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Qhy9 or Atik 383l advice


LunarLight
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hey guys

I have been searching around and looking at some potential buys for a ccd camera later on this year. I was tempted by either the Atik 383l or the QHY9. Considering the scope I use (SW 200p) the chip size gives a reasonable field of view on both.

I did a search on the forums but I couldnt find any equipment reviews on the QHY9 so figured I would ask if anyone has any experience with the QHY9?

Also considering that, with the cost of accessories, the QHY9 comes in a fair bit cheaper which would you guys choose? and is there any major differences between the two?

Advice would be appreciated, thanks

Mark

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Ok well from my experience Atik is very well supported and have great customer service, the build quality is excellent and things just work... they also have some great capture software

I have found QHY stuff can be frustrating at times, its not as well supported and customer service is not a strong point. Expect to have some frustrations at times with drivers! However it is cheaper... but at a cost IMO!

Edited by shaunster
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Just seen this as as a QHY9 mono owner for a year here goes.

1. It is a good well made package and much cheaper than the others considering you can get the mono CCD + 2inch filter wheels and filters for £1800 delivered from Modern. If you use the QHY9 filter, then the CCD controls the filter via one USB line to the computer. Really nice.

2. The chip size is very large and good.

3. Cooling is definable and easily reaches 40 below ambient.

4. Drivers are not too bad and had no problems in MaximDL. Infact a lot of the reported driver issues are old stories that have been rectified and I have never had a problem with Maxim.

5. They can be prone to condensation if you are not careful, but if you are ok with opening up the unit, easy job with 3 screws then this is not a problem. It has a heater element, so remember to heat for about 3 mins before shutting down, stops condensation. Again alot of older stories on the net about condensation etc. My problem was lack of inexperience and not using the pre heat before shutting down on a very dewy night. I have not had a condensation problem for 6 months now I know what I am doing.

6. It has a mechanical shutter, which can be a pain when doing flats as you need to have flats of around 3 - 5 seconds and so the light source need to be very dim. Easy to work around and was my main stumbling block. Flats lower than 1 second give shutter interaction artifacts. I use a 15 inch flat monitor with a white teashirt folded twice onver the scope and notepad full screen. I can easily get 5 second flats unbinned using this method.

7. The noise is good, but not as good as the atiks and sbigs I am lead to believe, however you will be hard pushed to notice it.

8. Build quality is good, but the filter wheel has the motor housing on the front which looses you some inward focus on certain focusers as it gets in the way. Can be a problem if you want to OAG and have limited travel.

9. Support, there is a forum and it is pretty good with loads of members, but if there is a problem, it would need shipping back to the far east. Buy from Bern at Modern and this shouldn't be a problem as all my dealings with him have been great.

10. The threads to the filter wheel are M54 and not exactly standard, so finding adapters to allow you to plug in other bits can be a pain. But there are about.

So to sum up.

A very good CCD camera, not mainstream, much cheaper than equivalents and I have been using mine for nearly a year now with no major issues.

Infact all my pictures for the last year have been on this ccd + filter setup and I am extremely happy with mine. Not even thought about upgrading or replacing since I have had it, unlike my scopes where I am never happy ;)

Edited by Catanonia
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I have the QHY8L. Build quality is excellent.

Every camera that Modern Astronomy ship contains a CD with all the drivers and capture software.

The design of the camera is such that the chip can b opened up to allow for cleaning, if required (I would assume that even sealed designs would fail after time).

there is a screw on the sensor housing that can be removed. This allows you to connect a small tube fell of desiccant, to dry the air on it sensor chamber, to prevent fogging.

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Guys this is awesome advice thank you all very much. Interesting comments and they answer many questions I had.

Catanonia - A quick question about the filter wheel, you say its an M54 thread. Does this mean 2" filters need a special adapter or does it mean things like coma correctors, for examples, would need an adapter?

Also I have a net book which is without a CD rom drive is it possible to download the software for the cameras from the internet?

Appreciate the time taken for the reply guys

Mark

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Interesting thread. Some QHY owners express disgruntlement, some are happy, but Cat's post is very convincing as are his recent results.

Like Nadeem I like the complete Atik package, inc software. Obviously QHY prices are attractive but... there is usually a 'but' in these cases.Or maybe there isn't?

Olly

Edited by ollypenrice
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The 2inch filters are standard fitment so you will not have any problems.

The M54 thread I was on about is the actual connetions to the filter wheel front and back. They use M54 to get as wide a field as possible and they do supply 2 M54 adapters.

1. M54 to T thread (I think) to connect the filter wheel flush to the CCD.

2. M54 Thread to 2inch nose piece to connect the wheel to the scope.

Everything you need is there, but if you start to play with other stuff such as reducers or OAG, these tend to have T Threads and hence the fun begins.

Olly : The QHY9 and others have had bad press when they 1st came out as with any new product. Searching the web throws up alsorts of comments and bad reviews, but reading carefully and checking the dates shows 'most' of these are old issues since fixed.

I still maintain it is a very good CCD at a very reasonable price. All products may have issues, look at the latest atik recalls. But for the price you can really loose on the QHY.

Guys this is awesome advice thank you all very much. Interesting comments and they answer many questions I had.

Catanonia - A quick question about the filter wheel, you say its an M54 thread. Does this mean 2" filters need a special adapter or does it mean things like coma correctors, for examples, would need an adapter?

Also I have a net book which is without a CD rom drive is it possible to download the software for the cameras from the internet?

Appreciate the time taken for the reply guys

Mark

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I still maintain it is a very good CCD at a very reasonable price. All products may have issues, look at the latest atik recalls. But for the price you can really loose on the QHY.

can't lose on the QHY? ;)

All the negative comments I've read regarding QHY cameras have been for either old faults, now fixed; or driver silliness, unfounded.

Best Regards,

Mike

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Catatonia - I see, well considering I have a guide scope and I am using a reflector OAG and reducers are not needed atleast for now anyway. I am pretty tempted with the QHY 9. I searched your photos and have seen some other photos on here from the QHY9 and they are all brilliant that plus the price difference between the Atik and QHY I think I am my mind is pretty much made up

Martin and shaunster - Thanks for the direction to get the software onto my netbook very useful.

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Glad to help.

Remember mine is a one sided opinion as I have never owned or used an atik. All I can give you is my experiences and of course the price difference.

If you buy,go to Bern from Modern Astronomy and mention this thread, he is great and will answer all your questions.

Good luck with your choosen purchase.

Cat

Catatonia - I see, well considering I have a guide scope and I am using a reflector OAG and reducers are not needed atleast for now anyway. I am pretty tempted with the QHY 9. I searched your photos and have seen some other photos on here from the QHY9 and they are all brilliant that plus the price difference between the Atik and QHY I think I am my mind is pretty much made up

Martin and shaunster - Thanks for the direction to get the software onto my netbook very useful.

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ha ha I understand, I was just curious if there was much difference between the two. I used a field of view calculator and they are more or less the same, that atik has smaller pixels but other than that I couldnt find much difference. I though I would seek the advice of those more qualified and you guys answered very well

I was leaning towards the QHy anyway but I wont be buying til much later this year so plenty of time to decide :eek:

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Glad to help.

If you buy,go to Bern from Modern Astronomy and mention this thread, he is great and will answer all your questions.

^^Very much this^^

Bern is one of the good guys. Very knowledgeable, very keen to help*, and he rings you back if he is out.

*I was all set to buy an Atik 314L+ and had the card in my hand, ready to place the order. He spent ages on the phone with me, and gave me enough info to make me have another long think. I eventually opted for a QHY8L. If he hadn't advised me he would have had a larger sale.

For me, that's the sign of a good retailer...more interested in what's right for the customer.

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I've just asked Bernard about the QHY 11 meg. For a small consideration from the OP I will not inform Madame that t'was he whose thread got me started in this potentially expensive direction...

Olly

You will wanting a nice little MN190 to go with that eh Olly :eek:

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I have a Starlight Express camera and a QHY8. Worth remembering that value & price are two different things.

I remember being talked out of buying an MN190 and into buying a GSO scope, with assurances that actually the GSO was better than the MN190. Wish I had gone with my instincts in the first place instead of wasting hours mucking about with the GSO. I do still use the GSO though, to stand my coffee mug on next to the MN190..... :eek:

We live 'n' learn....

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I have a Starlight Express camera and a QHY8. Worth remembering that value & price are two different things.

I remember being talked out of buying an MN190 and into buying a GSO scope, with assurances that actually the GSO was better than the MN190. Wish I had gone with my instincts in the first place instead of wasting hours mucking about with the GSO. I do still use the GSO though, to stand my coffee mug on next to the MN190..... :eek:

We live 'n' learn....

Which GSO, TJ? 200mm f/4?

Mike

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