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Meade ETX-LS 6"ACF

Posted by Daniel Evans   08/26/2009 02:39PM

I bought one of Meade's 6" ACF ETX-LS scopes about 2 months ago. While it may have been operating normally at first, it has now quit working (it gets frozen on "finding home" and "time and date" on the Autostar hand controller), and I have just sent it back to Meade for repair. My opinion? The optics one this scope ARE very crisp and clear-better than any SCT or reflector. Unfortunately, this scope only has ONE method of aligning on the sky, using the ECLIPSE CCD camera. However, if it is not operating, the scope will not align, making it almost impossible to use. You can bypass the alignment process and move to object manually using the hand controller, provided you know where they are. This works with the Moon and planets, but is very hard for deep space objects unless you know exactly where they are. I am selling this scope, and buying one of Celestron's 11" Edge HD scopes, which has 4-5 different alignment methods (including solar system objects). I am hoping the Celestron will work better and be less frustrating to use. I will enjoy having the larger mirror on the Moon and planets, which will reveal much more detail than in the 11". Unfortunately, I cannot recommend the ETX-LS. However, other people may have had better luck with it and bought a scope that is working as it should. This scope did give incredibly sharp views of the Moon, even with mediocre eyepieces!