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DS MODELS USER FEEDBACK
Last updated: 29 September 2001

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:	DS-127
Sent:	Wednesday, September 26, 2001 10:46:31
From:	neil@wci.ab.ca (N.Armstrong)
It turns out that other DS users have had a similar problem with their
telescopes.(not having the altitude mechanism work)  There may be a
solution but it involves adding washers and taking the mechanism apart.

I bought it new, and I'm not taking the telescope apart. I paid money to
the dealer, I expect a new one.

regards

Subject:	[DS] #493 on eq mount?
Sent:	Monday, September 24, 2001 8:58:07
From:	flamorce@dataradio.com (Frederic Lamorce)
I know there's different version of the DS series, the standard one on
altaz mount, but some versions like the 4504 or the DS114AT sold at
cosco come on a EQ mount, looking like a EQ2 mount. I was wondering,
owning a standard EQ3 mount, if I could buy the #493 (motors+autostar)
and install them on my EQ3 mount to have a GOTO system, if it could
work?

Anyone tried it?

Frdric.

Subject:	DS-127
Sent:	Sunday, September 23, 2001 17:24:13
From:	neil@wci.ab.ca (N.Armstrong)
I had to return my DS-127 to the store where I bought it. The "alt"
control would not move the tube up or down. The motor was turning
alright but the gear to move the tube just kept on spinning.

Who else has had this problem?

Neil

Subject:	re: DS-127 
Sent:	Sunday, September 23, 2001 12:33:04
From:	rseymour@wolfenet.com (richard seymour)
To:	neil@wci.ab.ca
For DS- users, there's also an Egroup:

http://www.egroups.com/messages/meade-ds

(it's mentioned in Mike's Links page, but so are 300 other things...)
(and that's actually a "yahoogroup", (YaHoo bought Egroups) but
the link works...)

There are a number of other Yahoogroups which discuss DS- and
Autostarry things... any one of which may carry some specific gem
of information which makes -your- life better... but which can lead
to too-many-hours before the screen, too few under the stars.

have fun
--dick
(with an ETX90 and an ETX70.... but being sorely temped by an LXD...)

Subject:	DS-127
Sent:	Saturday, September 22, 2001 9:02:52
From:	neil@wci.ab.ca (N.Armstrong)
I bought a DS-127 and had a look last night. Really spectacular. Way
more power than the ETX-70. I will be watching the "DS" postings and
Autostar postings on the web site. Just not sure what to do with the old
ETX. Any suggestions? What do you do with your ETX's?

Bye for now.

Neil
Mike here: I have three ETX models. I have uses for all three.

Subject:	question
Sent:	Wednesday, September 19, 2001 8:31:48
From:	bwiddoss@mediaone.net (Beth & James Widdoss)
I found your page on the web (by accident actually) and it looks like
you and your page users are very knowledgable about telescopes. So I was
wondering if you could take a minute and respond to a few questions that
I have. These questions mind you come from someone who has NO experience
what so ever with telescopes but I am interested in buying one. I saw
one advertised on heartlandamerica.com for $199.00 it is called a Meade
60x700mm Autostar Telescope they say the suggested retail is $799.00 and
the model number they gave me was 11061-497. Of course this sounds like
a good deal but do you really think it is. I don't want to spend alot of
money and $200.00 is about all I want to pay right now especially with
the economy after last weeks attack.So if you could give me so advice I
would greatly appreciate it. If this is not a good deal then maybe you
could give me your opinion on what I could buy to get started. Also are
there any good cd,s that could help me with the beginning of locating
and identifing some stars and planets. Any help would be appreciated.

James Widdoss 
May God Bless America
Mike here: I believe this is really a Meade DS scope, with a different name. I haven't priced it from a real telescope dealer but I doubt it retails for $800. There is nothing wrong with a 60mm refractor with a 700mm focal length, which is what you're looking at, but I suggest you check out a real telescope dealer (several are listed on the Astronomy Links page on my ETX Site).

Subject:	help!!!
Sent:	Tuesday, September 18, 2001 9:46:42
From:	armonroy@prodigy.net.mx (Armando Monroy)
Hi!! I just bought a DS127 last month. I have no experience at
telescopes but thought it eas going to be easy if following instructions
properly. Unfortunately, after six weeks I still can get an image. The
telescope includes both 25 mm and 9 mm lenses and I hoped it was enough
to begin with planets and the moon. Ive seen all your recommendations
for new users and I still dont know if I need another kind of lenses
(Barlow) or  devices to have a successfully starting. I need simple
hints!!!
Mike here: I'm not certain where you may be experiencing difficulties. When you use the 25mm eyepiece, are you saying you can not see the Moon through the telescope or it is out of focus? Or are you saying that you need help with the GOTO system?

And:

The point is that if I try to watch Mars (for example) it is the same
image I get that if I were using binoculars, I mean, Im not expecting to
watch as it were as close as my nose is but I was hoping to start with
clear images and all I catch (in case of Mars) is a big red point in the
sky. Am I doing something wrong? Is it the collimination system? This
days have been cloudy so I cant tell you about the moon, but I want to
ask you for a big favor, can you send me a photo of any planet or star
that Im supposed to watch with this telescope with the lenses I
described you in last e-mail? This will help me to have a better
dimension of what I must watch at it.
Thanks...
Mike here: Now I understand. You are expecting more than the telescope can deliver. This is a common error, not helped but the marketing materials from manufacturers. Mars, and most planets, will appear as small dots at low magnification. You really need to get over 100x to get reasonable views. Unfortunately, Mars has passed its closest approach to Earth until 2003 so it will not yield good views until then. I don't have the DS127 so can't supply any photos through it; perhaps another user will do that for you. I suggest you start with the Moon and if you get up after midnight, you can see Saturn and then Jupiter low in the eastern sky.

Subject:	whether to buy a meade ds90ec
Sent:	Monday, September 17, 2001 13:21:37
From:	brian_roller@hotmail.com (brian)
I am new to astronomy and have saved up to buy a descent telescope.  I
was thinking of getting the meade ds90ec, its 499. Do you think think
that this is a good choice or should I go for a dobsonian style scope .
please help, I am so glad I found your site
Thanks brian. uk
Mike here: The best telescope for you is one that comes as close as possible to doing what you want a telescope to do for you. So, you need to decide upon your requirements and expectations first. Then do the research for models that meet those and compare the results to your budget. Finally, keep in mind that the best telescope is one that gets used, not one sitting in a closet. There are basically two reasons that telescopes end up in the closet: too cumbersome to set up or it doesn't provide views that meet the user's expectation, both of which will reduce the user's interest in amateur astronomy.

Subject:	re: any reviews of Meade 5" DS-2130ATE Reflector?
Sent:	Thursday, September 13, 2001 20:59:28
From:	rseymour@wolfenet.com (richard seymour)
To:	richard@harrisfamily.dns2go.com
As far as i can tell, that's a brand new scope model....
the "130" means it's a little bigger diameter than the DS-127 that's
currently on the market.

I think the price you're seeing is very good. (not that i've run
around too much pricing them)

The 494 Autostar is more limited than the 495/497, but if that
turns out to be a problem you can -reaplce- it with the "better"
models. (get 'em from eBay)
 Or wait until the Autostar II (two) is available.

There are yahoo egroups which cover the DS- line of scopes,
i doubt if anyone there has purchased a DS-2130 yet, but they'd
all LOVE to hear about yours....

Try: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/meade-ds

good luck
--dick

Subject:	Question about a Meade
Sent:	Wednesday, September 12, 2001 14:10:26
From:	richard@harrisfamily.dns2go.com (Richard Harris (Home Office))
Hello. Thanks for your resourceful telescope site! I have a question I
thought I might confide in you about..

I have put on lay-a-way a telescope I found at Wal-Mart. -Yes I know,
but check this deal out.. It's a Meade 5" DS-2130ATE Reflector with the
Autostar 494 controller and alum. tripod...all for $349

My question to you IS -do you know where there are ANY reviews or
anything on the Internet at all regarding this scope? I've searched, and
searched -but NOTHING! I've read the Sky and Telescope reviews on the
114, but they are outdated somewhat and don't cover the new breed of
Meade DS (department store) scopes..

Any help would be nice.
Thanks again!
Mike here: I don't recall any seeing any recent reviews of the "Digital Series" Meade telescopes.

Subject:	question
Sent:	Sunday, September 9, 2001 0:46:35
From:	ishnapp@checkpoint.com (Etay Shnapp)
hello, my name is etay and i have a quesiton for you if you could help
me with...

i recently bought the Bresser DS-B60 telescope which is supposed to be
complient with the Meade DS series since Bresser is Meade'd company....
now when i bought it i got nothing but the telescope and tripod, meaning
no motors or autostar system.... while browsing though the web i noticed
there are many typed of autostar like 495 or 497 etc.... and i really
dony know which one work witht he bresser telescopes also.... or which
ines comes WITH the motors and which dosent.... i hope you could help me
with this question...

Sincerly,

Etay Shnapp
Mike here: If the mount is the same as the DS series, then see the Meade product page:
http://www.meade.com/catalog/digital/ds_comp_controller.htm
and look at the "#493 Autostar Computer Control System".

And:

thank alot!

now i have another question though :) will the AutoStar #497 that's
designed for the ETX system work on the DS systems??

thankx

etay
Mike here: Yes. See the Autostar Models article on the Autostar Information page for more info.

Subject:	re: 494 vs 495 Autostar
Sent:	Tuesday, September 4, 2001 21:35:38
From:	rseymour@wolfenet.com (richard seymour)
To: boriken@dellepro.com
one thing Mike didn't mention:
if you Update the 495 with the current Updater... it turns into 
 a full-fledged 497!!  With 30,000 astronomical object database.

IF "money isn't an object"... keep the 495.
(how much did they charge?  New 497's are $99)

For that matter, a 506 cable is at least $30 to $50.
(of course, if you buy, rather than build, a 505, it's not free.)

Without a 506, if you eventually fill your 494's User Body database,
 you're stuck!  There's no way to free up space in its memory,
 even if you delete objects... it doesn't have a garbage collection
 feature in its programming (the 495/497 does)

good luck
-dick

Subject:	DS-114AT autostar/cable choices
Sent:	Monday, September 3, 2001 23:50:04
From:	boriken@dellepro.com
Greetings from warm and dry Oklahoma.  Kudos on your web page, by the
way!!!

Got a great anniversary present this past week, a Meade DS-114-AT scope
with an Autostar 494 handbox.  Took me two days to decipher Meade's
owners manual and work some bugs (especially setting up the 494), but it
was worth it.

When my wife bought the scope at a local retail store, she didn't know
the 494 handbox included in the box had GOTO capability, so the salesman
convinced her to buy a 495 handbox at the same store.

So, now I'm holding two different handboxes (the 495 is still inside the
box).  I honestly don't know what to do.  If money was not a problem,
which unit would be easier to use, master and update? Should I keep the
494 and return the 495? Should I keep the 495? Would it really matter?

What about cable choices?  Which cable (505 or 506) goes with what unit
(494 or 495)?  I'd like to know before I go back to the store and chase
the salesman down.  Thanking you in advance...

V.R. Martinez
Mike here: The #495 is easier to use than the #494 since it has a full keypad for entering numbers. With the #494 you have to use the arrow keys to scroll through numbers to enter them. Also, the #495 can be user-updated to new software; currently there are no ROM updates for the #494. Finally, the #495 uses the simple #505 cable (you can make one using the info on the Autostar Information page); the #506 cable required for the #494 includes some electronics that can not be made by the user.

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Copyright © 2001 Michael L. Weasner / etx@me.com
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