DS MODELS USER FEEDBACK
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Last updated: 24 November 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-90 Imaging
Sent:	Wednesday, November 21, 2007 04:56:34
From:	Paul Temple (phxbird@hotmail.com)
In reading the posts about the DS-90 in the archives there was a
question about using a digital camera on the scope. I am using a SAC 7b
CCD camera with no problems, other than the drive issue. I found that
this telescope handles that weight very well but you have to be carefull
with all the cords while it tracks. I have used an Orion digital camera
holder as well and shot a few images, though my digital camera did not
work well this way. However, the Telescope worked fine. The main issue
is loosening the clutch that holds the telescope steady and balanceing
the whole assembly(loosen the altitude clutch, move the tube until it
balances good then tighten the clutch back, then go to align it). I
purchased a low cost flip mirror for $60 from the Telescope Warehouse so
that I don't have to take heavy eyepieces in and out thus messing up the
balance. It works quite well though I am planning on getting a zoom lens
for the flip system after Christmas so I don't have to change from low
power eyepieces to high power ones. Some people don't like zoom lenses
but I find them handy and for this type of thing it should be almost
perfect. Just a note, with the SAC 7b the provided 9mm eyepiece used on
the flip mirror has good focus on the CCD chip when it is focused in the
eyepiece! That is a huge time saver. I would find it difficult to
constantly have to swap eyepieces and camera and then focus. Once you
pull and eyepiece out the telescope balance is gone and you have to use
your fingers to try and keep it balanced. This usually does not work
well when working with a CCD! It is hard enough to get good images
without that kind of headache.  Hope these comments might help somebody
else that is wanting to get into imaging!
Paul Temple
Fayette, MO

Subject:	RE: DS-90 tracking
Sent:	Tuesday, November 20, 2007 10:58:44
From:	Paul Temple (phxbird@hotmail.com)
Still have not had time(and now I am down with a virus!) to work on my
drive tracking problem. Do others with the DS 90 like it OK? How does it
compare to the newer versions that Meade is putting out? Just curious.
Hope you have a wonderful holiday!
Mike here: See the Helpful Information: User Observations page for DS reports. Also, see the DS feedback pages and/or search the Site for "DS-90" (and variations of that).
Subject:	Question concerning your review of the Meade DS2090AT
Sent:	Sunday, November 18, 2007 19:04:05
From:	Ron J. Klein (RonJKlein@kc.rr.com)
I was curious about your use of the Meade DS2090AT telescope after your
review in August of 2006, and if you still recommend it as an initial
scope for those completely new to astronomy?  I've already picked up
this scope at a local Costco store for $189 as a gift to my family for
Christmas.  This would be our very first telescope, and we are all
completely new to astronomy.  Because of this, the "GoTo" aspect of the
telescope was really enticing.

I figured I would find some time where I am the only one home so that I
can take the scope and parts out of the shipping box and examine it
thoroughly for any defects or broken parts.  That may also give me a
chance to assemble the scope for the first time and check for issues.

From what I've read, the primary issue might be the lack of solidity in
the tripod stand or mount.  Obviously, any type of tripod stand that is
made primarily out of plastic and is that "light" in overall weight is
not going to be all that steady.  However, the more I thought about it,
a relatively simple modification seemed apparent to me. Here it is for
your review:

To increase the solidity and "clung to earth" nature of the stand, why
could I not simply connect and eyelet type of hook immediately
underneath the top of the mount (where the tops of the three silver legs
meet underneath the mount).  From that hook, I would have a stainless
steel line connected to that hook and hanging straight down below the
scope to the floor.  At the bottom of that line, I would in some way
attach a 10-15 lb weight to that line in such a way that the weight
would sit solidly on the ground with the line tauntly pulled tight. 
This would, in essence, pull down on the underside of the mount pulling
the tips of the legs into the ground and thus stabilizing the mount and
telescope.  If I designed it correctly, it could be attached to the
setup scope in just a few seconds (connect the line onto the eyelet
hook, and then to the weight sitting on the ground-then pull slack out
of the line and lock when the line is taunt).

Okay, sorry about the long explanation, but I wanted to give you a good
visual of my idea (may or may not be original). My question is, would it
work? Would it function to help stabilze the mount and telescope combo,
resulting in better OTA stability?

Thanks for any assistance or help that you can provide!
 
Sincerely,
Ron J. Klein (RonJKlein@kc.rr.com)  
Mike here: Hanging a weight from the center of a tripod is a common technique to increase stability.
Subject:	RE: Meade DS Telescope replacement battery holder
Sent:	Saturday, November 17, 2007 18:15:46
From:	Rick Moore (rlmoore@comcast.net)
I found the battery holder on E-Bay and got it new for $6.50 believe it
or not...anyway, thanks for your help on this...Rick

Subject:	Meade DS Telescope replacement battery holder
Sent:	Tuesday, November 13, 2007 14:50:56
From:	Rick Moore (rlmoore@comcast.net)
I have a DS telecsope with a Autostar #495 computer controller. My grand
daughter has gotten her hands on the tlescope and pretty much destroyed
the battery pack. The Pack is the 12v power supply which holds 10 AA
batteries. Do you know where to purchase a replacement or is there
another (maybe better) solution to this problem??? Thanks, Rick
Mike here: You could try Meade but they may not have this part anymore. You could also try Telescope Warehouse (link on the Astronomy Links page). While not exactly the same, the article "ETX-70 battery holder" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page might help.
Will give it a shot and let you know how it turns out...Thanks much for
you prompt response and help...Rick

Subject:	DS-90 tracking
Sent:	Monday, November 12, 2007 14:04:07
From:	Paul Temple (phxbird@hotmail.com)
Has anyone posted information on making the DS-90 track a little better?
I am now using a SAC 7b to image the moon, planets and some other
objects but find that it does not track very well with the small field
of view of the camera. I do have a full autostar attached with the
latest upgrades installed. I know there are some things that can be done
to the ETX 90 to help it so I assume someone, somewhere has put together
some info on the DS-90. Thanks!
Paul Temple
Fayette, MO
Mike here: Beyond the tips on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page (and perhaps something on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page) I don't recall anything specific to the DS-90. But keep in mind that the DS models are at the low-end of the line and not necessarily up to really accurate tracking.
Thanks! I will check those two areas. For medium and low power observing
the mount works quite well. It is only when you get into the realms of
CCD or high power visual that it shows it's weakness. Still, with 3
crushed vertebrae it still beats my old 10" Meade Starfinder! I traded
my 10" for the DS-90 since I was increasingly having problems lifting
it's 110 plus pounds! Haven't regretted the decision even with bad
tracking!
Thanks again.
Paul Temple

And an update:

After reading Clay Sherrods info on the etx and lx 90 I think my problem
is in training the drives. I don't think I used a high enough
magnification and did not get my object centered like I should. Thanks
again for the quick response and I will let you know how things turn out
in a couple of days.
Paul Temple

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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/nov07/ds.html