Jump to content

Stargazers Lounge Uses Cookies

Like most websites, SGL uses cookies in order to deliver a secure, personalised service, to provide social media functions and to analyse our traffic. Continued use of SGL indicates your acceptance of our cookie policy.

sgl_imaging_challenge_banner_solar_25_winners.thumb.jpg.fe4e711c64054f3c9486c752d0bcd6f2.jpg

uhb1966

Adventures of a first time CCD user

Recommended Posts

Hello guys and girls, these are the first adventures of a new CCD user.

I hope you'll have a bit to laugh ;)

i bought a used QHY8 from a fellow stargazer. It arrived yesterday. It was missing the documentation (but in the documentation was not part of the deal, so that's okay). After quite a while I got everything running (the Camara needs two power sources). As the weather was good for the first time in years, I immediately set up in my garden at 11 PM. First I was struck by a faulty USB cable - it took me about an hour and a half to isolate the problem as it was not constantly failing but intermittantly freezing the software and/or windows.

But after that, i was able to shoot a few short moon sequences with APT. However, the result was less than optimal. I was getting pesky little black squares. I suspected something with debayering and asked APT's Ivo and the qhyccd forum for help.

Ivo answered within about 30 mins, and after 2 or 3 messages everything was clear: the debayering settings in APT refer only to the display within APT, not to the saved images ! (I hear the more experienced SGLers ROFLing)

After some updates and mouseclicks, i got nice little stacked images of the full moon.

The next problem was the cooling: the unit cooled very well when connected straight to a power source, but with the QHY power converter in-between the cooling was mediocre (guessing from the outside temp of the casing). Also, the unit stubbornly said it was running at 25C, but the pictures were ok (yes, i know, moon pics dont have to worry about SNR, but still, they were ok, some test darks at 30 secs were also very ok).

Well, to cut a long story short: the QHY8 does not have a temp sensor!!! Its supposed to cool straight away at max power. APT (and other software) is somehow getting wrong temp values.

Finally, i used the QHY power converter for the sony chip and a second power supply for the cooling. The finding: the cooling via the QHY power converter was much weaker- even the fan went at a little lower rotation speed. Running through the second power supply, the unit cooled great. Possibly one of the cables was mistakenly sent instead of the original one- it looks suspiciously thin for a cable that is supposed to be transferring 36 watts at 12 volt.

So, after several hours of silently swearing, everything works! Yay!!!

 

PS: the suspiciously thin 36 watts cable (the cross diameter of the plug is 2.5mm):

cable-36watts.jpg

Edited by uhb1966
and girls,
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

PS the qhy8 is far too sensitive for the moon in single shot mode  :) although i had the gain set very low and 0.002 s exposure, i still had complete saturation in some parts of the subs! This might be easier in video mode. However i bought the camera for dso imaging. But after working through all the issues described i just went for an easy target to get things going and to ensure the device arrived in good shape :)

Edited by uhb1966

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice that you got everything working, there is a bigger sense of achievement when there are a few obstacles to get past.

Odd about the power issues, perhaps the transformer isn't correctly rated for the job, was it getting hot?

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to the dark side :D

Yeah, you will find CCDs a bit over-sensitive for the moon. You really need to dim down then light getting to it, either by stopping down or putting a filter or two in place. Having said that, I tried it the other night with an Ha filter on the shortest exposure possible and its still over-exposed.

CCDs can also be a bit picky on USB cables too, I get through one every couple of years (the cold weakens them). I tend to use ones that have a ferrite bead on too - that cuts out any interference that may come from power cables etc. Try to route the power and USB separately too, that reduces the chance of RF interference.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Uranium235 said:

Welcome to the dark side :D

...

Thank you, Darth Uranium235! B)

-Darth UHB

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good work. Always rewarding when perseverance pays off, and also that your new equipment actually works! You will have a lot of fun with that camera I am sure. USB cables are the source of a significant % of all imaging issues and much as they have made connectivity simple overall, for astronomy, they are a mixed blessing.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 20 July 2016 at 19:38, uhb1966 said:

Hello guys and girls, these are the first adventures of a new CCD user.

I hope you'll have a bit to laugh ;)

i bought a used QHY8 from a fellow stargazer. It arrived yesterday. It was missing the documentation (but in the documentation was not part of the deal, so that's okay). After quite a while I got everything running (the Camara needs two power sources). As the weather was good for the first time in years, I immediately set up in my garden at 11 PM. First I was struck by a faulty USB cable - it took me about an hour and a half to isolate the problem as it was not constantly failing but intermittantly freezing the software and/or windows.

But after that, i was able to shoot a few short moon sequences with APT. However, the result was less than optimal. I was getting pesky little black squares. I suspected something with debayering and asked APT's Ivo and the qhyccd forum for help.

Ivo answered within about 30 mins, and after 2 or 3 messages everything was clear: the debayering settings in APT refer only to the display within APT, not to the saved images ! (I hear the more experienced SGLers ROFLing)

After some updates and mouseclicks, i got nice little stacked images of the full moon.

The next problem was the cooling: the unit cooled very well when connected straight to a power source, but with the QHY power converter in-between the cooling was mediocre (guessing from the outside temp of the casing). Also, the unit stubbornly said it was running at 25C, but the pictures were ok (yes, i know, moon pics dont have to worry about SNR, but still, they were ok, some test darks at 30 secs were also very ok).

Well, to cut a long story short: the QHY8 does not have a temp sensor!!! Its supposed to cool straight away at max power. APT (and other software) is somehow getting wrong temp values.

Finally, i used the QHY power converter for the sony chip and a second power supply for the cooling. The finding: the cooling via the QHY power converter was much weaker- even the fan went at a little lower rotation speed. Running through the second power supply, the unit cooled great. Possibly one of the cables was mistakenly sent instead of the original one- it looks suspiciously thin for a cable that is supposed to be transferring 36 watts at 12 volt.

So, after several hours of silently swearing, everything works! Yay!!!

 

PS: the suspiciously thin 36 watts cable (the cross diameter of the plug is 2.5mm):

cable-36watts.jpg

That cable is more than capable of the job, it looks like 6 amp speaker cable, which would be fine, same as my cable on my Atik camera.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Bill! Than it's probably the qhy 101 DC unit. Never mind, i'll use the power unit that came with the cam for cooling and a second power unit from my stash for the chip, and it's a wrap B)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By Nikolas74
      Recently i bought this brand new camera from David Hardie when he was doing a big sell out of some really nice items in excellent offers !!!
      Unfortunately the camera although brand new doesn't serve my purposes so I decided to sell it at exactly the same price which I bought it from David , it was a really special offer 🤪
      The camera new costs £1685 and I will sell it for £750 to be fair....🤪🤪🤪🤪
      Camera comes with all its extras and case in absolutely brand new condition....!!!!
      Info from FLO site :
      https://www.firstlightoptics.com/starlight-xpress-cameras/starlight-xpress-trius-pro-674c-colour-ccd-camera.html
      Postage expenses are on me, secured package.
      Paypal accepted ,just buyer pays the fees.
      If payment is in EURO we will just calculate the daily exchange rate at Xe.com.
      Many thanks !
      Nikolas.
       




    • By LuminousCRO
      I was looking to get into astrophotography with my 10 inch dobson and for start would like to buy something affordable. Cameras can be used or new. Thanks in advance!
    • By Nikolas74
      Hello , 
      I am going to use for the first time my color camera and i was wondering if i should check the debayer algorithm in apt tool to RGBG (my camera) or not ? what is the difference ?
      Thank you.
    • By bottletopburly
      Having upgraded from canon 1000D to Nikon D5300  how do users of the 5300 find it for Astro I will be using with APT , and how do you take flats as I can’t use Av mode as there is nothing in tools menu to choose no lens ,  do you use in manual mode  and look at histogram ? .
    • By Matt Dawson
      Hello I'm new to this forum, greetings from rainy Luxembourg.
      I see this subject has been well covered already but I have a specific situation I need help with. I have a f/3.67 20" (508mm) Newtonian,coupled with a TS-Optics Coma Corrector 0.73x Reducer,  and an Apogee U4000 CCD (chip size 15.2mm x 15.2mm). I understand I need an over sized secondary to take full advantage of this f/2.7 super fast setup, but exactly what size secondary should I order? This setup has disadvantages that I cannot change like unforgiving collimation and focus (and some coma), but this is the one thing I can change for optimum performance. Can anyone tell me how to calculate this or, better still, calculate it for me?
      Cheers,
      Matt Dawson, Luxembourg
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.