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: Meade Ds Model Series Autostar And Drive Motors Sent: Friday, August 31, 2001 08:25:56 From: email@example.com (Mark Birge) Last year we purchased a meade ds 114 series reflector and itis equipped with the autostar and drive motors; the problem was that regardless of how fine the system was aligned and set, the motors would not track correctly. After several attempts to correct and relod software, autostar program data and several hours on the meade service lines, i was able to contact an exceptional customer service representative. The truth to be known is this, several motors and drive sets where sent out, unknowingly that had overdrive problems. The meade representative immediately understood the problem, explained it and shipped overnight a set of replacement motors for the system. To date the system tracks and works great; i would recommend for the average user and youth the ds 114 for use and learning to observe; and the holiday pricing is usually in the average budget. Thanks, just inform other people of the possible problem in tracking motors. Clear skys and warm night's - keep looking up
Subject: Sleeping Autostar Sent: Wednesday, August 15, 2001 20:54:51 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Robert Stephens) Great page! I bougth a 60mm autostar telescope the other day for a fairly decent price. I was about to train the drives when problems arose. While manualy moving it to the home position the power led flickered and the autostar restarted. I tried to move and again the light fliickered but the auto star never came back. The socket on the control module isnt the best but autostar is getting power. The lights come on but littereally nobodies home. I think it shut off durng initialization. Can i reset the controler somehow (internally or externaly). PS I have a bushenell 70mm with a bad focuser. My plans are to build a piggyback mount so that both scopes can be used. Then I want to remove the focuser from the 70mm scope and insert an old old tube style(no CCD) camera in place of the focuser. Then to focus all i need to do is zoom. Should make some neat video. If I were to get a frame grabber to take pictures off the video would there be software that would eliminate static and creat a long exposure effect from multiple frames uploaded. Sincerely MichaelMike here: Assuming the batteries are OK, it sounds like there might be a bad connector. Since it is new I would recommend taking it back to the dealer for an exchange. As to software, AstroStack is probably the best stacking software (Windows) from what I've heard. And it is free.
We talked to meade and they said they would replace it. This is a very special scope. 60mm DS series with the ETX 497 controller! Must have been a mistake. For $170 I got a great buy. I read somewhere that altazimuth was not suitable for photagraphy because the image would roll. Obviuse this is different on different stars but how long can you expose a shot with the spinning effect showing up.Mike here: Yes, stars will rotate in the field-of-view over time when mounted in alt/az mode. The field will rotate completely in 24 hours. How visible this affect will be depends upon the declination of the FOV, your latitude, and the image scale on the film/CCD. There is probably a formula for this but I don't recall it.
Subject: Autostar Controller.... Sent: Tuesday, August 14, 2001 16:30:53 From: email@example.com (Kyle A Ankeny) I was wondering if you could help me with a strange problem with the Autostar controller, or direct me to someone who can. My friend gave me a DS-127 scope with the Autostar controller on it to figure out for him. Now, the controller, after displaying the 'Intializing' message, beeps twice and displays 'NOT FOUND' instead of the Sun Warning and the help message that comes up. After that, I can still slew the motors and use the telescope fine. When I try to align the scope, instead of displaying the message that says to point the telescope North, it beeps and says 'NOT FOUND'. After that, though, it begins slewing to a guide star! I tried to reset the controller and everytime I try it will say 'NOT FOUND' and won't reset! Other than that, though, the scope works fine. One thing I did right before this problem started was to unplug one of the motor cords and unwrap it from around the base, while the power was on. Probably not the smartest thing to do, but could that have in any way caused the problem? I'm not sure what the problem is, and like I said, it's not my scope, so I'm quite anxious about getting it to work right! Thanks for your time, Kyle AnkenyMike here: It could be that the database was corrupted by the power interruption. That could be the source of the "Not Found" if it is trying to locate something in the database (like your location) or the date. If resetting doesn't work you may be stuck unless you can redownload the software to the Autostar (assuming it isn't physically damaged).
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (richard seymour) Sure sounds like the database is damaged. The "NOT FOUND"s arise from the Autostar trying to look up the various messages you -should- be seeing, and drawing a blank. It's -possible- that many other things are working. If you know the key presses to get there, a Object > SolarSystem > Mars [enter][goto] might actually slew to the right spot in the sky You didn't mention what kind of Autostar it is (numeric keypad (495/497) or not (494/starfinder)) If it's a 495/497, the fix is "simple"... use the SAFE LOAD procedure and download new firmware (you'll need to buy or build a 505 cable). The symptom you describe could also happen if a download was performed with mixed versions of the autostar.rom and dbase.rom files. good luck --dick
Subject: DS-90 Sent: Saturday, August 4, 2001 5:52:29 From: email@example.com (Roger Schroeder) I am pleased to see you have added a DS section to your web site. It is discouraging to see so many negative comments about the various DS scope because I like my DS-90 very much. I selected it after reading the Sky & Telescope reports on the DS series and on the ETX-125. S&T essentially said that the central obstruction takes almost 40% of the aperture area and that one would could do just as well with a good 3" refractor. And so I bought the DS-90. I can see the bands on Jupiter and Saturn and the major ring division on Saturn. I have cleanly split the Double-double in Lyra. Mars didn't show any detail this summer, but views of the mood were wonderful. The 90 performs better than my old, scratch built 8" reflector. The Autostar takes some time to learn. The instruction manual is poor for someone that has no experience with it. The Weasner web site is very helpful. After making lots of practice alignments in the daytime when I can see what I am doing, I think I have it under control. It found the Wild Duck Cluster for me two weeks ago. I had never found it fumbling around with my 8". Does anyone else like their 90? Roger Schroeder firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: DS Powered Mount Sent: Wednesday, August 1, 2001 21:49:10 From: email@example.com (Steve & Cathy Bedair) Here's two DS powered mounts that I have just completed. One is a new mount for my Intes MK 66 and a mount for my 10" dob. Both mounts use the 497 Autostar. Accuracy is fantastic for both. You can see more pics at: "people.txucom.net/bedair/ScopeStuff.html" As always Mike thanks for the great web site, Steve Bedair
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