Last updated: 18 March 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:	Is it good enough ?
Sent:	Monday, March 17, 2003 1:40:12
From:	ttmood@pd.jaring.my (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

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:	tracey_rs@hotmail.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!


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:	fatdoug@netzero.net (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 NJ
Mike 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 Bruvelis

Mike 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:	bthomasallen@yahoo.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:	mhutchin@mail.camre.ac.uk (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!


Subject:	mead 2000 series ds-80 at telescope
Sent:	Monday, March 3, 2003 22:38:03
From:	jdbaba@inreach.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
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:	dcakalic@mail.win.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 Cakalic
Mike 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.


David Cakalic

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