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RisingTech - cheap IMX224, IMX290, ICX829 alternatives

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#51 nic35

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Posted 23 February 2017 - 10:39 AM

And here are the 30 second exposures.

 

msg-15563-0-13026700-1487259146.jpg

 

msg-15563-0-70338500-1487259164.jpg

 

msg-15563-0-96880100-1487259183.jpg

 

 

 

 

I hope this helps.

 

john

 

 


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#52 AstroGal

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Posted 23 February 2017 - 11:27 AM

John,

 

Those results look real similar to the effect of the anti-amplight testing that QHY did for their QHYIIII224 camera in this thread from a year ago that  I found: http://www.cloudynig...ming/?p=7013202

 

In particular, posts num. 17 and num. 18 were 30sec darks taken at high gain (so they show even more of a difference than your mid gain test) with the amp reduction off and the amp reduction on respectively. For much shorter exposures like 8sec, you don't see nearly as  much of a difference since the amp glow seems to increase non-linearly with time.

 

It sure looks to me that the ZWO camera in your test has some form of amp glow reduction, but the RT doesn't. Just my layperson's opinion.

 

Thanks very much for your testing.



#53 A. Viegas

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Posted 23 February 2017 - 12:04 PM

 

Has anyone used the RT existing 224/290 as auto guiders? What do you select in PHD as the compatible driver? Is it the Altair driver set? Do these cams also have built in st4 ports and cabkes?

Al

I've used the ZWO ASI185MC with PHD2. If the ASCOM driver is installed, it should just show up in the settings along with the mount. You just connect to the camera and the mount. I don't use the ST4 port.

 

Given the work Nic and Ken have just done on the amp glow issue, it seems these lower cost cameras are really less suited for longer exposure DSO work, moreover their USB2 limitation means they are subpar also for high speed planetary... which leaves their use as a guider as the primary cost/benefit tradeoff.   Now... has anyone actually used any RisingTech cams with PHD and do they work?  As you know PHD drop down config has the ZWO, and QHY as options.  So what would you select for the Rising Tech?  Are they WDM cameras?  if so can you change exposure and control camera from within PHD?  There is no generic "ASCOM" guider option.

 

Al


Edited by A. Viegas, 23 February 2017 - 12:05 PM.


#54 nic35

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Posted 23 February 2017 - 12:09 PM

Astrogal

 

Actually, thanks to Ken James for his testing !

 

I think your conclusion is spot on.  I don't think that the RT cameras claimed to have amp glow reduction, so there is no surprise there.

 

My take away is that for short exposures at modest gains, there is not much difference between the two cameras.  Keep that in mind if that's the kind of imaging/observing you do.

 

j


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#55 alphatripleplus

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Posted 23 February 2017 - 12:27 PM

 

 

Has anyone used the RT existing 224/290 as auto guiders? What do you select in PHD as the compatible driver? Is it the Altair driver set? Do these cams also have built in st4 ports and cabkes?

Al

I've used the ZWO ASI185MC with PHD2. If the ASCOM driver is installed, it should just show up in the settings along with the mount. You just connect to the camera and the mount. I don't use the ST4 port.

 

Given the work Nic and Ken have just done on the amp glow issue, it seems these lower cost cameras are really less suited for longer exposure DSO work, moreover their USB2 limitation means they are subpar also for high speed planetary... which leaves their use as a guider as the primary cost/benefit tradeoff.   Now... has anyone actually used any RisingTech cams with PHD and do they work?  As you know PHD drop down config has the ZWO, and QHY as options.  So what would you select for the Rising Tech?  Are they WDM cameras?  if so can you change exposure and control camera from within PHD?  There is no generic "ASCOM" guider option.

 

Al

 

Al,

 

If you visit the RT store on AlieExpress you will see that their IMX224 cameras have an ASCOM camera driver compatible with PHD2. https://www.aliexpre...2722953617.html

 

In addition, this link to the RT software shows the 3rd and 4th items are Touptek Ascom drivers, https://drive.google...2hBemMzbnc/view

 

so I think it is a reasonable bet that you select the Touptek Ascom camera driver in PHD2. Others have used Touptek cameras with PHD2 http://www.cloudynig...-gcmos01200kma/

 

With respect to amp glow, RT is probably in the same place that ZWO was before they introduced vs1.3 PCB in their hardware. If you have an older ZWO ASI224 you will have the same amp glow issues unless you pay to send it back to ZWO for an upgrade. The only difference was that the vs1.2 ASI224 was about $350 a year ago and has USB3 for planetary, compared to $168 for a USB2 RT 224, both with amp glow. It's true that you can get the vs1.3 ASI224 with anti-amp glow for $300 now, but I still think the RT 224 for $168 looks like a good deal if you don't care about planetary and can manage your darks carefully.

 

 

Edit: It may be obvious, but you have to install the Touptek ASCOM camera driver first for it to show up on the PHD2  drop down camera menu.


Edited by alphatripleplus, 23 February 2017 - 12:45 PM.

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#56 A. Viegas

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Posted 23 February 2017 - 12:47 PM

Thanks Errol

 

That is very useful info.   So while you are asking them, why dont they add USB3 bus?  if its only $20...



#57 AstroGal

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Posted 23 February 2017 - 12:58 PM

Astrogal

 

Actually, thanks to Ken James for his testing !

 

I think your conclusion is spot on.  I don't think that the RT cameras claimed to have amp glow reduction, so there is no surprise there.

 

My take away is that for short exposures at modest gains, there is not much difference between the two cameras.  Keep that in mind if that's the kind of imaging/observing you do.

 

j

Yes, thanks too to Ken for doing the heavy lifting!



#58 Relativist

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Posted 23 February 2017 - 11:35 PM

I was hoping the second posts went from half to full gain lol. If still possible please take that data as well.



#59 ChrisFC

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Posted 23 February 2017 - 11:54 PM

C'Mon Ken ! What's with the holdup on testing these cameras. You've only got about ten to do ...

#60 Dragon Man

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 03:20 AM

C'Mon Ken ! What's with the holdup on testing these cameras. You've only got about ten to do ...

:lol:  I'm trying Chris.

 

So many things to do and so many cameras to test.

 

I agree with John's assessment of my results. It appears that at 'no' and 'low' gain on short exposures the RT is cleaner but as exposure length and gain increases, the RT catches up to the ZWO then passes it, displaying more noise and Amp Glow.

 

This isn't a very scientific graph but it shows what we mean:

 

224 Graph.jpg



#61 xrayvizhen

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 08:12 AM

 

C'Mon Ken ! What's with the holdup on testing these cameras. You've only got about ten to do ...

:lol:  I'm trying Chris.

 

So many things to do and so many cameras to test.

 

I agree with John's assessment of my results. It appears that at 'no' and 'low' gain on short exposures the RT is cleaner but as exposure length and gain increases, the RT catches up to the ZWO then passes it, displaying more noise and Amp Glow.

 

This isn't a very scientific graph but it shows what we mean:

 

attachicon.gif224 Graph.jpg

 

So then, would it be accurate to say that for "near real time viewing", the Rising Tech camera is at least equal to or possibly better than the ZWO camera that costs $131 more and that as the activity becomes more astro-photography like with longer and longer exposures that's when the more expensive unit is better?



#62 AstroGal

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 08:23 AM

C'Mon Ken ! What's with the holdup on testing these cameras. You've only got about ten to do ...

Ken,

 

As you are doing such an outstanding job testing these cameras, have you checked to see whether the Rising Tech 224 plays nicely as a guide camera with PhD2 via the Touptek Ascom driver? I'm guessing a few people may have their eye on a $168 camera that can pull dual duty as both a guide cam and an EAA camera. That 224 sensor probably makes it a helluva lot more sensitive as a guide cam doing 1-2s exposures than anything else in its price class. 

 

So if you have a lot time to burn  :lol: , maybe give it a spin as a guide cam. I see quite a few people do try guiding even in EAA. 



#63 Dragon Man

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 08:57 AM

 

 

C'Mon Ken ! What's with the holdup on testing these cameras. You've only got about ten to do ...

:lol:  I'm trying Chris.

 

So many things to do and so many cameras to test.

 

I agree with John's assessment of my results. It appears that at 'no' and 'low' gain on short exposures the RT is cleaner but as exposure length and gain increases, the RT catches up to the ZWO then passes it, displaying more noise and Amp Glow.

 

This isn't a very scientific graph but it shows what we mean:

 

attachicon.gif224 Graph.jpg

 

So then, would it be accurate to say that for "near real time viewing", the Rising Tech camera is at least equal to or possibly better than the ZWO camera that costs $131 more and that as the activity becomes more astro-photography like with longer and longer exposures that's when the more expensive unit is better?

 

 

Theoretically it appears that the RT is 'cleaner' for 'near real-time viewing', yes.

I would comfortably say the ZWO is cleaner at long exposures.

 

 

 

 

C'Mon Ken ! What's with the holdup on testing these cameras. You've only got about ten to do ...

Ken,

 

As you are doing such an outstanding job testing these cameras, have you checked to see whether the Rising Tech 224 plays nicely as a guide camera with PhD2 via the Touptek Ascom driver? I'm guessing a few people may have their eye on a $168 camera that can pull dual duty as both a guide cam and an EAA camera. That 224 sensor probably makes it a helluva lot more sensitive as a guide cam doing 1-2s exposures than anything else in its price class. 

 

So if you have a lot time to burn  :lol: , maybe give it a spin as a guide cam. I see quite a few people do try guiding even in EAA. 

 

 

Sorry that I can't help in this request as I don't have PHD, I've never had PHD, and I never will have PHD.

Way back in the days of the dinosaurs when I actually did do Guiding I used a program called 'Guidemaster' which is an incredibly stable, amazingly easy, extremely basic user-friendly guiding software.

But I gave guiding away many years ago when I put Astrophotography behind me and concentrated wholly and solely on Video Astronomy, and I haven't guided since. Nor wanted to.

 

But at a guess I would suggest that any of these 224 cameras would make great guiders. Set the exposures to 2 seconds, crank up the Gain and go for it.

Noise and Amp glow from high Gain are of little consequence when guiding. All the guide software needs to see is a star, it doesn't care if the picture is pretty or not. In fact a slightly out-of-focus star, or even a very tiny globular Cluster, will give better guiding results than a perfectly sharp focussed star.

Guiding works by Centroid, meaning that no matter how diffuse an object is, the software will concentrate on finding the centre of it.

A sharp star can have an opposite effect in that if the software slightly moves off a sharp star it may not be able to find it again, so it moves around searching for it which actually makes the mount move more than if you weren't even guiding at all.

 

Think of it like you are playing chasey with your child. While you are running around chasing them would you rather step off the edge of a cliff or a steeply sloped hill?

The sloped hill obviously, because to can still get a foothold and climb back to chasing them.   :grin:


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#64 Robrj

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 10:25 AM

Amp glow shouldn't be an issue with PHD2.  I've used the 185MC which is probably worse than the earlier 224s for amp glow.  Plus, you can also use darks and set up bad pixel maps if necessary.

http://openphdguidin...dPixel_Maps.htm



#65 A. Viegas

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 12:36 PM

I ordered a 224....

 

report back when I get it and use it as a guider.

 

Al


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#66 A. Viegas

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 12:44 PM

just thought of this ---   do the RT cameras work with Sharpcap?  



#67 mclewis1

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 03:59 PM

Yes



#68 sergtert

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Posted 06 March 2017 - 12:36 AM

Risingtech 224 inside

Attached Thumbnails

  • inside_1.jpg
  • inside_3.jpg

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#69 sergtert

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Posted 06 March 2017 - 12:37 AM

plate

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  • inside_2.jpg

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#70 ChrisFC

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Posted 06 March 2017 - 02:17 AM


C'Mon Ken ! What's with the holdup on testing these cameras. You've only got about ten to do ...

Ken,

As you are doing such an outstanding job testing these cameras, have you checked to see whether the Rising Tech 224 plays nicely as a guide camera with PhD2 via the Touptek Ascom driver? I'm guessing a few people may have their eye on a $168 camera that can pull dual duty as both a guide cam and an EAA camera. That 224 sensor probably makes it a helluva lot more sensitive as a guide cam doing 1-2s exposures than anything else in its price class.

So if you have a lot time to burn :lol: , maybe give it a spin as a guide cam. I see quite a few people do try guiding even in EAA.

The zwo 224 works with phd2.
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#71 dakloifarwa

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Posted 06 March 2017 - 09:17 AM

Do the cameras support true 12/14 Bit raw output?

Did anyone ask Eddie for monochrome versions of the different sensors, especially of the Panasonic MFT device?



#72 alphatripleplus

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Posted 06 March 2017 - 09:45 AM

I only asked Eddie about a monochrome IMX290 sensor, which is in the works (see post#49) and should be available soon. Feel free to contact him via AlieExpress, as he seems fairly responsive to enquiries.



#73 Astrojedi

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Posted 06 March 2017 - 12:43 PM

This is a long one. And might go on for several posts to cater to photo size limits

 

Some time back there was a call for "hard" data on the relative performance of the less expensive 224 cameras versus the more expensive ones.  

 

So far, thanks to Ken James, we have a sample of one of each camera.  I'm pushing a colleague of mine to finish up his efforts on doing the same with his ZWO, at which time I'll add info from mine, and we'll have a sample of 2 of each cameras.  We'd still be lacking info on camera to camera variability from the vendors  (AKA QA/QC), but at least it is a start.

 

They seem to show ( and the preliminary statistics of the images confirm ) that at the shorter exposures, the RT camera may be less noisy than the ZWO camera.  Only a little, but it is there visually and in the stats.

On the other hand, at 30 seconds, with any level of gain applied, there is a clear difference, with the ZWO camera being "cleaner".  

 

I've got almost no clue how these cameras actually work.  But it might be that whatever ZWO does to clean up the image runs constantly, and thus induces some very low level of constant thermal glow.  But the RT camera doesn't run this fix, and thus you don't see the noise associated with the fix. Only when you apply some level of gain at longer exposures does the RT image start to degrade.

 

Here's the program Ken ran, followed by the images.  The side by side comparison images are the most informative and so are the only ones shown here.  If you are dying to see the individual frames, PM me and I'll send them along.  Ken advises that the ZWO was purchased in the past month, and so likely reflects the newer version of that camera.

 

Ken did separate comparison images of:

ZWO ASI224
8 seconds - zero gain
8 seconds - quarter gain
8 seconds - half gain
30 seconds - zero gain
30 seconds - quarter gain
30 seconds - half gain

 

Rising Tech 224
8 seconds - zero gain
8 seconds - quarter gain
8 seconds - half gain
30 seconds - zero gain
30 seconds - quarter gain
30 seconds - half gain

 

and combination frames of:
8 seconds - zero gain
8 seconds - quarter gain
8 seconds - half gain
30 seconds - zero gain
30 seconds - quarter gain
30 seconds - half gain

 

Dark Frame captures were carried out with the ZWO ASI224 in SharpCap and the Rising Tech 224 in RisingSky.
All Dark Frame captures are single frame, with matching settings in both softwares in Brightness, Contrast, Hue, Saturation etc.

 

Both cameras were placed into an ED80 Refractor to take advantage of the Heatsink properties of a Focuser Barrel, no extra glass added (Focal Reducers or filters), and the temperature only wavered by 0.5 degree from the Ambient of 17 degrees Celsius throughout the testing time of 1 hour.

 

The results show not a lot of difference (if any) at 8 seconds at all 3 gain settings.
There was little difference at 30 seconds with no gain.
BUT! the difference became noticeable at 30 seconds once gain was raised to quarter and half.

 

attachicon.gifmsg-15563-0-49473300-1487259066.jpg

 

attachicon.gifmsg-15563-0-67311700-1487259047.jpg

 

attachicon.gifmsg-15563-0-87557200-1487259027.jpg

 

30 second images in the next post in this thread.

 

Excellent work Ken. Just one comment. At 8s I don't see any amp glow on the ASI224. What noise are you referring to? The frame seems slightly lighter overall but it is pretty even and not related to amp glow.

 

That could be due to differences in default settings between SharpCap and RisingSky or light leak among other things. Best to do these tests with the same software package.

 

Also how did you normalize gain values between the 2 cameras? I tired out the RT224 recently and found it incredibly difficult to normalize gain settings between the 2 cameras.


Edited by Astrojedi, 06 March 2017 - 12:45 PM.


#74 nic35

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Posted 06 March 2017 - 08:19 PM

AJ:

 

Good point about the software.  I wasn't explicit when I sent Ken the directions for what I wanted.  Next time we'll use a common platform.  If there is a next time - not sure I see the need right now.

 

Regarding the normalization, we simply ran at minimum, gain, 25 % of full gain and 50 % of full gain.  For the Rising tech cameras, gain varies between 0 and 50.  I take it that for the ZWO cameras, maximum gain is 600.  If the gain isn't scaled on a similar transformation in the two cameras, then half on one might not be half on the other.  I'm not sure how to deal with that.

 

Regardless, with one caveat, I think the essential conclusion remains the same - at short exposures and/or low gains, the cameras are similar.  Higher gain at longer exposures and the ZWO camera is much cleaner.

 

The caveat is that this is a sample of 1 of each camera. Assuming that the ZWO undergoes more rigorous Q/A testing, it can be expected to be more consistent.  Which would be one reason for a greater cost.

 

Also, of course, the RT camera is USB 2.0, as compared to 3.0 for the ZWO camera. 


Edited by nic35, 06 March 2017 - 08:20 PM.


#75 nic35

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Posted 06 March 2017 - 09:27 PM

just thought of this ---   do the RT cameras work with Sharpcap?  

Al:

 

Just to clarify something - 

 

Over on the sharpcap forums, I followed up your question about the compatability of the RT camera with sharpcap, specifically about version 2.10 - now in beta.

 

What I understand (and my experience suggsets) is that up until version 2.9, the directshow version of the RT camera would not be able to do dark subtraction. So live stacks of any long-ish exposure would be noisy.  

 

I never tried the ASCOM version of the camera, and didn't ask Robin about that - so I don't know if that could do dark subtraction.

 

But apparently, it will work in 2.10.  I have downloaded 2.10, and it sees the camera and puts a section for dark subtraction and flat fields in the camera control panel - which is different from 2.9.  Now for decent weather to test !

 

Of course, the RisingSky software does its own version of dark management/subtraction/adjustment.  There was a thread about that, but frankly, I got lost in the discourse. 

 

j




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