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Meade quality, or is it me?

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#1 Nick Nicolas

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 07:50 PM

I'm having mechanical problems with our very first telescope, a Meade ETX-70AT.

I bought it new several years ago and stored it lovingly for those years, and last week my son took it out of storage and asked, quite rightly, "dad, are you ever going to use it?" So, this evening I thought, right, let's do this!

Problem 1: the plastic cap was really hard to get off the rear photo port, and the Erecting Prism piece is even harder to screw on, even after many attempts to find the screw thread, which doesn't appear damaged. But eventually it does go on, with a lot of force. Strange, but I can live with that.

Problem 2: the flip mirror is now, after only 5 or 6 times having flipped with fine fluid movement, suddenly jammed in the lower position! Won't budge. I inspected carefully with a torch and cannot see what the problem can be. I finally used too much force with padded pliers and now the knob is slipping. Will need to disassemble I suppose, or does anyone know this problem? Or shall I just leave it in the lower position?

Problem 3: it has a French Autostar 494 (I bought it France), which I gather is not updatable to English. Well, it'll just have to be me who updates my French then. Correct? Anyone perhaps have a spare 497 lying around?

Should I think of Meade at all for a next telescope, if I ever get this one working and this new hobby actually sparks up?

I am looking forward to a first viewing any night now, all it's seen yet is the living room ceiling.

Regards to all,

#2 Christopher Erickson

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 05:55 AM

The Autostar 497 and Audiostar will work with that scope.

Do you have a camera service center in your area that could look at the scope?

How about a local astronomy club?

#3 jgraham



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Posted 19 September 2013 - 11:50 AM

Hmmm, doesn't sound right. A careful inspection is probably in order. I own several ETX scopes (ETX-60, 80, 90, 105, and 125) and they've all given me excellent service. If I recall right I did have a stuck flip mirror once a long time ago. I vaguely remember looking at the mechanism through the camera port to see why it was stuck. I must have gotten it unstuck because it works fine now. You might visit Mike Weasner's Mighty ETX Site to see if anyone has had a similar problem.

I wouldn't hesitate to buy another Meade product. Like anything else, I'd give it a good work-out to make sure that it was in good order while it was still under warranty. Of course, look elsewhere if they don't have what you're interested in.

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