Configuring and Connecting the QHY600
EDIT (UPDATED 12/18/19): With the release of SDK version 20191016 from QHY, a memory leak that had been identified has been fixed. It appears that, with this update, the OutOfMemory exceptions described below are no longer an issue. While NINA is still an excellent option for running the QHY600 with either the ASCOM or its native driver, we can also confirm success in running the camera on SGP in 32-bit mode without seeing this error.
Original Post Follows:
With the much anticipated release of the new QHY600, there have been a couple of connectivity and setup tidbits we’ve come across we wanted to share here for customer reference. This is shaping up to be a phenomenal camera, and we can’t wait to get it under the stars! We’ll have more to post here about our experience with it soon.
Capture Software Choices:
One of the first things we noted about the camera is that 32-bit image capture software can have memory errors due to the file size produced by the QHY600 (120 MB+). As such, under several occasions while shooting dark frames in Sequence Generator Pro (a 32-bit program), we encountered the following on image download:
“[09/25/19 21:56:51.278][DEBUG] [Camera Thread] ASCOM Camera Error : Exception of type 'System.OutOfMemoryException' was thrown….
[09/25/19 21:56:51.281][DEBUG] [Camera Thread] Error while attempting to capture frame...”
QHY warns of this in their manual, and recommends using a 64-bit capture program such as SharpCap or N.I.N.A. to run the QHY600. This does appear to be necessary as switching to N.I.N.A. has solved the issue for us.
Configuring 64-bit software for use with the QHY600:
As QHY notes in their documentation, in order to get the 64-bit versions of the software to function correctly with the driver, the 64-bit .dll file must be placed in the correct directory. This is called out in the manual for SharpCap, and on the download page for N.I.N.A. This can be somewhat confusing to sort through, so, for completeness, follow the instructions below for configuring your computer so N.I.N.A can access the QHY600:
- Download and install the ASCOM platform (if you don’t have it already) from ascom-standards.org
- Download and install the QHY System Driver from the QHY Downloads page
- Download the QHY ASCOM Driver from the QHY Downloads page
- Download the QHY SDK from the QHY Downloads page
- Extract the contents of the QHY SDK download. Open the x64 folder.
- Copy the file titled “qhyccd_x64.dll”
- Navigate to the directory where N.I.N.A was installed. From there, navigate to:
“…N.I.N.A. – Nighttime Imaging ‘N’ Astronomy/External/x64/QHYCCD/”
- Paste the “qhyccd_x64.dll” file into the directory.
- Rename “qhyccd_x64.dll” to “qhyccd.dll” and replace the current version of “qhyccd.dll” (or, alternatively, delete “qhyccd.dll” and then rename “qhyccd_x64.dll” to “qhyccd.dll”)
N.I.N.A will now successfully connect to the QHY600 and you’ll avoid issues with out of memory errors. A similar procedure can be followed in the QHY manual for using the 64-bit version of SharpCap.
Note that N.I.N.A developers have informed us that "a future release of N.I.N.A. will include an updated QHY SDK once QHY finalizes QHY600 support in the next SDK release."
A further review of this awesome new camera will be coming shortly! Stay tuned!