LX50, QuickCam 3000 disassembled, chip modifications.

I have started using the the Meade LX50 shown above and the Quickcam 3000 webcam. The webcam was easily modified to remove the main lens and connect directly into the telescope with no eyepiece. The longest shutter speed of the camera is 1/5 sec, which is long enough for bright objects like planets, but not dimmer objects like galaxies. I  modified the camera by wiring around the CCD chip to disable the shutter control and make arbitrarily long exposures to view dim, deep sky objects.

Using the software package K3CCD, I take a video of hundreds of frames, each about like this:

Because of turbulence, each varies a bit. By selecting and averaging the best 100 or so, I get this:

By deconvoluting, unmasking, and using wavelet image processing, the detail in the picture can be revealed (Registax):

Then using Photosuite, I soften, and adjust the color and contrast back to more like what you see visually:

Not too bad...