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Old 25-01-2005, 08:44 PM
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Rodstar (Rod)
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Question Meade AutoStar Suite/LPI

There has been a blitz of marketing from Meade about the AutoStar Suite.

Have any members used it, or heard whether it's any good? I assume it can be used with any scope, and is not just LX200 compatible??

Rodstar
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Old 25-01-2005, 11:03 PM
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[1ponders] (Paul)
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Hi Rodstar.

You can use the LPI with any telescope for imaging, for autoguiding using Autosuite with non-meade telescopes I'm not so sure, though it is supposedly compatible with other meade scopes that can be converted to goto. The Autostar suite's planetarium program takes a bit of getting used to but its accurate and you can easily get information updates regarding comets and asteroids etc.

The LPI comes as part of the Autosuite package. It is basically a webcam supplied by meade that has the capability to take longer exposures than most webcams. This allows an LPI user to try their hand at some of the brighter DSOs. I haven't played with mine much but i think you can get about 15 sec exposures out of it. Rumples Riot is the resident expert on LPI, and I think he might be switching to a ToUcam

Its image capture using Autostar is different to using a normal webcam. It automatically processes the still image as it captures vidio continually trying to improve the image as it goes. But you can use it just as a webcam if you have a vidio/avi capture program.

IMHO if you just want to do planetary imaging then get a ToUcam. There was a good review done at CN on the comparison between the LPI and the ToUcam http://www.cloudynights.com/lab/astr.../meadelpi2.pdf If you want to do DSOs the maybe an alternative is the meade DSI though reports are mixed about it. (Again chat to Rumples or see his review in this post http://www.iceinspace.com/forum/show...=&threadid=536

Or have I missed the boat and your only asking about the Autosuite program itself?
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Old 26-01-2005, 06:59 AM
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iceman (Mike)
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ToUcam, get the ToUcam. Don't get the LPI.
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Old 26-01-2005, 08:20 PM
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I agree with Mike. Go the ToUCam... Unless of course you want to do deep sky.
Actually the Celestron NexImage camera released recently is a re-boxed ToUCam, which is a good way to go as you don't need to get the seperate adapter for 1.25".
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Old 27-01-2005, 05:33 AM
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Doesn anyone know the CCD size in inches of the LPI? I didn't seem to find it in the review.
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Old 27-01-2005, 08:34 AM
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Kevin I think if you go to the first link I pasted above it will give you the details you need. (LPI Vs ToUcam)

I just checked and it doesn't specifically give you the size but does have a photo comparing it to the ToUcam

Last edited by [1ponders]; 27-01-2005 at 08:39 AM.
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Old 27-01-2005, 11:23 AM
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Go for the Toucam, the LPI is good, but you will eventually want to go for the Toucam, preferably one with cooling. Since getting the Toucam my shots have improved out of site. You can still auotguide with the Toucam, you just need to use diferent software.

Anyway just my opinion.
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Old 28-01-2005, 04:44 AM
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After seeing a beaut deep sky shot from the LPI on CN I was toying with the idea of getting one of those for a play (larger chip better for deep sky). And after that review at has to be the ToUcam or Celestron Neximage for planetary stuff.
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Old 28-01-2005, 04:55 AM
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DSI, not LPI, you mean?
I wouldn't get the LPI now that the DSI is out.. it costs a bit more but is much better for deep-space stuff.
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Old 28-01-2005, 07:37 AM
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I meant the LPI. Slightly higher resolution and has a larger CCD but slower for deep space compared to the DSI.

I dunno really, I don't have either of them. I've got to get a cheap one shot colour camera. Either that or blow up my quickcam by attempting to mod it.

I don't suppose anyone sells pre-modified long exposure webcams?
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Old 28-01-2005, 10:34 AM
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Hi Kevin,
The SAC range of cameras are just modified webcams (as far as I know). But they are pretty pricy considering the alternatives.
http://www.sac-imaging.com/
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Old 28-01-2005, 11:00 AM
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Yes they are a bit pricey. My opinion if anything starts to approach the $1000 AUD mark, might as well save a few more dollars and get a 300D.
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Old 12-07-2005, 08:43 PM
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Best I have been able to do with LPI and Autostar thus far. No processing - this is straight out of the LPI.
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Old 12-07-2005, 09:43 PM
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Better than I ever got out of it grant. Good shot.!
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Old 12-07-2005, 10:21 PM
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Thats great Grant top stuff .....havent used my LPI for a while but i usally let the LPI software do the exposure time then i dropped it a little to avoid washing out the image and i found i got more detail out by experimenting with the slider bars underneath the histogram , the trouble i had though was the outer boundry of say jupiter would soften ...EG:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...n/Jupiter9.jpg
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Old 12-07-2005, 10:31 PM
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yeah - over exposed a tad. That image was compiled in Autostar - I will try saving all files and stack in Registax next time. This one my son and I did for his school project - taken a few nights ago. Shows Io, Europa and Ganymede.
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Old 13-07-2005, 01:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beren
...the trouble i had though was the outer boundry of say jupiter would soften ...EG:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...n/Jupiter9.jpg
Beren,

You can fix that using Curves in say PS,

On another note: I think the LPI is perfect for planetary... if folks aren't getting decent shots with it, it's because they dont know how to use it properly. Personally I dont like the the modified TuCam approach. They always give the planets the appearence of a boiled lollie. But that's just me, I like the LPI because it gives a more natural result.

Regards
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Old 13-07-2005, 09:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cometcatcher
.

I don't suppose anyone sells pre-modified long exposure webcams?

Atik-usually advertise in Sky and Telescope (US)-

www.perseu.pt

also sell modified touCams. ..bit cheaper than SAC at the low end-the basic TouCam with a cooling fan and one and a quarter inch adapter

They have pricier higher end models as well. I have the low end model and it works well. Use it for autoguiding or imaging DSOs
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