Meade DSI software problem.

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  • Member since
    August, 2007
Meade DSI software problem.
Posted by Mikes on Saturday, August 18, 2007 10:47 PM

I have bought the Meade DSI camera couple months ago. Now I finally had the time to install the software and when I run it out in the dark with the camera and telescope, the program goes crazy. First, the image on the computer is a bunch of white lines, 2nd when the camera does take a picture of my intended object, the object is a blurry (I focused it with the cover with the two holes cut out in it) and it was not even close to beeing sharp. Along the list of my misfortunes, comes another problem with the exposures, I looked at the manual on how to take single exposures, but when I start the exposure, the program just keeps on taking them.

 

So if anyone knows the DSI Image Suit or whatver its called can you please give me some sugjestions. Also if you know any other software that can operate the DSI please incude it. I just don't want my 300 dollars go to into the trash. 

Proud owner of Losmandy G-11 mount, Celestron 5 telescope, and Meade DSI CCD camera.
  • Member since
    May, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, August 19, 2007 4:16 PM

Hi Mike,

I assume yours came with autostar suite IP ( processing software ) and Envisage ( capture software ) 

Assuming the above is correct,

Did you make sure to install the drivers on the supplied disc BEFORE plugging the camera in? Thats has to be done, after the initial driver installation is finished, then plug the DSI in and let the computer recgonize the device ( with the disc in the drive )

 

 

As for the image. Even a SLGHTLY out of focus image will appear as white and black specks and or lines. The image clears up the closer to focus. I dont use a hartman mask, I use a 25mm EP to find my target, then start up my drives to track it. Then SLOWLY start to focus the image you will begin to see any brighter stars as fuzzy blobs, keep going untill they are as tight as you want them. Bright stars will typicall show difraction spikes, which I use to make sure I am focused properly. The fine point on the spikes gives you a good idea of being pretty darn close to perfect.

 

Now, keep the contrast and shadow on auto, selected on the right, and up on the top left click on LIVE. to set YOU exposure time check the box  ( near the top left ) and set it to where you want.

 

Now go over to the top right and click on Save Proc,,,I work with Fits, which IMHO is best. Choose them, IF and only IF you have a post processing tool that can handle it. IP can,,,but if you want to use anything else fits dont play well with a lot of programs. CS2 does with a free plugin called Fits Liberator. And also after selecting Fits. click on  " save all uncombined images "

 

There is a folder on your c:drive/meade images. This is where all your images will be saved ( including darks, which I take either half way through or at the end of a session ). click on start, and it will start taking pictures. Ater the first shot, three tabs will be available where you WERE looking at the image display. Click back on the DSI, so you see the real time image as each exposure clicks off. Stop when you feel you have captured enough. and open up Envisage to dark frame calibrate, 1 star align ( use a central star ) and then do a group median combine. 

 

Any more questions, I will try to help.

 

HTH

Chris 

  • Member since
    August, 2007
Posted by Mikes on Sunday, August 19, 2007 6:03 PM
Yea I installed the drivers, and updated the software without having the camera atached. When I focus the camera , I don't get the difraction spikes. Even if the camera is the closest to focus, the stars are still big circles and not points of light. Even if I decreased the exposure. Oh yea, las night, the LIVE screen showed static (like always ) but then it turned white untill I reset program... is that a bug? Thanks for the advice. P.S. Admins, my Firefox went crazy and can you delite the other copies oof this thread? Thanks.
Proud owner of Losmandy G-11 mount, Celestron 5 telescope, and Meade DSI CCD camera.
  • Member since
    May, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, August 19, 2007 9:44 PM

Hey Mikes one thing that I want to make sure that you understand is that even though those stars look big they may be already focused since the DSI is like a 5 mm EP so it will magnify the stars a whole lot. Also it is not really likely you will see diffraction spikes since they usually come on Long Exposures, I have not had any and I have shot at 30 seconds. If you are using a newtonian telescope only then will you see those spikes since they are caused by the struts holding the secondary mirror.

I would suggest after the stars go on to become circles try finding a globular cluster such as M13 that will show you if the focus is off or not. Don't think that you will get tiny specks on the live screen only small dim stars will come up as specks. If you focus on any of the stars that you can see with your eye they usually will be really big.

Another thing you could try is to obtain a focal reducer it essentially zooms out the DSI, more items come up and the exposure time is also reduced.

Hope this helps buddy.

Taimoor

  • Member since
    May, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, August 20, 2007 3:23 AM

Taimoor, is correct. I should have mentioned that the spikes will only show up when a newt is being used. Though I have heard of ways to fabricate them using a refractor.

 

I wont argue the exposure times,,,but I have had spikes at as little as 8s subs, typically in the LUM channel. then again I can SEE a lot in my rural area under above average conditions, that others have problems with.

 

Mike,

I really dont know what else to tell you, other then call Meade and ask if they have a slolution. ( Good luck with that in all reality though JMHO! )

 

As stated,,,the fastest way to see if you have a focus problem, is point to a bright globular, and see if you can get the stars to reslove at all. If not a reducer, and or riser may be needed for your CCD to come into focus.

 

Keep us updated.

Sorry I cant help more.

Chris 

  • Member since
    August, 2007
Posted by Mikes on Monday, August 20, 2007 6:51 PM
Thank you. I have finally taken a picture of M27. But an another software error is that 30 sec. exposures work good, but 42.4+ sec. exposures cause the screen to go white. Restart of the program removes it, but I still get the white screen if I try exposures that are longer then 30 sec. Shall I ask Meade? Or it can be fixed.
Proud owner of Losmandy G-11 mount, Celestron 5 telescope, and Meade DSI CCD camera.
  • Member since
    October, 2006
Posted by Star Dragon on Monday, August 20, 2007 10:30 PM

If you are going for exposures longer than 30 seconds and you have the Dark subtraction enabled, make sure that when you first take Dark frames, you have darks that correspond to your longest exposure, this could be causing the problem, also a poor alignment with that long of an exposure could also cause problems,  what setting did you use for the quality Minimum and Eval count?

Even at 30% minimum quality and a Eval avg count of only 5, the image may have drifted out enough to cause the software to not combine and stack the image. IF you have the quality set to high, the DSI software will discard any sub that does not meet this quality, the quality is compared to an avg of the total evaluation count. after the eval count has run its total of exposures, the software decides which subs meet the minimum quality you have set, and either discards it, or displays it and combines it, if you have the Combine option checked.

Also make sure that you have at least made one preview long exposure before you actually start, in case you need to manually adjust the Histo sliders for proper contrast and the shadow enhance settings.

Dennis;)

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