Category : General

Purchase Made: Meade DSI Pro

Meade DSI ProI had been looking out for a Meade DSI for a while, although I did not want to pay the full retail price, that meant looking for a second hand model, either on eBay or AstroBuySell.

I ended up buying my DSI Pro from eBay, and there was a bit of confusion between what model it was that I was actually buying. The seller said it was bought from Green Witch about 3 months ago, which led me to think it would be a DSI II. Although it wasn’t! It was a DSI Pro version 1, although I suppose at around £150 it was probably a good buy.

It turned up quickly and was missing the parfocal ring, but after a few emails, the seller found the parfocal ring and posted it on.

To begin with the DSI looks really complicated to use and it’s another computer software program that I need to learn how to use.

I first thing I did after installing the Autostar Suite, is that I printed out the manuals, as they only come on the main CD as PDF documents.

So far I have read the manuals and watched the online Meade videos, but I think it would have been good if Meade had included some kind of “How To” PDF or video as opposed to telling you how each menu works or what each button does.

I did not get the CCD filters in the sale, so now I am on the lookout for some Meade CCD RGB filters.

UK Astronomy Buy & Sell

A short while ago I discovered the UK Astronomy Buy & Sell website. It was nice to find a website where you could list any astronomy item for sale for free, instead of having to pay the high listing and final auction fees of eBay.

A couple of weeks ago I listed an LX200 data cable, and some astronomy books for sale, a couple of the books sold and the communication between the buyer and myself was easy via email and the transaction was easy, payment was made through PayPal, so eBay (who own PayPal) still got some commission!

This week I have now also become a buyer from the site, as I purchased a Baader UV/IR Rejection Filter for £16.50 including delivery and it turned up in the post today, again a nice straight forward transaction.

Admittedly I do frequently look at eBay for astronomy listings, but I also regularly visit the UK Astronomy Buy & Sell Website, if you don’t know it have a look yourself, you may find a bargain!

View my astronomy listings here

Using a Palm with the LX200

I was amazed to find a program called Planetarium which can be installed on a Palm top with Palm OS 3.5 and above. Planetarium is a full astronomy program which can also control your telescope.

So the first thing I did was go and get my old Palm M505 out of the loft and charge it up. The Palm is something I have not used for ages as I kept finding the battery was always out of charge whenever I went to use it. Another thing is that nowadays the mobile phone can do most of things that the Palm can, but now it has a new lease of life as long as I can get it to talk to the LX200.

I then downloaded the Planetarium software and installed the extra LX200 drivers. Installation was easy, after I tried to install the latest Palm Desktop software onto my Vista PC, which was not too happy, so I ended up installing it instead onto my XP laptop which worked.

After starting Planetarium I entered the latitude and longitude co-ordinates and the date and time. Overall the software looks good, you can even set the read out to display in night mode where the screen turns red.

The next thing I need to do to is now find a Palm to RS232 Serial cable so that I can try and connect the Palm to the LX200 somehow. If anybody has any ideas on how to get the Palm to talk to the LX200 then please leave your comments.

Prime Focus Photography on LX200

With a number of clear nights in a row last week I managed to stay out for a number of hours and actually get used to using the LX200. I also managed to let the LX200 take me on some of the tours I uploaded from the Meade website.

Whilst out I managed to get some photographs using prime focus as well as using my camera bracket on top of my LX200 to get some shots with my Canon 75-300mm lens.

Camera Mounted Shots

Orion Nebula – 300mm

Orion Nebula - Canon SLR on top of LX200

M34 – 300mm

M34 - Canon camera on top of LX200

Andromeda Galaxy – 300mm

Andromeda Galaxy - Canon SLR on top of LX200

Prime Focus Photography on LX200

Ring Neblua – 70 sec exp. ISO800

Ring Nebula - Prime Focus - 70 second exposure

This shot of the ring nebula is a bit blurry, as it needed a lot of exposure time as without it I just could not gather enough light.

First Moon Pictures from LX200

I managed to get the scope out last night and it was a brilliantly clear night. Below are some images from last night of the moon which I took by just adding the DSLR camera to the back end of the scope. These images were taken using a moon filter attached to the camera, so hence the slight darkness of the images.

The clarity of the moon from the LX200 through the eyepiece is quite astounding and very clear.

Moon via Canon 400D and LX200

Moon via Canon 400D and LX200

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