Last updated: 22 January 2008
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 mount compatible with other OTA Sent: Monday, January 21, 2008 13:51:09 From: Lisa Edmonds (firstname.lastname@example.org) Hello, I was wondering if you can attach any ota to the ds mount? Is there a universal plate that will fit in the bracket of the arm or is that a piece that will need to be custom made or modified. Thank you, LisaMike here: There is no "universal" mount so you would have to make your own adapter. There is an example on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.
Subject: I need to find an remote focuser for a Meade DS2114 Sent: Monday, January 14, 2008 08:21:54 From: Beougher Jeff Ctr AEDC/CSC (Jeff.Beougher@arnold.af.mil) I have a Meade DS2114 scope and the LPI from Meade. I'm looking for a motorized focuser. I know Meade has discontinued 1440 which worked form my telescope. I've checked E-bay and different search engines trying to find something that would work. Does anyone know of a site that is selling a focuser for the DS2000 series? It does not have to be made by Meade. I would also like to say this is a great site with a lot of helpful information. Thank you, Jeff BeougherMike here: JMI (http://www.jimsmobile.com) has different style focusers. Perhaps one of them could be adapted to the DS. You might also check the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page for electronic focuser tips. Again, perhaps one of those ideas could be adapted to the DS.
Subject: re: Looking for DS-90/AS494 motor control specifications/info Sent: Saturday, January 12, 2008 19:22:55 From: richard seymour (email@example.com) Two good starting points: (a) Meade's Patents: 6,304,376 is the best, from: http://patft.uspto.gov/netahtml/PTO/srchnum.htm (b) the accumlated message archives of the RoboScope Yahoo group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/roboscope have fun --dick
From: Jesse Gordon (firstname.lastname@example.org) Thank you both very much! If I figure out anything new I'll post back. -Jesse
I found a very helpful document here (Thanks for the pointer, Dick!) http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/RoboScope/files/ the file named autostar_mtr_2.html Looks like it's a simple synchronous serial protocol -- the speed and direction of the motor can be set and the encoder count can be read. This should be very easy. Thanks a million! -Jesse
Please keep us (and the Roboscope crowd) posted on progress and/or problems. To the best of my knowledge, no one yet has managed to "replace" the Autostar.... they've all simply purchased a 497 Autostar and then had their systems talk to it... > This should be very easy. Why does the phrase "Famous Last Words" spring to my mind? good luck, have fun --dick
Yes, "Famous Last Words" is me alright! But the URL I referenced was by somebody who used a autostar to control his own stepper motors -- and thus had to understand the protocol, and emulate an autostar motor / drive unit. According to the document, the motor unit is controlled by sending it 8-bit commands and 3 byte arguments using a simple clock and data line, and the commands allow you to set the direction, speed, and to read back the number of quad encoder counts (oh, and there is a stop command too.) Anyway, I'm very encouraged! To see the sort of stuff I like to do, you can see my 8-foot RC plane built out of foamboard: http://jesseg.nikola.com:8080/foamboard/ or some other electronic projects I've done here: http://bookcracker.com/projects/index.html Specifically, here I controled a standard flatbed plotter as well as 1 stepper motor, a 16 key button pad, a touchscreen, a 16 char by 4 line LCD, a beeper, and "jog wheel" quad encoder input -- all via a printer port. See http://www.bookcracker.com/plotter/ Thanks again, -Jesse
Subject: Looking for DS-90/AS494 motor control specifications/info Sent: Saturday, January 12, 2008 00:39:17 From: Jesse Gordon (email@example.com) Hello and thanks for great website! I'm an electronics tinkerer/embedded programmer and I'm looking for any information on the method or protocol used to control the motor units on my new (given to me third hand) AS494/DS90 refracter. From disassembly I've discovered that the motor units have a PIC micro controller and optical encoder in them, and that 2 wires carry power and the other two must be data. It looks like each motor has its own two control wires running to the AS494 controller terminal. I'm interested in controlling the motors directly as I have experience with hardware, firmware & pic micros, etc. so controlling it via a printer port or a PIC micro of my own programming would not be a problem. My reason for wanting to control it myself is that the 494 doesn't seem to be dealing too well with lash, and I like trying different things, and I want to do "proper sidereal" by setting up the scope tipped over so I can put my digital camera (dslr with removable lens )on and take pictures as well. Az. has highly under active lash compensation (even after training the drive) and I may be able to correct that with the Az. percent setting, but Alt. has no lash compensation whatsoever (training Alt doesn't help) and even setting Alt Percent to 99% there is still no lash compensation. Thanks very much! -Jesse
Subject: Meade DS2114-AT Sent: Monday, January 7, 2008 04:57:21 From: Cassell, Brian (firstname.lastname@example.org) I have a Meade DS2114-AT telescope and a Canon 350D DSLR are they compatible for beginning astrophotography. Is there any advice you can point me to on what I would need to get started. That you for your valuable time BrianCMike here: You should be able to take some types of astrophotographs. You can handhold the camera over the eyepiece (called "afocal photography") and get photos of bright objects like the Moon. Alternatively you can mount the camera to the telescope. Keep in mind that the camera weight may cause tracking problems (unless you add a counterweight. For long duration (more than a few seconds) you will need to mount the telescope in Polar Mode to avoid "field rotation" that occurs in Alt/Az mounting mode. For lots of information see the Helpful Information: Astrophotography page.
Subject: ds144 Sent: Thursday, January 3, 2008 12:51:24 From: Kenneth F Owen (email@example.com) I have a ds144 and would like to be able to control it from my lap top. Is this possible. I now some kind of interface will be needed. along with cables. I build the cable and interface if needed. TNXS KenMike here: Perhaps it can be done, depending on the controller you have with the DS model. If you the #494 AutoStar and there is an AUX port on the telescope then you would likely need to use a Meade #506 serial cable (which can not be easily made as it has special electronics in the cable). If you have a #497 AutoStar then the simpler #505 serial cable could work (which you can make using information on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page). I don't have this DS model so I don't know for certain whether this would work.
Subject: Meade telescope Sent: Tuesday, January 1, 2008 09:43:03 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (email@example.com) I bought at a yard sale a Meade telescope that has no eyepiece. IThe telescope is a Meade Polaris electronic digital series with some sort of computer hookup box which says HBX / AZ / ALT / AUX. I cant find the model number It looks a great deal like ebay 150199810078 except for the computer thing. Would it be worth buying some used eyepieces ? Do you know which yahoo group may have info on this ? Wayne in B'HamMike here: Try "http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Meade4504Telescopes". A telescope without eyepieces is not much good for visual use so yes, get one or two eyepieces for it.
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