DS MODELS USER FEEDBACK
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Last updated: 29 February 2004
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: Upgrading to 1.25" eyepieces
Date: 2/29/04, 08:12
From: KCamadak@aol.com
Hello, I have a new Meade DS 2130 telescope and was wondering if there
was a do it your self upgrade from the .965 eyepieces to the 1.25
eyepieces. I am having a hard time finding the upgrade from dealers.
Thanks--Kevin
Mike here: I'm pretty sure that Orion Telescopes and Binoculars has them in the printed catalog (although I could not find them on their website). I'm on travel now and don't have their catalog handy but you could call them (800-447-1001).

Subject: Difference Between DS 114 & ETX-90
Date: 2/28/04, 23:54
From: J (jvinson2468@wowway.com)
I am relatively new to astronomy. I currently have a DS-114 with the 495
Autostar and a .965" eyepiece hole. I am thinking of upgrading to the
ETX-90 Model, but it will probably be the one without the Autostar. Is
this really an upgrade? By comparing the Apertures, Ds=114 & ETX=90,
it's almost like the DS114 is better. However, the focal length is
better with the ETX, and if I'm not mistaken the eyepiece hole is 1.25".
Is the ETX a considerably better telescope even though it doesn't have
the Autostar? Is there a way to add the Autostar onto this model? Can
you point out some features that make the ETX better than the DS other
than its portability?

Thank you for your time.

-J
Mike here: Depending upon how you use the DS, you may or may not want get an ETX-90RA. If your don't need the portability or the longer focal length or larger diameter eyepieces, then why do it? If you are satisfied with your DS why switch? BUT if you want to get an ETX, which is a nice system, then why not go for the ETX-105 or the ETX-125? Unless you need the extreme portability of the ETX-90, go for the larger aperture. As to the #495 Autostar, you might want to consider upgrading it to the #497 using the software on Meade's site; all you will need is a Windows computer, a serial port, and a #505 cable (which you can buy or easily make).

And:

Thank you for the quick reply. Would it be possible to upgrade the 495
to the 497, then use that system with the Non-Autostar ETX-90?
Mike here: The ETX-90RA can not be upgraded to an ETX-90EC for use with the Autostar. The -90 OTA can be mounted on Autostar-capable mounts; see the Telescope Tech Tips page.

And:

Thank you for all your help. I think I am now going to use the ETX with
my DS tripod and base. This seems like the cheapest route. Any other
suggestions?

Thanx.

-J
Mike here: Read the articles on the Telescope Tech Tips page.

And:

I have the DS 114. However, I see no tips on converting this tripod and
Autostar with this model. Which model should I refer to when making
these mounts? This is the DS60 page, it seems fine to me, but I wanted
to make sure it would work before I go destroying my old telescope.lol.
Mike here: I'm not that familiar with the DS scopes and mounts. If the mount is the same you could use that article as guidance.

And:

On the last email I sent to you it had a link to this guy's advice on
converting the ETX to work with the DS60 mount. I tried to email him for
the detailed specs and procedures, but it will not go through. I think
all I really need is the procedure for making the Autostar motors work
correctly with the ETX Scope. Did he by chance send them to you? If so,
can you send them to me?

Thanx.

-J
Mike here: What I have received is posted on the ETX Site. If you are looking for a specific article on Autostars check the Autostar Info page.

And:

I also have the 494 Autostar, not the 495. Can I still make the cable?
I'm pretty sure the one you buy has to be the #506.
Mike here: There is no easy way to make a #506 cable for the #494 Autostar.

Subject: Meade 114EQ-DH4
Date: 2/28/04, 05:48
From: Paul Sandler (paul@swebs.com)
I noticed a posting:

	Sent:   Tuesday, July 17, 2001 20:29:55
	From:   rseymour@wolfenet.com (richard seymour)
	The readme file which came with A2.4 says:
	
	VERSION         FILE            DESCRIPTION
	1.0a  1.0j      Asp7A1.0j.rom   Original versions
	1.0k            Asp7A1.0k.rom   Previous version
	10El            Asp7A10El.rom   Latest English version
	10Gl            Asp7A10Gl.rom   Latest German version
	
	So, as you can see, it doesn't specifically -cover- the 4504's
	 Starfinder (well, i guess it lumps into "a-j")
	(but then, the 4504's Starfinder isn't "rated" for rs232 connection,
	anyway... the mere fact you can -do- it (by building an AUX port)
	can hardly be held against it... ;-)
	
	--dick

Is there any documentation on how to build an AUX port for my scope in
order to hook it to a computer?  I bought the 506 cable, but I would
have to purchase an Autostar 497 to use a computer.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Paul
Mike here: I don't recall seeing any info on making your own AUX port with all its connections to the drives.

And:

Do you know if I can use an Autostar 497 to enable using my laptop on
the telescope?

The 114EQ-DH4 does not have an AUX jack, so the only way I can think of
to enable using my computer is to buy a 497 in place of my 494.  I'll do
that, but I would like some confirmation that it will work on the
telescope.  Do you know if its been done before?

What about the posting from July,2001 from Richard Seymour?  It refers
to building your own AUX port.

Paul
Mike here: If the #494 works with your telescope then using the #497 should as well. I don't have this model so I can't confirm. As to Dick's comment, he is offline for awhile; we'll have to wait until he gets back online later in March.

Subject: Autostar Help
Date: 2/27/04, 05:47
From: Andy Killgore (ajkillgore@cox.net)
I have a DS2000 series (refracting) scope that I got about 2 years ago
and am trying to connect it to my PC.  I have tried the AUX to COM1
connector I found on the link from your page to no avail.  On the page
about my scope (http://www.meade.com/catalog/ds2000/ds_meade.html) it
says the aux port on mine is used to power other devices and makes no
mention of PC connect.

Is my AS one of those that the PC should connect to the HBX port
instead?  If so, do you have the wiring schematic (pictures please) that
would help me?


As a side note;
I am 6'6" and had a horrible time trying to look through my scope
especially when looking at stars that were almost straight above me. 
This gave me back and neck aches ruining the possible pleasure that
comes from staring at the stars.  By luck we recently had a Home Depot
open here and I was wandering the isles and found a contractors tripod. 
That in itself is no wonderful thing except that the base plate is 5'5"
tall!  which puts the eyepiece at nearly 6'!!!  Adapting the scope mount
to the plate was easy and I now can really enjoy myself.  And given its
industrial design it is very stable.  The tips of the feet have a
toenail point rather than flat foot so there is no side-to-side slippage
allowing you to really set it in place.

Andy Killgore  
San Angelo Tx.
Lat 31/27.90N
Long 100/46.70W
Mike here: If you have the Autostar #494 (no number keys on the keypad) then you need a #506 cable (not easily made so you likely need to buy one). If you have a #495 or #497 Autostar (both have number keys) then you need a #505 cable (easily made; see the Autostar Info page). The #506 cable connects to the AUX port; the #505 connects to the Autostar. Either cable connects to a serial port (DB-9) on a computer.

And:

WOW!  I was not expecting such a quick response!  Thanks.

I may have the parts needed to make a #506 and probably the expertise as
I am a pc technician (20yrs) and could make one out of the parts on hand
(believe me I have tons of pc and phone wiring junk laying around)  if
you have the wiring diagram.

It is still just a 3 wire setup right?  RX/TX/Ground?  Or is there a
circuit in the path?

Thanks again!
Mike here: There are electronics in the #506 cable. But if you want to try, see the cable info on the Autostar Info page.

And:

Found the cable at several places on the internet.  All are right at $42
which would be easier than doing the solder, circuits and sweat to get
this.  Found the #506 at Binoculars.com via catalogcity.com for $42 +
$4.18 S&H

Again thanks!

Thanks for your help.   It was just luck that I found your www page but
I am glad I did.  It has educated me more about my scope than having it
for almost 2 years.

Subject: Base of ds2114ats part II
Date: 2/26/04, 22:55
From: Akos (pilot001@freemail.hu)
Ok it is not a porblem. But i did not unlocked a thing... I know that
vertically i have to unscrew the knob. but hor. i didn't found an
unlucking part. So now i'm out of ideas. But if i'm not finding anything
that's also OK.
Thaks....
AKOS

Subject: Base of ds2114ats
Date: 2/26/04, 07:00
From: Akos (pilot001@freemail.hu)
So is it normal to rotate the scope horizontally cose i can rotate it by
hand, and the scope isn't on. so there is a screw under the battery
holder.  So it is alright or the srew is loose ?

AKOS
Mike here: If you have unlocked the axis, it is perfectly normal to be able to rotate a telescope on its mount.

Subject: MEADE DS 2114ats
Date: 2/21/04, 05:55
From: Ákos (pilot001@freemail.hu)
So i bought a ds 2114ats. Is it possible to say how to make a cable for
it? So that i can connect it to my PC? It is a 506 cablei think. But how
can i make it at home?

And for external power for the scope ? Should i use the AUX port?

AKOS from Hungary.
Mike here: It is not easy to make a #506 cable (it has some electronics in the cable). You can easily make a #505 cable but then you would need the #497 Autostar (the one with number keys). See the Autostar Info page for more info. And DO NOT plug power into the AUX port unless you want to fry the electronics. There should be an external power port. I don't have any DS models so don't know where that would be, assuming there is one.

And:

ok i got ya....
so there is no ext. power conn. but the batt. holder is detachable. So
it is possible to make a plug. So how is the control workin' ?? The
computer is inside the scope or inside the consol? Cose the stepping
motort are controlled by the computer. but how can this panel control
the servos ? there is just 4 wires going in to the base of the scope. so
if i would change the panel will it be good with the nother panel? and
if i do change the panel what would it change? The nother one has an
outlet for the cable??? Because this model has none. i can connect the
PC to the base of the scope. So what is it so??
Mike here: I'm not certain what you mean by "panel". The computer controls the Autostar, which in turn controls the telescope motors. The #506 cable has the electronics that are missing from the #494 to allow this control to occur.

Subject: DS2114ATS vs ETX-70AT
Date: 2/20/04, 18:40
From: Yoshi-K (yoshi@galaxies.jp)
Hi Weasner-san.
DS2000 put Japan on the market at last.

I am sorry to be Japanese.
However, the photograph was used abundantly.
http://etx.galaxies.jp/modules/ds2000vs70at/

Regards,
---------------------------------
Yoshikatsu Kida
http://starimpact.com/
http://etx.galaxies.jp/

Subject: DS2114 and DS2130
Date: 2/17/04, 14:06
From: vidap@sbcglobal.net
i owned an ETX90ec for a year or so, then sold it.  i am curious to know
how the ds2114 and/or the ds2130 stack-up next to the the ETX90.  i know
they are totally different kinds of scopes, but would like to hear what
you have to say...recommend or not?  appreciate your input.
Barry Waldman
San Antonio,TX
Mike here: I have no personal experience with the DS models.

Subject: Manual of Telescope Meade Saturn DS 114AT
Date: 2/11/04, 00:01
From: varthali (varthali@winlink.gr)
I would like to have in .doc or .pdf format the english manual of the
telescope Meade Saturn DS 114 AT. It is quite ergent.
 
Thank you in advance,
 
Varthali Amalia
Mike here: Check the FAQ page on my ETX Site.

And:

Thank you very much for your quick response.It was very useful!

Regards,
Varthali Amalia

Subject: Best Scope
Date: 2/6/04, 19:14
From: Richard Smith (rcsmitty1@hotmail.com)
My son got me a Meade DS-2140AT for Christmas.  It really peaked my
interest.  I would like to know what would be the best scope for
astrophotography in the 1000.00 - 1500.00 price range?  I have an AE-1
Program I am thinking about using to start with.  As I get more
experienced I am thinking about upgrading to  a digital or CCD.  I
thought about upgrading to a better scope first, then as money become
available, upgrading to a better camera.  I have been looking at Meade
and Orion scopes.  I am still quite new, but have been bitten by the
bug.   I now am a proud member of the Back Bay Amateur Astronomers. 
That is a group out of Hampton Roads Virginia, about 100 members strong.
 They are really a great help, but can get no real good answer to my
question.  Hopefully I will be attending a CCD class to operate (as a
volunteer) a remote scope to be built in the near future.  I got 
interested in astronomy as a Boy Scout, but was unable to keep it up
during my Naval Career.  My son thought I needed another hobby,
Astronomy (a lucky guess on his part).  So here I am, studying the stars
on most clear night, much to my wife's dismay.  I have been
search/studying the web since New Year's, but can find no clear answer. 
I found your address through a search engine.  I would really appreciate
any help/suggestions you can offer!!!!!

Thank You for YOUR TIME and ASSISTANCE
Richard Smith
Mike here: For starters, I suggest doing some "easy" astrophotography with your DS and camera. See the Accessory Reviews - Astrophotography and Helpful Information - Astrophotography pages for lots of info on adapters and more. You should be able to take nice photos of the Moon and brighter planets. Once you have some experience then you can move up to more difficult objects, which may or may not mean getting a different telescope. You might want to check into the Autostar Suite from Meade, which includes a nice imager for astrophotography. While it is not advertised as working with the DS model for Autostar functions, the imager and software for that will work any telescope as I show on my review of the Autostar Suite.

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