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want to upgrade my wife's DS-2114

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  • Steve Acker
    Hello, 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
    Message 1 of 31 , Dec 2, 2007
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      Hello,

      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
      tube).

      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
      plus.

      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,

      Steve
    • Steve Acker
      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
      Message 31 of 31 , Dec 9, 2007
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        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).

        Thanks,

        Steve


        --- In Meade-Uncensored@yahoogroups.com, "Steve Acker" <ack1961@...>
        wrote:
        >
        > 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
        DS-
        > 2114 long tube. Not worth $500 as an upgrade.
        >
        > 2. Meade ETX-125 AT ($775 new) - same ease of use upgrade, but
        will
        > offer a moderately better experience (including astro-
        > 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
        align/self-
        > homing.
        >
        > 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
        web-
        > sites that compare these models.
        >
        > What I really lack is the knowledge to understand what the more
        > important specs are for each scope.
        >
        > Thanks again,
        >
        > Steve
        >
        >
        >
        > --- In Meade-Uncensored@yahoogroups.com, WarpedCorp <warpcorp@>
        > wrote:
        > >
        > > 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
        easier
        > to
        > > > 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
        > flow.
        > >
        > > The cautions are: the ETX90 gathers 50% less light than the DS-
        114.
        > > (you -might- consider the ETX125... it costs more, but other than
        > > 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
        (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.
        > >
        > > 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
        Autostar
        > > 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]
        > >
        >
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