Last updated: 28 July 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:	Meade DSI
Sent:	Thursday, July 28, 2005 06:54:39
From:	Saverio Riboli (
Do you know any software not trial if possible able to control meade DSI
Mike here: Meade's Autostar Suite that comes with the DSI. Don't recall any others yet.
Subject:	Request for DSI images from ETX telescopes.
Sent:	Friday, July 15, 2005
From:	Scott Roberts @ Meade Instruments
Can you put out a call for DSI images taken through ETX telescopes? We
are looking for material for the new catalog.
Thank you,
Mike here: See the Meade web page for details:
Subject:	Meade ETX-125 and DSI  - Pictures of M13 and M57
Sent:	Sunday, July 17, 2005 11:02:51
I have had my DSI for about a month now and am just about getting the
hang of it.  I still need a focal reducer as the combination of the f/15
ETX-125 and the 1/3" CCD chip gives something like 400X magnification -
great for planetary nebulae but not so good for clusters etc.

The ETX-125 tracking (in polar mode) is good enough for about 15 second
exposures.  At this level 1 in 2 pictures are useable.  I've tried 21
and 30 seconds but there are too many skips, double images and star
trails in the finished article.

The two attached pictures are my best to date.  I think I got the focus
spot on this time.  The first picture is of M13 - the great globular
cluster in Hercules.  I used a stack of 5 x 15 s images in registax,
with a colour balance and histogram stretch.

The second image is of M57 - the Ring Nebula in Lyra.  The stack of  7 x
15 s images show the central star (mag 15.4) quite clearly.  The
annotated file has the magnitudes of nearby stars.  The faintest appears
to be at least 15.7.  I could not identify the stars at 16.1 magnitude
on the image.  Still a limiting magnitude of 16 with an ETX is not to be
sniffed at (All hail the mighty ETX)

So now to a focal reducer with more light per pixel and more reasonable
magnification.  I'm going to try the Atik 0.5 unit - I'll let you know
how I get on.




Subject: 	DSI first time - but 2 unknown problems	
From: 	  Tom Ko (
Date: 	July 15, 2005 10:35:14 PDT
Just got my ETX125 with DSI. I tried to take some shots during the day
time to get to know the system better. I am getting 2 problems that I do
not know what are causing them.

1. When taking dark frame, I am getting few bright and colourful spot in
the shots. Please see the attached image. Are they dead/faulty pixels?

2. When taking normal shots , there appear to be what I describe as watermarks in the images. Initially, I thought it was due to some dirts on the optics. But when I rotate the DSI, those marks do not rotate. Then I suspect there may be dirts on the CCD or the filter (infra-red). Closer inspecting reveal no such things.
As I have no experience on this DSI, I really do not know if this is due to faulty DSI or just me, lacking experience on how to use this. Can you help? Thanks Tom
Mike here: The purpose of the "dark frame" is to capture "hot spots" in the imager. That is the source of the colored pixels you see. It comes from electrical noise (typically from heat). Using the dark frame the software can then subtract out the hot spots. And yes, the spots due appear to be dust. You may not be able to see it easily AND cleaning is a dangerous step.


Yes, those circular marks are indeed due to dust. They are only visible
through very close inspections. I have cleaned them using my camera
cleaning kit. They are ok now.

I have another question. Can SBIG ST-7XME (the dual ccd version) be used
to autoguide an ETX 125?


Mike here: I don't think there is an interface to that do through the Autostar.

Subject:	Question about DSI problem.
Sent:	Thursday, July 14, 2005 13:41:15
From:	chasiotis elias (
a friend of mine who owns a LX90 has great trouble with the DSI, because
Autostar suite doesn't recognise the DSI.

He changed the USB1.1 that his laptop had with a USB2.

After that, Autostar suite shows "no imagers" when he connects the DSI.
(Also we had the same failure in two other computers).

I suggested that he should download the upgrade 2 of Autostar suite. He
did so, but then things went worse, as something about incomplete
download was shown and also "please check your resource file"

Do you know what may have went wrong?

Many thanks
Mike here: Not all USB 2 cards are alike. It could be a card problem. An alternative would be to use a powered USB hub.
Subject:	Image I made of Supernova in distant M51 galaxy
Sent:	Wednesday, July 6, 2005 20:30:23
From: (
Made this picture from the backyard last night.  It's in the galaxy M51
which is about 22 million light years away.  The Supernova was
discovered about 2.5 weeks ago by an amateur.  Based on how far the
galaxy is, you're actually seeing a supernova (exploding star) that
happened 22 million years ago!


Subject:	Here's Some Better Images?!
Sent:	Monday, July 4, 2005 11:56:32
From:	M. J. The Madjordainain (
Just wanted to forward these images on to you for your sight if you want
to post them, I installed a Keyspan USB 2.0 PCMCIA Card (with auxiliary
power) on my laptop.  It made quite a difference in the ability to gain
focus and better image quality, cost was about $32.00 USD and well worth
it to get the Meade DSI up to snuff.  I think the USB 2.0 card along
with a little more practice has helped my imaging capabilities out. 
That's the thing with the Meade DSI for somebody starting out new, a USB
2.0 port seems to be a must for better imaging along with practice.

All of the attached images were shot on nights when the sky here around
Greenfield was less than ideal, humidity up and some low level light
haziness in the night skies.  I'm eager for the clearer winter skies to
get here it should make for some nicer imaging with my current set-up!


The Greenhorn

AKA: Mark Jordan

Hope these images look as good on another monitor as they seem to mine! ;^)




Subject:	ETX 125 and the DSI
Sent:	Saturday, June 11, 2005 14:44:57
From:	George C. Stradley (
Has anyone reported on imaging with the DSI (original version) combined
with the ETX 125?  I wasn't able to find any references on the website
(I'm the world's #1 klutz so I may not have looked in the right place).
George Stradley
Houston Astronomical Society
Novice Program Chair
Mike here: I don't specifically recall but you can check the Helpful Information: Astrophotography: DSI section. Of course, what would work with any ETX model will be fine with the ETX-125.
Subject:	Autostar Deep Sky Imager Pro and OS X Tiger and Virtual PC ?
Sent:	Wednesday, June 1, 2005 16:41:33
From:	Michael Rayburn (
I am trying to get Meade's Deep Sky Imager Pro to work on my Apple
PowerBook G4, 1 Ghz, 2 Gig Ram with Virtual PC 7.0.1. I went and
purchased a Adaptec USB2 Connect seeing on this site that Power is an
issue with USB device. It did not help Virtual PC with WinXP did not
recognize the PCMCIA USB Card. I even tried Win2000.

The error I get is "Can't connect no device found." It basicly can
initialize the Imager. The driver is loaded.

I have loaded it on a friends pc and it worked just fine.

As a side note it would be nice if there were drivers for the Mac or are

Thanks for the help,

Mike here: I believe the DSI Pro really needs USB 2.0 for the higher bandwidth. So I don't know whether the Adaptec device would handle that correctly coming into the PowerBook. That probably isn't why you can't connect though. I have seen reports that VPC 7 has USB problems (which is why I'm still using VPC 6). You might check the article "LPI with Mac OS X" on the Helpful Information: Astrophotography page and follow the links mentioned there. There might be new info out there on DSI use from Mac OS X.

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