Last updated: 31 December 2007

This page documents astrophotography comments, tips, and photos. Contributions welcome. Be certain to see the other articles on the main Astrophotography page.

Subject:	Scopetronix problem
Sent:	Monday, December 31, 2007 10:46:50
From:	Dale Wollschlager (
I have purchased a Pentax K100D Super and a scopetronix Maxview DSLR
along with the proper T-ring for my camera.  Im having issues getting
any images whatsoever.  I bought the Maxview off Astromart and
unfortunately no manual with it.  I cant figure out what Im doing wrong.
Do I unscrew the black end cap off the 1.25 silver adapter????  When I
look thru my view finder its all blurry like there isnt a lens hooked
up,  thats with and without it hooked up to my ETX-125....Am I supposed
to some how thread my own eyepiece onto this Maxview?  Please any ideas
would greatly be appreciated
Dale in Phoenx
Mike here: See the article "MaxView II DSLR camera adapter" on the Accessory Reviews: Astrophotography page for some info and photos of how it all hooks up. Hopefully that should help answer your questions; if not let me know.


Looking at the pictures I think Im missing the eye piece holder.  I have
every item in the picture except the item thats in the lower front....I
think thats the eye piece holder
Mike here: Yes, that attachment holds a 1.25" eyepiece inside the MaxView although I don't know if the MaxView needs it whereas the MaxView II does. However, you might still be able to use the MaxView without an eyepiece. You might need to add the telenegative adapter to extend the telescope's focal length to reach the camera's focal plane. You might also be able to do prime focus astrophotography without the telenegative lens; I don't know if focus will be a problem or not. At prime focus the telescope is just like a telephoto lens for your camera, so with the ETX-125 you have a 1900mm telephoto attached. You might want to try it during the daytime on a distant object or on the Moon at night to test focusing.


Thanks for all your help,  Im such a rookie at this...Ive tried
everything and cant get an image thru......Im gonna have to find someone
in Phoenix that can give me a hands on training.  I really wanna get
into Pentax K100D Super does well with a 300mm
lens,  but I really need to learn to hook up the Maxview..if you happen
to know anyone in Phoenix that would be willing to stop by the house let
me know
Mike here: There are ETX people in the Phoenix area (I'm in Tucson now myself); I'll let them contact you. I'm sure there are astronomy clubs around there; check the "Clubs & Organizations" section on the Sky and Telescope web site (
Subject:	Envisage image stacking question
Sent:	Friday, December 28, 2007 12:12:07
From:	Brent Simons (
Can anyone help me to understand the relationship between the number of
images stacked and the exposure time? It seems to me that in order to
reduce noise one would need to stack many images. What does "stack"
mean? Is this an integration algorithm where the signal to noise
improves by the sqr root of 2 X #images?

The images must be averaged to do this [I think] which would darken the
sky but not necessarily brighten the image. Am I correct in assuming
that exposure duration is the main parameter to increase brightness in
nebulae etc and is independent of the number of images stacked?

Mike here: Exposure duration is a factor in image brightness and clarity. Overexposing removes data; underexposing too much never gets the data (or at least a sufficient amount of image pixel data). A very slight underexposure on brighter objects works best when stacking many many images. Stacking combines the pixel data (additive); dark areas don't add up as quickly as brighter areas. Stacking also enhances "detail" by hiding some defects in the image due to atmospheric turbulence, etc.


Thanks for the reply Mike,

My wife and I moved to northern California a few years ago from the Bay
Area. I always wanted to get back into telescopes except the seeing
there is so bad that on a good night you might be able to see Jupiter.
Up here the skies are BLACK. I recently built a slide back roof
observatory and purchased a Meade LXD10"/ f4 scope. I added a JMI
focuser and have the mound tweaked up and aligned really well. Also just
got a DSIll [color version], all is running well with the PC, I can
control the scope with the Envision software etc.

Have yet to take any astro photos due to bad weather. I was wondering
what your opinion would be on what I might expect in the way of imaging
results [using Envisage track and stack] after I climb the learning
curve a little . I am curious what the best techniques are for achieving
the best focus with my setup. I have a recent copy of Paint Shop Pro
that I use for other types of photography. Will this be enough for
processing astro photos? Any suggestions would be appreciated.


Mike here: See the DSI section on the Helpful Information: Astrophotography page for lots of tips and examples. Paint Shop Pro can do a lot to improve (or ruin) astrophotos. As long as it can sharpen and adjust levels and crop images you have about 90% of what you will need to process final images.
Subject:	Seben Zoom eyepiece...Its got a T thread :)
Sent:	Wednesday, December 19, 2007 02:00:06
Just noticed something with the Seben MZT Zoom eyepiece.....I suppose
the MZT in the name should have given the game away...

If you remove the rubber eye-cup the barrel is threaded.......with a T
mount thread so you can use a T Adaptor and connect the eyepiece to your

Not mentioned on their website but saw a pic of the Astro Engineering
Digimax-T and it looked remarkably similar....

Have decided to go to the dark side and get the Celestron CPC800 XLT
have spent ages reading reviews of various 8" SCT's and decided to plump
for the Celestron.

I will still be using my Meade DSI Color with it and using the new scope
to mount the DSI/SLR lens combos really looking forward to the vast
improvement in the mount over the ETX105.

I'm toying with the idea of mounting the ETX with the DSI Color on the
8" to use as a guide scope with the D200 or KM5D on the back of the 8"
and then stacking the  resulting 10 or 6MP images in DeepSkyStacker....

All I need know is clear stable skies and a dark site and a lot of
Best Reagrds,
Peter Smith

And more:

If you post the tip update it with the following information.
Looks like there are two different versions the MZ8-24 and the MZT8-24
only the MZT has the t-thread

Subject:	New Owner of ETX 125 PE
Sent:	Tuesday, December 18, 2007 09:23:37
Would like to take the best pictures I can, what would I require for
lenses and camera, realizing there are different colors of lenses and
sizes, so let say Saturn's Rings or a very close up of the Lunar Surface

Thank You 
Pete Weller
314 First St 
Sunfield, Michigan 
Mike here: Take a look at the Helpful Information: Astrophotography page, the Accessory Reviews: Astrophotography page, and the various astrophotography galleries on the ETX Site. You will see that almost any camera can take some sort of photograph through a telescope. Besides cameras (film or digital) you might check out the Meade LPI and DSI as well as the Sonfest SAC imagers (see the Helpful Information: Astrophotography page). Webcams can also work.
Subject:	Quaker Instant Hartman mask for ETX-90
Sent:	Monday, November 19, 2007 05:28:32
From:	David Blythe (
I've used many tips from your site, I hope some people can use this one:

I decided to experiment with a hartman mask to help focus when trying to
view through a camera and/or web cam.  It turns out the top to a small
can of Quaker oatmeal (I think it's 1 lb 2 oz size) fits perfectly
inside the lip of the OTA of my ETX-90.  I took a 3/4" drill bit and
zipped 2 holes through it and voila!  It works great, it's very
lightweight, and it rides in there without any attachments at all!  If
you botch it or lose it, it only costs about $3 for another can of
oatmeal and you can make another one! I can make the hartman mask in
about the same amount of time as it takes to make a bowl of the instant
oatmeal, plus I get all the fibre I need for
David Blythe
Louisville, KY

Subject:	ext90 pictures?
Sent:	Friday, November 9, 2007 10:42:36
From:	Chad Whittington (
How are these guys getting such good pictures with an ETX90?  I just got
an ETX 90AT and I have a 2x Barlow.  When I look at Jupiter or Mars thru
the 26mm eyepiece they are the size of match heads.  Are they blowing
the images up in Photoshop or something like that?  I am a beginner at
astronomy, but I have been a little disappointed in the size and clarity
of what I can see.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.


Chad Whittington
Mike here: Cropping to just show the object of interest is done many times. "Stacking" of many images into a single image is often done. Long duration exposures (or many exposures, ie. hundreds or even thousands) are done many times. High resolution imagers or cameras are sometime used. Editing the resulting image in an editor (like Photoshop or GraphicConverter) is done a lot. All of these allow the image "quality" to be enhanced. As to visual expectations, yes, the eye doesn't perform like a camera when used at the eyepiece. I guess the Designer overlooked that aspect of eventual usage... But the eye is still an excellent tool when used properly and with some experience. Of course, the size of the instrument is a major factor in "actuality vs expectations".
Subject:	New ETX Buyer looking for assistance
Sent:	Monday, October 29, 2007 10:24:33
From:	Busi, Timothy R. (
I am a college student who is very interested in starting to get into
astrophotography.  I am looking to buy the ETX-125 PE as my first scope
for this.  I was wondering if you could let me know anything you suggest
I purchase with it to help me out in starting with astrophotography.  My
mother is a semi-pro photographer, so she has an excellent camera I am
going to use, but I was wondering if there was anything in the line of
filters or other accessories that would help me out. Thank you very
much!  I appreciate it!

                                     -Tim Busi
Mike here: See the Accessory Reviews: Astrophotography page as well as the Helpful Information: Astrophotography page. Lots of valuable info on those pages.
Subject:	Recomend focal reducer 
Sent:	Friday, October 12, 2007 18:54:44
From:	Kent Bouchard (
I have an ETX 125 AT and a Meade DSI II Color CCD camera. What make and
power of focal reducer would you recommen to use to get a wider field of
view and shorter exposure times? Thanks - Kent
Mike here: There are some focal reducers discussed on the Accessory Reviews: Astrophotography page as well as the Shutan Wide-Field Adapter discussed on the Accessory Reviews: Showcase Products page.
Subject:	Re: Great Website and I just need a push in the right direction
Sent:	Friday, October 12, 2007 09:53:20
From:	Steve Haydon (
Thanks again,

After some research I ordered the etx125 model off of the meade website
at a closeout price of $500 and the astrophtoto kit for $300 so I hope I
am heading in the right direction.   In addition, I am reading your book
Using the ETX, I thank you again and hope to have some pictures on your
site someday.


Subject:	Great Website and I just need a push in the right direction
Sent:	Thursday, October 4, 2007 10:32:54
From:	Steve Haydon (
After visiting every camera shop in town and calling Meade support in
order to find out what I need as a newbie to start looking into the
heavens and trying to make since of all that is before me.    I have
been an avid photographer all my life and now am desperately wanting my
first scope that i can use to take digital pictures of the heavens.

Being an old school kind of guy I have been quite frustrated with the
state of digital photography and it appears the same 'marketing to the
masses' approach has caused the photography business/marketing to go
down the tubes.   No one seems to know anything at photo stores about
'pure' photography much less anything about the stack if telescopes
usually off in the corner somewhere.

Anyway to wrap things up .....

After taking many pictures of the moon with a nikon d70s and a 300-mm
lens I figured to get what I really want I could spend $6000 on a lens
for my camera or

Purchase a $300 scope and use attachments to get better pictures and
finally see for myself that in fact no cheese in being made on the moon

I was in the software business for 25 years and 3 years ago came down
with a neurological disorder that has made life hell and to boot my
private disability insurance company denied my claim so last month after
2 years and $40K of legal fees I was awarded compensation which now
allows me financial freedom but my disorder has me in constant pain
(only relief is time released morphine) but ........ as I gaze into the
night sky the pain subsides .......

I have called meade and although kind and courteous they just don;t get
it and keep putting me on hold and then stating I think that will work

My research has brought me to the following ....

1. Meade ETX-80BB Backpack Observatory Telescope - as if looks like a
good 'first scope' and it comes in its own backpack which I think I
could handle.

@  Apparently I will need two accessories to attach a digital camera I
have a full size digital camera Nikon d70s and the p5000 nikon compact
digital camera and have a Nikon d300 on order.

With my photography I use Nikon software called Camera control that
allows me to runa usb from camera to laptop and take pictures from the
laptop making changes with the mouse instead of my hands which are
affected by the ongoing degeneration of the nerves  ....

Anyway, can you give me a push or even a kick in the ass to determine
which scope would be best I think the one I mention comes complete with
tripod and carrying case and I guess I need a adapter and one other item
to use a digital camera.    The only shop in town has another brand and
the camera adapter does not screw into the camera but just brases the
camera against the scope and my condition will not allow for such
activities .....

I have been quite wordy but after reviewing your site you appear to be a
'top shelf' kind of guy and I would not bother you for such information
if it was readily available in the market place ....

Anyway cheers my friend ... I have to take my pain medication which does
nothing for my intellect ... but provides some 'quality of life'   and
the pain is worse at night so I look to the heavens for the relief that
morphine can't provide here on earth ....

Mike here: The ETX-80 is a 400mm telescope. So by itself it is like a 400mm telephoto lens if you attach the D70s at Prime Focus (no camera lens nor eyepiece). To increase the magnication (focal length) you would want to do "afocal" or "eyepiece projection" photography, which means shooting through an eyepiece with or without the camera lens. However, the ETX-80 will likely have problems with the D70s weight (my ETX-70 does with my D70). You could work around the weight problem by making a counterweight system. For information on adapters see the Accessory Reviews: Astrophotography page. For more information on using the D70 and other cameras, see the Helpful Information: Astrophotography page.


Thanks a million, I also have the nikon p5000 which is a high end
compact digial which is what I noticed many people on your site have


Subject:	Astrophotography Beginner: Can I Start Inexpensively?
Sent:	Thursday, September 27, 2007 09:19:56
From:	George H. Lenzer (
I've had an interest in observing space since I was a kid (I'm in my
late 30s now).  But, due to the limits of my parent's budget as well as
my own, I never got farther than looking up with cheap binoculars or my
"kiddie telescope" as a pre-teen.  I've been looking online for quite a
few years and I think I'm ready to try and take the plunge with digital
astrophotography.  My main motivation is that many sites I've read about
the subject on imply that it is relatively inexpensive.  It's my hope
that this is true and that with some work, on my part, I can put
something together to pursue this interest.

Currently, I'm still on a limited budget do to being a happy father of a
nearly three year old.  :)  But, my main question for you is: can I get
a basic and usable set of gear for under $500?  I am not averse to
building some things myself, or modifying electronic equipment
(electronics was a huge hobby for me as a kid).  I'm also a Linux user,
so I'm not opposed to having to "cobble" things together.  Hopefully
that doesn't make me sound like a vagrant either.  But, trying to live
within my means and having hobbies that are arguably expensive, I'm
hoping that this is one interest that I can get into without breaking
the bank.  If the answer to my question is no, then I'll just take the
time to save up for an "entry level" set up that you would recommend.

Mike here: There are several easy ways to start. Do you have a digital camera already? If so, you may be able to use that. If it has a shutter that you can keep open for several seconds or minutes then you can take photographs of the night sky by just mounting the camera on a tripod, pointing it at the night sky, and opening the shutter. You can image stars and planets this way, showing the constellations and Milky Way. However, since the camera won't be tracking the night sky movement you will get "star trails". But even those can be nice. The next step up would be to piggyback the camera on an equatorially mounted telescope, letting the telescope track the night sky (automatically or manually). This will reduce or eliminate the star trails. Next up you could mount the camera to "look through" the telescope, with or without an eyepiece (depending on whether your camera has a removable lens or not). However, such mounting requires precise tracking for all but the brightest objects and an equatorial or polar mounted telescope is really required to avoid "field rotation" for longer exposures. If you don't have a suitable digital camera you could get one of the dedicated imagers from Meade, Celestron, Orion, or Sonfest. These are inexpensive yet yield amazing results. However, for Linux there are less solutions (although you will find one article on Linux listed on my Helpful Information: Astrophotography page). Alternatively you could use a webcam; they can also yield amazing results with the proper software (again, likely limited choices for Linux but more for Mac OS X and Windows). For lots more information on astrophotography see the Helpful Information: Astrophotography page. As to a telescope, any telescope can be used for astrophotography but the better the mount and the better the optics, the better the results will be. And the larger the aperture of the telescope is the fainter objects you'll be able to image. There are many excellent starter telescopes that will cost you less than $500 but keep in mind that if you get hooked, you will want to purchase a larger/better telescope fairly quickly.


Thank you very much for the suggestions. I will look at the Helpful
Information section.

Subject:	Off-axes Guider.....
Sent:	Friday, September 14, 2007 10:08:48
From:	Betty L. Myers (
I love your site, read it all the time, but now I have a question?  I
have a ETX125 Pe 5" and a Meade Dsi, color and would like to put an
off-axes guider on so as to be able to see what the camera sees for
off-axes guide stars.   Can this be done with a ETX Telescope.

Lumicon has a Easy Guider that might work with a female adapter but they
aren't sure..

Can you make any suggestion on this.

Thanks          Betty Myers
Mike here: I haven't tried my Meade Off-Axis Guider that I use on my LXD75-8"SC on my ETX models. It may or may not work (weight, inference with the fork arms/base, focus) with the ETX. If an OAG is not designed for the ETX you would likely need a SCT Accessory Adapter (see the Accessory Reviews: Miscellaneous page) but again the same concerns could apply.
Subject:	ETX70
Sent:	Wednesday, September 12, 2007 16:46:03
From: (
I have a  Cannon Digital Rebel SLR camera and i want to take pictures
through my etx70. But, i dont get it! I attach the camera with the
appropriate pieces (T-mount and the mounting ring) but none of the
pictures come out right. They cannot be focused. I don't even understand
why they should now that i have played with it. Isn't the eye piece the
part that magnifies everything? If i atttch the camera to the back of
the ETX70, there is nothing to magnify the view. i have turned the focus
nob all the way in both directions and i can get nothing better than a
VERY blurry  image. I must be doing somthing wrong, but for the life of
me i cant figure it out. There was no documentation that i have found
that explains the process, can you please give me a quick run through on
how i do this?
Mike here: What type of photography are you doing: afocal, eyepiece projection, or prime focus? Also, depending on the camera, type of photography, and the adapter, it may not be possible to reach a focus.
Subject:	ETX astrophotography
Sent:	Monday, September 3, 2007 20:07:48
From:	Geoff Phillips (
Mr. Weasner, first I'd like to thank you for the massive amount of
information available on your website.  I'm an amateur photographer
interested in a scope for piggyback shots and maybe some
through-the-scope work.  Obviously the equatorial mount is the way to
go.  I can't find information to tell me which of the ETX telescopes are
capable of being mounted equatorially.  Also, are the ETX-60,70,80
telescopes built well enough to handle the weight of an SLR camera?  Are
the original etx models (pre-autostar) capable of being equatorially
mounted and used for photography?  What are your personal

I realize you are a busy person and I appologize for dumping so many
questions on you.  I'm a bit of a beginner in the telescope realm and
I'm trying to learn from your site.  Thank you for your time.

Geoff Phillips
Vilonia, AR
Mike here: All the ETX models can be mounted equatorially with the proper tripod (the tripods that are included with the ETX-60/70/80 models are Alt/Az only so you would need a different tripod or make a "wedge"). Some lightweight SLRs could be used with the ETX-60/70/80 models; my Nikon D70 DSLR is too heavy for my ETX-70 when equatorially mounted. A counterweight system may be necessary for some cameras (it probably would have helped with my D70). The ETX-90RA (the original ETX model) can be used for astrophotography (it is the model I started with and one I still use). For more information on doing astrophotography with the ETX telescopes see the Helpful Information: Astrophotography page.


Thank you for your help and advice!

Subject:	Lunar Photography - Question regarding focusing
Sent:	Sunday, August 26, 2007 23:32:46
From:	Wuf Wuf (
I have an ETX90C and canon eos 30D. With the t-adapter
I having been experimenting for the last few nights.
The pictures always come blurry. Here is the sample...

Any tips appreciated.

Thank you

Mike here: Focusing a DSLR through a telescope is a challenge. You can try making a "Hartmann Mask" (see the Helpful Information: Astrophotography page). There are other methods as well but a Hartmann Mask is the simplest and can be effective. If you want a more effective (but more costly) solution, check out the "Stiletto Focuser" I discuss on my LXD Site ( To attach it to an ETX you would need a "SCT Accessory Adapter" (see the ETX Site Accessory Reviews: Miscellaneous page). I haven't yet tested it with my ETX (which are packed up for a move).
Subject:	What DSLR's are good for ETX-90 Astrophotography?
Sent:	Thursday, August 23, 2007 12:03:49
From:	Yesid Lopez (
I recently bought a used Nikon D-100. It works nicely for wide-field
astrophoto but it's way too heavy for my old - but always neat- ETX-90.

I'd like to buy a lighter and newer DSLR.

Would the Pentax K-100D be a good choice?

I'd really appreciate it if you could take a quick look at the DSLR
items posted at
Sincerely your,
Yesid Lpez
Bogota, Colombia
South America.
Mike here: I have used my Nikon D70 DSLR with my ETX-90RA on a few occasions (but mostly on my LXD75-8"SC). I have no experience with other DSLR models but you can see reports from others on Canon, Nikon, Olympus, and Pentax DSLRs on the Helpful Information: Astrophotography page.
Subject:	Question from a ETX 70AT user
Sent:	Tuesday, August 21, 2007 20:03:46
From: (
I'm new at this, so bear with me. I really need some help here! I have a
ETX-70 AT and want to mount my Canon Digital Rebel XTI to it. What would
be the best set up for this? What do I need to get to use the camera
with the telescope? Is mounting the camera to the back of the telescope
better? I don't know how this works. I want to be able to get close up
pictures of the moon and would love to get some pics of the planets
beyond. If you can describe the different setup options I have with the
scope I have and the equipment I need, I would really appriciate it.
Matt Roach
P.S. The website is awesome!
Mike here: There are several ways to attach a camera to a telescope: piggyback on the telescope (for wide angle long exposures of the night sky), on the rear port (somewhat problematic with the ETX-70 due to the camera weight), at the eyepiece hole (without an eyepiece or camera lens), with an eyepiece and no camera lens ("eyepiece projection"), or with an eyepiece and a camera lens (afocal photography). For piggyback, best results will be obtained with the telescope mounted in polar mode (to avoid "field rotation" as the telescope tracks the night sky movement). For information on adapters see the Accessory Reviews: Astrophotography page. You can easily make a piggyback adapter using some of the tips on the Helpful Information: Astrophotography page. For information on using Canon cameras, read through the Canon pages on the Astrophotography page. Keep in mind that piggyback is the easiest and afocal is the hardest, with eyepiece project the next hardest, to get good results. With the Moon and brighter planets you can sometimes do afocal photography by focusing the eyepiece to your eye and then just holding the camera and lens over the eyepiece and take a picture through the eyepiece. Typically those would be a fraction of a second exposure. For longer duration exposures you will have to mount the camera to the telescope and might need to make a "counterweight" (tips on the Astrophotography page). Have fun! And while it might be challenging, there are some excellent examples of astrophotography done by others with the ETX-70 on my Site.
Subject:	Question about DSLR and astrophotography.
Sent:	Saturday, August 11, 2007 16:39:15
From:	Giovanni Sades Pareja (
I just ordered my new 10" LX90GPS telescope as well as some accessories
like a t-mount and a t-ring to fit my Nikon D50 to the telescope. This
will be my very first astrophotography experience, and I'm investing
some time to learn as much as possible about this subject before my
scope arrives.

I have ridden a lot information about astrophotography, but still been
unable to find how to calculate power when using prime focus technique.
What gets me confused is that power is usually calculated focal length /
eyepiece diameter, but when prime focusing, there is no eyepiece; just
the camera body.

Is there any way to know what the resulting power is going to be?

Your site is excellent!!! I learn each time I browse it.

Mike here: At prime focus the telescope becomes like a very long telephoto lens. So, if your D50 is "1X" with a 70mm lens, then you do the calculation for your telescope (telescope focal length / your camera lens "1X" focal length).
Subject:	Meade LPI Toucam II Pro and a very frustrating day...
Sent:	Tuesday, July 10, 2007 14:18:35
A tale of a very frustrating day...

I am in the process of trying to get some distance between the laptop
and the scope to have clear 360 degree arc round the tripod.

So far I have used a 5.0M Cat 5 lead with a RJ45 gender changer and the
curly HBX lead to connect the Autostar handbox - NOTE CURLY LEAD MUST
serial cable to connect the computer to the laptop and this came with a
prolific USB to RS232 Adaptor installed. Previously I used a Targus
one...and a 5.0M Active USB2.0 Extension lead. Power gets run back to
the PC end where a 110AH Lesiure battery powers the Laptop through a
Suitable adaptor as well as the scope and various other bits and pieces.

The cables are loomed with the handbox off on a limb about half way
between the tripod and the PC - sorry for the text pic...seems to work
ok as it means you can have the handbox with you both at the scope and
at the PC "desk".
   I ---------- HBX
I have both A Meade LPI and A Toucam II Pro (840k) and have spent a
whole day getting the LPI to work on the same computer and same USB
port - extended using the "active" 5.0M extension lead.Both Cameras
would work using Microsofts Capture program but the LPI would not work
using the LPI imaging module (Envisage 4) in Autostar Suite. I was
convinced the problem was because I had connected the Toucam.

Couldn't work out what was going on....Searched your site for
clues....LPI was fine on another PC on the end of the Extension or
directly into the usb port...

In the end decided to do a clean OS install on the Laptop - a quick
process from the recovery partition - and incremently add hardware and

Anyway to cut a long story short - everything was fine until the
"Prolific" drivers were installed at which point the LPI imaging module
of Autostar Suite would just hang with no video displayed...

Went back to the Targus Adaptor and now everything seems to work so that
I can use either of the two cameras at 5.0m distance with Autostar Suite
controlling the scope.

Tried all combinations tonight with a few reboots and seems everything
is ok.

Hopefully when we eventually get some decent weather in the UK I will be
able to compare the both cameras with and without the focal reducer and

Moral to the tale... check everything....every time you change

Subject:	Stiletto Focuser
Sent:	Tuesday, July 10, 2007 13:56:35
From:	Tom Collins (
Since I bought my Canon EOS 30D, I have been eagerly following your DSLR
photography with specific emphasis on focusing.  I know first hand
focusing on a dim object on the small screen is frustrating.  With
turbulence in the atmosphere often adding to the challenge, I find many
pictures close but just off the mark.  Looking for a solution, I found
the Stiletto Focuser on the internet and started emailing Richard Shell.
If fact I offered to submit a review of his product to your website if
he would provide me a focuser.  Unfortunately, it did not work out as I
had hoped, but at least he sent a unit to you.  Do to the relatively
high cost of the focuser, I really want to know if it will work and be
practical to use before I spend $200.  Therefore I am really looking
forward to the results from your next Oracle Observatory visit.  Are you
planning any dates in the near future?
Tom Collins
Chatsworth, CA
Mike here: I also look forward to my next observing trip to Oracle to work more with the Stiletto Focuser. Unfortunately, right now I don't know exactly when that will be but I'm hopeful it will be soon.

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