Last updated: 31 January 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-2114ATS Land View
Sent:	Friday, January 28, 2005 04:06:32
From:	Antonio Fuentes (pda@servido.net)
I am writing from spain. I would like to buy a DS-2114ATS but I am first
checking which prism I can use to see land views (erectic prism). In the
manual or the DS-2000 series, which you can download on the meande.com
page, they say that: " #928 45 Erecting Prism: The 90 diagonal provided
with DS-2000 Series refractors results in upright-but-reversed viewing
of land subjects. The #928 45 Erecting Prism (1.25") orients the image
correctly in terrestrial applications and results in a comfortable 45
viewing angle. For use with refractors only."

But the DS-2114 is a reflector, so there is no erecting prism for
DS-2114? But on other Meade pages they say that all Meade telescops are
to use for land view.

Thanks for a hint
Regards Antonio Fuentes
Mike here: You can use ANY telescope for terrestrial views. However, the image will have some sort of reversal or mirror-image look. If that doesn't bother you (for example, you don't need to read text), then you don't need an image corrector. With many reflectors you can just stand facing the rear of the telescope when viewing through the eyepiece.
Subject:	Autostar display doesn't lights up
Sent:	Thursday, January 20, 2005 01:54:25
From:	Vito Brunetti (vito.brunetti@tasitalia.com)
I'm writing from Rome (Italy), after some years I've finally purchased a
telescope (AS-2070AT with an AS 494). All the family, my 17 years old
son first, appreciated the spectacular show of Saturn. Yesterday he
tried to connect the HBX scope port to a pc serial port, (without taking
a look to your site...), with a cisco router wire. The result has been
that now we are unable to light up de Autostar handset. Do you have some
suggestions or the only things that I can do is to bring the scope to

Mike here: That was BAD. The circuit board has probably been damaged and will need to be replaced. That means a return of the whole telescope.
Subject:	DS-2000 voltage/accuracy problems
Sent:	Monday, January 17, 2005 06:04:24
From:	Steven Abba (sabba@hanson-inc.com)
I have recently been trying to get a DS-2000 mount to work.  It has been
really cold, so that may be part of the problem.  I started out using
the eight pack with NiMH batteries.  This gives me a total of 9.6v. 
This seemed to work fine inside while testing.  When I went out into the
cold (10 degrees or less), the batteries didn't last very long and
accuracy was questionable.  I did level and position the scope very
accurately each time.

I decided I needed more voltage and got a 12v / 1.2 amp battery.  The
scope slewed much faster and seemed more accurate.  Then I started
getting motor faults.  It would either stop responding or continue
running in one direction.  The fault would come after each restart. 
Even after going inside and letting it warm up, this was the case.  I
even tried eight alkaline AA batteries, which is what it requires, and
still got the faults.  After I clear the faults, it runs fine, though a
bit slower, on the 9.6v (inside where it is warm).

Any ideas?

Steven J. Abba
Hanson Professional Services Inc.
By the way, I am using a 494 handset......
Mike here: When changing power sources, OR when the voltage changes dramatically, which it did, you should do another CALIBRATION. Let me know if that cures the problem.


I did the calibration and training each time. It turns out that I had
several problems.  Originally I was having a leveling problem.  I solved
that by attaching three line levels on the bottom of the tripod base. 
Also, The cold weather was zapping my batteries so the higher voltage
helped there.  The faults were being caused by several things.  The cold
air making thing stiff and zapping the batteries was cause for some of
the faults as well as part of my accuracy problem.  I disassembled the
entire mount to check the gears and grease and found that the tensioner
that keeps the drive gear against the main gear was way to tight on both
drives.  This of course added resistance to the gears turning which was
even worse in the cold air.  To add to all of the confusion, the
connector for the handbox was poorly attached to the cord.  After some
use the connection became compromised and!  grew increasingly worse. 
Not knowing this made for great frustration.

Last night at 6 degrees I was able to align, slew to and track M 42
while I tested my LPI.  The cold did eventually slow things down though.

Subject:	Meade Autostar Problem
Sent:	Saturday, January 15, 2005 11:40:25
From:	Christopher Busselle (melange664@hotmail.com)
Hi. I am new to astronomy and have just purchased a Meade DS-2080AT. I
came across your site in an internet search and was wondering if you
could help me. I set up my telescope without any problems and everything
seemed to be working accordingly. The Autostar controller moved the
telescope up, down, left, and right. A few days after having it set up I
went to look at the moon. After I got it in focus, I tried to lock down
the tilt, but the telescope would not stay in place. It was pointing up
quite a bit, so I don't know if it might have been a weight problem. I
don't know how tight these locks are supposed to hold the telescope.
Since it wouldn't stay locked in place, I was going to use the Autostar
controller and see if that helped. When I went to use them, the
telescope would move left and right on it's horizontal axis but not
vertically. I can hear the motor turning when I press the up and down
arrows but the wheel is not moving. For a moment it would move up, but
not down, then vice versa, but not to it's fullest potential. Now it
wont seem to move at all vertically. I adjusted the telescope,
calibrated the motors (which returned no problems, though the scope
would still not move vertically), and reset the Autostart. It still wont
work. I also made sure that the scope is at 0 degrees when I turn on the
Autostar. Being that I am new to this, I thought it might be user error.
Before I have to send in to Meade, I was wondering if I could fix this
problem on my own, and if you might have any idead why this might be.

Thanks for your time,
Mike here: The locks are friction type. If you over-tightened the lock you could have damaged something. Since it won't hold in place I suspect something is stripped someplace. You could try a replacement with the dealer where you purchased it if you didn't cause the damage.
Subject:	re: Meade DS-2114 ats language
Sent:	Saturday, January 15, 2005 10:39:36
From:	Richard Seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
If you read the January 12, 2005 message from "Adrian" in the ETX70 page:
"New improved  ETX 70 tripod (europe) and free language change for Autostar 494"

He says that Meade Europe replaced his German Autostar with 
(in his case) an English one for free.

You could ask Meade Europe for whatever language you would prefer.

good luck

Subject:	Meade DS-2114 ats language
Sent:	Thursday, January 13, 2005 12:33:36
From:	Gatto.francesco (gatto.francesco@email.it)
I recently bought a Meade telescope Ds-2114 ATS but when I turnei it on
the language displayed wasn'te English but German and even trying to
reset or finding a solution in the booklet (where there were pictures
showing it running in English) was useless. What am I supposed to do?

Thanks in advance

Francesco Gatto 
Mike here: If it is a model #494 Autostar (no number keys on the keypad) you will need to exchange it. If it is a #497 you can upgrade it to the English version at Meade's site.
Subject:	Meade DS startup problem
Sent:	Monday, January 10, 2005 17:48:54
From:	Renee & Scott (rebelyell@farmerstel.com)
Thanks for such an informative site.  I have a DS 2130 which although
has a lot of plastic, seems to have pretty good optics.  My problem is
that starting several months ago, I began to have problems with the
motor tracking; it would start to move for a few seconds, then stop.
This occurred intermittently, then the autostar 494 controller began to
act erratically.  Finally it would completely fail to initialize.  It
would flash the copyright message, then go completely blank and
nonresponsive.  I thought the autostar controller was bad, and so
returned it to mead, who sent me a new one today.  However, the actually
problem must be in the motor housing itself, because the autostar still
will not initialize.  I get the copyright message, then the screen goes
blank.  If I continue to turn it off and on, occasionally it will
initialize, but the motors will not move.  I really don't want to return
the motor unit to Meade if I can help it, although I have about 2 months
left on my warranty.  Any suggestions would be appreciated.  Thanks for
your time.
Clear skies,
Scott H.
Mike here: Check the cable connection. It could be loose or have some bent pins. Have you replaced the batteries?
Subject:	Website
Sent:	Monday, January 10, 2005 09:42:28
From:	Stephen Yale (stephen.yale@gmail.com)
I am not able to view the site at http://www.weasner.com

Is there a problem with the site? Is it mirrored elsewhere. I want to
look at some construction details for a cable for an autostar 494
connected to a PC

I have a DS-2130

Mike here: Site is fine. Maybe there was some glitch somewhere along the line... As to a cable for the #494 Autostar, this is more difficult than you may imagine. It requires some special electronics. It is easier to make a cable for a #497 Autostar, but then you need that model. See the Helpful Information: Autostar Info page.
Subject:	mead ds-70
Sent:	Sunday, January 9, 2005 12:07:52
From:	Sue T. Rosenfeld (stedmon@bezeqint.net)
Hi I just came across your site and was wondering if you could help me.

A friend of mine bought a DS-70 a few years ago but never put it
together. He brought over a box of misc. parts with no instructions and
asked if I could "make it work".

I have a bit of experience with telescopes and have it pretty much
together accept for 2 problems:

I am having trouble with the objective lens. The parts box have 2 lenses
I assume are part of a compound objective. One looks like a regular
magnifying glass and has a bluish coating. When I try to put them
together in the cell they seem to be too fat. Do you have a diagram of
which lens goes where and in what configuration?

Also it apparently came with the #492 dual motor assembly, but no
instructions. I downloaded the telescope manual from the mead site but
it does not have any details on the motor assembly.

Any help or links you can provide would be much appreciated.

Efrat, Israel
Mike here: Sounds like someone disassembled the telescope as it doesn't ship that way from Meade. As to the lens, the coating should be on the outside. Beyond that I don't have any other info.
Subject:	mead telescopes.
Sent:	Thursday, January 6, 2005 13:35:38
From:	chris youwantoknow (castle_ahh@hotmail.com)
i have a mead model 90, and i am getting a little too frustrated with
the "play" the telescope has, witch is a lot. i have almost perfectly
balanced it using a ruler and some balances, and it help a little. i was
wondering if buying a better tripod would help this problem any?

Mike here: Need more info. Which model 90? What is out of balance? The tube or the mounting? Is it just the telescope or the condition due to accessories you are attaching to the telescope? Is the tripod unstable?


the telescope is a Meade DS-90EC,it is a Achromatic refractor,  the
mount is a Altazimuth. the telescope has "play", it moves up and down
and left and right regardless of how tight i adjust the manual control.
the monut it self moves after being adjusted, but the tripod is stable.
Mike here: Some "play" is normal if you PUSH on the telescope. But if it slews and tracks OK, then it is OK.


but would buying a diffrent tripod help in anyway, or would it still
have play?
Mike here: If the play is with the tube on the telescope mount, changing the tripod won't do anything for it. If the whole telescope system is shifting on the tripod, then using a better tripod might help.
Subject:	re: ds 90 Software
Sent:	Wednesday, January 5, 2005 21:24:33
From:	Richard Seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
?? Isn't Windows XP compatible??

Which software, and what happens when you try to install/run it?

Meade has shipped different software with different scopes,
but i think they'll all run under Windows XP.

You may have to be running as an Administrator-level account
(not restricted) to reach the COM ports.

have fun

Subject:	re: 505 Cable with 493 Controller and Star Locator II Software
Sent:	Wednesday, January 5, 2005 21:21:09
From:	Richard Seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
The 493 was a kit of Motors and (i believe) a 495 Autostar.

If your Autostar has two sockets on the bottom, and the full numeric
keypad, then YES, a 505 will work with it.

have fun
From:	JAGON@aol.com (JAGON@aol.com)
Yes, my controller has two sockets on bottom; one a standard phone jack
and the other a standard hand set size jack (slightly smaller in width)
and a full numeric keypad as a 495/497.
OK I'll check my wiring again.
Mike here: Then as both Dick and I said, the #505 cable should work.

And an update:

Yes the cable worked with Windows 95 and 98SE and Star Locator II SW. 

Subject:	505 Cable with 493 Controller and Star Locator II Software
Sent:	Wednesday, January 5, 2005 04:10:00
From:	JAGON@aol.com (JAGON@aol.com)
I was able to buy a telescope with a 493 system installed and have
successfully transferred it to my new DS60.

It works perefectly from the handbox as intended.  Will the 505 Cable
that you defined in your article work with a 493 Controller and the Star
Locator II Software provided with the telescope.  So far I have not been
able to get it to work although my serial port is still suspect.  Any
advice would be appreciated.  Thanks, Joe
Mike here: I suspect that it won't work. The #505 only works with the Autostar #495 or #497.


Thanks, Joe

Subject:	ETX-70AT vs DS2114?
Sent:	Sunday, January 2, 2005 18:55:41
From:	Sonny Adams (sondeb@cox.net)
I appreciate your web site. I am new to telescopes though I have been
interested in astronomy most of my life. I am planning on buying a
telescope. I was considering a Meade ETX-70AT or a DS2114?? because this
is what I can afford. Both are electronically controlled. I was
wondering since you see a lot of pictures from various types of scopes,
which you thought would be the better as far as sharper images? Most web
sites just say that the bigger the aperture the better. However, I am
pretty family with photography and know that there is a difference
between lens makes.
Thanks for any of your thoughts and time!
Mike here: The two biggest differences besides the aperture are the design and the focal length. The DS will provide larger views with more details than the ETX-70.
Subject:	[none]
Sent:	Saturday, January 1, 2005 13:08:18
From:	Tim Evans (evans@feltons905.freeserve.co.uk)
Please, I need help! I have recently purchased the meade telescope,
model ds 2114, I have taken it outside, both on clear nights and I can
see the moon and stars through the viewfinder but looking through the
other eyepiece I can see nothing, occasionally light colored blobs,
focusing does nothing! I really can't think whats wrong with it, I need
some help bearing in mind I am complete novice at using telescopes!
Please email back asap!
Mike here: PLEASE read the Email Etiquette item on the ETX Site Home Page; your message was originally DELETED UNREAD as SPAM due to the missing subject line.
Can you focus on a distant LAND object, say a building that it several blocks or a mile distant?
Subject:	ds 90 Software
Sent:	Saturday, January 1, 2005 04:29:13
From:	MIKE DEVITA (mkdvt@wcoil.com)
I received a Meade ds 90 for Christmas (new) and the software that came
with it for computer control isn't Windows XP compatible.  Can I get
compatible software anymore since this is an older model?
Mike here: There are many applications that can control a GOTO telescope. See the Helpful Information: Autostar Info page for several. Two excellent ones are Astroplanner and Scopedriver. There are also higher end applications like Starry Night and Voyager III that will do it.

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