Last updated: 16 March 2006
Subject:	DS-2130LNT review, Initial try out
Sent:	Thursday, March 9, 2006 07:26:45
From:	VENTERS Casey G (Casey.Venters@framatome-anp.com)
Items that ship with the scope: (1) The Optical Tube Assembly. 
(2) Tripod, The tripod is easy to setup and has a little tray for
storage of star maps and eyepieces. Not much else would go on it.  (3)
mount with motors. (4)The two eyepieces that ship with the scope were a
26 mm Super Plossl (~37x) and a 9.7 mm Super Plossl (~103x).  The each
have a hard plastic case for storage. (4) #494 Autostar controller
(5)Software for PC. I haven't installed the software yet and probably
won't for a while (I have some star maps).  The scope was easily put
together with just a screwdriver in less than 10 minutes.

Some downfalls that I have already seen in this telescope: (1) It
is that the drives are a little sloppy.  They don't move immediately
when told to.  I hate to tighten the clutch too much, but I might try
that later.  (2) Columnation isn't as easy as it appears in the manual. 
This could be because I was rushed and/or that it was my first time. (3)
The tripod while stable appears to be flimsy.  This might not be a good
scope for astrophotography.  But I'll eventually try it. Recommended
accessories to have before it arrives: (1) 8 AA batteries - must have,
(2) red LED flashlight or head lamp, (3)level, (4) star maps (not needed
but it's nice to have)

Review: My new DS-2130LNT came via FedEx and arrived ~30 minutes
before dark.  So I assembled it as fast as I could (already have read
the manual online).  There was some aligning that I was trying to do
before it got dark.  But it got dark too quick.  Also I thought that I
read somewhere that the batteries were included, but I must have misread
so I had to run pick up 8 AA batteries from the store.  So I took it out
side and tried it out.  I couldn't get it to focus.  I took the scope
back inside and tried to columnate it the best I could.  It was a little
off from shipping.

I took the scope back outside and I gave it a few minutes to adjust to
the temperature change and I was able to resolve the stars into points
of light.  I tried again to align the scope.  The Level and North
sensors are in the viewfinder.  So that needs to be plugged in for the
LNT to work.  The tripod needed to be level and I couldn't find my
level, so it wouldn't align properly.  From what I know about
programming and geometry, the telescope is assuming that it is on a
level base.  Since I probably didn't have the tripod level it wasn't
going to the correct part of the sky for the two aligning stars.  Not
having looked through a scope bigger than 2" before I was lost as to
which star was which.  There was a significant number (3-10x depending
on the portion of the sky) more stars that could be seen through the
scope than I could see with my naked eye.  So I gave up on aligning for

But I could find the moon.  And boy did I find it.  It took me a while
to get used to moving the telescope and focusing, but when I got it I
got it.  I ran back inside to get my 2.5 year old daughter from her
bedtime routine, and rushed her out.  I told her how to close one eye
and look in the eyepiece.  It took her a while to figure out which eye
was open, but when she did, her face lit up like it was Christmas.  We
were jumping in the backyard earlier in the afternoon to try and catch
the moon, and I managed to get it a little closer for her.  It was
pretty exciting.  The moon (only in it's 1st quarter) was extremely
bright.  It was so bright that it started hurting my eyes.  But the
image was so crystal clear, it was hard to not look at it.  It's
probably because it was on my personal telescope, but that image of the
moon is the best that I've ever seen.  Even professional photography.  I
probably have to adjust the telescope a little still, but the quality of
the image is way better than I expected.

The sky's are going to be cloudy for the next few days so I won't be
able to play with it too much until the clouds move on.  This was the
fueling the desire to rush to see something.  Overall, for $400 this is
a nice telescope to get you addicted to astronomy.  I haven't much to
compare this telescope to except a 2" refractor that I had in my youth
so I can't tell you how it compares to other scopes.  The Autostar
controller was a little difficult to read as it was scrolling messages
by.  The letters would blur together.  I reduced the speed of the
scrolling and when I could read what it was saying, the words were near
standstill.  This could be probably be fixed in the contrast and/or
brightness setting for the controller.

I'll get some pictures of the scope and send them sometime next week,
and hopefully I'll have the tripod leveled and I can view Saturn (my
main goal of my initial viewing but alas I was foiled).


I have been playing with collimation of the DS-2130-LNT.  The stars had
a comet type appearance.  Let me say that it is very difficult to
collimate it apparently.  I have yet to get it so that I can see a
planet as a disk.  It appears mainly as a smear.  I can see nebulae very
well  though.  Stars are little triangles of litel with a point and
streaks of light off to one side.

I have been able to see M42,, M43, and M78 all within Orion.  I also
have seen Pleides (which was very awesome) and a few other clusters that
I just randomly found and really don't remember the NGC #.  Stars and
planets have been un-seeable due to the poor collimation.  The Moon is
almost too bright too look at even at a 1st quarter moon.  I'll hold off
looking at it again until I obtain a moon filter.

While I was attempting to collimate the telescope a couple days ago, I
noticed some styrofoam debris inside the focuser tube.  I'm afraind that
I might have touched the lens inside so don't try to put your finger or
any other object in there without noticing where the lens is.

Some of the slop was taken out of the Alt axis when I noticed that the
clutch wasn't fully tightened.  I had assumed that the cluctches would
have been tight upon shipping but you should ensure that the clutch
knobs are both tightened.  The alignment is still off even though I have
been finding and centering the appropriate stars.  I thought that I read
something on a website about the DC servo for the Alt axis interfers
with both a normal needle style compass and the compass sensor in the
LNT module.  I need to get the collimation fixed before I attempt this

Casey Venters

I have attached some thumbnails that have links to some pictures that I
have taken.    These pics are hosted at imageshack.us.  It's a free
image hosting service so that you don't have to host the pictures.

Tripod with the OTA bracket mounted
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Telescope assembled
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Clutches for Alt & Az axes
alt clutch- Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
az clutch - Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

mirror mounts and collimation screws
Primary- Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
secondary - Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

bubble level that I installed on the tray
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Return to the top of this page.

Go back to the ETX Home Page.

Copyright ©2006 Michael L. Weasner / etx@me.com
Submittals Copyright © 2006 by the Submitter
URL = http://www.weasner.com/etx/reviews/2006/ds2130lnt-review.html