Last night, my main task was figuring out the polar alignment and focus procedures, and then get a feel for the tracking of my mount. When all was said and done, I shot some pics of M42. Even with mere 30s exposures, the Fits view showed the the arms, etc. Even though everything was out of focus, I wanted to stack what I had. I only have DSS, and it reported "no stars" regardless of threshold, and loading one of the pics revealed a most black pic with a handful of blurry dots - not what I'd seen with kstars fits viewer. Gimp showed the same. But Kstars shows the files very differently. Why?
These are horribly out of focus as I was unable to get the focus part figured out. (I previously used BackyardNikon and my Bahtinov mask). In fact, to me, they don't even look like the same source picture. It's like one is flipped/upside down.
KStars/EKOS has a very neat focusing module that could help you. If you want to get the optimum out of your equipment, you will sooner or later aquire a electronic focuser. For these EKOS has an autofocus module.