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New member with an older model DS telescope


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#1 Wxmatt82

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 09:49 PM

Back in 1998 or 99, I was in my teens when I bought my telescope. It is a Meade Telestar Electronic Digital Series. I have very rarely used it until now. I am getting much more involved in studying astronomy these days, so I got it back out. It has a place on the side that says "computer control" which has several slots where you would hook up phone lines to it, and it has a 12 volt connection, but I noticed that they don't actually connect to anything. It also came with a floppy disk back in the day, that had all sorts of star information and all that on it. I never figured out how to "control" it with a computer, because I lost the manual ages ago. So I've just used it manually now and then. My question is, how can I get this thing to work with a computer?

#2 MistrBadgr

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 05:12 AM

Hello and welcome to the Forum!

You can get the AutoStar software in the Customer Support section of www.meade.com. I am not sure if it works on Windows 7, since I do not have it loaded on a computer with that operating system. I have XP machines and the software works quite well. They should also have a digital copy of your manual there as well. Even though I have a DS 90 and a DS 114 sitting in my garage, (no motors on the DS 114) I am not sure about the hookup. Normally, you use a handset to control the scope. The 494 handset does not have a place on it to plug in a computer connecting line, but the 497 (more expensive) does. There is a special adapter type connection that you have to have to connect the mount directly to a computer, when you have the 494 handset.

You can find either of the handsets on eBay, normally. Both can run the scope, go to objects that you choose, and track the object. This, of course assumes that the motors can be attached firmly enough to the mount to operate the scope correctly. The DS 90 that I have will not move around with the motors well enough to get proper alignment, unless I support them with my hand.

Hope things work out for you!

Bill Steen
Bill Steen, Sky Hunters' Haven Observatory, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

#3 Wxmatt82

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 09:58 PM

Thanks so much for the help! I looked underneath the eye piece and found that my telescope is a DS-60. I downloaded the corresponding manual on the Meade website and looked up the computer control. It appears that it would take a lot to ever hook mine up electronically. I have searched ebay and some other websites. It appears that I need to buy the #492 dual-motor electronic control system, along with the #495 Autostar Computer Control System. But after looking on mine, I see nowhere to put the motors. It does have a panel on the side that reads "Computer Control", where it has a place where you could install a 12V connection (it has a hole with nothing in it but a metal wall at the back. Totally empty) and it has one larger phone line type plug-in for "HBX" and three smaller little phone line style connections that say, from left to right, "AZ", "ALT", and "AUX". I looked into those connections only to find that they are "dead" connections as well. Meaning that they lead to nowhere. There's no "guts" inside them to connect anything to.

So can this still be used electronically from a handset device? or is it best just to keep using it manually?

#4 MistrBadgr

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 03:10 PM

Do you have a couple little black boxes hanging on the mount, one on the side of the place where the scope hooks on, or do you see what looks like a nylon gears? The boxes will have cables that go down to the central part of the mount and plug in. If you do not have those, you will need to use the scope manually.
Bill Steen, Sky Hunters' Haven Observatory, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

#5 Wxmatt82

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 03:13 PM

Nope. No nylon gears and no black boxes. Oh well, I'll just use it manually until I can afford a better scope.




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