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The sensitivity of the camera was terrible. Meade had upgraded the software somewhat. The introduction of Meade’s inexpensive line of CCD cameras for astro-imaging was no surprise. Then I lock the focus, close down Magnifier, increase the exposure to 2 seconds, move to my target, and center it.
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. However, for monochrome imaging the DSI-Pro does well enough to be fun to mess around with.
Then, when you take an image, Envisage looks for the dark frame with the closest temperature match and subtracts it automatically to get rid of the noise — a really nice touch. And market-oriented companies like Meade know their customers: 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. When I got my observatory fully operational early in summerI shot the four images that follow.
Return to Richard Berry’s Home Page. Stargazing breaks in the UK. I haven’t tried to make color images with this camera. You can download it here.
Messing Around with Meade’s DSI-Pro
But once in a while everything worked, and images actually popped up on the computer screen. The Ring Nebula picture was taken in the fall of from my half-completed observatory.
This review appeared in the January issue of Sky at Night Magazine.
The software was buggy and froze up. Scott related how he had seen the Cookbook, and was impressed at the speedy image display and overall ease of use.
Meade Deep Sky Imager Fan – for all Meade DSI models
You can opt-out at any time. The aluminum housing is crudely cast and minimally machined. I can honestly say that it was a bear to install and a pain in the butt to operate. Altair Hypercam M V2 mono astronomy imaging camera. Envisage is a clever program geared towards getting you the best image possible. If you already have an AutoStar-controlled telescope, the DSI Pro II should be a serious consideration; the level of integration between software, camera and scope is excellent.
Although this works well and the DSI exhibits fairly low heat-induced noise, it still produces noisy raw pre-processed images. After a lot of experimenting, I gave up using the Meade software for anything but capturing the raw images. I then use MicroSoft’s Magnifier program to blow up the image really big on the screen. However, long exposures showed that the noise was evenly distributed across the image with no unwanted gradients. The field of view was microscopic. He got it to work but gave up on it as a serious CCD camera.
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. In winter, when it’s cooler, the 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.
In my experiments, the Meade software wasted a lot of usable exposures. A sensor inside the camera takes the temperature of the chip and displays the data on your computer screen. By clicking on the ‘Sign Up!