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First (viable) light with my new QHY247C ColdMOS camera

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#26 Lord Beowulf

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 11:51 PM

Thought I'd give an update on this and show my latest efforts and results with this camera.  I've posted a couple of these images previously trying to get some help on PixInsight processing.  I also showed an early version of my Nikon lens adapter for the QHY247C.  I've enhanced it to add focus and zoom controls, based on a new packaging of my Arduino based stepper motor.  I'm going to take another pass at the fixture design to completely capture the lens and prevent the gear from attempting to push it off-axis.  However, I'm really happy with the small little package for the Arduino and stepper control.

 

4657.jpg link31.png

 

4658.jpg link31.png

 

4659.jpg link31.png

 

And here are a couple views of the model.

 

4661.jpg link31.png

 

4662.jpg link31.png

 

As usual, there are a couple more pictures in the gallery.  I'll post some results next.

 

Beo

 

 

 

 


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#27 Lord Beowulf

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 12:36 AM

As far as results with the camera, I've been quite successful when I'm not covered in clouds (like tonight).  I haven't had any startup problems (beyond occasional USB 3.0 issues in general when something gets bumped) since I made the USB reset mod that QHY came up with.  

 

Here's a shot of the Bubble Nebula through my C11.  Follow the link icon for more details.

4654.jpg link31.png

 

And here's the Witch Head Nebula through the zoom configuration above set to 200 mm.

4664.jpg link31.png

 

I have a few more small sets of subs on some different targets if I can ever get them processed.

 

Beo


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#28 Mert

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 01:59 PM

That witch head is really great, I have never obtained such a well focussed

image with my Sigma 70-300 lens.

Will have to try again, very nice setup with your printing.

Good to see that 3D-printing is really a good solution!

 

How does the PLA behaves with temp?


Edited by Mert, 07 March 2018 - 05:13 PM.


#29 Lord Beowulf

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 11:31 PM



That witch head is really great, I have never obtained such a well focussed

image with my Sigma 70-300 lens.

Will have to try again, very nice setup with your printing.

Good to see that 3D-printing is really a good solution!

 

How does the PLA behaves with temp?

Thanks.  I had some trouble with some of my early prints when I had black parts out in the sun, but I've since improved on my designs to minimize problems due to softening, etc.  I used the previous version of this adapter during the solar eclipse without a problem.  You can see it hanging from the bottom of the 11" OTA in the shot below.  Not terribly hot then, but warmer than it will be for most of my astrophotography.  I've also managed to do a decent job with ABS now, so that's an alternative for these parts of that becomes a problem.  Frankly though I like the PLA because it's more rigid.

 

Beo

 

4292.jpg link31.png


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#30 Mert

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 01:37 PM

Maybe use Ultem9085? ( I use 2 Fortus printers and others on my work )

But that is limited to enclosed oven printing

machines where the oven-temp is high tongue2.gif

I would like to get ( in the future ) some 3d-printer to do my

own adapters like you do.

IMHO that is the way to go.


Edited by Mert, 08 March 2018 - 01:38 PM.


#31 Gene3

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 10:59 AM

Yes, Dr. Qiu provided that fix to me around the beginning of the summer and I can report that I have not had any shift problems since then.  I did have to redo all my darks, etc. because it also gave the full resolution sensor data.  I also haven't had any problems with the remote startup of the observatory since I made the described USB fix above.  Again, that won't be a problem for most users, but was a must for me.

 

I'm finally getting my guiding under control and starting to get some good results. 

 

4510.jpg link31.png

 

Now if I could just get clear skies without the Moon!

 

Beo

Hi

I just got a QHY 247C to use with my SV102t (714mm FL). any recommendations for gain and offset settings?

Thanks,

Gene



#32 Lord Beowulf

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 10:06 PM

Hi Gene:

 

The images I've taken up to now have been at the default 2800 gain and 76 offset.  At that setting most of the DSOs were rarely/barely visible and had to be stretched completely out of the background at 10 minute exposures.  I've generally had good results with that with a large integration time, but I still thought I should have been able to get better results.  I just recently found the guide on setting gain/offset that Dr. Qiu posted and adjusted up to 4000/255.  I haven't been able to do much testing yet, but at that setting things look much better, although at 10 minutes the core for the Bladkeye is blown out.  I also had a lot of hot pixels, but I think for the few images I have of the Blackeye, the cooler wasn't working (different problem where I needed to unplug the USB to get it to reset and start working).  I'm waiting for some clear weather so that I can test properly now that I have darks and have the cooler working again.

 

Beo



#33 skaiser

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Posted 29 May 2018 - 10:29 PM

Beo

I am also looking at the QHY247C and the QHY168C  or ZWO ASI071MC-Pro.

The 247C has the slightly better pixel array, but slightly lower Full Well spec than the ASI071.

Did you look at the ASI071MC-Pro.?

ALso  , are you using the ASCOM interface to the camera and if so is this a solid performer.

 

Update:

 I pulled the trigger on the QHY247C. found a refurbished one for $200 off list , with full warranty.

will be using this on my CGX/ 9.25 SCT with the celestron OAG.

 

Does anyone know what size /type the power plug is on the QHY247C?

I believe the camera comes with a AC/DC power adapter brick, but I will need to plug this into my battery pack when not at the house.

It looks like the power connection has a screw on plug to keep it tight.

 

I see Orion has a DC power cord -cigarette light plug (07331) that looks like the same type connector??

 

 

Thanks

Steve


Edited by skaiser, 30 May 2018 - 06:40 PM.


#34 Lord Beowulf

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 06:59 PM

Hi Steve,

 

Sorry for the delay in responding, but I see you found a solution.  Since I was beta testing the 247 as one of the first large ColdMOS cameras, I'm not sure if the ASI camera was even out then, but I really wasn't looking at ASI at the time.  I think you'll be happy with the QHY247C.  It uses the standard Celestron style 5.5x2.5 mm barrel, which is also common on most video cameras and 12V supplies for LED strips, etc., so as long as it's +12V tip and ground on ring, and can supply the current, you should be good.  As far as the screw on retention, yes, but what they shipped with it was a standard power supply and then a short extension to give the screw retention.  I guess if I electrically taped the extension on it wouldn't be an issue, but it was a tight fit anyway.  As is, I use it in my observatory where I've made my own cables for power.

 

I use it in SGP with the ASCOM driver and it works fine.  There were issues during the beta process but they were pretty quick to resolve them when I reported and helped them reproduce them.  So as long as everything is up to date, you should be fine.  The only hardware issue that I had wouldn't bother most users, but was a problem for my remote observatory setup.  That was the USB fix I show on the previous page.

 

Beo



#35 skaiser

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 08:50 PM

Drum roll.  The QHY247C has arrived.!!

Yes , QHY was kind enough to respond that the power connection is 5.5mm x2.1mm .

So I order the celestron standard DC -car battery adapter.

I was also reading the QHY publication on setup of Gain and offset.

Dr Q mentions starting at Unity Gain 

 But I could not find what Unity Gain is for the QHY247C. He mentioned 2800 for the QHY367C...

Assuming the clouds hold off a little tonight I'll see if I can try your settings 4000/255.

Not real hopeful on the weather. especially when its still 88deg at night.

This camera was a nice fit for my setup.

I have the Celestron OAG and it came with the fittings needed for easy mounting of the camera on my scope.

The OAG also allows me a easy swap to my recticle eyepiece setup.

 

One question:

  I received a small plastic bag with the camera that contains some desiccant and a steel rod with a threaded end.

What is the steel rod for?

 

 

Wish me luck

Take care


Edited by skaiser, 05 June 2018 - 10:24 PM.

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#36 Lord Beowulf

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Posted 09 June 2018 - 07:27 PM

That's the desiccant tube for drying out the inside of your camera if you have moisture problems.  I've never used it so far, but there's a screw on the side of the housing you'd remove and put this on.  

 

Beo



#37 skaiser

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Posted 04 August 2018 - 07:04 PM

Any suggestions on the use of Pixel Binning with the 247C?

I was finally able to get to my dark sky area and had some perfect weather, except for the moon coming up after midnight, it was great.

So I shot some guided , sample images of the whirlpool galaxy.

Gain 3590, offset 50

My 86sec 2x2 bin image looked so much better than my 120sec 1x1 bin image.

I realize you loose resolution using the 2x2 but can you typically gain back the image intensity by doing image stacking.?

Just curious what others are typically doing.



#38 Lord Beowulf

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Posted 06 August 2018 - 07:42 AM

Hi Skaiser,

 

I use binning for auto-focusing and for plate solving in SGP, but I always image at full resolution.  I'm something of a resolution/magnification freak, and really can't bear to give up what I've obtained with the camera and OTA combination I have.  For the longest time I was running at the default deep sky gain settings, but that had the actual image content buried in the background after ten minute exposures and I still had a lot of noise reduction to do after stretching heavily.  Now after reading Dr. Qiu's guide I'm trying a gain of 4000 with an offset of 255 which is still clipping the bottom of the histogram slightly.  (Just realized I'd already posted this info previously on this thread!)  Still haven't had a chance to process anything I've captured this way yet.  

 

Thanks,

 

Beo


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#39 skaiser

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Posted 06 August 2018 - 08:16 PM

Thanks for the information.

2x binning sounds like a neat way to improve the focus operations.

i will have to give that a try.

i use apt and PHD2 with off axis guider for my cgx for imaging.

I guess I’m a little Leary of imaging with Gain and offset maxed out.

my experience from factory automation with machine vision always tried to tune for midrange values on the camera for image capture. I may have to unlearn  or modify what I try to set my imaging parameters at for astrophotography.

thinking about my imaging, it seems I have been imaging “normally “ at 1x1 binning.

like you I like to have my max resolution so I need to turn binning off.

 

i do appreciate being able to talk with you and others about this camera.

maybe I can get some test shots tonight if the weather cooperates.

take care.

steve

 (also nice web site and observatory)!


Edited by skaiser, 06 August 2018 - 08:37 PM.


#40 skaiser

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Posted 07 August 2018 - 11:44 AM

Beo

 I was reading from the beginning of this chat and saw where you thought you had a memory leak problem with deep sky stacker and your images.

do you know if this issue has been resolved in DSS?

you also mentioned a jumper you had to put in to fix a power up issue on the camera. 

Do you know if this Has this been “fixed”in the newer release cameras?

One other item , in reading through your comments you mentioned  Dr Qiu

“He also suggested that a luminance filter might be needed since the QHY247C does not contain its own IR cut filter.”

so are you using a filter all the time to help with the color balance?

thanks


Edited by skaiser, 07 August 2018 - 11:51 AM.


#41 Ron in Michigan

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Posted 30 September 2018 - 01:29 PM

I'm considering a OSC.  I wanted a 367 - but I have orange/red skies here.  I can see the dipper stars,  most primary constellation stars not much else.

I can't justify 4K for a camera that may not work. (and no way to return/exchange it).
 

The 247 is more in a price I wouldn't mind trying and even living with it - (if it still wasn't the best for my skies).

but I'm curious. I do mostly NB now, but I'd like to try OSC again. (First cam was a 071 with heater/cooling hardware problems and exchanged it for a 1600MMC)

What were the sky pollution levels in these shots?

I grabbed your first bubble image to adjust levels in PI to see if I could darken the skies. 
I wished I had someone near me to try one. Or someone using it in similar LP'ed skies (orange/red) zone.

 

 

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#42 Lord Beowulf

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Posted 01 October 2018 - 06:27 AM

Beo

 I was reading from the beginning of this chat and saw where you thought you had a memory leak problem with deep sky stacker and your images.

do you know if this issue has been resolved in DSS?

you also mentioned a jumper you had to put in to fix a power up issue on the camera. 

Do you know if this Has this been “fixed”in the newer release cameras?

One other item , in reading through your comments you mentioned  Dr Qiu

“He also suggested that a luminance filter might be needed since the QHY247C does not contain its own IR cut filter.”

so are you using a filter all the time to help with the color balance?

thanks

Hi Skaiser,

 

Sorry for the delay.  Not sure why I missed your posts here.  First off, thanks for the comments on the website and observatory.  As far as the gain setting, while I haven't had the chance to go through a full image process since I switched (been working on observatory automation and am way behind on the little bit of content I have actually been able to capture), the whole point of these new cameras is that they're supposed to be extremely low noise so that you can run them at high gain without a problem.  The issue with all of my low gain work was that I had to stretch them so much I still ended up with a lot of noise that was hard to get rid of.  I'm hoping operating at a higher gain will improve that.  The only issue is that I am up against stars and galaxy cores, etc. being blown out.  I could wish that the 247C sensor had deeper well depth.

 

As far as DSS, recently the project was taken over (and I think made public domain) so we finally have a new V4.x in both 32 and 64 bit.  I haven't used it much, but that appears to have addressed the memory problems.

 

I would certainly suggest contacting QHYCCD to confirm that the USB startup problem has been fixed.  One would assume it has, but since I seem to recall you didn't get yours brand new, you might want to check what serial number, etc. has the fix.  Of course if you never go fully automated, it might not bother you.  The problem was if the USB was powered up before the camera hardware.  Unplugging and replugging the USB is the basic fix that I'd originally worked around with a modified USB hub.  I believe the internal jumper they had me add just holds the USB chip in reset until the 12V powers up, which would solve the problem as well.

 

And yes, I'm using an IR cut filter now (was using just a sky glow filter I had).  I still have to be sure I turn my observatory cameras off as their IR led rings still will affect my background light pollution, but without the filter it was a mess.  I'm rural enough that I'm not sure how much IR light pollution I get otherwise, and I'm using an SCT, so I shouldn't get much dispersion from any strong IR sources, although the EDGE does contain a lens at the back in addition to the corrector.  I don't think the filter does anything for color balance, other than just ensuring I don't have IR (which depending on the filter material in the Bayer matrix might end up as colors other than red).  For example, when I was testing the ASI290MC for my all-sky camera, it turned out that didn't have an IR filter either (check out the relative QE graphs -- all pixels are letting a lot of light through at 800 nm), making trees look REALLY funky!  Since I wasn't able to get a full hemisphere FOV with that sensor it might not have mattered, but that was just one more problem...

 

Beo  


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#43 Lord Beowulf

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Posted 01 October 2018 - 06:52 AM

I'm considering a OSC.  I wanted a 367 - but I have orange/red skies here.  I can see the dipper stars,  most primary constellation stars not much else.

I can't justify 4K for a camera that may not work. (and no way to return/exchange it).
 

The 247 is more in a price I wouldn't mind trying and even living with it - (if it still wasn't the best for my skies).

but I'm curious. I do mostly NB now, but I'd like to try OSC again. (First cam was a 071 with heater/cooling hardware problems and exchanged it for a 1600MMC)

What were the sky pollution levels in these shots?

I grabbed your first bubble image to adjust levels in PI to see if I could darken the skies. 
I wished I had someone near me to try one. Or someone using it in similar LP'ed skies (orange/red) zone.

Hi Ron,

 

My light pollution is pretty decent where I'm at, although my horizons are getting worse constantly.  I'm generally in the green on most light pollution maps.  The all-sky image below should give you an idea for comparison.

 

4601.jpg link31.png

 

As far as background brightness in my shots, that tends to be a matter of personal preference, but to me a totally black background tends to look too harsh.  More importantly, in most cases there's still nebulosity there that's real.  (See this post on integrated flux nebula background in my M82 image I still haven't finished processing!)

 

And I know what you mean on the 367.  Not sure I could even justify $2k out of the gate for the 247, but I bought mine at the start of the beta program so that helped.  I've also had enough experience with other cameras to know that this one hit my sweet spot for capabilities/resolution vs. price.

 

Thanks,

 

Beo



#44 skaiser

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Posted 01 October 2018 - 09:01 AM

Beo

 thanks for the information on the use of your 247c.

If you don’t mind me asking, whose ir filter are you using and where in your optics path is it mounted?

weather has been terrible here, so have been doing a lot of research and reading on using APT, PHD2, DSS, and photoshop image processing.

looking forward to playing with settings on 247c to see what gives me best stacking images.

how is your new control software going?

take care



#45 Lord Beowulf

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Posted 01 October 2018 - 05:07 PM

I used this Astromania filter because it was only $24 and specs and other reviews seemed ok.  The one review on Amazon now wasn't there and of course if you read it they didn't know what they were buying.  It's an IR cut filter, not a skyglow filter, so of course it didn't help their skies.  Unfortunately Amazon no longer has it and I don't know if it's available elsewhere, but I"m sure you could check.  Actually looks like they still have it, but just under another listing for all their filters.  Note however that the reviews are somewhat misleading as they're all for different filters (a common Amazon problem when they group stuff like this).    I was able to verify that it significantly reduced the light when pointed directly at my IR security cameras, so I'm satisfied that it does what it's supposed to do while being generally optically clear in the visible range.  Note that there's another listing for an "Alstar" brand UV/IR cut filter at the same price, but I don't know if it's any good.

 

As far as my NexStarEquatorial driver, as far as I can tell it works great, but given that it's been rainy/cloudy since I finally finished it, I haven't actually had much chance to really use it.  I believe I also found the last bug in my focus motor firmware that was causing SGP to occasionally fail when it missed the target by one count, so hopefully I'm ready to rock as soon as I get some clear skies.  The thunderstorms killed my internet connection gateway to the observatory last week right after I left town (probably a good thing as I might have been tempted to image from Europe, which doesn't make my wife happy when something goes wrong!), so I'm about to head out there now to get it back online.

 

Beo


Edited by Lord Beowulf, 01 October 2018 - 05:13 PM.


#46 Lord Beowulf

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Posted 01 October 2018 - 10:31 PM

Oh, and as far as where I mount the filter, I have my own 3D printed adapter to mount to my Taurus Tracker III and it mounts in that.  At some point I'll go back to doing some wide field and mount it (or another one) on the 2" nose piece.

 

4072.jpg link31.png

 

Beo



#47 skaiser

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Posted 02 October 2018 - 06:21 AM

Thanks for the info on your filter.

 

Pretty nice fabricating your parts as needed.

i need to try doing that . Our local library just installed 6 3D filament printers which the public can use.

they charge you 4cents a ounce for what you print. Only limitation is it has to be printed in lesss than 8 hrs.

They also have a laser etcher and a mini CNC machining center.

guess I’ll have to start using their equipment.



#48 Gene3

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Posted 06 October 2018 - 05:16 PM

Hi Skaiser,

 

I use binning for auto-focusing and for plate solving in SGP, but I always image at full resolution.  I'm something of a resolution/magnification freak, and really can't bear to give up what I've obtained with the camera and OTA combination I have.  For the longest time I was running at the default deep sky gain settings, but that had the actual image content buried in the background after ten minute exposures and I still had a lot of noise reduction to do after stretching heavily.  Now after reading Dr. Qiu's guide I'm trying a gain of 4000 with an offset of 255 which is still clipping the bottom of the histogram slightly.  (Just realized I'd already posted this info previously on this thread!)  Still haven't had a chance to process anything I've captured this way yet.  

 

Thanks,

 

Beo

Hi Beo

Did you ever get clarification on a decent starting point for 247C gain and offset for like 5 minute exposures?

 

Thanks,

Gene



#49 Ron in Michigan

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Posted 07 October 2018 - 12:16 PM

I opted for the ASI094MC  Gotta try I guess. I'll still do NB mostly with the 1600MMc but I need to try some quick OSC again.



#50 Lord Beowulf

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Posted 08 October 2018 - 07:10 AM

Hi Beo

Did you ever get clarification on a decent starting point for 247C gain and offset for like 5 minute exposures?

 

Thanks,

Gene

Hi Gene, 

 

I still haven't gotten around to finishing processing anything I've captured, but for reference, here are a couple of subs of the Crescent nebula, one from last year at the default 2800/75 and one from a few weeks ago at 4000/255.  The first two are with the screen adjustment slider in DSS set to the middle (linear) and the last one is the 2800 with the mid range slider moved to about 10% to bring the nebula up to the same level.  As you can see, at that point the background is considerably worse.

 

Crescent 2800x76.JPG

 

Crescent 4000x255.JPG

 

Crescent 2800x76 Stretched.JPG

 

Hope that helps!

 

Beo




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