Last updated: 18 March 2003
Subject: Is it good enough ? Sent: Monday, March 17, 2003 1:40:12 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Andrew Tang) My name ia Andrew and I am new to astronomy. I am seriously thinking of getting the Meade DS-60 telescope. I am intersted in the viewing the moon and the planets (saturn, Jupiter). I am wondering if the DS-60 scope is good enough for me. Need your advice. Thank you.Mike here: The DS line is a fine telescope but has its limitations in what can be viewed. Depending upon your expectations, it may or may not be the right telescope for you. As a starter telescope, a small aperture telescope is OK but you may wish you had more aperture (which allows you to see more details and fainter objects). Of course, cost is also a consideration.
Subject: Help with DS-2070 Sent: Saturday, March 15, 2003 13:13:55 From: email@example.com (Tracey Schwertfeger) I am a beginner at this. I am having some trouble with the Autostar initialization. I can't seem to be able to input the coordinates of my home town. I live in a small town in Kansas and so it is not listed on the Autostar as an option. The only place it has closest to my town in Wichita. Well, that is what we have been trying to use it on, and it is not working correctly. When we try and align the telescope, it is off by quite a bit. And even when we hit Go To for the moon, it is off. Wichita is 50 miles away from my town, so I need a way to input the right coordinates so everything will be on target. I hope you can shed some light on this subject for me. I would appreciated it! Thanks, Tracey S.Mike here: You can edit or add sites. The simplest way is to edit an existing Site. Use Setup-->Site-->Edit.
Subject: DS base ETX conversion Sent: Thursday, March 13, 2003 5:10:23 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Doug Shartzer) I purchased one of these converted bases for my ETX90RA from a guy on E-bay. I agree that it is a great base, very sturdy, however I can't get the unit to align properly. I've tried everything from training the drives to changing settings, entering actual lat/lon positions and clock settings down to the second and of course critically leveling the tripod. The guy I purchased this unit from didn't give me any set up instructions. Later when I asked he wanted to charge me for these instructions. Nice guy!? Your web site is great and I thought you might be able to let me know what the proper Autostar settings are to make this setup function properly. Thanks in advance for your time. Doug Shartzer Tuckerton NJMike here: Check the Telescope Tech Tips page; there are some ETX on DS mount articles there.
Subject: DS Telestar DS-2130 AT Sent: Thursday, March 13, 2003 1:10:12 From: BalticDude@aol.com I have found a Meade telescope model DS-2130 AT that is selling for $174.00 dollars. Brand new and in the box. Is this a good price? I have had a smaller telescope years ago and was just wondering is this a good telescope for a serious beginner. When did they come out with this model? Also where can one find it online to get more information, like can one hook up a camera to it, and does it hook up to a PC? Paul BruvelisMike here: The DS series is a fine beginner's telescope. You can check various online dealers for current pricing for this fairly recent model. It uses the #494 Autostar so you can add a computer to control it via a #506 cable. As to adding a camera, see the Helpful Information --> Astrophotography page; lots of info and other links there. Also, check Meade's site for info on the telescope.
Subject: Loose mount on DS-2130 Sent: Monday, March 10, 2003 5:46:02 From: email@example.com (Brad Allen) You may have answered a problem like this, but I have a problem with my DS-2130's Autostar mount. I accidentally handled it roughly while loading it into a car and now the telescope hanges down a small bit. Is this a problem that Autostar will correct, or do I need to repair it/get it repaired? I can slip somthing in the crack to correct it, but I'm not sure if that will solve it permanently.Any advice? Also, here's some feedback on the DS-2130 from Wal-Mart. It has great quality images and you can get great magnification and resolution. However, it is a 130mm telescope with a $350 price tag, so costs had to be cut somewhere. That somewhere is on the parts used and materials. For example, the tube is made of thin aluminum instead of a thicker material. I accidentally didn't expand the tripod enough (I thought I did) and it fell over right on a vane, making a large dent I had to hammer out and bent the vane. I was able to correct it and get it back together fine, but if it had better quality it would have worked better. Some other examples are the eyepieces- metal rings, but plastic around the small lenses. They are also .9", not 1.25". The barlow is pure plastic, and the lens mount is thin and the ring, which can be switched out for a 2" eyepiece ring, is made of cheap plastic as well. So is the finder. However, it works quite well, although I'm not sure of the Autostar quality.
Subject: Power supplies Sent: Wednesday, March 5, 2003 6:56:43 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Hutchings, Mike) This is the meat of the message I posted on the Yahoo site: I am revisiting astronomy after many years and have picked up a new but cheap DS90 and have been reading with interest comments regarding power supplies to the DS devices. You may be interested in how I have resolved some of the problems that accompany the 'AA' battery pack. The length of the leads and the number of connections between the batteries and the telescope provide a resistance to the flow of current and this is particularly significant when both motors are operating, interestingly at the lower slew rates in my case. The effect is to lower the voltage at the telescope end with the effect being emphasised as batteries become exhausted, due to their internal resistance rising. At the same time, the pulsing effect that drives the motors produces pulses of current that can be particularly disruptive to sensitive electronics such as the Autostar and motor control circuits, particularly when the battery life is low; later Meade motor modifications and one suggested on the Weasner site do work to offset this. You can assist by using a dry-fit 12V lead acid battery with shorter and slightly heavier leads. I have also added a couple of capacitors across the socket in the telescope, of 470 microfarads (16V) - watch the polarity - and 100 nanofarad (ceramic) to provide additional filtering of the pulsing effects. The advantage of the lead acid battery is that its internal resistance stays relatively low for the whole of its discharge cycle so is able to keep the current demand up. Regarding alternative line powered supplies, I have found an old laptop power supply delivers a good 1.5 amps at around 14-16 V. This voltage is a bit high for the telescope but connecting two or three 2-amp diodes (1N4002) in series in the lead drops this by around 0.7V per diode - aim to keep the voltage below 13V. By the way, the laptop supplies have an advantage for the international observer as they work on line supplies from 100-240V. Since I posted the original message, I have found that the average current while slewing is around a couple of hundred milliamps or so but the pulse currents I mentioned peak at around 2-3 amps (crudely measured with an oscilloscope across a shunt), classic for pulsed inductive loads such as the Meade electric motors. This will not be a problem with a good regulated supply such as the Meade one or a dry-fit lead acid or auto battery. Do try to keep the number of connections between the supply and the telescope to a minimum though. Great sight Mike! Mike
Subject: mead 2000 series ds-80 at telescope Sent: Monday, March 3, 2003 22:38:03 From: email@example.com (John Bryant) My husband gave me a ds-80At 2000 series telescople for x-mas and still I dont have it working yet. First Meade had to send me a new battery pack, when that didn't fix it they sent me a new computer. My question to you is, is it worth it? Telescopes are a new thing for me and Im just about out of patience. Have you heard of many problems with these telescopes?Mike here: I don't recall reading about too many problems with the DS series. What does your dealer say?
Subject: RE: ds-2130 tight altitude lock. Sent: Saturday, March 1, 2003 17:55:06 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (David Cakalic) I can't get it to turn in either direction... strange because the first scope I had, it loosened and turned normal. If I can find one of those rubber things used to help open jar lids I'll try that. Short of vise grips I don't know what else to try. I also noticed while I was collimating the scope this morning that there is an awful lot of specks on the mirrors (I think it's the primary mirror.) A few specks of dust I can understand, but this is like 40-50 (estimate). I was wondering what should be used (if anything) to remove them. (Also just considering returning it... maybe third times the charm)!! Thanks for all your help so far, I appreciate it. David CakalicMike here: Yes, the rubber gripper pads can help a lot; I've used them on aperture covers that were stuck and the ETX DEC scale knob. As to the dust, if you are sure it is dust, use a camera lens bulb-type air blower to blow the dust off. If that doesn't work, see the "Cleaning Tips" article on the Buyer/New User Tips page.
Well someone (can't remember who right now) sent me a tip that solved the tight altitude lock problem. You remove the optical tube assembly and the tube holder, and there is a 7/16" lock nut there that needs to be loosened (then retightened... just not as tight as meade had it.) New problems (other than dust) have arisen... this scope seems to be a comedy of errors. Now the drive on the altitude axis is sporadic (even after loosening and tightening both the internal lock nut and outside alt. lock.) It will seem to work fine for 5 minutes of pressing the arrow keys to drive up down left and right, but will suddenly stop going either up, down, or both. Light nudge on the tube causes it to reengage, but would obviously cause tracking errors if scope had been aligned. Looks like another to return to Walmart. Maybe third or fourth time is the charm. Otherwise I may just give up on Meade altogether. Thanks David Cakalic
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