Last updated: 19 September 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: How do i control my DS2000 Autostar ( #494 ) with my notebook? Sent: Wednesday, September 19, 2007 08:09:14 From: Fabrcio (firstname.lastname@example.org) I have a DS2114ATS from Meade ( old model ) and it has Autostar #494, but im still confused about what cable should I buy/make. Theres a tutorial to make a homemade #505, is that what I need? Or a #506 cable? Thanks. ~Fabricio Miranda.Mike here: For the AutoStar #494 you need a #506 serial cable, which is not easily made as it has special electronics in the cable. So, you have two choices: purchase the #506 cable OR purchase a #497 AutoStar and make a #505 serial cable (which is simple). If you get the #497 AutoStar you will gain the ability to update the AutoStar ROM using software (Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux). NOTE: if your computer has only USB you will need a USB-serial adapter to convert from the USB to the RS-232 signals the AutoStar uses. However, not all USB-serial adapters work reliably with the AutoStar; see the article "AutoStar and USB" on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page.
Subject: Problem with motorized altitude on DS-2130AT Sent: Saturday, September 15, 2007 21:51:49 From: Matt Miller (email@example.com) I have just bought a used DS-2130AT. It all seems to be working except for the motorized altitude movement. The altitude locking knob has been tightened per the manual's instructions. When I use the manual arrow keys to adjust altitude, I hear the motor running but it never actually moves the telescope. When the AutoStar is calibrating it does the same thing. It does this regardless of the tightness of the altitude locking knob. Also note that I can move the altitude by hand, but no matter how tight I make the knob, it won't lock in the altitude to hold the position. It appears that something inside isn't properly engaging. By contrast, the azimuth mechanicals seem to be working quite well. Have you or anyone else had this problem, or heard of a fix? I am willing to take the arm apart if needed, but would prefer to have a diagnosis and solution in mind beforehand if possible. Thanks. Matt MillerMike here: It sounds like the altitude lock mechanism has broken since the telescope tube neither moves under motorized control nor stays in place when locked. It could be that the lock knob is stripped or that the clamping mechanism is broken.
Okay, that's what I figured. I just wanted to make sure I'm not overlooking something else. I will take it apart and look inside to see. I hope Meade has a replacement part! Thanks for your input. Matt Miller
I found the fix! And it is either free or less than $1.00 depending on how you fix it. Here is the link to a good writeup: http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/attachments/644756-DSX%20Altitude%20Clutch%20Ring.pdf It appears I won't be the only one asking about this someday, so this might be a good document to keep as a reference. If anything, it makes it sound even more difficult of a repair than it really is, because it breaks things down into so many steps. In reality, this could be done in 10 minutes the second time around. So the upshot is that I now have a fully functional DS-2130AT that I hope to use as a "get-my-feet-wet" telescope for my kids and me. Some day, if any of us really get into this, we'll be shopping further up the food chain. I'll be checking out your site in the meantime to start learning. Thanks for this resource. Matt Miller
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