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ASI1600MM Pro - Beta Test

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#1 iuseglasses

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 09:58 PM

Hey everyone!

 

When Sam from ZWO was in San Jose for the AIC conference, he met up with me to take a look at the ZWO booth. (I had seen his video of the camera line up on Facebook and had to check it out!) After we talked for a bit, he asked if I would like to try out the new ASI1600MM Pro camera that he was showing off.

 

The big difference here between V3 and the Pro model is the addition of a DDR buffer to reduce/eliminate amp glow. Personally, I hadn't really seen much amp glow with my set up, but I know for some people its been a bit of a nuisance. 

 

I'll be adding some dark files and early images I take with the camera on this thread. If there is anything you'd like to see, please let me know!

 

Jon

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#2 iuseglasses

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 10:01 PM

Something that I noticed is that the ASI1600MM Pro is just a tad taller than the V3 model. Other than that, they are pretty much indistinguishable from each other.

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#3 Jon Rista

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 10:01 PM

Cool! I heard this was coming. I'd be very curious to see what the glows look like with a slow USB 2 download. ;) I think that was the big pain point, USB 2 with the USB Limit set to 40 with the existing ASI1600s. If the amp glow is minimal like a USB 3 with USB Limit set to 100, then I think this will be a nice improvement for people using Stick PCs and the like. 

 

It would also be interesting to see this pitted against the QHY163M and Atik Horizon. Dunno if anyone has a Horizon for beta testing, but I'd love to see how Atik has managed the glows. 



#4 iuseglasses

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 10:05 PM

Cool! I heard this was coming. I'd be very curious to see what the glows look like with a slow USB 2 download. wink.gif I think that was the big pain point, USB 2 with the USB Limit set to 40 with the existing ASI1600s. If the amp glow is minimal like a USB 3 with USB Limit set to 100, then I think this will be a nice improvement for people using Stick PCs and the like. 

 

It would also be interesting to see this pitted against the QHY163M and Atik Horizon. Dunno if anyone has a Horizon for beta testing, but I'd love to see how Atik has managed the glows. 

I've changed over all my equipment to USB 3, so I need to find a USB 2 hub that can step the speed down. I think that will be a good way to test for the amp glow. Now I just need to find the old hub... smile.gif


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#5 iuseglasses

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 10:26 PM

Here is what the new firmware looks like with the camera set up in SGP. No more Offset or USB Traffic settings. 

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#6 iuseglasses

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 10:32 PM

Here is a Dropbox link to the .FIT files for a 300 and 600 second dark images over USB 3. I will continue adding to this folder as I image over the next couple nights.

 

https://www.dropbox....3Fqq80FG5a?dl=0

 

If I stretch the dark files a lot, I do notice a bit of amp glow in the usual locations. I've reached out to Sam to ensure I've got everything set up correctly. I'll also add a comparison at some point with the dark images from the V3 camera.


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#7 rockstarbill

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 10:44 PM

Still looks like the amp glow I am used to seeing in the 1600. 



#8 Jon Rista

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 10:48 PM

It does look more like the glows from high USB Limit settings than low USB Limit settings. The low usb limit results in much worse banding and the glows can be several times brighter. So I think the DDR buffer is doing it's job, keeping the glow as the minimum level (which isn't zero...I just hope no one expects that, especially not with a 600s dark). 


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#9 iuseglasses

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 10:52 PM

It does look more like the glows from high USB Limit settings than low USB Limit settings. The low usb limit results in much worse banding and the glows can be several times brighter. So I think the DDR buffer is doing it's job, keeping the glow as the minimum level (which isn't zero...I just hope no one expects that, especially not with a 600s dark). 

That makes sense. I don't think I had ever looked at a stretched dark from my V3 camera. I'll make sure to update with USB 2 darks as soon as I can. That is where the real difference should be. 



#10 iuseglasses

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 11:49 PM

I've updated the dropbox link to include two shots of the North America nebula as well. The moon is there as well (and is the reason I'm now packing up). 

 

https://www.dropbox....3Fqq80FG5a?dl=0

 

I'll hook up a USB2 hub tomorrow to compare dark files between the V3 and the Pro model.



#11 glend

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Posted 04 October 2017 - 12:52 AM

Too many model revisions which just seem to be keeping up with QHY, who had the advantage that followers always get, cherry picking improvements. I have never had an issue with Amp Glow, it calibrates out, why worry? I have hundreds of hours of data and i am not about to have to build new Dark and Bias libraries just to get a DDR buffer; and then have two different data sets to deal with. And why get rid of Offset and USB control? For people using it for high gain narrowband the Offset control was useful. Continuious use of my Version 1 -1600MM-C is my plan.  

I would prefer Sam working on a APS-C or full-frame mono camera with great specs, till that happens my wallet is closed.


Edited by glend, 04 October 2017 - 12:55 AM.

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#12 neptun2

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Posted 04 October 2017 - 06:48 AM

Very interesting. I am just planning to go the 1600MM route in the beginning of next year. Will the pro version be released soon?



#13 StarMike8SE

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Posted 04 October 2017 - 06:55 AM

Too many model revisions which just seem to be keeping up with QHY, who had the advantage that followers always get, cherry picking improvements. I have never had an issue with Amp Glow, it calibrates out, why worry? I have hundreds of hours of data and i am not about to have to build new Dark and Bias libraries just to get a DDR buffer; and then have two different data sets to deal with. And why get rid of Offset and USB control? For people using it for high gain narrowband the Offset control was useful. Continuious use of my Version 1 -1600MM-C is my plan.  

I would prefer Sam working on a APS-C or full-frame mono camera with great specs, till that happens my wallet is closed.

I agree, my QHY163M has always had all these features.   There is some Amp glow, but a good set of darks just magically removed it



#14 Midnight Dan

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Posted 04 October 2017 - 09:09 AM

Here is what the new firmware looks like with the camera set up in SGP. No more Offset or USB Traffic settings. 

Hmmm ... any idea what happened to the offset?  Is it always set to zero now?  Or is there some behind-the-scenes offset that scales with the gain?

 

-Dan



#15 Jon Rista

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Posted 04 October 2017 - 09:11 AM

 

Here is what the new firmware looks like with the camera set up in SGP. No more Offset or USB Traffic settings. 

Hmmm ... any idea what happened to the offset?  Is it always set to zero now?  Or is there some behind-the-scenes offset that scales with the gain?

 

-Dan

 

It is always set to the max for hte given camera with Pro cameras now. For the ASI1600, that was a offset of 50 ADU at Gain 300, so now it is 50 ADU for every gain. The change in dynamic range at minimum gain between 10 and 50 ADU offset is around 0.02 decibels...so...meaningless. 


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#16 iuseglasses

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 06:53 PM

Too many model revisions which just seem to be keeping up with QHY, who had the advantage that followers always get, cherry picking improvements. I have never had an issue with Amp Glow, it calibrates out, why worry? I have hundreds of hours of data and i am not about to have to build new Dark and Bias libraries just to get a DDR buffer; and then have two different data sets to deal with. And why get rid of Offset and USB control? For people using it for high gain narrowband the Offset control was useful. Continuious use of my Version 1 -1600MM-C is my plan.
I would prefer Sam working on a APS-C or full-frame mono camera with great specs, till that happens my wallet is closed.


I’m not sure this is geared towards existing ASI1600 owners. This is an iterative update that will be good for anyone who is purchasing it for the first time or people having issues with amp glow that can’t be calibrated out.

I appreciate that Sam continues to make improvements to his products and pushing the needle forward.

Also, just because this model is happening, doesn’t mean APS-C or full frame mono is not.


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#17 Salty_snack

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 07:26 PM

Does it have a heated window like the QHY163???

I’ve never understood why the asi1600 seems to be so popular when the qhy163 offers the same sensor and better features for the same money.
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#18 iuseglasses

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 09:49 PM

Does it have a heated window like the QHY163???

I’ve never understood why the asi1600 seems to be so popular when the qhy163 offers the same sensor and better features for the same money.

Yea, the sensor window on Version 3 and above now pulls in heat from the unit to keep it free from dew. 

 

For me, parrt of the draw with the ASI cameras is the excellent support from ZWO and Sam. I've run into a few things that ended up not being problems, but Sam communicated with me directly and was of great help. Also, his willingness to hear feedback from customers and make hardware changes so quickly is pretty great as well.

 

I'm not as familiar with the QHY163, but what other features does it have over the ASI1600?


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#19 Robert York

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 11:49 PM

Would this have much benefit for someone using USB 3?

 

Just placed my order for an ASI1600, but since it's the Chinese holiday for a week, it's on hold. Wondering if I should hold out a little more for the Pro version.



#20 Jon Rista

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 12:32 AM

Does it have a heated window like the QHY163???

I’ve never understood why the asi1600 seems to be so popular when the qhy163 offers the same sensor and better features for the same money.

One of the draws for me was the ultra short backfocus. Many of the ASI cameras get down to 6.5mm backfocus, whereas the QHY seem to be limited to 17.5mm minimum. For camera lens users, the short backfocus of the ASI cameras is really useful. 

 

Outside of that, I think the two cameras are on par for features. Either one will do just as well as the other. 


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#21 entilza

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 07:18 AM

 

Does it have a heated window like the QHY163???

I’ve never understood why the asi1600 seems to be so popular when the qhy163 offers the same sensor and better features for the same money.

One of the draws for me was the ultra short backfocus. Many of the ASI cameras get down to 6.5mm backfocus, whereas the QHY seem to be limited to 17.5mm minimum. For camera lens users, the short backfocus of the ASI cameras is really useful. 

 

Outside of that, I think the two cameras are on par for features. Either one will do just as well as the other. 

 

There is a new short screw adapter which brings it up quite a bit.  By default they have a zero Tilt camera connector (which lets you rotate the camera within the bracket to the Filter wheel) but if you remove that you can connect the camera directly to the filter wheel which reduces the backfocus.  You do lose the ability to rotate the camera though.  


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#22 Robert York

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 10:39 AM

I saw the other ASI pro models also had the tilt adapter built into the camera. Is that true with this one?



#23 iuseglasses

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 11:28 AM

Would this have much benefit for someone using USB 3?

 

Just placed my order for an ASI1600, but since it's the Chinese holiday for a week, it's on hold. Wondering if I should hold out a little more for the Pro version.

Personally, I like having the newest of whatever I'm buying. That being said, you likely won't see any differences over USB3. I think the Pro model will be available this month. Might be worthwhile to ask Sam to convert your order if it won't take much longer. 



#24 iuseglasses

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 11:29 AM

I saw the other ASI pro models also had the tilt adapter built into the camera. Is that true with this one?

This does not have a tilt adapter built in. Its almost physically identical to the version 3 except it is 1mm or so taller.



#25 Robert York

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 12:45 PM

 

Would this have much benefit for someone using USB 3?

 

Just placed my order for an ASI1600, but since it's the Chinese holiday for a week, it's on hold. Wondering if I should hold out a little more for the Pro version.

Personally, I like having the newest of whatever I'm buying. That being said, you likely won't see any differences over USB3. I think the Pro model will be available this month. Might be worthwhile to ask Sam to convert your order if it won't take much longer. 

 

Thanks. I sent you a note asking the best way to get hold of Sam.




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