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ETX-70 w/Basic Hand Controller Question

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#1 Tom Duncan

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Posted 02 January 2019 - 06:06 PM

I recently got two Meade ETX scope kits, one is an ETX-60 and the other is an ETX-70 (no letters after the numbers), both with the basic hand controller as shown. 

 

I find the HC will change the motor movement in the DEC axis in the appropriate amount (at least audibly) but the AZ doesn't, I get just max speed at all settings. Is this a fault? 

 

Thanks in advance. 

 

Tom Duncan 

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#2 NearVision

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 11:24 PM

Hi Tom,

I saw this earlier today but didn't have time until now to check. I've got a ETX70from around 2000 that looks like what you have pictured and can confirm that the speed changes affect both Dec & RA motors.



#3 Tom Duncan

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Posted 05 January 2019 - 02:02 PM

Thanks for checking that NearVision. 

 

As the speed changes OK in both DEC and AZ with the Autostar ETX 497 controller but not with the basic 492's I mention it points to the two hand controllers being bad. Seems unlikely for two out of two I get are bad though. 

 

Tom 



#4 NearVision

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Posted 05 January 2019 - 06:29 PM

I know on mine the lights all flash until I press the mode button with the 492 controller. Maybe you need to do a reset with the 497 controller. It might just be confused. I've had to do a reset and calibrate on both scopes at least once this last year.



#5 Tom Duncan

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Posted 05 January 2019 - 09:53 PM

Yes, all four lights flash until I hit a button, but from there the DEC movement speed changes with the speed selection (and subsequent light on) but the AZ speed is always the highest regardless of the selection/light indicator. And this is with both my 492 HCs. 

 

Tom 



#6 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 05 January 2019 - 11:52 PM

Gday Tom

I have a 492 unit that came with my ETX-125 ( i also got a 497 with it ), and on starting up, it automatically does a calibrate on both axes, so "should" reset the encoder leds accordingly.

Do you see/hear the calibrate process???

That said, there is no way to set any ratios in the 492, and IIRC, the ratios hardcoded in them ( at least mine ) seem to match the later models of ETX-70,90,105,125.

I dont know if there were different variants of 492 for different models, but my notes show the ETX-60 definitely has different ratios and hence will not work with my 492.

I also have notes that there were 2 models of ETX-70, but with different gearing in them, and the older ETX-70 matches the ETX-60.

By any chance, does yr 497 Hbx have our patches loaded.????

If so, there is a diagnostic tab at the back that can read out all the details, and i would need to know what motor card type was fitted, as that determines what ratios etc can be selected.

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia



#7 Tom Duncan

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Posted 08 January 2019 - 01:32 PM

Thanks Andrew for your input. 

 

Using the 492's I have in both cases the calibration process (short run Alt and DEC) seems to be OK but the speed changes remain erratic. Switching the HC's around doesn't help, sometimes the AZ just runs full on vs the selected speed. I made sure the batteries were fresh, some drives get erratic when the voltage drops but not in this case. 

 

Frankly I'm giving up on these, going to sell them as-is here on CN for $75 for both, with the HCs. I don't care for them anyway, the DEC locks never work long and 60mm and 70mm scopes don't do anything for me outside of serving at finder scopes and it's too much trouble to deal with the plastic rear cell to convert them for that purpose. 

 

Tom 



#8 Gashog

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Posted 08 January 2019 - 04:52 PM

I have 3 of these older telescopes and a newer ETX 80. They behave exactly as yours does with two different 492 handsets (one new old stock).

All 4 scopes are perfectly happy with a 494 plugged in.


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#9 Tom Duncan

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Posted 09 January 2019 - 11:27 AM

From OzAndrewJ's response it looks like there are two 492 types, what a mess.

 

I've sold off the scopes, I'll let the new owner try to figure it out. 

 

Tom 



#10 DAVIDG

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 10:04 AM

 The 492 has two basic modes of ALT/AZ and EQ. tracking. You can change the default  modes via the two outer screws on the back cover. Which screws are left in place determines if the tracking will be Equatorial for the northern hemisphere, equatorial for the southern hemisphere or Alt/AZ.  

   I believe in EQ mode the slew rate is a percentage of Sidereal rate of the RA axis and different for DEC, while in ALT/AZ mode, the slew rates are the same.

 

                 - Dave 


Edited by DAVIDG, 10 January 2019 - 01:23 PM.


#11 Tom Duncan

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 01:09 PM

Yikes, way too much trouble for an ETX-60/70.

 

Tom 



#12 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 04:12 PM

Gday David

Sort of correct

If the 492 is set up Polar, it defaults to tracking at a hardcoded motor rate.

After that, the slew keys operate a 4 different rates ( as selected by the leds ) and these are propotional to sidereal rate

In AltAz, there is no "tracking", it just goes where you move it

The problem that occurs is the hardcoded polar tracking rate already has a specified ratio built into it, so it will only track "properly" if the mount that is connected has the same RA ratios

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia



#13 Gashog

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 11:06 PM

I tried removing default screws and then changing modes.Didn't make any difference on my ETX 60 or 80. Haven't tried my 70.

Not to thread jack but I did try it on my ETX 60 Special Edition and it worked fine!

Tracked and was able to control Alt/Az.



#14 Gashog

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 11:26 PM

Meh...never mind! lol.gif

It's operator error...RTFM!....Wrong mode!

After changing modes, you have to reboot!



#15 Gashog

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 11:57 PM

Boot...4 lights blink

press left arrow...drives calibrate

hold mode for 3 sec...LEDs display whatever mode you're in

tap speed button until you have red,red,red,blinking LEDSs

hold mode 3 sec.

 

That's what works for my ETX 60 telescopes.



#16 Gashog

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 12:11 AM

For ETX 80:

 

Boot...LEDs blink

press down arrow....blah blah

mode.....

tap speed...red,red,red,blink

mode



#17 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 02:21 AM

Gday Gashog

 

Not to thread jack but I did try it on my ETX 60 Special Edition and it worked fine!

Tracked and was able to control Alt/Az.

Did it track against the stars, or just track on the bench????

All the data i have for ETX-60s ( ie original ETX-60 and the newer ETX-60 "Traveller" )

would indicate they use different ratios to whats in the 492 that came with my ETX-125,

and hence wont properly track at sidereal.

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia



#18 Gashog

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 10:16 AM

Gday Gashog

Did it track against the stars, or just track on the bench????

All the data i have for ETX-60s ( ie original ETX-60 and the newer ETX-60 "Traveller" )

would indicate they use different ratios to whats in the 492 that came with my ETX-125,

and hence wont properly track at sidereal.

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia

GEEEDAY!waytogo.gif

On the bench....Where it's nice and warm!

The drive *sounds* close to sidereal rate but I just figured all this out last night in a fluey drunken haze! lol.gif

We may have a clear sky tonight but I'm not sure how motivated I'll feel once the temp drops to -11.6667C!

Anyway, I did get my #492 to function with both ETX 60(s) and my ETX 80 by fiddling with buttons and modes.

It takes a little fossicking.



#19 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 04:18 PM

Gday Gashog

not sure how motivated I'll feel once the temp drops to -11.6667C

Just put on more clothes waytogo.gif 

We are looking like several days near 40c

 

That said, if you have a spare 6 hours lol.gif

Set up the mount and note the RA setting circle pos with a postit note or such

Let it run for exactly 3/6 hours and see if it has moved 3/6 hours

My ETX RA ratio is 1.3688889

The very early ETX used 0.9519676

The ETX-Travellers used 0.8405671

ie if the 492 is configured for the later models, its tracking error should show pretty quickly.

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia



#20 Gashog

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 01:47 PM

I found this thinggie.

Have to check the voltage and polarity...if it works.

Should last 6 hours if it does waytogo.gif

 

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#21 kurbs

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Posted 25 February 2019 - 05:44 AM

I have both controllers. I was on the Weasner site years back I and found someone who changed to the 497 controller On my etx70 and had to set the controller up to to show as a ETX90, and change the focal length to what the 70 was. Using the 497 seemed to make a ton of difference plus added a couple thousand objects. That little scope performed fine after that. My 90 and 125 were good out of the box. Also use a revised power supply that replaces the battery box. EBAY still sells them cheap. That also cured a multitude of speed issues. Along with updating the Firmware on the handset.

 

Set Model to: ETX-90
Set Focal length to: 350
Set Az Ratio to : 0.95197
Set Alt ratio to: 1.01500




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