DS MODELS USER FEEDBACK
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Last updated: 31 December 2006

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:	lnt module with older ds2000 models
Sent:	Thursday, December 28, 2006 13:59:39
From:	Dave Arnold (d3arnold@yahoo.com)
I've just purchased a refurbished DS-2130at and am wondering if a lnt
module will bolt on where the finder scope is.  I saw the email from a
guy who used rubber bands on an etx but can't find any other info.

Thanks for the site and any info....
--Dave
Mike here: I don't have a DS model so can't say for certain but I have my doubts.
Subject:	meade ds2130
Sent:	Tuesday, December 26, 2006 19:34:49
From:	natali eyvazi (eyvazinat@gmail.com)
we just bought a ds-2130. we are first time telescope users. we are
having hard time using the telescope.when we use 26mm eyepiece we see
the moon but the image is not very clear. when we use 9mm we are not
able to see anything, it is vert blury. we tried to aim the telescope at
some homes approx.10 miles away on a hill,the image not clear at all
tried to zoom in and out,trying to get a clear picture but getting a
blured,comet shaped lights & images.same applies to distant stars.what
am i doing wrong,or what do i need to do to get a better result?

thanks
Karlin L.
Mike here: From your description it sounds like you are using the focus knob as a "zoom". Each eyepiece has one magnification and doesn't zoom. The best focus will be a single position where the image is crisp. With stars, they will always be just a point of light.
Subject:	choosing  a telescope
Sent:	Sunday, December 17, 2006 19:42:25
From:	taylor1944@bellsouth.net
I am new to astronomy. I feel very strong about  studying the galaxies
and stars . I have been wanting to do this but couldn't afford the
telescope that  I feel good about at this time. The telescope that
thinking about buying  is the meade TeleStar DS-2130AT . I am wondering
how do you feel about this one and give me the pros and cons , if you
able to at this time. I have read alot about you and your site. It has
been very helpful for choosing one I think is a good telescope to start
off  with  today.

Reginald 
Mike here: I have no experience with DS models. You might want to read the DS models comments on the Helpful Information: User Observations page. Keep in mind that the best telescope is the one that gets used. If the views you see are not what you expect to see then you can get frustrated with the telescope.

And:

i appreciate the help and I will read the help menu for more information.

Subject:	Meade multi - coated model#DS114 telescope
Sent:	Friday, December 15, 2006 06:46:23
From:	tonyj12@bellsouth.net
I have a Meade multi - coated model#DS114 telescope my wife give this
unit to me about 8 Years ago. We have moved 5 times and i have never
Assemble this unit, until Tuesday of this week. I do not have my manual
and on the outer lens on the tip. There is a black cloth covering the
lens , do i remove yes or no.
Mike here: See the FAQ page on my ETX Site for locations of manuals available online. As to your comment about "on the outer lens on the tip", I'm not certain what you mean you need. If you need a part, contact Meade; they can supply some parts (like lens covers).
Subject:	DS-2102 Model Telescope
Sent:	Wednesday, December 13, 2006 19:20:21
From:	Bobbi Wyer (bobbiw50@yahoo.com)
I bought this telescope for my husband for xmas. I think it was a bad
idea. He wanted one that he could see the stars AND see land items. We
live at Yokohama Bay in Japan and he likes to watch the commercial ships
go buy also. So I get this all together and you can only see land item
upside down and I looked in the manual and it  didn't make any reference
to the problem. Do I need another type of lense? Please help.
Thanks
Bobbi Wyer
Mike here: Astronomical telescopes do invert and/or mirror image objects seen through the eyepiece. There are "erecting" prisms/eyepieces available that will work with some models. With the reflecting models (not refractors) you can also stand with your back to the terrestrial object and look into the telescope. Not always convenient but it can be done.
Subject:	Autostar Calibrate Motors Question
Sent:	Sunday, December 10, 2006 10:23:22
From:	Ken Delano (miscmatch@yahoo.com)
I am a newbie.  When I apply power to the autostar controller, it gives
me the solar warning, then after I press 5 it tests the motors. Motor
test fails. I believe this is because the motors and power supply were
removed then reinstalled (the manual notes this can happen). I am using
an AC adaptor putting out 14.5V and 1.3A.  The problem I have is I can't
get to the menu option to "calibrate motors" because every time I press
"mode" autostar attempts to test the motors again. What am I doing
wrong?

Ken Delano
Mike here: You didn't specify what model telescope you have but you may need more than 1.3A. The ETX power supply does 1.5A and the LXD55/75 does 2.5A. As a test you could install fresh batteries and see if the problem goes away under battery power. Also, you mention that "the motors and power supply were removed then reinstalled" -- why were they removed? Maybe they were not reinstalled properly.

And:

Scope is a DS 80EC.  I purchased it off ebay, described as a display
model.  It came disassembled. I assembled it using the manual.  Motors
appear to be good, as they will move using the paddle arrows, and they
do move during the motor test.  It did not come with a battery pack,
only the adaptor.  Adaptor was initially putting out 18.5 V, and silly
me, I did not test it before I connected it.  I readjusted it using a
multimeter, so it puts out in the 13-14V range.  I tried with the scope
mounted and with it off the mount, same result.  I tried with a
different adaptor, this one puts out 14.5V and 1.89A, also same result.
The Autostar manual recognizes this may happen and says a motor
calibration will be necessary, but does not explain how to get past the
motor failure message. What normally happens?

Ken
Mike here: I'm not certain of the power requirements for the DS models but I suspect that 1.3A should be OK for the DS-80. Motor faults can be due to many factors: overly tightened axis locks, obstructions in the path preventing free movement, dirty encoders on the drives, cable/jack problems (typically bent pins on either the jack or the connector). If you got a #497 AutoStar (has number keys on the keypad) try reversing the cable.

And:

I have the 495 paddle, and cable is fixed on the paddle end.  The manual
alludes to this error when changing power supply or motors, so it is a
known fault.  What is the normal process to clear a motor error?  Is
there no way to calibrate until the error message goes away (by fixing
whatever problem may exist)?  I have switched motors and checked to be
sure the axis locks are only hand tight, but the problem still persists.
Is there any to reinitialize the autostar?

Ken

And:

I spoke too soon on the 495 cable.  It does reverse, which I tried, but
still no change.
Mike here: You could turn the #495 (which also has number keys) into a #497 using the software from Meade's web site (and a #505 serial cable, which you can easily make) but until you get past the error you may not be able to do the update. But lets go back a step; you indicated earlier that you can slew the telescope in both directions using the arrow keys. If you can do that, can you get to the RESET menu item on the AutoStar?

And:

Is there another way to get to reset without using the mode key, or from
the first warning about looking into the sun (and before you press 5)? 
If it involves using the "mode" key, then no, I can't get to it, as
autostar will just keep retesting the motors.

Ken
Mike here: See the article "AutoStar RESET from Software" on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page but I don't know if it will work with the #495 but it might.
Subject:	re: DS autoguider
Sent:	Friday, December 8, 2006 20:28:31
From:	richard seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
People who have a lot of knowledge and experience with the
goto4all kit hang out in the RoboScope group on Yahoo.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/roboscope/

Asking there will probably yield the information you seek
(or someone willing to send you a few)

have fun
--dick

Subject:	DS autoguider
Sent:	Friday, December 8, 2006 01:29:28
From:	Oscar Haigh (mungoutonbeans@hotmail.com)
I'm a new telescope owner (about a year), with DS guiding... Pretty much
exactly like the one pictured here:
http://www.goto4all.de/know.htm

I was wondering if you would be able to help me find out where on Earth
I can find some guiding belts as mine have warped and cracked.  The
scope dosent guide properly anymore and I can't do anything, unless I
use my manual mount :(

Any help would be appreciated.  I am an Aussie.

Thanks,

Oscar
Mike here: You could contact Meade; they might send you some. You could also contact Telescope Warehouse (see the Astronomy Links page).

And:

Thanks,

Oscar

Subject:	Help Im looking for a telescope
Sent:	Tuesday, December 5, 2006 20:45:03
From:	Bigdave0826@aol.com (Bigdave0826@aol.com)
I am getting a gift for a friend who loves astronomy and knows a lot
about the night sky.  He has never had a telescope and I want to get him
a gift I think he will appreciate.  I am looking at the Meade DS2130.  
$400 is about the limit I am willing to spend and to my uneducated eyes
this one seems to have all of the bells and whistles.  I would love an
expert opinion on whether this would be a good scope or if there would
be a better one you would recommend.

I would also love to hear about accessories that I could get for the
telescope you recommend, as his family expressed interest in getting
some of them as gifts.

I would really appreciate your help and if there is anything I could do
to reciprocate please let me know.
 
David
Mike here: As I posted on the previous update to the "DS, Older Models" feedback page on the ETX Site, I don't have any DS models so can't comment directly. I recommend you read the DS Feedback pages (current and in the Feedback Archives) as well as the various DS model comments on the Helpful Information: User Observations page. Keep in the mind that usually the best telescope to get is one that has the largest aperture you can afford AND that will be used. As I always tell people, the best telescope to get is the one that will be used, rather than one that ends up in the closet because it either doesn't meet expectations for the views through it or it is too cumbersome to set up and use. As to accessories, a Barlow Lens will probably turn out to the most useful in the short run. After he gains some experience with using a telescope you can decide on which accessories to be considered.

And:

If you were just starting with your first telescope, given what you know
now, which one would you get and why.
 
David
Mike here: I'd do exactly what I did when I got the original ETX and get it. I knew what to expect from it (although it actually exceeded my expectations) and I wanted a portable telescope that I can take with me anywhere (which it has also exceeded, as it so ably demonstrated when I carried it to Australia in 1999 in a backpack).

And:

Who makes the Etx and where can i buy it
Mike here: Meade Instruments. You can get one at any Meade dealer. Check the Meade web site for a listing of dealers. Ideally you should purchase any telescope from a local dealer but lacking a good one locally, many of the mail order (or online) dealers shown in the Dealers section of the Astronomy Links page on the ETX Site should be fine. For more information on the ETX line you can see Meade's web site (www.meade.com), my comments on the Helpful Information: Buyer/New User Tips page, as well as the User Observations page I mentioned previously.

And:

Thank you so much for all of your help.
 
Dave

Subject:	re: Ca you offer 4505 help to a Meade Telescope newbie?
Sent:	Monday, December 4, 2006 22:18:24
From:	richard seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
The Yahoo group you seek is:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Meade4504Telescopes/

A 497 Autostar (or a 495 coverted to become a 497 by firmware
download) can operate the 4504.  You just tell it it's an LXD
and change the gear ratio settings.

Members of the 4504 Yahoo group may have spare Starfinder
controllers (which is the name Meade gave that flavor of 494 Autostar)

Another occasional source for Starfinders is Bill Vorce at
http://www.telescope-warehouse.com/

have fun
--dick

Subject:	Ca you offer 4505 help to a Meade Telescope newbie?
Sent:	Saturday, December 2, 2006 12:32:11
From:	SCOTT SANDRA ADAMS (zionadams@msn.com)
I've been greatly enjoying your webpage! If it's possible to locate the
Yahoo group for Meade 4505 owners I'd like to join that as well. Right
now, I'm scrambling and trying to find a controller that seems elusive
at best, unobtainable at worst.

I bought a meade 405 at a thrift shop, which was entirely stripped down,
and have been refurbing it via ebay and parts stores. I can't find the
identical controller to the stock unit (in the manual) anywhere. Meade
no longer carries one with 4 buttons along the bottom and a printout
window. Beyond that, this is getting expensive, so I'd like to stick
with the used ones on ebay.

Do you know which controller I can use with this telescope? Can you
describe it? If it's the one with the full numeric pad then I've seen
it. It also has a circular directional pad. I just don't know what to
call these things!

Thanks for any help you can offer!!

San
Mike here: Don't know of a Yahoo or web site that supports the old model 4505. But keep me posted on your efforts.

And:

It's model 4504...sorry!!!!!
 
"4504 Equatorial Reflecting Telescope w/ Starfinder Electronic Hand
Controller"
Mike here: Search the ETX Site for "4504" and you will get lots of hits. Including information on using the AutoStar handcontroller with it.
Subject:	DS90 question
Sent:	Friday, December 1, 2006 14:21:09
From:	Ron.VanBibber@alltel.com
I am getting my wife a telescope for Christmas and have been trying to
educate myself  in the last week, the DS90 is available from Sams
discount club. I think I will purchase, however, it does not come with a
barlow lens or cable, and I have noticed several questions on the
correct cable. What are the most important accessories to obtain up
front, while keeping it within a reasonable budget?

Any recommendations in addition to this question will be greatly
appreciated

Ron
Mike here: I don't have any DS models so can't comment directly. I recommend you read the DS Feedback pages (current and in the Feedback Archives) as well as the various DS model comments on the Helpful Information: User Observations page. Keep in the mind that usually the best telescope to get is one that has the largest aperture you can afford AND that you will use. As I always tell people, the best telescope to get is the one that will be used, rather than one that ends up in the closet because it either doesn't meet your expectations for the views through it or it is too cumbersome to set up and use. As to accessories, a Barlow Lens will probably turn out to the most useful in the short run. After you gain some experience with using a telescope you can decide on which accessories to be considered.
Subject:	Meade Telescope question  Meade DS-2114 ATS-LNT   vs     Meade Telestar DS-2130ATAE-RE
Sent:	Thursday, November 30, 2006 22:46:47
From:	dougyc@aol.com (dougyc@aol.com)
Simple question if the 2114 works out to be 30 to 40 dollars more which
one do you recommend?  The 2114 looks to be adult owned well cared for
and i believe i can get it for less than $230.00 shipping included.  The
2130 would be factory refurbished from Meade, for $190.00 total.  I have
read some negative comments about the eyepiece, Barlow lens, and getting
it aligned for the autostar to work properly.  What would you purchase
if you were in my shoes.  It will be a Christmas gift, that i expect to
be using more myself, and I would be anticipating either scope to be a
higher end beginners scope, one that I wouldn't grow out of quickly.  I
would defiantly prefer ease of use as well as I'll be using it with an 8
year old.

Doug Congleton
Mike here: I don't have any DS models so can't comment directly. I recommend you read the DS Feedback pages (current and in the Feedback Archives) as well as the various DS model comments on the Helpful Information: User Observations page. Keep in the mind that usually the best telescope to get is one that has the largest aperture you can afford AND that you will use. As I always tell people, the best telescope to get is the one that will be used, rather than one that ends up in the closet because it either doesn't meet your expectations for the views through it or it is too cumbersome to set up and use.

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Copyright © 2006 Michael L. Weasner / etx@me.com
Submittals Copyright © 2006 by the Submitter
URL = http://www.weasner.com/etx/archive/feedbackDec06/ds.html