Meade DS-114EC


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Brand and Model:Meade DS-114EC
Price ($USD):$399.95
Type:Newtonian
Attributes: un-checked Go-To un-checked PEC
Aperture:114mm (4.5")
f Ratio:f/8
Focal Length:910mm
Finder:6x30
Electric Power:12V AC
Mount:Alt-az
Tripod:adjustable aluminium
Weight (lbs):18 lbs.
Dimensions (w/h/d):
Description:

Vote Highlights Vote
Meade DS-114EC
I have owned this scope for over two years now. The optics itself are not that bad when considering the price. When I first got this scope it came with the .965 eyepieces, so I called meade and they sent me an adapter for free. So I upgrade to 1 1/4" eyepieces and buy two meade 4000 plossles and the views are much better. The mount is very shaky and unstable , but what do you expect for 250 - 300 dollars. Overall the scope is not bad for a beginner scope. If I have known then what I know now. I would have spent and additonal 1 - 2 Hundred dollars more and bought a 6" or 8" newtonian on an eq mount.

Happy Viewing

Overall Rating: 7
Optics:7 Mount:2 Ease of Use:9 Value:7
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.208.42)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=163500


Meade DS-114EC
For the price, it is a good telescope for beginners. The optics are quite good. The drawbacks are the eyepieces ( the 25mm is a modified Kellner type, which is OK, but the 9mm is a Huygenian, which is quite useless). The mount is shaky and ustable, which is its biggest drawback. I got this scope as a Christmas gift, and I've seen it for as low as $150. Investing in a better mount will greatly improve performance (maybe another $100 to $200).

Overall Rating: 8
Optics:8 Mount:5 Ease of Use:5 Value:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.96.79)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=63996


Meade DS-114EC
I have NO problems with this scope in fact it is sharp enough to see the rings of Saturn with 24mm eyepiece.

Overall Rating: 9
Optics:9 Mount:8 Ease of Use:10 Value:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.6.66)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=50517


Meade DS-114EC
I am glad that I was able to return this scope, and get a full refund. The whole thing is just cheaply made. Trying to get a good focus on saturn, or jupiter with this thing with a high power is downright impossible. The thing shakes so bad that I give it a 10 in the aggravation factor. At first I thought that maybe the rings were loose so I tightened them some more only to watch the plastic ring give as I did. Such a shame that companies continue to make these useless scopes. The sad part about it is that new people to the hobby, buy these things and end up finally dropping out of the hobby, due to fustration and let downs.

Overall Rating: 3
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.34.46)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=39595


Meade DS-114EC
I bought this scope as a gift for my mother-in-law for Xmas 2000. Now, it ended up at my house and my wife will not hear of getting a better telescope ("you already have Mom's!"). I'm a veteran beginner, but find I can get some useful work done with this scope although it fails to live up to the marketing hype. Here's the deal - Mine came with a 2" focuser and a 1 1/4" adapter and two 1 1/4 eyepieces: 9mm MH & 25mm MA. The 9mm is useless, the 25mm has narrow view but is OK. I quickly added several others EPs and figure good EPs are a good investment no matter what, cause you can take them if you upgrade. (Check out GTO optics from Hands On - great cheap barlows and plossles). Other reviews here mention .95 eps and a crappy 3x barlow. I suspect they're talking about the "Saturn by Meade" version. The conventional wisdom is never buy a "by Meade" scope because they're made for department stores. The scope's fittings are all plastic, but high quality plastic. If you take care and don't force anything (and don't drop the scope) these things will last a reasonable amount of time. The finder is difficult to align, but is reasonably sharp. I find it very useful, once I did a star alignment. It's a pain in the neck to site through it because you have to lay your head against the tube to view through the straight through finder (If only they'd ship 90 degree finders instead). I use the finder a lot because the GoTo feature is difficult to use. First of all, forget easy align unless your viewing site has a completely unobstructed sky and you know the arabic names of all the stars in the constellations. Much better to do the two star alignment because you can select the stars you see and whose names you know (yes, you'll need to learn the names and locations of some major stars in order to do alignment). Once aligned, I find that the scope almost never actually hits GoTo targets. It gets close, but the original alignment North and leveling have to be perfect - more perfect than I have patience for, to really use the GoTo. I still align because the computer will track objects you manually star-hop to using the directional arrows. What I'm saying is that I end up using the mount as a motorized clock driven mount which I star hop using the paddle buttons. It works great in this mode (holds an centered object at 100x for 10-15 minutes or more) and seems like much less of a design failure when I think of it this way. The problem here is the play in the screw gears. The slop when operating the motors isn't the problem, it's that the slop costs the scope ridgidity. The tall aluminum mount isn't too stable to begin with, although the head's iron yoke is pretty heavy-duty. The real source of wobbles is the play within those gears. As it is, stability is good for observation up to about 125X which isn't that bad. My observation site has Mag 3.5 skies, so I do a lot of double star, lunar, and planetary viewing (Messier objects just don't make it through that North Jersey light pollution haze, alas). I'm often cranking the power up to 180x-200x and find that optically the scope can (barely) handle it, but the focuser and wobbly mount are exasperating at this power. If you have 35x-125x in mind, you'll be fine. Forget all about the 300x figure in Meade's literature - it's based on some mathematical equation out of touch with reality. The central obstruction at this aperture robs contrast, but I can usually see a few bands on Jupiter and see some texture there. So, I give the thing a 6 because it's actually reasonably useful as a beginner's scope with a cool motorized mount that keeps alignment at the cost of stability. In retrospect, the five bills this thing cost would be better spent on a good 6" dob like Orion's or Discovery's plus a few extra GTO eps - you'd get more aperture and stability for viewing at higher power. Such as it is, it's not a bad party scope because it will keep visual alignment for a while (as long as nobody bumps it too hard).

Overall Rating: 6
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.103.93)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=39591


Meade DS-114EC
I bought the Meade DS114-EC and found that the optics were okay. The moon looked good. Nice detail on the craters and such. Mars and Saturn were less than good. But what I disliked the most was that the stability of the scope had a lot to be desired. The finder scope was terrible and there was a lot of plastic parts... I mean cheap plastic. The small gears and motors were real bad as well. The 3X attachement was junk! Needless to say, I retured the scope after a week.

I am now wainting for a new scope to arrive on my doorstep. An Orion Starmax. It appeared to be well constructed and to have high quality optics, but hey i ended up spending a couple hundred more also. I'll let you know the results on this Orion. I expect the best!

Overall Rating: 7
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.35.148)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=39590


Meade DS-114EC
This was my second telescope, my first being an even smaller Department store 60mm Refractor (Jason) scope when I was very young. I received the DS-114EC as a Present from my Wife, and my initial results were partially disappointing. I received mine stock with the 1.25" EP and a 9mm and 26mm lens. I purchased a separate 2x barlow, and a 16mm Plossl lens for the scope. I also purchased the autostar later. The initial scope had problems with the mount, so much so that I returned the first scope and got a replacement. The second one has been much better, but is still a somewhat shakey mount. The autostar did not work at first, but after speaking with a meade technician, I was able to get replacement motors, which along with a upgrade to the ROM and fresh batteries cleared the problems up very well. Goto now brings objects into or near center, and it tracks without errors for up to about ten minutes on deep space objects.

It's not the highest performing scope I've ever used or seen, but it's been reasonable performance for the dollar value.

Overall Rating: 6
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.45.89)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=39589


Meade DS-114EC
For the money, this was a GREAT investment. I am completely new to astronomy and have had this scope now for a little over 3 months.

Unlike some of the other comments here, the optics of this scope for me have been very good. Somebody said something about only seeing two stars in the Orion Nebula Trapezium. Mine always shows four easily, even with a full moon out and low power eyepieces. Saturns rings are beautiful always clearly separated by space from the planet itself, and even the Cassinni division of the rings were visible on good nights. Jupiter always shows two bands and the four moons (when they are not behind Jupiter), and the Great Red Spot and festoons are sometimes visible on good nights.

The greatest thing for me being new to astronomy is the Autostar computer. It took me a little while to figure out how to level the telescope and properly set it up for computer navigation, but once I did, boy, this was great! The GOTO isn't always perfect, but sometimes it is and it almost always gets you real close. The Autostar computer is like having a private tutor right there with you all the time. It has taught me stars, galaxies, clusters, nebulas, all kinds of things. I can see a star or something and wonder what it is. All I have to do is slew the telescope over to it and select "Identify" on the Autostar, and it tells me what it is, its magnitude, and all kinds of information about it. Something else great about this scope is that new satellite and comet data can be uploaded into the Autostar computer all the time. Furthermore, I have hooked this telescope up to a computer and can use the supplied software, Starfinder II, to control the telescope. This software shows a sky map, and I can manuver whereever I want, select an object, and tell the software to move the telescope to it. The scope moves over there and the software shows me right where the scope is pointing in the sky. I can also move the telescope from the Autostar handbox and the computer tracks where the scope is. The computer scope extends the number of objects that the telescope can locate. You can also add your own objects to the Autostar computer. I mean, for the money, this little scope is amazing!

Another thing great about the Autostar is the guided tours. I have spent hours taking the guided tours. It takes you on a tour of the sky, with lots of information about what you are looking at scrolling across the Autostar screen. I usually have to sit down on a chair and read the computer for awhile, then resume looking at the object.

With this scope, the star charts suddenly started making more sense to me. I just needed this computer to point out the stars on the chart for me, and I immediately began to understand them. I still had some difficulty identifying objects from the charts. Mainly, I had doubt. But when I take this scope out, all the doubt goes away. I just tell the Autostar to point to the star or object, and it does. I look through the scope, look at the chart, and say to myself, "oh, that's where it is."

If you are new to astronomy, I highly recommend this telescope for the beginner because of its computer GOTO capabilities.

The only problems worth mentioning are the following:

1) the focuser needed some help. I put teflon tape inside the ribs it slides on and made a smooth focuser that way. The tape only cost me $1.

2) the finder scope is blurry, but I don't expect much for this price. It enables me to align on stars, and that's all I need it for, because of the computer.

3) The stock eyepieces I got were 0.965", and the 4 mm and the 3x barlow are not good for anything. The other two eyepieces (12.5 mm and 25 mm) were fine. I eventually got a free 1.25" adapter from meade and used a 1.25" zoom eyepiece (8 mm to 22 mm). I bought a better barlow too.

4) Tripod is lacking. The tripod legs sometimes slip. They have friction locks that snap rather than screws that lock the legs at the desired extension. Also, they seem to need more support between the legs to keep them the same distance between each other. Still, the tripod is useable. I never went out to replace it.

5) The worse problem of all right now is that the galaxies and nebulas that this scope has shown me look like faint little fuzzy things. I now have aperature fever, wanting a bigger scope to get a better look at these things.

This is the only telescope I have ever looked through, so I don't know what others might be like. I would imagine any telescope for this price needs some tinkering or has some drawbacks. I'm still amazed that I can get a computerized GOTO scope that works and actually teaches me the sky for $399. I highly recommend this telescope.

David Miller
David@Rentpro.com

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.191.12)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=39588


Meade DS-114EC
Major dissapointment. Got one as a present for Christmas and now I face
the delema of hurting my fathers feelings by wanting to return
this lemon back to the Discovery store.

Oh well, it was under a $500 investment right...

The electronics and "go to" were a joke, motor problems and the mount and gear
system is crap.

I'm getting a Dob, the fun will be to manually scan the skies and actually "see" something worth viewing. The "go to" is a marketing scam,
the first time out my motors quit - so I decided to scan the skies with my naked eye and had more success finding Jupiter and Saturn without the electronics! The Meade box is a marketing scam - so is whole
14,000 database of object idea with a 4.5" scope, not to mention those
wonderful photos on the box - someone stop me...

Image quality on Jupiter was blurry - and most likely due to the 1" EP
included. I did notice some positive posts on getting a free adapter
from Meade and bumping this up to a 1.5"

Did see some incredible views of the moons around Jupiter.

Hope to get an Orion 10" Dob.

Overall Rating: 1
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.29.185)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=39586


Meade DS-114EC
I was originally going to start with a more expensive scope like the NexStar 5. I saw this at Sam's for $250 with AutoStar and decided to give it a try. I wanted a training scope since it had been years since my last foray into astronomy.

First, I have read the other votes and find some of the complaints puzzling since I have had no such trouble:

1. My Drive motors work great. I had Jupiter on 1 side of zenith and Saturn on the other. This requires the mount to totally "unwind" to go from 1 to the other. I did this twice, from Jupiter to Saturn and then the return, each time the target was very near the center crosshairs with very small adjustments to get it in the eyepiece FOV. I do find that you MUST tighten the DEC and ALT locks very tightly to get consistent results. I also find an appliance leveling bubble very useful to level the scope. When allowing the scope to track for 25 minutes I could not see jitter as it tracked and the images stayed on center. A friend with 1.25" camera adapter took a picture of Jupiter through my scope (for kicks since he has a much nicer setup). The outcome was very pleasing and he was amazed by the sharpness of the 7 minute exposure.

2. The .965 25mm and 12.5 mm eyepieces perform well. The 4mm is useless on most nights, though I had a great night recently where it seemed worthwhile. My 3x Barlow is very good with the 25mm, somewhat good with the 12.5mm. I find viewing with the 12.5mm/3x Barlow better that using the 4mm even though there is very little difference in the magnification, better brightness. I think the 4mm may just be a dog. What do you expect with a $250 scope with GOTO?

After calling Meade about the fact that I had noticed the very same scope bought from Meade has a 1.25" holder, they sent me a replacement eyepiece holder (not an adapter, this replaces the actual head of the focuser tube so I get the full benefit of the 1.25" eyepiece). Meade seems very responsive to their customers. I just bought some 1.25" eyepieces and various other accessories and that were $250 on their own.

3. The finder scope is mainly useful for spotting Polaris and the final centering. Since I use the Fine Precision mode for spotting many objects (where the scope goes to the nearest bright star), I have little need for it on less visible objects. I think this is exactly what it was intended for. Again, what can one expect for $250? I found I could center the crosshairs on mine and then center it on mounting. My crosshairs on the target mean the target is very near dead center in the eyepiece.

I practiced with this scope during the day quite a bit. I wandered through the menus and figured them out. (I write software so I am used to reading manuals and figuring out other people's logic trees.) I have lots of Nimh batteries so I always have fresh ones! They are only $2 each, so get yourself a fast charger and go.

Overall, I have been very pleased with the scope. For $250 I got a scope that rekindled my love for the sky. Meade upgraded my scope to allow me to purchase some higher quality optics I know I will use on my next scope. I can see bands on Jupiter and 5 moons. I can see the planetary disk of Saturn surrounded by black with the rings on the outside (though a bit oblique) and I think a moon (still trying to figure that out). I have seen Adromeda and a double star. After another 6 months I am going to try out a bigger one! I wonder if my results are due to design changes because of customer feedback?

All in all, if you want to try out a good first scope, get the DS114-EC.

Overall Rating: 8
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.200.7)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=39585

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