Posted 24 August 2013 - 08:42 AM
Posted 24 August 2013 - 11:19 AM
Meade LX200 14" ACF GPS
Meade 4 speed micro focuser
Panama City Florida
Live long and prosper
Posted 24 August 2013 - 12:38 PM
Posted 24 August 2013 - 01:33 PM
Welcome to the forum.
You can most likely place a picture in the gallery.
The one scope I can think of that meets your description is a Meade DS 114. It may have a different name on it besides Meade, but it is still Meade with one of the bargan names on it.
That particular size and focal length of a telescope is a classic, which you can do a lot of astronomy with, assuming the mirrors are in good shape, etc. It is a good entry level scope and can see a lot. I currently have a DS 114, that was not in very good condition, but I am slowly working on it to get it where it needs to go.
If your scope is a DS 114, there will be some parts that are simply not available to make it do what it was supposed to do originally, but everything that will allow you to use the scope at least manually can be fixed, one way or another.
On www.meade.com, there is a customer support section where there is an archive of many different telescopes.
We do need to get a picture of your scope to us somehow.
Posted 25 August 2013 - 01:49 AM
Posted 25 August 2013 - 12:13 PM
Your scope is a DS 114 with motor drives and all. It does not use counterweights, nor does it need a diagonal. If the scope seems a bit heavy on one end or the other, simply loosen up the nuts on the mount rings and slide the tube back and forth until the scope is better balanced. Instead of using a diagonal, like a refractor, the tube can be rotated to put in in whatever position seems comfortable to you.
The DS 114 that I have did not have any motors with it, it simply showed up on my doorstep as a freebie. The DS 90 refractor does have the motors. I have found that they do not have a good enough attachment to work properly for automatic navigation and tracking. They tend to bind up. Therefore, I just use them to move the scope around, but do not try to have the scope actually go to an object on its own or track it while there. I hope your motors work better for you than mine, but I do have doubts about them doing everything the way they are supposed to. It was Meade's first attempt at a fully computerized entry level scope, I believe. It was a good idea that had to be improved upon with later models.
I am not sure, looking at the picture, what size of eyepieces your scope is set up to take. What you want is to be set up with 1 1/4 inch eyepieces and not 0.965. You can take the plug out of the eyepiece holder and measure if you have to. If you have 0.965, then I suggest that you get with one of the vendors that sell on eBay. The two I have used are Telescope-Warehouse, scopehed1, or Telescope Parts, lipstickonapig. I have used Telescope-Warehouse the most, over the years, but both are prompt. Bill Vorce, who owns Telescope-Warehouse is very good to work with on projects like yours. What you need is an eyepiece holder that screws onto the end of the focuser and takes 1.25 inch eyepieces.
Bill Vorce does have a regular website called www.telescope-warehouse.com and shows a phone number there that you can call, which is what I would recommend in your case, and talk to him directly.
You can also find finders on eBay. If you cannot find one that is an exact match for the spot on your scope, you can drill new holes and moutn whatever it is that you end up wanting to use.
There are a lot of different eyepieces that you can use, but what I recommend to people are the Meade 4000 series plossles in 32, 20, 12.4, and maybe 9.7, then a 2X barlow lens. The part number for the barlow is #126. Bill Vorce has all of these as do any number of on-line sites. If you see one of these on eBay with a picture, the ones with yellow letters are the real thing. Ones with white letters came originally with an entry level scope. The ones I have owned seem to be OK, but they may be seconds for some reason. I have not had any optical performance issues with the white letter ones, but I tend to buy and recommend the ones with yellow letters.
You will probably want to get a star atlas of some sort. There are free star maps that you can print out on the Coudy Night's forum that are really pretty good, but I do not remember exactly how to navigate to those files. I personally use a copy of Sky and Telescope's Pocket Sky Atlas at the telescope. It costs maybe $15 on amazon, but that is not the only place you can buy a copy. You also need a little red flash light to use at night to look at the charts without messing up your night vision. I personally use a little maglight with about ten or so layers of red celophane under the lens. I am told the little red lights that use a red led bulb are much better. The red light is supposed to be more narrow in frequency and hurt night vision less.
Probably the biggest issues for you will be to learn to collimate the mirrors and maybe clean them. If the scope has been sitting for a long time, the mirrors may be dirty. The DS 114 I have had a problem with the aluminum surface being oxidized and I had to have it recoated. I think it had been in some warm place with some humidity and it did not have a cover on the open end of the tube.
Anyway, you have a nice project going with this scope. I believe you will be rewarded with a good entry level scope to learn about astronomy with. Depending on how deep you want to dive into astronomy, that scope could be a good friend for a long time.
Hope this helps,
Posted 25 August 2013 - 12:44 PM
Posted 25 August 2013 - 01:00 PM
Well, I am just sitting in my recliner, trying to talk myself into some yard work, but it is really too hot. I normally check this board for spam or other such things every day, and try to answer what questions I can. I have a different regular job and just do this as a hobby, trying to help out where I can.
You did very well with your purchase of $10. Yes, the scope can be hooked up to a computer, but through some special connections, or a 497 handset, with a special cord that you can buy on eBay or other places. The cord has a DB9 connector on one end and the small connector like plugs into a regular phone handset on the other. There are also pinouts around, probably on the Mighty ETX website, that you can use to make one. The rig needs an RS 232 connection. There may be software out there that can use newer platforms, but the Meade AutoStar software works best with XP or Windows 2000.
What I have found, however, is that most people end up fiddling with making computers work, with this level of scope, and not enjoying the night sky or actually learning about it. Even though I have several computerized scopes, including several DS models, it did not actually start getting a handle on the sky until I started doing thing manually and using my brain, which I consider to be a better way to go in the long run.
Do contact Mr. Vorce. The feedback I have recieved from people that I have referred to him have always been positive. He knows the entry level Meade scopes very well and is a good person to work with.
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