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QHY600 Manual
2019 年 08 月 31 日
QHYCCD COLDMOS Astronomy Camera
QHY600
User’s Manual 

This document is an online document. You may save this PDF file or print it out. QHYCCD reserves the right to change this user manual without prior notice.
 
Package Contents
please confirm that the package contains the following items:
USB3.0 cable(1.5m) 1 All version
Self-locking power cable 1 All version
Car power adapter 1 All version
Drying tube 1 All version
Desiccant 1 All version
Inspection report 1 All version
Driver download card 1 All version
QHY600 camera with center/tilt adjust ring 1 All version
0.5mm-13.5mm spacer with 6 holes 1 Early Bird Price Only
0-300meter Short distance 10G fiber module  2 Professional Version Only
5meter fiber  2 Professional Version Only
12V AC power adapter and cable 1 Optional *. For this item. Some area of dealer may includes it some may not.
QHYCCD Fiber Image Graber Card PCI-E 1 Optional *. Need to order seperately. Avalible in 2019.12.
 





Contents

00 Important hint of using the camera
01 Software installation
02 Description of each interface
03 Using QHY600 in SharpCap
04 Using QHY600 in ASCOM
05 Using QHY600 in EZCAP_QT
06 Using QHY600 in N.I.N.A. - Nighttime Imaging 'N' Astronomy 64bit version
07 FAQ
08 Camera maintenance
09 Specifications
10 Mechanical size and back focal length
11 Version history




00 Important hint of using the camera



How to reboot the camera
QHY600 is designed as using the +12V to reboot the camera, Not using the disconnect/reconnect USB method. So if you want to reboot the camera, just shut down the +12V and then power on it.  This feature is very useful for the remotely obs. You can use a remotely controllable powersupply to reboot the camera. No need to consider how to do USB reconnecting in remotely conditions.

So please note that when you wanting to reboot the camera, just show down/power on the +12V, Not disconnect/reconnect the USB.


What is the readout mode of QHY600?
The readout mode is the different CMOS drive timing and settings. Different read mode will have different performance like the different fullwell, different readout noise and different of other noise behaviour. Since different readmode has its advantages and disadvantages, so we allow user to set different readout mode. Currently both the ASCOM driver, SharpCAP support this options.  QHY600 has three readout mode currently.



Image Area Layout 
QHY600 can output the whole image with the optic black area and overscan area. The total image size includes the Optic black area is 9600*6422. The optic black area is on the left of the image and the overscan area is on bottom of the image. 

The different of optic black area and overscan area is that the optic black area includes the dark current during long exposure while the overscan area does not includes the dark current during exposure time.

Both optic black area and overscan area can not response to the light. So it is regards as the "Non-Effective" area of the sensor. 

In the Bottom of the overscan area. You may find some "vertical dot lines" in single frame and after stacking it will become some vertical lines, one explain of the reason of this is the "FPN calibraiton results” represented in the overcan area. In the effective image area you will not find this .

The following picture is the left bottom corner of a 300sec dark image. You can find these area.






The optic black area and overscan area is usually used for precise calibration and for the calibration without the bias frame and dark frame, or other scientific using. Due to it is an non-image area ,  QHYCCD does not guranttee the signal quality in the overscan area. If you do not use this area, you can select the option "ignore overscan area" in the ASCOM driver or select a ROI of effective area range in SharpCAP.



Input Voltage Requirement
The QHY600 requires the input voltage between 11V to 13.8V. If the input voltage is too low it will cause the camera not working or reboot if the TEC power percent is high. So please make sure the input voltage arrived to the camera is enough. The best is 12V. Please note there is the resistance for the 12V power cable. If the cable is very long, when in high power, the resistance will cause a voltage drop on this cable.  The formular is :    V(drop) = I * R (cable)  . We recommend that avoid to use a very long 12V power cable. You can put the 12V AC adatper more close to the camera.


64BIT Software 
One of the QHY600 image is 120MBytes. It will take much more memory to capture, buffer, display and process it. So that we recommend to use the 64bit software for QHY600. eg:SharpCAP x64 , N.I.N.A x64. etc. Although there is 4GB memory for 32bit but since there is many 32bit software will run within this memory area, so the remain memory is not so much.



01 Software Installation

 
1. Download and install the camera driver (link)

 
 
2. Download and install the ASCOM platform (link)

 
3. Download and install the ASCOM driver (link)

 
4. QHY600 camera supports SharpCap as the video capture software(working in streaming mode).(Note: Because the QHY600 pixel is relatively large, it is recommended to use the SharpCap 64bit version.)  
Note that for the latest version of SharpCap, QHY600 also needs the latest qhyccd.dll, for which QHYCCD has written the SharpCap patch, please download and install it. You can also download from QHYCCD SDK page to obtain it. The original filename qhyccd_x64.dll. You can rename it to qhyccd.dll and overwrite the old file in SharpCAP X64 folder.
 
5. First connect the QHY600 to the 12V power supply, then connect the QHY600 camera to your computer via the USB3.0 cable. Make sure the QHY600 is plugged in before connecting the camera to the computer, otherwise the camera will not recognize it. When you connect for the first time, the system discovers new devices and looks for drivers. You can skip the online search step by clicking "Skip driver software from Windows Update" and the computer will automatically find the driver and install it locally. When the driver software is successfully installed, you can see QHY5IIISeries_IO in the device manager, as shown below.





Once you have downloaded and installed the new driver, unplug the USB cable and plug it in again for the new driver to take effect.



02 Description of Each Interface

One back case of the QHY600, There is the USB3.0 port, 4PIN QHYCFW port, 12V power input port and two 10 Gigabit Optic Fiber port (Professional version and early bird version only)

One one side of the camera front part, there is a silicon gel tube socket. Normally it is filled with a screw with the o-ring. If the cmos sensor chamber need to be dry, you can connect the silicon gel tube and make sure the silicon gel tube is filled with the effective silicon gel.  If you are using the gel without package, you need to install a small cotton to avoid the gel enter to the CMOS chamber

 


03 Using QHY600 in SharpCap

0.Copy the lastest QHYCCD SDK to the SHARPCAP folder to replace the old one), For 32bit SharpCAP , just copy and overwrite it. For 64bit SharpCAP, you need to copy the qhyccd_x64.dll and rename it to qhyccd.dll to overwrite the old one.

 
1. Connect the QHY600 to the 12V power supply and connect your QHY600 to the computer using the USB3.0 data cable.
 
2. Turn on SharpCap. If the software and drivers mentioned above are installed successfully, the video image will appear automatically in about 3sec after the software begin to working, and you can also see the frame rate in the lower left corner of the software, as shown below.


3. If you have already started the SharpCap software before connecting the camera, in order to open the camera, you can click on the camera in the menu bar and then select QHY600.
 
4. Offset adjustment, when you completely block the camera, you may find that the image is not really black. Sometimes this will reduce the quality of the image contrast. You can get a better dark field by adjusting the offset. You can confirm this by opening the histogram as indicated in the figure below.

 
 
5. If you want to enter the 16bit image mode, just then adjust to the "RAW16" mode.
 
 
6. By selecting the “LX” mode, you can extend the exposure duration range for long exposures. The QHY600 has zero amplifer glow. so that you can not see any glow in long exposure time.  You may need to set the temperature options for the target temperature for auto temperature regulated mode, or set the target PWM percent for consitance TEC power mode.
 
 A long exposure image at -10°C, 60s exposure time, 100 gain setting.
6. After the QHY600 is connected to the 12V power supply, the temperature control circuit will be activated. You can control the CMOS temperature by adjusting the settings in the figure below.

 






04 Using QHY600 in ASCOM

 
QHY600 works on many software that supports the ASCOM platform. Currently QHY600 only supports regular ASCOM connection, but does not support ASCOM VIDEO connection. It should be noted that the QHY600 will always transmit the largest bit depth to get the best DSO imaging performance. The format of the image is 16bit, the high bit is aligned, and the low bit is zero.
MAXIMDL
1. First you need to confirm that the ASCOM platform and the ASCOM driver have been successfully installed.
2. Turn on MAXIMDL
3. Follow the prompts below to complete the setup.
 
 
Need to click Connect before shooting
 


After connecting the software, follow the steps to set the cooling temperature.
 


 


05 Using QHY600 in EZCAP_QT


 
EZCAP_QT is a software developed by QHYCCD. It has basic shooting functions for the QHYCCD deep space camera. You can download and use it in the link below.
1. Install the EZCAP_QT software;
2. First connect the QHY600 to the 12V power supply, then connect the QHY600 camera to your computer via the USB3.0 cable.
3. Start EZCAP_QT and click “Connect” in Menu->Camera. If the camera is successfully connected, the title of EZCAP_QT software will display the firmware version of the camera and the ID of the camera, as shown below;


4. Click “Temperature Control” in “Camera Settings” to set the temperature of the CMOS sensor. You can turn on “Auto” to set the target temperature. For example, here we set the target temperature to -10C. The temperature of the CMOS sensor will drop quickly to this temperature (approximately 2-3 minutes). If you want to turn off cooling, you can choose Stop. If you only want to set the cooling power without setting the temperature, you can set the percentage of power.
 
 
5. You can use the preview tab to preview and use the focus tool to focus. Then use the Capture tab to capture the image. 





6. There is an image task planner in EZCAP_QT, you can take a series of images with reference to the following table.

 







06 Using QHY600 in N.I.N.A. - Nighttime Imaging 'N' Astronomy 64bit
1. Connect the QHY600 to the 12V power supply and connect your QHY600 to the computer using the USB3.0 data cable.
2. Open N.I.N.A. - Nighttime Imaging 'N' Astronomy. Drive connections via ASCOM.

3. Turn on the chiller set temperature.

4. Set the exposure time to capture the image




07 FAQ


 
1. How to avoid camera stuck?
If the camera is stuck all the time, it may be caused by a variety of reasons, you can follow the prompts below to check.
1) Whether your computer is configured with a VIA chipset or some type of motherboard, it does not appear on SharpCap (but works on ASCOM). In this case, you need to turn on the camera's DDR buffer.
2) Is your computer and equatorial device leaking? This may cause leakage current to be transferred from the computer to the camera through GND. This may affect USB transmission, loss of data packets, and camera jam. You need to make sure the computer and the equatorial mount are well grounded.
3) Is the voltage of the USB interface high enough? Some computers have a USB interface voltage of less than 5V. This may cause the camera to get stuck. In this case, you can choose to connect the computer to the camera by using the USB3.0 Hub with power supply, which ensures that the camera gets 5V.
4) Is the CPU usage too high? If the CPU usage is too high, it will cause many frames to be lost and the camera will be stuck. You can increase the USB traffic value to lower the FPS for more stable image transmission.
5) Is the USB cable securely connected? Sometimes problems with the connection of the camera to the USB cable and problems with the connection of the computer to the USB cable can result in loss of signal and jamming of the camera. Especially when the USB cable is moving. In this case, you can try applying some silicone oil to the USB connector and the socket section. This will make the USB connection more stable.
6) Avoid static electricity. Sometimes static electricity carried on the human body can cause the camera to become stuck. Before touching the camera, you can touch the computer case to discharge static electricity.
7) Some computers have a front USB interface that is not suitable for high-speed data transmission (because they are connected to the motherboard through a cable, which makes signal integrity worse). If you find that the camera is stuck when the front USB port is in use, you can try connecting the camera to its rear USB port (they are directly connected to the motherboard's chipset).
 
 
2. How to clean the CMOS sensor and optical window?
If you find dust on the CMOS sensor, you can first unscrew the front half of the QHY600 and then clean the CMOS sensor with the cleaning kit for the SLR camera sensor. Because the QHY600's CMOS sensor has an AR coating, care must be taken during the cleaning process.
The glass window has an infrared filter coating and an anti-reflection coating. Therefore, care must be taken during the cleaning process. You can also use the SLR cleaning tool or lens paper for cleaning. Note that the force should not be too large, because the coating is very fragile and can be easily scratched.
 
3. What is the camera's built-in DDR buffer? What are its advantages?
The QHY600 has a built-in 1GB(8Gbit)/ 2GB(16Gbit)DDR3 image buffer. It has two advantages:
It can buffer the entire image to avoid loss during USB transmission. Because the CMOS sensor will continue to be exposed as soon as it starts working, the image will be output, and it will not stop. However, the computer will pause the USB transfer because of the multitasking characteristics of the operating system. If the pause time is too long, the buffer with small storage capacity in the USB will be full, resulting in the loss of the upcoming data. It is also possible to cause partial data loss of one frame to form a bad frame. For short exposures, this may not cause too much problems, but for long exposures, this means losing a long exposure image. The 1GB(8Gbit)/ 2GB(16Gbit)DDR3 buffer solves this problem by storing and transmitting the entire frame of images. Even if the USB transfer is paused for a long time, no data will be lost.
Another advantage is that when using some computers that are not running fast or have poor support for USB3.0, it will make the video images more delicate and smooth. These computers can't transfer high-speed data well, and the data will often be lost. With DDR. A buffer that buffers a lot of image data and sends it to the computer. Even if USB 3.0 frequently suspends transmission, it will ensure that data is not lost. There are options in SharpCap to turn DDR buffering on or off. The current version of the ASCOM driver has been working in DDR mode.
 
 
4. How to protect the refrigerator?
The QHY600's chiller can achieve an ambient temperature difference of nearly 35 °C. You should avoid thermal shock during use. The so-called thermal shock refers to the internal strong stress that the refrigerator has to withstand due to the thermal expansion and contraction principle when the temperature of the refrigerator suddenly rises or falls. The thermal shock of the distance shortens the life of the refrigerator. Even completely damage the refrigerator.
Therefore, when you start using the chiller to adjust the CMOS temperature, you should avoid turning the chiller to maximum power and gradually increase the chiller power. If the power of the chiller is high before disconnecting the power supply, you should also gradually reduce the power of the chiller and then disconnect the power supply.
 

 
08 Camera Maintenance

 
Dry camera CMOS cavity
The CMOS sensor is located in the CMOS cavity. There is a hole in the side of the front end of the QHY600 camera. If there is moisture in the CMOS cavity that causes the sensor glass to fog, you can connect the silicone tube through this hole for drying.
Place an effective silica gel desiccant in the silicone rod and make sure there is cotton inside to prevent the silicone from entering the CMOS cavity.
 
How to prevent fogging of optical window of CMOS sealed cavity
If the ambient humidity is very high, the optical window of the CMOS sealed cavity may have condensation problems. The QHY600 has a built-in heating plate to heat it to prevent fogging. In most cases, its effect is very obvious. If fogging still persists, try the following:
1. Avoid directing the camera towards the ground. The density of cold air is greater than the density of hot air. If the camera is facing down, cold air will be more accessible to the glass, causing it to cool down and fog.
2. Increase the temperature of the CMOS sensor. You can increase the temperature of the CMOS sensor slightly to prevent fogging of the glass.
3. Check if the heating plate is working. If the heating plate is not working, the glass will be very easy to fog. Normally, the temperature of the heating plate can reach 65-70 °C in the environment of 25 °C. If it does not reach this heat, it may be because the heating plate is damaged, you can contact us to replace the heating plate.
 

09 Specifications

 
QHY600 FULL FRAME FORMAT SCIENTIFIC CMOS CAMERA SPECIFICATIONS
Model QHY600U3G20  (Professional Version)
QHY600U3       (Photographic Version)
Image Sensor SONY Full Frame BSI CMOS Sensor IMX455
Pixel Size 3.76um x 3.76um
Color / Mono Version Both Available.QHY600U3GM and QHY600U3GC
Sensor Surface Glass AR+AR Multi-Coating Clear Glass
Sensor Type
Back-Illuminated (BSI)
Effective Pixels
60 Megapixels
Effective Image Area
36mm x 24mm
Full Well Capacity (1x1, 2x2, 3x3)
>51ke-  / >204ke- / >408ke-
 
A/D
16-bit (0-65535 greyscale) at 1X1 binning
 
18-bit at 2X2, 19-bit at 3X3, 20-bit at 4X4 software binning
Sensor Size
Full Frame Format
Frame Rate
USB3.0 Port Image Transfer Speed
  • Full Frame Size: 4.0FPS (8-bit output)
  • Full Frame Size: 2.5FPS (16-bit output)
  • 7.2FPS at 9600x3194, 22.5FPS at 9600x1080, 28FPS at 9600x768, 47FPS at 9600x480, 160FPS at 9600x100,

Fiber Port Image Transfer Speed (QHY600U3G20 only)
  • Full Frame Size: 4.0FPS (16-bit output)
Read Noise 1.0e- to 3.7e-
Dark Current TBD
Exposure Time Range 40us - 3600sec
Firmware/FPGA remote Upgrade  Supported. Via Camera USB Port
Shutter Type Electric Rolling Shutter
Computer Interface USB3.0 / GigaE Dual Port 
(GigaE is hardware supported but will active in future)    
Built-in Image Buffer 1GB(8Gbit)/ 2GB(16Gbit)DDR3 memory
Cooling System
Dual Stage TEC cooler
In long exposure (above 1sec)       Typical -35C max delta below ambient
In short exposure (less than 1sec) Typical -30C max delta below ambient
Anti-Dew Heater
Yes
Telescope Interface
M54/0.75 
Optic Window Type

AR+AR High Quality Multi-Layer Anti-Reflection Coating

Power 40W/100% 
20W/50% 
13.8W/0%
Back Focal Length
17.5mm(±0.2)
Weight (net)
915g (not include the M54/0.75mm center/tilt adjust ring)
Reference Price
Early Brid Price:          USD5000 *
Professional Version:  TBD
Photographic Version: TBD



10 mechanical size chart




11 version history
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