Controlling the new 3rd Generation QHY Filter Wheel with SharpCap

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Chris-PA
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Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2019 3:48 pm

Controlling the new 3rd Generation QHY Filter Wheel with SharpCap

Post by Chris-PA » Wed Jan 02, 2019 3:53 pm

I have a bit of a mystery I was hoping someone might have an idea how to fix. I've downloaded the latest ASCOM drivers and have my new QHY 3rd generation filter wheel working perfectly in EZCap and also working in APT (although it lists 37 filter wheel positions even though I specified 7 in ASCOM). However, I prefer to use SharpCap and although I *can* get it to work in SharpCap, I can't get it to work solely through SharpCap.

The only way I can get it to work is if I connect to APT and SharpCap at the same time. Unfortunately, as soon as I disconnect the camera from APT, filter wheel control stops working in SharpCap and it gives me an error message about the camera not being connected (even though it will still actively image and totally is still connected).

Does anyone have any ideas *why* filter wheel control would work in SharpCap only if the camera is also simultaneously connected to APT and what I might be able to do to fix this?

I took a video of this to show what's going on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cf3lk-YYeAI

Also, if anyone has an idea as to why I have 37 filter positions listed in both APT and SharpCap (even when I specify 7 in ASCOM) and how I can get this down to 7, that would be great.

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Re: Controlling the new 3rd Generation QHY Filter Wheel with SharpCap

Post by admin » Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:08 pm

Hi,

if you have your filter wheel connected to your qhy camera then just need to take a slightly different approach to configure it – we should do is deselect the Ascom driver in the SharpCap hardware settings (make sure the selected filter wheel is none in that page) and then just open the camera in SharpCap making sure that you wait until the filter wheel has finished its initial rotation before opening the camera in SharpCap. Then you should see that your filter wheel control appears automatically in SharpCap without needing any further configuration.

SharpCap is programmed to automatically detect qhy filter wheels that are connected by the camera in this way without needing the Ascom driver – the only limitation is that the filter wheel must have finished initialising for it to be detected properly.

Hope this helps, Robin

Chris-PA
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Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2019 3:48 pm

Re: Controlling the new 3rd Generation QHY Filter Wheel with SharpCap

Post by Chris-PA » Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:43 pm

Hi Robin,

Thanks for your reply. I did this, but it hasn't appeared yet - at this point, roughly seven minutes have passed after the initial rotation and the filter wheel menu is still not there. This is the brand-new 3rd Generation Filter Wheel that was only released in September. Perhaps it works a little different from the 2nd generation version? I should also mention that I have been getting an error message about the capture profile not being loaded correctly. Perhaps that could be the culprit?

Thanks again,
Chris

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Re: Controlling the new 3rd Generation QHY Filter Wheel with SharpCap

Post by admin » Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:52 pm

Hi Chris,

the filter will will not appear after you have open the camera – although it may if you close and then reopen the camera in SharpCap now that the initial rotation is complete. That's the way my CFW2-S works anyway. SharpCap queries the camera just after the camera has been opened to ask if it has a filter wheel connected to it and the wheel initialisation must have completed by that point for everything to work as it should.

I do seem to recall from when I first added this functionality that the problem with the Ascom driver approach is that the wheel has to be open via the Ascom driver before the camera is activated by the software according to qhy. This is the opposite way round to the way that SharpCap works – SharpCap starts the camera first and then connects Ascom hardware – and it would have been a big change for me to alter that ordering just for the qhy wheel support. I'm guessing that the trick of trying to connect to the camera in another piece of software somehow fools the Ascom driver into thinking that everything is set up the way it expects.

Hope this helps, Robin

Chris-PA
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Re: Controlling the new 3rd Generation QHY Filter Wheel with SharpCap

Post by Chris-PA » Wed Jan 02, 2019 10:03 pm

Okay, well if I can avoid using ASCOM, that's fine. I don't need to do that, especially since it's giving me 37 filter wheel options no matter which program I use. I just don't know how to get this menu to appear in SharpCap. It seems as though SharpCap isn't making that query or it isn't being answered correctly or the 3rd generation filter wheel is answering it in a way SharpCap can't understand. Is there there a specific routine you'd recommend, such as 1. Connect filter wheel to camera. 2. Plug in camera. 3. Wait for filter wheel to rotate, 4. Connect camera to computer, 5. Launch SharpCap - anything different you'd recommend?

Thanks again,
Chris

Chris-PA
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Re: Controlling the new 3rd Generation QHY Filter Wheel with SharpCap

Post by Chris-PA » Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:18 am

Hi Robin,

I'm so sorry - it was probably there all along. I was looking for the filter wheel controls at the bottom where it usually appears on my ZWO and where it was when I had ASCOM driver selected. For this camera, it's located underneath the DDR buffer under camera controls. I never expected it to be there. I'm betting I was overlooking it the entire time. Thanks so much for responding to me and sorry for being a doofus!

Chris

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Re: Controlling the new 3rd Generation QHY Filter Wheel with SharpCap

Post by admin » Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:51 pm

Hi

Ah, that's interesting I hadn't noticed when I was testing that this control was in the wrong group. I will try and correct that in a future version to make it more consistent with other filter wheel and focuser et cetera controls. Thanks for reporting back!

Cheers, Robin

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