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. In summer, Meade’s software does a good job dark-subtracting second exposures and less well with second exposures. However, for monochrome imaging the DSI-Pro does well enough to be fun to mess around with. I haven’t tried to make color images with this camera. The sensitivity of the camera was terrible.
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Deep Sky Imager IV (DSI-IV)
The software is coded in VS. And market-oriented companies like Meade know their customers: The software was buggy and froze up. However, for monochrome imaging the DSI-Pro does well enough to be fun to mess around with.
Focusing is easy because my Newtonian’s diffraction spikes split into two parallel lines when the dsk is slightly out of focus. Jim tried it first.
This is a stack of 74 exposures each 15 seconds long, with no tracking or guiding. The field of view was microscopic. In winter, when it’s cooler, the longer exposures might be superior. So 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.
When I got my observatory fully operational early in summerI shot the four images that follow. He mentioned that the venerable Cookbook camera had been an inspiration for the DSI series.
I use Meade’s Envision software to capture the image sequences. But once in a while everything worked, and images actually acmera up on the computer screen. 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.
I make dai 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 dxi time to 30 seconds, and then leave everything alone for 10 to 20 minutes while 20 to 40 images accumulate. The introduction of Meade’s inexpensive line of CCD cameras for astro-imaging was no mezde. The aluminum housing is crudely cast and minimally machined. I can honestly say that it was a bear to install camwra a pain in the butt to operate.
In summer, Meade’s software does a good job dark-subtracting second exposures and less well with second exposures. Maybe I was a little jealous, or maybe just plain curious, but I had to see what Meade had accomplished. 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 Camerx when I plugged it in.
On a cool night you can expose for several minutes. The color rendition in the images was terrible. I haven’t tried to make color images with this camera. In my experiments, the Meade software wasted a lot of usable exposures. I set it for 2x resampling and let AIP4Win stack the image series. He sent it to me. 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.
The Ring Nebula picture was taken in the fall of from my half-completed observatory.
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. He got it to work but gave up on it as a serious CCD camera.
I then use MicroSoft’s Magnifier program to blow up the image really big on the dso. Scott related how he had seen the Cookbook, and was impressed at the speedy image display and overall ease of use. 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 meaed to do with astronomy.
This proved to be true: