On a cool night you can expose for several minutes. The Ring Nebula picture was taken in the fall of from my half-completed observatory. Meade had upgraded the software somewhat. The field of view was microscopic. After a lot of experimenting, I gave up using the Meade software for anything but capturing the raw images.
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Scott related how he had seen the Cookbook, and was impressed at the speedy image display and overall ease of use. Dxi what got me interested? Adding filters will reduce the amount of light reaching the chip, so 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.
The sensitivity of the camera was terrible. But once in a while everything worked, and images actually popped up on the computer screen. Meade had upgraded the software somewhat.
This is a stack of 74 exposures each 15 seconds long, with no tracking or guiding. He sent it to me. This proved to be true: The software was buggy and froze up. In summer, Meade’s software does a good job dark-subtracting second exposures and less well with second exposures. I haven’t tried to make color images with this camera. When I got my observatory fully operational early in summerI shot the four images that follow.
I put the camera into auto mode with a 0. I use Meade’s Envision software to capture the image sequences.
Deep Sky Imager IV (DSI-IV)
Then I lock the focus, close down Magnifier, increase the exposure to 2 seconds, move to my target, and center it. The introduction of Meade’s inexpensive line of CCD cameras for astro-imaging was no surprise. Focusing is easy because my Newtonian’s diffraction spikes split into two parallel lines when the cameda is slightly out of focus.
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. And market-oriented companies like Meade know their customers: On a cool night you can expose for several minutes. Ddsi 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 xamera, and then leave everything alone for 10 to 20 minutes while 20 to 40 images accumulate.
Jim tried it first. In winter, when it’s cooler, the longer exposures might be superior. I set it for 2x resampling and let AIP4Win stack the image series. The Ring Nebula picture was taken in the fall of from my half-completed observatory. He meads it to work but gave up on it as a serious CCD camera.
Messing Around with Meade’s DSI-Pro
After a lot of experimenting, I gave up using the Meade software for anything but capturing the raw images. Maybe I was a little jealous, or maybe just plain curious, but Meafe had to see what Meade had accomplished. I had to reinstall the USB drivers over and over, and even then it cameda to be hit-or-miss whether my laptop would recognize the DSI when I plugged it in.
In my experiments, the Meade software wasted a lot of usable exposures.
Meade Deep Sky Imager Fan – for all Meade DSI models
I can honestly say that it was a bear to install and a pain in the butt to camerq. The field of view was microscopic. 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. 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.
However, for monochrome imaging the DSI-Pro does well enough to be fun to mess around with.