Last updated: 18 July 2009
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: Re: Drivers for DSI/DSI Pro (original) Sent: Thursday, July 16, 2009 07:26:15 From: richard seymour (firstname.lastname@example.org) One thing that Autostar Suite v5.5 gives you 9if you haven't installed it already) is the new v5.6 ASU (Autostar Updater), which is much smarter about not damaging old 497 Autostars with the new 497EP programming. ASU 5.6 is now available as a separate download from Meade's site, http://www.meade.com/support/auto.html but back in May, AutostarSuite v5.5 was the only way to get it. have fun --dickMike here: The text on the Meade site still says "5.2" even though it labels the item "5.6".
Subject: Drivers for DSI/DSI Pro (original) Sent: Tuesday, July 14, 2009 06:04:01 From: Peter Hughes (email@example.com) searched the archive on this one and can only find references to downloading Autostar Suite. I just downloaded AS 5.5 from Meade"s website and then tried to connect my (various) CCD imagers to it on a new Acer One (XP SP3) netbook. The LPI drivers were present , downloaded via MS's Install Wizard, and the camera is recognised and visible in Envisage. However, when I look for DSI drivers, the Install wizard returns 'driver not found'. any ideas on this one? Really I am looking for a link to the DSI driver, seperate from AS 5.5, (which I have downloaded twice, just to make sure I didn't miss anything). Just as an aside, these new(?) small-form netbooks are a wonder, this one measures about 8.5" by 6", has a 160Gb hard drive and costs $400-500US!! Much as I would like to migrate to the big 'Apple', (I aready have the excellent iPod Touch for my planetarium software) I can't really justify it - on cost alone. Clear Skies Peter C Hughes Grand Cayman
From: richard seymour (firstname.lastname@example.org) Good question... I really don't know... i'm away from all of my hardware for a week, so i can't just plug in my DSI and try. I did my 5.5 update on top of the existing Suite so many things (such as the DSI driver) are obviously old. Which, of course, suggests the answer of installing a previous version, and simply updating it to 5.5 The LPI driver under Envisage -is- dated 1 May 2009, which is when i updated. You might visit/join the two DSI-related yahoo groups: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/autostarsuite and http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Meade_DSI ..since other folks may have hit the same issue. Netbooks are fun, aren't they? (i don't have one, but i support some at work) have fun --dick
Thanks Mike and Dick, As usual, you do a great job of helping us think 'outside the box' ;) I have rolled back to AS v5 and will go from there. I should have thought of that, since I have an older PC with this version and it recognizes all the imagers. Just a major hunt required now to find out where Meade have hidden the drivers as they seem to be located randomly and in different places in each version of AS! CS Peter Hughes Grand Cayman
And an update:
Please pass on the following info to anyone who might be thinking of installing AutostarSuite 5 or 5.5 on a new laptop (this advice applies to Windows XP SP3 in this case, but maybe useful to those using other O/S). On attempting to install the DSI Imager, the Install Wizard may not find the driver, it needs more specific directions. Eventually I found the required drivers in PROGRAM FILES/MEADE/AUTOSTARSUITE/ENVISAGE/2K-XP. point the install wizard to it and the driver loads successfully. The question is now whether I should roll forward to AS 5.5 again, has anyone done analysis on the difference between 5 and 5.5, if so what would be the benefit for a user who doesn't own the new ETX-LS? Clear Skies, Peter C Hughes Grand Cayman Website: www.sv-kilifi.com
Subject: RE: ETX-125 Autoguiding Sent: Monday, July 13, 2009 20:13:24 From: Reply ToMe (email@example.com) 1. I did the CALIBRATE MOTOR. 2. I was using AutoStar 3.2. Just upgraded to 5.5 Still no success with the Autoguiding. See attached pix. They are part of a series taken from the PC screen. DSC02192 - just after starting autoguiding DSC02193 - connection is confirmed and the software now says "Guiding". DSC02196 - star and tracking box have drifted far from start point DSC02198 - star and tracking box have drifted nearly off screen in 3 min 34 sec. I have tried Corr Gain from 0.20 to 1.00 to no avail. Either the Hand Control or On-Screen arrow keys will move the telescope in both RA and Dec. It appears there is no actual tracking data getting to the mount even though the On-Screen arrows will move the mount. I did a search of your site for "autoguide ETX". I really couldn't tell for certain that anyone was actually performing autoguiding of an ETX mount. Which brings me back to my original question: Is anyone actually using an ETX mount with either off-axis or separate scope autoguiding to take multi-minute exposures? Is the ETX mount really capable of this type of operation? Before emailing you the first time I had spoken with the Customer Service person at Astronomics, where I bought the ETX-125. He said he did not actually know of anyone who is autoguiding the ETX mount. I have not yet called Meade. Bob Zuelsdorf
Subject: ETX-125 Autoguiding Sent: Thursday, July 9, 2009 12:41:37 From: Reply ToMe (firstname.lastname@example.org) I am trying to use a Meade DSI-1 to autoguide my ETX-125. Without yet using a 2nd camera to actually take images, I am trying to get the DSI to simply autoguide the ETX-125. I am working in equatorial mode. The Deep Sky Imager program appears to work properly up to the point of actually guiding the telescope. Aiming at a star, such as Spica, gives a view of the star on the PC screen. A Hartmann mask is used to assure focus. A tracking box is drawn around the star. The program will indicate "Guiding". However the star, and tracking box, drift well away from the center of the screen. Using either the Hand Controller buttons, or the on-screen arrows, the star can be re-centered. Sort of. Sometimes there is no immediate response to the arrows, then a big jump in position, perhaps right out of the tracking box. I have spent enough time with my eye in the illuminated retcile eyepiece of my old 8" SCT to know that the drive reaction should be much smoother than this. The drive has been re-trained, Drive Percentages from 30% to 100% have been tried. The ETX tracks but it does not autoguide. With good polar alignment and no DSI it will follow an object for half an hour and still keep it in the field of a 15mm or 26mm eyepiece. With the DSI if I hit the "Disconnect" button I can tell little if any difference in the drift. The "track and stack" operation of the DSI software is proper. Testing on some lunar images the stacked pix begin to blur with just a stacking of images, but remain sharp with track and stack operation. Is anyone actually using an ETX with either off-axis or separate scope autoguiding to take multi-minute exposures? Is the ETX mount reallly capable of this type of operation? Thanks for any help, Bob Zuelsdorf Grass Valley CAMike here: If you search the ETX Site for "autoguide dsi" you will find many messages about it. I'm sure people are using the ETX and DSI for autoguiding. Have you done a CALIBRATE MOTOR on the AutoStar? Also, are you using the latest version of the AutoStar Suite (5.5)?
Subject: M42 The Great Orion Nebula Sent: Tuesday, April 14, 2009 10:35:46 From: Dennis Fisher (email@example.com) Although this particular object has been photographed more times than anyone would care to remember, I thought my version was significant because of how I took it and to show that something like this can be achieved by just about anyone without a lot of expensive high end equipment. The image was taken in late March 2009 and was obtained by stacking 80 exposures at 15 seconds each in the suburban light polluted skies over Pittsburgh, Pa. The pictures were taken with a Meade DSI imager (one of the earlier models) through an Orion 4.5" Imaging Reflector that was piggybacked on a Meade ETX 90. The scopes were polar aligned but not perfectly so there was some drift between images but not enough during each exposure to generate noticeable streaking. The 15 second time duration of the individual exposures was short enough to not require any strict, precise guiding (manual or automatic). The pictures were stacked using Registax version 4 and post processing was done with Paintshop Pro. Hope you like this! Dennis Fisher
Subject: Question about nebula filters and DSI Pro II . Sent: Thursday, February 12, 2009 08:40:12 From: Todd and Abbie Ausenbaugh (firstname.lastname@example.org) Do nebula filters work well with the DSI Pro II ? If so which ones work best? Some narrow band filters say they do not work well with astrophotgraphy,but are they refering only to 35mm film photography?Are the narrow band filters only for visual use?Mike here: Filters should work with the DSI (but I don't have one so don't know which ones work best). Which filters to use would depend somewhat on the object being imaged. You will want to match the filter to object type (for example, emission vs reflection nebulae). Keep in mind that some filters will require longer exposures times or an increased number of frames to stack.
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