Meade DS-2114ATS ReviewTelescopes
The DS-2114ATS-LNT is a fully GoTo telescope. It’s onboard computer knows the night sky. After a short alignment procedure, your telescope will be ready to take you on a tour of the universe. You will see more objects in one night than Galileo saw in a lifetime. See planets like Saturn and Jupiter, star clusters, nebulae, galaxies and more.
New Product Enhancements for 2007
- New generation II DS-2000 mount
- New advanced field tripod for a solid observing platform
- Oversized declination lock knob with fast locking grip
- Enhanced SmartFinder with multi-coated optics
- Large 114mm Aperture
Captures a lot more light for brighter images and greater detail
- Two Premium 1.25″ Super Plössl Eyepieces
For superior long eye relief and an expansive wide visual field
- Automatic Alignment + SmartFinder™
Electronic level sensor, electronic magnetic north sensor, high precision internal clock and red dot projection finder all work together to get you aligned with the heavens
- AutoStar Suite™ Astronomer Edition
Amazing planetarium software and Instructional Video will teach you the night sky and how to use your telescope
- Assembles in Minutes
Includes everything you need to explore your universe
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Good beginner's scope
The Meade DS-2114 telescope is a good beginner’s scope, but more advanced users may find it somewhat lacking.I bought my DS-2114 at Meade’s Factory Outlet on EBay. I paid $124 with free shipping. The telescope was refurbished, but came with Meade’s 1-year warranty. Included with the telescope was a tripod, a decent 8x30 spotting scope, Meade’s MA (Kelner) 25mm and 9mm eyepieces, the Meade #494 AutoStar, and a CD ROM with astronomy software. My CD arrived blank.The tripod is fairly sturdy and can support a 35mm camera at prime focus. However, the cross-supports between the tripod’s legs broke after about a dozen trips outdoors.To use the AutoStar system, the telescope must first be aligned. This is fairly easy to do, but not as simple as the advertising from Meade would have you believe. To align the scope, the tripod must be level with the optical tube pointed North and at zero degrees elevation. Other telescopes with AutoStar that I’ve used have a buble-level and compass built into the tripod, but this one doesn’t. The North alignment isn’t critical because it is adjusted during later steps of the alignment process, but having the tripod level is. I carry a small carpenter’s level with me to assist in this step.Next you turn on AutoStar and enter the date and time. Then you must center the telescope on two stars that either you or the telescope picks. I prefer to choose the two stars myself. AutoStar likes to chose stars that are difficult to find or are obscurred by trees, buildings, etc. A helpful tip in centering the alignment stars is to start with a 25mm eyepiece (coarse adjustment) and center the star in the field of view as best you can. Then remove the 25mm eyepiece and repeat the proccess with a 9mm or smaller eyepiece (fine adjustment).Once the scope is aligned, it’s time to let AutoStar bring it to life. I like to start the night off with AutoStar’s “Tonight’s Best” Guided Tour. Autostar will determine the best objects to view and move the scope to them. You can choose objects like planets, Messiers, stars, even asteroids and comets and AutoStar will slew the telescope to bring the object into view, more or less. AutoStar is pretty accurate but does have problems on occasion. For example, if the scope is not properly aligned AutoStar will not bring the object into view. In that case, you must mannually move the scope in a small search pattern or let AutoStar do a spiral search. If you forget to tell AutoStar when the object is finally centered, when tracking begins the telescope will suddenly slew to where AutoStar thinks the object should be. I’ve had some frustrating fights with the telescope when this occurs.What can you see with this scope? Saturn’s rings are plainly visible, but the Cassini division isn’t and Saturn appears as a “bb in a washer”. Jupiter and her four moons are readily visible, as are the colored cloud bands on a night with good seeing. However, the red spot isn’t visible. Globular clusters appear as “whispy gray clouds”. Open clusters are beautiful. The double cluster is one of my favorites. Both clusters appear in the field of view with the 25mm eyepiece and I’d guess about 40 stars are discernable in the two clusters. The moon is a spectacular sight in this telescope. Craters within craters and mountain ranges are easy to see.Overall, this telescope is good for beginners or as a second scope. It displays objects larger and brighter than more expensive 60-80mm refractors. It’s short tube length and relatively light weight make it easy to carry outdoors or load into a car to search out darker skies. I bought this telescope to use while I build a 12″ dob, and overall it does a good job. I’d like to see some more features, like a heater or fans to prevent dew and a more accurate AutoStar system, but for $124 I think it was a steal.
Not worth the effort
At first glance, the DS2114ATS appears to be a decent telescope for the begginer to intermediate astronomer. The optics are indeed relatively decent for it’s comparative price range and if this is the first time you have used or looked through a telescope you would no doubt be impressed by the view. With that said, the love affair stops here. I had -many- issues with the DS2114ATS and for the price I payed of $350(US) the scope simply was not worth it. First and foremost one of the legs of the “field tripod” had began to bend by the third use…something which Meade did finally offer to replace (after I had told them I already replaced it at my own cost). The finder scope is a real jewel…I never was able to get it to stay acuratly aligned and it frequently needed to be “fiddled” with. The AutoStar tracking seemed to have a mind of it’s own. Sometimes it would actually track well, but more often that not, even with a proper two star alignment, it would not find or track the object of my desire and in a couple of instances it would simply skew off to something else entirely.Most importantly though was the issue of collimation. Now if your new to telescopes in general, collimation is (in a nut shell) the process of properly aligning the mirrors so that you can obtain a clear image through the eyepiece. Virtually all newtonian-style reflectors require this service periodically and it can be an art unto itself to learn and master. With that said, the DS2114ATS I had obtained had -serious- issues. By the second use, the collimation had already slipped a tad and by the 5th or 6th time I had used it, the image was nothing but a blur. At first I thought the problem was simply my own lack of experience, but after having 2 different “seasoned pro’s” set it up and not having the mirrors stay aligned for more then an hour, I found the problem to be the mirror cell itself…the cheap plastic housing that it used is simply not rigid enough to maintain proper mirror alignment. To further complicate issues, I found Meade’s techincal support to be less the helpful -when- I could actually get ahold of them. After 6 months of headaches, complaints, issues, and a virtually useless piece of equipment I was finally able to obtain a refund. To cut this down to a nut shell, I’ve seen it stated by many people now that Meade makes fine optics, but really skimps on the nuts and bolts and this seems to have been the case with my purchase as well. I will rate this scope as a 3 out of 10 because when I could keep the optics aligned properly, I did recieve a wonderful view, but honestly and from my experience it was simply not worth the effort.
I recently purchased the Meade DS2114atsa telescope. For the most part, the telescope is a no brainer. With excellant views of Saturn,Jupiter,and of course the moon. Now if you are trying to view Mars with this scope, forget it. Through out time , Mars has been over rated by the scientific and movie world. Mars in essence, is the most difficult planet to view. Even most highly advaced star seekers will avoid Mars. It is just too difficilt to view. Very bright,very small, and if you are new to astronomy, very discouraging. Now, the only problem i have with the DS2114atsa is collimation ( allignment of the mirrors ). The only way i was to accurately correct this problem was the purchase a laser collimater from Orion telescopes. Without the laser collimater, you can adjust and adjust the primary mirror for ever and not get it correctly collimated. You need to first get the secondary mirror in the right spot of collimation .Without this , forget collimation.Get a laser collimater. And one last note. Batteries.If you are like me and don’t like buying batteries every 2-3 times after useing this telescope, i reccommend purchasing Energizer brand recharables. 2500mAh only will do. And DO NOT purchase the 15 minute charger. Get the slow 8.5 hour charger from Energizer. These batteries can be charged up to 500 times!!! Multiply that by an average of 5-6 bucks a shot for dissposable batteries. The Energizer charger with batteries included run abot 40 bucks.Good luck with you new scope. any question? contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Move to an ETX or LXD
Out of the box, you can tell this telescope has a problem: the manual is for a different telescope in the same series. Assembly is straight forward and easy, and at less than 20 pounds it’s a light telescope. The motor on mine keeps failing, and when it does work the alignment is completely off, even with a star chart. You need a really good eyepiece to get anything worth seeing in the 3″ aperture on this telescope. With the eyepieces which are provided, even with a two or three times barlow lens, the view is not much better than a low-end spotting scope. Jupiter still only appears as a round star, and stars are only slightly larger than they are just naked eye observing. If you are looking in to this telescope, I advise you spend a few hundred more and move to an ETX or LXD model telescope.
Still working out the bugs
I bought this Telescope about 1 yr ago and I am still working out the bugs .. This scope will teach you how to work on Telescopes and make you learn everything you need to know .. Or you’ll never get the results you want. The collimation is off straight out of the box and the instructions Meade gives you are fine if you don’t really want to see anything other then blurry shots of the moon and stars .. You have to buy the tools to collimate it. EVERY Reflector telescope needs to be collimated EVERY time it is used even if its just a little tweak here and there. Temp. is a factor a collimated scope in the day time is out of collimation at night . This type of scope is alot of work but when its dialed in its a good scope for the money. but it needs Accessorie’s . Color filters to resolve the planets and so forth. The meade #506 cable set so you can update the Autostar software and keep the motor from acting like its haveing a seizure. A defoger to help keep the lens for fogging . the list goes on and on . but is true for all Reflector Telescopes . But all in all when its dialed in this scope works Very well and I have gotten great results with it .. they just cost more then the box lead me to belive .
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