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The Mini QHY5 - II Mono Guider Review.


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#1 DENEB

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 03:42 PM

Hi This review has been taking from my Website : backyardscope.org.uk, with kind permission presented on insideastronomy.com
 

Disclaimer:


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:

qhy5_2.jpg

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:
 

IMG_0673_1.jpg

 

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.

IMG_0675_1.jpg

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).
 

IMG_0674_1.jpg

 

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.


#2 klaatu2u

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 04:25 PM

So not exactly paddling down the river of bliss with this one?  Thanks for posting your thoughts / experience, images  and youtube vid.  BSOD is not something anyone want's to experience, yikes!


Jim in Portland, OR.  Some images I've taken

14" Orion goto Dob that amazes me for visual, Lots of eyepieces, and a few binoculars

A few nice refractors and 8300M CCD with full set Astrodon filters 5nm Ha, 3nm SII and OIII -->Veloce RH200 f/3 on order :)

A 'ROR' and a concrete pier in my white LP zone backyard observatory where I image from (yes, in the city!)

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#3 Neil

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 04:40 PM

Unfortunately, sometimes cheap = really cheap manufacturing!
 
The lack of support for the PCB is really worrying since this will no doubt place additional stress on the connectors to the ccd itself.
 
QHY need to step up their game since this quality isn't really acceptable at any price?
 
Clear Skies
 
 
Neil.

#4 DENEB

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 04:42 PM

Thank you for tidying the thread Neil :)



#5 Starlock

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 05:19 PM

Thanks for posting the review Nadeem. Not great build quality, it wouldn't cost much at all to secure the PCB better. Software issues also:(



#6 DENEB

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 05:26 PM

Thanks everyone, I do wonder if all the QHY5-II Variants are like this.


Edited by DENEB, 17 March 2013 - 05:58 PM.


#7 tich

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 06:39 PM

I must admit I noticed the movement on the rear of my QHY5L-II, however I did get mine as a tester so got it at a much reduced price much less than what SPC's go for on the bay of fleas & it does work well for planetary much better than the SPC.
As for getting it to work with PHD I found I had to select Ascom Late Camera for it to work as using QHY5 setting would cause it to freeze. From the beginning I had some problems I must confess most were caused by my original laptop not being up to the job but as soon as I got a second hand Dell D630 all problems seemed to be resolved.
It works ok with PHD now & doesn't freeze up although I haven't attempted any guided imaging with it yet & that project might be on the back burner for now until my circumstances at home change & I get an observatory & taller fence built.


Skywatcher ED80, Skywatcher 250P, Skywatcher ST80, Celestron C6 SCT,
Zenith 10x50 Bins, NEQ6 Pro & EQ5, Canon 1000D Unmodded & Modded Canon 1000D, QHY5L-II & Philips SPC.
Various Hyperion Eyepieces & MKII Zoom Plus Other Scopes & Bits & Bobs.
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#8 Captain Tweaky

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 06:41 PM

Many thanks for posting this - I guess I shall wait for The International Astronomy Show before even considering buying one now. Curiously, I believe this was the one that Bern from Modern Astronomy was promoting at Astrofest, but he didn't have any in stock.

 

Yours aye - Cap'n


Captain Tweaky

 

And if the dam breaks open many years too soon; And if there is no room upon the hill
And if your head explodes with dark forbodings too; I'll see you on The Dark Side of the Moon
 
My Flickr site for all my astro images - and other stuff, if you'd care to take a look!

#9 DENEB

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 06:53 PM

Thanks for the info Tich, I did use the Ascom Late Camera option including the latest Ascom Standards software, but no avail.

 

I have a few friends which use the Lodestar & CoStar products with similar design, but they have reported no wiggly ports.

 

I think my next Planetary Cam would be something like a ASI120MC from ZWOptical from TS, They probably use the same chip as the QHY5L-II Mono, but the QC is a lot better.

 

Nadeem.


Edited by DENEB, 17 March 2013 - 07:17 PM.


#10 tich

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 08:13 PM

The only thing I can think of is that it's not compatible with the chipset with your laptop as I were getting the same issues until I got the Dell. I might make up some sort of modification to sort out the ports on mine although they haven't caused me any issues. I do agree that they should be solid though as I can't understand why they would be designed like that.


Skywatcher ED80, Skywatcher 250P, Skywatcher ST80, Celestron C6 SCT,
Zenith 10x50 Bins, NEQ6 Pro & EQ5, Canon 1000D Unmodded & Modded Canon 1000D, QHY5L-II & Philips SPC.
Various Hyperion Eyepieces & MKII Zoom Plus Other Scopes & Bits & Bobs.
darksite2_zps11a734b0.gif
http://centralmidlandstargazers.com/


#11 DENEB

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 08:47 PM

Well replacing the camera is a cheaper option then a laptop. I really don't see why it would be not compatible with my laptop, since every CCD or other astro camera has been used with it.

 

Badly written drivers...

 

According to the QHY Forum, there seems to be more development going into the 5L-II Variants.

 

I for one will not be bothering buying any 5-II models again unless they sort out their QC on their cameras.

 

Their designed like how they are, because they are made to be cheap & cheerful.


Edited by DENEB, 17 March 2013 - 08:54 PM.


#12 Zakalwe

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 08:06 PM

Hold on Nadeem. You removed the rear plate of the camera and then wiggled the board around? The rear plate holds the PBC in place!



#13 DENEB

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 08:16 PM

Yes thats all I done. There's a little plastic ribbon style type cable stuck onto top of the pcb & the other end of  it stuck onto the inner casing of the camera, but it is really cheap & flimsy..

 

The ports were wiggly even with the back plate screwed on, this review is not misleading anyone, just the facts as reported,,,

 

As far as I know the rear ports on a costar or lodestar are quite firm.

 

Anyway are you not mean't to plug in a USB cable into it..


Edited by DENEB, 20 March 2013 - 08:41 PM.


#14 Zakalwe

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 09:01 PM

I get you.

 

USB ports, in general, are absolutley rubbish for this sort of thing. The port cannot really support the weight of the cable, especially in an environment where the cable may be suspended from the port. They cables need careful supporting.



#15 DENEB

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 09:06 PM

The old style QHY5 & QHY5v do not inhibit this problem with their ports. Their nicely manufactured & firm, but as you suggested on the other forum, the PCB might need firming up if there is some rotation.



#16 DENEB

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 07:29 AM

Interestingly I found this on the QHYCCD Website...

 

http://qhyccd.com/cc...hp?topic=3726.0

 

I do wonder if they deploy this fix onto their awful QC of the QHY5-II Cameras.

 

Photo taken from QHYCCD...

 

locator-3Dprint.jpg


Edited by DENEB, 09 April 2013 - 12:32 PM.


#17 ezio49

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 09:44 PM

Deneb,

thank for your report. I was just evaluating to buy or the asi120mc or the qhy5l-ll.

I was afraid by the low cost of the second one. Now i understand why it is  cheap.

Probably i ll go toward the asi.

 

ciao.