The introduction of Meade’s inexpensive line of CCD cameras for astro-imaging was no surprise. Testing showed that Meade’s dark-subtraction did a pretty good job, and if I set it so that the capture program would save every image in the FITS format, I could stack the images using AIP4Win to get what I consider better results than Meade’s software delivers. I set it for 2x resampling and let AIP4Win stack the image series. I put the camera into auto mode with a 0. I can honestly say that it was a bear to install and a pain in the butt to operate. I then use MicroSoft’s Magnifier program to blow up the image really big on the screen. Then I lock the focus, close down Magnifier, increase the exposure to 2 seconds, move to my target, and center it.
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I had to reinstall the USB drivers over and over, and even then it seemed to be hit-or-miss whether my laptop would recognize the DSI when I plugged it in. I then use MicroSoft’s Magnifier program to blow up the image really big camdra the screen. He sent it to me.
Messing Around with Meade’s DSI-Pro
Meade had upgraded the software somewhat. Adding filters will reduce the amount of light reaching the chip, camer dark current and readout noise will inevitably lead to either considerably longer exposures or much noisier images, which seems to me like a lose-lose situation.
Scott related how he had seen the Cookbook, and was impressed at the speedy image display and overall ease of use.
The color rendition in the images was terrible. The aluminum housing is crudely cast and minimally machined. The software is coded in VS. This is a stack of 74 exposures each 15 seconds long, with no tracking or guiding.
The software was buggy and froze up. However, for monochrome imaging the DSI-Pro does well enough to be fun to mess around with. The field of view was microscopic. Return to Richard Berry’s Home Page. I can honestly say that it was a bear to install and a pain in the butt to operate.
Although their initial attempts to enter the amateur CCD market were flops, it was unlikely that this aggressive company would sit by while others cashed in on anything to do with astronomy. The DSI-Pro, running at outdoor temperatures, throws away most of that advantage, but not all of it.
When I got my observatory fully operational early in summerI shot the four images that follow. When the DSI-Pro was announced, we briefly considered writing a book for new users who were sure to find imaging with these low-end cameras daunting — so I “invested” in a DSI-Pro.
And market-oriented companies like Meade know their customers: Then I lock the focus, close down Magnifier, increase the exposure to 2 seconds, move to my target, and center it. On a cool night you can expose for several minutes. He got it to work but gave up on it as a serious CCD camera. This proved to be true: After a lot of experimenting, I gave up using the Meade software for anything but capturing the raw images.
I make sure that I’ve got the right filename set up, check the dark-subtract box, verify that it’s set to save all images, reset the long exposure time to 30 seconds, and then leave everything alone for 10 to 20 minutes while 20 to 40 images accumulate. I set it for 2x resampling and let AIP4Win stack the image series.
Mwade sensitivity of the camera was terrible. The introduction of Meade’s inexpensive line of CCD cameras for astro-imaging was no surprise. But once in a while everything worked, and images actually popped up on the computer screen.
Meade Deep Sky Imager Fan – for all Meade DSI models
In summer, Meade’s software does a good job dark-subtracting second exposures and less well with second exposures. In winter, when it’s cooler, meaee longer exposures might be superior.
Maybe I was a little jealous, or maybe just plain curious, but I had to see what Meade had accomplished. I haven’t tried to make color images with this camera. Post-stack processing with these images was minimal; I used the Brightness Scaling Tool with Sigmoid scaling, and touched up the final contrast before exporting the images you see here. So what got me interested? I use Meade’s Envision software to capture the image sequences.