First I just wanted to say hello to everyone and take a moment to introduce myself! A little background on me; I'm a musician in the Northern Ohio area and am working on opening my own project recording studio. I'm married to a very wonderful and lovely woman who's a database programmer and a very talented musician herself :-). We don't have any children (yet) but are both avid animal lovers and currently have 3 dogs and 4 cats.
I've recently had an age old interest love affair with astronomy re-ignited, via the SETI@home project and went out and purchased my first telescope this last week. The next day I returned it and bought a Meade DS2114 ATS :-) Between last night and tonight, my wife and I were able to see Jupiter, along with 4 of her moons and several of her "bands" (with the use of a Meade 2x Barlow), as well as the rings of Saturn and several other objects :-) I'm giddy as a school girl and needless to say, quite happy with this telescope...what can I say...I'm hooked!
I should probably mention that I'm looking to use this scope for viewing just about anything I can...planets, deep space objects etc.. I'm using the scope in conjunction with a software called "Distant Suns" on my laptop as well as the software that came with the scope. Later down the road, I plan to experiment with connecting my laptop to the scope and will, sooner or later, get into some astro-photography as well...I got a decent Canon 35mm SLR and a small digital camera that I'll mess with too.
I have a couple of questions on this scope if someone has a few minutes. I've looked (briefly) thru this forum, but haven't found the answers I need yet, and there appears to be no relivant info on Meade's website, so if these are redundant questions, I thankyou for your patience!
First and foremost, let me say again that I really love this scope! Compaired to what I've used before (toys essentially) this thing just rocks! LOL! My first question is in regards to the viewfinder. I'm having a great deal of trouble getting the thing to center with the scope. It's got the 4 screws, two on the front mount, 2 on the back lined up opposingly diagnonal and I while I can get it close, I just can't get it to align exactly. I had messed with a cheapy "Edu-Science" scope, and while the scope was really cheezy junk, it only took me a minute or two to get the viewfinder set...it's taken me over a half hour just to get the finder on this Meade close. It seems to me that there should be one more hole in both the front and back mounts...i.e. it seems like it should have three screws on each side of the mount in a triangular fasion. What am I missing here? The stupid manual just says to turn some or all of the screws until its aligned with the image in the scope...pretty useless! I would be very grateful for any advise on this before I break out the drill and add a couple of extra adjusting screws!
I picked up a 2x Barlow today and I noticed that using the Barlow with the 9mm lens, while tracking objects (in this case Jupiter) that some of the vibration from the motor is evident while viewing the image. It wasn't noticable at all on lower magnifications and without using the Barlow, just the higher one. Does anyone have any suggestions for this? I was thinking maybe a little piece of foam between the scope and the tripod would help? Thoughts? I will say that it did track nicely :-) I'm still learning to use the Autostar...I'm sure I will have questions on that a little later down the road, but I found the vibrations to be a little annoying and am hoping that this isn't something that "I will just have to live with".
I have not seen this in the manual, but is it safe to assume that to connect this scope to the laptop I would use a basic phone line and connect from the laptops modem port to the "Aux" connector on the scope?
I also noticed tonight what appears to be a slight "glitch" with the Autostar tracking, but I will address that later after I become more aquianted with how to properly use it.
Thanks in advance for any info on these problems...again I truly am grateful! This looks like a really decent website with good forums, and I look forward to being part of this wonderful online community! As I get more into this and learn more about this scope (and espeically Autostar) I have no doubt I'll be back with many more questions!
Bright Blessings and Gentle Breezes to all!