此用户手册是关于QHY410C ,的使用介绍。因为这一系列制冷相机的结构与功能都类似，以下的使用介绍对QHY128Pro, QHY165C, QHY168C，QHY247C，QHY367Pro都适用。
Note: According to the characteristics of USB3.0, the maximum supported cable length of USB3.0 is about 3 meters, and the transmission stability cannot be guaranteed if it exceeds 3 meters. In order to ensure image quality, the standard USB cable of QHY is 1.5 meters. If you need to extend the USB cable, please inform the dealer and choose the active USB extension cable recommended by QHY in the options (with signal amplifier)
|Self-locking power cable
|Car power adapter
||Note. From 2018 the China custom house prevent the delivery of the silicon gel to some country. So this item is may not included
|Driver download card
|QHY410 camera with center/tilt adjust ring
|12V AC power adapter and cable
||Optional *. For this item. Some area of dealer may includes it some may not.
|Active USB extension cable (with signal amplifier)
2 USB3.0 camera driver installation package instructions
Click here to see Q&A
3 Camera connection instructions
Connect the camera to your computer via a USB3.0 cable and 12V power adapter. When connecting for the first time, the system will find a new device and find a driver for it. You can click "Skip obtaining driver software from Windows update" to skip the online search step, and then the computer will automatically find the driver locally and install it. When the driver software is installed successfully, you can see QHY5IIISeries_IO in the device manager, as shown in the figure below. (Note: If the camera has been connected to the computer before installing the driver, after you install the new driver, please unplug the USB data cable, and then plug it in again to make the new driver take effect.)
02 Use the camera in SharpCap
1. Connect the camera to the 12v power supply and use the USB3.0 cable to connect the camera to the computer.
2. Turn on SharpCap. If the software and drivers mentioned above are installed successfully, click Cameras in the upper left corner to select the corresponding model, and you can see the frame rate in the lower left corner of the software that is successfully connected to the camera, as shown in the following figure.
3. If you have started the SharpCap software before connecting the camera, in order to open the camera, you can click menu->cameras->rescan, and then select the camera.
4. In order to ensure that the camera can run normally, the software will start the camera at the lowest speed, so that the initial frame rate is much lower than the maximum frame rate stated on the web page. Now, you can set it to give full play to its optimal performance. First, you can set the exposure time to 1ms, and then reduce the "USB traffic" value. For computers equipped with i7-4 cores, it should be able to achieve the best performance, but it should be noted that due to various reasons, not all computers can achieve the best performance, such as CPU usage, power saving mode settings, Motherboard performance, USB3.0 interface performance. Sometimes, the display size also affects performance, so you can use the "Zoom" function to reduce the display size to see if it helps.
5. Offset adjustment, when you completely shading the camera, you may find that the image is not really black. Sometimes this reduces the quality of image contrast. You can get a better dark field by adjusting the offset. You can confirm this by opening the histogram as shown in the figure below.
6. If you want to enter 16bit image mode, you can set Colour Space to "MONO16".
7. By selecting the "LX" mode, you can extend the exposure time range for long exposure. The camera is equipped with an amplifier light emission suppression circuit, which can greatly suppress the light emitted by the amplifier during long exposure. It should be noted that the internal circuit of the CMOS chip mounted inside the camera is highly integrated and cannot be completely controlled by an external circuit, so it is impossible to completely suppress the corner light. When you take a long exposure, you can still see some bright corners, which is normal.
8. After the camera is connected to the 12V power supply, the temperature control circuit will start, and you can control the CMOS temperature by adjusting the settings in the figure below.
There are two main ways to control the temperature, one is to adjust the Cooler Power, and the other is to set the Target Temperature. If you want to directly control the CMOS temperature by setting the target temperature, you should first click "Auto" and then adjust the slider to set the target temperature.
Before using the cooling function, you should read the question "How to protect the refrigerator" in the FAQ to better use the cooling function.
SharpCap will use the default white balance setting when starting up. The following picture is a screenshot of the image after the camera is started.
For color cameras, SharpCap will display red, green and blue adjustment sliders on the right side of the software
Because the white balance is the ratio of red to green and the ratio of blue to green, you can fix the green component to the default value, and then adjust the red and blue components.
For example, in the figure below, the blue component is 1199 and the red component is 1112. It seems that the white balance of this picture is well adjusted. If you want to increase the blue component, because its upper limit is 2027, in this case, you can give more room to adjust the ratio of the blue component to the green component by appropriately reducing the green component.
As mentioned earlier, if you are doing planetary shooting, you should set the Offset value as low as possible to make the background completely black. Then, you can easily get the right white balance, otherwise, adjusting the white balance will not be so easy. Sometimes, the offset value of the image is good, but you cannot get the proper white balance.
The reason is that white balance is actually a ratio of RGB sensitivity difference. So we use a ratio to multiply the RGB value. However, if the offset exists, this ratio will be incorrect. For example, if the sensitivity of G is twice that of R, in order to get the white balance, we multiply R by 2 to get R’=2R=G, so that R=G.
When the offset exists, the offset will always be added to the RGB value of each pixel, so the image you see will be:
And now R’’: G’’=(R+bias) / (2R+bias), but it is not equal to 1:2. This shows that the offset will affect the ratio of R to G. In addition, the ratio of R to G also changes with the brightness of the object being photographed, so it is difficult to obtain a white balance with a fixed ratio.
But for deep-sky target shooting, you should keep a certain offset to avoid the image background becoming 0 so as to avoid losing part of the image background value. Generally speaking, the background is 1000-5000 (for 16BIT images), which is a good value for deep space shooting.
04 Use QHY camera on ASCOM platform
QHY cameras can work on many software that support the ASCOM platform. Currently the camera only supports regular ASCOM connection, but does not support ASCOM VIDEO connection. It should be noted that the camera will always transmit the maximum bit depth to get the best DSO imaging performance. The format of the image is 16bit, with high-order alignment and low-order zero padding.
1. First, you need to confirm that the ASCOM platform and ASCOM driver have been successfully installed.
2. Open MAXIMDL
3. Follow the prompts in the figure below to complete the setup
Normally, you can set the gain to 1 and the offset to 10 to start. Click OK to return to the Camera Control window.
Click OK to return to the Camera Control window, and click "Connect". Then click Start in the Expose window to start shooting.
05 Use the camera in EZCAP_QT
EZCAP_QT is a software developed by QHYCCD. For QHYCCD deep space camera, it has basic shooting functions.
1. Install EZCAP_QT software
2. Connect the camera to the 12v power supply, and use the USB3.0 cable to connect your camera to the computer.
3. Start EZCAP_QT and click "Connect" in Menu->Camera. If the camera is successfully connected, the title of the EZCAP_QT software will display the firmware version of the camera and the ID of the camera, as shown below.
4. Click "Temp Control" in Menu->Camera Setup to set the temperature of the CMOS sensor. You can turn on "Auto Control" and set the target temperature. For example, here we set the target temperature to -10C. The temperature of the CMOS sensor will quickly drop to this temperature (about 2-3 minutes). If you want to turn off TEC, you can select "TEC OFF". If you only want to set the TEC power without setting the temperature, you can select "Manual" and then set the percentage of TEC power.
5. You can use the preview window (preview tab) to preview, you can also 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 refer to the following table to shoot a series of images.
06 Webcam application
The webcam is a special function supported by QHY cameras. It can send video images to multiple target software through BroadCast Video WDM Drive. For example, you can use SharpCap software to control a QHY camera, and the video image displayed on SharpCap can be sent to any software that supports WDM cameras, such as HandyAvi, Adobe video encoder and instant messaging software. This function is very convenient for video online broadcast applications.
1. Download and install BroadCast driver
2. Connect the camera to the computer and start SharpCap
3. Follow the prompts in the figure below to open "Enable Live Broadcast" in the SharpCap control panel
4. As shown in the figure below, in the software you are using, select QHYCCD camera (WDM) as your web camera.
1. Does QHY camera support 10bit and 12bit or 14bit output?
Both 10bit output and 12bit and 14bit output cameras are supported. For 10-bit output, only the high eight bits are used. For 12-bit or 14-bit output, mapping from 0-163 to 0-65535 (that is, high-order alignment, low-order 0).
2. How to get the highest frame rate?
Because QHY cameras have high data bandwidth, not all computers can get the highest frame rate. Generally speaking, a computer with an i7-4 core processor can reach the highest frame rate. The CPU occupancy rate will also affect the frame rate, so you can increase the frame rate by closing other programs to reduce the CPU occupancy when using the camera. If the CPU usage is too high, the software may run very slowly or even freeze.
3. How to avoid camera freezing?
If the camera keeps stuck, it may be caused by various reasons. You can check it according to the following tips.
3.1 Whether your computer is configured with a VIA chipset or some type of motherboard, there is no picture on SharpCap at all (but it works normally on ASCOM) In this case, you need to enable the DDR buffer of the camera
3.2 Does your computer and equatorial mount leak electricity? This may cause leakage current to be transferred from the computer to the camera via GND. This may affect USB transfer, loss of data packets, and camera freezes. You need to make sure that the computer and the equatorial mount are well grounded.
3.3 Is the voltage of the USB interface high enough? The USB interface voltage of some computers cannot reach 5V. This may cause the camera to remain stuck. In this case, you can choose to connect the computer and the camera by using a USB3.0 Hub with power supply, which can ensure that the camera receives a voltage of 5V.
3.4 Is the CPU usage too high? If the CPU usage is too high, a lot of frames will be lost and the camera will freeze. You can increase the USB traffic value to lower the FPS to obtain a more stable image transmission.
3.5 Is the USB cable connected securely? Sometimes the connection problem between the camera and the USB cable and the connection problem between the computer and the USB cable can cause signal loss and cause the camera to freeze. Especially when the USB cable is moving. In this case, you can try to apply some silicone oil to the USB connector and socket. This will make the USB connection more stable.
3.6 Avoid static electricity. Sometimes the static electricity carried on the human body can cause the camera to jam. Before touching the camera, you can touch the computer case to discharge static electricity.
3.7 The front USB interface of some computers is not suitable for high-speed data transmission (the reason is that they are connected to the motherboard through a cable, which makes the signal integrity worse). If you find that the camera keeps stuck while using the front USB port, you can try to connect the camera to its rear USB port (they are directly connected to the motherboard chipset).
3.8 Please use QHY standard USB cable, the USB cable directly connected to the computer USB port will make the transmission more reliable. If the cable length is not enough and you need to use an extension cable, please do not use the ordinary extension cable without an amplifier inside. It is recommended to use the recommended QHY option. (Note: According to the characteristics of USB3.0, the maximum supported cable length of USB3.0 is about 3 meters, and transmission stability cannot be guaranteed for more than 3 meters. In order to ensure image quality, the standard USB cable of QHY is 1.5 meters.)
4. How to clean the CMOS sensor and optical window?
If you find dust on the CMOS sensor, you can first unscrew the front part of QHY367C, and then use the cleaning kit for SLR camera sensor to clean the CMOS sensor. Because the CMOS sensor of QHY367C has an anti-reflection coating, you must be careful during the cleaning process.
There are infrared filter coating and anti-reflection coating on the glass window. Therefore, care must be taken during the cleaning process. You can also use SLR cleaning tools or lens paper for cleaning. Pay attention not to use too much force, because the coating is very fragile and can easily be scratched.
5. What is the performance of QHY camera's corner light suppression function?
Amplifier glow is the semiconductor structure of the internal circuit of a CCD or CMOS chip. When a certain voltage difference exists, it will emit very weak near-infrared light. QHY camera has amplifier light emission suppression circuit, which can greatly reduce the amplifier light emission during long exposure. It should be noted that for the CMOS chip mounted on the camera, due to the internal structure, it is impossible to completely suppress the corner light. When you take a long exposure, sometimes you can still see some bright corners, which is normal.
6. What is the built-in DDR buffer of the camera? What are its advantages?
The camera has a built-in 128MB DDRII image buffer. It has two advantages:
It can buffer the entire image to avoid loss during USB transfer. Because once the CMOS sensor starts to work, it will uninterruptedly expose and output images, and it will repeat itself without stopping. However, the computer will suspend the USB transmission due to the multitasking characteristics of the operating system. If the suspension time is too long, the buffer with a small storage capacity in the USB will be full, resulting in the loss of upcoming data. It may also cause part of the data of a frame to be lost and form a bad frame. For short exposures, this may not cause too much problem, but for long exposures, this means losing a long exposure image. The 128MB DDRII buffer can solve this problem by storing and transmitting the entire frame image. Even if the USB transfer is suspended for a long time, no data will be lost.
Another advantage is that when using some computers that are not running fast or don’t support USB3.0, it will make the video image more delicate and smooth. These computers cannot perform high-speed data transmission very well, and data will often be lost. With DDR Buffer, it can buffer a lot of image data and then send it to the computer. Even if USB3.0 frequently suspends transmission, it will ensure that data is not lost. There are options in SharpCap to enable or disable the DDR buffering function. The current version of the ASCOM driver has been working in DDR mode.
7. How to protect the cooler on QHY camera?
The cooler of the QHY camera 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 strong internal stress that the cooler has to withstand due to the principle of thermal expansion and contraction when the temperature of the cooler suddenly rises or falls. The thermal shock of distance will shorten the life of the cooler Even completely damage the refrigerator.
Therefore, when you start to use the cooler to adjust the CMOS temperature, you should avoid turning the cooler to the maximum power for a while, and you should gradually increase the power of the cooler. Before disconnecting the power, if the power of the refrigerator is relatively high, you should also gradually reduce the power of the refrigerator and then disconnect the power.
8. After the camera has been running for a period of time with the DDR mode turned on, the frame rate drops to 0. What should I do?
Some users reported that the frame rate of their cameras with DDR modules dropped to zero after running on SharpCap for a period of time; this problem is caused by the high output rate of the CMOS chip and the slow reception rate of the computer. Once the CMOS sensor starts to work, it will uninterruptedly expose and output images, and it will repeat itself without stopping. If the computer suspends USB transmission too frequently due to the operating system, it will cause the DDR data to overflow, causing bad frames to continue to occur. No image entering the DDR is complete, so the frame rate is zero.
The first method is to reduce the frame rate of the camera by increasing the value of USB traffic, thus avoiding the camera from freezing. It should be noted that the previous SharpCap patch cannot set the value of USB traffic to a large value, so you need to download and install the latest SharpCap patch from the official website.
The second method is to turn off the DDR mode in SharpCap, but for computers with poor performance, this method is not necessarily effective due to its slow data transmission speed.
08 Camera maintenance
Dry CMOS sealed cavity
The CMOS sensor is located in the CMOS cavity. There is a hole on the side of the front end of the QHY camera. If there is moisture in the CMOS cavity that makes the sensor glass fog, you can connect a silicone tube through this hole to dry it.
Please put an effective silica gel desiccant and some cotton in the silica gel stick to prevent silica gel from entering the CMOS cavity.
Avoid condensation on the optical window
If the ambient humidity is very high, the optical window of the CMOS sealed cavity may have condensation problems. QHY cameras have a built-in heating plate to heat them to prevent fogging. In most cases, its effect is very obvious. If the problem of fogging persists, please try:
1. Avoid facing the camera to the ground. The density of cold air is greater than that of hot air. If the camera is facing down to the ground, the cold air will be more likely to come into contact with the glass and cause it to cool down and form fog.
2. Increase the temperature of the CMOS sensor. You can slightly increase the temperature of the CMOS sensor to prevent the glass from fogging.
3. Check whether 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 an environment of 25°C. If it is not so hot, it may be because the heating plate is damaged. You can contact us to replace the heating plate.
4 QHY410C Mechanical dimension drawing