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DS MODELS USER FEEDBACK
Last updated: 25 April 2001

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:	One more question
Sent:	Tuesday, April 24, 2001 09:21:50
From:	Chris@csigeo.com (Christopher A. Bevers)
Thank you so much for your help, I have one more question, if I may:

All the images in my telescope are upside down, and slightly tilted.  Is
that right?  Now, it's been cloudy here, so the best I've been able to
look at are images that are trees several hundred yards away.

Thanks!!!
Mike here: That is normal for Newtonian reflectors and should be described in the telescope manual.

Subject:	DS-114 Tripod Sticking
Sent:	Monday, April 23, 2001 08:51:48
From:	Chris@csigeo.com (Christopher A. Bevers)
Thank you for the web site!

I just purchased a DS-114 telescope with the Autostar system.  I haven't
had the problems that others have regarding the BOZO error, however
after connecting the motors, etc. and testing them, I found that the
tripod has a rough spot in the AZ pivot, and the motors don't have
enough umph to get past it.  I left a message on the tech support line,
but the M-F 8-4:30 hours don't seem very helpful for anyone who works.

Any suggestions?  I didn't want to try to lubricate anything until I
contacted warrantee service.

Thanks!
Mike here: Try unlocking the Az lock and moving the telescope back and forth through several complete rotations. That might cure the problem.

Subject:	DS-114
Sent:	Wednesday, April 11, 2001 20:37:25
From:	jbnapryl@swbell.net (JB and Apryl)
I have recently purchased a ds 114 from wal-mart. It looks nice seems to
have great software but sometimes the altitude motor drive works
sometimes it doesn't? I have had two good nights since I got the thing
and the first night it worked fine except for the fact the store had
opened it up and programmed in the wrong site (Kabal??) it wouldn't
align which it shouldn't have but I took the scope back inside and read
the manual set the proper site Lat. and Long.   then took it back
outside the next good night. Everything seemed to be going well right up
until it had to align on sirus and it rotated around to it but did not
raise up to it. When I went to move the scope up to it it didn't move?
Not sure why it didn't move but it didn't move a inch. Thought for a
second or two and it probably needed motors calibrated so I went to
(telescope-calibrate motors) and it kept telling me it had motor unit
failure check batteries blah blah blah? I am pretty frustrated with it
and am going to take it back to the dealer and exchange it for another
scope. Is this a common problem I am unable to fix or a hey dummy you
neeed to tighten the thing on the who knows what arm?

lost in oklahoma
JB Pritchett 
Mike here: Well, hard to say what the problem might be (especially since I don't have a DS model). There can be lots of causes, including as you've discovered, an improper setup. I would suggest reading through the manually thoroughly and practicing with the scope indoors. After you go over things a few times you will gain some confidence that what you are doing is correct. Then if problems persist, you will know that you have properly configured things (date/time/location/scope model) and that something else is the problem. Many times the new user problem reports turn out to be operator error. And once you learn how to use the system, the problems go away. Keep us posted.

And an update:

thanks I picked up a new one tonight and it works much better. Need to
level the scope better but for the quick throw it down and level it up
it put most of the objects around the field of view and it works nicely.

Subject:	telestar DS-114 AT
Sent:	Monday, April 9, 2001 14:50:55
From:	jpossum86@hotmail.com (Josh Markley)
I'm thinking of buying a meade telestar DS-114AT telescope, do you think
it is any good or worth the money? Why or why not? Thanks for your help.
 Josh
Mike here: I have no experience with this model. From reports, it is similar to the Meade 4504 model. You might want to visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/meade4504telescopes.

Subject:	re: 114EQ-DH4
Sent:	Saturday, April 7, 2001 11:08:00
From:	rseymour@wolfenet.com (richard seymour)
To:	rpl@ronleo.com
i saw your note on Mike Weasner's site...

The web site with perhaps the best support for you is at:

www.egroups.com/Meade4504Telescopes
also under:
 http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Meade4504Telescopes

(you may have to "join" to fully access the services... don't worry:
 it's free and harmless, and i haven't noticed any spam arising from
 membership)(it's now a subdivision of Yahoo)

The scope you have is an almost exact duplicate of the Meade 4504
(except for the color of the barrel)...  a "German Equatorial Mounted"
114mm (4 inch) Newtonian reflector.   The Mount is a very traditional
form designed to help follow the stars as they move during the night.

The telescope and mount are very good... the 0.96" eyepieces are
 (reportedly) horrid.  but you can call Meade and they'll send
 a free piece of plastic which will allow the scope to hold 1.25"
 diameter (the "pipe" the eyepiece is built into) eyepieces.
The April Sky & Telescope had an article on "improving" a small
Newtonian telescope (by adding black flocking paper on the inside,
 adding a few inches of "extension" to the barrel itself to reduce
 stray light, etc.  Those pictures are essentially your telescope.

I don't have a 114... i have an ETX90... but the 114EQ is a very
"sweet" telescope, and i think it really a great choice for beginning
(or continuing, or just playing around in the sky). 

ask questions at the Egroup mentioned above, and of us... 
have fun
--dick

Subject:	re:  DS  Models/Meade 114EQ DH4
Sent:	Saturday, April 7, 2001 07:21:34
From:	bpowell@one.net (Brent Powell)
I believe that the 114EQ DH4 is the same OTA as the DS 114-AT, but has a
motorized EQ mount.  It may have a Starfinder (non-upgradeable) instead
of the Autostar.  It is essentially the same as the Meade 4504.  For
more information, Ron can check out the 4504 group on Yahoo
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/meade4504telescopes.

Thanks,

Brent

Subject:	Meade 114EQ DH4
Sent:	Wednesday, April 4, 2001 06:32:44
From:	rpl@ronleo.com (Ron Leo)
My son is having difficulty with a Meade scope he purchased last year
but has never used.  Model is 114EQ DH4.  Is this a discount house
version of a Meade DS-114EC?

Thank you in advance for the response.

rpl@ronleo.com
Mike here: I have no familiarity with this model. If you search my ETX web site for "114EQ" you'll find some references to it. You might also want to post your inquiry on the alt.telescopes.meade newsgroup.

Subject:	DS and ETX
Sent:	Friday, March 30, 2001 07:01:28
From:	dwyttenbach@nistevo.com (Dale Wyttenbach)
Update on the following, in case you're interested:

>Subject:	My experience with a Walmart DS-114-AT
>Sent:	Wednesday, March 7, 2001 09:14:27
>From:	dwyttenbach@nistevo.com (Dale Wyttenbach)

I took that DS-114AT back and bought 1/2 a Meade ETX-90EC (my brother
bought the other half).  We also bought an Autostar computer for it but
they were out of stock.  We just found out yesterday that they have it
now, so hopefully this weekend will be the first real test.

We lucked out and found a used ETX the day we went to Radio City in
Moundsview, MN to buy one.  We were expecting to pay $500 for the scope
plus $100 for the Autostar.  Since they had a used ETX for $350, we were
able to also get the electric focus option, the tabletop tripod legs,
and the Autostar all for $611 incl tax.

Thanks!

Dale

Subject:	Problems with altitude handle on DS-127
Sent:	Thursday, March 15, 2001 13:12:20
From:	tarek_assaf@hotmail.com (Tarek Assaf)
I live in Lebanon, and I just bought a DS-127 from France. The one I
have is made in Taiwan, rather than the U.S.A.. It functions perfectly
except for one minor thing that is still frustrating while observing. No
matter how much I tighten the altitude handle, the telescope still
wobbles up and down and this is very disturbing especially when
observing planets. Every time I put my eye on the eyepiece, the
telescope goes down. I only have this problem with the altitude. The
azimuth works perfectly. Any advice on how I could resolve this?
Thanks in advance
Mike here: With most telescopes you should avoid actually letting your eye touch the eyepiece or even the eyepiece rubber guard.

Subject:	Star Navigator software with autostar
Sent:	Tuesday, March 13, 2001 00:49:30
From:	Twotone900@aol.com
I rigged up one of the serial cables as shown on your site and it worked
great with the star navigator software.  I clicked on a star, hit slew
and presto it was right on the dot.  However it didn't do the same for
my Laptop.  The telescope would pan and tilt exactly how it should
except it would be pointing in a totally different direction than the
cursor on the screen. I have a DS114 refractor and was wondering if
maybe there is a setting that I did on my desktop that I forgot to enter
on my Laptop.  Basically I need to know how to get the telescope and the
cursor pointed in the same coodinates.

Thanks

Subject:	My experience with a Walmart DS-114-AT
Sent:	Wednesday, March 7, 2001 09:14:27
From:	dwyttenbach@nistevo.com (Dale Wyttenbach)
The altitude servo would spin but the telescope would not go up and
down. I had to take the mechanism apart and use a file to remove blobs
of electroplate from the shaft that were preventing the shaft from
turning freely in the brass bushing.

The connection between the AutoStar and the main unit is flaky, causing
the AutoStar to lose power unexpectedly.  To fix the problem, I would
like to replace the RJ-45 cable that connects them, but I can't get the
cable unplugged from either the AutoStar or the main unit.  I squeeze
the little lever and pull, but the plug doesn't come out.

Do all Meade telescopes have such quality problems or is it just the
mass market ones?

And does anyone know where I can obtain a list of objects that my
AutoStar knows about?

Thanks,

Dale Wyttenbach
wytten@yahoo.com
Mike here: Sorry about the problems you've experienced. Check the Autostar Information page for some information about what's in the Autostar database.

And:

Thanks.  I might be taking it back and getting a Dobsonian instead. 
This weekend I'll decide.

Subject:	DS 127 EC
Sent:	Monday, March 5, 2001 03:57:05
From:	peter.toschkoff@vol.at (Peter Toschkoff)
Does someone have the DS 127 EC? I plan to buy one and I would like to
know what accessories I need right away. I'm thinking about the Autostar
and AC adapter for the drives. Are the lenses ok? I saw that there is no
adapter for 1 1/4 included. Thank You,
Peter
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Subject:	DS 90 Case?
Sent:	Sunday, March 4, 2001 13:52:31
From:	jspigt@worldonline.nl (J.C.Spigt)
Hi there, Just bought a DS 90 EC. Nice thing, but too many clouds here
in Rotterdam (netherlands). So I ll try my luck elswhere. How do I take
the thing with me.Is there a case for it or do I have to make one
myself?
Thanks. (also for this great site!)  Jaap Spigt.
Mike here: Some of the cases are sort of "design it yourself". You remove little cubes of foam to make room for the telescope. But there may be better cases for your scope.

Subject:	Help
Sent:	Wednesday, February 21, 2001 23:33:02
From:	RMeloche@conforama.fr
I wanted to buy a DS 114 EC Meade Telescope but after the salesmans
pitch I ended up buying the DS 70 EC Meade. I think that I made the
wrong choice. Could you tell me what is the difference between the two
and what would have been a good choice.

Thank you very much.

Regards,

Roger

P.S. I live in France.
Mike here: Whether one or the other is a good choice for you depends upon your expectations and how you want to use the telescope. The larger aperture telescope will let you see more and see better than the smaller telescope. But the smaller telescope is more portable, meaning you might use it more often since it is easier to carry around and set up.

Subject:	 114EQ-DH4 model
Sent:	Tuesday, February 6, 2001 11:01:21
From:	sherrodc@ipa.net (Clay Sherrod)
To:	Christopher
Hello Christopher!
Welcome aboard!  Polar alignment is not a really big thing; just take
your time and look forward to the rewards.  After you have done it a few
times, you'll be an expert....only way to get there is to be a
"...newbie."  We all were there and probably was the most exciting time.

Your scope will do great, and actually if you do not try to "push" the
magification past about 50 times each inch aperture (about 200x) or a
little more, your .965" eyepieces will do a surprisingly good job. 
However, a good 26mm Erfle for low power wide field observing would be
great (I don't think I would put a 2" on the 114, but it comes with an
1-1/4" adapter plate I believe (the unit that Meade is sending to you).

You're wise to travel to the darkest location possible with any scope,
as you will see twice as much out there as the largest telescope in the
city.  Just remember on your first trips out, polar aligning,
star-finding and overall locating the exciting objects:  take your time
and be patient, and the rewards will come.

Perhaps equally important are some good star atlas references and
perhaps the new "Field Guide to the Stars & Planets"  (Peterson Field
Guide series); knowing where to look is 95% of satisfaction; 3% is in
the telescope, and the remaining 2% is in the observer's attitude and
willingness to learn.

Have fun....and be in touch; I'll be happy to help.

Clear skies and great memories....
P. Clay Sherrod
    -----Original Message-----
	Hi Clay,

	I just got through reading you blurb about the Auto- Star 22 minute
	thing.  Well, after reading it the 3rd time, I think I know what you
	are talking about!  Whew, I was impressed and am way out of my
	league.  I am happy if I can get the moon in my view finder!  J

	Just discovered this forum, so will be listening in from time to
	time.  I am still waiting on a clear night (when the moon is not
	out) to do a polar alignment.  Hopefully I can take a few items you
	mentioned and do it right the first time.

	I live in Charlotte, NC, so about a 20 minute ride takes me into
	some nice dark areas.  I have the 114EQ-DH4 (apparently this is a
	special deal that Meade put together for SAMS club and Costco) which
	uses the .965 EP.  Apparently this is not so good huh?  Meade said
	they will be sending me a 2 inch adapter for free.   Would this help
	 to purchase an extra EP for better viewing?  Any word of advice
	would be greatly appreciated.

	Someone has to be the Newbie!
    
    Christopher
Mike here: I started out with a 3" Edmund reflector (seen on the Just for Fun page). It used 0.965" eyepieces as well. That was my telescope until I bought the ETX in 1996! And judging from what I was able to do with that old 3", you will be able to even more with the 114EQ-DH4. By the way, Edmund is now out of the consumer business; they sold the optics line to a company that only deals with schools and teachers. See the report on Sky & Telescope's news page.

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