Go Back   IceInSpace > Equipment > Equipment Discussions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rating: Thread Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.
  #1  
Old 31-05-2007, 07:57 AM
JohnH's Avatar
JohnH
Member # 159

JohnH is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: NSW
Posts: 1,179
Fist Light - Qguide (aka QHY 5)

I just recieved my new QHY5 guidecamera, tanks Gamma.

First impression - what a small, light neat package, just right to pop on the WO66 and is barely bigger than the 2" draw tube and light too...

Second impression, well this is no surprise, but the configuration of the camera is tricky. It can be configured to be one of several models depending on the software you intend to use it with (in my case PHD and Guidemaster) so you need to learn a bit more about USB than you probably care to but after some futzing around I had it working with PHD...so let's get it under the stars...

And very happy...with a 2 sec exposure I have potential guidestars all over the fov (which is 48'x60') looks like I can go to Mag 10 - maybe lower and high resolution gives me good sensitivity (2.8" per pixel), sub pixel guiding means I will be limited by seeing but I should easiliy get down to 1".

I still have some USB issues to resolve - but I did 2x10min guided runs on a mag 9.5 star with subpixel accuracy - something I have not been ble to do before so it is a good start...that is Acrux in the middle of the image...
Attached Thumbnails
Click for full-size image (phdqguider..JPG)
103.5 KB332 views
Click for full-size image (qguider.JPG)
88.2 KB287 views

Last edited by JohnH; 31-05-2007 at 11:47 AM. Reason: add photo
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 31-05-2007, 09:21 AM
[1ponders]'s Avatar
[1ponders] (Paul)
Retired, damn no pension

[1ponders] is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Obi Obi, Qld
Posts: 18,778
Tiny little blighter ain't it. Good luck with it John, and of course we expect a full article on it once you have finished the shake down.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 31-05-2007, 09:50 AM
Dennis
Dazzled by the Cosmos.

Dennis is offline
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 10,895
Thanks for the details John - all looking good so far. Look forward to more chapters in the book as you use the QHY5 guide camera.

Cheers

Dennis
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 31-05-2007, 10:03 AM
Garyh's Avatar
Garyh
Amongst the stars

Garyh is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Glen Innes, N.S.W.
Posts: 2,839
Lookin good John, I thought about the camera but decided I will just go for a toucam. No WDM driver sort of put me off so it would have limited software support....Please tell me if I am wrong...
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 31-05-2007, 10:07 AM
Terry B's Avatar
Terry B
Country living & viewing

Terry B is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Armidale
Posts: 2,759
Great
I can't wait until mine turns up.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 31-05-2007, 11:58 AM
JohnH's Avatar
JohnH
Member # 159

JohnH is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: NSW
Posts: 1,179
Quote:
Originally Posted by Garyh View Post
Lookin good John, I thought about the camera but decided I will just go for a toucam. No WDM driver sort of put me off so it would have limited software support....Please tell me if I am wrong...
It's just different mate, the toucam is king for planetary imaging, but it would need a long exposure mod and adpater for use with my little guidescope...and Iam pretty sure it would not match the QHY unit for sensitivity. You can do planetary with this BUT it is not designed to do it you have to use HDCapture or Qvideo and I have not attepted it yet. There are a few pictures out there from those who have and it looks promising...main issue seems to be too much data for the HDD to cope with....
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 31-05-2007, 03:41 PM
Astroman's Avatar
Astroman (Andrew Wall)
<><><><>

Astroman is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Paralowie, South Australia
Posts: 4,348
Impressive. How much for one of these out of interest?
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 31-05-2007, 05:42 PM
JohnH's Avatar
JohnH
Member # 159

JohnH is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: NSW
Posts: 1,179
Andrew, I paid a miserly sum (AU$254) for mine but I think I was lucky as I got a spot in a shared shipment, I think the price will vary with the AU/USD rate too. Check with:

gamaelectronics@aanet.com.au
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 31-05-2007, 06:16 PM
Astroman's Avatar
Astroman (Andrew Wall)
<><><><>

Astroman is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Paralowie, South Australia
Posts: 4,348
Thanks John, nice price
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 13-06-2007, 01:11 PM
JohnH's Avatar
JohnH
Member # 159

JohnH is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: NSW
Posts: 1,179
QGuider - Second light

Finally a clear night and I am able to use the qguider again.

I now have the Qguider configured correctly to work with PHD and find it to be a very light, sensitive and accurate guidecam. In fact it is far superior in this use to the Orion Starshoot I used before. Whereas I was limited to +/- 1 pixel with the color camera I am getting +/- 0.2 with the Qguider, this means I do not have to use a barlow (less weight/flexure and bigger fov). It really is a pleasure to see the guide field sprinkled with usable stars at 1s without having to use TEC.

Last night I did a series of 5 min shots of M8 as a test - I did no polar alignment - just placed the tripod in the normal spot set DEC corrections to go in one direction only (S) and let PHD 1.5 take the strain.

The result is attached...this is my best autoguided result to date but I still have a couple of questions so can I ask for some comments on the guiding please? To assist I have attached plots of the RA and DEC erorrs and associated corrections applied.

Guidecam exposure was set to 3 seconds to minimise seeing effects but I see fairly frequent and large spikes in RA, these all seem to be about the same magnitude and so I assumed these spikes are seeing related, however on reflection, if they were, I would have expected to see a similar frequency and size of spike in in DEC but that is not the case? The scale is 2.8" per pixel on the dx/dy plot and ms on the corrections plot. I have RA corrections applied at 0.7x.

If these spikes are not seeing related what is the most likely cause? Currently PHD "sees" these errors as real and attempts correction, the hysterisis setting and slow RA guide speed seem to have prevented this from causing wild oscillation but I would like to understand what is going on. Can seeing excursions really persist for > 3 secs at this sort of rate?

I plan to re-do this test using Guidemaster 2 for comparison.
Attached Thumbnails
Click for full-size image (SmallM8.jpg)
146.9 KB197 views
Click for full-size image (Errors.jpg)
47.2 KB148 views
Click for full-size image (Corrections.jpg)
57.9 KB100 views
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 13-06-2007, 01:25 PM
jase (Jason)
Registered User

jase is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Melbourne, Victoria
Posts: 3,916
John, I actually think it looks rather normal considering the equipment capabilities. Have you programmed PEC yet - Vixen made the firmware available sometime ago?
The Ra and Dec stats you provided, is that over at least two or three worm periods? It is not easy to determine a precise trend as seeing interferes with the corrections. This is the reason why when you program PEC, you need to do so over at least five worm periods to level out the seeing. I usually go for eight or nine worm periods before creating a good PEC curve.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 13-06-2007, 02:01 PM
JohnH's Avatar
JohnH
Member # 159

JohnH is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: NSW
Posts: 1,179
Jase, thanks for that....yes I have got build 35 with PEC installed - I was probably the only idiot in the world who used build 34 - I was so keen to get it but it is of no use...

Here is what I can tell you about the SXW and the original starbook (I hear there are multiple hardware variants of it out there so what is true for me may not be true for the ones supplied today or of the Starbook S models).

PEC training is definitely not retained after a power off.

In addition it is a very poor implimentation of PEC as it stands today and can
easily make results worse. The main reason for this is there is no mechanism to refine or average out multiple training runs (or none I can find) thus the corrections are applied out of synch with the errors by the duration of the guide exposure. If you shorten this interval you get better correction but end up introducing seeing effects unless the atmosphere is very stable during training.

The worm cycle is 8 mins on the SXW so the charts show a little more that two revolutions (1000 seconds) but the rest of the data looks the same over a period of about 5000s.

If this is normal for the equipment does that mean the 1" jumps are irregularity/roughmess in the gears? So I should look for a pattern of such jumps? Is cleaning and/or adjustment required?

I attach a plot of the RA errors alone for 8 cycles...
Attached Thumbnails
Click for full-size image (RAerros.jpg)
44.7 KB71 views
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 13-06-2007, 02:34 PM
jase (Jason)
Registered User

jase is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Melbourne, Victoria
Posts: 3,916
Hi John,
Looking at the eight cycle worm period you have provide – I would almost consider this text book perfect – certainly from an auto guiding aspect. I would say that +/- 1” is your baseline. Keeping in mind that guiding corrections do always correlate direct to the worm error as previously mentioned. There is obviously other factors such as the accuracy of polar alignment, seeing conditions blah blah (you not the stuff).

I heard that PEC on the Sphinx was a bit of a dud. Let hope they get it right next time. Ultimately, integrated PEC should allow you to record two or three runs and average them. I believe Gemini provides such functionality as do other telescope control systems. I only ever have one PEC run programmed, but it’s usually a very good one.

I would keep your guiding exposure times high so you don’t chase the seeing – between three and five seconds is good. Longer is better if you’ve got a stable mount that tracks well, but this also depends on your focal length you’re using.

Not sure how keen you are, but you can you can try swapping you dec worm with the ra to see if you get any improvement. The improvement would be very marginal, nothing drastic I suspect. As you mention, you could also look into further adjustments or regreasing to squeeze out more performance - http://enzerink.net/peter/astronomy/....htm#radecworm
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 13-06-2007, 06:31 PM
JohnH's Avatar
JohnH
Member # 159

JohnH is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: NSW
Posts: 1,179
Thanks Jase....really appreciate the feedback.

I think I will stop where I am for the moment - perhaps a longer guide exposure will help as the PE is quite low and smooth on the Sphinx - worth trying anyway.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 15-06-2007, 10:43 PM
netwolf's Avatar
netwolf
Registered User

netwolf is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,905
John, it would be great if you could do some longer exposures with the Qguider and post them. If it can show 9.5mag star in 2sec, I wonder what kind of capability it has for DSO imaging. There are drivers for it for MaximDL and other similar apps. Also it would be good to see some Planetery work with these to. Some promising photos have been posted on Qhy forums.
Looks like a winner for guiding, i am just wondering how much more it can do.

Regards
Fahim
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 16-06-2007, 09:03 AM
JohnH's Avatar
JohnH
Member # 159

JohnH is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: NSW
Posts: 1,179
Fahim,

Mate I would be delighted to do so, can you fix the Wx for me? Say 3-5 cloudless nights, prefereably at the w/e with no dew and great seeing?

Seriously though I am intending to have a shot at Jupiter as soon as the weather permits me to..(also bear in mind my cam is the mono version, the colour one will be less sensitive (1/3 approx)) of course that will mean shorter not longer exposures. I really had not thought to use this for DSO work...

Last edited by JohnH; 16-06-2007 at 05:19 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 16-06-2007, 12:19 PM
netwolf's Avatar
netwolf
Registered User

netwolf is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,905
Depressing it is to see all this rain run down the storm water drain. If only it would fall where it is needed and leave us with clear skies. I am thinking of getting the Cmos camera, but am awaiting further DSO and Planetary results. I am geting this while I save up some more for the Qhy2Pro, I was going to get the Qhy2 but I would prefer to wait for the mono.

Regards
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 16-06-2007, 04:58 PM
Vince G
Registered User

Vince G is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Coffs Harbour
Posts: 46
G'day John,
I'm glad you got the q-guider working.
Mine was too, but now it wont.
I'm reformatting my computer and I've forgotten how to set up the camera for guiding. I was using PHD.
When I was having problems connecting to the camera, I couldn't get the computer to find the drivers.
Would you give me some steps to do please?
Vince G



Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnH View Post
I just recieved my new QHY5 guidecamera, tanks Gamma.


First impression - what a small, light neat package, just right to pop on the WO66 and is barely bigger than the 2" draw tube and light too...

Second impression, well this is no surprise, but the configuration of the camera is tricky. It can be configured to be one of several models depending on the software you intend to use it with (in my case PHD and Guidemaster) so you need to learn a bit more about USB than you probably care to but after some futzing around I had it working with PHD...so let's get it under the stars...

And very happy...with a 2 sec exposure I have potential guidestars all over the fov (which is 48'x60') looks like I can go to Mag 10 - maybe lower and high resolution gives me good sensitivity (2.8" per pixel), sub pixel guiding means I will be limited by seeing but I should easiliy get down to 1".


I still have some USB issues to resolve - but I did 2x10min guided runs on a mag 9.5 star with subpixel accuracy - something I have not been ble to do before so it is a good start...that is Acrux in the middle of the image...
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 16-06-2007, 10:39 PM
Harpspitfire
Registered User

Harpspitfire is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: pittsburgh pa
Posts: 267
john, im in the USA- i got tired of waiting for the Qguide and ordered the opticstar 130M from the UK, (same clone)- i sent mine back to the UK yesterday, i COULD NOT get an image on my screen, when i did it was totally washed out at focus!!- as contradicting as this sounds- at night i couldnt even get a guide star- it was like that they didnt exist!! mine came with etAMcap and opticstar viewer, i tried others too like QC focus- etc, whatever i tried the camera still had the same 'malfunction'- i couldnt see any exposure speed settings other then auto- can you tell what i may be doing wrong??- they're going to check the camera and either fix it, replace it, or tell me im an idiot using it!!- LOL, john
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 17-06-2007, 10:29 AM
JohnH's Avatar
JohnH
Member # 159

JohnH is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: NSW
Posts: 1,179
Hi Harp,

I had not heard of the OpticStar 130M it looks like a re-packaged version of the Qguide, the QGuide is actually CCDLabs (USA) version of the QHY5 camera, it is also sold by Astrolumina, M42, Gamma Electronics and probably others. The chip in the camera is the MT9M001 1/2inch cmos which has two vesions, color and mono. This chip is used in other cameras as well such as the Fishcamp starfish, the Mightex CMOS and I assume the Opticstar unit BUT these are different animals.

I can only speak for the QHY5 - it really is great value and exactly what I wanted. Setup requires a little patience, my issues were caused by a faulty laptop...the rest is just configuration.

The only oddness is that you must set the camera up to work with the software you want to use. Thus you must run the utility VIDPROGRAM to set the camera up correctly before you switch from MAXIM (say) to PHD. This is not difficult. Full details can be found at

http://www.astrosoft.be/qhy5.asp

and

http://qhyccd.com/ccdbbs/index.php


PS. The image on the Opticstar website is one I took! I sent it to Marcus (Guidemaster author) some time ago....but it was not guided with a qguider it was guided with an LPI!
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +10. The time is now 04:26 PM.

Powered by vBulletin Version 3.8.7 | Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Advertisement
Meade Australia
Advertisement
Bintel
Advertisement
SkyWatcher Australia
Advertisement
Lunatico Astronomical
Advertisement
OzScopes Authorised Dealer
Advertisement
Celestron Australia
Advertisement
NexDome Observatories
Advertisement
Astronomy and Electronics Centre
Advertisement