DS MODELS USER FEEDBACK
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Last updated: 1 September 2005
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:	DS aligment
Sent:	Monday, August 29, 2005 21:07:32
From:	Andras Katona (andraskatona@gmail.com)
I understood that you are an expert in Autostar GOTO models.

I have a MEADE DS 2114 telescope and I have problems with the alignment.
All of my settings are fine (telescope type, date, time and place). When
I start I put the scope down more or less leveled and more or less to
the north (but horizontal).

Then I do the easy alignment and right when I set the second star in the
middle of the eyepiece and hit ENTER, the star immediately moves up by
0.5 (as the motors start to work). Then more or less it follows that
star (but the star is always on the edge of the eyepiece and not in the
middle).

Also when I use the arrow keys to move the scope, when I press one of
the keys the motor speeds up but the tube does not move for a second.
Then the tube speeds up as well. It is a bit like a slipping clutch or
similar. Both locks are tight.

Do you have any idea about what is happening and what should I do?

Thanks for your help in advance.
 
Best regards,
Andras Katona
Mike here: Have you done a CALIBRATE MOTORS and TRAIN DRIVES?
Subject:	Choice between telescopes....
Sent:	Monday, August 29, 2005 13:31:22
From:	Witthoft, Melissa ((US - Wilton)) (mwitthoft@DELOITTE.com)
I will be purchasing a telescope (a gift) for a beginning adult.  The
telescope needs to be substantive enough to "grow into" and, in the
research I've done, I've isolated 2 different Meade models and would
appreciate your recommendations on them (or recommend an entirely
different model if you think best).  The 2 models are:

MEADE 80EQ-A 
MEADE ETX-70AT 

Obviously, there are differences between them but the cost is similar. 
I don't think we need the automatic feature (although maybe in a couple
of years I'll regret that decision) so I'm somewhat shying away from the
ETX.  It seems that the 80EQ-A is a lot of telescope for the price
(focal ratio, aperture, etc).

(As an aside, I was very impressed with the power of the ETX-90 but it's
much more expensive and I don't think I want to go that high.)

What would you advise?  Thanks in advance for your attention to this.

Melissa 
Mike here: I applaud your decision to get something to "grow into". But that means your choices may or may not be the right one. I agree with your assess that the ETX-70 is probably not the right choice for you at this time. But whether the 80EQ-A will meet the expectations only the user can say. The wrong telescope usually ends up in the closet. You might want to consider the Meade DS models and get a slightly larger aperture. Just a thought.

And:

Thanks for your input....could you advise which DS model is relatively
comparable to the ETX-90 or a step up from the 80EQ-A (and in a
comparable price range?)?
Mike here: Check your dealer for pricing. But none of the DS models are directly comparable to the ETX-90. If you want a progression of capabilities (and generally price) with Meade telescopes, it goes something like this: DS, ETX, LXD75, LX90, LX200GPS. Actual cost will depend upon the model, aperture, and telescope design. You might to consider the DSX line, which uses the same telescope at the ETX-90/125 but on a DS mount.

And:

Checked online at Meade and online with various dealers and I don't find
the DSX series....does the X refer to the mount?  I'm confused -- I
appreciate your patience with this.  Thanks.

Melissa
Mike here: Check Brookstone stores for the DSX line. Normally, regular telescope dealers don't carry that model. Don't try to make anything of the model names!
Subject:	DS-2130 and Autostar
Sent:	Wednesday, August 24, 2005 11:00:48
From:	Dkwillia@adelphia.net
First off, thanks for the site.  I have only begun to explore the sky
and you site has really reduced all frustration that typical beginners
experience.  So again thanks for making this fun.

I have recently come across a question in the DS Models User Feedback
that got my attention.  The statement centered around the 494 Autostar
and the 506 cable, and how he was not impressed with either.   Your
response is what got my attention.  I have pondered purchaseing the 506
cable, yet, I just can't seem to talk myself into it assuming the
package will only work with the DS series scopes and I only want the
cable and not the software that comes with the cable.  Here is your
response "You could purchase a used #495 or #497 Autostar and buy or
make the #505 cable. You could then take advantage of the current #497
updates."  Everything I have read, with the exception of your feedback
pages, indicates that you can only use the 494 Autostar or the 506 cable
with the DS-2130 Telescope.  I would love to take advantage of the
updates as well as drive my scope via Laptop, and the price difference
between cables has made me ponder trying the 505 cable.  So with that
said.  Taking your word that your statement is correct, can I just
purchase the 506 cable or does this set up require the 495 or 497
Autostar also?

Thanks
David
Mike here: Well, you don't have to believe me. So, go to the source: Meade's site: http://www.meade.com/support/auto.html. You will read that the #497 supports all DS models. So, you can do either: get a #506 for your #494 or get a #497 and a #505 cable.

And:

Wow, thanks for the quick answer.  And again a great site, I am on it
now.

Subject:	re: Meade DS-114AT
Sent:	Monday, August 22, 2005 19:45:22
From:	Richard Seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
If you call Meade  800-626-3233
and ask for the 1.25" eyepiece adapter for the 114EQ,
they will probably send one for free.

Your telescope can actually hold/accept 2" eyepieces,
you might look for a 2" camera adapter.

have fun
--dick
And:
mjohnsonphoto@aol.com wrote:
>Thanks for your help! Any advice on what is the best telescope for the
>money for digital photography? i can spend around $1,000

My opinion?
If GoTo is also a requirement:  A used LX90.
(or a used Classic LX200)

..but i don't -do- photography, so that's hearsay, not experience.

have fun
--dick
Mike here: You CAN do some astrophotography with the DS-114AT using a digital camera. Since you have that telescope you might want to start with it. Yes, it is challenging but it is also challenging with larger, more capable telescopes too.
Subject:	re: (MEADE)  Difference : DS & DH Motors Series
Sent:	Monday, August 22, 2005 19:42:41
From:	Richard Seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
The DS motors were used in the early model DS telescopes,
the DH motors were used on the 4504 and 114EQ/DH series.

The DS motors have one additional gear set, which
performs one more 1/2 reduction between the motor and the gears.

A good place to find information on putting DH motors
on an equatorial mount is the Roboscope group:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/roboscope

Autostarring everything is their goal...

have fun
--dick
And:
From:	Maxence.Regnier@eleves.polytech-lille.fr (Maxence.Regnier@eleves.polytech-lille.fr)
thank you very much for your help about meade DH/DS drives, i see more
clearly now ! I'm still hesitating about the drives i will buy because i
don't find DS drives' salers in France  :(

'Soon,

Max

Subject:	(MEADE)  Difference : DS & DH Motors Series
Sent:	Sunday, August 21, 2005 23:21:39
From:	Maxence.Regnier@eleves.polytech-lille.fr (Maxence.Regnier@eleves.polytech-lille.fr)
My name is Maxence, I'm french and i would use the Autostar coupling
with DS (or DH?) motor serie on my GEM (Vixen Great Polaris).

I've read on few papers that's possible with a quite adaptation on a DS
serie Motor.

A saler suggest me a "DH" serie motor. What's the difference with the
"DS" ? The adaptation is it the same?

Have you some pics wich could show me the difference too?

Thanks a lot
Maxence
Mike here: I'm not certain what a DH would be but DS motors have been used by others. Check the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page for DS articles as well as "Steve Bedair's "Go To" Mounts" article on the Helpful Information: Autostar Info page.
Subject:	Meade Model 4501
Sent:	Sunday, August 21, 2005 09:34:40
From:	MBLADEE@aol.com
I am looking for the instruction manual for this model, how do I find
one? Also I need to know how to get a hold of replacement parts.
Mike here: For info on manuals, see the FAQ page. If you can't find the manual at the sources listed, give Meade a call; they will likely send you a hard copy.
As to parts, you might try Telescope Warehouse; link on the Astronomy Links page.
Subject:	Meade DS-114AT
Sent:	Saturday, August 20, 2005 06:57:33
From:	mjohnsonphoto@aol.com (mjohnsonphoto@aol.com)
I am a novice so bear with me. I just bought an DS-114 At at a garage
sale for $50 with the Autostar.

I read some of your comments and need that ring that takes the eyepiece
from .965 to 1.25 so I can use the photo aspect of the telescope. I
really want to take digital photos of planets etc.

Should I get the .965 adaptor to screw onto my camera (I have the mount)
or should I get the ring you mentioned to go from my eyepiece .965 to
1.25

How can I order the ring adaptor?

Thanks for your expert advice.

PS  Is this telescope going to be hard to learn?

Mark Johnson
Mike here: Either way will work. But having the eyepiece adapter will give you more options, like using other 1.25" accessories. As to learning, others before you have done this. Just take your time, read the manual three times indoors, play with the telescope and controls indoors, only once you are comfortable with everything, then you can go outside in the dark and start using your telescope.

And:

Thanks for the quick reply!  Full moon tonight. I should be able to see
that!

:)

Mark Johnson

Subject:	DS-2000 style base on #884
Sent:	Wednesday, August 17, 2005 05:23:49
From:	Michael Engelhart (mengelhart@mac.com)
Just wondering if you know if the DS-2000 scopes (I'm looking at the
oddball DSX-90AT on sale from Meade's factory outlet) can be mounted on
my #884.   The DS-2000 series scopes all look like they come with a
modified #882 which is just too flimsy for my taste.   I haven't been
able to find out if the mounting holes are in the same position or not
from any of the manuals.

Thanks for any help.

Mike
Mike here: I don't know; hopefully someone will respond to this. Also, the DS and DSX models are different telescope systems.

And:

Thanks Mike -

The reason I asked about the DSX-90AT in conjunction with the DS-2000 is
that in the ebay marketing blurb it says:

"This model features a Meade ETX-90 optical tube mounted on the highly
versatile DS-2000 mount"

I'm not sure how versatile the DS-2000 is but since I own an ETX-70AT
and have been wanting to buy an AutoStar #497 which can run from
$150-$199, I figured spending $275 to get an ETX-90 to boot couldn't be
that bad of a deal.   And they're new in the box so hopefully they'll be
decent.

Mike

Subject:	Another Autostar 494 Question
Sent:	Saturday, August 13, 2005 13:38:20
From:	Stephen Nolin (Rocketsteve65@aol.com)
I'm looking at buying a factory refurbished Meade DS-80EC refractor
telescope with a dual motor electronic alt-az mount, which is upgradable
with the use of an Autostar controller.  Even though the DS-80 is not in
the menu list of telescopes controlled by the 494 Autostar, is there any
reason why it would not control the mount.  From what I can determine,
the model of telescope is only important for determining EP
magnifications, based on the focal length of the telescope.  If my
thinking is clear, reguardless of whether the mount is pushing a 60mm
refractor or a 114mm reflector, the pointing of the telescope should be
the same.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.  Clear skies.
 
Steve
Mike here: I gather you already have a #494 Autostar. Once you connect it to the DS-80, that model will appear in the list. Don't forget to CALIBRATE MOTORS and TRAIN DRIVES each time you swap the Autostar between the telescopes.
Subject:	Meade LPI
Sent:	Saturday, August 13, 2005 08:57:55
From:	John Huttemeier (jhutt@ncn.net)
Could you lead me to a source of a photo using a Meade DS114 & the Meade
LPI?

I have a DS114 and wonder what the results would be if I purchase a LPI.
I'm concerned about the 6mm LPI focal length which may be beyond the
telescopes capability.

Your help & comments are appreciated.

Thank you

John Huttemeier
Mike here: Specifically I don't recall one. But if you can use a 6mm eyepiece with your telescope you should be able to use an LPI. The results will be similar to another telescope with the same f/ ratio and focal length. However, note that if you want to use the Autostar Suite with the Autostar you will need a Autostar #497 (has number keys) not an Autostar #494 (no number keys).

And:

Thanks for your prompt reply. A 6.7mm eyepiece works very well with my
DS114 and I do have the 497. I do need to get a laptop computer with a
USB port. I'm looking forward to using the LPI setup.

Thank you
John Huttemeier
Mike here: Don't forget you also need a RS-232 port for the Autostar control. You can use a USB-serial converter. I use a Keyspan one with my Macintosh; there have been some problem reports by PC users with Belkin converters.
Subject:	DS-2080AT, DS-2114ATS, DS-2130ATS
Sent:	Wednesday, August 10, 2005 13:16:50
From:	owl-luvr (owl-luvr@verizon.net)
These are my current 'front-runners.' Any comments regarding their
deep-space suitability are appreciated.
Mike here: Of those, DS-2130ATS would be best.

And:

Thought so. I guess it's time to start saving my pennies.

Subject:	Autostar Controllers & Meade DS telescopes
Sent:	Tuesday, August 9, 2005 05:30:11
From:	owl-luvr (owl-luvr@verizon.net)
Can larger-database Autostar controllers be used on any of Meade's DS
line of telescopes?
Mike here: As Meade describes on their Autostar Update page (http://www.meade.com/support/auto.html), yes.

And:

oops...sorry I missed that. Thanks.

Subject:	Problems with .965 eyepieces and Meade DS-2114at  and 2130at
Sent:	Thursday, August 4, 2005 23:26:38
From:	bill bunch (lavenderbunches@sbcglobal.net)
I've been reading emails from others on your site,  want to buy a Meade
ds 2114at or ds 2130AT but all come with the .965 eyepiece. from my
reading this poses serious limitations on the optical capablity of these
scopes compared to 1.25 or 2 inch eyepiece. Money is limited and so need
a scope that will be good enough till I can afford to upgrade. I can get
good deals on both the above should I be concerned enough with the
problems with the smaller eye piece to wait and get higher end scope or
will the .965 be good enough for me to see saturns rings or the spot on
Jupiter and their moons or canyons and polat caps on Mars etc. Thanks
for your help
 
Bill
Mike here: Eyepiece size won't prevent you from seeing those and much more. For several decades I used my Edmund 3" reflector with 0.965" eyepieces was very happy with the views. See that scope at http://www.weasner.com/etx/fun/ancient.html.

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