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  #21  
Old 17-04-2012, 10:47 AM
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Hi Meru

The software that comes with the QHY9 includes drivers and a basic capture program which only deals with operating the camera alone which is why I suggested MaximDL. Maxim is a complete package that has so many features and is well worth the purchase cost. It not only allows capture with just about any camera you can name, but has comprehensive guide control, automation of capture sequence including FW control and exposure times which you can set. It also includes fully blown processing software and plate solving via pinpoint, dome control, multiple camera control with all cooling adjustments, mount control, a basic planetarium and the list just goes on and on. It is a little daunting for the first time user but has a great help guide for all of its features including info on different cameras and how to get them working. It will even control your DSLR if you get one of the shoe string DUSB units. I love this program and it can be downloaded directly from diffraction limited website with the cost of purchase giving you free upgrades for set intervals. Also there is a free fully featured demo version available for you to try for 30 days. You can also buy a boxed version with a hardcopy of the manual but this costs more then the digital version and is not really necessary. (opps you posted before I finished )

Most of the problems I have read about (not experienced) are to do with the installation of the drivers. In short follow Theo's instructions and it will be trouble free. In the 3 1/2 years I have had my camera only one thing has gone wrong, a power spike blew the power board in the camera. It was out of local warranty by a month or so but I contacted Theo anyway and he asked me to send it back to him as although the local warranty had expired the factory warranty still had two years left. Theo checked it out and found the problem but decided it was best to send it back to the factory to be repaired. I had to pay for the camera to be shipped back to the factory (buggerall) but it was returned to me with a new board and ready to go within two weeks. One of the quirks that caught me out when I first got the camera was the correct attachment of the cable between the camera and power box/Tec controller. The EMC ring (big lump on one side) must be on the power box side not on the camera end or it will cause interfearence with the download (ie lines on the image) but the correct attachment is detailed in the users manual. Funny thing is when I first had this problem I rang Theo who talked me though the process until we found my stuff up and he was on the phone for an hour making sure everything else was right as well, top bloke though he could talk the legs off a chair, oh and he rang me back so the cost of the call was on his phone not mine. The only other quirk I can think off is with taking flats. The shutter is not a leaf shutter like other camera's using the KAF8300 chip. It is driven by a stepper motor which makes it slow. If your exposure times are too short there will be shutter artifacts on the image so you need to set your light source so you achieve about 20000ADU over a 3 - 4 sec exposure. The disadvantage is the shutters speed (which can be worked around as above), the advantage is unlike leaf shutters it does not have a number of exposures use by date and should last forever. QHY have a forum (QHYCCD.com, link also on Theo's webpage) in which you can post questions, read about updates, download software etc etc. Best thing is the designer and owner, Quiy participates directly with users and helps to solve problems with software compatabilty issues, camera hardware issues and so on. I have seen him respond within an hour of a post with the solution, even to posters whose cameras have had their onboard software corrupted offering the inhouse application and knowhow to go in and change the settings back to the defaults rendering the camera servicable again. I know of no other firm that does this with many just giving you the run around (e.g. TOMTOM) or deny the problem exists (e.g. apple). There are a lot of QHY camera's out there now so they must be doing something right.

Mark

Last edited by marki; 17-04-2012 at 10:58 AM.
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  #22  
Old 18-04-2012, 09:22 PM
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Meru (Michael)
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Wow thanks for the insight Mark! I had a chance to play with MaximDl a few days ago, and I can see why its so good. It really does make everything else ive been using look quite - well amateurish! And yes Ive heard much about Theo's service, and your story only confirms what i already know from talking to him personally last few days. I have also been on QHYs forums and seen their level of almost instant support, it really is very good.

I suppose I was in a bit of rush to get the CCD, and the $1k off really is quite tempting. But I might just wait a little bit longer as I dont wish to rush into this. Plus I have some commitments which probably aren't gonna let up till May sometime. One hand QHY really is a great product with good value for money, but other hand I feel saving up for an SBIG and accessories might be worth the wait. I guess time will tell! Thank you so much for all your posts and advice, definitely is gonna help me make m decision. Ill post here the outcome!
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  #23  
Old 19-04-2012, 09:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meru View Post
Wow thanks for the insight Mark! I had a chance to play with MaximDl a few days ago, and I can see why its so good. It really does make everything else ive been using look quite - well amateurish! And yes Ive heard much about Theo's service, and your story only confirms what i already know from talking to him personally last few days. I have also been on QHYs forums and seen their level of almost instant support, it really is very good.

I suppose I was in a bit of rush to get the CCD, and the $1k off really is quite tempting. But I might just wait a little bit longer as I dont wish to rush into this. Plus I have some commitments which probably aren't gonna let up till May sometime. One hand QHY really is a great product with good value for money, but other hand I feel saving up for an SBIG and accessories might be worth the wait. I guess time will tell! Thank you so much for all your posts and advice, definitely is gonna help me make m decision. Ill post here the outcome!

Yes don't rush your choice as there are always new options coming onto the market at lower prices and the new version of the ST8300 looks impressive with fast downloads and better cooling. But whatever you do stick with Maxim, it is a steep learning curve I know but you will be hard pressed to find better.

Cheers

Mark
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