DS MODELS USER FEEDBACK
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Last updated: 26 February 2008

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:	Question regarding Meade DS-2000 series Autostar #494 controller equiped.
Sent:	Monday, February 25, 2008 10:56:43
From:	stange34@sbcglobal.net
Do you know if this telescope can be remotely controlled with a computer
using the extra phone jack on the telescope mounting base? There is no
jack on the controller itself.

I suspect the telephone jack can only be used to download updated star
data.

Thankyou,
Larry
Yuba City Sentinel 
Mike here: Yes, you can control the telescope from a computer. For the #494 AutoStar you will need a #506 serial cable. Unfortunately, that is not a cable that is easily made since it has special electronics embedded in the cable. If you got a #497 AutoStar then you could connect using a #505 serial cable, which is easy to make using information on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page. NOTE: if your computer doesn't have a real RS-232 serial port (not the same as the phone jack for an internal modem) then you will need a USB-serial adapter. However, not all work reliably with the AutoStar so you should read through the article "AutoStar and USB" on the AutoStar Info page.
Subject:	Autostar 497 43e with DS 492 system problems.
Sent:	Monday, February 11, 2008 12:51:05
From:	Joe Whittenton (dansby@austin.rr.com)
I rescently got a DS-70 with the 492 system and a 495 hand paddle.  I
upgraded the paddle to 497 without issue.  The problem:  The little
paddle that cam with the 492 system basicly does nothing.  I have power.
The lights come on as the manual states, but the motors barely respond
to the arrow keys.  They will only move one direction no matter what
dirrection arrow is used and do not move for about 5 seconds or so after
you hit the arrows and they only move for about 3 seconds full speed. 
Both motors do this.  I also have a 494 hand paddle.  When i use this
the paddle, it powers up then the back light goes out and i see very
faintly "IN DOWLOAD" on the screen.  With the 497, the second the unit
gets power the motors pulse at full speed in one direction in 3 second
intervals.  Nothing I have done can stop the motors.  I have reset the
paddles, set them to DS-70, ran the calibration.  I can't TRAIN them
because i cant get control of the motors.    Both the 494 and 497
paddles work fine on my ETX-60at.   I'm guessing the encoders are fried
in the motors but both with the exact same problem?   Any ideas?
 
Joe
Mike here: Since the AutoStar models you have should work with the DS telescopes and since they work with the ETX telescope, and since the simple handcontroller doesn't work, it sounds like you are correct in thinking that something is amiss in the telescope. It could be the motors or it could be the motor control circuits.
Subject:	re: Meade DS-2114ATS-??
Sent:	Friday, February 8, 2008 06:26:21
From:	richard seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
The -TC  means "Timer Chip"... that model includes the
"clock" portion of the LNT, so it can self-set the
time and date when it's turned on.

It does not include the electronic compass and level sensor
of the -LNT.

have fun
--dick
From:	Darner, Steve (GE Healthcare) (Steven.Darner@med.ge.com)
Dick and Mike

Thanks for the info 
The meade site is lacking data for older products. 

Steve 

Subject:	Meade DS-2114ATS-??
Sent:	Monday, February 4, 2008 07:07:37
From:	Darner, Steve (GE Healthcare) (Steven.Darner@med.ge.com)
For several years I've seen the Meade DS-2114ATS-TC at Walmart for about
$300. Now Sams club has it for $150 missing the manual.

As I try to look on meade.com, I find the new model is Meade
DS-2114ATS-LNT. ($350 at Walmart.com) What is the difference? As far as
I can tell LNT = Level North Technology I have not found anything that
describes TC. meade doesnt have email support. Should I hold off for the
latest or higher level model? Or even a different brand? Am I asking the
right guy? Is there someone/somewhere else to look for this information?
 
Thanks
Steve
Mike here: I don't have the DS models so can't answer directly. Yes, the LNT model adds Meade's "Level North Technology", which automates finding North and leveling the telescope and then aligning the telescope to the sky. Whether or not that is useful or even needed depends on your preferences. As to holding off, yes, you can always wait before buying as there is always something new coming out. Just like with computers; you can wait and never buy. But keep in mind that the best telescope for you is the one that gets used.
Subject:	Quasar by Mead DS 114EC
Sent:	Friday, February 1, 2008 10:25:08
From:	henrysrogers (rogers41@comcast.net)
I graduated from a Model ETX-90/EC (which I still have and enjoy) to the
DS 114EC.
I guess I'm a dinosaur, I can't use it.
Are there instructors in the Atlanta area?
This has got to be great, if I could learn to use it.
Thanks,
Henry Rogers
Mike here: Can you elaborate on what you think you are doing wrong or think you don't know? I assume you have read the manual, three times, and played with the telescope indoors to learn its operation. If not then do that.

And:

I can get it set up.
I can not get it trued in because I can't see/recognize the starting
targets.
Once I get it aligned on a recognizable object, say Mars, it doesn't
skew properly and earth's rotation takes Mars out of sight.  I did see
the rings of Saturn, but not for long.
Yes, I have "studied" the manual and done several dry runs.
I need a hands-on instructor.  I learn much better by live instruction
than by reading the instructions.
Thanks!
Henry
Mike here: There are alignment star charts for the AutoStar on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page. That should help you identify the alignment stars. Once you have the telescope properly aligned it should track OK. You might need to do a CALIBRATE MOTOR and TRAIN DRIVES. I don't have a DS so can't answer directly beyond that. Perhaps a local telescope dealer or astronomy group will be able to provide the instruction you want. Go to the "Sky and Telescope" web site (http://www.skyandtelescope.com/) and click on "Clubs & Organizations"; hopefully you will be able to find something close to you. Or perhaps a Site visitor will respond.

And:

Thanks!
Good suggestions.
I'll try to find instructions on calibration and training.
I'll check the website for locals.
Thanks!
Henry

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