Last updated: 27 December 2005

Subject:	Re: LPI Imager not responding Windows 2000 UPDATE!!!
Sent:	Sunday, December 25, 2005 22:57:37
From:	Greg Kaiser (
I Have finally stuck with windows 98se with my LPI. Never Went back to
Windows 2000. I also went back to the original install of the Suite and
now have the magic eye focuser working and seems like tracking is much
better also. I don't recommend update 3 for LPI with windows 98se

I am including 3 images. I'm very happy with my progress with the LPI
system at this point. Setting up a parafocal eyepiece made imaging much
easier. I recommend it highly.




I have also observed one of your pics of Andromeda during an ETX get together in Calif. using the piggy back method. w your ETX-90 Ra?? Is it possible to get deep sky images in Polar mode with my ETX-105 and LPI or do I need to go to SLR 35mm. Also I haven't seen too many images even with the DSI and ETX scopes that I would call very good. Is this due to the Drive accuracy. Most really good images I see with the DSI are taken with an LX-200 or LX-90. Happy Holidays Greg Kaiser Gilbert, Arizona
Mike here: Yep, that was done with the camera piggybacked on the ETX-90RA. You can get images of the brighter DSOs with the LPI. As to the DSI, a larger aperture goes a long way to improving the images. There are some good shots with the DSI on the ETX. It just takes some work. And there are some excellent images done with modified webcams. Again, it takes some work to get those results.
This page documents the Meade Lunar Planetary Imager comments, tips, and photos. Contributions welcome. I have posted a review of using the Autostar Suite and LPI on the Macintosh. In order to showcase the LPI you may occasionally see images taken with other telescopes on this page.

Subject:	LPI vs TouCam Pro
Sent:	Thursday, December 22, 2005 20:38:24
From:	Kris Owens (
I am trying to decide whether to purchase the Toucam Pro or the Meade
LPI.  From what I have seen on your website, the Toucan takes better
pictures but the LPI seems easier to use.  Do you know if this is true? 
I have looked at Registax and it looks complicated.  Do you know if the
software that comes with the LPI is easy to use?  I am just curious
which you recommend?  Thanks for the site!
Mike here: As a package (hardware and integrated software) the LPI is a good choice for the Moon and planets. That said, with work a webcam can do some pretty amazing stuff if you are willing to work at it. But keep in mind that even the LPI has a learning curve to get excellent results.
Subject:	Meade camera/telescopes on Linux?
Sent:	Thursday, December 15, 2005 19:51:02
From:	Viksit Gaur (
I came across your website while doing a search on the Meade ETX-105EC
camera. I happen to own a webcam which uses this CCD-chip, I think, and
I was thinking about writing a driver for it.

My question was whether the LPI for which you added support to for
KStars works on the same chipset (or is similar to the ETX-105EC Camera
chipset?). If not, might you have any ideas about how I could *not*
start from scratch (and hopefully utilize some existing code base?).

Thank you,

Mike here: See the item "LPI Under Linux" on the Helpful Information: Astrophotography page. It may help. Note: I didn't write any of that about KStars.


Incidentally, I did figure out that this camera uses the same CCD chip
as the telescope - that simplifies my work substantially.

Thanks for putting up that information! Google would never have linked
me to it!


Subject:	Meade ETX105: Montage of Mars, Saturn and Moon
Sent:	Saturday, December 10, 2005 18:08:49
From:	Kaustav Bhattacharya (
 My efforts from this (10/12/2005) evening. Seeing improved as the night
 whizzed by. Spent six hours observing this evening. That's a record for
 me. Seeing improved a lot for Saturn as it rose above the roof tops and
 eventually cleared the heat shimmer coming from properties.  Last
 Saturn image on the bottom right shows notable improvement in quality. 
 The 6x Barlow set up is way over the top for my Meade ETX105.  Much
 detail lost as is clearly seen when compared to the images taken using
 2x Barlow.  Next clear night I get I will try the 4x Imagemate by
 itself with and see what happens.  Also took some moon shots. Have
 resolved all my Iris image capture issues and it now recognised my
 Meade Lunar Planetary Imager without reporting any errors and I've
 starting to get the hang of Registax 3. Exploring some of the extra
 features in Regi which are proving to be really useful, especially on
 the moon.  Started playing around with Maxim DL. Quite useless with the
 Meade LPI. It's really geared for pro equipment which I don't own.
 Anyone got a spare 5000 to loan me for that new Starlight Express CCD
 cam? :-) No, didn't think so *sigh*
Kaustav Bhattacharya


Subject:	Saturn - First Attempt 
Sent:	Friday, December 9, 2005 22:57:08
From: (
I was trying to capture a few decent shots of Mars on Nov 4 2005 when I
noticed Saturn rising in the East around 1:41 a.m.  I thought I would
try to capture Saturn and the resulting image surprised me. The Meade
LPI is a very high quality imager for the price... thank you for
convincing me to buy it, because I have really enjoyed using it.

This photo means a lot to me, because I have been trying to capture a
decent photo of this planet since 2001 without any success. the Cassini
Division is clearly visible, as are several bands and zones, and you can
even see the color difference between the planet and the rings. The
image was taken with my ETX 125 UHTC, Meade LPI, parks Apochromatic 2X
Barlow, and Clestron Anti-Light Pollution Filter. The contrast and color
tones were adjusted and flipped horizontally in Adobe Photoshop.
Brian Miller
Spring Valley, California


Subject:	Austostar Suite & LPI Procedure 
Sent:	Wednesday, December 7, 2005 19:57:54
From:	Fleming, Rich (
I just want to thank Jean Perfettini for her very descriptive procedure
for the Autostar Suite & LPI procedure. I have ownd an ETX 125 for two
years, and would like to do some amateur astrophotograhy - knowing the
limitations of the ETX125 in this regard.  I have purchased the Autostar
Suite & LPI, Auto focuser, and Barlow lens which should be delivered
within the week. Given what Jean has described, I will be presented with
a challenge in the initial use of Autostar Suite/LPI.

Jean is "over there" in the UK. I am in the Chicago, IL and NW Indiana
viewing area. Pretty much from our perspective, the moon, stars and
planets are in the same sky, so I will give it ago and report my

Subject:	LPI Saturn Image
Sent:	Saturday, December 3, 2005 06:30:09
From: (
This is an image of Saturn that I took this morning at 5 am with the ETX
125 and Meade LPI imager.

I worked very hard to get the best picture I could, but focusing was
difficult.  Don't know if the atmosphere was unstable or what.  I
noticed that my breath was visible and our autos had ice on them. 
Outside air temp was about 35 degrees.  50 images at 50% quality.  I
don't think its great, but I guess it provides a baseline to improve

This was about the best that I could get the LPI focused.  This was also
the first time that I used the tracking box.  The tracking box really
helped me get it focused as well as it finally did.

Advice or constructive criticism is encouraged.


Subject:	Re: LPI Imager Magic Eye Focuser + Tracking??? 
Sent:	Tuesday, November 29, 2005 18:46:39
From:	Greg Kaiser (
Me again. I can't seem to get the Magic Eye Focuser to work with my LPI
There are no Triangles or for that matter anything in the window.

Is it for DSI only. I tried using the tracking feature as well in the
envisage GUI and it seems to work kind of but only for a while.
Centering function didn't seems to work after I drew a box around mars
for instance. I had the scope connected to the suite. I'm wondering it
is also only for the DSI. I'm using an LPI

Also do you know of any Auto Suite Tutorials available out there in
Cyber Space. I could use a good workshop as well.

Thank Again  : -)

Greg Gilbert, Az.
Mike here: You might want to check out the article "Autostar Suite & LPI procedure" on the Helpful Information: Autostar Info page. Also, check out "Mike Covington's LPI Notes" on the Helpful Information: Astrophotography page.
Subject:	RE: LPI Imager not responding Windows 2000
Sent:	Tuesday, November 29, 2005 15:51:11
From:	Gregory Kaiser
I eventually loaded windows 98 to solve the LPI Imager Problem seems to
work ok. I find getting details of mars though futile at about 100x
although I've been having alignment problem with my Etx 105 even after
training the motors. Tracking was off quite a bit. I was using a 2x
barlow with the LPI imager assuming around an equivalent 13mm eyepiece
mag rate so around 103x. I need a led finder on my scope to make easy
alignment more precise.

Thanks again for your site and advice
Greg Kaiser
Mike here: I believe the LPI is more like a 6.7mm eyepiece.


Thanks Mike I believe I have gone beyond my scopes capability at at 450x
Maybe the DSI is 26mm somewhere I got that number.
Mike here: If you are referring to an ETX-105, then about 210X is the max. As to the DSI, I don't recall what it's equivalent is but I doubt it is 26mm.
Subject:	Mars picture
Sent:	Saturday, November 26, 2005 18:32:08
From:	Nils C. Hertzberg (
Thanks for maintaining a great web-site. I just bought an ETX105 and
your book, the decision came from reading your web-site.

This is my first image of a planet. It is taken with the ETX105, Meade
LPI and a 2xBarlow. Clear night, but some suburban light pollution. Some
post processing using Photoshop and AbsoluteDeNoiser.

Is the white area on the top-left one of Mars's poles? If so, can you
please explain why the position of the poles is different from many
other pictures I've seen of Mars?



Nils C. Hertzberg
Bergen, Norway
Mike here: Looks like the polar shield cloud.
Subject:	LPI Imager not responding Windows 2000
Sent:	Sunday, November 20, 2005 18:32:22
From:	Greg Kaiser (
Thanks Mike for reviewing My email.
I have installed Windows 2000 on my Compaq Armada E500 and then
AutoStar Suite. On a laptop that I just sold I had the Suite running
including LPI OK with Windows 98SE but needed more speed so I graduate
to 700MHz from 233MHZ.

The LPI imager will not respond even though it installs OK. I can see
it in the Control Panel under cameras and in The device manger as well.
The Suite doesn't see the LPI but does not say camera is not connected.
I tried running Envisage by itself and get the same results.

I have tried installing the Suite 3 times. I have installed the latest
update Update3.

My Etx-105 works well off of the COM1 Port however.
Ready to go back to 98Se
Mike here: Not being a Windows user (when I can avoid it) I don't have a ready answer. But I suspect either a driver problem or a USB power problem with the new laptop. You might try a powered USB hub if you have one handy.


I am using the same pcmcia USB Buslink card as with the older Laptop. I
also Tried using the stand alone non pcmcia usb port and the camera just
doesn't show up in the Envisage GUI. The red light is on though.

I'm thinking back to 98se. I don't have a powered hub but might try that

Thanks for the quick response Mike
Mike here: Well, I know it works with W2K since I tested out the LPI in Virtual PC on my Mac OS X laptop and at the time I had Windows 2000.


I'll let you know if 98se works I'm loading it now.
I had trouble with it too until I loaded DirectX 8.1 and the autosuite
update as per Meade's site.

Thanks Again Mike

Subject:	Meade LPI Imaging
Sent:	Sunday, November 20, 2005 07:50:04
From:	Jim Goddard (
I have one simple question. I have never used an imager before and I
would like to know if the LPI can be used for realtime viewing or is it
intended strictly for astrophotography. I have tried to use it in
realtime for viewing the Moon for instance but the image moves around
constantly as if it were taking snapshots with no tripod. This movement
is so drastic that focusing is impossible. Am I expecting too much from
the LPI?
Jim Goddard
Tazewell, Va.
Mike here: If the image "moves around" then you have a tracking problem, not an LPI problem. The imager could be used for realtime viewing but depending upon the object, the results may be less than satisfying.


I have my etx completely free of any drive motors to eliminate tracking
problems and the image (land based) still moves around as though the
camera is taking snapshots of an object and each snapshot is a little
off center from the previous one. It moves around so much that focusing
is impossible. Does this better explain the problem?

Thanks Ver Much for Your Prompt Response
Jim Goddard
Mike here: Ah ha. You are experiencing the new "Drizzle" feature. I haven't played with it yet but I suspect you should be able to turn it off.
Subject:	Fwd: Lunar Photo
Sent:	Wednesday, November 16, 2005 05:23:08
From: (
I believe the prominent crater is  Gassendi and the Mare is Humorum. 
Crater Doppelmayer is at the bottom of the Mare.

Photo taken with the club's ETX 125 and Autostar Suite LPI imager.  LPI
is the entry level CCD imager from Meade, LPI stands for Lunar Planetary



Sent:	Thursday, November 10, 2005 08:33:22
From: (
Hi David,

I do not own an LPI, but the SECOND shot of Mars you sent to Mike is
definitly out of focus, not over exposed.

Be VERY patient with focussing; hardly touch the knob for final
focussing. And for exposure level try to keep it as dark as possible.

Have a try and lots of fun with your hobby,
Dieter (Munich, Germany)

Subject:	imaging mars wiht the LPI
Sent:	Thursday, November 3, 2005 17:24:46
From:	David Holmes (
Hello, I have been following your website for a few months now and
finally decided to go out and get an ETX 125. I have been trying to
image mars but cant get the color to come out. I used autostar suite and
the tracking feature to get about 50 combined images of mars. As you can
see I get a bright ball but no color features. Is my exposure time too
long? I set exposure time at about .707 sec. I live in Southern
California and as you can guess the viewing isnt that great. Anyway here
is what I got.


Mike here: Yep, overexposed. Go shorter; way shorter.


Thanks for the confirmation. I set up shop tonight and tried again. This
time I set the esposure at different times between .088 and .125, this
time the results were better but I still need some more practice. I set
the gain lower and the offset a little higher(25,35) respectively. Any
advice?. Thanks for your time.

Mike here: Still looks slightly overexposed.
Subject:	Autostarsuite Envisage
Sent:	Wednesday, November 2, 2005 22:32:59
From:	Paul Fleissner (
I have a problem using the LPI under Envisage. The magic eye focus aid
is not working at all. I already reported this to Meade but they only
told me to drag a box around the thing to focus and then the magic eye
should work. But it won't! Another problem is the settings of the
camera. I was using the same exposure, gain and offset with the old LPI
program and the new Envisage and I got 2 completely different Pictures
out of it. In envisage I got a great white spot right in the middle of
mars like it was well overexposed! In LPI I got a very good quality

Any Ideas on this?



Subject:	Mars imaging with LPI Issue
Sent:	Wednesday, November 2, 2005 11:42:11
From:	Phillips, Edward (
I am using a ETX-125AT with a LPI to image planets.  I have taken images
of Saturn, Jupiter, and the Moon with no problems.

Mars is being my down fall.  I have try on 2 seperate nights to get a
image of Mars and failed.  I can visiable see details looking through
the scope, but when trying to use the LPI I get a image with a very
bright spot in the center of the planet.  I figured it was a gain or
exposure issue.  I tried different setting can the results are always
the same.  I have even tried with a filter on the LPI.  The images all
seems to be over exposed.  I do not get any details.  Mainly just a
bright white light in the center or the whole planet.  I have focus in
and out to the poing I get the dount shape and back in to a point.  Same
results.  Again replacing the LPI with a Eyepiece, I get a good visiable
image.   The last images I took using the LPI software before the
'AutoStar Envisage'  update, was of the moon, jupiter, and saturn. All
with great results.  I do not know if it is a Envisage or LPI issue, but
has anyone else had the same problems ?
Edward B. Phillips
Harvest, AL
Mike here: Still sounds like it is being overexposed. Compared to the other planets Mars is very bright right now.
Subject:	Mars with the LPI
Sent:	Tuesday, November 1, 2005 18:19:03
From:	Luis Villa (
ETX-125 and LPI with a 2X barlow, software is Meade's own and Registrax.
Saturday October 29 at approximately 10 PM local time.

Attached you will find my best shot of Mars ever.  I took it with the
Meade LPI,  It is a stack of 44 pictures using Registrax.

The shots of Mars where the LPI stacked the pictures are not as clear or
as detailed as the ones I manually stacked.  The new version of
Registrax is great, even I can now stack multiple pictures, and that is
quite an achievement. I have no idea as to why the LPI stacked images
were not as clear as those stacked with Registrax.

The only difference between the manually stacked and those stacked with
the LPI software is just a matter of minutes I never moved the focus or
any setting other than checked the box where you can save all pictures. 
Of course I took a number of series of pictures with the focuser a 'tad'
to the left and then a few more series with the focuser moved an
additional 'tad'  then to the right, I tried to cover all situations
where my tri-focal glasses might affect the focus..... I have been known
to focus with the reading part of the glasses, which doesn't look great
on the computer screen, since it is out of focus unless I happen to be
very close to the screen!  (of course I took lots of pictures with and
without stacking with LPI... If I moved focuser, I took TWO sets one
with and the other without LPI stacking.)

I have submitted pictures of Mars before, but they do not compare to
these.  BIG difference is that in 2003 I had bought the scope two weeks
before, but now I have two years under my belt.

One bit of advice to all who find the LPI frustrating, practice,
practice, practice--- hey this last weekend the LPI only crashed four
times!   For the price it is a great buy.  Just downloaded the Envisage
software to use with the LPI, but since I wanted to image Mars, I didn't
want to learn software as I was in the middle of taking pictures.

Some smoothing and brightness/contrast adjustments with Paint Shop Pro 9


Subject:	Mars Composite Photo
Sent:	Thursday, October 20, 2005 21:22:12
From: (
As the 2005 Mars Opposition grows closer I have been checking your
website almost everyday to see what you're posting. Attached to this
e-mail is a composite image from October 19, 2005. The image on the left
was taken with my ETX 125 and the Meade LPI with a Parks #82A Light Blue
fileter. The image on the right was taken with the ETX 125, the Meade
LPI, the Parks #82A and a Parks Apochromatic 2X Barlow. What an amazing
difference the 2X Barlow makes. The images were flipped horizontally in
Adobe Photoshop, and the contrast was adjusted by about 69%. Each image
is a the result of about 100 images stacked by the LPI imaging software,
with the quality threshold set at about 80%.

The seeing was good last night, but the humidity was up and everything
was coated with dew. I am still learning how to use the LPI, and I have
a lot to learn, but I think my photos are improving. Hope you find this
suitable for your site.

Thank you for keeping your website informative and up to date.
Brian Miller
Spring Valley, California 


Subject:	mars
Sent:	Saturday, October 15, 2005 12:48:45
I took this picture of mars in my yard with a ext125ec using lpi and 2x
barlow lens and using meade's Envisage software. also thanks for such a
good web site. I live in Mooresville, NC

                            Mark Rhyne


Subject:	Pcture of Mars
Sent:	Monday, October 10, 2005 00:00:16
From:	Paul Fleissner (
I am a great fan of your site. Without it I would not be able to take
pictures like this one. I am more or less a newbie and purchased an ETX
125 about 4 month ago. Nearly since that time I was trying to take
pictures with my sony dsc p200 and ez Pix adapter. But the results were
not very good. I was not really able to get the camera focused on the
picture in the eyepiece. Finally I got the LPI and things changed
quickly. This is a great tool to have, although you need a little bit of
time to get used to all the settings. And here is my best result of
Mars. Taken on the 2005/10/09, 23:20 UTC in Vienna, Austria (so not very
good seeing). I used the LPI and a 2x Barlow and only the edge enhancing
filter on every 5th frame. Totally 30 frames stacked.  Maybe I will get
even better results when using an UV/IR cut filter. Please help me out
on this one because I think there is already a filter included in the
LPI, right overhead the ccd.

Best regards Paul Fleissner
Mike here: I believe there is one (I can't check mine right now). But as with other astrophotography or even visual use, adding appropriate filter(s) can help improve an image (or make things worse).
Subject:	Focusing difficulties using an ETX 125 and LPI
Sent:	Monday, October 3, 2005 15:58:08
From:	Jon Avner (
My name is Jon Avner and I'm the proud new owner of an ETX 125EC (my
first telescope).  I have an LPI and I've just started playing around
with it, but I've been having a difficult time getting things focused
properly.  I've been reading various tips on focusing techniques but I
haven't yet had a chance to try all them out (I live in the Pacific
Northwest so clear skies are going to be hard to come by until Spring). 
I've been trying to practice on terrestrial targets but I haven't taken
my scope out anywhere and my site lines are rather limited where I live
(lots of trees).  Still, I would expect to be able to get a better focus
than I have been but I'm not sure if the objects are simply too close or
not.  Any idea what the minimum distance is that the LPI/ETX 125 can
focus on?  I haven't had any difficulties focusing on the same objects
with just an eyepiece.  Any suggestions are appreciated.
Mike here: It should be several tens of feet. But focusing does take some work, especially if you are focusing by hand and therefore creating image vibrations.

One other question if you could: would you recommend getting CCDSoft or
Maxim DL, or are those just overkill for my hardware?  Would just
getting Photoshop make more sense?  I'm looking for a little more
capabilities - like better picture alignment control, more control over
stacking, unsharp masking, etc, but all those packages are rather
pricey.  I'm certainly going to play with the software that came with
the LPI more, but I was just wondering.
Mike here: Those would be overkill. Photoshop CS or even Photoshop Elements can help. There are also low price or free registering/stacking applications such as Astrostack, Registax, Lynkeos. You can find some info on these on the Helpful Information: Astrophotography page.
Subject:	Using a series of USB Cables for DSI
Sent:	Wednesday, September 28, 2005 14:02:15
From: (
I was wondering if anybody has tried using a series of USB cables  with
their LPI/DSIs. I've treid calling Meade about this and get nebulous
answers. My idea is to run about 40' connected cables to my main
computer(don't have a laptop). I have heard everything from connecting
(3)  15'  'active' cables and then heard that I would need 'hubs'. Can
you help?
Thanks, Tom Hannigan
Mike here: The USB spec defines a limit (check the page for the specifics). But yes, adding powered hubs will help.
Subject:	MARS & ETX125PE
Sent:	Tuesday, September 27, 2005 22:32:33
From: (
I finally was home (Chicago suburb), well rested, and actually had great
weather. I pulled out the ETX125PE and all my associated "toys"; the
LPI, my D70 with all the needed attachments, and my laptop.  I started
by aligning the scope with no problems.  Hooked up autostar suite so it
will become a point and click scope (at least that is how I like to
refer to it) and was off to view the heavens.  Mars has been tough to
photograph for me, but I figured everything was going well tonight, I
may get a great picture. Needless to say I did not..I have attached the
pics from the LPI and a few from the D70..The D70 I am having problems
counterweighing the scope so it moves once I push the button on the
remote. It will be a matter of time till I get the weight correct.  The
LPI on the other hand is driving me nuts.  The three pictures I took are
not at all what expected. No matter what planet I take a picture of, it
comes out the same, a big grey or green disc.  I follow the steps on the
help file.  I get the magic focuser arrows as small as possible, then
click start (after clicking auto adjust).  I let in run for 50 images
then stop it, and these are my results (one example):

the pics look fake. I have gotten some ok ones of the moon (although I get better moon pics with the D70)....I have no clue what is is starting to get discouraging. I also tried to get some deep space objects like M31 and the seven sisters...Nothing doing their with either camera. My one question: Registax seems to be what most people are using that post on your incredible site. I have downloaded it...Is registax used "in the field" ie attach the LPI to the scope and computer and run registax, or use the software once back inside? Thanks for allowing me to "whine" a little. I am just a little disappointed especially after seeing the images people have posted on your website. Dan
Mike here: I suspect the LPI images are way overexposed. Shorten the exposure, a lot. Image processing, including stacking of individual frames, is normally done as a post-capture event. You need to spend the time to through out bad images.

I will give it a try....Thanks for the advice.

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Submittal Copyright © 2005 by the Submitter