Last updated: 30 June 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: AutoStar DS series -Info on Alt. scale accuracy correction? Sent: Monday, June 30, 2008 19:28:41 From: stange (firstname.lastname@example.org) Do you have any information on removing or correcting the ALT. degree SCALE play/slop (Not gear slop), and any info on (how) to keep the ALT. degree scale reasonably accurate so that it can help to find DSO's using just the Alt. & Azimuth scales, on AutoStar DS series single arm mounts? If nothing else.... just to make it read accurately for level OTA pre-auto alignment if mount has been leveled. LarryMike here: I don't have a DS model so don't know if it is similar to the ETX model but see the item "Q. My Declination (altitude) setting circle is off, what do I do?" on the FAQ page.
OK, I read that Mike See my attachment for correcting the DS series Alt. scale errors. May apply to ETX series too. Let me know if you want me to continue..... -Larry ----CORRECTING DS SERIES(OTHERS?) ALTITUDE SCALE SLOP & ERROR---- The DS-series DEC knob scale assy can be accuratized when the mechanical problems are identified. The ETX series (may be fixeable the same way or similar.) The drawback is....since the scale needs to show zero when the scope is level and to show accurately the scopes true Altitude angles upward it cannot be done without having the base mount level to begin with, for starting accuracy. And the Alt. scale must never move independantly when the clutch knob is rotated in either direction, and must never independantly move during normal up-down gear driven motion. The problem is the Altitude scale has a couple of degrees(or a lot more) slop because it is not firmly fixed in rotation & locked to the hub assy. If it were, the scope mount would have to be leveled to make the Alt. scale accurate afterward. Meade's promotion was the mount need not be leveled because it uses Star alignment with only the tube needing leveling in the beginning. So the Alt. scale stayed sloppy no matter how the tube was aimed after alignment. There are two problems that must be corrected (if both exist), to eliminate scale slop. 1) The outer Altitude knob SKIRT must NOT TOUCH the Alt. scale at any time. If it does, it will cause a dragging on the Alt. (SCALE) with increasing scale error in either direction depending on the scale slop. Even by removing the slop, it can later cause the slop to return. 2) The Alt. scale sets somewhat loosely on a special hub assy without any means to lock it to the gear driven hub accurately and permanently. This is the source of the scale slop. Correcting problem #1: After removal of OTA clam-shell, (4 screws underneath the clam shell padding at the top, "carefully" loosen the locknut you see and remove it. Hold the hub so that you are not damaging internal gearing etc. Gripping the Altitude scale clutch knob firmly, unscrew it completely and withdraw it. Notice you are unscrewing a shaft which goes THRU a 3 pointed clutch pressure plate which detents in the housing at 3 points on the other side inside the clamshell hub. It must be returned that way back too. Add a washer to the Alt. knob shaft and re-insert it back into the hub assy to check that you now have a clearance between the knob skirt and the Alt. scale surface. Remove the knob and shaft from the hub after checking. Do not reassemble anything yet. Correcting problem #2 Level the telescope mount, and attach a permanent bubble level. Now this gets "tricky" so bear with me. You need to temporarily re-attach the clamshell with the 4 screws and put the OTA back in the clamshell. It will not hold any verticle position because the clutch assy has not been reassembled....... MIKE, do you want me to continue? this is getting long & taking time..... -LarryMike here: The above is incomplete. The final version will be posted on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page soon.
Subject: autostar Sent: Sunday, June 8, 2008 19:07:17 From: email@example.com (firstname.lastname@example.org) I have an older ds2114 w/ auto star and I'm wanting to hook it up to my laptop. My problem is that my auto star computer is the type that doesn't have the place for a second cable to be plugged in. Now can I retrofit the autostar I have or do I have to buy a newer version? Thanks---TomMike here: You have two choices: get a #506 serial cable that connects to a AUX port on the telescope or get a #505 serial cable AND the AutoStar #497. The #506 cable is not easily made whereas the #505 cable is simple to make (see the cable information on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page on the ETX Site). If your laptop does not have a real RS-232 serial port you will need a USB-serial adapter (and software). However, not all work reliably with the AutoStar; see the article "AutoStar and USB" on the AutoStar Info page. I use a Keyspan adapter with my Macs and it works fine from Mac OS X.
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