DS MODELS USER FEEDBACK
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Last updated: 30 April 2007

This page is for user comments and information specific to the Meade DS telescope models. Accessories and Feedback items appropriate to the ETX models are posted on other pages as appropriate. If you have any comments, suggestions, questions or answers to questions posed here, e-mail them to me and I'll post them. Please use an appropriate Subject Line on your message. Thanks.


Subject:	DSX motor mount question
Sent:	Saturday, April 28, 2007 14:42:44
From:	jon cohrs (joncohrs@gmail.com)
Your site has been really informative. Thanks so much for the wealth of
information! I'm not really an astronomer but I am using a meade
dsx-2000 tripod and motor mount. I'm building a laser/ motion tracking
device for grad school. I'm trying to connect the motor mount through a
serial connection on my computer/ Zterminal but haven't had much luck. I
have followed all of the pin diagrams for the cables and am 99% sure
that i have got that correct.

I don't have an autostar remote. I only have a smaller remote. I have
been trying to send serial info through the aux connector on the tripod
(port on right side of the picture). I haven't had any luck and am
beginning to wonder if this is possible.  If so does it use the meade
telescope serial command protocol as i thought? Can i control the tripod
with serial commands in the aux, if not can i create a Cat5 cable where
the remote is, and control it there? Is it necessary to use the autostar
remote to send serial data?

Any advice would be really appreciated. Thanks for any help you can
offer b/c I've run out of ideas. thanks!  all the best.  -jon cohrs

photo

Mike here: The commands are sent to the AutoStar, which then controls the motors. There are no electronics in the base to process the commands. So you need the AutoStar.

And:

thanks so much for the info. What is the aux port designed for? Do you
know of any information on how to control either the aux or the hbx port
with a micro-controller, such as a pic chip or arduino given the fact
that i don't have an autostar? Or would i have to tap directly into the
stepper motors? thanks! -jon
Mike here: The AUX port typically supplies power to accessories like a GPS receiver or an electric focuser. I don't believe it is a port that you command the telescope through. So, yes, you need an AutoStar unless you want to try to control the motors directly. You might check out the Roboscopes Yahoo Group (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/roboscope) for more info.
Subject:	Service problems with Mead 2130 -an email from Israel
Sent:	Tuesday, April 24, 2007 00:58:23
From:	mirons (biki@netvision.net.il)
I noted you webpage requesting Mead users to tell you about Mead
service/product support related topics.

Let me tell you about my Mead 2130.

The price we pay here in Israel for such a scope is around 800 USD
nearly  three times what one would pay in the States. For this one would
expect the same service quality like a US based customer. However...

From day one I reported the following problems with my scope.

1. Slippage and grinding sounds from the eq. drive. 3 times the
telescope was sent to the local dealer , nothing was found.

But wait and read at the end. 

2. Go to system does not retain settings.
- While the manual stated this and advised of an internal memory unit
battery like on most electronic prodcuts sold today , I could not trace
any such battery. When  I contacted my dealer he advised this feature is
only for US sold telescopes while export telescopes are sold without it.

3.Alt Az. Slippage - after the scope drive  reaches a location it '
drops' a bit. About three months ago a new problem started - the
telescope does not self align , you need to manually do this.

All these problems were reported to my dealer nothing was done. He told
me a new drive unit was sent. Well that was three months ago and he
keeps putting me off.

Mead does not respond. The never reply to me on line support requests,
they never reply to my direct emails .

Theon line support system clearly states this is only for US based
customers. But what if an overseas dealer is not offering proper
support.

Waht if I want a second opinion ?

So a few times I attempted to phone them. As you understand we can't
access 800 numbers from here so the long wait - very long wait till they
reply costs very much. When they do reply ..they direct me back to my
dealer.

At this time I contacted the South Cal. BBB for help . If this does not
work out I plan to fly to the US and take legal action against Mead.

One last thing. As I'm a former airforce vet. I took the drive unit to
an airforce lab and after it was inspected they did find something
causing the eq. slippage. Inside the drive unit they found an folded up
instruction sheet in chineese and English ( the DS2130 is produced in
China The instruction sheet was soaked in lubrication oil and was
shreaded into all of the gears casuign them to be stuck. If the drive
unit would have been opened and instpected at least once this would have
been found. But since I purchased the telescope 9 months ago. they did
not care to do so. All the did was pump oil into the drive unit seems
like WD40 spray and hoped this would solve the problem.

Yet the DS2130 is not functioning and I'm sorry to say that Mead's
service is far from my expectations

Rgds.
Barak Miron
3/6 Habustan st. Rehovot Israel

Subject:	Need help with meade autostar
Sent:	Saturday, April 21, 2007 22:06:56
From:	Astrronomy (astrronomy@yahoo.com)
First of all I have this telescope ..
http://www.meade.com/starterscopes/ds_series.html
second one on page
 
Problem # 1
 
how come it won't move?
 
Any help would be soooooo apreciated!
I'm desperate to get it going.
 
Robin Madison

when i go to point my telescope at a star it goes to the right in the
direction of the star ( off a bit to the right of it) and doesn't move
up to get to the star.
it did everything it was supose to in the daytime.
daytime it does everything right and at night it's either off or won't
move, makes the noise but doesn't move. nothing is too tight
 
Problem # 2
 
When I turn on my meade go to with autostar the first thing it has to do
is calculate north then does star alignment.

How come when my scope does the north thing it'll say calcualting north
slewing and it just keeps going and going in circles ?
Mike here: Some thoughts: Have you done a CALIBRATE SENSOR? Have you done a CALIBRATE MOTORS? Have you done a TRAIN DRIVES? When you say that things work in the daytime but not at night, do you mean that the Auto Align process works in the daytime but when you set up at night it doesn't?

And:

Thank you for responding !

I've been searching for help since last summer when I bought it so I
thought I'd find some websites about it and ask someone who knows how to
work theirs .

Yes .. the  Auto Align process works in the daytime but when you set up
at night  it doesn't but i bypassed the calc north because it kept going
around , i'll try the train drive and calibrate motor .. i  will set it
to factory restore and start all over . what should i do first  after,
train the drive or calibrate sensor? What exactly is  the sensor?

Thanks for the help ! very apreciated ..trying to get it working for 3
months.
Robin Madison 
Mike here: The "sensor" is the magnetic compass. The CALIBRATE SENSOR determines True North based on your Magnetic North location. Since everything works in the daytime but not at night there must be something different you are doing at night or something different about the location where you set up the telescope. Does Easy Align work properly? You might also want to look through the LNT troubleshooting tips on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.

And more:

Actually I was wondering if I was doing something different at night. I
did it in the daytime to see what it does step by step  just to get to
know what goes on and I wrote it down . I*'m writing everything i do
step by step down .
 
this is what i have written that I did in the daytime ..
1.. turn on 
2.. after sun warning  i pushed mode
3.. select star alignment comes up 
4.. i select a star
5.. enter
6.. slews to star  asks me to push enter
7.. alignment succseful
when i went out at night this is what  is done / comes up ..
When I first turn it on  & after the sun warning it goes to time then 
directly goes  the level then north thing without having to put in time
location etc.
then it does the level thing fine then calculating north ..slewing north,
then it just circles and circles.
I let it do that just to see if it ever stops then 10 minuits later it
is still just circling and circling.
3 weeks ago when i first got it i put in location time etc because it
asked me too everynight. now  i push align easy  and it goes to time
then calibrate level and north .
 
Robin
Mike here: Now I'm confused. Your first message said you got it last summer. You are doing a different step in the daytime vs nighttime. The daytime steps sound like the Easy Align (since there is no leveling and finding North). So try what I recommended earlier.

And:

should i do the factory settings restore then   train the drive ? 
Mike here: Not necessarily. Just do CALIBRATE SENSOR (in the location where you plan to observe), CALIBRATE MOTORS, and then TRAIN DRIVES.

And:

Thank you so much it is VERY apreciated !

I did get it last summer, I meant to write   I got it out 3 weeks ago to
start fixing it. sorry about that, i was out from 11pm till   5:30 am 
last night and tired ! so i'm going to bed for a nap ..I want to go out
again tonight !

THANK YOU !!!

Robin

Subject:	Question on Meade 'scope
Sent:	Sunday, April 1, 2007 14:57:02
From:	night-ops@worldnet.att.net (night-ops@worldnet.att.net)
Would you be able to entertain a question on a Meade 'scope I'm having
problems with?  I have a 114EQ-DH that I originally bought with the
motors, but only the simple controller.  I bought a #497 Autostar and
have not been able to get it to work right.

I've read a lot of your web material, including the suggestion on
treating the 114EQ/DH-4 like an LXD55:

But it -can- control it by either of two workarounds: (a) after plugging
it in, select any LXD55 model. Then use Setup/Telescope/RA Ratio (and
DEC Ratio) to set the Ratio values you're now seeing in your
Starfinder/494. (RA=4.562963   DEC=4.562693).  Then it'll work.

...but the controller doesn't display any LXD55 models, even after a
reset.  It has Ver 26Ec firmware.

Let me know if you might be able to help and I'll send more details and
what I've done already.

Thanks, 

--Mark Francis
  Colorado
From:	richard seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
(a) looks like something i wrote.  Thus i suggest you will
need to use method (b), which probably described loading
a patched version of the firmware, using one of my patch kits
(from Mike's Autostar Info page, or loaded by running StarPatch
from     www.stargps.ca/starpatch.htm
Both of those programs will require a "meade 505"-like cord
to connect between your PC and the Autostar.  You can build one
yourself ( http://www.weasner.com/etx/autostar/as_cable505.html ),
or buy one.

The LXD only appears if the motor units reply with certain
values when the Autostar interrogates the system at power-up.
The DH motors do not answer with that value, so you must patch
(there is a third workaround, but patching is far easier).
((ok: the 3rd workaround is to power up the Autostar -without-
and motors attached... i -think- (haven't tested recently) that
the LXD group will then appear (i'll try this in two days,
when i return home)

have fun
--dick

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Copyright © 2007 Michael L. Weasner / etx@me.com
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