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Old 07-11-2013, 05:56 PM
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johnno07 (Chris)
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Need help setting up QHY-5L II for guiding

I'm stumped. I have spent most of today trying to figure out how to get my new QHY-5L II set up as a guider with no luck.

My set up:
- Skywatcher BD ED100 Refractor
- Celestron CG5 Mount
- Vixen 70mm guidescope
- QHY-5L II camera
- Very new Win 8.1 laptop (more than capable of running all applicable software)

I installed the latest drivers for the 5L II, ASCOM Platform 6 SP3, ASCOM drivers, PHD 1.14 and the included EZPlanetary software.

Setting everything up, I can get an image perfectly through EZPlanetary. PHD, on the other hand, is giving me a headache. As I believe that the 5L II is not natively supported through PHD yet, I choose ASCOM (Late) as my camera, and the the 5L II from the popup ASCOM menu. When I click the loop button, I get basically no image. I upcapping and capping the guidescope gives me a white and light grey image respectively - regardless of the gamma setting. Switching my camera choice to the WDM option, on the other hand, gives me an image.

I don't fully understand ASCOM's role in all of this. Is it some sort of intermediary software that manages the drivers for your equipment?

Also, the guider is plugged into the guider port on mount with an ST4 cable and into my laptop with a USB cable - this is the proper set up, yes? i.e. the laptop does not need to be directly plugged into the mount?

I sincerely appreciate any help you can give - I'm struggling haha
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Old 07-11-2013, 08:05 PM
torsion (Bram)
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Hi Chris,

I am not using PHD, but Metaguide instead. It uses the video capability of the camera to guide (high frame rate). Also, I am using a Windows 7 installation (mac bootcamp).

The drivers don't work with win8-64bit and only the ASCOM interface works with PHD (as stated on the QHY FAQ page http://qhyccd.com/en/top/faq/qhy5-ii-faq/).

According to this thread: http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/s....php?p=1012207 you are doing things correct.

It seems that PHD is seeing some light .. Can you set the gain and 'frame rate' (= exposure time) somewhere?

As for your cable connections, that is what I have as well. Although I would think that PHD would like to know the approx pointing location (think that has to do with cross coupling between DEC and RA, not sure). But maybe that is being checked during the calibration sequence.

Sorry not much help, but it is a great little camera!

cheers,
Bram
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Old 07-11-2013, 08:15 PM
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Shiraz (Ray)
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Chris, I use basically the same setup as you describe (including ST4 cabling) and it works OK.

the only thing I can think of is that, since phd starts up with 1 sec default exposure and does not support very short exposures, you are getting extreme overexposure in daylight with the QHY5. WDM activates the laptop webcam on mine - are you getting a WDM image from the QHY5?.
phd seems to do strange things with the display greyscale - it is not always what I would choose, but it still works.
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Old 07-11-2013, 08:20 PM
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Spookyer (Brett)
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If there is any light about still you will just get a white image, the sensor is very sensitive. If capped you should get a dark image. If the camera is a lot out of focus you will not really see anything.

I got mine last month and as I recall when setting it up I got caught with it not updating properly as well and it just showed grey or white or black screens. Not sure what I did to get it working specifically. I think I am connecting now though by selecting QHY5ii in ascom (not late model camera). I am also using PHD2, you could give that a try and see if it works with that. It is a better interface than PHD as well.
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Old 08-11-2013, 01:48 AM
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johnno07 (Chris)
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Thanks for your replies, guys

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiraz View Post
Chris, I use basically the same setup as you describe (including ST4 cabling) and it works OK.

the only thing I can think of is that, since phd starts up with 1 sec default exposure and does not support very short exposures, you are getting extreme overexposure in daylight with the QHY5. WDM activates the laptop webcam on mine - are you getting a WDM image from the QHY5?.
phd seems to do strange things with the display greyscale - it is not always what I would choose, but it still works.
I chose the very shortest exposure time available (0.05 seconds) but still had the same result. Choosing WDM and then choosing the QHY camera option activated the guider camera for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spookyer View Post
If there is any light about still you will just get a white image, the sensor is very sensitive. If capped you should get a dark image. If the camera is a lot out of focus you will not really see anything.

I got mine last month and as I recall when setting it up I got caught with it not updating properly as well and it just showed grey or white or black screens. Not sure what I did to get it working specifically.
Capped resulted in a light grey image. I had made sure it was in focus through EZPlanetary - which gave me a perfect live image in that software.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spookyer View Post
I think I am connecting now though by selecting QHY5ii in ascom (not late model camera). I am also using PHD2, you could give that a try and see if it works with that. It is a better interface than PHD as well.
There is only one ASCOM option in PHD for me, and that's the Late Model one. Selecting QHY5II in PHD results in the whole program locking up and needing to be forced closed. The QHY FAQ that Bram posted above mentions that using PHD to directly guide the QHY is buggy and to use ASCOM in between. I will give PHD2 a try tomorrow if I get a chance!
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Old 08-11-2013, 05:37 AM
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Spookyer (Brett)
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Chris, looks like you are doing everything right re trouble shooting. Good luck with PHD2

I should mention I just plug the guide camera directly into my laptop. My mount is also plugged directly into my laptop. I don't use the st4 cable.

Brett
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