Author Topic: Meade ETX60-AT  (Read 122 times)

abtempoecar

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Meade ETX60-AT
« on: December 23, 2017, 10:13:09 PM »
I'm a total beginner and looking for a tiny portable telescope.  I would love to obtain a used scope in the region of$100.  I discovered a Meade ETX60-AT that meets my standards.  I understand there's better if I saved my money, but we aretraveling next week and need it by then.  I see most reviews say this is great beginners scope, that is me!  Any ideas?



anpiecaga

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Re: Meade ETX60-AT
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2017, 11:49:28 PM »
Its a very nice mobile short tube extent and I have a number of memories, positive of using it.

Michael Hobbs

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Re: Meade ETX60-AT
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2017, 11:59:22 PM »
<p>Welcome to Cloudy Nights.
</p>

I believe that, provided that you keep your expectations in check, it will likely do fine.  It was an inexpensive telescope that strove to do a great deal of items for the purchase price.  Many individuals have had nice experiences using the ETX refractors and return with fondness.  Have you ever noticed this review from our own "Uncle Rod"?  I'm sure others will come along soon enough.

Always the contrarian, I owned the slightly bigger ETX-70 and disliked it.  In my view it was an undependable goto system (inaccurate & crashed), poor optics, a bothersome focuser, flimsy tripod, was made from brittle plastic and sucked pens dry.  I was about to "Office Space" it but a frugel buddy took it off my hands.  He, finally, threw it in a van.  Perhaps I got a lemon.

micfullprovlo

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Re: Meade ETX60-AT
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2017, 01:30:54 PM »
$100 will not buy you anything good. Get a pair of 7x50 binoculars instead. The ETX-60 and 70 refractors are garbage, and there's nothing to see besides the Moon, planets, bright double stars, and maybe the Orion Nebula with 'em anyway. And forget good eyepieces.

Do not rush, take your time.

birchzufhyro

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Re: Meade ETX60-AT
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2017, 12:55:53 AM »
$100 for an ETX-60 in good condition with the Autostar hand controller is a very good price. The ETX-60 is a small, relatively fast refractor that gives binocular-like views, though you can increase the magnification with a Shorty Barlow which gives it performance similar to a more standard 60mm refractor. I think that it does make a very good starter scope as long as you don't expect too much with deepsky objects (like any small scope). My advice would be to not get locked into it's GoTo capability, but instead treat it like any other small telescope for star-hopping with having GoTo as a (big) bonus. I like using the GoTo on mine to take me to specific stars and objects, but then to go off-road using the hand controller to move the scope so that the GoTo stays functional.

My baby after a rough night out in the cold...
Brrrrrr....

It was so cold that I didn't want to risk my more expensive gear. The little 60 is one tough little trooper!


Pat Young

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Re: Meade ETX60-AT
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2017, 02:52:28 AM »
Quote
$100 for an ETX-60 in good condition with the Autostar hand controller is a very good price. The ETX-60 is a small, relatively fast refractor that gives binocular-like views, though you can increase the magnification with a Shorty Barlow which gives it performance similar to a more standard 60mm refractor. I think that it does make a very good starter scope as long as you don't expect too much with deepsky objects (like any small scope). My advice would be to not get locked into it's GoTo capability, but instead treat it like any other small telescope for star-hopping with having GoTo as a (big) bonus. I like using the GoTo on mine to take me to specific stars and objects, but then to go off-road using the hand controller to move the scope so that the GoTo stays functional.

My baby after a rough night out in the cold...

Frozen ETX-60 (12-2-2011).jpg

Brrrrrr....

It was so cold that I didn't want to risk my more expensive gear. The little 60 is one tough little trooper!
I have an ETX80 and much like above, I love to use mine to browse the skies like having a VERY large monocular that when I get tired of browsing around I can use the GoTo function. With a shorty Barlow it outperforms the $85 I paid for it. The hand controller is worth more than that. I've played with a short tube 60mm and it wasn't that bad. Can't reach too deep, but when you upgrade it make either a good pass-me-down or secondary that has different strengths and weaknesses. If it's all you can afford that's ok.

I will say this, I've had an outstanding experience with the Simmons 10x50 binoculars I got at Wal Mart. One of my favorite ways to give my neck and back a break. I lay down in the lounger and see how many clusters I can find while giving myself a break. Binoculars are an excellent investment. Also consider a spotting scope. I understand they have some limitations, but my friends Simmons 20-60x60 scope costs sub $60 and friggen impressed the heck out of me, the bands and moons of Jupiter and the rings of Saturn all showed up through it. I put it on my photo tripod and jacked it up as high as I could go to get higher views near the zenith. Not bad at all. For around $100 you could get a spotting scope and some binoculars and be in business. Just saying. A quick trip to wallyworld and you can have them tonight. Bet the spotting scope can give similar if not better performance than the ETX-60.

Matthew Calhoun

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Re: Meade ETX60-AT
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2017, 01:25:59 AM »
I owned an ETX-60 briefly and sold it because it had pretty poor optics. However, that may have been just my particular unit; I know some people who have ETX-60s with quite decent optics.

One thing that's indisputable is that this scope is a nightmare to focus. The gearing on the focus knob is so extreme that you can twist it several times without the image getting perceptibly sharper or blurrier. That makes it very hard to know which way you should be turning it.

The Go To on my scope worked reasonably well, certainly well enough to get objects into its vast field of view.

Unless you really, really want Go To, there are much better telescopes available for $100 brand new.

rioclamabik

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Re: Meade ETX60-AT
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2018, 06:52:16 AM »
Ok, so I may have been convinced to look into binoculars. Any brand, size that I should be looking for?Is there a big difference between 7x50 and 10x50 ?

Nick Nisianakis

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Re: Meade ETX60-AT
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2018, 06:16:11 AM »
My first scop was an ETX-60. It lit a fire for sure. Still have it as a matter of fact. It is/was a good starter scope. UNTIL something breaks and with any mechanical system it will. My ALT lock knob split at the threaded part when I clamped down on it one cold evening. Called Meade to get a replacement. I got the "Parts Are No Longer Available" spiel. I'm a toolmaker so I just made an improvised part to fix it. That would be my main issues with advising you to get this scope. It is a legacy product. Parts and service are going to be very limited.

My defacto suggestion when someone asks me about a beginners scope is the Astronomer Without Borders scope. So my advice would be to save another $100 and get that or the new 5" Lightbridge Mini.

Lauro Mason

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Re: Meade ETX60-AT
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2018, 12:00:45 PM »
Quote
I am a total beginner and looking for a small portable telescope. I would like to purchase a used scope in the area of$100. I found a Meade ETX60-AT that meets my criteria. I know there is better if I saved my money, but we aretraveling next week and need it by then. I see most reviews say this is great beginners scope, that's me! Any thoughts?

Offer less ,like $60,pay $75,enjoy.
Every scope has its detractors.

David Collins

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Re: Meade ETX60-AT
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2018, 02:55:26 AM »
I never used the go-too function , just the direction buttons and it was a bridge from binos to something more capable , but I did dig the widefield aspect of it. The moon looked cool and to see M-13 , globular cluster in that wide a field with backround stars all around  was a treat. Mine had very decent optics, for a fast achro , in it , and the orion nebular region was a nice view too. The beehive was nice, the pleides . It had its uses and I then gave it to a Field Superintendent that was getting married.

trafefupgi

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Re: Meade ETX60-AT
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2018, 05:25:39 AM »
I have had a very long string of so-so binoculars and the build quality made them frustrating and uncomfortable to use. I then read a review of the Oberwerks 11x70s and took a chance with them. For me, they have been wonderful! Excellent construction, smooth and solid focus, lightweight, and excellent balance. You might want to spend some time in the binocular forum and see what types are getting good reviews and comments.

Gary Eldridge

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Re: Meade ETX60-AT
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2018, 02:51:30 AM »
Quote
Ok, so I may have been convinced to look into binoculars. Any brand, size that I should be looking for?Is there a big difference between 7x50 and 10x50 ?

10x50's are right about at the limit for hand held steadiness for most people. All binoculars benefit from use of a tripod, but any increased magnification beyond 10 really begs for a decent tripod to minimize shakes. I sometimes use 12x50's but I'm comfortable with them only for some brief looks.
7x50 binoculars produce an exit pupil about 7mm in size which roughly matches the size ofthe dark adapted pupil of an eye. The light beam leaving the eyepiece is a closematch to the pupil sizeand no light is "wasted". 10x50 binocs produce a 5mm exit pupil. ( Exit pupil = diameter of objective/magnification). One might say that 7x is best -but things are not that simple. A little more magnification is better for most all objects and it also serves to increase the contrast between stars and the sky because it makes the sky appear darker. In less than pristine dark skies this really helps. It also makes no difference ( over the 7x 7mm exit pupil)if your eye's pupil does not open to a full 7mm in the dark.
A rough rule of thumb is that multiplying the magnification by the objective size determines overall astronomical performance - the higher the number the better. But then we get back to what can be hand held vs. tripod needed. Compromises, compromises.
You mentioned $100 in your initial post and I'll assume that is arough budget figure for binoculars.
There are a few decent models that can be purchased in that range. I have used Nikon Action Extreme10x50 and found them overall pretty respectable as have others. These run about $130.I have also used a friend's pair of Orion 10x50Scenix and found them satisfactory. These cost about $100.
Other may chime in with models with which I have no first hand experience.
Some people can geta lifetime of enjoyment using only binoculars. Even if you purchase a scope laterbinoculars will still get used. They're just a handy tool to have.
Personally I would not recommend a beginner purchase used binoculars sight unseen. You have little or no recourse if anything is wrong and I have seen more than my share of used binoculars with serious collimation issues. If you don't mind seeing double than this is not a problem.

precaregmo

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Re: Meade ETX60-AT
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2018, 05:14:42 AM »
Quote
Ok, so I may have been convinced to look into binoculars. Any brand, size that I should be looking for?Is there a big difference between 7x50 and 10x50 ?

I love binoculars, but you should be aware that binoculars absolutely aren't a substitute for a telescope. In particular, binoculars worse than essentially any telescope for viewing the Moon and are very nearly useless for viewing the planets. With Jupiter currently on great display, the latter is a big deal right now.

Binoculars are great for people who are eager to learn the sky, for people who want to view open clusters, and for people who live under reasonably dark skies. They are not great for people who want knock-your-socks-off views of celestial objects.

There are a number of pretty-good telescopes in the $100 range, and $200 gets you a really nice scope. No Go To, however.

russnappditcva

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Re: Meade ETX60-AT
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2018, 01:15:05 AM »
Indychips:

First let me say Hello and  to Cloudy Nights.

I agree with Tony Flanders.

I ddo think everyone needs a decent pair of binoculars, 10x50s are a nice balance, they can still be hand held and they show more than 7x binoculars under nearly all situations.

But binoculars are no substitute for a telescope and as Tony says, the moon, the planets, and most deep sky objects are better seen in a telescope. The ETX-60, ETX-70 and the ETX-80 are all very similar, the 80mm would be my choice, 60mm will not show the detail that the 80mm will.

In terms of $100, telescopes, here's a review of three $100 telescopes that Tony did when he was with Sky and Telescope..

Three Low Cost Telescopes.

Of the three, the Orion Space Probe 3 was deemed the winner. I recently purchased a used Space Probe 3 on Craigslist and have used it several nights. My experiences seem much like Tony's. It is surprisingly good, with the standard 25mm eyepiece, it captures essentially the entirety of the Pleiades with a 1.92 degree TFoV. At F/9.3, collimation is easy and the eyepieces are clean and sharp to the edge. I would say the mount is the weak point but it is more robust than I expected, more robust than other scopes in this price range.

From my urban backyard, I was able to locate and get a glimpse of the Eskimo nebula, a bit surprising... I was impressed.

Jon