DS MODELS USER FEEDBACK
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Last updated: 28 February 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:	ds-2130 tight altitude lock.
Sent:	Friday, February 28, 2003 20:24:53
From:	dcakalic@mail.win.org (David Cakalic)
I returned my first ds-2130 to walmart because of Motor problems, on my
new one the motors seem to work, but the altitude lock won't turn.  I
was wondering if anyone else has had a similar problem.  I don't want to
crank on it too hard and break it, (although I already tried hard enough
to give me a blister on my thumb.)  I'd hate to have to send this scope
back too.

David Cakalic
Mike here: Do you mean it won't turn in either direction or just won't lock?
Subject:	ds-2130 motor problems
Sent:	Tuesday, February 25, 2003 14:18:58
From:	dcakalic@mail.win.org (David Cakalic)
Has anyone else experienced motor problems on their ds-2130? I got mine
finally a few days ago, put it together fine, and during the last few
cloudy days calibrated the motors and trained the drives, and did a mock
alignment and search of objects... no problems (execpt when searching
for alignment star it would occasionaly keep slewing round and round
without stopping until I shut off the power.)

Finally a clear night, and I set up the scope outside, found one
alignment star.... then the autostar said it was slewing to the next,
but the scope never moved. I figured maybe it was just a bug, so I
switched the scope off. When I turned it back on it displayed that there
was a motor fault detected.

It was a cold night (below freezing), so I thought maybe the batteries
drained quickly in the cold. But after leaving the scope inside a couple
hours, and trying 8 fresh batteries, autostar still came up with the
same error. I've tried loosening and retightening the the alt. and az.
locks, but nothing seems to work. Autostar says to press the mode button
to exit the message and recalibrate the drives, but when I press 'mode'
the message just starts over again. I flipped the power several times
quickly, and autostar would finally initialize, I reset the autostar,
and tried to calibrate motors, but the scope never moved. Now 9 out of
10 times when I turn on the scope, the motor fault message comes up.

I'm at a complete loss, and completely frustrated. Am I doing something
wrong? I'm debating whether to call meade, take it back to Wal-mart and
try another, or to just take it back and give up getting a new scope.
Any help would be appreciated.

David Cakalic
Mike here: Some things to try: Proper telescope model selected in the Autostar (if incorrect, do a CALIBRATE and TRAIN again once the proper one is selected). Try a RESET, CALIBRATE, and TRAIN. Check the connections.
Subject:	Re:  HELP!!!!!!!  IT RUNS BACKWARDS
Sent:	Monday, February 24, 2003 5:34:46
From:	PAPAJOEK@att.net
I figured it out you just input a (+ -) in front of the ALT. & AZ. #
 This changes rotation.

       THANK YOU!!
        
       JOE
Mike here: That will make a difference!

And independently:

From:	d_wallace@ecrm.com (Dave Wallace)
I think I can help.

Based on what I've read, you can tell the Autostar to spin the motors
the other way.  Just enter a negative number for the Az or El gear ratio
(in the setup menu) to get the motors to spin the other way.  Check the
Autostar Info section of Steve Bedair's site
http://bedair.org/Autostar.html
And another idea:
From:	rseymour@wolfenet.com (Richard Seymour)
It is easy to reverse the motors.
(do NOT reverse the power connections)

Under Setup > Telescope > RA Ratio   (and/or Dec Ratio),
just use the left slew key to position the cursor on the "+" sign,
and tap scroll down... it will become a minus ("-") sign, 
press [enter]

That will reverse the direction the motors turn.

That change will be remembered until your RESET or Select the 
Telescope Model again.

have fun, congratulations on the project
--dick
(they might be titled Az Ratio  and Alt Ratio)
And lousy news:
From:	PAPAJOEK@att.net
OK WE FIXED THAT PROBLEM BUT NOW I HAVE STRIPED THE GEARS INSIDE THE DS
DRIVE KNOW WHERE I CAN FIND SOME?

            JOE
Mike here: You can contact Meade but I suspect you will have to find a used system.
Subject:	HELP!!!!!!!  IT RUNS BACKWARDS
Sent:	Saturday, February 22, 2003 0:23:36
From:	PAPAJOEK@att.net
I JUST FINISHED MY 10in. STARFINDER WITH DS POWER & 492
AND IT RUNS BACKWARDS (I THOUGHT IT WOOD) THE  WORMS ARE OPPOSITE.
BUT I KNOW YOU KNOW HOW TO FIX IT. 
WHAT IS THE SECRET?  
IT WAS AN EASY CONVERSION. 

          THANK YOU FOR YOUR WEB SITE AND THE HELP
 
                    JOE
Mike here: Could you have reversed the DC power? Do you need to reverse the hemisphere setting?
Subject:	DS-16
Sent:	Wednesday, February 19, 2003 10:01:52
From:	Bob.Cromer@delta.com (Cromer, Bob)
Recently acquired a DS-16 EQ, with the AC drive. Want to do the
conversion to a better quality setup with a DC motor able to encompass
2X, 4X, 8X and 16X sidereal rates.GOTO is not important at this time. I
am having a ball finding objects all by my lonesome! But, so far , I
have been stumped trying to find information on a suitable drive and
controller for this beast.Could you possibly point me in the proper
direction? Someone has had to accomplished this!

Thanks,

Bob
Mike here: You might look at "Steve Bedair's "Go To" Mounts" (linked on the Autostar Information) for some ideas.
Subject:	Meade DS2130
Sent:	Saturday, February 15, 2003 9:17:28
From:	jjtm74@insightbb.com (John & Joanne Sabotta)
I received a DS2130 for X-mas 2002.

At the very first moment I was in love with this unit.  It was VERY easy
to setup and the 494 controller is very user friendly.

I ordered the 506 cable, and was not all that impressed with it.  The
494 seems to "lock up", and no firmware is available for this controller
either that I could find.

I purchased a Phillips Toucam 740K and took pictures of the Moon,
planets, and starts.  IMPRESSIVE to say the least.

I also use K3CCTools (Ver 1.0.6.460) to stack images.  I need to work on
this since my results have not been as good as others I have seen.

I will also be modifying the Toucan as outlined by Steve Chambers to see
if this will help

I also ordered the adapter to hook up the Toucam to the Telescope.

John
Mike here: 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.
Subject:	ETX-125EC or DS-2114ATS?
Sent:	Wednesday, February 12, 2003 8:43:23
From:	sprettster@yahoo.com (Mark)
It's been 30 years since I had my 3" no-name reflector, and now I'm
looking to get back into it with a mid-level goto scope. I'm not sure
how to gage the expected performance difference between an ETX-125EC and
a DS-2114ATS. Their apertures are about the same, yet the ETX costs much
more. I can appreciate that the ETX is much more portable, but will
views through it be substantially better than the DS? Are there other
factors I should be aware of? Ease of use, perhaps, or a different
frustration factor between the two? Are there differences in the drive
mechanisms?

Thanks for any advice you can offer!

Mark
Mike here: There are two significant differences: focal length (the ETX-125EC has almost twice the focal length) and the mount (and drives). The other differences are the optical design (Newtonian vs Maksutov-Cassegrain). Depending upon HOW you plan to use the telescope and WHAT your expectations are, either one may satisfy you. The DS comes with the #494 Autostar but you can use a #497 with it.
Subject:	First Scope
Sent:	Sunday, February 9, 2003 5:19:43
From:	Neanderthal75@starband.net (J.Russell Bailey)
I've been trying to read, research, and "check out" as much as possible
about my reasonable choices for my first telescope.

I don't want to spend more than $600.00, including an electronic
focuser, and I don't want to waste the  money (I'm on a fixed income),
so I've been sticking to the Meade name for my choices.

I saw the reviews of the DS 2130 ATS, but can't find neither hide nor
hair of it for sale. I've seen the "new" DS 2114 ATS, but that's it.

Any ideas? I've got time, so if you've got your plate full at the
moment, holler at me when you get a chance. Thanks for your time and
help.

                         Yours in Christ Jesus
                              J.Russell Bailey
                        Neanderthal75@starband.net
Mike here: The DS line, the ETX, and the LXD55 line are good choices that can come close to fitting in your price range, depending upon the aperture. Adding an electric focuser will increase the price so you need to decide HOW you plan to use the telescope and WHAT your expectations for what you will see are. Keep in mind that small aperture, short focal length telescopes are great for wide field viewing whereas longer focal lengths will provide larger images and larger apertures will have more "light gathering power" meaning you can see fainter objects with more details.
Subject:	Columbia images captured by Meade 114EQ-DH4
Sent:	Monday, February 3, 2003 14:44:29
From:	rseymour@wolfenet.com (Richard Seymour)
Paul Porto, with a 114EQ-DH4, managed to capture video of
Columbia as it went over Las Vegas. His photos seem to show
 some of the disintegration.

It was hand-guided.  He collected over 1.3 gigabytes of streaming video,
from which he extracted about 230 usable frames, creating a 96 MB
extract.
He's been trying to upload it to NASA, but has had problems.
He's sent them email about it.

He described his efforts to the Meade4504telescopes  Yahoo group, starting at message:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Meade4504Telescopes/message/5930


He has posted four of his frames in the Photo section of that group, at:
http://photos.groups.yahoo.com/group/meade4504telescopes/lst?.dir=/AstroPhotos/Paul+P.&.src=gr&.order=&.view=t&.done=http%3a//briefcase.yahoo.com/

(that's
http://photos.groups.yahoo.com/group/meade4504telescopes/
then the "Astrophotos" folder, and in there the "Paul_P" folder.)

In case you hear of other captured images, the links on the bottom of:
http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap030203.html
give the "where/how to contact NASA"  info.

take care
--dick
(*now* will Meade consider adding the 4504 and 114EQ to the
 497's "known models" list? :-)

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