Last updated: 31 August 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:	Meade Ds Model Series Autostar And Drive Motors
Sent:	Friday, August 31, 2001 08:25:56
From:	cool.tech@home.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

Subject:	Sleeping Autostar
Sent:	Wednesday, August 15, 2001 20:54:51
From:	rstephens@bbc.net (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

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.

Mike 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:	astronomer_kyle@juno.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 Ankeny
Mike 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:	rseymour@wolfenet.com (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

Subject:	DS-90
Sent:	Saturday, August 4, 2001 5:52:29
From:	rsch01@earthlink.net (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

Subject:	DS Powered Mount
Sent:	Wednesday, August 1, 2001 21:49:10
From:	bedair@tucomm.net (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:


As always Mike thanks for the great web site,
Steve Bedair
DS mounts

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Copyright © 2001 Michael L. Weasner / etx@me.com
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