitty this was not done in the factory. AJD
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.133.242)
Date: 03/03/2005 04:57:51 am PST
bought this scope at lidl supermarket in Greece.It was on sale at 200 euros.I own many telescopes and wanted a small grab and go one.
Well I was disapointed.Its all plastic the optical quality is mediocre at best and the drive has backlash problems.
As a matter of fact I consider it junk.I will sell it as soon as possible.
Oh yes it's "fun" to find celestial objects at the press of a button using binocular like magnification ... perhaps meade thinks most people are so dumb they need a computerized scope to find M31 at 20x.
Stay away from this and etx in greneral...even if optics are good the mechanical parts of these scopes are pure junk.
If u are a begginer buy a real telescope amd learn how to star hope.
Subject: meade etx
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.21.70)
Date: 10/13/2005 02:00:04 pm PST
i am thinking about replacing my etx70at with a newer model eg etx 90 or higher. are there any benifits in this.
Page 1 of 1