Last updated: 24 April 2008
This page covers the various models of the Meade Deep Sky Imager and DSI Pro with your 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: Attaching a meade DSI to an EXT125 Sent: Tuesday, April 22, 2008 09:24:40 From: Joseph Duider (firstname.lastname@example.org) I have officially gotten telescope disease. I am looking to get a Meade DSI to starts doing astrophotography. I realize that for deep sky things I'll need to get a focal reducer. I am looking to get the meade 3.3 reducer. My question is, how does the DSI with a 1.25" nose attach to the focal reducer? does it connect directly or will I need to get something to go between them to make them fit together? Thanks, JoeMike here: The Meade focal reducer is for SCT telescopes so you would need an SCT adapter. See the Accessory Reviews: Miscellaneous page for more info. Alternatively you could get a focal reducer for the ETX. See the Accessory Reviews: Astrophotography page. The Meade adapter would require an adapter to convert from the SCT thread to an eyepiece holder.
Subject: Meade DSI drivers Sent: Saturday, April 12, 2008 07:03:44 From: email@example.com I have on loan a Meade DSI cam + leads but no supporting CD software. I've downloaded and installed latest Autostar-Suite from Meade site but can't find the DSI drivers when the cam USB is plugged in to the laptop and Google search proves fruitless. Any tip or suitable URLs for the drivers? Thanks in advance. regards Maurice GavinMike here: If you installed the full version (and not an updater) then you should have the drivers. Are you using Vista? If so, see the article "DSI and Microsoft Vista" on the Helpful Information: Astrophotography page.
Subject: My new DSI Sent: Saturday, March 29, 2008 20:39:28 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (email@example.com) Hi again, my new problem is with my new DSI CCD from Meade. I got it home and to my luck the first night was clear and dark all be it cold Approx. 32 when I came in. I am not sure that the cold would make malfunction but maybe. I have heard of it getting to warm then not working but not the other way around. I have all the cables that came with it and am using them. All I get when I plug it in is a "bar code" just a bunch of vertical lines across the "live" picture area. I first got a bunch of red dots then it went to the lines shortly after that. After a disappointing night of photography, but a great night of viewing I went to bed upset. I got up the next morning determined to figure out what I did wrong the night before. I spent around 8 hours trying to figure it out. Now to make things worse in away, tonight is a mirror of last night clear and dark. this never happens two nights in a row. Worse yet, still no working DSI. I watched all the videos on the Meade site and still can't get it to work. Does this still sound like a rookie mistake or am I right in thinking I bought a "Friday" or "Monday" DSI just bad from the factory? Thanks for any help you can send, and again thanks and love your site. Clear Skies, KenMike here: I don't have a DSI so can't comment from direct experience. But some typical problems for new users seem to be overexposure settings or insufficient power on the USB port from the computer or using USB 1 when USB 2 is really required. Have you tried it in the daytime on a terrestrial object? Of course the exposure settings would have to be short. You could try the test inside the house and even shoot through a window since you are not after a clear image, just an image.
Subject: Orion Image with the Meade DSI Sent: Friday, February 15, 2008 13:34:44 From: Jim Block (firstname.lastname@example.org) This is my first successful DS image with my Meade ETX-80. http://i30.tinypic.com/x6j7yc.jpg 8 30 Second Exposures. Stacked/Processed In DeepSkyStacker.
Subject: Re: DSI Not recognised Sent: Tuesday, February 12, 2008 02:33:22 From: Jim Beston (email@example.com) I've ordered a DSI II from the excellent http://www.f1cameras.co.uk/ here in the UK and the proprieter, Luigi Papagno, suggested that I return the defunct DSI I to him and he will try to get it looked at to see how it failed. I'll let you know if anything interesting turns up. Regards, Jim
Subject: Windows Vista driver installation procedure for Meade DSI Sent: Sunday, February 10, 2008 07:58:11 From: Jim Beston (firstname.lastname@example.org) This refers to Brian Miller's topic of the 5th of this month. When trying to load the Autostar software on a vista PC (to check if my DSI was broken) I checked to see if my LPI was recognised. Windows Vista saw the attached LPI and proceeded to install the device software. However, this was not completed and the error "Not enough storage is avaiable to complete this operation" was displayed. I don't know what sort of storage is required but it is obviously not HDD capacity because the PC has about 750GB free! Good Luck Brian! Regards Jim
Subject: Meade DSI help needed. Sent: Saturday, February 9, 2008 17:04:29 From: Jim Block (email@example.com) can the dsi film in avi format? and what is the equivalent eyepiece to the dsi? like a 6mm or a 9mm? im not sure
Subject: DSI Not recognised Sent: Saturday, February 9, 2008 13:17:22 From: Jim Beston (firstname.lastname@example.org) MY DSI (1) after performing faultlessly for some years is not now recognised by my laptop. I can't believe that the DSI is at fault, since it has been well looked after and the problem has arisen since I last updated my Autostar suite. I have the latest envisage software download. I am tempted to reload the drivers from the original disk that came with the DSI. I don't think I can do this without reloading the original software and I am concerned not to make matters worse. I know that you are not a great fan of MS Windows, but can you offer any advice that might help me. Thanks Jim PS I was outraged to hear of the theft of your equipment. I hope that the despicable theif or thieves get their just deserts and that you get it back (hope it was insured!)Mike here: Are you running USB 1 or USB 2? Also, you might try a powered USB hub; sometimes that can resolve problems. If you are running Vista, there are some problems.
I am running USB 2 Mike, with Windows XP. The thing is the DSI has worked ok for ages. I believe that once before it came up with this error and then was ok. I may have been using a USB 1 cable (I havent a clue why there should be any difference between a USB 1 and 2 cable - maybe resistance?). I am using the correct cables now. I am tempted to erase all Meade software and start again from scratch, but I think I'll try and load it all on my desktop PC and see what happens there. It is Vista, but I believe Meade have issued a Vista patch. Thanks for your, as usual, prompt reply and I'll let you know what happens. Best regards, Jim
And an update:
I have tried installing the DSI (Autorstar/Envisage) software on two Vista PCs and although the LPI is recognised the DSI insn't so I must conclude that it is broken. I looked inside the unit but can see no sign of damage etc. I now need to consider a replacement. Not sure wether I will go for a later model DSI (II or III) or something else. Either way it is going to cost a lot of s. Have you any preference Mike? I actually wonder if it would be more cost-effective in the long run to use some sort of SLR (for my LX200GPS) but I have no experience of this sort of astrophotography.Mike here: Certainly the newer DSI models have more capabilities. They can work on a broad range of telescopes. SLR photography (film or digital) can also be used on a broad range of telescopes and many of the same techniques apply to the image processing. But the AutoStar Suite software automates a lot of that image processing for you.
Subject: Meade DSI II Color Images but throught the CPC800XLT Sent: Sunday, February 3, 2008 13:24:13 From: PETER SMITH (email@example.com) Here are my latest DSI II color Images with the 8" SCT. picasaweb.google.co.uk/PsychoBillyUK/AstroPhotography/photo#5162517114647073042 picasaweb.google.co.uk/PsychoBillyUK/AstroPhotography/photo#5162517123237007650 picasaweb.google.co.uk/PsychoBillyUK/AstroPhotography/photo#5162517127531974962 picasaweb.google.co.uk/PsychoBillyUK/AstroPhotography/photo#5162517131826942274 Peter Smith UK. Wishing you Clear Skies for you trip to the Oracle :)
Subject: RE: DSI II Color Manual Sent: Tuesday, January 15, 2008 17:09:39 From: Stephen Bird (firstname.lastname@example.org) I don't think Meade ever did a DSI II Manual specifically, the only difference was the chip size as far as I recall. Anyway try this URL for all the manuals / some good instructionals that are available for the DSI II: http://www.optcorp.com/product.aspx?pid=319-320-445-7840&tb=3 Regards Stephen Bird
Subject: A stack of 2 Nights Imaging of M42 DSI II color 8"SCT f3.3 Sent: Sunday, January 13, 2008 14:15:37 From: PETER SMITH (email@example.com) As I might of said I only get 30-40 mins of clear M42 from the home site every night so I have started stackign images from each night. Here's my latest Image... http://www.btinternet.com/~psmithuk/AstroPhotos/FITS/M42_LRGB_All_L.jpg So far I have only stacked the L data from both nights as I felt there was a reasonable ammount of color data there. Peter Smith (UK)
Subject: I know your away so just links ... Sent: Friday, January 11, 2008 10:00:57 From: PETER SMITH (firstname.lastname@example.org) Fist light images taken with the DSI II Color . Its been poring with rain for a few days but the skies broke for an hour or so last night. The scope and camera were warm so had to keep adjusting focus all the time far from ideal but did manage to grab 45 x 5.6s Subs with the DSI II Color over a period of about 30 mins. Still Alt/Az mounted and using drizzle to counter the field rotation as much as possible images stacked and saved in Fits3P format and processed in CS3 (now that I have worked out how to do it!)...After all the excuses here's the first attempt... http://www.btinternet.com/~psmithuk/AstroPhotos/FITS/M42FirstLightDSI_IIC.jpg And after some further work with Noel Carboni's Astro Actions for CS http://www.btinternet.com/~psmithuk/AstroPhotos/8inSCT/M42FirstLightNCtools.jpg Regards, Peter.
Subject: Peltier (TEC) Cooling of Maede DSI's Sent: Thursday, January 10, 2008 14:40:00 From: PETER SMITH (email@example.com) Just taken apart what I thought was a dead 12VDC cooler box....(had been in contact with salt water from a previous "hobby")....all that was wrong was the wire had broken where it left the plug but it got me thinking....So i took the "lid" apart. This has two heatsinks and fans sandwiched either side of a reasonably sized TEC plate I ran it for about 10 mins and got quite a decent cooling of the cold side heatsink so the TEC is working..... I'm thinking of machining it down and fitting an 80x80mm fan to the hotside heatsink and attachign it to the back of a DSI II Color just to see how cold I can get the CCD.... Anybody else tried this already? Peter Smith (UK)
Subject: DSI II Color Manual Sent: Monday, January 7, 2008 10:18:05 From: PETER SMITH (firstname.lastname@example.org) With the arrival of the DSI III's I have taken the opportunity of picking up a DSI II Color at the new reduced price. I have trawled the meade site but he manuals for the DSI II's are no longer there :( Was thinking of going the ATIK route but I am used to the software and the Drizzle Alignment mode is a real bonus whilst im still "playing" on the Alt/Az aligned scope. Should have it tomorrow which means it will rain for the next 2 weeks ;) PeterMike here: Perhaps the info at http://autostarsuite.net/files/default.aspx will help.
Thanks for the suggestion but... Unfortunately not there either... Info on DSI I and DSI III but nothing on the DSI II :( same as the Meade Site - Hopefully the DSI II wasn't so bad that Meade have decide to remove all traces of it from the WWW.... Been through 29 pages of search results and no manual turned up anywhere. Still in "hare" mode at the moment so sacrificing quality for speed by going for the Color over the Pro as most of my imaging opportunities are grabbed between the clouds... Regards, Peter.
Subject: Latest DSI Color Images 8" SCT with f3.3 FR Sent: Sunday, January 6, 2008 13:49:30 From: PETER SMITH (email@example.com) Here they are... http://www.btinternet.com/~psmithuk/AstroPhotos/8inSCT/M1_Crab_Nebula.jpg http://www.btinternet.com/~psmithuk/AstroPhotos/8inSCT/M42_Gr_Orion_Nebula.jpg http://www.btinternet.com/~psmithuk/AstroPhotos/8inSCT/M51_Whirlpool_Galaxy.jpg Time for a new CCD imgaer I think maybe TEC cooled B&W with filters this time with Autoguider Output... And to set the scene.... http://www.btinternet.com/~psmithuk/AstroPhotos/imgorionskyglow768.jpg Suprising how noticeable the start trails are even at 15mm FL - 30s f4 @ ISO 1600
Subject: Meade DSI Color....Taking Dark Frame Sets inthe fridge... Sent: Thursday, January 3, 2008 07:48:41 From: PETER SMITH (firstname.lastname@example.org) Being Bored and with the prospect of yet another cloudy night without even the slight compensation of a dusting of snow...(apologies to the astronomical community I broke my own suggested moratorium and bought an f3.3 FR an T adaptor kit thereby ensuring another extension to the cloudy nights) I thought I'd do a little experiment and see how long a Meade DSI Color takes to cool down and how the noise levels and Darks varied with temperature. The Meade DSI Color is supposed to be able to take multiple sets of darks at various temperatures and then match the best dark frame to those stored. Seeing as my last comprehensive set of darks was taken in the summer I decided to use the fridge to create a winter set - now is this a sensible thing to do... Well thought I'd give it a go anyway. I'm doing sets from 1s to 15S every 5 degrees and will do a set from 1s to 2 mins once the temperature has stabilised. At the moment without the wedge i tend to keep individual frames below 15s. I will still do a proper dark at the time of exposure but some rough ones might clean up the images whilst I'm setting up... Waiting to see the results.... Peter Smith (UK)Mike here: I've heard of some digital camera astrophotographers putting their digital cameras in the freezer before taking shots. You just have to be certain to avoid condensation after taking it outside.
The air in the fridge is at 5C and the case of the DSI COlor has stabilised at 12C after 2 hours. Before I put it in it was at 30C from an ambient of 20C so the electronics are certainly generating a bit of heat.... The last few nights I have been out the air temp has been at or below 0C and I had noticed the "noise" changing on images throughout the night as the temperature of the DSI fell. Obviously theres no substitute for taking "proper" darks just before and just after a series of exposures but to create a complete set at stable temp this should work - now running a set from 1s to 4mins which takes over an hour... I have got one of those cheap 12V DC powered TEC cooled cooler boxes which used to be able to drop the inside temp about 15C below ambient... hmmm another plan brewing I think...will need a good clean though as it use to be my Fishing Bait Cooler... I'm not sure about dew issues... but only one way to find out.... Don't think the Nikon D200's going to be heading for the fridge though....The Meade F3.3 FR turned up today withe the SCT -T CCD adaptor set so I can now swing the D200 through the forks of the scope. and also got a 1x-2.5X right angled finder for the camera to try and help with focusing by enlarging the image from the hartman masks..all I need is clear skies.... Peter Smith (UK)
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