Last updated: 31 July 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: re: DS motors and timelapse Sent: Thursday, July 26, 2007 12:28:45 From: Richard Seymour (email@example.com) You can buy the DS motors from Meade's "Parts" Outlet. Specifically: http://www.meade4m.com/4mshop/parts/1009.html (i bought two of them last month) However the Meade motors require special signals to drive them (be it from an Autostar, or the Meade 'handbox'). The DS motors have a PIC chip which expects an addressed data packet to arrive from the Autostar, telling it what speed to maintain. The DS motor unit then performs the "closed-loop" servo operation of maintaining that speed. The motors themselves are simple DC motors, not steppers. The DS motor unit also has the encoder used by both itself (for speed control) and to tell the Autostar how far the motor has turned (from which the Autostar calculates the telescope position). have fun --dick
From: Lee Parker (firstname.lastname@example.org) Thank you both. You have been very helpful. If and when I get something up and running, I'll post some pix on the Roboscope user site. I have an AutoStar from a Meade ETX, but the ETX proved too hard to modify to accept the camera.
Subject: DS motors and timelapse Sent: Wednesday, July 25, 2007 23:05:10 From: Lee Parker (email@example.com) I want to build a motor control system to film the night sky, doing long exposure timelapse, without a telescope. I only need the motors, worm drives and the autostar controller Do you know where I can buy the DS motors by themselves? So far, the only place I've found them is already part of a telescope, and Meade doesn't seem to be making the DS-80EC any more. Of course, any AZ and ALT motors will work. I can probably build my own motor controller, if I can find a good motor and worm drive package. Any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks in advance for your time and consideration. Lee ParkerMike here: Try Telescope Warehouse (link on the Astronomy Links page). Also, you might want to check into the Roboscopes Yahoo Group (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/roboscope); lots of great info and help there.
Subject: Re: Meade DS pointing accuracy Sent: Wednesday, July 25, 2007 15:28:37 From: P. Clay Sherrod (firstname.lastname@example.org) Hello Karen.... You sound a bit frustrated and this is understandable; first thing to remember: these telescopes are not perfect by any means and sometimes, some nights, they simply seem to never be accurate. But you are telling of some consistency and the following answers may help: ----- Original Message ----- From: Karen > There seems no way to adjust it, and I'm > wondering if it's just a cosmetic setting circle. I also noticed that > while the ground was level, and while I had leveled my OTA, the top of > the base is inclined a touch -- perhaps by that same 5 degrees? DO NOT ATTEMPT to adjust it....just remember how much it is off when you start out and compensate for that each time you move. > So, my questions: > > 1. Does this sound like a reasonable theory? I BELIEVE THAT YOU ARE PARTIALLY RIGHT ON THIS.... Forget the tripod level; the top of the mount base must be level for the scope to operate properly....if you are out of level, then the further you move from Polaris, the greater the offset of target accuracy; this seems to be what you are reporting. > > 2. If so, how could I go about fixing it? I don't think the tripod is > adjustable, although I could fiddle with it some more (there's some sort > of lever at the bottom of each leg that seems to do nothing) CUT OUT wooden plank shims and put a notch in the top one that is used to fit the tripod leg foot into...stack as needed to get level. > > 3. What's a reliable way to detect clutch slip and distinguish that from > other problems? FROM THE SOUND of it, your clutch is okay and I doubt this is the problem. > > 4. What's a reliable way to tell whether your alt-az percents are too > high or too low? BOTH PERCENTS are odd, but remember these will NOT affect tracking or GO TO, only reversing directions with the keypad. If the scope JUMPS when you reverse directions, you have the percentages set too high. Note that with speeds "2" and "3", do not expect good response in these scopes. > > 5. One more: do the drives need to be retrained if the OTA's weight > changes notably -- by, say, affixing a camera? FIRST, never operate the telescope out of balance...if you add a camera or any accessory at all and the telescope moves on its own when unclamped, you are out of balance...if you are not balanced, then this alone can great affect both GO TO and tracking accuracy. Hang whatever you need to, by whatever means necessarty (rubber bands, Velcro, wire ties....) at points on the scope until you find perfect balance. Only then can you expect the scope to operate properly. > > Thanks! I had been resigned to living with poor pointing accuracy, then > got my hopes up after reading the guide, but then had them fall again > when I couldn't get the guide to work. So, if you have any ideas, I'd > be most grateful. I'm trying to get the telescope in as good of shape > as possible before taking it on an RV trip up in the Rockies so I can > show my nephews the stars. START with these ideas and see if they do not improve things.....and best of luck. Do not get discouraged. > Dr. Clay ------------- Arkansas Sky Observatories Harvard MPC/ H43 (Conway) Harvard MPC/ H41 (Petit Jean Mountain) Harvard MPC/ H45 (Petit Jean Mtn. South) http://www.arksky.org/
Subject: autostar #494 calc north trouble Sent: Saturday, July 21, 2007 04:32:48 From: email@example.com (firstname.lastname@example.org) I am a new owner of a Meade DS-2130,autostar #494. First night out went fine. Not so after that. When using 'easy align' ,'calc level is OK,slewing.But 'calc north' just continues to rotate. Display only shows 'calc north' not slewing. OK. 'Calc sensor" is the same. Just rotates like it's lost. I reset it, followed all the steps again. same thing. I can't do a 'two star align' because it first levels,then it just rotates and reads 'calc north'. Pressing any key doesn't stop it. HELP! Any help would be appreciated. The Meade manual and web site are of no help. Thank you, Kaye Katz St.Paul,MnMike here: Have you done a CALIBRATE MOTOR (different than CALIBRATE SENSOR)? Have you done a TRAIN DRIVES? There are more LNT troubleshooting tips in the "Premier Edition / LNT Specific Tips" section on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page. Perhaps something there will help.
Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. Yes, I have done cal. motor and train drives. ??? still just spins and spins with 'calc north' only on screen. I've let it rotate for about 5 min. Is it necessary to go beyond that? should I reset again and start from scratch? Completely frustrated! Thanks again, KayeMike here: The whole procedure of leveling and finding North should only take a couple of minutes. If nothing in those tips help then it could be a bad LNT module. Contact the dealer for an exchange or Meade for a replacement module.
And an update:
In the words of ' the cavemen'...next time do a little research. lol. I bumped the smartfinder lens/LNT first night out. Broke the lens. My husband took the LNT off to look at it and order a new lens. He replaced the LNT BACKWARDS!! I just put it back,correctly. Problem solved. You have been a great help. Being a complete novice, I didn't think to check that until you suggested LNT. Still getting familiar with the scope. OK, I can't wait for darkness!! I appreciate all your help! :) KayeMike here: Ah yes...
Subject: Re: Meade DS-2114ATS-LNT problem Sent: Sunday, July 15, 2007 10:25:53 From: Michael Primeau (email@example.com) It doesn't work. Simple. Thanks. Please don't bother replying.
Subject: Re: DS-2076AT - Does anyone know the proper Az and Alt settings - The Autostar 494 that came with it does not have the DS2076AT model listed Sent: Wednesday, July 11, 2007 19:39:31 From: Mark Sumpter (firstname.lastname@example.org) Yes, I have done the Calibrate Motor, as well as the train drives (both axes). After doing these processes multiple times, I had also done a Reset. After doing the Reset, I retrained the drives, and calibrated the motors again, however, since the DS-2076AT (DS-2076) was not listed in the Autostar, I chose the closest option, which was the DS-2070, which had the same Focal length, since I did not have any other choices. Note that it defaults to ETX-60 and I also attempted using that model as well, but did not have success. My suspicion is that when they shipped these scopes, since there was no DS-2076 option in the Autostar software, that they may have had to set custom settings for DS-2076AT scope (at the factory), and when the Autostar was later Reset, it then lost the custom settings. If anyone that may own the DS-2076AT scope could provide the Az Ratio, and Alt Ratio parameters, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your time regarding my questions. Best Regards, Mark SumpterMike here: Just to clarify, CALIBRATE MOTOR should be done BEFORE you TRAIN DRIVES.
Subject: DS2076AT - Does anyone know the proper Az and Alt settings - The Autostar 494 that came with it does not have the DS2076AT model listed Sent: Tuesday, July 10, 2007 08:54:34 From: Mark Sumpter (email@example.com) I had purchased a DS2076AT around 5 years ago from Walmart (my mistake). The Autostar (494) tracked fine when I got it, however, I got it out this year, and calabrated it (trained the drive, adjusted the finder scope, etc.) but when I initialize it, as I had done in the past, it does not track properly (way off course). Note, I have trained the drive multiple times, and tried various things, checked for resistance on the drive mechanism, etc. Please note that it does return to home correctly when I part the scope. The Autostar setup does not list the DS2076 (which is odd, since this came as a package), but it does list the DS2070, which I chose because the Focal length was identical to the DS2076. It appears to be that the Az for the DS2070 settings does not match that of the DS2076, because the Az tracking is way off. My current settings: F=700 Az Ratio=+00.84057 Alt Ratio=+01.15500 Mount=AltAz Az Percent=25% Alt Percent=25% Tracking Rate=Sidereal Precision=High Precision My question - Does anyone know the proper Az Ratio, and Alt Ratio for the DS2076AT, and any other parameters that may effect proper tracking? Any feedback regarding my request is greatly appreciated! Best Regards, Mark SumpterMike here: When you say you calibrated it, did that include doing the CALIBRATE MOTOR step as well as TRAIN DRIVES? Have you tried a RESET, CALIBRATE MOTOR, and TRAIN DRIVES? Don't forget that you have to TRAIN DRIVES on BOTH axes.
Subject: Re: lnt module with older ds2000 models Sent: Monday, July 9, 2007 08:43:24 From: Dave Arnold (firstname.lastname@example.org) This is another update to the above subject I posted on Dec. 28 2006. The screws are 3mm .5 pitch x 10 mm. I got them at ace which calls them m3 .5 x10. 8mm length may work 12mm is prob. to long. These are hex socket head and take a 2mm hex wrench. Thanks again! --Dave Arnold
Subject: Re: Meade DS-2114ATS-LNT problem Sent: Sunday, July 8, 2007 07:12:55 From: Michael Primeau (email@example.com) Well I think maybe that I am too stupid for this telescope. I have tried, easy align 1 star align 2 start align pointed it north and leveled it myself with a carpenters level put in RA and Dec coordinates used star charts put in my latitude and longitude for Bobcaygeon, Ontario 44.33 N 78.33 W eastern time zone daylight savings I have gotten to the point where I had to walk away from it a few times or it really wouldn't be working now I am totally novice and just wanted a telescope that was easy to use and see some planets etc. Any ideas or just sell it?Mike here: OK, lets back up a step. You put the telescope in the proper home position for the DS telescope LNT (which is probably NOT pointing North, at least it isn't with the ETX LNT telescopes). You then select Auto Align. After it completes leveling and determining where North is, it then selects and slews to the first alignment star. It should be pointed near the brightest star in that area. You then center that star in the eyepiece. The process repeats for the second star. You then see a message on the AutoStar that indicates the alignment has been successful. If you then select something like Venus or Jupiter, do you mean that the telescope does not slew anywhere close to them?
Yes exactly. It may be that it is not picking the correct alignment star due to something I am doing wrong, and I don't have enough knowledge to know which star is which. So I assume the star it picks it what it says it is.Mike here: If you center the WRONG stars, the alignment will likely fail, with a message on the AutoStar that says this. Again, as I mentioned previously, there are the star charts of the AutoStar alignment stars on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page. Perhaps you need to help the LNT "know" where True North is by doing the CALIBRATE SENSOR steps and follow the prompts on the AutoStar display.
Subject: lnt module with older ds2000 models Sent: Wednesday, July 4, 2007 14:01:18 From: dave arnold (firstname.lastname@example.org) This is an update to the above subject I posted on Dec. 28 2006. I just received the lnt module last week! It took six months to deliver something the web site said was in stock. The lens showed up a couple of months ago. Anyway in answer to my own question the thing bolts on where the old finder was with the only problem being that they don't supply the hex head screws. The screws for the finder don't work without a right angle philips head screw driver and some washers(they are too long). As soon as I get some I'll post the size. Operationally there was no problem. The autostar gets time and date, then goes through it's auto level/north/tilt routine and on to alignment. I hope I've set the date and time for the last time! Thanks again for this awesome site without which I would be totally lost. --Dave
Subject: Meade DS-2114ATS-LNT problem Sent: Tuesday, July 3, 2007 14:40:27 From: Michael Primeau (email@example.com) Help! I can't get my telescope to work. It looks nice but I don't have enough knowledge to figure out the alignment stars. I even bought the 506 astrofinder package but it does not help. I don't know what to do anymore, because the information for it was that it is so easy to use. I am just too stupid to figure this thing out. Any help whatsoever would be greatly appreciated by this wanna be astronomer. I have inputted my latitude etc and have followed the instructions but it doesn't help at all. Mike PrimeauMike here: First off, I need to know exactly what you AND the telescope have done and are doing. Just saying that you can't get it to work doesn't help me help you. Have you read the manual, three times? Have you played with the telescope indoors to learn how to use it before going outside in the dark? (If you don't learn it when you can see you will likely get frustrated trying to learn it in the dark.)
Yes sir Actually I have read the manual a lot more than 3 times. I have followed all the instructions. However, after it aligns itself North and level it can't seem to skew properly to the alignment stars. Also, I am not sure where they are either.Mike here: OK, lets start with a basic thing then. Grab the "Alignment/High Precision/Star Charts" or "Another AutoStar Alignment Stars Chart" from the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page; that should help you properly identify the alignment stars in the sky. If you are centering the proper stars the AutoStar will say "Align Successful". Beyond that, you might want to CALIBRATE MOTOR and TRAIN DRIVES if you haven't already.
Okay thanks Mike I will try that. Thanks for your time.
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