The QHY42PRO-BSI uses the Gsense400 Scientific CMOS sensor with extraordinary 95% peak QE, 79% UV QE, and very good NIR response, plus an extremely low read noise of 1.7e-. The QHY42 has relatively large 11um pixels in a 2k x 2k array. The sensor size is 22.5mm x 22.5mm yielding a good field of view even at longer focal lengths. This camera is ideal for astronomical and biological science research.
The standard version has 2-stage TE cooling and a USB3.0 interface. The camera has three readout modes: single 12bit high gain channel output, single 12bit low gain channel output. Dual 12bit high gain and low gain output mode. Single channel output is 24FPS at 12-bits. Dual-channel HDR output is 12FPS at 12-bits.
QHY42PRO has the GPS / Trig Signal interface. It can output the precise exposure starting/ending waveform for external measurement. It can also connect with QHYCCD GPS-BOX to measure it. The QHYCCD GPS-BOX will output the timestamp onto the image head of each frame.
The QHY42PRO is a cooled scientific CMOS camera with extremely low (1.6e-) read noise. We also offer the QHY42-BSI in a UV enhanced version. The sensor array is 2048 x 2048 with relatively large 11um pixels and 89ke- full well capacity. The QHY42PRO is capable of high frame rates up to 24FPS at full resolution.
For BSI verson, there is three type of the coating of the sensor. TVBIS,UV,VIS. The TVBIS is the most popular type and it has the best QE of 95%. The UV version has a peak QE of 76% on the 275nm. While the TVBIS version has also a high UV QE at 240nm. For UV application. Both TVISB and UV is possible to be use. You can select it according the QE curve. And the TVISB version has lower dark current than UV version. VIS version is not so popular and sometimes the sensor factory does no stock. So if you need the VIS version you need to quote QHYCCD for details.
The first version QHY42 is released in early 2018. And now we will release the enhanced version QHY42PRO. The different of QHY42 and QHY42PRO is that QHY42 only support the single ADC channel output (which called STD mode in the datasheet of Gsense400 , and 24FPS for 8bit/12bit . While the QHY42PRO support both STD mode and the dual channel ADC mode (HDR mode). The dual ADC can work together to sample the same pixels. And output two images. One is high gain and another is low gain. Which can enlarge the dynamic of the output data. The QH42PRO HDR mode will output the 4096*2048 image. Which consist two 2048*2048 image. QHY42PRO also support the remote FPGA upgrade function via USB port. In future if there is any upgrade of the FPGA code, you can upgrade it directly without send back to factory to upgrade.
QHY42PRO-BSI / QHY42PRO-UV /QHY42PRO-FSI
Gpixel GSENSE400 BSI / UV / FSI
11um x 11um
Sensor Surface Glass
Clear Glass / UV enhanced AR coating
Effective Pixel Area
2048 x 2048
Effective Image Area
22.5mm x 22.5mm
Dual 12-bit A/D (High Gain Channel and Low Gain Channel) *
Note: The QHY42 camera in stock is single channel outputs, it support 2048*2048 8/12bit single channel image output. The QHY42PRO camera has dual ADC channel with 2048*2*2048 8/12bit HDR image output. The QHY42 user can be upgraded without cost after QHY42PRO released.
The test results shows the high sensitivity of QHY42, especially in Ha wavelength, and the ultra low readout noise. results the high SNR image in short exposure time. Dr.Martin Miller says QHY42 has great potential in professional astronomy imaging. See all of the test image and the parameter at http://avvamhl.xobor.de/g90-Test-der-Scientific-QHY-CMOS-Kamera-p2.html
Der kometarische Nebel ist ein Reflexionsnebel, der sich durch den Aussfluss eine jungen Stern gebildet hat und von diesem angeleuchtet wird. 62 x 30 Sekunden, Gain 2, Offset 20, T= -22°C, 16″Mak, Sternwarte Hö, MartinMiller
Brief User Guide
Before Start: Install "All-In-One" Pack
All-In-One Pack （Driver, SDK and Software) for WINDOWS supports all QHYCCD USB3.0 devices only except PoleMaster and some discontinued CCD cameras. Please go to https://www.qhyccd.com/download/ and install it.
Since most of the contents of All-in-one package are plug-ins that support third-party software, the third-party capturing software that you want to use must be installed before the All-in-one package. Otherwise the program will report an error.
ALL-IN-ONE Pack contains:
System Driver, which is necessary for camera operation and must be installed.
WDM Broadcast Driver, which can provide a live signal to Obs and other live software, you can install it if you have such needs like opeing a live show.
EZCAP_QT , which is developed by QHYCCD and can be used in QHY devices tests, and management of updates. So even if you won’t use EZCAP_QT for capturing, we suggest you install it.
Ascom driver needs to be sync with the ascom platform version you installed (the latest version of Ascom is 6.5)
The two sorts of Ascom CFW Drivers correspond to two methods of controling the filter wheel: USB control and camera serial control. It is recommended that both drivers should be installed if you have a filter wheel.
CP210X_VCP is a serial driver. Some computers come with the driver, but the computer without the driver may be failed of controling the filter wheel.
SDKs for Third-party Software: Just pick and install the corresponding SDK according to the software you want to use. Don’t forget to check whether the software you are using is 32-bit or 64-bit and select the right SDKs.
SHARPCAP is also included in the pack, you can choose 32-bit or 64-bit to install. This is authorized by SHARPCAP.
QT LIB is a plug-in to ensure that 64-bit software can exeuate normally on some computers with poor compatibility.
Difference between Stable version and Beta Version: Beta version is the latest version, which gives priority to support for the latest products (the stable version may not be compatible with those yet), and has some of the latest optimized ,but experimental features. The stable version is older than the beta version but more stable, so it is recommended for beginners who are not using the latest products.
Don’t let the camera connect to the computer during the All-in-one pack installation process; connect it to the computer after all the installation is complete.
Input Voltage Requirements
The camera requires an input voltage between 11V and 13.8V. If the input voltage is too low the camera will stop functioning or it may reboot when the TEC power percent is high, causing a drain on the power. Therefore, please make sure the input voltage arrived to the camera is adequate. 12V is the best but please note that a 12V cable that is very long or a cable with small conductor wire may exhibit enough resistance to cause a voltage drop between the power supply and the camera. The formular is: V(drop) = I * R (cable). It is advised that a very long 12V power cable not be used. It is better to place the 12V AC adapter closer to the camera.
First connect the 12V power supply, then connect the camera to your computer via the USB3.0 cable. Make sure the camera is plugged in before connecting the camera to the computer, otherwise the camera will not be recognized. When you connect the camera for the first time, the system discovers the new device and looks for drivers for it. You can skip the online search step by clicking “Skip obtaining the driver software from Windows Update” and the computer will automatically find the driver locally and install it. If we take the 5IIISeries driver as an example (shown below), after the driver software is successfully installed, you will see QHY5IIISeries_IO in the device manager.
Please note that the input voltage cannot be lower than 11.5v, otherwise the device will be unable to work normally.
Before using software, make sure you have connected the cooling camera to the 12V power supply and connected it to the computer with a USB3.0 data cable. If it’s a planetary/guiding camera, 12V power is not needed.
Note: We recommend 64-bit Software if possible, like SharpCAP x64 , N.I.N.A x64. etc., especially when you’re using 16bit cameras like QHY600.
EZCAP_QT is software developed by QHYCCD. This software has basic capture functions for QHYCCD deep sky cameras.
Run EZCAP_QT. Click “Connect” in Menu -> Camera. If the camera is successfully connected, the title line of EZCAP_QT will display the camera firmware version and the camera ID as shown below.
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 just want to set the TEC power but not the temperature. You can select “Manual” and then set the percentage of the TEC power.
You can use the “preview tab” to preview and use the focus tool to focus. Then use the “capture tab” to capture the image.
Launch SharpCap. If the software and drivers mentioned above are installed successfully, the video image will appear automatically about 3 seconds after the software loads. You will also see the frame rate in the lower left corner of the software window as shown below.
If you have already started the SharpCap software before connecting the camera, in order to open the camera, click on the “camera” in the menu bar and then select the device.
Offset adjustment. When you completely block the camera (i.e., like taking a dark frame) you may find that the image is not really zero. 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.
If you want to enter the 16-bit image mode, select the “RAW16” mode.
By selecting the “LX” mode you can expand the exposure setting range and take long exposures.
After cooling devices 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. Basically, you can control the temperature of CMOS by either adjusting “Cooler Power” or clicking “Auto” and setting “Target Temperature”. You can also see the CMOS temperature at the lower-left corner of the software window.
ASCOM supported software (e.g. MDL)
With ASCOM drivers, you can use the device with many software packages that support the ASCOM standard. We will use Maxim DL below as an example, but a similar procedure is used for The SkyX and other software packages supporting ASCOM.
First make sure you have not only loaded the ASCOM drivers but that you have also downloaded and installed the ASCOM platform from ASCOM. After both the drivers and platform are installed, start MAXIMDL. Follow the instructions shown below to finish the setup. Then Click Connect in and enter the software.
Open N.I.N.A. – Nighttime Imaging ‘N’ Astronomy. Drive connections via ASCOM.
Turn on the TE cooler to set temperature. Then set the exposure time to capture the image.
BroadCast WDM Camera Driver
QHYCCD BroadCast WDM Camera is a broadcast driver that supports QHYCCD cameras with video broadcast function, which can meet the needs of customers to send video images to other target software. For example, use sharpcap to connect a WDM-enabled camera, and the sharpcap display video image can be sent to other WDM-supported software for display, which is suitable for video online broadcast applications.
Perform the AllInOne installation and check the BroadCast WDM Camera option.
The installation process is over, right-click the computer to find the device manager, and check that the image device name is QHYCCD BroadCast WDM Camera, which means the installation is successful.
Activate the function:
Usually sharpcap is used to connect the camera as the broadcasting terminal. After connecting the camera, you need to turn on the Enable Live Broadcast switch to broadcast.
Common supporting software (ie, broadcast receiver) includes: UFOCAPTURE, HANDYAVI, QQ video functions, etc.
AMcap test effect chart:
HANDYAVI test effect chart:
UFOCAPTURE test renderings:
Currently only supports Windows system.
Currently, the SDK does not support 16 bits for the time being.
RGB24 mode must be selected for color images, otherwise the image will appear gridded.
QHY42PRO Adanced Shutter Measurement
The QHY42PRO support the advanced Trig Out signal. Support both QHYCCD 4PIN , 5PIN , 6PIN GPIO port defination. These defination can be switched with the REG39. And there is a TrigOut output pulse enable resigster REG142, This regsiter is used to disable the output signal to avoid some unexpected signal output, like during the camera initialize, and mode change.
To active the QHY42PRO advanced Trig Out function, you need to upgrade the two FPGA firmware in the camera with:
REG39[3:0] GPIO Mode Switch Register.
0：I2C controlled GPIO signal output
1：QHYCCD GPS_BOX (6PIN)
4: Multiple Camera Sync-Working mode . Master
5: Multiple Camera Sync-Working mode . Slave
6 to 15: Undefined
REG142 TrigEnable Control Resgister
0: Disable the Output pulse
1: Enable the Output pulse.
About 5PIN PORT
5PIN cable color define
5PIN socket define (Face to the camera port side) and please note there is a red mark point.
The four IO in this port is the directly digital output , no opto-isolated. The IO standard is the 2.5V Level. High level is 2.5V. Low level is 0V. The 5pin is connected with the camera hardware with a ESD protec component. For the 5PIN I/O config, the four IO is directly output only. Please do not input any signal into it or connect it any voltage. Even it has ESD protect. But please take it carefully to avoid the static damage.
Don’t use the original open-drain connect method for it !!! Any voltage applied in these IO exceed 2.5V may damge the camera!!!!!
The shutterMessure waveform is the high precise waveform to indicate the begin/end exposure. Please note for QHY42PRO, it is the begin/end exposure of the ROW 0. The rising edge is the exposure beginning and the falling edge is the exposure ending. The width is the exposure time. You can connect the GPS messurement device to messure it directly. This waveform output support both Live video mode, Single mode and Burst mode
For rolling shutter CMOS, you need to get to know the Line Period then you can calcuate other rows exposure time beginning and ending. With this formual:
The t(begin2) is the row 2 beginning time. So :
The same as the t(end2)
The LinePeriod is a fixed value for all QHY42PRO cameras. So you only need to test one time.And write down of it. Please note in different SPEED setting . The LinePeriod will be not the same. Only SPEED setting will effect it. You can messure each SPEED setting and write down of it.
TrigOut (High Speed)
TrigOut singal is for normal messurement, not for high precise messurement. The TrigOut signal is the vertical Sync signal in the camera. It is a short pulse (the pulse is low level) . The falling edge of the TrigOut is close to end exposure of row 0 and the rising edge is nothing. This waveform output support both Live video mode, Single mode and Burst mode.
About SMA Trig In, Trig Out Port.
There is two SMA port on the camera. Trig In and Trig Out. Trig In is to input a hardware signal to trig the camera begin a capture in hardware. Trig Out is output the TrigOut signal or Shutter Measure signal or other signal. These two port is opto-isolated port and it is low speed port (due to the slow rising/falling edge of opto-isolater). But it has better ESD protect for the camera and suitable for longer cable.
REG39 BIT[7:6] Mode Switch Bit for TrigIn Port
0: ShutterMeasure Waveform Output
1: TrigOut (Vertical Sync) Output
REG39 BIT[5:4] Mode Switch Bit for TrigOut Port
Since the structure of the opto-isolator , the TrigOut port need have a pull up resistor to pull it up to a voltage. For example, 5kohm to connect to the 3.3V-12V.
For TrigIn, you can input a voltage with a current limitation resistor in series with it.
LinePeriod Waveform in 5PIN port
TrigOut waveform in 5PIN Port
Shutter Measure Waveform in 5PIN PORT @ exposure time set to 20.0ms
Shutter Measure Waveform in 5PIN PORT @ exposure time set to 1.0ms
QHY42 Test Image by Dr.Martin Miller The test results shows the high sensitivity of QHY42, especially in Ha wavelength, and the ultra low readout noise. results the high SNR image in short exposure time. Dr.Martin Miller says QHY42 has great potential in professional astronomy imaging. See all of the test image and the parameter at
Added functions related to BURST mode in SDK. Currently, cameras that support Burst function include QHY600, QHY411, QHY461, QHY268, QHY6060, QHY4040, QHY4040PRO, QHY2020, QHY42PRO, QHY183A
This mode is a sub-mode of continuous mode. This function can only be used in continuous mode. When this function is enabled, the camera will stop outputting image data, and the software frame rate will be reduced to 0. At this time, send relevant commands to the camera, and the camera will Output the image data with the specified frame number according to the settings, for example, set Start End to 1 6, the camera will output the image data with the frame number 2 3 4 5 when receiving the command.
1. When using Burst mode in fiber mode, the first Burst shot will be one less. For example, if the start end is set to 1 6, the output of 2 3 4 5 is normal, but in fact, only 3 4 will be output during the first burst shot. 5, 2 will not be received, the second and subsequent shots can normally obtain Burst images 2 3 4 5. This problem will be fixed later.
2. QHY2020, QHY4040 found that the frame number that came out when the exposure time was short is [start+1,end-1] but the one that came out under long exposure was [start+2,end]
3. When the camera is just connected, if the set end value is relatively large, the camera will directly output the picture after entering the burst mode. Therefore, it is necessary to set the camera to enter the IDLE state and then set the start end and related burst operations.
The following is the usage of Burst mode related functions: