Please remember that these reviews reflect my opinion and my opinion only. They hold no ties to the product or company or their views or thoughts. Nor have they endorsed me or sent me these products or anything of the sort. I am not responsible for any damage to your equipment.
Hi & welcome back to another review of mine. this time it’s about a recent purchase I made & tell you the truth it was short lived. I recently bought another Guide camera to replace my QHY5 Mono Guider & on a off chance maybe use it as a Lunar Camera, thinking that it may be a better replaced from its old predecessor, like below:
Apart from the change of camera body, the guide camera still shares the same CMOS chip, facts about the chip can be found at the QHYCCD website.
One thing I would like to say before I proceed, this review does not reflect any opinions about the QHY5L-II Planetary Cameras as I did not buy one & nor do I know how they perform.
Okay, lets start - The main big difference in this camera is the design & Picture clarity - so no more banding, from what it used to look like to what it is now, surprisingly the Guider version does not come packed inside a Metal Box like the planetary versions of the camera do, this is what I was told by the retailer, it comes like this:
The camera itself, which resembles something like a Starlight Xpress Lodestar the similar size of a 1.25” Eyepiece, below the camera is a Parfocal Ring, if you find you do not have enough back focus, a 1.25” extension is included & of course the camera packed in a unmarked cardboard box.
Next the top of the camera, the chip is covered by a glass window, I would like to think it was anti-reflective.
The reverse of the camera, showing its USB, ST4 Port, Led Light & a Key Ring Loop (it reminds me of something you find on a kids cheap keyring toy).
My initial thoughts were “Great - QHY are starting to move a peg or two upwards” anyway I loaded the Drivers onto my laptop, my 1st initial problem came when PHD froze, as the latest version supports this camera, as it is listed when choosing your cameras, my laptop froze & a blue screen of death appeared resulting in a Driver Problem (by the way before anyway suggests it, the Laptop was HD Ready & had a fresh windows install). Never had I seen this from any of my Astro Drivers. So I decided to uninstall the latest PHD & re-instate version 1.13, i could only think it was a driver conflict between PHD QHY5-II Drivers & what QHYCCD supply.
When connecting the the camera onto a USB Cable I found the ports a bit flimsy to tell you the truth, as the initial plugging into the USB port was not firm, this sent an alarm in my head thinking that I might have bought something that was somewhat knackered. I decided to investigate further.
It would have been nice if QHYCDD had spent a bit more time on their QC before releasing this camera as I found the build quality cheap & flimsy. Take for example the wobbly ports on the rear of the camera. I later found out that the PCB board inside the camera was poorly mounted, it would have been nice if the manufacturers fitted a pcb holder in place instead of using a cheap plastic bracket ribbon, just to keep the board in its place, the only other thing which holds the pcb in place is the rear black cover as the ports rest on it once screwed in place.
Simply a couple of dabs of Silicon Glue would not go amiss to hold the board firmly in place, I did try blue tack ;-) but no avail, not to my satisfaction anyway, I must admit the old guider was manufactured a lot better regardless of its banding. A short movie called, Guider Blues:
I would love to swear & curse at my own content, especially when you spend your hard earned cash for a poorly manufactured camera, but that would not help, as I said before, these are my own findings of a product I bought. After experienced the QHY’s new camera & disappointed to say the least, I think I just stick with my old QHY5 thank you, at least we know the ports won’t wobble when plugged in.
Edited by Neil, 27 March 2013 - 11:59 AM.