DS MODELS USER FEEDBACK
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Last updated: 30 November 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:	etx-70at versus ds-2114ats for beginner
Sent:	Saturday, November 29, 2003 21:02:45
From:	o_galita@hotmail.com (Oliver Galita)
I am buying a telescope for my wife for Christmas.  She has never
owned a telecope but has an engineering background.  I've read a
lot of reviews regarding both scopes as well as the etx-90 throughout
the web including your site which is the best I've found for
information.  These are the 2 setups I'm comparing:

1. ETX-70AT w/ autostar (494) and includes tripod and free case
($299).  I will also purchase the Meade 4mm, 6mm, and 2X Barlow
lens, Meade#546 AC Adapter, Meade #3200 Lunar and Planetary Filters, and
Meade #505 Astro Software/Cable Connector Kit.  Cost $449

2. DS-2114AT w/ autostar (494) and includes tripod ($399).  I will
also purchase the Meade 4mm, 6mm, and 2X Barlow lens and  Meade#541
AC Adapter.  Cost $479

I'm afraid I dont just want to know which one to buy.  I would like
your opinon on the pros and cons of both scopes.  And also if you
could answer a few specific questions (sorry for the length of this)

1.  Will the 546 adapter work with the DS 2114?

2.  Is there a case sold for the DS 2114?

3. Discovery store's website states that the images will be 256%
brighter with the DS 2114 than a 70mm scope.  Is this true?

4. Portablity is a factor since we will have to store the telescope in
the basement (small kids)

5. Any comments on the accesories I've chosen?

6,  I've also seriously considered the etx-90 but to get it with
autostar would cost $650 with no other accessories and only the 1
eyepiece (although with UHTC) and from my research the other 2 scopes
seemed more user friendly for beginners.

Again I apologize for the length of this but I would really appreciate
your input.

I will probably make a final decision and purchase in 6 days. 
Thanks again for your time

Oliver
Mike here: I have no direct experience with the DS telescope but it does have a larger aperture and a longer focal length than the ETX-70. This translates into more light gathering power and higher magnifications for a given eyepiece focal length. So, yes, objects will appear brighter and more detailed in the DS. I don't know about the AC Adapter. There are cases that should work but I don't know of any specific to this DS model. Both telescopes are portable enough for your purpose. The accessories you've chosen are a good starting point but you might want to wait to see just how your wife (or you) really end up using the telescope; that might indicate more or different accessories.
Subject:	DS90
Sent:	Wednesday, November 26, 2003 15:11:19
From:	pothecaryusa@cox.net (Richard Pothecary)
Sams Club is selling a Meade DS90AT with 494 Autostar for $275. I would
be grateful if you would confirm whether this is a good deal and that it
is an appropriate beginner's back-yard astronomical telescope.
Thanks
Richard
Mike here: The Meade DS-90 is a nice telescope. That's a pretty good price. It has a longer focal length and a larger aperture than the ETX-70AT refractor but does include the same Autostar model. It certainly qualifies as a nice beginning backyard telescope. HOWEVER, consider what you WANT to do with a telescope and WHAT your expectations are. As I've said many times, the best telescope is the one that gets used. If you get frustrated with the views not being what you expect the telescope ends up in the closet (or perhaps on eBay).
Subject:	meade telescope model ds-144
Sent:	Saturday, November 22, 2003 20:17:52
From:	aurore_17@hotmail.com (Dawn Barnes)
hi i bought a ds-144 model from a yard sale it doesnt have the
instruction manual and its missing the eyepiece. It does work though and
it in really good condition. Im not sure what kind of eyepiece to buy
though. please help
Mike here: See the FAQ page; the DS manual noted there might be of use. As to the eyepiece, if a 0.965" get one (or more) with that diameter, otherwise get 1.25". For more on eyepieces see the Buyer/New User Tips page as well as the Accessory Reviews - Eyepieces page.
Subject:	Is this Telescope worth it?
Sent:	Thursday, November 20, 2003 05:56:04
From:	loufapp420@sbcglobal.net (Louis Fappiano)
I have decided to dive into the solar system and was looking for a good
scope, with some bells and whistles, for a low price. I ended up
stumbling across this on www.heartlandamerica.com and was wondering if
you could let me know what model it is, if it is worth buying, and if
all their claims on its abilities are true. Heres the site for it:

http://www.heartlandamerica.com/Item/default.asp?SKU=57142
Mike here: It appears to be a discontinued DS-80 model (or something similar). It shows an Autostar #497 in the photo but the description is wrong (14,000 objects; it was either 12,000-ish or 31,000 if current software). The maximum usable magnification is about twice the aperture, so in this case it would be 160X not 675X.

And:

Thank you for the quick response.  I was wondering if you could give me
your opinion of this scope.  Do you think it would be a good scope to
start my star gazing with?  Do you think the price is ok for this scope?
 Does it not come with something I should consider having?  Any help you
can give me will be very appreciated.  Thank you again for all your
help.
 
Louis F.
Mike here: I have no experience with the telescope. But the DS line is popular, just probably not as popular as the ETX line. I wouldn't recommend getting anything else until you know what you need, and that will depend upon HOW you use the telescope. In fact, you should decide just HOW you will use a telescope before deciding which one to get. Planets, deep sky objects, astrophotography? Do you need portability? And of course, your budget. Whether the views through this small aperture telescope will meet your expectations, only you can determine.
Subject:	re:  Meade DS114 motor drives
Sent:	Tuesday, November 18, 2003 20:05:50
From:	rseymour@wolfenet.com (Richard Seymour)
To:	jpainter@xtremespectrum.com
A Yahoo discussion group devoted to exactly that topic is Roboscope.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/roboscope

...and there's always Steve Bedair's inspiring pages:
http://bedair.org/ScopeStuff.html 

have fun
--dick


Subject:	Meade DS114 motor drives
Sent:	Monday, November 17, 2003 09:11:58
From:	jpainter@xtremespectrum.com (Painter, John)
I am interested in the DS114 motor drive GO TO system.  If I had
detailed electronic diagrams of the motor drives, I believe that I could
design a replacement drive that could be adapted to larger older scopes.
The price of a used small DS meade is nothing compared to the wealth of
electronic positioning available in it.  The entire electronic control
system could be extracted and used to drive a more powerful and more
mechanically presice motor system.  I could reverse engineer the meade
motor drives, but maybe you know of info already available to save me
the trouble.  Surely an intervening micoprocessor could drive larger
motors and pretend to be the origial meade motor (to fool the existing
Meade Brain unit).

Can anyone point me to info that will reduce my reverse engineering task??

send to JPPainter@comcast.net

JPP 

PS yes, I am an eletrical design engineer.
Mike here: You'll find some info on DS drives on the Telescope Tech Tips page but probably not what you need. You could also try the DS users Yahoo Group.

And:

Thanks,  I'm getting plugged into the DS stuff, slowing but surely.  I
found a site that shows detailed photos of the inside of the DS motor
drive.  I was able to come to many electical conclusions by simply
looking at the components.  I am greatly encouraged that it is possible
to replace the drive motors with a electrically look-a-like that could
move large loads with less vibration.

Thanks for the reply

John

Subject:	re:  Meade Model 4504 interfacing with Starry Night Telescope control
Sent:	Friday, November 14, 2003 22:38:16
From:	rseymour@wolfenet.com (Richard Seymour)
To:	pilkingtonr@socket.net
Yes, it will work, but to use a 506 cable you have to add an AUX
port to your 4504 (unlike the DS- series, the 4504 does not have
an AUX socket).

On Mike's site, i posted a note about using telephone wall jacks
to make an AUX socket.  Here:
http://www.weasner.com/etx/techtips/ds_auxport.html

However, you can frequently find 495 or 497 Autostars for
the price of a 506 cable and the pieces needed to attach it
to a 4504. And then you're way ahead (no more scolling for
numbers, for example).  That's the approach i recommend.

Finally, look into the Yahoo 4504 group... lots of support
aimed at your scope.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Meade4504Telescopes/

have fun 
--dick

Subject:	Meade Model 4504 interfacing with Starry Night Telescope control
Sent:	Friday, November 14, 2003 17:22:42
From:	pilkingtonr@socket.net (Robb Pilkington)
I would like to be able to interface our Meade 4504 with Starry Night
Pro 4.  Is there any means to accomplish this?  We have the Starfinder
controller.

Thanks
Robb Pilkington
Mike here: If the Starfinder is the same as the Autostar #494 (and I think it might be but I could be wrong, if no numbers on the handcontroller then it could be a #494) then you should be able to do that with the #506 cable from Meade. There is a Yahoo Group for 450x owners; you might check there.
Subject:	focuser
Sent:	Wednesday, November 12, 2003 12:36:21
From:	johnanardino@yahoo.com (john nardino)
I was looking at your site and pretty impressed. I have the ds 114ate
that my wife had bought me for Christmas. I havn't heard that much about
it and anything I heard was pretty negative. Unfortunately I do not have
the funds to get a better one at this time. Now what my problem is that
me telescope had taken a bad fall and the focuser that I have the teeth
is plastic and it took a nice chunk out of it so im forced to use my
hand to move it up and down Do you know a fix for it besides getting it
replaced. Could you please let me know.............

Thanks
Mike here: Contact Meade; they might send you a new focuser (if it is user installable). There is also a DS Yahoo Group that you might check out (see the Astronomy Links page).

And an update:

Update: I went to a store in my area Camera concepts and to my surprise
the have 2 focusers there for my scope how happy am I that they are only
20.00 im also going to pick up colored  filters which should be cool.
Just wanted to say thanks for your help.

John

Subject:	Help on telescope DS-2114
Sent:	Monday, November 10, 2003 23:41:36
From:	magpies@mac.com (Dulex Manuel)
My name is Manuel I'm from Switzerland, I have seen your beautifull web
site and i have got some questions for you to help me.

I have bought a MEADE DS-2114 for the bigining observation.

I woud like to interface it with my PC.

So Is it possible ?

Have you got the pinout of the cable ?

Do I need to put the cable in the AUX plug on the telescope?

Wat kind of software do I need to use for this?

Thank you very much for your help

Bests regards 

Manu

----------------------------------------

Dulex Manuel
Vaud 
Switzerland
---------------------------------------
Mike here: If you have the #494 Autostar (no number keys) then you need the #506 cable (from Meade). If you have a #495 or #497 Autostar (they have number keys) then you need a #505 cable, which you can purchase or make (see the Autostar Information page). The #506 cable plugs into the AUX port; the #505 goes into the Autostar itself. There is a lot of software that can control the Autostar, which in turns controls the telescope. See the Scopedriver, Astroplanner, and link to "ETX/Autostar Compatible Software" on the Autostar Information page.
Subject:	power supply for a Meade motor?
Sent:	Sunday, November 9, 2003 08:13:29
From:	jcanning@rochester.rr.com (James Canning)
I was looking for a drive motor for my DS2130 and accidently got one
that does not fit this scope.

I think I can use it elsewhere, if I can find out what kind of power
input it needs.

There's no model or manufacturer number on it. It's got a connector that
fits tboth the HBX and AUX ports on the DS2130's base. It;s roughly 3" x
3" x 1-5/8" and has a bayonet connector on one enw with a knurled
locking knob.

Can you tell me what kind of power and data input this motor needs? Or
give me a tad more info on it? It might be very useful in a scope I'm
making now (mirror in progress, nothing else so far!).

Thanks very much!

James
Mike here: I'm not familiar with DS scopes; you might check the DS Yahoo Group (link on the Astronomy Links page).

And:

Actually, this motor is not for a DS, I'm positive it's for one of the
scopes you do know :-)

I already am a member of the DS group, I can ask there but again the
motor's not for a DS.

Thanks anyway!

take care

james
Mike here: Without knowing more about it I can't say. But you might find some useful info on the Telescope Tech Tips page.
Subject:	DS-114ATE
Sent:	Wednesday, November 5, 2003 05:43:10
From:	JohnsonC@colonnadeproperties.com (Carlos Johnson)
I bought the MEADE DS-114ATE at BJ's wholesale Club in Florida for $
238.00. It came with the GOTO drive, a CCD camera that has a port for a
TV or desktop with input video card, I've used it for the past two weeks
and it works as good as advertised, my only complaint is that I haven't
found a source for additional accessories, filters and a motorized
focus. If someone knows where to get them, please let me know.

Carlos, Miami, FL.
Mike here: Accessories are available from many local and online telescope dealers.
Subject:	Problem with Attaching Viewfinder to Meade DS 90
Sent:	Tuesday, November 4, 2003 22:00:20
From:	jessyw@mako.com (Mrs. Stuivenberg)
When assembling the telescope, the viewfinder stays loose--the screws
bottom out and the threads are not long enough to make a tight fit. Have
called Meade with no success...their solution was to spray foam into the
screw holes, like that woud hold anything. Any ideas? We thought about
washers to take up the space, but can't find any small enough to fit
into bracket.
Jessica S
Mike here: I don't have one so don't know exactly where the problem is but if the screws are not long enough, you could get longer ones at your local hardware store.
Subject:	Re: Meade DS-114 - How to disassemble the control/power hub??
Sent:	Tuesday, November 4, 2003 19:32:30
From:	poalan@yahoo.com (poalan yahoo.com)
My DS-114AT (Telestar) had the same problem. I replaced the original
power connector and cable to the battery w/ a DC cable from radio shack,
and a new power connector (size "N"). I found that it worked much
better. However, the problem still persisted sometimes. Then I found out
how to fix the problem completely. Now, when I plug in the power jack to
the telescope, I make sure that the connector faces right, so that the
power cable coming from the power connector faces toward the other
connectors on the telescope, and the power connector actually rests on
the tripod. The power connector is held in place by the other cables
connected to the scope. This fixed it altogether. You probably want to
try this fix first before replacing the power connector and power cable.

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