Last updated: 31 January 2007

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:	Meade model 4504, 114mm diam, tripod modification request
Sent:	Monday, January 29, 2007 12:54:42
From:	IStrngr@aol.com
I was given your web site address by a seller on E-Bay of whom I asked
the same question as below. He suggested that you would be a prime
contact to find the info I require.

Sorry if this is out of your line of business, but am hoping you can
help me.

I have owned the above model telescope for a number of years, but want
to modify the motor driven tripod that came with the kit to enable it to
be driven by a flexi drive hand driven system.

It is simple to remove the battery driven motors but is not absolutely
necessary, as the other ends of the two drive shafts are accessible.
These shafts have different conformations, one tapered, the other a
parallel shaft with a flat machined in it approx 3mm from the end
apparently to take a grub screw or cotter pin of some description.

My query is :- ? Is/are there any device/s that you are aware of that I
could use to achieve my aims ?

Much obliged for any time you can spare me.
Mike here: I haven't searched for such mounts for a few decades. Unitron telescope models used to come standard with them. But I suspect the simplest solution would be to move the telescope OTA to such a mount.
Subject:	Re: DS 2130 LNT can't find NORTH - did TRAIN DRIVES - no success
Sent:	Saturday, January 27, 2007 10:06:45
From:	Henry Sikkema (hsikkema@rehoboth.on.ca)
I was away for a day from the telescope.  I trained the drives and the
tried the EASY ALIGN with the same result - close to level and cannot
locate NORTH - it continues to rotate horizontally.

Mike here: Easy Align DOES NOT find North on its own. You have to do that for the Home position (at least with the ETX models; I don't have a DS model so have no experience with them). As to the unending rotation, perhaps RESETing it will help. That will put it in its "Factory Default" condition so you will have to re-enter your site location. You will also have to do CALIBRATE MOTOR and TRAIN DRIVES again.


Tried RESETing the telescope computer and I re-entered my location data,
CALIBRATEd MOTOR and TRAINed DRIVES again - no change everything behaves
in exactly the same way.  Should I be looking at exchanging the
mount/LNT?  Is there anything else you could suggest?

Thank you,

Mike here: You could try reloading the AutoStar software. If you do that, do a CALIBRATE MOTOR and TRAIN DRIVES following the update.


What do you mean to RELOAD the Autostar software?

Mike here: Using the Meade AutoStar Update application (Windows), the StarGPS software (Windows), AutoStarX (Mac OS X), or even Lin_AutoStar (Linux) you can update the AutoStar (model #497) ROM using the file on Meade's site. See the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page for links to their site, or the non-Windows apps (StarGPS is available at www.stargps.com). For more on updating, see the AutoStar Info page. If you don't have the #505 serial cable you can easily make one using info on the (yes, you guessed it) AutoStar Info page. If your computer doesn't have a RS-232 serial port, see the article "AutoStar and USB" (you know where...).


As per your website info....  I can't build the Model #494 cable can
I?...  Can I buy the Model #497 controller for this telescope?  what are
the advantages of doing so?

Thanks for your help,

Mike here: I thought that all LNT models used the #497 (has a keypad) AutoStar. Guess I was wrong. You can not easily make a #506 serial cable (which has active electronics in the cable). So, you could get a #497 AutoStar, which provides more objects, the full keypad, and user-installable updates from Meade.
Subject:	Meade replacement part
Sent:	Friday, January 26, 2007 13:41:02
From:	Judie Hardy (judie@npgcable.com)
I have a Meade 4504.  My puppy ate the cable from the electronic drive
motor.  Yes- we still have the dog!  Anyway, I can't find a parts place
to get a replacement.  I bought it on eBay, so there's no dealer
involved.  Can you help me?
Thanks in advance,
Judie Hardy
Mike here: Contact Meade; they will likely send you a cable.
Subject:	secondary mirror issues on my Meade DS scope
Sent:	Thursday, January 25, 2007 16:51:45
From:	Mitch Averhoff (angrycubano@yahoo.com)
I read somewhere that you can clean the mirrors with rubbing alcohol.  I
did that with a q-tip and now there is a film on the mirror that looks
like rust.  Did I just ruin the mirror or is there a way to correct
Mike here: You got some very BAD advice. See the article "Cleaning Optics" on the Helpful Information: Buyer/New User Tips page. You may have to disassemble the telescope in order to properly AND safely clean the mirror (since it is a "first surface" mirror). Normally cleaning mirrors should not be done except when they absolutely positively without-a-doubt require it. Yours now fits into that category (unfortunately). Good luck. Let me know how it goes.


I just read that article.  Will this correct my issue or will I have to
replace the mirror?
Thanks again for responding so quickly.
Mike here: If you proceed cautiously and don't make things worse, you may be able to get the residue off without damaging the mirror surface.


Thank you very much for your advice.

Subject:	DS 2130 LNT can't find NORTH
Sent:	Thursday, January 25, 2007 12:18:10
From:	Henry Sikkema (hsikkema@rehoboth.on.ca)
I just bought a DS-2130-LNT and upon setting up, the telescope could not
find NORTH and does not level very well at all.  I tried recalibrating
the motors - fine, then recalibrating the sensors - can't find NORTH

Any suggestions?

Mike here: Please clarify. The ETX PE models (with the LNT) say that the telescope may not end up pointing North nor level. What happens during the Auto Align steps?


My telescope is a Meade DS-2130 LNT 5" 1000mm f/7.7 Newtonian Reflecting
GO TO Telescope with LNT Auto Align & Autostar ( http://www.adorama.com/MDDS2130LNT.html )

I called customer service and they were much less than helpful!  I was
told to recalibrate the motors which I did (though not much happened -
it just slewed horizontally about 10 and vertically about 10) and then
tried to recalibrate the sensors.  During this procedure the telescope
levels somewhere close to level and rotates horizontally never finding

During the AUTO ALIGN steps:
    1) The telescope levels to within 5 of true level.
    2)  The telescope begins to rotate in the Azimuth and never stops.

Is this a little more clear?

Thank you,

Mike here: The CALIBRATE MOTOR does just move the drives a little bit. It is just checking the power levels from the encoders. So that part is normal. The stopping part during CALIBRATE SENSOR is not normal. So, lets back a step and verify there is nothing further wrong. Skip the LNT for awhile. Do the TRAIN DRIVES (both axes) and then perform an Easy Align. (You can do this indoor to check for proper operation.) What happens?
Subject:	Meade DS-2114 object tail blur problem
Sent:	Sunday, January 21, 2007 15:20:05
From:	Luke Hayes (lukewhayes@hotmail.com)
i'm reletavely new to your site and find it hard to find the time to
stargaze, plus the skys here in the UK are not often clear. But i try to
when I can. I have a Meade DS-2114 114mm telescope. Tonight, i went out,
and I noticed that every bight star or planet that i viewed had a kind
of blurry tail coming from it. I'm not sure what it is but to be it
either looks like atmospheric disturbance, or a problem with my
telescope. I have not used the telescope for a while, but i do remember
using it before and I had the same problem.

I have attatched a photo of saturn that I took tonight using my ToUcam
webcam that i use on my telescope. The image is actually a stacked
image, and i'm pretty new to post processing astro images, it was just a
try-out, but it shows the problem I am having. Saturn was as focused as
I could get it and my telescope was reletavely still so it is not a
problem with the webcam or my lenses. Could it be a problem with the
telescope mirrors? If you are able to save it and zoom in a bit you
should be able to see the blurry streak coming off the bottom left of
the image. Any assistance of what to do to correct this would be much



Note: I once had a small accident with the telescope which resulted in
me having to recollimate it. It seems i have done this successfully as
the mirrors are aligned but i don't know whether this could be causing
the problem at all.
Mike here: How did you recollimate and what do you see if doing a "star test"? Are the rings concentric? It looks like the collimation is out OR there is something smearing on the optics.
Subject:	Meade DS-2102AT-TC leaves me wanting more
Sent:	Thursday, January 18, 2007 13:59:06
From:	Jerry (jerry@jeronius33.plus.com)
I recently was purchased the DS2102AT-TC (Xmas present). I am really
please so far, considering it came with 2 good lens and the Autostar
#497. I was certainly NOT expecting miracles and am fully aware of it
being a beginner scope. The only draw back is so many listed objects
just can't be seen!! And it leaves me wanting more. I have managed to
just about pick out the Cassini division from North of England.

Bearing in mind this is a 4" refractor, how much difference would the
ETX 125PE be for me, since it is only an extra inch ie 5". Should I be
aiming more for an 8" LX90. (Money is limited to 1000-2000). Is there
any sites that can advise me on what sort of magnitude objects I could
see with each scope etc. I am loving getting back into astronomy, but I
am just desperate to get more out of it and I am keen to start some
astrophotography also.

You have a great site and I am humbled by some of the magnificent photos
in your achives.

Best wishes
Jerry Tatton
Mike here: Check the Meade site for specs on their telescopes. Certainly more aperture (and the UHTC option) can help see more objects. There are over 30,000 objects in the AutoStar #497 database. How soon did you want to see them all??? Seriously, the telescope you get should be the one you will use, so ease of set up and use can be as important to some people as the optical specs. That said, the LX90-8" is a nice telescope but you can save some money by going to the LXD75-8"SC, which is the same OTA as on the LX200 and LX90 models. For more on the LXD75-8"SC see my LXD55/75 web site (http://www.weasner.com/lxd).
Subject:	Meade DS-2102AT-TC (objective problem?)
Sent:	Sunday, January 14, 2007 12:33:05
From:	Oscar
I hope you can help.

I bought a DS-2102AT-TC in November (I can't complain about the cost
($250 at Costco),at this price I am probably getting my money's worth

I now come to viewing Saturn. While I work in a technical field, I am
not an experienced observer so maybe I am expecting too much. Reading
indicates that at 80x I should be able to make out the Cassini division
in reasonable seeing conditions with a 4" achromat. I can't, even after
waiting a couple of hours for things to cool down. I can see the
separation between the rings and the disc clearly. Conditions were
reasonable (San Diego, CA).

Also the range over which I can reasonably focus seems rather wide (i.e.
no amount of adjusting within this range improves things further). It is
difficult to produce a number here and maybe that is just down to having
an achromat (but probably less than 1mm). I tried artifical star testing
and, as far as I can tell, it looks ok. I will try again.

One other data point is that I MUST use the star diagonal in order to
focus on anything at all. The focuser will not move far enough out to
manage without it. Also even with it, the focussing tube is pretty close
to its maximum travel.

Does any of this point to a problem or am I expecting too much? Could
there be a problem with the objective?

Other points which might be of benefit to readers:
   one of the latches on the tripod broke last night (and I didn't abuse it).
   the focusser is not great
   Out of the box the altitude clutch was slipping (even when tightened
   as far as I was willing to go). Meade took care of this quickly
   (though the fault report said that the #497 controller that I had to
   send with it was dead (It wasn't when it left here) and they
   replaced/repaired that at the same time.


Mike here: Of course, one other factor is YOU. Both your experience and your vision. So, when you combine the telescope optics, the Earth's atmosphere (including heat sources around you), and you, there are a lot of variables that will influence how good the view will be. I suggest to keep trying; you could also get another eyepiece of shorter focal length or a Barlow Lens to increase the magnification.
Subject:	Focuser for Meade DS114  model
Sent:	Friday, January 5, 2007 10:57:31
From:	Mitch Averhoff (angrycubano@yahoo.com)
I have the Meade DS114 which it looks like it's a very popular scope. 
I'm looking everywhere online for a good focuser since the stock one it
came with is plastic and doesn't glide very well.  I was also going to
buy better eyepieces but first wanted to get the scope.  I saw one one
ebay for about $40 metal but wasn't sure if it fit my scope.  Do you
have any suggestions?
Mike here: I don't recall hearing of any replacement focusers for DS models; perhaps someone will chime in.


Thank you very much for responding so quickly.

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Copyright © 2007 Michael L. Weasner / etx@me.com
Submittals Copyright © 2007 by the Submitter
URL = http://www.weasner.com/etx/archive/jan07/ds.html