QHY CCD problems in AA7

Cameras, telescopes, focusers and other hardware
garymck
Posts: 8
Joined: 29 Jan 2019, 20:14

QHY CCD problems in AA7

Post by garymck » 22 Sep 2019, 02:01

Hi,
Have just started to use AA7 for camera control (have previously used AA5 and 6 for image processing only)

I have experienced the following problems:

1) QHY9s camera connects OK, but temperature control does not work correctly. If for example I use a set point of 0 deg C , the camera starts cooling and progressively ramps up the cooling power, to 100% continuing to do so, never turning off or reducing power. At one point before I realised what was going on my QHY9 reached -35C and I was terrified I had damaged my CCD!! It was OK however. I have tried using different setpoints and the behavior is the same no matter what the setpoint. Turning on and off the cooler works.

I tried this with both camera plugin 6 and 7

2) AA7 will not connect to my QHY5L2 guider under any circumstances - get a message "camera not found" Tried connecting as both primary and guider in plugin 6 and 7. Neither works

Details:
Windows 10 Pro 64bit
AA7 SP1 (just upgraded)
Latest AA Ascom plugin 2.10
latest QHY drivers for both cameras
Latest Ascom

Both cameras work correctly in MaximDL5, and PHD2 and Nebulosity
It is only in AA7 that I have these issues.

Any ideas?
cheers
Gary

fabdev
Posts: 200
Joined: 03 Dec 2018, 21:43

Re: QHY CCD problems in AA7

Post by fabdev » 22 Sep 2019, 14:20

Hello, about problem #1,
verify that you have the latest QHY9 ASCOM driver (version 206 beta2 , https://www.qhyccd.com/en/QHY9.html )

what is the behaviour with other ASCOM software? The dynamics to bring the temperature to a given value is not controllable by software, in ASCOM the only command is:

Camera.SetCCDTemperature (<user value>)
https://ascom-standards.org/Help/Develo ... rature.htm
(see Note: the ramp, if any, should be managed by hardware or by the manufacturer driver).

It's possible that if the ambient temperature is 20 degrees and you request a temperature of 0 degrees, the firmware decides a full power cooling to -30 with a following settling several minutes later. If this is not wanted, then the only workaround is an explicit cooling sequence (script).

Camera.SetTemperature(15)
Pause(60)
Camera.SetTemperature(10)
Pause(60)
Camera.SetTemperature(5)
Pause(60)
Camera.SetTemperature(0)

You may test this script indoor with ASCOM, using the "ASCOM Vx Simulator", after having enabled "Can set CCD Temperature" in the Properties.

fabdev
Posts: 200
Joined: 03 Dec 2018, 21:43

Re: QHY CCD problems in AA7

Post by fabdev » 22 Sep 2019, 14:51

Hello, about problem #2, please post a screenshot with the camera options and the error "Camera not found".

garymck
Posts: 8
Joined: 29 Jan 2019, 20:14

Re: QHY CCD problems in AA7

Post by garymck » 22 Sep 2019, 23:11

Hi,
thanks for replying.

re the QHY5L2 the error was "cannot connect to camera" not "camera not found". Apologies for the error - I had been playing around with things for hours and wrote the email quite a while after I had stopped.

Attached are screenshots of each connection stage using camera plugin with the QHY5L2. It is connected as main camera, but the behaviour is identical when selected as a guide camera. Also attached is a screenshot of the guider attached to PHD2 with no issues.

Data to follow on QHY9 cooling issue

Gary
Attachments
guider 4.JPG
guider 5.JPG
guider 3.JPG
guider 2.JPG
guider 1.JPG

garymck
Posts: 8
Joined: 29 Jan 2019, 20:14

Re: QHY CCD problems in AA7

Post by garymck » 23 Sep 2019, 00:47

Further to the QHY5L2 issue.

Testing shows that it will connect using the latest driver ,QHY5IIDriver160519(Beta), but when using a very old ASCOM driver see attached snip

Will not connect using latest ASCOM driver.
QHY9 testing later (time difference as I'm in Australia

Gary
Attachments
working ascom.JPG

fabdev
Posts: 200
Joined: 03 Dec 2018, 21:43

Re: QHY CCD problems in AA7

Post by fabdev » 23 Sep 2019, 11:26

Hello, I'm glad that you solved. Some notes:

It seems to me that PHD was connected to the camera via a native driver, not via ASCOM(?), maybe via ASCOM you would have obtained the same result?
The ASCOM QHY was indeed very old (1.0.0) and it showed the name of another model (QHY5II) which is different from the QHY5IIL see:

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=89

garymck
Posts: 8
Joined: 29 Jan 2019, 20:14

Re: QHY CCD problems in AA7

Post by garymck » 23 Sep 2019, 20:46

Hi,
in the pic PHD was the native driver, but the connection was the same with ascom.....I tried so many different versions of drivers with both Astroart and PHD2 that I didn't notice when I took the PHD2 pic I had connected the native driver (I always use ascom, not native). I'm happy that I got the 5L2 to connect in Astroart anyway! I've found QHY drivers to be a bit problematic over the years.........The QHY download page also only lists a single system driver for both the qhy52 and the qhy5L2....but they have different Ascom drivers.

I haven't had time to check the QHY9 yet (spent lots of time on the QHY5L2) and it will be a couple of days before I get back with results. I want to check if the same cooling behaviour occurs with my ASI071MC Pro. Since I am the only one who has reported this issue, I wonder if there is some weird issue on my laptop? Will report back in a couple of days.

Gary

garymck
Posts: 8
Joined: 29 Jan 2019, 20:14

Re: QHY CCD problems in AA7

Post by garymck » 25 Sep 2019, 13:32

Hi,
I have had a chance to do some more testing. There is a difference in behaviour regarding cooling of the CCD by Astroart and other programs (noticeably Maxim DL 5.24, but also others) This occurs both with my QHY9 and my ASI071MC Pro.

Cooling seems to happen more quickly with Astroart, and power seems to ramp up much more quickly, whilst temperatures reported do not change as quickly as in other programs. This leads to very significant overshooting of set temperatures. For example tonite I was conservative and set the temperature to 0 deg C . I stopped the cooling when it reached -15 deg C. I did not let it continue.(QHY9). I let the camera get back to ambient and tried the same setpoint in Maxim, it overshot to -4.7 deg C and slowly settled back to 0 deg C. Maxim displayed temperature changed 2-3 times as often as Astroart. I obviously don't know what causes this difference, but i will definitely have to use a script to control the cool down process.

I also had no problems connecting the QHY5L2 to Astroart for guiding using the latest system driver and the very old Ascom driver as reported earlier.

cheers
Gary

fabdev
Posts: 200
Joined: 03 Dec 2018, 21:43

Re: QHY CCD problems in AA7

Post by fabdev » 25 Sep 2019, 15:19

Hi,
may you confirm that you connected to the camera with Maxim via the ASCOM interface?
In the ASCOM standard, there are no ramp options, only a single setpoint, and the ramp is performed by the hardware or by the low-level driver.
If yes, then in other software there is an hidden sequence (but there should be options somewhere) which simply sets different setpoints every minute.

garymck
Posts: 8
Joined: 29 Jan 2019, 20:14

Re: QHY CCD problems in AA7

Post by garymck » 25 Sep 2019, 20:55

Hi,
yes I can confirm that Maxim was connected via Ascom. I also note that some other softwares have options to cool over a user selected period of time. Perhaps that could be added in a future service pack? I the meantime I'm happy to use the cooling script.

BTW I love processing in Astroart. I have used it since version 5 for that. Compared to others it is easy to use and blindingly fast!!! I own some other popular packages and no longer use them, they are so slow, they make adjustments to parameters untenable.

Gary

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