DS MODELS USER FEEDBACK
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: mounting a video camera on a Meade Autostarted mount Sent: Wednesday, June 6, 2001 21:13:50 From: email@example.com (richard seymour) To: firstname.lastname@example.org The answer about the motor noise is quite simple: buy an LX-90! It's a LOT quieter (you can muffle the whimpering from your wallet) the "throw-away" optical tube assembly (OTA) will find many, many takers on Ebay... for that matter, i'll take it! It will have *no* problem with your camera, lightbar, shotgun microphone (much more power in the drives) The perfect answer! --dick Society for the Creative Use of Autostars (and associated Starfinders)
Subject: User's Review of DS-114 Sent: Wednesday, June 6, 2001 13:25:06 From: Chris@csigeo.com (Christopher A. Bevers) Just in case you wanted, I thought I'd shoot off a quick email on a review of the DS-114 AT that I have had for about a month. I've really gotten into astronomy, and have learned a lot from various sites and using the scope. I would highly recommend beginners go to www.telescope.com and use their educational pages - very helpful! In any case, to get to the telescope. I would not recommend this scope to anyone, especially a beginner. The optics are the best part about the scope, and they are mediocre at best. I've had so many problems with the scope Meade knows my address by heart. The eyepieces supplied are worthless, and I had to call Meade for an adapter to use standard 1.25" eyepieces. Once I started using Plossl eyepieces the viewing improved, but the scope is difficult to use, mostly because it is a motor driven scope, but the Autostar system just is not accurate enough to be useful. This is my suggestion for any beginners: a goto telescope sounds great, but unless you spend the big bucks, it will just frustrate you. The best beginning telescope is a Dobsonian, get about a 6" (you'll spend less on a 6" "Dob" than the DS-114 which is only 4.5"), and buy a good book on star hopping. Once you're really into astronomy, spend the big bucks on an 8" Nexstar from Celestron. The best ""Dob"" on the market today is the SkyQuest (see Sky & Telescope) available from Orion at www.telescope.com.
Subject: Meade DS questions Sent: Tuesday, June 5, 2001 19:48:30 From: email@example.com (Kathy Zendner) Hi ... I also just purchased the Meade DS-127. I am also having problems with the vertical lock nut on the DS mount that comes with the scope. I have tried several different fixes recommended by other DS users. It seems as though this is common with the DS mounts either the vertical lock and or horizontal. You can remove the lock nut and then you will see the bolt. It has a slot on the end. If you take a large slot end srewdriver and insert it in the bolt;then while holding the bolt tightly lightly nudge the OTA. If it moves at all then you have a bad mount. You should contact Meade and have them replace the mount. I just found this out last week and Meade is going to replace my mount. Kathy Zendner firstname.lastname@example.org ================================================ Chuck Zendner, (©¿©) Email: email@example.com ZWN Internet Services http://www.zeewebnet.com/ Chuck & Kathy's Home Page http://www.zendner.com/ ================================================ Note : The above email will contain misspellings, grammatical errors, general confusion or may not make any since at all. These features are added to represent the way I speak in person. I do not want to misrepresent myself on the internet by using proper communication skills.
Subject: Meade Telescope Video Camera Mounting Plate Adapter Sent: Monday, June 4, 2001 12:28:55 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Matthew A. Johnson) Howdy! I have a DSE60 Meade Telescope. I love it! (Now the next paragraph does tie into this one so please be patient.) As my wife and I were watching last years Christmas videos of the family, we noticed that the manual adjust tripod we use for our video camera was not cutting the mustard when it came to getting those special gift faces. You know, Tears of joy, Misty eyes, giant smiles, and the "what were they thinking" fake smiles. We either missed the shot or one of us was busy re-aligning the camera to get a shot and thus missed the whole thing. We have one fo those Sony's with the little screen that folds out 90 degrees from the body and flips completely over so that you can see what the camera sees from in front of the camera (Sorry for the confusion with that last bit) We decided that a remote controlled tripod was the way to go. To make a long story short. No one makes a reasonably priced one for a camcorder. So I got to looking at my telescope tripod and lo and behold! I had an ideal! Use the DSE60's tripod! It has a remote! it rotates all the direstions that one needs to fully capture the moment on video. Now I assumed that Meade would make such a mounting to for a camcorder. I have looked all over the net for one but with no luck. Then I found your page! Could you please let me know if you have ever heard of or seen any info on such an item. Also, have you heard of a way to muffle the sound that those tiny little motors make? Thanks Matthew A. JohnsonMike here: Interesting idea. I don't recall seeing such a "reverse adapter" for mounting a camera directly to the tripod but you could probably make one fairly easily. As to muffling the sound from the drives, you could place a box lined with cloth over the tripod head.
Subject: Meade DS model question Sent: Wednesday, May 23, 2001 11:43:55 From: email@example.com (Michael Van Grunsven) I love your site, lots of very useful information on it. I have a couple of questions that I hope you or someone on your site may know the answer to. I have a meade model ds-127ec that I'm having problems with. The mount on the scope is so loose that I can't even touch the focusing knobs without pushing it out of alignment. At first I thought that the knobs on the mount were just loose and not providing enough friction on the drive gears, but I've cranked them down as far as I can an still no luck. It seems like the knobs are bottoming out on the casing before they are really tight. I was thinking of just adding some washers in between the knobs and the drive gears in hopes that it would allow the knobs to add more friction, but I thought I'd see if you or any of your site visitors had any suggestions first. On a related note, it seems that the tolerances on the drive gears are too large. I can manually move the scope by hand about an inch in any direction before it encounters any resistance. This is really irritating as it makes objects move out of the field of view (even at low power) with only slight pressure on the eye-piece or focus knobs. Any suggestions? My second question is about software to control the scope. I'm a software engineering student at Oregon Institute of Technology and I want to write software to drive my scope as my senior project. I thought I remembered seeing somewhere on you site that the command set for the DS models is the same as the LX and ETX models, but now I can't find it. Did I just imagine this? Do you know if the DS does use the same commands, or know of somewhere with a command set for DS models? Thanks and keep up the good work on your site, MikeMike here: The Autostar understands some of the LX200 commands (see the item on the Autostar Information page); I don't recall any specifics about the StarFinder (what I think the DS has; but it is similar I think).
Subject: re: Meade DS127 and autostar #497 Sent: Wednesday, May 16, 2001 21:54:01 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (richard seymour) To: email@example.com All models of ETX,DS and LX will happily keep following an object after it sets and (possibly) slowly smash into their bases. The firmware only checks for "below horizon" at the initial GoTo. It does not recalculate clearances during simple sidereal motion. This has bothered me for over a year, too. I will look into the code and see if there is an easy fix. But i doubt it... as i remember it, the sidereal drive "merely" does incremental motions, without recalculating absolute Altitude each time. (conversely, it is quite fun to follow a planet or the moon as it sets behind the forest which forms my western horizon... to see Venus shining from -between- tree branches 50km away is amazing...) have fun... --dick
Subject: Meade DS127 and autostar #497 Sent: Wednesday, May 16, 2001 3:04:13 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Sylvain Weiller) I am concerned about what I think is a bug in the autostar program : In late evening a couple of days ago, I programmed the autostar on Mars. By that time it was above horizon but hidden for me by the nearby hill. When I woke up during the night, I looked throught the scope on the Red planet. After that I went back to bed. In the morning I had the surprise to see the DS127 blocked on the mount at horizontal position while the autostar still tracking ... Mars probably underground ! If there is no confusion from me it seems that the program does not make any verification when tracking to pause the mount in case the object goes below the horizon !! This could maybe act negatively on the motors ?? and then should be corrected. BTW it is probably the same when the tracking has the effect to move the scope in touch with the mount. In my opinion, Meade should provide an option on menus to stop; if wanted, the tracking for both thoses problems. What do you think ? Also I made a special page to show how to avoid a couple of problems with the DS127 autostar. I you like you can make a link to : http://sweiller.free.fr/ATMindex.html Best Regards, Amicalement, Sylvain ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Sylvain Weiller, St Rmy ls Chevreuse (RER B), FRANCE LA N4842'07" LO E204'36" ALT 87m E-mail: email@example.com Site astronomique en franais : "Au Paradis des Webcams Astronomiques" http://www.astrosurf.com/sweiller contributions http://www.astrocam.org/ Membre de "Liste Astrocam" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Membre de WEBCAMASTRO@egroups.fr "Quand je vais me coucher, par beau ou par mauvais, Je me lve bientt, dans mes rves douillets !" (L'astronome heureux, SW) English Astronomy Web Site : "Teh Webcam paradise & 3D imaging" http://sweiller.free.fr/ and contribution to http://www.astrocam.org/ Also member of QCUIAG "QuickCam and Unconventional Imaging Astronomy" QCUIAG@egroups.com http://www.astrabio.demon.co.uk/QCUIAG/ and also WEBCAMASTRO@egroups.fr ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Mike here: Does sound like a bug. On the ETX scopes with Autostar, there is a PARK function that stops the tracking without losing the alignment. And it saves power too because it allows the scope electrical power to be turned off.
Thanks a lot. There is a park function which put the DS facing North and horizontal and ask to cut the power supply. There is also a pause function which turn off the motors but not the clocks. I don't think it is related with the DS as it is the same computer-autostar #497 for all the models (you can choose the scope inside the menus). The problem is that when tracking goes subhorizontal there is no pause function ! I don't understand why it would be only available with the ETX ? Do you mean that on the ETX, if the scope goes below horizon there is some kind of mecanical detection and the autostar goes into sleep mode ? Could you give me some further information ? Could you contact Meade to see if they can solve this in the next upgrade (but I really wonder why I would be the first to encouter this bug ?) Best regards, Amicalement, SylvainMike here: Have you reported the problem to email@example.com? If not, I suggest that you report it, fully describing your system and how to duplicate the error. While you won't get a reply they do read the mail and that is how fixes get implemented. I haven't let the ETX track an object to the horizon; I'll have to try that test on my next free moment.
Subject: aaagggggghhhhhhhhh!!! Sent: Saturday, May 5, 2001 20:15:19 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Richard La Cour) I just picked picked up a Meade DS-114 EC telescope with autostar. (it looks like they have been clearing them out to make way for the new scopes). After reading your site (which seems WAY more up to date than Meades (which I cannot even log onto for 2 days since they are down), I've got more of a headache now than when I bought the scope. Is there a simple, beginner astronomer area you can recommend? After trying to update the autostar to the 2.4 version I switched it out with another because it just acted flakey. I ran into the expired elements problems you have posted with the satelites (silly me thought everything was point and click). Everything bad I've seen seems to have been mentioned on your site, but I dont have the experience to know what the flying ?????? you guys are talking about. Even updating the autostar by downloadiing the 2.4 software (which one readme.txt says to download the roms separately to get to work on the 495 and another said the oposite) seems an effort. You wouldnt know where a fresh beginner could turn to could you? Or any clubs in the Orlando, Florida (which all satellites have expired) area. Any help would be appreciated. I was hoping to adapt the DC-114 with a camera for pictures, but since I cannot find anything but the moon, I'm not sure of my options. Thanks for any help you can give me. And sorry for the long paragraph! -Richard LaCour www.richardlacour.com (which I'm hoping to put some links and astronomy data here if I can figure it out!)Mike here: Sorry to hear about your problems. You can check the Sky & Telescope web site (www.skypub.com) for a club listing. You can read through the Buyer/New User Tips page as well as the Autostar Information page, some of which may be helpful to you. It does take some practice and some learning to get comfortable with what these new fangled scopes can do. Even when I started out with my 3" reflector 40 years ago there was stuff to learn. By the way, I took my 3" reflector outside for looks at Jupiter tonight. Brought back a lot of pleasant memories.
Subject: DS or ETX Sent: Saturday, May 5, 2001 18:41:46 From: email@example.com (abcuellar) Hy, I am planning to buy an ETX90EC but I saw the DS-90EC they both are 90mm telescopes. What is the diference between them?I want a telescope that can see clear. I prefer a small clear image than a large fuzzy image. What is my best choice? please Help me Oh,and COOL siteMike here: I have no experience with the DS-90EC, which is a refractor. It's focal length (1000mm) is slightly shorter than the ETX-90EC Maksutov-Cassegrain (1250mm). There are differences in size and mounting capabilities.
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