Question about Meade DS-2114 ATS (325 x 114mm) Telescope

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Just black Hi I just recently bought a Meade ds-2114ats-tc and I tried to use it last night with the kids, unfortunaltey after we set up the telescope all we could see was black. Yes we did make sure that the lens cap was off and that there was nothing blocking anything, we also tried setting it up in a couple of different spots in the back yard where we were close to a light source and also away from a light source. Basically everything I tried did not work but I am new to this so I could be doing something wrong still. I tried to manually look at the brightest star in the sky and still nothing....just black. Could I be setting this up in an area where there in either not enough light getting in or to much? This is my first time using a telescope so I don't even really know if I should be setting this up in the complete dark area or with a light source around like a backyard light for example. I am extremely confused please help.

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  • bdnc Jun 12, 2008

    I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who sees nothing but black. I also made sure the lens cap was off, tried different lighting, and tried viewing obvious large objects - still nothing but black. This was also my first time using a telescope, and my kids are asking everyday when we can use it. Any help would be much appreciated.

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I just got one of these today and they are different. My guess is you are having a focusing problem rather than alignment. Assuming of course you are removing the larger dustcap and not just the smaller one ha ha ha.

The instructions include how to align but maybe you can use this

Mine has two dustcaps, one full size with a smaller one in its center. Had the smaller one been offset it could have been used as an aperture stop to reduce thermal effects on bright objects such as Jupiter and the Moon. Another thing is a built in barlow within the focuser draw tube. This inreases the focal ratio of "f" number and makes align far more trickier than if it had been a straight Newtonian. Set-up the scope under and point at the bright blue sky in the day time. Pull off the small center dust cover and make sure the diagonal holder is centered under the small hole in the larger dust cover. If not that can be accomplished by adjusting the three thumb nuts on the front edge of the tube. Once this is done remove the larger dust cover and peer into the focuser from the side with the eyepiece removed. You should see blue sky and all the components should be centered. One can judge fairly well that their eye is centered but a simple trick is to draw an eyepiece sized circle on a piece of paper and using a pick or pencil, poke a small hole dead center on the circle. Place the circle centered over the draw tube and peer through that. No other tool will improve on the accuracy of this almost free and simple one. Now moving your eye closer to the focuser you should see the reflection of your own eye or in this case the hole in the center of the paper. The paper reflects and transmits enough light that it provides a bright enough targert to canter. Now you must experiment to determine which component is mis-alighned and what adjustment is required to correct. Try flexing each componet before loosening any adjustment screws.This will give you an idea of which component and in which manner it needs to move.

Now my guess is, while you have some mis-alignment the almost f:9 focal ratio makes the image extra dark and so contrasty that if you are out of focus all you will see is dark. With your 28mm eyepiece, now point the scope at a daylight scene some distance away and bring the image to a focus. Note hoe far your draw tube is extended so you will be in that neighbohood come night time. I suspect this was your problem more than mis-alignment.

Posted on Aug 22, 2008

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The 114ST is a modified Newtonian design. Newtonians are wonderful telescopes that get you more light gathering power for your money. The downside is they require more effort to keep tuned. There are two mirrors in the optical tube assembly (OTA), the primary and the secondary. If they are not well aligned with each other and the eyepiece you will not get a good image. This alignment is called collimation. The scope is aligned during manufacture but shipping will usually knock it out of tune. Collimating a Newtonian is an involved 5 step process and involves a few inexpensive tools, so I won't go into it here. But there is a lot of information on the web if you search for Newtonian collimation. Start here: http://www.skyandtelescope.com/howto/diy/3306876.html
Hope this helps,
geo.

Posted on Jun 27, 2008

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Just a dumb question - but did you place the eyepiece in the focuser? Start with the largest - it has a wider field of view to get started.

Posted on Jun 14, 2008

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