Last updated: 30 June 2002
Subject: The DS 2130 ATS scope - any good? Sent: Saturday, June 29, 2002 10:47:11 From: Vonkarak@aol.com I am just beginning to look for a quality first telescope and I want to spend around £400 (around $600) and I saw the DS 2130 ATS for this price. I was wondering if this telescope is any good because I was looking at the 6 inch LXD 55 until I found out it was £849 ($1300). Any help?
Subject: re: Meade DS-127 primary mirror repair Sent: Friday, June 28, 2002 8:36:53 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Dave Mazierski) I am fortunate in that many participants in Mike Weasner's on-line discussion group have sent me words of encouragement and technical advice as to the best methods for making my telescope work better... just the kind of help I needed! Baie dankie! D. -- Dave Mazierski Illustration Canada
Subject: Meade 4504 Sent: Friday, June 28, 2002 4:10:24 From: email@example.com (rob leishman) firstly, thanks for the info on the site. I havhe a Meade 4504, the same as a DS114EQ (I assume). I got a new 494 computer for it and have seen it only lists the DS alt/az scopes. Can the 494 be reprogrammed? What hardware is used to transfer the flash programme? Cheers, Rob.Mike here: The #494 Autostar can not be updated as there is currently no update available. You would be better off finding a #495 (which can be software upgraded to a #497) or a #497. You will need Microsoft Windows (or a Mac with VirtualPC), a serial port, and the #505 cable (which you can make using the info on the Autostar Information page on the ETX Site or purchase).
Subject: re: Meade DS-127 primary miror repair Sent: Friday, June 21, 2002 23:17:17 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Richard Seymour) To: email@example.com A lot of DS- information (and other users) hides out at the various Yahoo discussion groups, too... Try http://groups.yahoo.com/group/meade-ds/ and http://groups.yahoo.com/group/meade-uncensored/ The scope -can- be accurately collimated. (and never clean mirrors..... put shower caps on the ends of the barrel so they never get dusty) good luck --dickAnd:
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Dave Mazierski) Many thanks for these links and info... I will study up, roll up my sleeves and give it my best. (it was not dust, but dew residue that prompted me to attempt a mirror cleaning... what was I thinking!!?!) D.And this:
From: Raymond.Barbour@za.didata.com Dave, It is usually not a good idea to clean mirrors. The resultant damage to the mirror is usually worse than the degradation caused by the dirt. It is best to leave it and get the mirror realuminized when it gets really bad. But back to your problem. I had an almost double image when looking at bright planets. I took the scope to the telescope making class of the local astronomical society to get someone there with the right mirror testing tools and experience to take a look at my mirror. It turned out that the mirror was pinched, i.e. the clips holding the mirror in place where too tight. This was warping the shape of the mirror which is what I suspect is the problem you are having. The solution was to attach the clips so that the mirror could move slightly is pushed. The mirror tends to settle to the bottom of the mirror cell as the ds works only in alt-az mode. You can then collimate the scope. I did find that secondary mirror could not be move close enough to the primary so I put a spacer between the mirror and the adjustment screws. I could have lengthened the screw groves down the side of the scope. Collimating the scope works fine, there are no problems with plastic parts. I have found the members at my astronomical society have a wealth of knowledge, particularly the sub-group that make their own telescopes. Regards, Raymond Barbour Joburg South Africa
Subject: Meade DS-127 primary miror repair Sent: Wednesday, June 19, 2002 21:44:57 From: email@example.com (Dave Mazierski) I discovered your site last night, and I am happy to see such a great resource online! I'm hoping that you or your vast readership might be able to help me with this problem: I've had my Meade DS-127 for nearly two years, and I've been quite happy with it. I have only been using it from my downtown Toronto rooftop to view the Moon and planets. My problems started last fall when I took the primary mirror off to clean it. In my naivete, I figured that it wouldn't be too difficult to put back together. Needless to say, I was not able to get its optics to perform anywhere near the quality it did before I made the mistake of disassembling it. I have taken it to two telescope stores to have it collimated. One store returned it to me in a state that was about the same as the state it was in when I dropped it off. Another store improved the telescope's performance, but it is still far short of what it once was. The technician at the second store claimed that much of the mirror assembly is composed of plastic, and that it is almost impossible for these telescopes to be collimated properly, if at all. The plastic parts slip and do not hold their adjustment, and he also claimed that this is a seriously flawed design, which I had not read about anywhere when I researched this telescope prior to purchase. I wondered if other readers of this forum have had similar experiences, or have any advice. The technician suggested that other DS-127 users may have found a solution, or have had better parts fabricated to replace the plastic components that he claims make collimating the scope nearly impossible. Any recommendations or suggestions would be welcome!! Many thanks in advance... Dave
Subject: re: AutoStar on DS114EC Sent: Tuesday, June 18, 2002 0:31:34 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Richard Seymour) To: email@example.com > I purchased a Meade DS-114EC telescope for Christmas last year. > It comes with the old #492 hand controller. If the hand controller has an alphanumeric display (i.e. can show you words and numbers, but does NOT have a numeric keypad), then it will operate with a 506 plugged into the AUX port. IF your hand controller does -not- have an alphanumeric display, then you will need to buy a 494, 495 or 497 Autostar to be able to talk to it from a PC. The 494 would require a 506 to connect, the 495 and 497 use the (far cheaper) 505 (or you can build a 505) have fun --dick
Subject: AutoStar on DS114EC Sent: Monday, June 17, 2002 19:44:59 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Bryan Kay Carter) I found your website tonight after trying to figure this all out, and I though I'd drop you a note with some questions. I purchased a Meade DS-114EC telescope for Christmas last year. It comes with the old #492 hand controller. It has 4 ports on the mount labeled HBX, AZ, ALT, and AUX. The AUX is of course not used currently. I want to be able to hook up my laptop to the system with the appropriate software, but am confused on the cabling. I know that if I have a #495 or #497 controller I can use the #505 cable to connect directly to the handbox. The #506 cable allows you to hook to the AUX port on the newer telescopes directly from the computer, but I am unsure of whether it will work with this one. Any info you can provide would be greatly appreciated. I don't really need the fancier hand controller because I will have the laptop. I also need to find a way to power the system from both 110VAC and 12V automobile. Any ideas on the DS-114EC for this? Thanks for you time and efforts. I am fairly new to this and want to get deeper into it. Just need a little help from the experts. Thanks Bryan Carter Kaysville, UtahMike here: According to the final entry on the "Autostar Models" article on the Autostar Information, you need to purchase the #495 Autostar. Presumably a #497 would also work. As to power supplies, see the Telescope Tech Tips page.
Thanks! I'll pursue that option. Bryan
Subject: Ver 25Ea Sent: Sunday, June 16, 2002 18:19:56 From: email@example.com (David Smith) I have a DS114-EC scope that is about 2yrs old now. I also have the Autostar that has been updated at regular intervals, every time new firmware is available. Currently, it is 25Ea. I have been having difficulty getting the autostar to align properly. I have followed the resetting, training, and calibrating, as suggested from this website. When I finally get the star that is chosen aligned, and press enter, then the autostar starts to track. It appears that all is fine. If I select another object and press GOTO, the scope moves and points, and when the autostar beeps, it's not close at all. After that, the autostar starts to drift; it won't keep the object in the field of view. I think when I had the 22Er version, the autostar worked pretty good, and I didn't have this much trouble. What might I be doing wrong? Also, what is the "Maximum Elevation" for? ( mine is set at 74). and "Min AOS"? (Mine shows "5"). these are features I have never seen before. I appreciate your help. David Smith, Timmins, ON, Canada 48N, 81WMike here: Not having a DS I really can't say what the problem might be. If you want to downgrade your Autostar, the older versions are on the Site (see the Autostar Information page). Max elevation is where the hard stop is reached. As to AOS, beats me.
And from our resident Autostar expert:
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Richard Seymour) Last (easy) things first: > Also, what is the "Maximum Elevation" for? ( mine is set at 74). For telescopes like the LX90, it allows controlling the highest angle the scope will try to reach without asking permission (the "Check Mount" message)... on an ETX90/125/LX90 you can hang a camera on the back which might get hurt if the scope points up too far. That "Max Elevation" (in degrees) provides user control. > and "Min AOS"? (Mine shows "5"). That one allows control of the lowest altitude the scope will attempt to acquire satellites (if you're into chasing satellites). > these are features I have never seen before. Correct... they're new with v25 (although i provided them as part of my patch kits) > If I select another object and press GOTO, the scope moves and points, > and when the autostar beeps, it's not close at all. After that, the > autostar starts to drift; it won't keep the object in the field of > view. I think when I had the 22Er version, the autostar worked pretty > good, and I didn't have this much trouble. What might I be doing wrong? You have done a RESET (and re-select your telescope model) since updating to v25, right? One thing you can do it reload your last "happy" version. (22Er) Mike archives them on his site (or yo might still have it). If the old version works, than that exonerates your scope and your technique, and points the finger of blame at either the firmware, or at incomplete resetting to the "new regime" it maintains with respect to where it stores the numbers. So you could (your choice) either remain happily observing with 22Er, or try the update -again- after verifying that 22Er still operates properly. Among the things which can cause really -bad- GoTos are incorrect Ratio numbers (fixed by selecting the scope model, don't just verify that the ">" points at your model, but press [enter] again when you'e seeing that to cause a parameter reload.) good luck --dick
Subject: Re: Adding an AUX jack to a 4504 or DS114 Sent: Friday, June 14, 2002 20:53:34 From: email@example.com To: Timm try www.ritzcamera.com Don't search for "495", but under their Meade listings they have a controller listed (again, i'm not at my usual computer, so i can't provide the item number) which has the -photo- of a 495. and it's $50. --dick
Subject: Re: Adding an AUX jack to a 4504 or DS114 Sent: Friday, June 14, 2002 19:44:45 From: firstname.lastname@example.org To: Timm > OK, I saw the #506 and was wondering what the difference between it and > 505 was. I sounds like the 506 is mearly what you have built being sold > in a nice little package. NO... the 506 has active, addressable bus-connected electronics. MY splice job merely allows you to -attach- a store-bought 506 to the Starfinder. So you -still- have to spend $50. The 506 cannot be homebuilt. >I cracked the case on the Starfinder Handbox, as it has no markings on the > outside as to what it actuall is. The PC board confirms that it is indeed > a #494 Autostar. photos and parts layout in the as_schematic.html subpage under Mike's Autostar Info page. (i'm not on my own PC , so i can't easily supply the full URL at this moment) >Being currently on a limited budget (dotcommed since October and still >looking), I will give a hand at building and documenting this little cable >as I pretty much have almost all the parts I need on hand already to build >it with the possible exception of the fuse link and diode. OK... true confessions... i've never actually -put- a fuse or diode in there... have fun --dickAnd more:
From: email@example.com I agree that ascii art leaves a lot out. Yes, the final product was a female rj45 to male rj45 "extension cord", with a female 4-pin handset connector (rj11 4x4, in some parlance) Y-spliced into it. (it was -built- by using a typical telephone surface-mount wall box to provide the female rj11, with shims inside it to narrow the slot to handset-sized. The male/female rj45 cable i created by either chopping a multi-line phone extension cord into a usable length, and "splicing" in the block's connector by using the surface-mount's screws. I've made two of these, and the other was cobbled together with wire, raw connectors, crunch and punch-down tools. So i did -not- open the Starfinder to create the socket. I did not cut into the Starfinder's cable. Photos would be wonderful (i should post some, too... but you're invited to) I hope that's clearer. However, now-a-days, since i can patch the 497's code to handle the GEM mount, i recommend buying a 495 (which, at $50, is about the same price as a 506 cable) and firmware upgrading it to 497-hood. Then build a 505 cable (merely a 9-pin to a rj11 4x4) to connect it to the PC. But the 506 AUX socket -does- work. have fun --dickAnd:
Yep saw that page (http://www.weasner.com/etx/autostar/as_schematic.html). Looks like I am still going to lay out some money here as looks like building my own 505 isn't enough. Seems like my best option at this point would be upgrading the controller to the 495. Does that eliminate the need for the AUX port cable to be built? Cannot seem to find the 495 for $50, best so far was $99, if you know a site, please pass it along. Maybe used on ebay, hmmm. Thanks Timm
Subject: Ds114 Meade telestar Manual needed? Sent: Tuesday, June 11, 2002 16:59:51 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (affirm33) I have a working Ds114 and do bnot have a manual for it. How and/or where would I be able to find one?? Thx Affirm33@Yahoo.comMike here: Contact Meade; they will likely send you one.
Subject: Great Site!!! Sent: Friday, June 7, 2002 20:06:29 From: email@example.com (Mike Patchus) Fantastic site. I just purchased a Meade DS 2060-ATE TELESTAR TELESCOPE for my daughter. We set it up following all the cryptic Meade instructions but have encountered a problem with the Autostar controller. Every time we try to align it the motors turn and the scope moves for a bit then we get a motor fault error. This happens in either "easy align" or "One star" align mode. I searched your FAQ section for a problem like this but didn't find any listed. Have you ever heard of this problem before? Any suggestion on how to fix it? I bought this because of the controller, figuring it was easy enough for my daughter to operate. Not been the case so far. Thanks for any advice you can provide. Mike Patchus Atco NJ Chrome Riders Inc. www.chromeriders.orgMike here: You might check the following: Be certain the proper model is selected in the Autostar. Be certain you are not overtightening the axis locks. Be certain there are no obstructions prevented free movement (use the slewing arrows to be certain you can move the telescope properly). If you continue to get the error, power off, disconnect the Autostar and reconnect it, power on, do a RESET and then a RECALIBRATE from the Autostar menus.
Subject: DS-2114ATS with #494 Autostar system Sent: Tuesday, June 4, 2002 14:41:46 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Matt Morrison) I am planning on buying a DS-2114ATS in the next few days. This scope comes with a #494 autostar system. I looked on the Meade web site and it said that with this scope I need the #505 connector set and software, but from your replies to others it sounded like I needed the #506 connectors. Which one do I actually need. Thanks for your help. MattMike here: According to Meade's site (http://www.meade.com/support/auto.html) you use the #506 cable with the #494 and DS models.
Subject: Autostar #495 & #497 Sent: Monday, June 3, 2002 8:56:55 From: email@example.com (Sergey F. Volokitin) I have Meade #492 electronic control system for DS series. I want to use this with my scope (180 tooth gear). Can i converting #495 in to #497? I have new version 25Ea. Can i change Alt/Az ratio in #495 model? -- Best regards, Sergey F. Volokitin St.Petersburg, Russia firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.skyland.narod.ruMike here: Once you update the #495 to the current version from Meade's site you will have a #497 Autostar, with full features. It should work fine with the DS models.
Subject: quick Autostar question Sent: Saturday, June 1, 2002 20:44:54 From: Johnvicini@aol.com I have a Meade Jupiter DS telescope with the #492 motor, the book said to get the 495 hand controller box. I was sent the 494 hand box, will this work or do I need the 495??? thank you, John ViciniMike here: Should work. Just select the proper DS model in the Autostar.
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