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 (
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?
Mike 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
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

Thanks in advance.

Maurice Gavin
Mike 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: (
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,

Mike 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 (
This is my first successful DS image with my Meade ETX-80.

8 30 Second Exposures. Stacked/Processed In DeepSkyStacker.

Subject:	Re: DSI Not recognised
Sent:	Tuesday, February 12, 2008 02:33:22
From:	Jim Beston (
I've ordered a DSI II from the excellent 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
I'll let you know if anything interesting turns up.


Subject:	Windows Vista driver installation procedure for Meade DSI
Sent:	Sunday, February 10, 2008 07:58:11
From:	Jim Beston (
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!

Subject:	Meade DSI help needed.
Sent:	Saturday, February 9, 2008 17:04:29
From:	Jim Block (
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 (
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.



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

Best regards,

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
Here are my latest DSI II color Images with the 8" SCT.
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 (
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
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
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...

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
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...
And after some further work with Noel Carboni's Astro Actions for CS

Subject:	Peltier (TEC) Cooling of Maede DSI's
Sent:	Thursday, January 10, 2008 14:40:00
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
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 ;)
Mike here: Perhaps the info at 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...

Subject:	Latest DSI Color Images 8" SCT with f3.3 FR
Sent:	Sunday, January 6, 2008 13:49:30
Here they are...
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....
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
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

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

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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Submittal Copyright © 2008 by the Submitter