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Last updated: 30 November 2009
This page is for user comments and information specific to the Meade DS, DSX, and some older 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 for posting. Please use an appropriate Subject Line on your message per the Site Email Etiquette. Thanks. Remember, tips described on this site may invalidate the warranty on your telescope or accessories. Neither the submitter nor myself are responsible for any damage caused by using any contributed tips.

Subject:	DS2114 Broken elevation spindle casting
Sent:	Friday, November 27, 2009 18:30:11
From:	Alton (
I was referred here by, who also said this is a problem with
the ETX family of scopes.

I acquired the DS2114 AT at Sam's Club last year as a seasonal item. The
elevation spindle broke on mine when we were unloading equipment in the
mountains a couple of weeks ago, and someone snagged the duffel bag it
was in with another item being unloaded, dragging it off the pickup
tailgate where it fell about 3 feet to the ground.

I tried to fix this with JB Weld, and it held for one night but failed
the next day.

Apparently the flaw is related to the cantilever support of the entire
tube at the end of this casting, which has three large cutouts to allow
the piece that forms the clutch to protrude and grip the plastic
elevation drive gear.

Is there an aftermarket spindle or has anyone talked Meade into selling
the replacement part? Or has anyone made a successful repair by
carefully drilling and tapping for something like #6-32 bolts (or even
#4-40) from the cup shaped part of the casting to the hollow portion
that is about 15mm OD and 6mm ID?

I have some photographs I can attach of the broken shaft if necessary.
Mike here: There are some articles on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page about repairing the Altitude lock (the Right Tube Adapter as it is known in the ETX world). I haven't heard of anyone selling a specific DS model replacement (one company sells an ETX replacement). You could try Telescope Warehouse (link on the Astronomy Links page).


Thanks for the leads to hunt down. I suspect the ETX part may very well
interchange with the DS part, since I stumbled on a thread about fixing
clutch slippage where someone posted a picture of one from an ETX.

Here are some pictures I took last night of the broken "Right Tube
Adapter" (see attachments)

photo photo photo photo photo

Mike here: The ETX RTA comes in different sizes for each ETX model. There is only one after-market RTA available that I know of (for the ETX-90).
Subject:	Autostar #494 and #497 for DS-2114ATS Telescope
Sent:	Monday, November 23, 2009 06:08:27
From:	Ross Tyler (
Perhaps you can help answer this question:
I have a Meade DS-2114ATS telescope that was purchased in 2003.

It has a #494 Autostar that has the language in French. Can I replace
that with an English #497 Autostar so that I can see the display in
English (and get the extra functionality of the #497) or do I need to
replace it with an English #494 Autostar?

Ross Tyler
Mike here: The #497 will work great on the DS telescope.


Thanks a million.......

Subject:	ETX site
Sent:	Monday, November 2, 2009 08:01:43
From:	Donnie Driskell (
I was referred to your site about fine tuning an ETX base. I have a
DS2114 that was reported to have the same base and I need to fine tune
it. Your site has a dead link at the Mighty ETX page. I can not get my
new DS2114 to perform a satisfactory star align and all of the GOTO's
are out. Someone mentioned to me to see your instructions. I came from
the cloudynights forum.
Donnie D.
Madison, MS
Mike here: What is the dead link? As to alignment and GOTOs, have you done a CALIBRATE MOTOR and TRAIN DRIVES? Also, have you checked the various settings? Describe the steps you are doing during the set up and alignment and much pointing error there is. That could be a clue to the problem.


The link you gave me now at bottom of email is fine now. Someone in
cloudynights must have posted and incomplete link. Thanks

I will look over your site (of which I see you have a lot of work and
documentation) very nice ! I will see if I find some info there Before I
contact again.

I have leveled the scope (made sure it was level 360)
I found north within about 1 +/-
Performed an easy align which the scope slews to Vega ( I have to re
center Vega as it is out of the eyepiece about 10)
It prompts me to Altair ( I have to re center Altair as it is out of the
eyepiece about 10)
Then I goto Jupiter to see what happens. Seems to do fine here, however,
in selecting like M45, it is so far off like 30 and also Formahault, and
any other object is way too far off. It seems as if the scope looses

Yes, I have trained the drive twice, performed easy align, one star, two
star etc. re checked and re done. I have gone to MEades site and looked
at the videos about how to set up. Read the manual several times to see
if I am missing something. Someone mentioned that grease in the base
maybe smeared on some of the electronic sensors - or something to that

BTW, this is a friends Telescope. I have never owned a telescope, but I
mentioned to him that I would help. We are both in our 50's and
I have been getting familiar with the night sky via binoculars.

Donnie Driskell
Mike here: The pointing error you describe when doing the alignment sounds like it could have one or two possible causes. Have you set the Daylight Saving setting correctly for your location? Also, it sounds like you may be using Magnetic North instead of True North for the Home Position. Depending on your location, there can be a difference of up to about 20 degrees. If you can see the North Star "Polaris", use that to determine where True North is on your horizon. If you want to calculate your "Magnetic Variation", there are links for that on the Astronomy Links page.


I realized (that after scanning your site) that I used a level that has
a magnetic bottom. I used this leveler on the OTA to get it level.

I think that this was a no-no. I probably should not have used one of
those levels that has the magnetic strip on the OTA. If there are
electronics or whatever in the base that is sensitive to mag fields,
then this could account for not being able to slew to objects.

Do you think that I am on to something?

Mike here: If your DS has the LNT module, then strong (or close) magnetic fields will upset its leveling and Magnetic North determining.

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