DS MODELS USER FEEDBACK
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Last updated: 30 November 2002
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:	Questin
Sent:	Friday, November 29, 2002 08:15:42
From:	rluck@juno.com (Robert H Luck)
A local store has a ds-2130-at  other store ds-2130-ats   what is the
difference???
                                   R.Luck

Subject:	re:  DS-114 EC Home Position (where is it?)
Sent:	Wednesday, November 27, 2002 23:55:58
From:	rseymour@wolfenet.com (Richard Seymour)
To:	y-lopez@uniandes.edu.co
Home for the DS models is like the Alt.Az home for the ETX:

Level tripod, barrel level, pointed due north.

For the DS mount, the "level tripod" means that you're trying to
make the fork which holds the scope have its "axle" (the bearings
holding the scope itself) parallel to the ground.

For "barrel level", try using a short -straight- bubble level
(not a circular level) on the top of the barrel.

Finally: due north.  The easy way for that is to aim at Polaris
(the tip of the Little Dipper's handle) and then lower the
barrel to level... that's within a degree of due north.
If you are in the southern hemisphere, or if Polaris is below
the horizon, it's harder. 
One way is to do the best you can (magnetic? align with street grid?)
and then align the scope.  Then tell it to GoTo Az=00, Alt=00
It should point due north.
If you can, see where it's pointing and mark that spot (or remember it).
(i use a neighbor's roof peak)

You can GoTo an Az/Alt value by holding [mode] for 3 seconds, 
then release the key.  You will now see the RA/Dec readout.
Tap scroll down [v] once.  There's Alt/Az.
You can now either simply slew the scope until that's 00,
or you can tap [GoTo], and then key in 00, tap [enter],
then key in 00, and tap [enter] again... the scope will GoThere.

have fun
--dick
And:
From:	y-lopez@uniandes.edu.co (Yesid López)
Hi, Mike:

Thanks a lot for your help.

Both your site (especially the unofficial AutostarManual) and Dick
Seymour's tips have been very useful.

I hope I'll have a chance to try my DS tonite if the sky's clear. I'll
let you know if I succeed.

Have a nice thanksgiving.

With regards,

Yesid Lpez
y-lopez@uniandes.edu.co
Bogot, Colombia.

Subject:	DS-114 EC Home Position (where is it?)
Sent:	Monday, November 25, 2002 8:03:59
From:	y-lopez@uniandes.edu.co (Yesid Lpez)
Great site. It was really helpful for finally making my ETX-90/ #497
Autostar work fine.

Now I'm trying to use the same #497 Autostar (rom version 26ec) with my
DS-114-EC. I doesn't work properly :(

I have tried all the standard operations for setting up properly the
equipment but I don't know for sure what the Home Position for my model
is (I dont see any N-labeled legs, not Az axis hard stops, nothing
mentioned on manual except for assembly drawings where the control panel
is shown always on top the AZ motor box, which probably means nothing).

Is there a Home Position at all or is it sufficient to level and point
tube due true North? By the way, how accurate is that supposed to be?

I have tried the latter, although leveling the tripod is no easy task
(the horizontal surfaces by the  mount seem to be irregular, which can
fool a bubble level) but after aligning I get a big Az and Alt offset
which seems to be the same for all objects I GOTOed to.

Please help me, any insights will be much appreciated.

With regards,

Yesid Lpez
y-lopez@uniandes.edu.co
Bogot, Colombia
Mike here: I don't have the DS models so can't answer directly. Does the Autostar recognize your DS model when you powerup? I would suspect the Alt/Az Home position is the same for the DS models as the ETX models.
Subject:	re:  Autostar 497 & the Meade 4504
Sent:	Monday, November 25, 2002 0:02:58
From:	rseymour@wolfenet.com (Richard Seymour)
To:	dlambers@att.net
I must disagree with Mike: the 497 will -not- work with the 4504.
(the 4504 has a GEM mount, and the normal Autostar programming does
not acknowledge its existence)

SO: i wrote a patch for the Meade firmware which -adds- the 4504 as
a "known model", and utilizes the LXD55 GEM code to operate it.

So you can -convince- a 497 Autostar to operate a 4504, but it does
require reloading its firmware with a self-modified update.

Then it works quite well.

The patch kit is on Mike's site, and i update it within a week of Meade
releasing their updates.  The current newest is at:
http://www.weasner.com/etx/autostar/patches/v26ec.html

To install the update you will need to buy or build a 505 cable
(see the bottom of: http://www.weasner.com/etx/autostar/as_cable505.html )

For 4504 support, i recommend the Yahoo user group:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Meade4504Telescopes/

have fun
--dick
Mike here: I was just going by Meade's page where it said that the #497 worked with ALL DS models.

And:

Right.  Unfortunately, the 4504 is NOT a DS model...

(even the 114EQ-DH4 isn't a DS- model)

Across the years  Meade's site has never mentioned the 4504
 (the non-autostar, non-motored 4500, yes, but not the 4504)

have fun
--dick
And (humbly):

Mike here: Argh! You're right (of course). Don't know why I want to keep calling the 4504 (and the like) DS models!


Subject:	Ds 114EC
Sent:	Sunday, November 24, 2002 4:25:06
From:	igoekp@sbcglobal.net (Kevin Igoe)
I bought a Meade DS 114EC with the Autostar 495 for the family a couple
years back. Well it turned out there interest in astronomy is not as
intense as mine. I have gone into semi retirement and am now able to
pursue my viewing again. Needless to say the scope has been moved from
closet to closet and all of the manuals have been lost. This include the
manual for the scope, the Autostar and any kind of computer laptop link
setup. Until I can afford to jump into the LX series I am limited to
what I have. I Ave many nieces and nephews who are about the age to
introduce them to astronomy and I would like to get the scope working
for there Christmas visit. Do you know any site I can download this info
from. I have searched the Meade site and can find no reference to these
models. I am about to call Meade and order them if possible but after
looking at your site I thought maybe you knew of some online manuals or
other source for information.

Thanks

Kevin Igoe
Mike here: Meade will likely send you the DS manual for free, so call them. There is no separate Autostar manual from Meade (except as web pages on their Site). However, see the FAQ page for a user-created Autostar manual. There is also the LX90 manual, which can be especially good for the more recent #497 Autostar software versions. You say you have the #495 Autostar. No problem. If you have or can make (info on the Autostar Information page) the #505 cable and you have Windows, you can run the currect Autostar Updater Application (available from Meade's site) to update your #495 to a #497.

And:

Thanks! 
It is nice to find a site that is maintained and monitoured well.
Kevin Igoe

Subject:	Autostar 497 & the Meade 4504
Sent:	Saturday, November 23, 2002 21:12:26
From:	dlambers@att.net (Dale Lambers)
I have a 4504 with a Autostar 494, given to me a while back.  I'm
beginning to get much more interested in the display overhead each night
and want to connect my telescope to my laptop for easier control.

My question is, will the 497 work with my 4504?

Your help is appreciated.

Dale
Mike here: According to Meade's Autostar update page, yes, the #497 will work with all DS models.
Subject:	Meade 541 power supply
Sent:	Friday, November 22, 2002 15:47:51
From:	mmcohen@ranx.ucsc.edu (Michael M. Cohen)
Can you say how the 541 connects to a DS-2130AT scope? Wondering if it
might go into the aux port, or does one just remove battery cover and
connect to the 9volt style clip?
	Thanks, MMCohen
-- 

--====================================================================
=   Dr. Michael M. Cohen                   mmcohen@ranx.ucsc.edu     = 
=   Program in Experimental Psychology                               =
=   429G Social Sciences II                831-459-2655 VOICE        = 
=   University of California - Santa Cruz  831-459-2700 MESSAGES     = 
=   Santa Cruz, CA 95064 USA               831-459-3519 FAX          = 
=                       WWW URL: http://mambo.ucsc.edu/psl/mmc.html  = 
======================================================================
Mike here: Not having a DS telescope I can't say. Some telescopes have a power jack on the base and some use a clip routed externally.
Subject:	re:  Non-standard DS-114 mount
Sent:	Friday, November 22, 2002 7:53:35
From:	rseymour@wolfenet.com (Richard Seymour)
To:	jeffrey.hundstad@mnsu.edu
> I am interested in trying to do some astrophotography.
>  Has anyone tried to mount the DS-114 in an GEM position instead
> of it's normal straight up alt-az.  It seems like the GOTO controller
> could cope with the change.
>  Has anyone tried this?

A company called Meade...
 you are referring to the Meade 4504 and 114EQ-DH4
(fundamentally same hardware (114mm, GEM, 494 Autostar),
but different barrel colors and minor accessories... also some came
with 1.25" eyepieces, others with 0.96".. a phone call to Meade (in the USA)
would get you a free 1.25" adapter (the focuser is actually 2"-capable))

My patch kit for the 495/497 Autostar adds the GEM models (Meade doesn't).

Visit the Yahoo group:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Meade4504Telescopes/

for much more info...

have fun
--dick

Subject:	problems
Sent:	Friday, November 22, 2002 6:17:36
From:	gkollias@aktor.gr (Chasapis Andreas)
I have bought a Meade DS 127 telescope with the auto star system. The
problem is that the auto star doesn't seams to work. All thought I
calibrate the motors at least in a perfect way, the telescope can't find
not even the moon. I'm not talking about planets or stars. Deep sky
objects... only in my dreams. I think that the telescope is too heavy
for the motors to move. I had noticed a very strange thing when I first
use the telescope. all though the motors were in operation the scope
were not moving at all. Don't tell me that the side screws were
untighted because they were not. Anyway i did some "tricks" and I fixed
that. But the problem still remains. I can't use the "GO TO" ability (?
sorry for my English) of my DS 127 telescope.

One other thin that i have noticed is that the mount in a quite bad
mount. I am thinking of buying a steadier mount, probably equatorial
with setting circles. I would like your opinion on that.

 Thanks.
Mike here: If the telescope does not move when you slew (using the Autostar arrow keys) or when the Autostar tries to GOTO an object, it is likely the axis locks are either over-tightened or not too enough. If the GOTOs are off by a lot, check the HOME position, settings in the Autostar (location, date, time, telescope model, mounting mode, etc.). If you use a different tripod, the Autostar may or may not work correctly. But if you know (or are willing to learn) the night sky, using Setting Circles and "star hopping" to objects works well.
Subject:	DS Telescope
Sent:	Thursday, November 21, 2002 18:19:05
From:	debbennett168@msn.com (debbie bennett)
My name is Debbie. I need to know if I can get replacement's for a Tell
DS-60. It was exidently knockdown and the Diagonal Mirror was broken. 
I've tried to fine it in the catalog that came with my Telescope.  To no
advail there were none in the book that should me what I need.     I've
got a question why is it when I bought your Telescope when I looked in
your book I can't find thing's that will fit my telescope? If you do how
ever I'm sorry for saying this .  But as far as my eye's can see I see
nothing.  I would really Like to be able to use my Telescope .  WE had
spent alot of money on something that I can't buy thing,s to use with
it.  If you can help me please let me know okay. thank's for listening. 
     Debbie
Mike here: Sorry you have had a problem. I have no affiliation with Meade (the manufacturer) so I suggest you contact Meade about a replacement mirror. By "your book" I presume you mean the telescope manual and not my ETX book. Many telescope accessories are standard, such are eyepieces. You just need to get ones that have the proper outside diameter (0.965" or 1.25").
Subject:	DS-2130AT
Sent:	Thursday, November 21, 2002 9:20:27
From:	carroll.jones@osha.gov (Jones, Carroll)
I read the review of the above telescope dated 10-30-01.  I too tend to
agree the scope was made for WM, however I do enjoy mine.  I like the
idea of replacing the base screw.  I have gone to the 1.25 eyepiece
adapter and a Plossl 32 mm and a 2x Barlow.  I agree that the eyepieces
that came with it are not much.  I did not get the camera though, not
offered.   .965 filters were hard to find so I chose to go with the 1.25
lenses.  I think that for the money (350.00) the scope is hard to beat. 
I have spent another 125.00 for up grade.  I did find them on internet. 
I did not get the pads that went in the base to make it glide, but Meade
said that it would work well without them.  All and all, I would
recommend the 2130 AT but up grade.

Subject:	Non-standard DS-114 mount.
Sent:	Tuesday, November 19, 2002 20:28:12
From:	jeffrey.hundstad@mnsu.edu (Jeffrey E. Hundstad)
I am interested in trying to do some astrophotography.  Has anyone tried
to mount the DS-114 in an GEM position instead of it's normal straight
up alt-az.  It seems like the GOTO controller could cope with the
change.  Has anyone tried this?

-- 
jeffrey hundstad

Subject:	DS-80 tripod slipping
Sent:	Tuesday, November 19, 2002 11:47:55
From:	mss@tartus.com (Michael S. Scherotter)
The aluminum tripod that came with my DS-80 has started to slip at the
friction joints and just a little weight will cause the legs to
collapse. Meade wants to charge $25 apiece for replacing the legs out of
warranty. Do you have any suggestions for making them lock in a sturdy
manner?

Michael S. Scherotter
www.charette.com
Mike here: See the articles "ripod Leg Slip Fix" and "Tripod Straps" on the Telescope Tech Tips page.
Subject:	re:  DS-114 Autostar problem (?)
Sent:	Tuesday, November 19, 2002 8:31:45
From:	rseymour@wolfenet.com (Richard Seymour)
To:	jtorres@tampabay.rr.com
..or droopy tube...

Hi..

Two things:  i don't have a 114, but i vaguely remember folks posting
that sometimes the motors are not firmly seated by their clamping
system... you might try -removing- the motor (it's a twist-ring lock?)
and reseating it..  that might help.

The second item is that there are some YAhoo egroups which deal with
the DS- line of scopes, specifically:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/meade-ds/

membership is free and relatively painless (you may want to edit
your "yahoo profile" to stomp out advertising email... it does
work, i do not receive buckets of spam from being a visitor to
those groups)

have fun  (throw boxes away? clean up??? never!)
--dick

Subject:	DS-114 lost standard equipment - How to get back on track?
Sent:	Monday, November 18, 2002 19:25:14
From:	anubix@tampabay.rr.com (Anubix)
I'm a newbie telescope user.  I have always wanted to have a telescope,
even planned on making my own 10" Dobsonian from an old book I found at
the thrift store "How to Build your own telescope".

My boyfriend surprised me with a DS-114 for Xmas about two years ago.  I
would have preferred an ETX-125, but shhhh, don't tell him, OK?  A few
days later, while cleaning up the Xmas mess, he threw away the case with
the controller and eyepieces!  He felt so terrible that he bought me the
next model up of the Autostar controllers.  I bought some replacement
eyepieces from EBay, but they turned out to be way lesser quality than
the original ones.

My dilemma is, of course, what eyepieces to buy to have a good quality
set.  I think I want a Plossl set with a 30mm or higher, a 12mm, and a
4mm or smaller.  Your site is great for learning at all levels, and
since I'm a newbie. I think I found that those sizes will cover me for
deep sky, and lunar viewing.  What do you think? Budget is kind of an
issue.  We can afford about $100 for about 3 eyepieces.

I'm also having a problem with the Autostar. I'll write separate email
about it.

Thanks for your help.
Mike here: Keep in mind the maximum magnification for any telescope (see the FAQ if you don't know how to determine that). The 4mm might be too short. You might consider a 2X Barlow Lens; that would double the number of "effective" eyepieces you have and might change you mind about additional eyepieces.
Subject:	DS-114 Autostar problem (?)
Sent:	Monday, November 18, 2002 19:13:52
From:	jtorres@tampabay.rr.com (Jannice Torres)
I'm not sure if this is a problem or not.  Remember my boyfriend who
bought me the DS-114 and then threw away my Autostar controller and
eyepieces?  Well, he replaced the Autostar controller (controller only,
no drives) that comes as standard equipment with the next model up the
line.  I don't have the model #.

The thing is that I didn't have the AC adapter either (yes, also
trashed).  So, I had never used it really.  I had to manually move the
scope around to find and track objects (usually the moon, cause it's
easier to track such a big target).  But when I locked the vertical lock
(or horizontal for that matter), the scope gives in a little.  It's
never a tight lock, it always drops a bit.

I got the AC adapter and found that it does the same thing when it stops
after I have been tracking with the controller.  When it stops, it moves
a bit down, like it's having lazy-eye.  I checked the locks, they are
tight, but if I lift the scope a single mm and then let go, it drops a
bit. Like, it won't hold the lock in position.  You know what I mean?  I
feel silly explaining the behavior in different ways, but I want to make
sure I can explain myself.

Did I make permanent damage to the drive motor mechanism by manipulating
it?

Thanks for your help.

Jannice
Mike here: There could be some play in the axis lock. Forcing the tube to move by hand is not necessarily a valid test; it is what happens when you slew using the drives. As long as the telescopes starts slewing as soon (or almost as soon as) you press the arrow key then it is probably OK. But it should not move AFTER it stops slewing. I don't have a DS model but it might be possible to reposition the locking lever or control to provide a better grip.
Subject:	Meade DS 60 viewfinder
Sent:	Saturday, November 16, 2002 12:17:32
From:	Jagdude613@aol.com
I am at the meade web site and I don't know where to go. could you tell
me where or contact the meade web site for me.
Mike here: Meade has a catalog online; just click the Product Catalog button on the left side of their Home Page.
Subject:	viewfinder for the DS model
Sent:	Wednesday, November 13, 2002 18:12:26
From:	Jagdude613@aol.com
Does any one know where I can buy a knew viewfinder for my telescope,
the back lens fell out my old one and I need a new one. PLEASE contact
me if you know where I can find one.
Mike here: You can contact Meade; they may send a replacement for free or a small charge.
Subject:	DS-2114ATS
Sent:	Friday, November 8, 2002 8:47:00
From:	dana1joe@tampabay.rr.com (dana & joe)
I'm looking to purchase a telescope for my son but I am very confused
what to but. I have been looking at the Meade DS-2114ATS, priced at
$399, but have also looked at the ETX90. I tend to lean towards the DS
model because it adds the PC software and the Autostar Computer
Controller. Is this a good deal and what do you think is a telescope for
a maximum price of $399. If you know of something less expensive and
good quality I would appreciate the info.

Thanks,

Joe Manfredo
Mike here: The DS line is a good buy, as are the LXD models and the ETX line. And of course, there ar telescopes from other manufacturers. Don't just look at what is included with the price; look at the features and compare them to what you want a telescope to do for you. Many times new buyers either under buy and so become disappointed and frustrated very quickly because their new telescope doesn't meet their expectations or get one that is too large and cumbersome for them to use. The best telescope is the one that gets used!
Subject:	autostar adaptation
Sent:	Friday, November 1, 2002 8:49:05
From:	bobrose@comcast.net (Bob Rose)
To:	edermody@heartland.net
Ned,
The easiest way is to find someone with a 4504, Meades GOTO version of
the 4500. Get them to order the necessary parts from Meade. Meade wont
sell the parts as a retrofit to 4500 owners, but will sell replacement
parts to 4504 owners. Also take a look at the 4504 egroup, there is a
lot of info there.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Meade4504Telescopes/


Have fun
Bob rose

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