MEADE DSI CAMERA DRIVER

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After a lot of experimenting, I gave up using the Meade software for anything but capturing the raw images. However, for monochrome imaging the DSI-Pro does well enough to be fun to mess around with. 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. When I got my observatory fully operational early in summer , I shot the four images that follow. Meade had upgraded the software somewhat.

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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.

When I got my observatory fully operational early in summerI shot the four images that follow. 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.

This proved to be true: 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.

I haven’t tried to make color images with this camera. In winter, when it’s cooler, the longer exposures might be superior. The sensitivity of the camera was terrible. However, for monochrome imaging the DSI-Pro does well enough to be fun to mess around with.

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Maybe I was a little jealous, or maybe just plain curious, but I had to see what Meade had accomplished. So what got me interested? The DSI-Pro, running at outdoor temperatures, throws away most of that advantage, but not all of it.

The Ring Nebula picture was taken in the fall of from my half-completed observatory. In my experiments, the Meade software wasted a lot of usable exposures. He got it to work but gave up on it as a serious CCD camera. The software is coded in VS.

I put the camera into auto mode with a 0. The introduction of Meade’s inexpensive line of CCD cameras for astro-imaging was no surprise.

I use Meade’s Envision software to capture the image sequences. On a cool night you can expose for several minutes.

The field of view was microscopic. Focusing is easy because my Newtonian’s diffraction spikes split into two parallel lines when the image is slightly out of focus.

I then use MicroSoft’s Magnifier program to blow up the image really big on the screen. 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.

I set it for 2x resampling and let AIP4Win stack the image series. Meade had upgraded the software somewhat. The aluminum housing is crudely cast and minimally machined.

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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 operate. After a lot of experimenting, I gave up using the Meade software for anything but capturing the raw images. 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.

He sent it to me. 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.

Messing Around with Meade’s DSI-Pro

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.

Jim tried it first. 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.