Last updated: 31 January 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:	Re: Meade DS-16 For Sale
Sent:	Wednesday, January 29, 2003 20:32:51
From:	vswm@hotmail.com (Very SWM)
I wonder if I might ask another question while I'm here. I purchased
this DS-16 without an eyepiece, and since purchased a 12.5mm (1 1/4"
barrel diameter) eyepiece for about $30. Can you tell me if I did the
right thing (1. is this a good compromise as far as magnification power,
or am I vastly under-utilizing what the 16" mirror is capable of? 2. are
there larger diameter eyepieces available?) I notice the eyepiece mount
unscrews, leaving a 2" threaded opening - are there larger eyepieces
that connect directly to this thread, or is it for connecting to a
camera? If so, might you comment on whatall is available and recommended
for picture taking?

Thanks again,
Mike here: Eyepieces come in three sizes normally: 0.965", 1.25", and 2". So if your telescope can accommodate a 2" eyepiece (and you can afford them) then they can provide nice views. As to the magnification, see the FAQ page on the ETX Site for the formula to use.
Subject:	Can you help me out deciding please?
Sent:	Wednesday, January 29, 2003 7:12:04
From:	clavaria@entelchile.net (Claudio Avaria S.)
My name´s Claudio Avaria and I live in Santiago, Chile. I'm
wondering if you'd be kind enough to help me out deciding what would be
the best for you in this case. I have a relative who lives in Houston
TX, he travels often back to Chile. So I asked him if he could buy me a
telescope. I choose for size and price a Celestron Firstcope short 114
4.5 inch Newtonian reflector (US$180), complemented with various Ploss
eyepieces. He already bought the Celestron and has it on his house ready
to bring it to me here in Chile. Now, the salesman of the store where he
bought the telescope offered him an "MEADE
POLARIS model DS 2114 ATS 114 mm 4.5 reflecting  telescope with
autostar computer controller". for US$260 (regular price is US$400 but
it's on sale now for US$ 300 plus the salesman offered him another
discount which brings it down to US$ 260) . I searched over the net and
found some comments about Polaris by Meade telescopes not being as good
as the real thing ( Meade DS 2114 ATS 114 mm
US$ 399 @amazon.com) in this case. But theoretical the price for
both is the same.

The differences that I've seen so far are different eyepieces (Meade=2 x
1.25" MA25mm and MA 9mm) ; (Polaris=3 x .965" SR4mm, H12.5mm and H25mm)
and different viewfinder Meade 6x30 vs Polaris 5x24.

Optically wise which one would you get?

I have the 1.25" plosses so would the Polaris be a good choice or should
I keep the Celestron?

Well, thank you very much for reading. I'd like to apologize for the
newbie questions but you seem like the right person to ask.

Best regards
Claudio Avaria
Mike here: I have no experience with the DS telescopes but people who have them tend to like them for the price/performance. If you do get the 0.965" eyepiece model you can get an adapter (from Meade or elsewhere) to use the 1.25" eyepieces.
Subject:	Meade DS users group.
Sent:	Monday, January 27, 2003 12:41:29
From:	jakejacobso@yahoo.com (James Jacobson)
For some reason, the Meade-DS user group has vanished from Yahoo!
Groups.  As you know, this group has been a significant source of
information for the DS line of telescopes.

So that we can continue with this resource, I have created a replacement
group on Yahoo! groups at:


Hopefully, this will allow DS users to continue our discussion of DS

I know you often referred DS users to our previous group.  I would
appreciate it if you could post this new group to your list of links, so
that new DS users will be able to find us on the net!

Thanks again for your great site and resources!

-J. Jacobson

Subject:	Question about Yahoo group
Sent:	Sunday, January 26, 2003 13:30:45
From:	JPU471@aol.com
I don't know who else to ask.  Do you know what has happened to the
Yahoo Meade DS group?  Yahoo says it doesn"t exist.  Thanks for your
help.  Your site is great also.  Ken
Mike here: I saw a report that Yahoo deleted several groups, including the DS one. I haven't heard whether this was an error, a bug in their software, or something intentional.
Sent:	Saturday, January 25, 2003 2:28:22
From:	paulorod@gold.com.br (Paulo Rodrigues)
Is it possible to get started in astrophotography using a MEADE
DS-2114ATS telescope?

Its ATS mounting is a limitation?

Thanks in advance for your help,

Paulo Rodrigues - Brasil   paulorod@gold.com.br
Mike here: Any telescope can be used for some types of astrophotography. See the Helpful Information - Astrophotography page on my ETX Site as well as the astrophotography galleries.
Subject:	.965 to 1.25 conversion
Sent:	Thursday, January 23, 2003 13:19:11
From:	droscoe@mpacs.com (Dennis Roscoe)
Do you know of any conversion kits that will change the end of the focus
tube to accept a 1.25" eye piece instead of the standard .965 on the


Mike here: Yes, they exist. You can see my comments on a 0.965 to 1.25 converter (called an "Expanding Bushing") on the Accessory Reviews - Eyepieces page. The reverse are also available.


Thanks for the quick response.

Subject:	Meade DS 2130 and Barlow Lens
Sent:	Wednesday, January 22, 2003 19:24:23
From:	timmelissa1@knology.net (Jacobs, Timothy, M., SSgt, SEADS/DOCE)
Do you know anything about the barlow lens that are to be used.  My
scope came with a 3x barlow.  It has only one lens inside, and when I
try to focus on an object ie. Jupiter, all I see is the white light from
the object and in the forground I am constantly seeing my secondary
mirror and alignment veins.  Meade has one shipped out to me, but I
don't know if it is the same thing or not.  Do you have any ideas for
this problem?

Mike here: Some types of Barlow Lenses may not reach a focus with some telescope models. It sounds like yours is not reaching a focus. Try sliding the Barlow Lens/eyepiece combination in and out to see if you can find a closer focus position.
Subject:	Carrying Case for a DS-80AT
Sent:	Thursday, January 9, 2003 18:27:15
From:	AguiJuan@aol.com
Hi, I just bought my first telescope (DS-80AT) and I was trying to see
if I could find a carrying case for it. Do they even sell them?  I went
to Meade's website and I could not find anything. I went to some dealers
of Meade products and again I got nowhere. I finally did a google search
and stumbled on your page and thought maybe you could help and point me
in the right direction.

Thank you for your time.

Mike here: I haven't seen any cases specifically for the DS models. However, I'm sure that some cases would work. See the Accessory Reviews - Cases page.
Subject:	Problem With "Costco" Telescope
Sent:	Wednesday, January 8, 2003 18:15:19
From:	drorreddy@attbi.com
I recently purchased the DS-80AT Meade Telescope and found it difficult
to put together. The device to control the axes could not be screwed in
to the telescope. Also, I did not understand how the AutoStar Computer
Controller works. How does it hook up to my computer? In addition, when
I put new batteries into the batery pack, the light that was supposed to
turn on did not light up.

The instruction manual for the DS-80AT Telescope was not at all clear
because it included the directions for many other Meade Telescopes. I
was wondering if there was some website that could tell me more about
this telescope and maybe even how to put it together.

I am disappointed about how long it is taking to put together this
telescope. Aligning the viewfinder with the telescope is also difficult
to do. Should I just return my telescope back to Costco? Please help!

Mike here: There are some DS user comments on my ETX Site (on the DS Feedback pages). I don't have any of the DS models myself. There are some DS Yahoo Groups for more discussions and help. For Autostar tips, see the Autostar Information page. You will need another cable (which probably didn't come with the telescope) to connect to your computer. Aligning ALL finderscopes is not trivial and takes time and patience.
Subject:	ds114 help
Sent:	Tuesday, January 7, 2003 22:17:08
From:	Ericandsteve@aol.com
i just got  one for Christmas and i need help using it I've never used
one before and is a bit overwhelming  i live in Santa Clarita, Ca
Mike here: Read the manual three times. Follow the manual set up steps indoors. Play with the telescope indoors until you feel comfortable that you know how to control it and use it. Then you can take it outside in the dark and begin using it without becoming frustrated. The Moon is an excellent first target and is well positioned in the evening sky right now.



Subject:	Meade DS-2114ATS
Sent:	Tuesday, January 7, 2003 10:12:52
From:	gkremer@globaltech-experts.com (George Kremer)
I recently purchased a Meade DS-2114ATS telescope.  The department store
that I purchased the telescope from does not support the product, or
sell any accessories or parts.

I am disappointed because when I initially set-up / assembled the
telescope I could not get the 6x30mm view finder to focus at all.  The
only way I could get it to focus (without my glasses) was to lengthen
the tube by turning the front adjustment barrel - then the front lens
would "jiggle" in the view finder !!!  I am to the point now where I
want to just shop and find a good monoscope / site that can be easily
adjusted, and affix this site to the 2114ATS !!!

Also, I am having problems focusing on groups of stars, or getting the
rings of Saturn to come into clear focus.  In addition, the moon comes
into focus, however it appears to be "cloudy".  What gives ???  Meade is
very difficult to get in touch with, so I figured that if I had access
to a discussion group this would help me resolve any problems with the

Q - Do you view stars, etc. (through the eyepieces) with or without eye
glasses ???

Q - Is there an alignment procedure that I need to go through to align /
properly focus my reflector telescope ???  Where can I find this
procedure ???

Thank you.

Please help !!!
Mike here: There is a DS discussion group on the Yahoo Groups. The URL has been mentioned on recent DS Feedback pages. As to alternative finderscopes, see the Accessory Reviews - Finderscopes page for some ideas. You don't mention what magnification you are trying. As you approach and exceed the maximum magnification for any telescope the image will get fainter and fuzzier. (See the FAQ page for how to determine magnification and the max magnification.) Whether you use your eyeglasses or not will depend upon why you wear them. If you can focus the eyepiece to your unaided eye then you will probably find that best as it gets your eye close the eyepiece and lets you see the entire eyepiece field of view. As to aligning the telescope, if it is user adjustable, I would think the procedures are in the manual. I don't have experience with the DS models so can't comment directly.
Subject:	DS-2070 vs. DS-80
Sent:	Saturday, January 4, 2003 10:23:57
From:	jawflair@comcast.net (Joshua A. Weiner)
Hi, I'm looking to purchase my first Meade telescope.  I am a beginner,
and after doing a bit of research I've decided that the DS-2070AT is the
right one for me.  However, as I continued my research, I came across a
brand new DS-80AT on ebay.  I realize that the regular DS series is
discontinued, and I guess that's why I couldn't find information on them
on the Meade website.  I only found info on the 2000 series.  Therefore
my question is, what are the differences between the two telescopes,
pros and cons of each, and which would you recommend assuming they both
come with the same accessories (autostar tracking, tripod, etc.)?  Any
advice is greatly appreciated as I would like to be sure I make the
appropriate purchase.  Thanks in advance!
Mike here: I have no direct experience with the DS models. In looking at an older Meade catalog, there isn't much difference in the two (except the focal length on the 2070 is shorter, 700m vs 900mm). The DS-2070 also has more slew speeds. Buying a used telescope can be an excellent way to get into amateur astronomy, however, it can also lead to a lot of frustration if there are problems. Buying a new telescope gets you the latest model plus a warranty from the manufacturer. Either way has its pluses and minuses.
Subject:	Re: ETX vs. Reflecting
Sent:	Friday, January 3, 2003 22:47:31
From:	lisa566@msn.com (Lisa Tyler)
Mike, Thanks for the quick response!

Does the EXT-70 or EXT-90 provide enough additional clarity due to the
design of the refractor or Maksutov-Cassegrain lens compared to the
reflecting telescope to offset the larger aperture/focal length with a
higher power eyepiece?  I would like to achieve a clearer view of
planets such as Saturn or Jupiter.  Using a H12.5mm eyepiece with the
DS-114 only allows a relatively clear view of Saturn's rings.  Don't
want to spring for an EXT-70 or EXT-90 and find that this resolution
can't be improved.

I appreciate your help . . . Ty
Mike here: From your description, it sounds like your expectations are too high for what the ETX-70AT will deliver (due to its small aperture and short focal length). The ETX-90 may come closer (given its longer focal length) but its small aperture will limit the magnification you can use. However, its Maksutov-Cassegrain design does provide higher contrast views of planets.


From:	rseymour@wolfenet.com (Richard Seymour)
ETX70 vs DS-114


I've used an ETX70 and a 4504 (a differently mounted, but the same
optical tube as the DS-114) side-by-side (along with my ETX90).
The 114 showed things neither the 70 nor 90 did, due to its larger mirror.
So, personally, i'd choose the 114.

The eyepieces which come with the 114 are not very good (Meade created
many mixes of eyepeices and scopes in their packaging, but i think 
you have the 0.96 inch outer diameter eyepieces).

The first thing folks recommend is to call Meade's 800 number,
and request their free 1.25 eyepiece holder for the DS-114.
Your telescope can actually hold 2-inch eyepieces, and the free
adapter replaces the one in there now which narrows it to 0.96 inch.

Then you can start buying better eyepieces (Mike's site has nice reviews).

If you're seeing poor images, the scope might need "collimating"
(covered in the manual), or you may live in an area of "bad seeing"
(like i do).

Some of the 114mm have their main mirror clips too tight.. that
can lend a triangular pinch to the mirror which shows up as
distorted images... it's hard to describe or diagnose remotely,
and may require a "non-pinched" scope to determine if it's happening 
to you.

A good DS- resource is the Yahoo group:
and much 114mm barrel knowledge hangs out at:

have fun

Subject:	ETX vs. Reflecting
Sent:	Friday, January 3, 2003 15:34:37
From:	lisa566@msn.com (Lisa Tyler)
Just found your website and it is loaded with a wealth of information
for a novice astronomer!  I appreciate your efforts and your dedication
to the ETX.

However, I recently purchased a Meade Model DS-114ATE (114mm / 4.5"
Reflecting Telescope with Autostar Computer Controller).  The unit
specs. are; D=114mm, F=910mm, f/8 and came with H25mm, H12.5mm, SR4mm
lenses to include a 3x Barlow lens.  It also has tripod and electronic
eyepiece.  Pretty decent package for an affordable price! 
Unfortunately, I have been rather dissatisfied with the telescope based
on performance, quality, and size (large and bulky).

For about the same price, I could replace with an ETX-70AT.  Can you
advise how the ETX will perform as far as image clarity and
magnification compared to the DS-114ATE?  Also, any recommendations
regarding additional lenses that should be purchased up front.

My wife has recently become very interested in astronomy and we are both
beginners at best.  However I want to make a sound investment and get
the best bang for my buck.  I would consider upgrading to the ETX-90AT
if you feel it's performance would far outweigh the 70AT.  Not sure I
can justify the cost unless I was assured it would just blow the 70AT

Your assistance is greatly appreciated . . . Regards, Ty
Mike here: You are comparing a larger aperture/longer focal length telescope (the DS-114) to a smaller aperture/shorter focal length telescope (the ETX-70AT). Smaller and shorter means less magnification but a wider field of view. So you need to decide what's important to you and then make you decision on which telescope model will best meet your needs AND expectations. Once you know that, then you can also decide upon what, if any, additional accessories you want.

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