want to upgrade my wife's DS-2114
I don't know very much about this stuff, so be gentle...
I'm thinking about getting my wife a better telescope (better= easier
to setup and handle) than her current Meade DS-2114 w/ Autostar (long
She'd certainly get out more if she had a scope that was easier to
handle and home. Connecting the scope to a computer would also be a
I'm not looking to break the bank, I just would love to upgrade from
the current one. It's also my humble opinion that the tripod on the DS-
2114 is, well...not too sturdy, and I've already replaced both motors
on this one. The power supply is also quite terrible.
Also, I read somewhere that to connect the DS-2114 Autostar (I'm not
sure if it's a #496 or #497) to a computer requires making special
cables and can cause harm to the Autostar system - I don't want to
mess with that stuff.
Any suggestions (let's try to keep it <$600, OK?) would be
appreciated. Something sturdy, easy to use and functional in moderate
winter climate (NC) would be ideal.
Like I stated earlier, what I don't know about this stuff could fill
volumes, but I have an eye on the ETX-90EC, but I don't have a clue if
it's a viable upgrade or not.
If the setup we have now is OK, and I'm just a space idiot, well then
just tell me that and I'll spend that money on something else.
Thanks for your time,
- Thanks to everyone for your input.
I settled on the Celestron SE 5.
Amazingly, I ordered it on Wednesday PM from OpticsPlanet for $699
(after rebate) w/ FREE SHIPPING, and it arrived on Friday AM.
No kidding. Because shipping was included, I was expecting 10-14
days delivery time, but the doorbell rang Friday morning.
It's a gift for my wife, so I didn't open it yet, but I also bought
a Power Tank and a Dew Cover for it.
Just thought I'd give a positive shout-out to the Meade-Uncensored
Group and to OpticsPlanet (who were also excellent to work with).
--- In Meade-Uncensored@yahoogroups.com, "Steve Acker" <ack1961@...>
> First off, Thanks to all who replied to my initial question.
> So, I think my realistic choices are narrowing down to (please
> correct any mistakes are wrong assumptions that follow):
> 1. Meade ETX-90 AT ($500 new) - which would only be an upgrade in
> terms of ease of use (Autostar #497) and portability over the
> 2114 long tube. Not worth $500 as an upgrade.will
> 2. Meade ETX-125 AT ($775 new) - same ease of use upgrade, but
> offer a moderately better experience (including astro-align/self-
> photography) over the 2114.
> 3. Meade ETX-90 PE ($700 new) - same as ETX-90, but with auto-
> align/self homing.
> 4. Meade ETX-125 PE ($1k new) - same as ETX-125, but auto
> 5. Celestron NexStar 5SE ($700 new) - I really don't know how/what
> to compare this scope to...posbily ETX-90 PE?
> I know I've simplified the attributes of the scopes on this list,
> but I guess I'm confused by all the astro-jargon on some of the
> sites that compare these models.easier
> What I really lack is the knowledge to understand what the more
> important specs are for each scope.
> Thanks again,
> --- In Meade-Uncensored@yahoogroups.com, WarpedCorp <warpcorp@>
> > I'd second the vote for the ETX125.
> > autostaretx <rseymour@> wrote: --- In Meade-
> Uncensored@yahoogroups.com, "Steve Acker" <ack1961@>
> > wrote:
> > ...
> > > I'm thinking about getting my wife a better telescope
> > > (better= easier to setup and handle) than her current
> > > Meade DS-2114 w/ Autostar (long tube).
> > >
> > > She'd certainly get out more if she had a scope that was
> > > handle and home. Connecting the scope to a computer would also
> be a
> > > plus.
> > .......
> > >... I have an eye on the ETX-90EC, but I don't have a clue if
> > > it's a viable upgrade or not.
> > With only two cautions, the ETX90 is what sprang to my mind as
> > i was reading your note (and then you mentioned it!).
> > I'm biased: i have one. (and an LX200gps)
> > First, i consider it -very- simple to grab, set up, and observe.
> > It's even possible to use it without the "set up", other than
> > "plop on level table, point north". (i have the non-PE version,
> > and it's faster to "set up" that than the -PE version (i added
> > the PE's LNT module to mine to see how it went).
> > I've walked people through ETX70 "set ups" on the phone.
> > The trick is to not -obsess- about the operation, and go with
> > The cautions are: the ETX90 gathers 50% less light than the DS-
> > (you -might- consider the ETX125... it costs more, but other than(I'm
> > the increased weight, it's as convenient as an ETX90)
> > So some objects will be dimmer at the same magnification.
> > It also has a narrower field of view (the moon will still fit in
> > it) for the same eyepieces.
> > The 2nd caution centers on:
> > > Also, I read somewhere that to connect the DS-2114 Autostar
> > > sure if it's a #496 or #497) to a computer requires making
> > > cables and can cause harm to the Autostar system - I don't
> > > mess with that stuff.
> > The ETX90 requires a 497 Autostar (the model -with- the numeric
> > keypad). So if you have the 494 (no numbers on the keys) you'll
> > need to replace it, too (for $99 to $200, depending upon source).
> > The 505 cable for the 497 can be bought for $20.
> > You can build one for $5.
> > (the special ~$50 506 cable/converter required for the 494
> > cannot be home-built)
> > > Any suggestions (let's try to keep it <$600, OK?) would be
> > > appreciated. Something sturdy, easy to use and functional
> > > in moderate winter climate (NC) would be ideal.
> > The ability to place the ETX90 (or ETX125) on any sturdy level
> > surface (i use picnic tables when camping) means that you don't
> > -have- to use a wobbly tripod. That frequently makes life easier.
> > I consider the ETX90 to have been a truly wonderful scope.
> > You can visit Mike Weasner's site to see comments about it and
> > the rest of the Meade small telescope line.
> > http://www.weasner.com/etx
> > The same-price-range Celestrons are also good candidates.
> > I've never played with one, but a friend recently got a
> > NexStar 5se (currently $699 including a $100 rebate offer
> > running until 12/31) and he's quite happy.
> > Their 4" (105mm) is only $499 with the rebate.
> > (shipping and handling can add $45 to those)
> > You might go prowl the Celestron groups to see what the crowds
> > think of them...
> > have fun
> > --dick
> > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]