Last updated: 26 April 2005

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:	Jupiter image
Sent:	Monday, April 25, 2005 19:08:23
From:	Rob Kosinski (
I'm a new EXT90 owner (haven't looked through a scope since I was a kid
20 years ago...) and I found your site to be INVALUABLE whenever I'm
looking for answers! Although I've been getting Sky & Telescope almost
my entire adult life I was mostly ignorant in telescope operation and

At any rate, I've been experimenting with lunar and planetary
photography for the past 4 months I've had the scope and I noticed you
accept images to your Guest Gallery. After many MANY hits and misses and
much frustration, I obtained this image of Jupiter which I hope you can

This image was taken with the Meade LPI on my ETX 90AT using an Apple iBook using the third party SN9C102 WebCam Driver for Mac OS X. This is the sum of 22 frames stacked with Keith's Image Stacker and contrast enhanced in Photoshop. Thanks for your time. Rob Kosinski PS - Your book just arrived today. ;-)

Subject:	What an ETX-105, 2xBarlow and LPI can do!!!
Sent:	Sunday, April 17, 2005 11:47:31
From:	Chris Newsome (
here is an example of what an ETX-105, a Meade LPI and a 2xBarlow can do
under excellent seeing conditions. Theophilus, Cyrillus and Catharina
taken on 15th April 2005. The effective magnification is, I believe,
around 490X.

Kind regards Chris Newsome (Derby, UK)

Subject:	LPI Saturn
Sent:	Wednesday, April 13, 2005 12:42:02
Despite the weather not being perfect (I forget the difference between
seeing and transparency) but there still has been sufficient haze to
prevent me seeing the coast of France from my front garden I managed to
get my best yet image of Saturn, which I attach.

It was taken with the Meade LPI using my 10" LX200GPS (f/10) using a 2 x barlow. I have adjusted the contast/brightness, used the unsharp mask and applied a median cut in the noise, in Paint Shop Pro and I am very pleased with the result. - Can't wait for really clear weather to see if I can do better! I'll do the same thing with the DSI and see how the images compare!   Best Regards and thanks again for all your help!   Jim
Mike here: Regarding seeing and transparency, see the article "Seeing Conditions and Transparency" on the Helpful Information: Observational Guides/References page.
Subject:	Re:LPI & windows home edition
Sent:	Tuesday, April 12, 2005 08:08:42
From: (
I am using the LPI on a Inspiron 1150 with XP Home Edition, SP2. So far,
there haven't been any problems.  When I connect or disconnect it, I
hear a musical note indicating a device has been added or removed.  It
appears in the Device Manager list under Imaging Devices and in the
Control Panel under Scanners and Cameras.

If you haven't installed Service Pack 2, perhaps you need to.  If you
do, you should be aware that some Inspirons will have a drastic decrease
in performance.  There is another patch to correct this, but I haven't
been able to find it again.  If you need it, let me know and I'll
continue looking.

As a last resort, maybe you need to completely uninstall AutoStarSuite
and start over again, making sure to follow the sequence for
installation and when to connect the LPI.
Hope this helps.
From:	Dave Wallace (
I've had the LPI working with XP Home on my Inspiron 1100.  But watch
out for long USB cables and certain brands of USB hubs.
And more:
Sent:	Wednesday, April 13, 2005 03:50:43
Re: your LPI on Windows home edition.  I'm assuming your using XP  home
edition, if so the main difference between XP home and XP pro is the
ability to include your PC in a corporate network environment when using
Pro, the drivers themselves are the same for each environment, Microsoft
just like charging business users more for their software!!

That said I had similar issues connecting my logitech quickcam pro4000
to my XP pro machine.  I installed  the infamous XP service pack 2 on my
PC and the problems disappeared.  If you haven't already updated your PC
it's worth downloading the service pack from Microsoft using windows
update or direct link to the download here ->   

Once you've done that give the LPI install another go. 

Hope this helps 

thanks Dave, I will give it a try !

Subject:	LPI & windows home edition
Sent:	Saturday, April 9, 2005 06:26:21
From:	Jane Evans (
I have installed the LPI on my Inspiron with Windows Home Edition,
trouble is every time I attach the camera it wants to run the wizard to
reinstall the drivers, if I don't it says 'LPI not found'.

I installed AutoStar Suite on my main PC with Window Pro & it recognises
the camera every time. I have searched your site for earlier occurrences
of this problem but found nothing, do you have any ideas or do I need to
keep the CD handy everytime I use the camera.
many thanks for a great site
Jane Evans
Hampshire UK
Mike here: I don't recall any reports from Home Edition users. And since I avoid Windows whenever I can I don't have much experience with Windows so can't answer about any differences in the stripped down Home Edition. Perhaps someone else will respond.
Subject:	LPI and the Partial upcoming solar eclipse.
Sent:	Tuesday, April 5, 2005 14:54:29
From:	Jim Holland (
Since I'm fairly new to astronomy and CCD imaging using both DSI and
LPI, I'd like your take on using the LPI - as long as some sort of good
quality solar filter is on the scope?


Jim Holland
Mike here: Should work.
Subject:	LPI improvements
Sent:	Sunday, April 3, 2005 12:22:46
From:	Luis Villa (
I have installed Autostar Suite Update and Autostar model #497 version

I had never been able to image ANY of the deep sky objects, but now it
appears that Meade has made some improvements to its imaging software. 
I wasn't even going to try imaging any, but Orion was too tempting a
target.  I slewed to Orion, after centering it in my 25mm eyepiece which
I use for LPI work since I have a parfocal ring on it, I then inserted
the LPI and to my surprise M-42 was dead center on the laptop screen!  I
could actually see it on the laptop.  First time I have ever seen any
Messier on the laptop using the LPI.

I am submitting my first Messier with my LPI, FAR from the results
others have had.   But gratifying nevertheless since I took this one. 
Now all I have left to do is use polar alignment, in order to have
longer exposures.

Also you will find the two other pictures, one of Jupiter and the other
of Saturn.   Purely by accident I was able to image Io as it cast a
shadow on Jupiter!

It seems that Meade has improved its software for the LPI.

Not the best seeing, but acceptable.

photo photo photo

Subject:	Re: lpi question from beginner
Sent:	Friday, April 1, 2005 03:38:09
From:	mike montreal (
thanks for answering a couple of my questions. could you be more
specific on which format to use or what do most users select if they use
the autosuite ip software, also is there anything else i should be doing
other than following the directions from the manual. any hints or
anything else they left out?
Mike here: Following the manual is a good idea. As to format, it has been so long since I've used the Autostar Suite software (it is Windows, after all...) but I think BMP is one of the native choices.
Subject:	lpi question from beginner
Sent:	Thursday, March 31, 2005 19:21:07
From:	mike montreal (
hope you can help with several problems i`m having using the lpi. 1st.
problem, live image is constantly moving on laptop screen can`t achieve
focus. is this the nature of the beast for all imagers or just the lpi?
does even the slightest movement of the usb cable do this. i kind of
find it hard to believe that you can`t even breathe around the scope so
that the camera does not shake. tried an image of saturn last night,
focused as best as i could, live image of saturn was white in color,
when i hit the start button to take images, the image of saturn after a
few shots became very blurry and un focused and after 50 shots when i
hit stop image was awful. what am i doing wrong??? i was looking at some
of your writers questions and i remember you saying something about not
using JPEG when you image because you can`t use the image processing
software of autosuite, could you explain further. sorry to sound so
stupid about this stuff but this is all NEW to me. the only thing that
isn`t new to me is the lx 200 i`m using. could you please help me with
some pointers from the start of taking pictures to the end. i`m not even
close to comming up with pictures of jupiter or saturn like i saw on
some of your questions and answers forum. and those were from first time
users! i must be doing something really wrong. please help!!! thank you
very much!  mike montreal
Mike here: It isn't the camera that is moving (probably), it is the telescope. Any movement of the telescope will make the image dance around. So be certain you have a stable mounting system and that you are shielded from vibrations (ground or wind). As to the native format of the Autostar Suite software, JPEG is one of the formats that it doesn't understand. Just pick another format.
Subject:	Meade LPI
Sent:	Thursday, March 24, 2005 08:00:10
From:	Michael Bauer (
My question: I am trying out the LPI at my telescope. I want to save
several pictures of an object. So far, when pushing start, only one
picture is saved (i.e. saturn1.bmp). How can I save several pictures of
an object (saturn2.bmp, saturn3.bmp etc.)? Shall I push start/stop
several times to get several pictures?

Meade Autostar Suite provides the Image Processing tool. I have not
understood how to combine several pictures of an object (saturn1.bmp
plus saturn2.bmp plus etc...). How to do that and make a composite of
several pictures?

Your advice to save pictures in *.bmp was very helpful. Now, I can at
least see the picture in the image processing tool. jpeg did not work.

Best regards,

Michael Bauer
Mike here: It has been awhile since I used the Windows software (since it IS Windows software) but as I recall it was fairly simple to start the capturing and then combining (stacking). Check the manual for more details.
Subject:	ETX 90 with Televue 3X Barlow and LPI
Sent:	Sunday, March 20, 2005 14:51:05
From:	Richard Plowman (
I thought you might like to see have far you can stretch the ETX 90 with
a 3X Barlow and the LPI imager.

It was a half moon on March 18th and the LPI settings were 20 images at
80% with the hard edge kernel. I had to increase the exposure time
slightly to compensate for the 3X Barlow but the results on the moon
particularly the detail for the Cassini crater ( top left)  were I think
Kind regards
Richard Plowman


Subject:	Saturn Image
Sent:	Tuesday, March 8, 2005 14:11:56
From:	Marco Bensi (
I send You my first image of Saturn.
I have ETX 90 AT with LPI.


Subject:	ETX-125  image shake
Sent:	Monday, March 7, 2005 04:47:59
From:	RAK (
Many thanks for the fantastic site - its has been of great use when
using my new ETX-125.

I have been trying out taking some images of Saturn using the LPI
imaging suite.  I have taken some pictures of low exposure (4 x 0.25 s)
typically, and the quality has been satisfactory. However, with any more
than 4 layered images, I notice that the captured images do not centre
over each other - they move either off to the left or to the right. This
gives a fuzzy outline to the compiled image and spoils it.

I use a field tripod and normally take pictures in the evening at about
2000-2200.  Find attached an image that was produced last night - 2
images of exposure 0.25 s.  Any more than 2 images was resulting in poor
alignment (stacking) of the images taken.

Any advice? Thanks in anticipation. Regards, Rob King
Mike here: I also experienced a similar problem when I first used the LPI ( There are many variables that can cause the problem. Wind, vibrations through the ground, motor-induced vibrations. You can alleviate some but using "vibration suppression pads" on the tripod feet, adding weight to the tripod, using Polar mode, redoing the CALIBRATE MOTORS and doing an accurate TRAIN DRIVES, shielding the telescope from the wind, etc.
Subject:	ETX-125 LPI Astrophotography
Sent:	Monday, February 28, 2005 19:32:08
From:	Jim Holland (
No picture(s) right now - but I saw my first Jupiter moon rise tonight!
It was cool as hell! I've got the pictures - but there on my laptop
attached to the telescope, I'll send them tomorrow after I get a few
more, just to make sure the object is moving (some more).

I also go some more of Saturn.

All of these are in color to boot.


I've probably missed something somewhere - but here goes.

Last night while using the LPI program, all of the image tabs of the
pictures I took were in color while the LPI program was active.

This morning while looking thru either the LPI program or the Image
Processing program, all I see are B&W pics. The LPI program shows the
better detail.

It appears that the LPI program does some image processing (other than
stacking) while the photo session is active (true or not?) the image is
crisp, clear and in color.

The image processing module when doing a file open function (after the
fact) shows 4 files that would appear to be  the composite of what is
displayed above. Each of these files apparently are B&W and show no
detail at all. I've played with many of the processing controls but
can't seem to recapture what was displayed last night during my LPI

I am an image processing neophite, can you offer suggestions, a link
(I've already investigated many on your site this morning as well as
looked at the pitiful image processing manual from Meade) or other
helpful hints?

I realize you are in the process of updating the Site, so whenever you
have time to respond.
Mike here: I haven't seen that occur. It sounds like you have opened up the Red, Green, and Blue channels of the color image as separate images.


Sorry, there will be no pictures! The photos/images were done in .FITS
format which implies some sort of post image processing needs to be
applied. Since I'm a image processing neophite. Well you'll just have to

I'll try a different format next time.
One follow up question concerning the LPI program and camera.

Which in your opinion is the best file format to save the images in, and
the easiest to work with for post processing?

I also made a donation to your site this morning - keep up the good work!

Mike here: There are some formats that the Meade image processing app can use but if you want to use another app then you will have to use a format that is available in that app.


Okay, Here they are, I've tries different file formats (but not the .fits




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