Last updated: 16 August 2006
Subject:	Meade DS-2090AT-TC Review
Sent:	Sunday, August 13, 2006 14:25:53
From:	Brian Wilson (
Included is my review of the Meade DS-2090AT-TC telescope that I
recently purchased.  I hope you might find it useful for your website.

The Meade Factory outlet has featured the 90mm refractor on the DS2000
mount for less than 200 dollars and I figured that this was low enough
to satisfy my curiosity.  I currently own an ETX90 UHTC as well and the
main thing I wanted to see was how a 90mm refractor would compare to an
ETX of the same aperture size.  Also, I wanted to test out the DS2000
mount. Here is an image of how the assembled telescope and the shipping


As you can see, the telescope came with a #497 Autostar controller and a
nice leg mount for the controller and eyepieces.  Assembly was
incredibly simple and in case this was a first scope for someone, there
is an instructional DVD included.  Also included were two eyepieces
(9.7mm and 26mm) and a bubble level/compass that fits into the eyepiece
hole.  Part of the telescope was damaged in shipping.  The telescope has
two set screws for the right angle eyepiece attachment, and one of the
set screws (which feel plastic) was completely sheered off.  I had to
drill it out in clear the opening.

At first light, I realized a major difference between the DS2090 and the
ETX.  The refractor was much more sensitive to atmospheric disturbance
and temperature changes than the ETX.  I didn't let the DS cool down at
all (major mistake) and images of stars such as Altair, Arcturus and
Polaris resolved to points with a blurry tail.  I let the scope sit out
for about 90 minutes and the issue was solved.  I usually don't let my
ETX cool down more than an hour before use and I have never had any

The telescope alignment was a bit tricky because instead of an actual
lens viewfinder, this scope comes with a Red Dot finder which is
absolutely useless in my opinion.  Finding stars by using the viewfinder
was extremely difficult.  Once I got the telescope aligned, I did a GOTO
Jupiter and was pleasantly surprised to see that Jupiter (while not
directly centered while using the included 26mm eyepiece) was in the
field of view.  I wanted to really test this scope out so I moved next
to M13.  Since the Focal Length is shorter than the ETX, the image of
M13 was smaller, but you could still make out the cluster as a faint
blob.  The GOTO again was very impressive.  To further test the
telescope and the mount, I did a GOTO to M57, the Ring Nebula.  This was
when the problems occurred.  The Autostar asked for me to check the
mount for clearance, and everything seemed OK so I hit GOTO to slew to
M57.  The mount was clear, but the accessory tray was not.  In the DVD,
they shown a different accessory tray that mounts inside the tripod
legs, to I flipped the included tray and now have it clamped on the
inside.  In order to prevent the OTA from hitting the tripod, I would
suggest mounting the tube as close to the eyepiece as possible.  Meade
recommends that you mount the tube at its center of gravity, but with
the weight of the objective lens, this might make the back end too long
to observe things near the zenith.  The attached image shows the tube
mounted at its center of gravity.  You can easily see the clearance
issues that might occur when looking straight up.

The DS mount is very flimsy.  You can see the object move nearly out of
the field of view when trying to focus and the Declination circle is
loose in its fitting.  When tightening Dec axis you can see the circle
shifting.  I didn't try it, but I would imagine that any piggy-back
camera mount would be a bit risky.

After the M57 slewing incident, the Autostar kept reporting Motor Unit
Fault Errors and this was only solved by doing an Autostar reset and
update according to Dr. Clay's procedure listed in the tech tips section
on your site. My overall impression of this telescope is that it is
definitely something great for a first time user who has realistic
expectations of what a telescope of this size can accomplish.  My only
major issue is with the sturdiness of the mount. It looks like I will be
keeping this telescope and I look forward to taking some pictures with
the LPI using this telescope.

-Brian Wilson

Return to the top of this page.

Go back to the User Observations page.

Go back to my ETX Home Page.

Copyright ©2006 Michael L. Weasner /
Submittals Copyright © 2006 by the Submitter