Last updated: 26 April 2005

This page documents the Meade Deep Sky Imager comments, tips, and photos. Contributions welcome. In order to showcase the DSI you may occasionally see images taken with other telescopes on this page.

Subject:	DSI-DSI pro
Sent:	Monday, April 25, 2005 04:38:51
From: (
I am an amateur astronomer and I need to ask you some questions about
Meade DSI. I have a Meade ETX-125 w/UHTC and I want to buy the new Meade
Deep Sky Imager pro.

First of all I know that LPI has a magnification similar to a 6mm
eyepiece. What are the magnifications of DSI and DSI pro? A friend of
mine told me that with DSI pro I have to take 4 pictures, each one with
a different colour filter but with DSI you take one. Is this true? Do I
have to buy the filter set also? I have Meade #3200 Lunar & Planetary
Colour Filter Set, are these filters compatible? Which is the most
powerful and the best Barlow lens I can use in your opinion? Is the
Meade 5x Ultra TX TeleXtender 1.25 Inch Format a good one? And finally
do DSI pro worth the money or is the same as DSI?


Philippos Isaia
Mike here: I don't know about the magnification factor. But for color photographs you do have use the filter set, which is an optional $200 purchase. For the DSI, you may not want to use a Barlow Lens with the ETX; a better choice would be a focal reducer.
Subject:	Re: What happend with your Meade DSI
Sent:	Sunday, April 24, 2005 04:32:39
From:	Stephen Bird (
Hi apologies for the delay in responding, I have been away in Mallorca
using professional telescopes for a week at a big observatory in the
mountains there. Certainly different to the ETX!

Yes, the problem you are having is described in a number of my posts. I
would doubt if a replacement DSI will fix the problem, replacement is
BC&F's answer to everything as they have a sale or return agreement with

Unless it is something unforseen, the error you are getting is due to
lack of power via the USB port to the DSI. If you read all of my posts
for DSI / LPI, search for me by name on the ETX site, you will see all
you need to fix or identify your issues. In short though:

1. DSI requires the FULL 500mA power supplied via the computer USB port.

2. Not all computers have USB ports that can supply the full 500mA, some
can only supply 100mA. One solution for this is to use a powered hub,
that is a powered USB Hub that has its own external plug in power
supply. you can purchase these from your local coputer store.

3. If the USB port did not supply the full power when you loaded the
drivers by plugging the DSI in first time, you will need to repeat this
step when you get the powered hub.

4. On some computers, there are multiple USB ports, but the power supply
is shared amongst them all, so if you have another USB device plugged in
at the same time as the DSI, then the DSI will not get the full 500mA.
the solution is to unplug all other USB devices except the DSI, load the
drivers as in 3, and only operate the DSI with no other USB device
connected at the same time.

5. Windows 98 does not really work with DSI, I never got it to work
properly. LPI no problem, DSI, no way! Windows 2000 and Windows XP are
(EXCEPT FOREIGN LANGUAGE OPTIONS). Do not skip the DSI software options
to load .net and other items unless you have a later version already on
your PC.

6. Finally some PC's have USB ports on the back which are FULL power,
and a USB port on the front as well for convenience. The front mounted
ports sometimes are not full power, so beware.

As it happens I returned my DSI because it had two areas of hot pixels
16 x 8 in size and these sort of faults cannot be fixed with software,
like single pixel  or line artifacts can. Maybe I will get another one,
though BC&F has been out of stock for 4 months, or maybe I will trade up
and get something that does not use second grade commercial CCD's. On
E-Bay you can get them from the US for 185 UK pounds as opposed to 269
UK pounds from BC&F. Alternately, the new DSI enhanced model is out
Hope this helps.
Stephen Bird
----- Original Message -----
From:  karl 
Hi my name is Karl and i saw a post you put on a website about a problem
you were having with your Meade DSI ( error sting code ).

I have the same problem, i was wondering if you ever got it sorted or if
you got a DSI from the USA like you said you might, if you did get a new
DSI did you still have the same problem?

I rang BC&F today who told me to send the DSI back and get a new one but
im not sure if that is going to work thats why i sent you this email to
see what happend with you.

Thank you for your time.

Subject:	question
Sent:	Friday, April 22, 2005 23:56:23
From:	Jorgen vd berg (
I have a question about a meade deepsky imager. This week i received it
to use it on my lxd55 sn-8 with uhtc. Ithought finally now i can go
start imaging. But then asl always problems occur, when i hooked up my
camera and placed it in my eyepiece holder i got a live image on my
screen. I pointed the telescope to the sky it was al black. but then
within 6 or 7 secondes i always get a white spot that fills half my live
screen, can you help me with this. This spot occurs wether i use default
settings or adjusted

i have a pentium 2.4 gigahertz
512 mb ddr ram 20 gig harddrive
usb 1.1
Mike here: First, PLEASE read the Email Etiquette item on the ETX Home Page; subjects like "question" can be treated as SPAM and your message can be DELETED UNREAD or even returned as undeliverable.
You didn't specify what the target was but I suspect you are seeing a way out of focus image of a bright object. If that is not the case, let me know. I don't have a DSI however.
Subject:	Mac use with a Meade DSI
Sent:	Sunday, April 17, 2005 18:43:31
From:	Peter (
I was browsing the web and came across some of your posts. I have a
Powerbook G4 and want to connect it to my new LXD75 8" SN with autostar
and a DSI. (I am awaiting the DS)

What cables do you use, and did you have any problems I should be aware

PS:  I'm in dark sky heaven, New Mexico, and just itching to take some


Mike here: I don't have a DSI myself but have used the LPI with a Mac. There is a driver and some apps for native use of the LPI (see the article "LPI with Mac OS X" on the Helpful Information: Astrophotography page). For the DSI you would need Virtual PC with Windows.
Subject:	Guest Gallery Jupiter
Sent:	Friday, April 15, 2005 00:50:57
From:	Bernhard Rems (
This was first light for the Meade DSI on my LX90 (2x Barlow). There are
better pics of Jupiter on your pages for sure, but this shows what you
can achieve with the DSI on planets on the first night out with no
previous experience with CCD photography. I have also tried my luck on
M66 this night (April 14th, 2005), and I even recorded the core of the
galaxy, but due to inferior transparency (2mag visually) and my lack of
experience, the picture of the galaxy is inferior. I am sure that I will
get better results on deep sky objects with more experience, and I want
to add that I think that the DSI is worth every cent and an ideal
instrument to get into CCD astronomy.


Subject:	RE: DSI software issues
Sent:	Tuesday, April 5, 2005 12:09:28
From:	Juarez, Benito (
Problem was fixed deleting the Meade Inst --> Envisage entry in the
Windows registry editor. My guess is that the "Settings" fields in the
DSI software doesn't handles international characters, therefore an
error is displayed when trying to save the data.

Anyway, after solving this , I was able to take my first pictures with
the DSI.  It was taken with my ETX125-UHTC, IR filter, Highly light
polluted and hazy skies, Two different exposures to get Jupiter and the
moons with very basic enhancing and edition in Photoshop. Not too bad to
be my first one, I guess.

Kind Regards



Subject:	RE: Which telescope to use with Meade DSI.
Sent:	Tuesday, April 5, 2005 07:55:05
From:	Natarajan, Vishwanath (
Thank you very much for your reply. Would an ETX125 be a good choice? I
know it stretches mu budget a bit. What is your opinion? I read a few
posts on the Internet saying that ETX 125 is not suited for
Astrophotogrphy. Let me know.
Mike here: The ETX-125 will be fine with the DSI. As to the ETX not being good for astrophotography, well check out the examples on the galleries. Lots of excellent ones done with the ETX-125 AND SMALLER ETX models.
Subject:	Which telescope to use with Meade DSI.
Sent:	Monday, April 4, 2005 05:58:03
From:	Natarajan, Vishwanath (
I am new to this fascinating world of astrophotography and I can across
your site on the web. I am planning to get into this and was wondering
if you could let me know from your experience as to which is
thetelescope to use with the Meade DSI? My budget is around 800-1000 USD
and my main intention is to take photographs of deep space objects.
thank you very much for your help.

Mike here: I don't have a DSI but it will work fine with most any of the Autostar capable telescopes. That would be an ETX, LXD75, LX90, or LX200GPS. With your budget and for DSO use you might want to consider a LXD75 SN model.
Subject:	DSI software issues
Sent:	Friday, April 1, 2005 19:12:02
From:	Juarez, Benito (
After install and update (from Meade site) the autostar suite, autostar
IP and DSI driver several times, I'm still having the same error
message. Hope someone on your helpful site can provide a solution.

When using the autostar DSI program, as soon as I hit the "Start" button
for taking pictures I get this error message : "FILE SAVE ERROR
STATUS=207". My laptop has 20 Gb of free space, so disk room is not a
problem , any ideas ?


Subject:	Focus and fixing a Meade DSI to an ETX90
Sent:	Wednesday, March 23, 2005 10:24:38
From:	Jose Narro (
I just received my Meade DSI ans soon found that fixing it into the
eyepiece with the cable looking to the left is not possible, it just not
go all the way.

I am also having some problems trying to focus, I found that using the
IR filter I just cant see a thing, only a beautiful abstract colors.

When I took this filter out I was able to see terrestrial objects, but
focusing even the moon is not possible.

Is there some document or photos showing how ti fix this and focus?

I appreciate your help with this.

Jose Narro

Greetings from Monterrey, Mexico.
Mike here: The Helpful Information: Astrophotography page has several DSI items. Check them out.
Subject:	Re: ETX-125 & DSI Question
Sent:	Wednesday, March 23, 2005 00:16:07
From:	Stephen Bird (
Lack of sharp focus on celestial objects is a combination of things,
item 3 being an extra problem with the DSI design:

1. Atmospheric turbulence - As the atmosphere is not always clear and
steady and varies all the time, sometimes more dramatically than others,
you can get poor and varying focus in real time imaging of celestial

2. The difference between good focus and poor focus on celestial objects
with the ETX depends on minute adjustments of either the manual focus
control, or the electronic focusser if you have one. Both are quite
coarse adjustments, and the manual focus control will cause scope
vibrations. For some time, I have been trying to come up with a focus
counter, a simple electronic or electromechanical geared number display,
connected to the focus assembly, so that when you reach focus you can
record the 6 digit number, and return to it or adjust it a few digits
each way. no luck yet I'm afraid!

3. The nose tube of the DSI is a strange design and has poor tolerances
on its overall diameter. If you look at it, it has two (very
approximately!) 1.25" shoulders, one at the top and one at the bottom.
In between the tube narrows to considerably less than 1.25" diameter.
This means that certainly for the ETX105 and ETX90, which do not allow
the DSI to seat fully downwards in the eyepiece port unless you remove
the viewfinder or modify it, only the lower shoulder on the nose tube is
in the eyepiece port, the upper shoulder being above the port. This
allows the DSI to move from side to side, pivoting on the lower
shoulder. When you tighten the eyepiece port grubscrew, the plane of the
DSI image sensor is not at a perfect right angle to the eyepiece port.
So, the focus varies across any image.

For 3., when using a terrestrial image, the problem is less apparent as
you only have a couple of hundred feet of unsteady atmosphere in the
way. But for celestial images you have many miles of unsteady

The fix is to change the nosepiece for a better fitting one off the
Meade or BC&F camera adaptor, or modify the viewfinder as Charles
Washington has done.

Finally, the IR filter has to align with the length and breadth of the
rectangular image sensor, just make sure you don't get finger prints on
the vital part of it when realigning it.

Hope this helps.
Stephen Bird

Subject:	ETX-125 & DSI Question
Sent:	Monday, March 21, 2005 14:11:35
From:	Jim Holland (
Does anyone out there have any experience with their DSI not reaching a
good sharp focus when inserting the imager into the slot for the eye
piece of the 125?  Seems fine on terrestial objects, but on celestial
object I just don't get a sharp focus. Anyone with the same problem?

Also does anyone have a pictures of the IR Filter and where it is place
in the nose piece of the imager?


Jim Holland

Subject:	Fw: DSI & ETX-125
Sent:	Sunday, March 20, 2005 11:33:17
From:	Charles Washington (
I have had a couple of questions sent to me from people who have caught
sight of my humble efforts.

I thought that this from Jim Holland was pertinent to answer and so I
would like to post them to you by way of a progress report. Jim's other
enquiry was regarding a focal reducer. I made some enquires a little
while ago to a Meade dealer in the USA and was informed that that focal
reducers were really only suitable for SCT's and not MCT's but for me it
is a point in question, because when I finally get around to deep sky
instead of the solar system I rather get the feeling that it would be a
necessity. I have some lovely lunar pix but would love to have a broader
field of vision. I have through your site seen some inventive ideas but
wonder if there is an off the shelf item. It seems to me that the DSI
has a magnification of about a 6 mm eyepiece, which is a narrow field of

Thanks yet again, it is very considerate of you to take the time and
make the effort to circulate my endeavours and attempt to answer my
simple but for me important questions.

Kind regards Charles Washington  (UK)

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Charles Washington"
To: "Jim Holland"
Connected everything up this afternoon and went on a terrestrial view
not my cup of tea but I to have been curious as to what the outcome
would be. With the DSI mounted with the USB lead to the left (rear view)
as per the Meade instructions is correct. The image is upright. My
Autostar is set up so 'arrow up' is north and 'arrow left' is west etc.
When I went into the Autostar suite and opened up 'Image' tab followed
by 'DSI imaging' in the drop down menu the Autostar Envisage program
appears. Clicked on the 'telescope' tab followed by 'connect' and got
access to the telescope controls. Glad to say the 'arrow up' button is
north and 'arrow left' is west the same as my Autostar.


Using hold and dragging on the arrows increases and decreases the speed
of movement and can be used very sensitively. If you have an electric
focuser (when it is plugged into the control panel of the 'scope) you
can also control it using the in/out arrows, this however is single
speed and quite slow I think more so than using the controller itself.
Being slow is best but a choice would be better.

The adapted mount to offset the finderscope works very nicely but it is
very sensitive to the touch and  feel that I will now make another using
10mm aluminium plate with a snugger fit ( instead of 6mm) for the main
section and moving it out (lengthening) by another 10mm as well for even
easier access when plugging in the USB lead.

If you want any pixs of the adaptation or a view of the control panel
pages from the handbook let me know and I will forward some on. I am
quite new to astronomy and later in life than I would like but I feel
quite pleased with my efforts so far. The whole idea of taking up the
hobby was to try and take astronomical pictures and at long last it
seems that I am now prepared and able.

Kind regards Charles

----- Original Message ----- From: "Jim Holland"
To: "Charles Washington"
Sent: Saturday, March 19, 2005 1:42 PM
Subject: RE: DSI & ETX-125
Thanks for the response. No, I did not see the bracket you had made.
Idea seems sound enough. I may try it as well.

One follow up question: are you using a focal reducer/field expander
between the DSI camera and scope?



-----Original Message-----
From: Charles Washington
To: Jim Holland
Subject: Re: DSI & ETX-125
Sorry I have not replied sooner. Since I have made the new bracket which
takes the finder out of the way I have not had a chance to test it other
than to align it with the 'scope. That seems to work ok. I hope to get
all the kit out in the next couple of days wind, rain, hail, sleet, snow
and clouds permitting. If nothing else it is a frustrating hobby. I will
be in touch with you as soon as I have something to report. I don't know
if you have seen the latest pix that Mike Weasner has posted for me so I
have put the URL below. I hope that all will be good and that I might be
able to offer a small but practical solution.

Kindest regards  Charles

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jim Holland"

I noticed you posted on Weasners site about mounting the DSI to a 125,

Did you ever find an answer about the orientation of DSI into the eye
piece holder?

And were you able to get a sharp focus mounting it there in a "wrong"
(according to the documentation) orientation?


Jim Holland
Mike here: Meade's focal reducer is SCT only but you can use the Shutan (Apogee) or Scopetronix ones on an ETX. The Shutan one (Wide Field Adapter) is discussed on the Accessory Reviews: Showcase Products page.
Subject:	Re: meade dsi common problem. "No imagers". A solution of sorts.
Sent:	Saturday, March 19, 2005 01:34:07
From:	Stephen Bird (
The big long message with the error string is cured by using a powered
hub to both load the drivers and run the DSI proper. The problem there
is as has been said, simply not enough power to the DSI. I have a
desktop that has a front mounted USB port that is not a fully powered
port and you see the long warning as the DSI is connected, use a fully
powered hub or plug into the rear ports and the DSI works fine. Checking
a few USB specs, I have found that some PC's and some hubs can only
supply 100mA. You need to look for the magic words "fully powered".

I did mention the lap top power issue a while back, it is possible to
set up a number of power profiles via the control panel, I have one for
my lap top called "Telescope" and its sets the Fujitsu Power Management
profile to fully powered regardless of internal or external power. I
also use an invertor on a 12 volt power pack when in the field.

As to Meade's less than helpful attitude, that is to hide their
embarrasment. Look for the clues, DSI billed as needing no external
power supply and competing with $1000 cameras (all of which do???). Look
at their website advert for the RC400 scope, key feature a "FULLY
POWERED USB 2 HUB". Now why would they need that, adding $10 per unit,
hitting the profit margins? I would be embarrassed and go into defence
mode faced with such a dilemma of saying my $299 (just under the $300
magic figure of affordability) needed a powered hub for $40, a power
pack to drive it for $100 and an invertor to interface the two for $50).
Suddenly it does not sound such a good deal.

Still I am sending my DSI back for a refund as it has 2 areas of dead
pixels 16 x 8 in size that immediately saturate at exposures of 0.25
seconds, increase that and blooming takes out even more pixels. BC&F in
the UK has not had any new DSI's since December 2004, so can't replace
it despite 10 weeks of me moaning on a bi-weekly basis. If i do buy
another one, it will be direct from the US where they cost me 185 UK
pounds rather than the 269 UK pounds we have to pay here, more than $100
saving. failing that I may just buy a SBIG and have done with it, at
least they work even if they are 5 times the price!


Stephen Bird

Subject:	DSI noise bars
Sent:	Friday, March 18, 2005 19:30:41
From:	Don Davies (
I have a very strange problem using the DSI that I hope you can shed
some light on.  It appears that the automatic subtraction of the dark
pixels at the beginning of a scan line doesn't stay on.  This happens on
both a laptop and a tower running Windows XP (Home), but not on a tower
running Win 98 SE.

The symptom is horizontal grey bars of amplitude ~200 counts, completely
random in placement on the frame.  If I power up the computer with the
camera plugged in, it works well (without the bars) and will continue to
run that way if the integration time is short <~1 sec, but if I
integrate for a few seconds the bars will return, and persist even with
short integration times.  The only way to get rid of them is to power
off the computer and re-power it with the camera plugged in.

I have returned my original camera to Oceanside Optical and they
immediately replaced it with a new unit.  (By the way, absolutely great
service!) Unfortunately it behaves the very same way.  It almost like
the USB driver is dropping power and some latch in the camera is getting
set wrong ...

This problem exists with the latest version of the software downloaded
from Meade's site.

Any ideas?  Has anyone else seen this problem?  It is a bit subtle with
long integrations because the bars don't scale with integration time and
so are not so obvious if the image is autoscaled, and especially if many
frames are added.  But it is very obnoxious at short frame rates if it
gets into that mode.

-Don Davies

Subject:	Re: meade dsi common problem. "No imagers". A solution of sorts.
Sent:	Thursday, March 17, 2005 23:03:11
From:	Hyde, Andrew (
following on from an email I received I think some of the issues may lie
in the power consumption of the DSI.  Understandably so it's greedy.

I use a laptop.  If I have the power cord plugged in when I start
Autostar and the DSI I get the "no imagers" message.  If I un plug the
power cord then plug in the DSI and start Autostar every thing works
just fine.

.My theory is that the pc gives primacy to recharging and cannot change
the way it prioritises power distribution to peripherals.

A solution may be to buy an idependantly powered USB port

Now all I have to do is a blasted Belkin serial to USB adapter to work
(two weeks and counting).......

-----Original Message-----
From: Matt
Saw your message on Weasner's site pertaining to the "no imagers"
message.  I too have a problem with the dsi working within autostart
suite.  I got past the problem saying "no imagers" when opening dsi by
doing several things, none of which I can remember now (or want to
remember as this whole thing has been a nightmare).  But now when I open
dsi I get an even bigger error message with programming language I don't
understand saying something to the effect that the "device driver not
responding" blah, blah,blah.  I've updated through meade's website,
updated my computer through microsoft's web site, did everything
imaginable but to no avail.  What has even stung worse is the type of
response I get from Meade's tech. support guy.  He's rude and has hung
up on me while on hold several times- and I was being polite to him!

Well, I don't mean to take up your time, but was wondering whether you
solved your problem?  I'm either going to send the dsi back to meade for
diagnostics (afraid to do that- given the attitude of their "customer
support") or sell it on ebay.  Hopefully I can fix it myself if it is a
computer problem (doubting that).

Anyway, if you have any tidbits of advice I would sure appreciate it.
Happy St. Patty's Day!

Mike here: My Keyspan adapter works fine with my Macintosh laptop.
Subject:	Re: DSI DIY
Sent:	Tuesday, March 8, 2005 23:52:25
From:	Stephen Bird (
Not wanting to stifle the inventive streak, but the DSI ordinarily
should be positioned in the ETX eyepiece port with the USB cable socket
pointing to the right (directly away from the viewfinder) and NOT to the
left (towards the viewfinder), as per the Meade instructions. This
reduces the problem of fouling of the DSI body on the ETX finderscope
bracket. This is because the DSI nosepiece is offset from the centre of
the DSI camera body. If Meade had increased this offset by just another
2mm, the problem would not exist at all  (when installed with the USB
socket pointing to the right). This small amount of fouling can be
easily eliminated by putting a parfocal ring on the DSI nosepiece, which
raises the DSI in the ETX eyepiece tube by 2mm and thus the DSI clears
the finderscope bracket.

A better solution that improves sharp focus across the plane of the DSI
image, is to change the badly designed, poorly fitting plastic
nosepiece, for the much better quality item from the Meade or BC&F
camera adaptor. These have an even 1.25" diameter along their whole
length (with the T thread to match the DSI camera body), unlike the DSI
item, and are thus a snug fit in the ETX eyepiece tube.

The following photo shows the DSI oriented with the USB port to the
right of the viewfinder (cable is not connected). You can just make out
the parfocal ring with its grub screw directly above the ETX eyepiece
port grub screw on the right of the picture. On the left of the picture
you can just about see that the finder bracket screw in now clear of the
DSI camera body. The viewfinder is rotated a few degrees anticlockwise
in its bracket to further improve / enable adequate clearance.

Regards Stephen Bird Subject: DSI DIY Sent: Monday, March 7, 2005 11:49:29 From: Charles Washington ( To add to the fun and games with using a DSI on an ETX 125 I have made a simple but effective modification. Using existing screw holes I made a simple but rigid bracket to move the finder over a tad and allow for the USB cable to be plugged in. I intend to make another with a with a more appealing shape and better workmanship but the idea is sound. Regards Charles Washington (UK)

Subject:	DSI Experience
Sent:	Monday, March 7, 2005 16:23:44
From:	Mike Snowden (
I've now picked up an AC547 adaptor from /Astro
Engineering at their new showroom opening party (shame about the snow
stopping the observing), and replaced the nosepiece tube on the DSI.
Combined with a plain glass slip, to protect the IR filter (AC535), this
significantly lengthens the tube, and it seems to sit MUCH more stably
in the eyepiece.  (Thanks to Steven Bird for this tip).  The only
disadvantage is that the cover that used to be overtight on the original
tube is now loose, so I'm now trying the slip box - there is a snug foam
ring to grip the filter, so it should stay on, but by being square has
some edges to leverage it off.  The new tube assembly is also too deep
to fit the original box, so I think I'm going to have to go foam

Setting up alignment tightly is CRITICAL with the DSI.  I've found it
next to impossible to get it right against a sky, but parfocalising
should make this possible.  Currently I use a reticule eyepiece and make
sure the finder (mounted pointing to the left) and the eyepiece are dead
on.  Then I get the DSI in and focused up (USB cable to the right), and
I can usually find a nice target like Saturn fairly quickly.  I suspect
what I should do is work out some decent settings for stars, so I can
find a field without waiting for the auto-exposure to recognise I have
stars, but I haven't got there yet.  One suggested improvement for the
DSI software would be a spiral/ladder search pattern, with a "pause and
stabilize" synced to the live shots.

I'm still not sure how much image degradation I am getting with my flip
mirror scratches.  I'm tempted to wait till summer, then just replace
anyway and stop worrying about them.  I've also picked up a Meade SCT to
1.25" adaptor to allow some prime focus work.  Once Jupiter gets a
little higher, I'll try some comparisons and see what the direct vs
flipped result is.

One quick calculation: used in the vertical, my ETX-105 UHTC is very
roughly 1 arc-second per pixel - from here you can extrapolate fields of

Things I still haven't got right - all tips gratefully accepted:

* All my shots of Saturn are still over-exposed.  I haven't got the
knack of setting exposure/gain to get colours into the image.  I suspect
I'm still mostly in auto mode.  I can't find the tips mentioned on this
site to sort this out. * Going between the AutoStar Suite and the DSI
envisage, it doesn't seem to pass over control of the scope.  I have to
launch straight into the DSI, then I can get into a state, where,
because I have to use the handset to find the next target, the handset
seems locked out. * I still can't get "centre target" to work.  I have
reset and retrained, but I don't know if it has helped yet, due to the
above handover problem...

Incidentally, I was told at the party that if you track the image, then
derotation software is invoked as the images are stacked.  A good reason
to track....

Something I want to know about the software.  When using "dark frame
subtraction", I know that best results should be obtained by getting a
fresh set along with the observing session. However, if I don't get new
ones (saving 8 minutes observing time, and knocking of the scope to
black it out, how does it match the right ones? Is it "closest
temperature for that exposure time"?  In which case, filling in the
dialog box is important if I don't actually take a fresh set (in which
case the temp in the dialog will just carry across both...

Finally, the latest toys from Astro Engineering are "Camera lens and
cradle adaptor kit" kits (Pentax/Olympus OM1/Nikon AL/Canon EOS,
AC593-596), for using a normal SLR lens with the DSI.  Useful for
wide-field or terrestrial use, as people have commented on this site. 
They were using them to show off the capabilities of the DSI in

Mike here: I would guess that the most recent dark frame is the one that is used.
Subject:	Glad to find this site!
Sent:	Thursday, March 3, 2005 22:37:22
From:	Draper,Richard A (
After having some of the same problems others have had with connectivity
issues (I sent my dsi back to meade due to the USB connection/cable
being messed up), and also one feeble attempt at imaging saturn (which
like another person's complaint came out badly overexposed) I found your
site and it helped educate me, and remove discouragement since I was not
alone.  Here's my second try at saturn with an old 8" lx200.

One question I have related to going back to live mode after an image
has been taken.  I don't see how that is done, w/o closing window and
reopening.  W/O doing that, the previous image is on the screen and no
live shot. removed auto contrast and set exposure to .0442 - I haven't
learned about most controls yet.  Also agree that focusing is difficult
and will use the suggestions found on your site to create a mask.
Rick Draper

Mike here: Glad you like the Site and that you found it. BUT as noted on the ETX Home Page, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE read the Email Etiquette page; your message was originally deleted UNREAD as SPAM due to the subject entry. Thanks for understanding.

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