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easily. While I have had much larger and more expensive scopes, including a great 80mm APO I regret to
this day getting rid of, this has been among my favorites.
I recently picked up the photography bug again and thought I
would attach my little ETX-70at to my Canon XSi (12mp) and see what I
could get the little scope to do. After pulling the scope out and cleaning it
up, I realized the scope has a lot of internal reflective surfaces. The
baffles are all very nice, but they are all shinny plastic, the lenses are not
blacked out, and the rear mirror assembly has lots of shinny chrome and
edges. To make it have better internal contrast, I thought I would tune it
up and have added that information to this document.
Most of the pictures below will show the disassembly, cleaning
and modifications of the scope. The walk through it really designed to
give you and idea how the unit comes apart and goes back together. All of
the mechanisms inside the telescope are very easy to adjust, or repair.
U pdated  
To   t he  
By John Cooney
A few years ago I purchased a used Meade ETX-70AT on
eBay to give me a portable scope. It needed a little repair, so I
cobbled together a document showing what I did incase someone
else could use it. I am so grateful that I did, and that I included my
e-mail address. I have been contacted by someone on every
continent except Antarctica, and have discovered that this
document has been translated into Spanish, French, Korean,
Mandarin and German that I know of. I have had the good fortune
of speaking with so many ETX-60/70/80 owners because of this
guide and Mike's website, Thank you all.
Since that time I have purchases a couple of these units,
including a brand new "floor" model that had the same popped
through focuser rod. All said, this has proved to be one of my
favorite little scopes. The very lightweight nature of the rig allows
you to take it just about anyplace without any reservation. I am
never really worried about the scope getting damaged (relatively
low investment), it is very light, very easy to setup, and it all stores
R epair   G uide  


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  • Page 1 I recently picked up the photography bug again and thought I would attach my little ETX-70at to my Canon XSi (12mp) and see what I could get the little scope to do. After pulling the scope out and cleaning it up, I realized the scope has a lot of internal reflective surfaces.
  • Page 2 Focuser Repair Note: Let me begin by apologizing about the poor picture quality. I was using a digital camera on an old Sony Palm Pilot in a hotel room at the time. J So on to the damage. Ouch!!! From what I can tell the scope must have been dropped on the objective lens shoving the focus shaft out of the OTA.
  • Page 3 Notice the small washer glued over the hole on the left. It has been painted over a bit with flat black paint, but you can see here how it is attached.
  • Page 4 Vertical Clutch Repair Notes: I have had a few people contact me about the scope not locking into the up/down position using the locking hand wheel/nut on the right fork. So far, this has been due to three issues: 1) The clutch has grease/oil/contaminates on it 2) Spring compensator on the left fork is broken (only happened once) 3) Cracked Nut This clutch works by squeezing a white nylon (I think) clutch disc and the drive gear between the scope-...
  • Page 5 Horizontal Clutch Repair Notes: This seems to be a slightly larger problem. And to be honest, I found a much easier way to adjust this on my last disassembly. This clutch works similarly to the vertical with a few extras. The large lever turns bolt that squeezes down on a 3-pronged washer that in turn puts pressure on the horizontal drive clutch.
  • Page 6 If for some reason your ears are broken off, or sheared off we will need to repair the nut. As far as I know, Meade has “Stopped supporting” this product and has no more spare parts. I called to one of my scope in for repair and was told they no longer repair or have parts for this scope…...
  • Page 7 Equipment: To start find a sacrificial white towel to work on. This is an excellent surface to keep small screw from rolling around and dropped parts from bouncing off the hard tabletop. Tools: Philips screwdrivers • Allen wrench set • Small standard (flat) screwdriver •...
  • Page 8 Disassembly: As a note to remember, the scope comes apart and goes back together very easily. If you find yourself having to put ANY force on the scope (other than where I make a note) you will probably break something. If you find it difficult to assemble, STOP, LOOK, then try again.
  • Page 9 8) Remove the left locking nut on the outside of the support arm. It has the Meade star on it and a plate with numbers. It will spin off. 9) Loosen the right locking bolt on the outside of the support arm. Once you begin to loosen this bolt the scope will begin to shift.
  • Page 10 27) Slide the objective lens all the way down the OTA. You might need to wiggle the lens a bit to get the shaft to come out the back of the eyepiece holder assembly. 28) Here we have a couple of options. You can use another #6 washer on the outside of the assembly to remove the slope in the focuser.
  • Page 11 tightening and loosening the bolt at the top. I suggest running the bolt up snug with the bottom access cover off. Use the lever as a wrench to adjust bolt until it locks the base when to the left and locks to the right.
  • Page 13 Closing: If for whatever reason you have any questions about the process described above, please feel free to email me. I will do my best to help answer any questions you have. Next I will be preparing a guide to using the ETX-60/70/80 as a fast wide field digital lens for DSLR photography.

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