Last updated: 31 December 1999

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:	DS-114 vs. ETX90 Optics
Sent:	Tuesday, December 28, 1999 22:35:22
From:	Ottocycle@aol.com
Ah, this is when the fun starts.  Comparing scopes can depend on your
favorite targets.  The DS-114 is brighter but not as sharp as the ETX90.
ETX ships with a better eyepiece (Plossl).  Also, the DS-114 has a
spherical primary mirror at an f/8 focal ratio.  Sam Brown (for you old
timers) taught me that spherical primaries are OK at f/10 or higher.

But at twice the price, the ETX is not "twice" as good (IMHO). Optical
performance is not linear.  With an eyepiece upgrade and accurate
collimation, the DS-114 is an excellent value.  ETX has other virtues
not related to optics.

Be careful out there.....the DS/EC series is badged and packaged in many
ways for retailers.  For reference, I purchased a DS114-EC "Quasar by
Meade" with blue tube and 1 1/4" eyepieces for $299 from National Camera
Exchange.  Our cat loves the box it came in!

Subject:	 ETX-90 vs DS-114
Sent:	Tuesday, December 28, 1999 05:56:29
From:	CreativeCapital@ibm.net (Cameron Bernadsky)
I was wondering if you had any thoughts on which of two telescopes is
better for overall viewing, not taking into account the size difference.
The ETX-90 or the Mead DS-114 reflecting telescope?


Subject:	 DS eyepiece
Sent:	Monday, December 27, 1999 21:04:51
From:	bob@shutan.com (Bob Shutan)
A while back I mailed a "P.S." to you regarding DS telescopes coming as
.96" when bought at mass-merchants. You posted it in the 125EC area (I

Can you post it in the DS area?

Thanks, have fun in Appleland.

Mike here: This is Shutan's earlier item:
Regarding DS telescopes at Wallmart, Sam's, etc. Don't buy'em there! Buy
from a telescope dealer and get the 1.25" white-tube versions. Most, if
not ALL mass-market models (even though they carry SAME DS designation)
have .965" eyepieces!

Subject:	 DS 114 meade telescope
Sent:	Sunday, December 26, 1999 11:19:04
From:	pmccarty61@yahoo.com (p. a. mccarty)
I am totally new to this telescope thing, but ready to learn. I got a DS
114 meade telescope for chiristmas, everyone here has checked it out and
the only thing we see is what ever is  in the back of the telescope. I
am wondering if something is not assembled right. everything seems to be
lined up correctly. I tried calling the help line at meade they are
closed. Thought mybe you might have an answer, also is there supposed to
be a piece of black felt over the lens in the front of the telescope.

Thanks for any help

Mike here: Not being familiar with the DS line I really can't address your questions other than the obvious: Have you removed the cover from the sky end of the telescope? Have you inserted an eyepiece and focused it?

Subject:	 Meade AutoStar - with or without EC??
Sent:	Friday, December 24, 1999 18:04:25
From:	lizgraphix@mail.execnet.com (Lizanne Elaine Webb)
I am looking to purchase a Meade DS-114 for my boyfriend.  I noticed
that iQVC is selling it with the AutoStar *instead* of the EC
(interesting).  Does the AutoStar have all the features of the EC (is it
a complete replacement) or ... should I buy a DS-114EC and then buy the
AutoStar additionally? Clearly, I am an amateur and would appreciate
your advice.

Mike here: The Autostar is an option for the DS models. Not certain what iQVC is selling.

Subject:	 Trying to choose a 4.5" reflecting telescope
Sent:	Monday, December 20, 1999 11:05:33
From:	marc.perrone@hksystems.com (Marc Perrone)
I'm trying to select a reflecting telescope for my wife for xmas and
came across your site.  Do you have any thoughts you'd be willing to
share on the Meade DS-114EC vs, say, Apogee, which was recommended over
Meade at the local Science and Surplus store?  Basically I want a
minimum 4.5" scope and am looking to spend between $300 and $500.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!  Please email me at

--Marc Perrone

Subject:	 DS 60EC
Sent:	Thursday, December 16, 1999 20:07:11
From:	jmrn@integrityonline32.com (Jennifer Montoney)
Hi, I am totally baffled, and obviously not in the league of most people
here.  I recently purchased a Meade DS 60EC with the optional Autostar
for my daughter.  We have been trying to get this set up with great
difficulty. HELP!  I am brand new when it comes to astronomy. OK, I can
locate the moon, but that is about it.  I wanted to start off small in
case my daughter's interest didn't last, but even so this was quite an
investment for a 10 year old.  Any tips on alligning the Autostar?  At
this point I am finding it absolutely useless, and I am sure it is
because of my inexperience.  Thanks!
Mike here: Not having a DS model I can't answer aligning an Autostar with it. If the manual describes the HOME position, then you have to put the telescope in that position to start with. That gives the Autostar a known starting point.

Added later:

Thanks for the help.  After looking at your site, I'm ready to pack it
back up and get a ETX90!  Thanks again.

Subject:	 Telescope help needed for Santa!
Sent:	Thursday, December 16, 1999 11:43:39
From:	joyfullday@hotmail.com (J Cooper)
I was supposed to buy a Meade DS 114 EQ-DH telescope for Christmas, but
Sam's only had one left and not all the pieces were in the box. ($199)

Wal-mart had a Meade DS 114EC for $328 and after looking through 3
boxes, I finally found one box that appeared to have all the parts.

What I need to know is if the 114EC is worth the extra money, or should
I shop around and try to find the EQ-DH model?

I know you are as busy as everyone else at this time of the year, but
Santa is running out of time!

Thank you so much for your helpful site, and I hope you can rush an
answer my way before the reindeer get impatient and leave me behind!

: )


Subject:	 ETX-90 or DS-114?
Sent:	Thursday, December 16, 1999 07:53:32
From:	tswain@ghmail1.gibson-homans.com (Todd Swain)
I was wondering if you would compare the following scopes, and tell me
what you thought. I am not against spending the money for the ETX-90,
but I want to make sure that I am getting the most value for the money.
I was also looking at the Meade DS-114 model. I know that these
instruments are very different in design, and I have actually seen one
of the DS-114 scopes in person. My first impression was that it was
cheaply made. It seemed to have a lot of plastic parts and such.
However, I do not know if this would have any bearing on functionality
or life span of the unit. As I said before, I really do appreciate all
the effort you put into this. With out insight from people like
yourself, getting started with a hobby like this would difficult for the
average person. No, losing interest isn't something that I feel is going
to be a problem, I just want to make sure that I am getting a good value
for my buck. Thanks again, and happy holidays.


Subject:	 Meade DS series - Pinout for jacks
Sent:	Tuesday, December 14, 1999 12:55:10
From:	Scott G
I'm looking for the pinout information for the electronic board of the
DS series telescope.  Also on the 12 volt plug, what is the juice
requirements (i.e. mA), and is the post positive or negative?  I talked
to Meade tech support and he told me the center pin is positive, and
they don't have the other information, then we were promptly

Thanks very much!
Scott G

Subject:	 TeleStar 114mm-EC
Sent:	Monday, December 13, 1999 19:48:13
From:	gmfloyd@gw.total-web.net (Greg Floyd)
I just bought a Meade TeleStar DS114-EC and the AutoStar. Was fairly
simple to setup. Verified the alignment and went through the setup for
the Train Drive. During the Easy alignment, the bolt on the end of the
drive shaft for one of the motors came off along with a spacer and
washer. I was able to find all the parts and reassemble, this time with
a properly tightened nut. Will try again weather permitting.

Greg Floyd
Buford, Ga.

Subject:	 Meade DS Models Feedback
Sent:	Saturday, December 11, 1999 07:55:34
From:	hal-9000@home.com (T. Miller)
I tried to contact Bacpackr1@aol.com to find out where he got his 114-EC
for 20% off, but this address isn't valid.

Can you post a request for this info in the DS Models area?

Thank you.

T. Miller

Subject:	FS102 on DS-114 EC
Sent:	Thursday, December 9, 1999 20:15:23
From:	Ottocycle@aol.com
Here is an update on the marriage of the DS114 EC mount and a Takahashi
FS102.  I confirmed that the mount is identical for the Meade 114 or 127
scopes, so the weight penalty for the heavier 4" refractor is about 1.5
pounds more than the 127mm reflector with a 2" 50mm eyepiece.  I used
rubber plumbing couplings to enlarge the Tak's diameter for a snug fit
to the EC mounting rings.  (See attached JPEG)

The scope slews and tracks as expected, with slight overshooting and the
usual dog barking.  The combination is only slightly poorer than with
the 114mm scope, owing to the weight impact on balance and clutch
slippage.  Application of W. Brady's upgrades for the friction clutches
will help out in this regard.  I can see why the ETX90 enjoys such an
advantage with lower mass and a folded optical path.

I don't know what setup changes are made by telescope selection in the
Autostar 497, but there was no perceptible difference between 114 & 127
scope settings.  The extended tripod was adequate for visual work in a
calm breeze.  Anyone expecting Byers-like geartrain  performance will be
disappointed, but this Meade product is truly remarkable for the price
point.  It will meet my casual need for a PC controlled remote scope
with video on those frosty MN nights.

As many of us have discovered, the best telescope is the one that gets
used.  My 10" LX50 stays mostly in the trunk because it's a bear to set
up.  The Meade EC mount and 4" scope can be easily carried in one hand
for quick looks on any weeknight. I don't know what I'll do with the 114
OTA, but my son has dibs on it!

Thanks again for opening up your site to Meade's DS products and
providing a forum for EC/Autostar enthusiasts.
DS114 EC mount and a Takahashi FS102

Subject:	 Autostar DS and Tak FS102
Sent:	Monday, December 6, 1999 12:11:50 PM
From:	mike_gibson@ncs.com (Gibson, Mike)
Didn't research the archives before sharing this, but I plan to use my
DS-114EC alt/az mount and Autostar 497 combo to automate a Takahashi
FS102.  The issue is weight of course, but I will strip the Tak of its
finder, dew cap, and any other nonessentials.  Shouldn't be more than 1
pound over the weight of the DS-114 OTA.

I am baffled as to why folks think the 495's smaller database is more
appropriate for the DS series when the DS-114 or 127 clearly have more
aperture than an ETX90.  I purchased the 497 instead of the 495 because
it will support either ETX or DS series; the 495 is rumored to not fully
support ETX.

Thanks for the great insights as I enjoy GO TO on a budget!

Subject:	DS 114 EC
Sent:	Wednesday, December 1, 1999 18:16:07
From:	Bacpackr1@aol.com
I bought the DS 114 EC without the AutoStar.  It only took me an hour or
so to put it together.  In fact, it was so easy to put together that you
almost do not need the directions.  The only mechanical problem I am
having is that the Electronic Controller has a bit of a delay and will
sometimes move too much to one direction, or sometimes it will get
stuck.  Otherwise, this is a great Telescope.  I got it on Sale for 20%
off !!!

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Copyright © 1999 Michael L. Weasner / etx@me.com
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