Last updated: 27 August 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:	re: Starfinder converted to autostar ds series
Sent:	Wednesday, August 22, 2007 22:55:34
From:	richard seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
You wrote:
> The set alt/az ratios are:
> alt=+04.56269264
> az==+004.56269264

Mike wrote:
> ...do a RESET
>... That should set all the settings properly

.. but they won't be proper for your motors.
The Starfinder is to operate the DH series motors on German Equatorial mounts.
It does not offer Alt/Az operation.

The proper ratio settings for DS motors (given a 60 tooth final drive)
is 1.36889 for both axes.   You can set that on the Starfinder, but it
will still only want to operate in a Polar mode.

have fun
(just back from vacation and catching up...)

Subject:	Re: Meade DS-2114 Models
Sent:	Wednesday, August 22, 2007 16:05:38
From:	Walter Cruden (cruden@myonecent.com)
Very helpful.  Thank you.

All the best,


Subject:	Meade DS-2114 Models
Sent:	Wednesday, August 22, 2007 12:37:19
From:	Walter Cruden (cruden@myonecent.com)
There are several suffixs affixed to the Meade DS-2114 model telescope.
I cannot find a model number on any such telescope. How can I identify
the specific flavor of the DS-2114 and how do the flavors differ?
Mike here: Some older models don't have the LNT (Level North Technology and Smartfinder module) and so won't have the LNT designation. Some model designations may be specific to the dealer market place. As to the telescope itself, the specs should all be the same.
Subject:	Starfinder converted to autostar ds series
Sent:	Tuesday, August 14, 2007 19:31:51
From:	flagella (flagella@peoplepc.com)
I bought a old/used 494 autostar hand controller with ds motors 
recently. I also purchased a ds series mount/tridop new from telescope
warehouse that came with a basic handpad. My hope was to plug in the old
autostar handpad with some alt/az ratios adjustments and be on my way.
Upon inspecting the old handpad I realized it was not a autostar but a
starfinder. A friend had a ASU updater, but it would not connect. He
found it to have version 1.0.

The set alt/az ratios are:

What can I do? Hardware reset? Have you ever encountered this problem
before? Is there a tutorial on your site that explains this process?
Thank you for any aid you have to offer,
Todd Gray
Mike here: The old Starfinder and AutoStar #494 are not user updateable. But you should be able to connect the Starfinder to the drives and apply power. Then do a RESET from the Starfinder menu (I'm assuming there is a RESET function as I don't have a Starfinder). Then do a CALIBRATE MOTOR and TRAIN DRIVES (once you have attached the telescope). That should set all the settings properly.
Subject:	Re: Subject: Autostar problem with a Meade DS-2114
Sent:	Monday, August 6, 2007 04:46:55
From:	Posma Net (posmanet@web.de)
since i'm reading from time to time in Your "DS MODELS USER
FEEDBACK"-section, i read the current emails from Ali Eichenberger

He describes that his DS-2114 only has problems on vertical motion, and
especially on moving upwards (and _not_ on moving downwards).

My idea: Maybe Ali's OTA is not balanced correctly and has an overweight
on the front side. Balancing is quite easy on these DS models - You only
have to loosen the axis knob for free vertical axis movement, and then
loosen the clamp that holds the OTA a little (!) so You can move the OTA
forwards and backwards until You have found perfect balance. (Full
equipment (souch as eyepiece, barlow lenses, and maybe cameras etc.)
schould be mounted on the OTA of course when balancing the OTA.) Tighten
everything and hopefully the problems are gone. :)

Posma Net.

Subject:	Autostar problem with a Meade DS-2114
Sent:	Wednesday, August 1, 2007 01:48:57
From:	Ali Eichenberger (ali.eichenberger@gmail.com)
I just found your web page about Autostar and read some post with great

Please let me describe you the problem I think I have with system. First
of all, you need to know that I'm a beginner. I bought last week a used
Meade DS-2114 with Autostar and remote #494. I have been playing with it
a couple of time and notice some strange behavior. The "horizontal
motion" seems to work perfectly. But the "vertical" motion has a huge
offset. If I'm moving let's say down, it moving correctly. But when I
need then to move up, I need to wait (depending of the selected speed) a
very long time before seeing something happening. I try to "train" the
motor but with no great success so far. In the "follow" mode I also see
some weired beahavior. When I try to center the object while the "follow
mode" is on, 2-3 seconds after I stopped to move around I have a drift
(half a field on a 28mm) and then the motion continues correctly.

I do not want th bother you with my problems but if you had time to
answer a few questions, I would greatly appreciate. 1) what do you think
in general about my problems (excpet the fact that I'm a beginnner.. and
that I'm not using everytime the right words...)?

2) Is there a simple solution or my system is dammage?

3) Most important for me: Is there a simple way to open the mechanical
system and try to fix it? Is it dangerous, I meen extremely dangerous?
Is there a "howto" some where (I did a research without success)?

I thank you very much in advance for your time and hope to hearing from
you soon.

With my best regards.

Mike here: Since the telescope is used I would suggest doing a RESET, CALIBRATE MOTOR, and TRAIN DRIVES (be certain to train in both axes). That may solve the problem you are experiencing.


Thank you for your quick answer and your advice!

In fact, I was a bit afraid to do a reset when I saw all the motor
parameters... but I think these parameters are calculated during the
calibrate and train phase.

I'll let you know the results!...
Thanks again for your help!
Best regards,

Mike here: If you haven't done it, I would also suggest putting in fresh batteries. Then do the CALIBRATE MOTOR and TRAIN DRIVES. Doing the RESET will mean you will have to reselect your Site location.


No problem! The batteries are new. I'll follow your advice and let you
Thanks again and wish you a good day!

And more:

I tried the reset and trained the motor. It's still the same. When
inversing the direction in the vertical motion, I can hear the motor
turning but I have to wait a few second before I see something
happening. My guess is that something is wrong in the mechanics. I'm
ready to open the setup but I would like to know if I can find some
instruction somewhere or some advice of what I should and should not do.

Do you have any help on this?

Wish you a good day and thank you in advance for your help.

With my best reards,

Mike here: OK, time to play with the "backlash percentages". There are some articles on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page on "percentages" that should help.

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