DS MODELS USER FEEDBACK
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Last updated: 30 August 2003
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 114EQ-DH
Sent:	Friday, August 29, 2003 19:40:26
From:	jhook2@cfl.rr.com (Jason Hook)
Hello, I have a 114EQ-DH (or Meade 4500 series) 114mm Newtonian on a
German Equatorial Mount, would I be able to order a #493 kit or similar
to add the AutoStar system to it.  Right now it has the R.A. tracking
motor with controller and 12v battery pack.  I am guessing that i would
only have to get the other motor, the control panel and Autostar hand
box, correct?

Thanyou,

Jason Hook
jhook2@cfl.rr.com

Your site is a great resource to all, thank you for keeping it up.
Mike here: I believe that is correct. There are several Yahoo Groups that support the 4500 series; you might confirm it there.
Subject:	Question
Sent:	Friday, August 29, 2003 16:57:02
From:	almighty_evil@hotmail.com (evil i am)
Hi. My question concerns replacement parts. I haven't used my Meade
Polaris 114EQ-D in a while, but when I got it out the other day I found
my children had removed several critical pieces! I'm missing 2
Viewfinder screws,1 tripod leg adj. lock knob, & the counterweight lock
knob. I visited the Meade website, but found I'll have to use snail-mail
for an answer from tech support. So, do you know any faster/other way to
get these pieces or any others that might later come up missing? Thank
you!

almighty_evil@hotmail.com
Mike here: Please see the "Email Etiquette" item on the ETX Site Home Page; your email was almost deleted unread as SPAM. Meade accepts 800# phone calls and faxes.
Subject:	Triangle view in site piece
Sent:	Thursday, August 28, 2003 11:51:12
From:	docron@einsteinonline.com (docron)
I have a 4504 Meade and can't seem to get it all together.  My first
problem is there is a triangular shape in the eyepiece from the
crosshairs overlapping the object that want to look at, is that normal
or is my telescope out of alignment.

Ron
Mike here: Do you mean a "mirror", which deflects the light up through the eyepiece hole? That's normal for many telescope models.
Subject:	telestar model ds-2130at
Sent:	Wednesday, August 27, 2003 22:02:31
From:	Budhelen21@aol.com
we tried to use this scope to see mars but because we didn't know what
we were doing we got no where can you help us understand how to use this
for the future
Mike here: Read the manual indoors THREE times. Play with the telescope indoors until you understand how to use it. This makes it easier to learn the telescope before you go outside and use the telescope in the dark. If you have specific questions after you've done that, feel free to write.
Subject:	Question about Meade Model DS 114
Sent:	Wednesday, August 27, 2003 19:49:11
From:	aperricone@earthlink.net (anthony perricone)
I recently purchased the Meade DS 114 Saturn telescope (D=114mm,
F=910mm, f/8).  I am a novice at using a telescope and I am trying to
view Mars.   However, what I see is simply a bright star-like object
without any surface detail or definition whatsover.   I have tried
different combination of lens along with a Barlow lens.   Am I doing
something wrong or is my telescope not capable of more than this?

Your reply will be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,
Tony Perricone  
Mike here: You should be able to see a very small disk, with a white spot (the Southern Polar Ice Cap) at one limb. I don't know what magnifications you've tried but even at 100X you should see something. Be certain to let Mars get fairly high in the sky and to let your telescope reach "thermal equilibrium" with the outside air.

And:

Thank you so much for replying so quickly.  Once again we tried veiwing
Mars last night but were a bit disappointed.  No polar ice cap.  We used
the following magnification:

36x - clear view but no detail, just looked like a very bright star

72x - same as 36x but a bit larger

227x - larger but very fuzzy, no detail at all

We viewed Mars between midnight - 1 am.  We brought our telescope
outside just at the time we were viewing.  It was not a terribly cool
night and I suspect the difference between the house temperature and the
outside temperature was about 20 degrees.  Could that make a big
difference?

Do you think we could use a better, high power lens?  We are only using
the standard lenses that came with the telescope.  Can you recommend a
better lens?  We have also tried using the Barlow which came with the
telescope but the results are even less satisfactory.

I very much appreciate your thoughtful and generous help.

Best wishes,
Tony
Mike here: Keep in mind that the max usable magnification for any telescope (at least the ones you can afford) is twice the aperture in millimeters. As you get close to that value and exceed it, the image will get fuzzy, just as you described at 227X. And yes, the temperature differential can make a definite difference in image stability. It sounds like you need a different eyepiece; something that will give you close to the max magnification.

And:

Thanks so much for the explanations Mike.  I'll keep those points in
mind and it sounds as if I need to invest in a better eyepiece.  Any
recommendations?

Thanks so much again,
Tony
Mike here: See the Buyer/New User Tips page as well as the Accessory Reviews - Eyepieces page.
Subject:	your web site
Sent:	Wednesday, August 27, 2003 15:56:44
From:	mickeddie@comcast.net
I just have to say I love your cats!!!

Do you know off hand of any good sites for DS owners??  I am really new
at this, bought the scope because it was really inexpensive for a 114mm,
and don't use it often.  But it seems there are more ETX users so I am
curious what the difference is between the DS and ETX scopes.

Thanks,

Eddie Goldberg
Mike here: There is a DS Yahoo Group and some DS Sites; check the Astronomy Links page. As to differences between the ETX and DS telescopes, check the online Product Catalog at Meade's site.
Subject:	re:   Meade 114EQ-DH4 question
Sent:	Tuesday, August 26, 2003 22:11:30
From:	rseymour@wolfenet.com (Richard Seymour)
To:	zanmerle1@msn.com
May i invite/urge you to join the Yahoo discussion group:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Meade4504Telescopes/

The Meade 4504 and the 114EQ-DH4 are exactly the same telescope,
with the same Starfinder controller.

IF you buy a 495 or 497 Autostar (the models with the numeric keypad)
you can control your telescope by applying my patch kit to the
firmware during an update.  The kits are posted under Mike's
Autostar Info web page.

have fun
--dick

Subject:	Meade DS2130 Ate
Sent:	Tuesday, August 26, 2003 15:53:23
From:	GWKC1186@aol.com
My questions concern digital photography with the Meade Telstar that my
husband purchased today.  The manual says it is possible as well as
Terrestrial photography, but as I know next to nothing about this type
of photography, any information will be greatly appreciated.

Kristy
Mike here: See the Helpful Information - Astrophotography page; lots of info there.
Subject:	Instructions
Sent:	Sunday, August 24, 2003 15:02:46
From:	water@clanefe.com (Water[EFE])
In the excitement of receiving a telescope I managed to lose the
instructions. It is a DS-60 , D=60mm F=700mm f/11.7 telestar. Any
suggestions? as I have tried the meade hotline without success.
Thank-you  Denise circe141@yahoo.com
Mike here: You mean Meade refused to send a manual? Anyway, see the FAQ page.
Subject:	Meade 114EQ-DH4 question
Sent:	Sunday, August 24, 2003 05:14:12
From:	zanmerle1@msn.com (EUGENE SOUTHARD)
I'm hoping you can help me out... my understanding is that you're an
expert on this subject.

I own a Meade 114EQ-DH4 (motor driven equatorial mount).  It does not
come with an "Autostar" (494), but instead it has a "Starfinder".  But
from all the pictures that I've seen, they outwardly appear to be
identical.  Can I load Meade's new/fresh firmware into my Starfinder? 
And if so, are there any drawbacks I should know about?

Many - many thanks,
Merle Southard 
Mike here: I believe the Starfinder is identical to the Autostar #494. Unfortunately, Meade has not offered any user-installable update to the #494.

And:

thank you very much for the info... and the fast reply.
have a nice week,
merle

Subject:	Meade 114 eq-dh
Sent:	Wednesday, August 20, 2003 15:57:28
From:	gamom@comcast.net
I a trying to determine the value of our telescope - Meade electronic
114 eq- dh.  Cant find that exact model anywhere on web so far.  Any
Idea of its value?
Mike here: Sorry, no. Have you checked eBay for similar models?

And:

Yes I have, no luck. Any assistance would be appreciated.  Interested in
buying?

Subject:	Meade:  ETX-70AT or DS-90AT ???
Sent:	Tuesday, August 19, 2003 20:52:40
From:	jswilt@yahoo.com (J W)
I'm looking at both, mostly for viewing the planets, with the wife and
kids.  (Mars, right now, of course.) I can get either for about $260,
including Autostar and tripod.

Is there an obvious choice between these two, for these purposes?

Thanks for your advice,
Jim Wiltshire
Mike here: There is a significant difference in focal length between the two models; the ETX is a short focal (350mm) whereas the DS is longer (1000mm). The longer focal length will mean higher magnifications for a given eyepiece. However, since the aperture is the same (90mm) the maximum magnification will be the same (about 180X). For planets you will likely like the DS model better.

And:

Wow, quick response, Mike.  Thanks for the advice.
The DS-90 (at Sam's Club, by the way -- no problem there, right?) has a
Barlow lens included, too, I think.  Sounds like that's the better
choice.
Thanks again.
- Jim
Mike here: Keep in mind that support will be limited for purchases at non-traditional telescope dealers.
Subject:	DS-2114 elevation drive problems
Sent:	Tuesday, August 19, 2003 16:02:13
From:	John
I recently purchased a DS-2114ATS and immediately had elevation drive
problems.  At first it would go down, but not up.  Now it does not like
to do either.  The motor sounds like it is running.  I played with the
tightness of the knob, to little avail. Also, do you know the
differences between the 2114ATS, the 2114ATSA, and the 2114ATSE?

John Bloodgood
Mike here: I don't have a DS model so can't answer directly. But it sounds like you could be overtightening the axis lock or your battery power is too low.
Subject:	Autostar Repair
Sent:	Tuesday, August 19, 2003 10:20:38
From:	phil@boehmteam.com (Phil Boehm)
I have a bit of a problem.  I purchased a DS-114 which came with what
the documentation lists as an Autostar #493.  The unit appears dead and
I was wondering if you had any resources for repairing this unit. I
tried to call Meade for tech assist, but it appears they are only
interested in supporting retailers. I don't have a computer interface,
so uploads are not possible. I can't even get it to power up. Tried the
"enter+scroll down" with no luck (probably not supported with this
model).

I was part of the "downsizing of America" recently and don't have the
cash to replace the unit. I am an electronics engineer, but have very
little test equipment. I have a feeling I may have fried it with a
battery pack that had too little juice.
 
Any help you can provide would be appreciated,
Phil Boehm
Mike here: Repairing it is likely not an option. HOWEVER, you can purchase a used #494, #495, or #497 which will work with your telescope. Only the #495 and #497 are currently user-upgradable to the current ROM version (2.6Ed).
Subject:	Meade ds-2130 ATE
Sent:	Sunday, August 17, 2003 16:26:17
From:	MSUDIST@aol.com
I have a meade ds-1230ate with autostart when I enter the time, and date
every thing works OK until it gets to the day light saving time when I
press yes or no and then inter it locks up no mater what key you push it
will not work. You can push the keys for the motors and they will work.
I've try turn it off then on but it still locks up. What can I do to fix
this?
Thanks Rick

Mike here: Have you tried a RESET? Press MODE several times after power on until you see SETUP, then scroll to RESET. Then you should go through the initial use steps.

And:

I've try pressing mode several times after power on but it will not go
into SETUP.
Mike here: What model Autostar do you have? If the #495 or #497 I suggest doing a software update using the software on Meade's site. If you have the #494, there is no update available.
Subject:	How to making an computer cable to work with a Saturn DS-114?
Sent:	Sunday, August 17, 2003 11:30:40
From:	frenchman124@adelphia.net (Roy Yax)
I am having a problem with connecting my Saturn DS-114 Telescope with My
laptop I have a Standard controler for the telescope the one with no
numbers only speed, direction, a mode button, and focus in and out. I
bought a 505 cable( Which only has any end large enough to fit in the
aux jack) connector with the serial adaptor but When I run the ACP
program all I get are errors. Is there anyway to make cable that will
work with ACP that I can plug into the HXB jack. A Cat5e cable fits in
but I don't know if I need to add any resistors or other things to make
it work with my Telescope and one other thing is there specific software
serial drivers that work with my software and telescope
thanks
Roy
Mike here: To start with you need an Autostar controller, not the standard handcontroller. You can use a #494, #495, or #497. You can likely find used #494 and #495 ones on eBay. You can even upgrade the #495 to a #497 using Meade's Autostar Updater Application. You can use the #505 cable with the #495 or #497 (but not the #494). The #505 cable will connect to the Autostar (not the AUX port).
Subject:	DS Series kit DOA?!
Sent:	Friday, August 15, 2003 22:20:24
From:	Ginahoy@aol.com
I just purchased a DS series Alt/Az mount with motors and 492 non-goto
paddle. The little wiring panel on this model has no on/off switch.
According to the instructions, you just plug in the paddle, motors, then
the power supply and it runs.

Anyway, when I hooked everything up, the LED on the wiring panel didn't
light. The LED's on the 492 paddle didn't light either. My obvious first
step was to make sure there weren't any wiring problems with the power
supply. I checked the voltage at the connector and everything was fine.

I also purchased an Autostar 494 hand controller (This DS mount is
destined for my 11x70 binoculars -- that's right, GOTO binocs!). So I
disconnected the power and swapped the 492 paddle for the 494 --- no
cigar.

Finally, the 494 hand control came with a wiring panel identical to the
one on the mount, so I swapped it out... still nothing.

It doesn't seem likely that both wiring panels (or both paddles) are
defective. Maybe I'm not holding my mouth right! Any idea what's going
on here?

David Butler
Mike here: If the LED doesn't light and the Autostars don't work, it sounds like the panel is not getting power. Have you checked that the DC wiring isn't reversed? In fact, what power supply are you using?

And:

Sorry, I should have included that info. I'm using the power supply that
came with the 494 / motor kit. It's a cheapo plastic battery holder (10
AA) with a vinyl cover and coaxial connector (center positive).

THE PROBLEM IS NOW SOLVED
Just for grins, I plugged in the power supply sans paddle or motors. The
LED on the wiring panel lit up. So I added the paddle, and the LED got
dimmer. Then I added the motors and the LED went out all together.

So my not-fresh batteries were the culprit, even though collectively
they measured 13.8v. I figured this was plenty since the mount is rated
at 12v. (I figured the 15 volt supply was just for good measure. The
ETX-90EC comes with same motors and same 492 paddle but only hold 8
batteries. Go figure!)

It may just be a "current" issue... I have one of those 17-amp-hr
jump-start power supplies that charges to about 13.6 volts. I'm going to
find out now if it will run my new toy. If not, I'm going to be a bit
miffed!

Sorry for the miscue, and thanks,
David Butler

If you see 50 degrees of sky through your telescope, you're probably
looking through the wrong end!

...don't ask =:o

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