I tried some rather short exposure settings on M42, but decided this time to try some 25s exposures with the DSLR mounted at prime focus on the telescope. I wasn't sure that the telescope would track well enough. Also Orion is just above the house and descends below it through the night, so not an ideal location either. Anyway - worth a try.
It turned out that many of the images had elliptical stars, or were smeared out, but there were a number within the 25 taken that looked ok.
I used DSLRshutter program to take them which worked pretty well. I also experimented with nebulosity for focussing without much success.
Anyway - after throwing lights, flats, darks and biases at deep sky stacker, it pronounced that only one of the images was worth stacking... its probably right but it could have broken the news gently!
Anyway, its probably my best shot of M42 to date, but still not much compared with anyone who's any good!
Step by step, its getting a bit better.