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QHY183M Manual
2020 年 07 月 13 日
COLDMOS Astronomy Camera
QHY183M
User’s manual Rev.1.6




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
Self-locking power cable 1
6pin guide cable 1
Car power adapter 1
Drying tube 1
desiccant 1
M42/1.25inch adaptor 1
Driver download card 1
QHY163M camera 1
 
 
Optional accessories
12V power adapter + power cable  1
C-MOUNT lens adapter 1
 
Note that if the user wants to buy 12V power adapter by themselves, its output current is at least 3.5A, and the polarity must be center positive.

 
 
Table of Contents
 
 
01 Software Installation
02 Use QHY183M with Filter Wheel
03 Use QHY183M in SharpCap
04 Use QHY183M on ASCOM platform
05 Use QHY183M in FireCapture
06 Use QHY183M in EZCAP_QT
07 Use Broadcast Video Streaming
08 QHY183M Color Wheel Control Port
10 FAQ
11 Camera Maintenance
12 Specifications
13 Mechanical Dimensions
14 Revision History

01Software Installation

 


02 Use QHY183M with Filter Wheel
QHY183M is a monochromatic camera and it is frequently used with color filter wheel. With its M42/2inch lens mount (this has already been installed on QHY183M), connecting it with QHY color filter wheel will be simple and quick. QHY183M supports connections both with QHYCFW2-S and QHYCFW2-M.
 
Take QHYCFW2-M for example, you can refer to a tutorial to set up your QHYCFW-M.
 
After you’ve installed color filters for your QHYCFW2-M properly, you can begin to connect it with QHY183M as shown in the picture below.



First, you need to stick QHY183M into QHYCFW2-M as shown in the picture above. Then you should screw those three bolts in. At the first time you screw bolts, you may find it a little bit difficult to screw in, in this case, please make sure that the bolts are pointing towards the center and apply a little bit more of force. Finally, you should connect your QHY183M with QHYCFW2-M by using DIN4/RJ11 cable, which is included in the box.
 
The last thing you need to do before using QHY163M with QHYCFW2-M is to open the link below to download and install the driver (ASCOM FiltersPlug-in) for QHYCFW2-M.
 
Now, you should be all set. Read the following parts to know how to use QHY183M with color filter wheel in SharpCap, MAXIMDL, and Sequence Generator Pro.

03 Use QHY183M in SharpCap
1.  Connect your QHY183M to color filter wheel with DIN4/RJ11 cable. Connect your QHY183M to 12V power supply. Connect your QHY183M to your computer with USB3.0 cable. Before running SharpCap, make sure filter wheel’s initialization is finished. When it is initializing, you can hear the sound gear makes. When it is finished, you will see the color lights flash. If you start SharpCap before initialization is finished, SharpCap cannot detect the filter wheel.
 
2.  Run SharpCap. If the aforementioned software and drivers all have been installed properly, the video image will appear automatically and you will see the frame rate at the lower-left corner of the software as shown below



3.  If you have started the SharpCap before connecting camera to your PC. You can click menu->cameras->rescan for cameras to search the camera and check on the camera name (QHY183M in this case).
 
4.  To make sure the camera can run properly, the software will start the camera at the lowest speed, which makes the frame rate much lower than the highest frame rate declared on its webpage. Now you can try to get the most out of it by changing several settings. First you can try to set the exposure time to 1ms, then try to reduce the “USB traffic” value. For modern computer with i7-4 core, it should get the max performance. But please note that not all computers can get the best performance due to various reasons such as the CPU loading, the saving-energy mode setting, the mainboard performance and USB3.0 port performance. Sometimes the display size may also impede obtaining the best performance. So you can try to use the “Zoom” function to reduce the display size to see if it helps. Normally speaking the QHY183M can get more than 22.5FPS@16mega full resolution.
 
5.  Adjust filter wheel position. You can select which filter you are going to use by changing the position of filter wheel as shown in the following picture.



6.  Adjust the offset. When you block the light thoroughly, you may find that the image is not really zero. Sometimes this will lower the quality of image contrast. You can adjust the offset to make the histogram peak close to zero in order to get a better background. You can open the histogram to confirm that.



7.  If you want to try 16bit image, you can switch the Colour Space to “MONO16”.
 
8.  By check the “LX” mode you can expand the exposure setting range and take long exposure shot. QHY183M camera has the anti-amp light control circuit and it can reduce the amplifier glow significantly. Note that it’s impossible to reduce the glow in the corner thoroughly, and it’s normal to see a very small amount of glow in the corner when you do long exposure.
A typical long exposure image in +20℃, 5 sec exposure and 50% gain of QHY183M is shown below.



9.  After you connect 12V power supply for QHY183M to power the TEC cooling circuit, you can set the CMOS sensor cooling temperature in the “Thermal Controls” section in SharpCap as shown in the following picture.



Basically, you can control the temperature of CMOS by either adjusting “Cooler Power” or clicking “Auto” and adjusting “Target Temperature”. You can also see the CMOS temperature at lower-left corner of the software.
Before use this function, you should read the content about how to protect the cooler in the FAQ section.

 
04 Use QHY183M with ASCOM
You can connect many software that support ASCOM. Currently QHY183M only supports normal ASCOM connection and does not support the ASCOM VIDEO connection. Please note that QHY183M always transfers maximum bit depth by ASCOM to make the best DSO imaging performance. The image format is 16bit width and patch zero on low bit.
 
MaxIM DL
1. First you have to make sure that both ASCOM Platform and ASCOM driver have been installed. If not, please install it first.
2. Start MAXIMDL
3. Follow the instructions shown below to finish the setup

 



Normally, you can set the gain=1 and offset=10 to start. Keep clicking “Okay” to return to Camera Control window.
The following instructions are going to show you how to configure filter wheel (QHYCFW2-M) in MAXIMDL.
Click “Setup Filter” in the Camera Control window.







In the window shown below, you can set up your filter wheel



Keep clicking “OK” to return to the Camera Control window. Click “Connect”





Sequence Generator Pro
Sequence Generator Pro is an extremely powerful image capture suite. It can perform many complex tasks in order to meet your imaging needs. After you connect your gears and configure Sequence Generator Pro properly, you can go to sleep and see images in the morning.
 
To use QHY183M in Sequence Generator Pro, you can follow the instructions listed below.
Open sequencer by clicking the button in the red rectangle as shown in the picture below.

 



If you’ve connected QHY183M to your PC before click that red button. The red button will turn to green as shown in the picture below.




 
The next step is going to connect your filter wheel (QHYCFW2-M). Before you select QHYCCD Filter wheel as the filter and click the red connect button, you should also make sure you’ve connected QHY183M to filter wheel (QHYCFW2-M) with DIN4/RJ11 cable, you’ve plugged in the 12V power supply cable, you’ve installed the Filter wheel drivers, and the initialization of filter wheel has been finished.



For example, you can change the filter names to Lum, Red, Green, Blue, and Ha as you installed them this way. Then you make schedule events to take turns to use these filters as shown in the following picture.



For detailed and helpful tutorial of this software, please go to its website to check its help content.


 
05 Use QHY183M in FireCapture
The latest FireCapture supports QHY63M already. Please go to FireCapture website to download its v2.5 BETA (32-bit) version.
By default, it will be installed in the “Documents” folder. After it was installed successfully, navigate to “Document folder”, and you will find its installation folder as shown below.



Enter that folder and run “FireCapture.exe”, then select QHYCCD camera. And after the loading, you will see the image on FireCapture like shown below.



For detailed and helpful tutorial of this software, please go to its website to check the tutorial section at http://www.firecapture.de/
06 Use QHY183M in EZCAP_QT
EZCAP_QT is the software developed by QHYCCD. This software has the basic capture function for QHYCCD deep sky cameras. You can use this QHY183M camera with filter wheel in this software.
 
1.Install EZCAP_QT
 
2.  Connect your QHY183M to 12V power supply. Connect your QHY183M to color filter wheel with DIN4/RJ11 cable. Connect your QHY183M to your computer with USB3.0 cable.
 
3.  Run EZCAP_QT. Select “Connect” in Menu->Camera. If the camera is successfully connected. The title of EZCAP_QT will display the camera firmware version and the camera ID as shown below.



4.  In Menu->Camera Setup, Click “Temp Control” and set the CMOS sensor temperature.   You can enable the “Auto Control” and set the target temperature. For example here we set the temperature to -10C. The CMOS temperature will come to -10C very fast (in about 2-3minute).  If you want to close the TEC, you can select “TEC OFF”. If you just want to set the TEC power but not the temperature. You can select “Manual” and then set the percent of the TEC power.


 
5.  You can select which filter you are going to use by changing the position of filter wheel as shown in the following picture.



6. You can use the preview tab to do preview. And use the focus tools to do focus. Then use the capture tab to capture image.
 
7. In EZCAP_QT there is a planner for image tasking.  You can capture a series images by using the table below.


 
07 Use BroadCast Video Streaming
BroadCast video steaming is a special function that QHY183M supports. It can send the video image to multiple target software via QHYCCD BroadCast video driver. For example, you can use the SharpCap software to control the QHY183M camera and at the same time the video appearing on the SharpCap will be sent to any of software that support the WDM camera, like the HandyAvi, Adobe video encoder, online chat software etc. This function is very useful for the video live broadcast applications.
 
1.      Install the BroadCast Driver
 
2.  Connect QHY183M to your PC and start SharpCap
 
3.  Turn on “Enable Live Broadcast” at the bottom of Camera Control panel in SharpCap as shown below.


 
4.  Select “QHYCCD camera (WDM)” as your webcam in the software you are using.


 
08 QHY163M Color Wheel Control Port



Pin number arrangement
Note: The TXD and RXD is standard RS232 level (+-10V). Not the TTL standard.
 
09 QHY183M Guide Port Cable RJ11 Pin sequence
This connector is fully compatible with the EQ5/EQ6/Celestron/iOpton Guide Socket. The Pin Sequence is (When face to the connector of the cable)



The Socket side (mount side) is



If you are using other mount, please check if it is the same pin sequence with the HEQ5/EQ6/Celestron/iOpton.

 
10FAQ
1.      Does QHY183M support 10bit or 12bit?
QHY183M supports both 10bit and 12bit output(For 10bit, it is 0-255, and it only uses the high 8bit, for 12bit it is 0-4095 map to 0-65535).
 
2.      How to get maximum FPS?
Since QHY183M has very high data bandwidth. Not all computer can get the maximum FPS. Normally I7-4core should have no problem for that. The CPU loading will also affect the maximum FPS. So please reduce the CPU load by close other applications when using camera. If the CPU load is too high, the software may become very slow or hang.
 
3.      How to avoid the camera hanging?
If you camera always hangs. It may be caused by many reasons. You can check the following things.
If your computer is via chipset, or some type of the mainboard. In SharpCap it cannot get image at all. (But in ASCOM it works well). In this condition, you need enable the DDR buffer of the camera. Current SharpCap supports DDR function enable. The next version SharpCap will support it.
If there is power leak for your mounts and computers? The power leak may cause the leak current transfer from computer to the camera via the GND. This may affect the USB transfer and cause the data packet lost and cause it hang. You need to make sure the computer and the mount is well grounded.
If the USB port’s voltage not enough? Some computer’s USB port +5V is not enough. It may cause the camera always hangs. In this condition you can use a powered USB3.0 HUB to connect camera and get the good +5V power for camera.
If your CPU load is too high? If CPU load is too high, it will cause many frame lost and cause the camera hangs. You can increase the USB traffic value to reduce the FPS and get more stable video transfer.
If the USB cable connection is good enough? Sometimes the contact issue in the USB cable to camera or USB cable to computer will cause the signal loss and cause camera to hang. Especially when you move the cables. In this condition. You can try to add a little silicon oil into the USB socket/plug .This can increase the contact a lot better.
Avoid the statics. Sometimes the static electricity on human body will cause the camera to hang. You can touch the computer metal case for first before touch the camera to let the static electricity on your body release.
Some computer’s front USB port is not so good for high speed transfer (The reason is it connected to mainboard by a cable and which has no good signal integrity). If you found the camera always hang on front USB port. You can try the USB port on backside of the computer (which is connected to chipset directly on the mainboard). 
 
4.      What’s the interface to telescope? How to use C/CS lens on QHY183M?
QHY183M supports C lens but currently doesn’t support CS lens. You need order the optional C adapter for QHY183M with this adapter the back focal is 17.5mm and you can use the C-mount lens with it. Since this sensor is 1 inch, you need to choose the lens which can cover the 1 inch image circle.
 
5.      How to clean the CMOS sensor and the optic windows of the camera?
If you found there is dust on the CMOS sensor. You can screw off the front part of the QHY183M. The QHY183M’s CMOS sensor has the AR coating so you need to be careful to clean it. You can use the clean kit for DSLR sensor to do it.
The optic window is the IR cut coating or AR coating. So you need to be careful when cleaning it. You can also use the DSLR clean tools or the lens paper. Don’t use strong force to clean it. The coating is not so hard and it is easy to get scratch when you use strong force on it.
 
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