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Thread: Meade DS-10A??

  1. #1

    Meade DS-10A??

    I have bought a older Meade DS-10A Scope last month for $300. It came with a 32mm and a 6.4mm Meade 4000 eyepiecs. Also the original 25mm K eyepiece was included.
    Any tips on collimation of these old fast scopes? I am VERY new to astronomy. I have no collimation tools. Still trying to find my way around. I am having problems getting the 6.4mm eyepiece to focus. It seems to work best if I focus the 32mm and then pop in the 6.4. I can if look just right make out 2 bands on Jupiter with it.
    With the 6.4mm eyepieces Jupiter only stays in view for about 7 seconds. Thats with the RA motor on and working. The scope seems to be balanced and I have my polar adjustment set to 48 degrees for my latitude. And pointed as best as I can get to Polaris.
    Any tips on getting it better aligned?
    Also have a pair of Celestron fully multi coated 10x50 binos which I have founds lots with in the last few weeks.


    North Idaho

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    For collimation, just google "newtonian collimation" or "telescope collimation." You'll easily come up with many good sites.

    The reason you're having trouble getting the 6.4 mm eyepiece to focus is probably bad seeing. Seeing refers to the turbulence present at all times in the atmosphere. Sometimes it is good, other times the atmosphere is especially turbulent. As a quick check, how much are the stars near Jupiter twinkling? If they're rapidly flashing and/or changing color, you have bad seeing, and high power (magnification) will result in a blurry mess. Even on nights of average to good seeing, there will only be flashes of truly excellent seeing, when Jupiter or one of the other planets will seem to flash into focus for a second or two.

    With more practice observing you'll get better at seeing detail. Try making some rudimentary sketches to improve, or simply looking at it for a long time.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Donny - I own a DS-10 but never heard of a 10A. I assume both are f4.5 and being "fast" scopes, there is a slight difference to collimating the scope than other slower scopes. Although this difference is mainly for astro-imaging, it should be known about just for general principals.

    Since you have a DS-10 and you are asking about collimating, I assume you do not have an operating manual (which covers the special collimation procedures). If so, here's a source for one that can be downloaded for free and printed out. It's the original manual that comes with the scope.

    Go to ""
    Next, on the left edge colunm, click on "instruction manuals"
    Next, click on "Meade manuals"
    Next, click on "reflectors"
    Next, click on "DS-10 manual"

    Since your scope is quite old, finding a manual is tough so here's a source.
    Enjoy your scope - it has fine optics and I have been using mine since I bought it in 1985 and it still performs nicely.

    Good luck with it, Mr Q

  4. #4
    Mr Q

    Thanks for the Link. That helps. The DS-10A is the one with the Ra motor on it.
    How do you like your scope?


    10x50 Binos
    Meade DS-10A

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Donny - That's what I thought about the motor drive. When I bought mine, I didn't go for the motor drive but picked up a used one many years later.

    After having the scope since the early 1980s, I still love it It's starting to show its age but still performs as well as the day I got it set up and collimated. It was a very big scope in those days and was a giant leap for me from a 4" newt.

    There was another web site that has the full page ads for the DS-10 and DS-16 as they appeared in the early 1980s. I printed out some for old times sake and remember salivating over those magazine ads before i bought the scope. If you want the site, let me know and I'll post it for you here. Good luck with your scope - it should give you many years of pleasure Mr Q

  6. #6
    I found another post of yours with the links to the adds. I printed them out too. Sure wish I has that DS-16. That thing is huge.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    That's what I thought back in the 1980s but today, 16" is probably considered punny. Wow, how time flies and apertures grow Mr Q

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Q View Post
    That's what I thought back in the 1980s but today, 16" is probably considered punny. Wow, how time flies and apertures grow Mr Q
    !6" is anything but puny! It is right at, if not over, the limit for anything but a dob for a "portable" scope.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Kaptain K - When I was looking to buy a scope in the early 1980s, the biggest size scope talked about was a 16", portable or not. Today, I hear about 20-30" scopes built (also bought?). That's why my reference to 16" as puny. Yes, for portability, a 16" fast newt would be the limit for portability but back then (no dobs) some were barely bigger and used in fixed observatories at the owner's home. Today, it seems the sky's the limit when it comes to fast, big mirrors for use at home locations only. Mr Q

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