Direct support for Meade DSI IIc imager?


#1

I’m running the free trial (2.4.3.25) and am very impressed by the capabilities of Sequence Generator Pro. The only way I’ve found to run my camera, which is a Meade DSI IIc, is to connect to it in Nebulosity 4 and then connect to the Nebulosity 4 ASCOM camera driver from SGP. This works, but it’s a bit unwieldy and the saved images require some special deBayering settings when I process, whereas directly imaging with Nebulosity 4 does not. In addition, I’ve been experiencing fairly frequent SGP crashes. (I’m running everything in a Windows 7 VMWare virtual machine on a Macbook Pro, so admittedly this is an unusual setup that could be prone to problems, although my old workflow with Nebulosity controlling the captures is quite stable.)

Anyway, here’s my question: Is there a way to directly connect the Meade DSI IIc to SGP and avoid use of the Nebulosity ASCOM driver? I understand that SGP used to have direct Meade DSI support, but that appears to have been dropped in newer versions. Are the older versions still available? I’m wondering if making a direct connection would simplify the system and perhaps lead to fewer crashes. For instance, one thing that always causes a crash is having a frame and focus sequence running in Nebulosity then trying to run the camera from SGP at the same time. Eventually I’ll probably convince the Boss that spending some money on a better camera is justified, but until then I have to make do with the DSI IIc.

Thanks,
David


#2

David,
Unfortunately we do not support Meade cameras directly. This is unlikely to change in the future. You are correct that we had support (almost 2 years ago) but that version is long since gone and no longer supported.

Thanks,
Jared


#3

Jared, thanks for the reply. The work-around I’m using is the Nebulosity ASCOM camera driver, which works, but I am getting intermittent camera disconnections so I wanted to see if any other options were available. Apparently neither Meade nor any third parties ever produced an ASCOM driver for the DSI cameras, or at least I haven’t been able to find any.


#4

Hi David
Nebulosity seems to use a direct API to the DSI, like other products supporting the camera.
Just curious: can you detail the workaround you found?
Thanks in advance
Best regards,
Rodolphe


#5

Rodolphe,

It has been a couple of years since I used the DSI IIc as my main imaging camera (I bought an ASI 1600MM-C and love it, and use the DSI as a guide camera now), so my recollection might be a little rusty, but here goes:

I used VMWare Fusion/Windows 10 running on a MacBook Pro as the operating system. I used Nebulosity 4 (Windows version) to connect the DSI IIc using the Meade drivers supplied with Envisage. It routinely took a couple of tries to get the connection to work, as the camera would connect and then the connection would drop, but on the 2nd try it always connected and stayed connected. These issues may well have been the result of using a virtual machine to run the camera. I downloaded and installed the ASCOM Camera Driver from the Stark Labs web site (http://www.stark-labs.com/downloads.html), which enables Nebulosity to act as an ASCOM camera for other programs, then used “ASCOM Camera Driver for Nebulosity” as my camera in SGP. This worked reasonably well, but I had all kinds of problems deBayering (in Nebulosity) the images collected by SGP. Trying to use them directly in Nebulosity led to terrible horizontal banding issues. Eventually I found that Nebulosity puts the x- and y-Bayer offsets in the FITS header (1 and 3, respectively), and the Nebulosity 4 manual has recommended deBayer matrix settings for Sony sensors (and it saves them from one session to the next!). Using those did the trick.

I hope that’s some help to you. Good luck!

David


#6

Hi David,
I finally found the right settings using your procedure. Thanks for that, much appreciated.
Looks like my DSI pro II will get a second life!
As mine has a black and white captor I shouldn’t face the issues you met.
I ordered recently a Moravian G2 8300 Mark II with internal filter wheel, impatient to receiving it; the DSI will be useful in the meantime.
Thanks again!
Rodolphe


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