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Meade ETX 70AT

This particular little Meade telescope has emotions running high, there are those who think it should be returned to Meade for a complete overhaul and those who think it works well. I have seen members at my Astronomy club getting very frustrated with this telescope, and others who rave about it.

And I’ve read many amateur reviews from – it’s the best of all the meade telescopes and I have had no trouble except that you must really get to know it. To others which say they have had nothing but trouble from day one.

So, I asked a friend if I could borrow his Meade ETX for 2 weeks. I must admit to being very impressed with its appearance. George the owner of the telescope already had problems with the Meade Autostar, which had to be replaced.

Alignment is everything when you are using Autostar, if you don’t get this part correct you’ll have trouble, so take your time and get this right. You have 3 choices in aligning this little Meade telescope.Meade ETX 70AT

I recommend you choose the 2 star alignment as this is the most accurate and use Polaris as one of the stars, that way you will always find true north. I would not recommend this Meade Telescope for the causal user, as you would need to pull the manual out each time you used it to brush up on how to align it.

If you live in the southern hemisphere you will be pleased to know that autostar has been adjusted for this, you can learn more about this by reading my page on Telescopes – Myths and Misconceptions. There you will learn about the problems associated with computer controlled Meade telescopes and the southern hemisphere.

My first night out and I had a lot of fun playing with the Meade Autostar, it knows its stuff when it comes to the planets, double stars, variable stars, constellations, and messier objects.

M42 and M45 and other such objects I viewed were good. I scanned the star clusters which were all found and placed dead center by Autostar. The views are quite satisfying. The planets and the moon are good but nothing special from this Meade telescope.

If you are interested in buying astronomy software that is compatible with Autostar, I recommend the one I use called Starry Night. It is an excellent addition for any astronomer. This software will give you information on any object you choose plus give details on where an object will be found at any given time. This means you can plan a night’s viewing in advance. There are several versions of Starry Night Software to choose from.

I would advise you buy a good tripod and not the 882 which they are selling with this Meade telescope, it’s too flimsy. If you can’t afford a better tripod try the tips I gave you in the review on the DS 90 Meade telescope.

The only other problem I found was focusing, it can be very frustrating when you change eyepieces, you have to turn the focuser knob about 15 times and unfortunately the focuser knob is about the size of a dime and is too close to the tube making the whole process difficult.

 Product Description

  • ¬†Aperture – 70mm Refractor
  • f/5
  • 3x Barlow
  • Eyepieces – MA 9mm MA 25mm.

 Recommendation

Meade needs to redesign this telescope and make it a little more user friendly. But if you like playing with technology the Autostar on this Meade telescope will keep you happy for a long time. Good views on the brighter objects in the Milky Way but for planetary viewing the telescope is very common.

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