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Jannis

Polemaster for planetary / deep sky? It's possible!

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Just thought i'd share this with you guys, should anyone be interested.
Here i have been pulling out my hair, but finally found the solution thanks to "Steve"'s post in another forum about Sharpcap now supporting the Polemaster as a normal camera.

Edit: Update: It appears that with the proper ASCOM driver, both PHD2, FireCapture and APT will also accept the Polemaster camera as long as i choose the "capture" version of the ASCOM driver instead of the "guide" version.

The Polemaster worked well for polar aligning my HEQ5 mount, and nothing to complain about there.

My problem was simply that while i often use the QHY5L for guiding, i've recently more and more started to use it for wide field deep sky narrowband imaging. This however cause this other small problem - i was now without a guide cam as the guide cam was now the imaging cam. The Polemaster is essentially a QHY5L-II-M in a different case, and with the lack of the ST4 guide port, so this wouldn't really be any problem if i could guide with one and capture with the other.

Shockingly i found out that no capture SW i used would accept the Polemaster. I attempted to modified the drivers so it would be detected as a QHY5L, but still couldn't get it to work. I then thought "ok, if i can use it guiding it would still be ok without the ST4 port", but no... PHD/PHD2 also didn't support it.
This was really annoying, as i expected QHY to block the QHY5L from working with Polemaster SW, but i couldn't see why they wouldn't let a (basically) 60% more expensive version of camera also get WDM/ASCOM drivers for any other software to use.

However, here comes Sharpcap and saves my day (or at least the price of a third camera for guiding) with the support for the Polemaster as a normal camera. This way i can first use the Polemaster for quick and accurate polar alignment, switch the lens for a 1.25" barrel for use with the scope (or attach any preferred lens with the use of the C-mount adapter) for capturing and then guide with the QHY5L.

Now i know most of you don't use the QHY5L for long exposures, but this does also mean that you now also have a great lunar/planetary camera with the additional cost of only a C-mount to 1.25" barrel! The locking screw on the stock lens will keep the focus, so it's no problem taking it off and on. Also the threads are metal, so they should last. :)

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Edited by Jannis
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I have not seen anyone else use this camera for anything but polar alignment either, but considering it takes like 10 sec to replace the stock lens with a 1.25" barrel i can see how people might want to use it as a dual purpose camera in the future. First as a polar alignment tool, and then as a planetary/lunar camera - or even deep sky. I know for sure that i will use it for imaging at least.

Sharpcap have a limit of 600 sec exposure it seems, but that should still be more then enough and not really a limit at all i think. I just hope other programs like firecapture and APT will follow with the camera support. :)

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Funny that, I do the exact opposite...I use the QHY5L-II-M as my guide camera but I also use it as my PoleMaster by interchanging the QHYCCD miniGuideScope and a 25mm CCTV Lens...

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True, it works like that too with a modefied driver for the 5L-II - but the QHY5L-II have been blocked from working with the newer polemaster software, and i think the older ones are expired when it comes to polar accuracy?

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I feel like a complete fool now - cause it appears that with the proper ASCOM driver, both PHD2, FireCapture and APT will accept the Polemaster camera as long as i choose the "capture" version of the ASCOM driver instead of the "guide" version. So now it appears i can use it both for planetary, lunar, deep sky, and even guiding if i use the mounts ASCOM driver and the cable to the hand controller. The ASCOM driver solves the max 60 sec exposure limit i experienced in SharpCap. :)

The Polemaster was never listed with any ASCOM drivers, but it appears that it's already added to the "capture" ASCOM driver that's listed for the QHY5L-II.

Basically now, the QHY5L-II-M and the Polemaster function essentially the same, with the exception that there is no ST4 guide port, you can't select speed and USB traffic in the ASCOM driver, as well as it don't appear to support 2x2 bin.

I have no idea how many, if any, are going to use the Polemaster for anything but polar alignment, but at least now you know it's fully possible! :)

Edited by Jannis
Add FireCapture also to that list.

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On 17/11/2016 at 00:30, Jannis said:

I feel like a complete fool now - cause it appears that with the proper ASCOM driver, both PHD2, FireCapture and APT will accept the Polemaster camera as long as i choose the "capture" version of the ASCOM driver instead of the "guide" version. So now it appears i can use it both for planetary, lunar, deep sky, and even guiding if i use the mounts ASCOM driver and the cable to the hand controller. The ASCOM driver solves the max 60 sec exposure limit i experienced in SharpCap. :)

The Polemaster was never listed with any ASCOM drivers, but it appears that it's already added to the "capture" ASCOM driver that's listed for the QHY5L-II.

Basically now, the QHY5L-II-M and the Polemaster function essentially the same, with the exception that there is no ST4 guide port, you can't select speed and USB traffic in the ASCOM driver, as well as it don't appear to support 2x2 bin.

I have no idea how many, if any, are going to use the Polemaster for anything but polar alignment, but at least now you know it's fully possible! :)

I will try this as soon as possible, so interesting to use the polemaster as guidecamera after the polar alignment....

but, only to see if I understood well: just download the ascom capture driver, using the original polemaster drivers and everything works in PHD2 for example? that's could we fantastic

 

 

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On 17/11/2016 at 00:30, Jannis said:

I feel like a complete fool now - cause it appears that with the proper ASCOM driver, both PHD2, FireCapture and APT will accept the Polemaster camera as long as i choose the "capture" version of the ASCOM driver instead of the "guide" version. So now it appears i can use it both for planetary, lunar, deep sky, and even guiding if i use the mounts ASCOM driver and the cable to the hand controller. The ASCOM driver solves the max 60 sec exposure limit i experienced in SharpCap. :)

The Polemaster was never listed with any ASCOM drivers, but it appears that it's already added to the "capture" ASCOM driver that's listed for the QHY5L-II.

Basically now, the QHY5L-II-M and the Polemaster function essentially the same, with the exception that there is no ST4 guide port, you can't select speed and USB traffic in the ASCOM driver, as well as it don't appear to support 2x2 bin.

I have no idea how many, if any, are going to use the Polemaster for anything but polar alignment, but at least now you know it's fully possible! :)

I will try this as soon as possible, so interesting to use the polemaster as guidecamera after the polar alignment....

but, only to see if I understood well: just download the ascom capture driver, using the original polemaster drivers and everything works in PHD2 for example? that's could we fantastic

 

 

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Correct! :)

you get a c-mount to 1,25" adapter almost for free on ebay for example, and then you have a highly sensitive guide camera - just without the st4 guide port.

Make sure the focus lock screw is tightened before taking off the lens. I've taken it off and on several times now and there's no need for refocusing, so it only takes seconds to "convert" it to a guidecam. :)

Edit: you will also need to install the ASCOM platform prior to installing the driver for the camera and mount if you don't already have this installed. I assume you already have it but just thought i should mention it.

Edited by Jannis

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On 22/11/2016 at 00:32, Jannis said:

Correct! :)

you get a c-mount to 1,25" adapter almost for free on ebay for example, and then you have a highly sensitive guide camera - just without the st4 guide port.

Make sure the focus lock screw is tightened before taking off the lens. I've taken it off and on several times now and there's no need for refocusing, so it only takes seconds to "convert" it to a guidecam. :)

Edit: you will also need to install the ASCOM platform prior to installing the driver for the camera and mount if you don't already have this installed. I assume you already have it but just thought i should mention it.

sorry, I install the ASCOM capture driver with the original porlemaster drivers (and ASCOM platform install of course previously) but I can not find the camera when the ASCOM chooser appears.

I use the "QHYCCDASCOM-Capture-StarSenseSci-V0.1.45.0"

please, could you tell me what ASCOM capture driver are you using? a link to a file o by email at carballada at gmail dot com could be great :D

thank you in advance

 

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That's odd. I've just reinstalled 2 computers and it works fine for me. I see that QHY just released a new ASCOM driver, have you tried to install that one and see if it works?
I'm sure you've double and tripple checked, but are you 100% sure you're selecting the same ASCOM as i am in PHD? If not, it won't show the polemaster in the drop-down list.

For info, these are the programs and drivers i have installed to get it working.

2.jpg

3.JPG

4.jpg

1.jpg

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14 hours ago, Jannis said:

That's odd. I've just reinstalled 2 computers and it works fine for me. I see that QHY just released a new ASCOM driver, have you tried to install that one and see if it works?
I'm sure you've double and tripple checked, but are you 100% sure you're selecting the same ASCOM as i am in PHD? If not, it won't show the polemaster in the drop-down list.

For info, these are the programs and drivers i have installed to get it working.

2.jpg

3.JPG

4.jpg

1.jpg

thank you so much for your info, I'll try this weekend..

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On 29/11/2016 at 19:10, Jannis said:

That's odd. I've just reinstalled 2 computers and it works fine for me. I see that QHY just released a new ASCOM driver, have you tried to install that one and see if it works?
I'm sure you've double and tripple checked, but are you 100% sure you're selecting the same ASCOM as i am in PHD? If not, it won't show the polemaster in the drop-down list.

For info, these are the programs and drivers i have installed to get it working.

2.jpg

3.JPG

4.jpg

1.jpg

Thank you so much, now it's working!!!

 

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Glad to hear that! Have you tried it for guiding or imaging yet?

By the way, may i ask what was wrong when it didn't work the first time?

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On 4/12/2016 at 23:46, Jannis said:

Glad to hear that! Have you tried it for guiding or imaging yet?

By the way, may i ask what was wrong when it didn't work the first time?

I am waiting the adapter to 1.25 for guiding, I will explain my test soon.

The problem was something with the drivers versions, after to install all your files it works ... sorry, no further investigation 

(I installed all your files with no other action, nothing was remove previously or uninstalled)

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On ‎29‎/‎11‎/‎2016 at 18:10, Jannis said:

That's odd. I've just reinstalled 2 computers and it works fine for me. I see that QHY just released a new ASCOM driver, have you tried to install that one and see if it works?
I'm sure you've double and tripple checked, but are you 100% sure you're selecting the same ASCOM as i am in PHD? If not, it won't show the polemaster in the drop-down list.

For info, these are the programs and drivers i have installed to get it working.

2.jpg

3.JPG

4.jpg

1.jpg

Hi,

 

I have just been to the QHYCCD ste and downloaded latest version of

  • QHYCCDASCOM-Guide-StarSenseSci - 0.1.51.0
  • QHYCCDASCOM-Capture-StarSenseSci- 0.1.31.0
  • QHY5IIDriverLatestEdition - no version shown
  • NativeWDMLatestEdition - 1.0.4.0

When I try to connect to the QHYCCD-Cameras-Capture (ASCOM) using pHD2 new profile wizard, and try to 'detect' I get an error message

I am assuming this is a version issue as the PoleMaster camera connects via the PoleMaster app.

Can you please post the URLs you used to obtain the versions of:

  • QHYCCDASCOM-Guide-StarSenseSci - 0.1.44.0
  • QHYCCDASCOM-Capture-StarSenseSci- 0.1.44.0

as 2 days searching have not proven successful.

 

Thanks

 

 

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Hey guys, anyone know the FFS rate of the PoleMaster camera?  Must be reasonable high because when satellites/plain pass in front of the polar alignment they seem to be smooth as they pass across......

Quote

 

 

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Maybe i'm just not fully awake yet, but you mean "Full Frames per Sec" rate?
If so, i would assume similar to the QHY5L-II as it's the same sensor, but i haven't tested it. I can't remember seeing it have the "high speed" option, "USB traffic" or "8/12-bit" settings though, which all will affect the maximum FPS..

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I did some checking now and it does actually look like the Polemaster is heavily FPS limited in comparison to the 5L-II, so i was completely wrong on my guess. Maybe it's to optimize stability?
I'm able to get a stable 3.85 FPS out of it at full res, and up to ~22 FPS when using only a small section of the chip. Roughly 1/10 of the FPS the 5L-II gives.

It seems that both SharpCap and FireCapture still let you use the Polemaster for imaging even with the 0.1.51.0 drivers, but APT and PHD2 won't let you connect to camera.

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On 15/11/2016 at 00:46, Jannis said:

Just thought i'd share this with you guys, should anyone be interested.
Here i have been pulling out my hair, but finally found the solution thanks to "Steve"'s post in another forum about Sharpcap now supporting the Polemaster as a normal camera.

Edit: Update: It appears that with the proper ASCOM driver, both PHD2, FireCapture and APT will also accept the Polemaster camera as long as i choose the "capture" version of the ASCOM driver instead of the "guide" version.

The Polemaster worked well for polar aligning my HEQ5 mount, and nothing to complain about there.

My problem was simply that while i often use the QHY5L for guiding, i've recently more and more started to use it for wide field deep sky narrowband imaging. This however cause this other small problem - i was now without a guide cam as the guide cam was now the imaging cam. The Polemaster is essentially a QHY5L-II-M in a different case, and with the lack of the ST4 guide port, so this wouldn't really be any problem if i could guide with one and capture with the other.

Shockingly i found out that no capture SW i used would accept the Polemaster. I attempted to modified the drivers so it would be detected as a QHY5L, but still couldn't get it to work. I then thought "ok, if i can use it guiding it would still be ok without the ST4 port", but no... PHD/PHD2 also didn't support it.
This was really annoying, as i expected QHY to block the QHY5L from working with Polemaster SW, but i couldn't see why they wouldn't let a (basically) 60% more expensive version of camera also get WDM/ASCOM drivers for any other software to use.

However, here comes Sharpcap and saves my day (or at least the price of a third camera for guiding) with the support for the Polemaster as a normal camera. This way i can first use the Polemaster for quick and accurate polar alignment, switch the lens for a 1.25" barrel for use with the scope (or attach any preferred lens with the use of the C-mount adapter) for capturing and then guide with the QHY5L.

Now i know most of you don't use the QHY5L for long exposures, but this does also mean that you now also have a great lunar/planetary camera with the additional cost of only a C-mount to 1.25" barrel! The locking screw on the stock lens will keep the focus, so it's no problem taking it off and on. Also the threads are metal, so they should last. :)

DSC_0359.JPG

DSC_0360.JPG

DSC_0363.JPG

 

 

 

Before I start taking a £300 camera part, is this not leaving the Polemaster's sensor uncovered?

 

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Just now, iapa said:

Before I start taking a £300 camera part, is this not leaving the Polemaster's sensor uncovered?

 

A just spotted that it looks you have actually added a filter of some sort?

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Yes, removing the lens leaves the sensor unprotected. There is no protection glass on the Polemaster, so i'm using a simple UV/IR-block filter on my C Mount to 1.25" adapter. 

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45 minutes ago, Jannis said:

Yes, removing the lens leaves the sensor unprotected. There is no protection glass on the Polemaster, so i'm using a simple UV/IR-block filter on my C Mount to 1.25" adapter. 

Thanks

I've for a basic 1,25" LP filter somewhere.

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