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Help me ID this Mount (needs controller)

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#1 johnthomas

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 08:38 PM

I picked up a Meade Starfinder 114m newt on a powered EQ mount (off of craigslist) today for $40. No eyepieces (fine) but no hand-controller for the powered EQ mount.

Can someone help me in specifically ID'ing the mount type/model or even maybe tell me what controller would be needed? Possibly the right cable for a PC interface vi Stelllarium?

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#2 orlyandico

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 08:44 PM

i believe it is a Meade DS-114.

the autostar 497 should be able to drive that and provide GoTo.

#3 johnthomas

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 09:26 PM

Excellent, thank you orlyanidco.

Any thoughts (anyone) on Stellarium control? I know I can & will dig into this on my own further, just hoping if WONT work, someone might save me a little time & effort.

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#4 orlyandico

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 09:31 PM

the autostar 497 has an ascom driver, so any application including stellarium would work. you'd need a special meade cable though. this can be fabricated.

#5 johnthomas

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 09:34 PM

Well, that is what I wanted to hear! I just happen to have the Meade 505 serial cable setup. Thank you sir!

#6 jrcrilly

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 10:23 PM

You'll have to plug in custom ratios for the #497 but once that is done it will work. If you can locate a "Starfinder" handbox, which looks exactly like a #494 Autostar except for the "Starfinder" label it will plug in and run.

#7 orlyandico

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 12:28 AM

IIRC the 497 already has the ratios for the DS in there.. (depends on the firmware revision I guess)

#8 jrcrilly

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 12:40 AM

IIRC the 497 already has the ratios for the DS in there.. (depends on the firmware revision I guess)


That's not a DS, it's a 4504. Motors are different (DH).

That's the only mount on which Meade ever used the DH motors or the Starfinder controller. The motors will fit an LXD300 or LXD500, but Meade never offered those mounts with those motors.

#9 johnthomas

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 07:00 PM

Man, so I got off work & was ready to play with getting this mount's drives working. Pulled out a power-supply of appropriate voltage from cache of old wal-wart type supplys & plugged it in... moments later OZONE SMELL. Damn, an A/C power supply... right voltage, right plug. Don't know how that got into my "cache" of power supplies. Anyway, fried the board in the RA motor housing (the main board). Fried it good. I can't even tell what fried. Looks like a micro-resistor, possibly a Cap.

Anyone got a unit like this that had a motor fail? Any chance Meade would have this part?

Other options for re-powering this mount? Is it even worth it?

WHAT a F-ing NOOB mistake. Can't believe I did that... :foreheadslap: :foreheadslap: :foreheadslap: :foreheadslap: :foreheadslap:

#10 orlyandico

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 06:43 AM

Those motors are rarer than hen's teeth. Meade will not sell you spares. They used to sell spare motors for the LXD75 at over $200 (nearly $300) each.

#11 johnthomas

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 08:09 AM

I gather when you say "motors", you mean the whole "unit", & not just the actual motor per se? The electric motors are presumbably fine, just the controller board fried.

Oh well, only $40 spent. Still got a good 114mm newt w/ a 2-inch focuser, & good tripod & EQ mount (have to find me some manual advance handles now I guess or sell it all of in parts.

#12 orlyandico

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 06:41 AM

John, I have a couple of Meade DS motor boards (I threw away the gearboxes). Am not sure if these can be adapted to your system but you can have 'em for the cost of postage (which will not be cheap - I'm in Singapore - maybe $20 - $30).

#13 Geo.

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 03:57 PM

That's the only mount on which Meade ever used the DH motors or the Starfinder controller. The motors will fit an LXD300 or LXD500, but Meade never offered those mounts with those motors.


Actually, the DH motors were offered as an option LDXs, but They were offered as goto or just with the EC handbox.

The boards in these are pretty similar to the DS drives except they are designed to run at half the speed 2x the torque of the DS. If the PIC uP is still OK the other compoments can be replaced. Got'ta check you polarity on any PS. Meade is always center pin positive. Glad to look at it for you.

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