Last updated: 27 August 2007
Subject: Mac and LPI Sent: Friday, August 24, 2007 16:17:06 From: Matt Hollinshead (email@example.com) Just a quick question, I'm a mac user so can I use a Meade LPI camera with my ETX running OS X Tiger or will i have to use Virtual PC. Or Even an Intel Mac and Boot Camp. Is There a workaround? PS or even a cheap webcam you may know works??!! Thanks in advance Matt United KingdomMike here: See my article "AutoStar Suite on a Macintosh" on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page as well as the item "LPI with Mac OS X" on the Helpful Information: Astrophotography page. Bottom line: to use Meade's software you have to run under Windows or a Windows replacement such as listed on the Helpful Information: Astronomy & Intel Mac Systems page.
Subject: Your Meade LPI page Sent: Tuesday, July 10, 2007 14:45:01 From: CPS (firstname.lastname@example.org) I found the LPI section of your website - http://www.weasner.com/etx/astrophotography/lpi.html - and I am wondering how did you get the exposure of Saturn's moons. Was it one long exposure or a composite of several exposures? Thank you. Charles P. SandsMike here: Yes, it can be both. Typically it is best to stack multiple images, throwing out the bad ones. By the way, that's an older LPI page. See the Helpful Information: Astrophotography page for the link to the current page.
Subject: HELP: what happens to my new LPI? Sent: Thursday, July 5, 2007 22:06:45 From: Erika Jimnez (email@example.com) I need your help again, I have a new LPI CMOS camera. I install the software, and when is the time I put the LPI in my telescope (ETX-125PE), all cables are connected (USB and Comm Port). I turn on the Telescope, and I click on the LPI tab in the Autostar Software, the LPI window appears, so I can see a dark image, with little color spots. I was in my bedroom, but i try to point my ETX in a picture, in a nearby wall, but I just see the same kind of image, the color change but nothing clear appears. My question is: The LPI works like a regular camera or is this rare image normal?? Because i believed if I pointed in some object, this object appears, like a regular camera. I bought the LPI this afternoon, and can not try pointing in a nearby structure, like a building. Sorry for my bad english, and thanks a lot for your comments!Mike here: Couple of things: First you need to focus the telescope and LPI on a distant object rather than something in your room. Use a tree (when the wind is not blowing), street sign, or building. Second, you likely need to shorten the exposure adjustment for a daytime terrestrial object, otherwise you will be overexposing the image.
Subject: Meade LPI USB Driver for Windows Vista -- The Saga Continues... Sent: Tuesday, June 12, 2007 10:19:41 From: Brian Miller (firstname.lastname@example.org) I have been searching for ways to get my trusty LPI to function in the Windows Vista environment without success. Even when I run the Autostar Suite in "compatability mode" as a Windows XP SP2 application Vista fails to recognize the USB driver for the LPI... it prompts me to contact the manufacturer for a Vista driver. For the last two and a half months I have done that. My last e-mail was through their new customer service page, and I included my contact information. Six weeks went by without a response from Meade, so I e-mailed their engineering department yesterday and got a quick response. Ironically, it was nothing more than an automated response that suggested I go through the steps I already followed. From: "Engineer" (email@example.com) Save Address Reminder To: "Brian Miller" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: RE: LPI USB Driver for Windows Vista Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2007 15:47:44 +0000 [View Source] Dear Mr. Miller, Thank you for contacting the Engineering Department about your particular situation. The engineer mailbox is not for Customer Service assistance but is intended for suggestions and comments that will help the Engineering Department improve or correct Meade products. We have found that resolving problems is more efficient and accurate when it is discussed personally with a Customer Service Representative. This permits them to ask questions and make suggestions that will give the best results. Meade Customer Service can be reached at (949) 451-1450. If you prefer, online assistance is also now available from Meade Instruments Customer Service. Please submit your inquiry to the new Meade Customer Solutions at the following web location, http://www.meade.com/support/index.html You will receive a quick response and also find other helpful resources for your Meade products. Regards, Meade Engineering Department -----Original Message----- From: Brian Miller [mailto:email@example.com] Sent: Monday, June 11, 2007 12:26 PM To: Engineer Subject: LPI USB Driver for Windows Vista Hello Meade Instruments, I e-mailed Meade Technical Support approximately six weeks ago through the website and have not received a response, so I thought I would try again. Perhaps my e-mail got lost in the slush pile? I have been a life-long owner of Meade telescopes, and I have owned a Meade LPI since 2005. I use it extensively with both of my Meade telescopes on my old Windows XP laptop. Recently I aquired a new laptop that runs Windows Vista, and I was planning to purchase a Meade DSI. I installed the Autostar Suite Software on the Vista machine without any problems, but the LPI camera will not function. I have read reports that the Meade DSI will not function in the Windows Vista environment either, so I have not purchased the additional imager. My question is: Does Meade have a USB driver patch that will allow the LPI to function in the Windows Vista environment? If the answer is "yes", when might we expect the download to be available on the Meade website? If the answer is "no", can you please explain why Meade has chosen not to support the LPI in the Windows Vista environment? Thank you for your cooperation and assistance. I look forward to your reply. Sincerely, Brian Miller ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- So the saga continues... I will try camping out on the telephone this afternoon and see if they have come up with a solution. As I said in my e-mail to the engineering department, I was thinking about buying a DSI, but I am reluctant to spend more money on Meade products that will not function in the Windows Vista environment. Hope all is well. Brian Miller Spring Valley, CA
Subject: Mike Lakey here, Finsally got my LPI working Sent: Sunday, May 27, 2007 11:49:50 From: Michael Lakey (firstname.lastname@example.org) Thanks for your help before. I found some updates for the LPI and it works now. I'll send you a pic of the moon and you can tell me how I did. Saturn though, I could only get a lil' blob of light on the screen, would you know why that is. Should I use the para-focal ring? I could also only take 1 frame at a time cause my batteries ran out on my telescope. Again, I have a Meade ETX 80mm. I also downloaded registax, so if you got any tips on that it would be much appreciated. Thanks a Bunch, Mike Lakey
Subject: LPI ACCESSORIES Sent: Monday, May 14, 2007 03:22:30 From: hameed haji (email@example.com) Hi, I just thought I would share my wonderfull experience with my new etx125 with you and the community. Your website is by far the best ETX resource on the web! I got the meade LPI with the scope and this was pretty disappointing on the moon, how i can take a photo of full moon and what is your suggestion, and if there is any accessories pls advise , because as i read there is some Adapters or Reducer but i need more information's. best regards hameedMike here: With the ETX-125 you can't image the Moon's entire disk with the LPI (or most imagers) without using a focal reducer or wide-field adapter (WFA). For info on focal reducers, just do a search on the ETX Site for "LPI focal reducer". For info on the Shutan WFA see the Accessory Reviews: Showcase Products page. Alternatively you can make several exposures, each of a different portion on the Moon and then put them together in an image processing application.
Subject: "Request for Assistance" Meade LPI Sent: Tuesday, May 8, 2007 13:34:57 From: Peter Koch (firstname.lastname@example.org) Found your very informative LPI website, and thought it might be OK for me to drop you an email asking for some assistance. Just bought a Meade LPI incl. ASS. The software installation went smooth and communication with the LPI seems to work perfectly. I'm running ASS ver. 3.23 and AutoStar Envisage ver. 5.85. Have no idea about the LPI version -- sorry. Now, from many postings on your website I understand that it is very difficult to focus the live picture on the screen --- same for me too. I'm using a Bresser Messier 4" refractor --- LPI attached directly at the eyepiece-holder without any eyepiece or Barlow. Focusing, however, becomes difficult because the live picture is VERY shaky -- the picture moves from sample to sample. I thought we were talking about still images here, but the picture is everything else than still -- even when I focus on a fixed object, such as a building. Is this a normal behaviour, and if yes, are there anything I can do to change this characteristic of an otherwise nice camera...??? Look forward to receive your answer -- thanks a lot. Best regards Peter Koch Aalborg, DenmarkMike here: If the image is unsteady that would seem to indicate that the mount is unsteady or not tracking well. I suggest dealing with that first.
Thanks a lot for your prompt reply -- I appreciate very much your time. Well, my mount is steady as a rock, and even focusing on objects such as buildings, I observe that the live picture on the PC screen moves slightly from side to side. I know it is very difficult for you to give specific advises without having seen my setup, but (as many other people dealing with the LPI for the first time) I'm very frustrated about the situation --- the price for the LPI here in Denmark is still 200 USD, so I expected at least some reasonable performance. OK -- another thing I was wondering about (allow me to spend a few more minutes of your time); Do you have any experiences using the LPI together with an eyepiece or a telecompressor..?? I think it would be nice to have the option zooming a little in and out, and not having to accept the given LPI FOV all the time. Thanks. -PeterMike here: I am not certain why terrestrial objects would show an image shifting. I didn't experience that when I first tried out the LPI. As to changing the FOV/magnification, you can use a Barlow Lens or a Focal Reducer with the LPI.
OK Mike --- once again, thanks for your valuable feedback. I'l keep on experimenting... Best -Peter
Subject: Saturn image Sent: Friday, May 4, 2007 08:40:48 From: Udo Demmer (email@example.com) Recently I bought a Meade ETX 125 CE together with the Meade LPI camera. It is my first own telescope and I am a newcomer in the field of astrophotography. Therefore I am quite happy with the outcome of an observation of Saturn from the 30th April 2007 22:15 UT. Observation location: Pinneberg near Hamburg, Germany (5339'N; 947'E). Observation conditions: clear sky but light pollution by the moon and city lights. Recording: ETX 125 CE, LPI, 2x short focus Barlow (Meade #126), K3CCDTools, 2575 raw images, processed with Registax 4, 1165 images stacked (quality > 90 %). Image enhancement with Registax (drizzle factor 2, wavelet filter) and Paint Shop Pro. Generally I have problems with the focusing / sharpness. It would be helpful for me to get some tips, e.g. would there be an improvement by using a high quality tele-extender instead of the low cost Barlow lens ? Greetings to the community. Udo Demmer
Subject: Re: Meade LPI Problems Sent: Monday, April 9, 2007 10:15:03 From: Michael Lakey (firstname.lastname@example.org) Thanks for responding. See this is the thing, I have the #494, do I have to upgrade and what is the #505 serial cable for, is that to be able to use the Auto Star handbox w/ the Laptop? My OS is a Sony intel Celeron processor w/ XP professional. Like I said, I get an image for about a couple of seconds but then it goes out. It actually worked on my PC for about ten minutes then when out as well. I know i must be doing something wrong. Again I'm about as much of an ametuer as an ametuer can get without being completely clueless as to what to do with this CCD camera. I'm just extremely frustrated and will appreciate any help you can give me. I just don't know all the jargon used in astrophotography, so it is a little difficult to understand exactly what some of the stuff means on your site, though it did answer some questions. Thanks again Mike and I hope you can help me a little bit.Mike here: You will need the AutoStar #497 if you want to control the telescope (via the AutoStar) from the software running on your computer. The LPI package should have included the #505 serial cable. If your computer doesn't have a real RS-232 port you will need a USB-serial adapter. NOTE that not all the adapters out there work reliably with the AutoStar; see the article "AutoStar and USB" on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page. As to why the LPI image comes and goes, don't know. Have you set the exposure properly for the object you are trying to view?
Subject: Meade LPI Problems Sent: Saturday, April 7, 2007 15:00:02 From: Michael Lakey (email@example.com) I had recently bought an LPI and cannot get it to work at all. I am not to computer savvy, but know how to install a program, the basics you know. Envisage is saying that my camera is not connected, but it is and I get an unfocused image for about 1or 2 seconds and then a black or white screen. It even locks up sometimes. I really don't want to think I spent $100 for nothing, being that I've seen people getting great images with the same scope and camera. Oh yeah, I have a ETX-80mm AutoStar telescope. I love the scope but am disappointed with the image software so far. Hope You Can Help, Mike Lakey, very amateur astronomerMike here: First off, to get the best use of the LPI and the AutoStar Suite software you will need a #497 AutoStar (has number keys on the keypad). If your ETX-80 has only a #494 (no number keys) then you can not use the #505 serial cable that came with the LPI. As to the LPI itself, it should work if your USB port is working. What OS are you using?
Subject: Saturn with ETX90 and LPI Sent: Monday, April 2, 2007 06:49:36 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (email@example.com) I'm still learning but this past weekend I managed to capture Saturn in between all the clouds with my best shot so far. For 90mm I'm quite pleased with this one and it gave me an opportunity to record my settings to use as a guide in the future. I'll include the settings I used that night with the hope that it may be of use to someone new to the LPI/ETX90 setup as I am. March 31st: 10:48 pm LPI/Envisage setup: (LPI used with 2x Barlow) Gain - 93 Offset - 35 Histogram - 1 - 179 Exposure - 1 second shadow - 1 contrast - 1 Kernel Filter - EdgeEnhanceHard Apply after 10 images Save process - BMP; save all uncombined images Color: exposure - 50 (seems to be the default position, I just left it alone) Brightness 84 Contrast - 1465 Hue - 41 Saturation - 1106 Sharpness - 280 Gamma - 650 White Balance - 50 (checked for Auto) Saved images were stacked with Registax, applied a fair amount of wavelet for layers 1,2,3&4. Further processed with "The Gimp" photo editor. (unsharp mask, etc.) I collected about 200 .bmp files before the clouds came by again. Ran Registax "lowest quality" setting set to 70%, I then eliminated a few more leaving about 160 .bmp files to stack. Thanks, Joe Walmach Saylorsburg, PA.
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