The 4 following images were taken from my driveway , West Palm Beach light polluted skies, street light polluted skies by every house having Christmas lights on , and the Moon stil up .
All were taken with an 8" SCT at f/2.4 which while fast for a SCT , is still a FL of 480mm .
I think I now have under control at least in principle the issues that were uncertain and were making this camera hard or impossible to use.
I worked on the AGC , so now I can adjust the gain manually and had a first pass at the black level clamp function, which in the OEM version was setting the black level based on the average screen brightness and was not tracking the actual black level.
I am waiting for a couple of high efficiency low power Peltier elements , because even during this cold (for FLorida) night, the camera temperature was 10C (50F) and the CCD sensor was 18C .
A 12C CCD temp drop would reduce the noise to 1/4 of what it's now.
The M42 image is a screenshot of my 7" monitor with no significant cropping. What you see is the image scale I saw on my screen .