ZWO Camera Support

Discussion in 'Image Capture' started by Conrad Sanders, Jul 1, 2018.

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  1. Conrad Sanders

    Conrad Sanders Standard User

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    I am trialing Maxim DL Pro for 30 days and I am trying to follow the first steps to add my camera and I don't see ZWO brand of cameras listed.
     
  2. William B

    William B Cyanogen Customer

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    Christchurch, Dorset UK
    Hi Conrad.

    In Maxim, ZWO ASI cameras are ASCOM cameras so to use the ZWO cameras you need to have installed the ASCOM platform version 6.3 for Windows first, you can download the ASCOM platform from here:

    http://www.ascom-standards.org/index.htm

    Note: in Windows settings, Programs and Features, look in the 'Features' list and enable .NET Framework 3.5 before installing the ASCOM platform software if you have not already done so.

    Image below is the 'Features' list in Win 10, your Windows version may appear different.

    (To view the attached images full size log in to the Diffraction Limited forum first, sorry that is a limitation of this forum software).

    _NET Framework 3_5.jpg

    Next, download the latest ZWO Native driver (1) and the ASI ASCOM driver (2) from the ZWO website and install them, the web page is here:

    https://astronomy-imaging-camera.com/software-drivers

    ZWO ASCOM Driver.jpg

    Connect the camera and make sure that Windows has recognised it, check in Windows Device Manager that an ASI camera is listed.

    ASI Device Manger.jpg

    In the following instruction the bracketed numbers refer to the steps shown in the attached image below.

    (1) In Maxim, under Camera Control click Setup Camera.
    (2) In the Setup window select 'ASCOM' under the Camera Model drop-down key.
    (3) Click the 'Advanced' button to open the ASCOM Camera Chooser window.
    (4) Use the drop down key and select ASI camera [1] (or [2] if you have a second ASI camera connected for guiding).
    (5) Hit the 'Properties' button to open the ZWO ASI Camera Setup window.
    (6) Use the drop down key to select the model of ZWO ASI camera connected, select camera gain desired (suggest unity gain to begin with) then close all open windows except the main 'Camera Control' with the 'OK' buttons.
    (7) Hit the 'Connect' button in the Camera Control window.

    ASI_ZWO_Maxim.jpg

    That should be it. If your ASI camera model supports cooling enter the desired set-point temperature and enable cooling then once the camera temperature has reached the set temperature go to the the 'Expose' tab, set an exposure time and take an image (Hint: make sure to disable auto dark while you are testing in daylight and/or if your camera has no built-in shutter)......


    HTH

    William.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2018
  3. Conrad Sanders

    Conrad Sanders Standard User

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    I have everything that you stated above and in fact, I use Starry Night Pro to control my telescope so I know that the ASCOM drivers are working.

    (4) Use the drop down key and select ASI camera [1] (or [2] if you have a second ASI camera connected for guiding).

    I do not see ASI camera (1) or (2) all I see under this selection is Camera Version 2 Simulator and Simulator. I do not have a guide scope.

    Please Advise.

    The camera is working fine using Sharpcap and Firecap.
     
  4. Colin Haig

    Colin Haig Cyanogen Customer

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    If you aren't seeing ASI Camera in the ASCOM Camera chooser, then you don't have the ASI Camera ASCOM driver installed properly (with the big red 2 above).
    You can also use the ASCOM Platform Diagnostics utility to try to connect to the camera. If it doesnt show in the list, see my statement above.
    Make sure you are running ASCOM Platform 6.3, you can see that on the first screen on the ASCOM Diagnostics.
    Click on the image below:
    zwoascom.png
     
  5. Ross Salinger

    Ross Salinger Cyanogen Customer

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    Carlsbad Ca
    Make sure also that you downloaded and installed the NATIVE driver that Colin mentioned. If you can't see it in Windows Device manager, that's what's not installed. You need both drivers successfully installed.
     
  6. Conrad Sanders

    Conrad Sanders Standard User

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    Ok I found my problem. I had the ASI ASCOM driver already loaded on my system but not the ZWO Native Driver so now I am able to see the ZWO camera. I do not have a guiding camera so Camera 2 is grayed out.

    I disabled the auto dark since I want to test this indoors and in the options and I hit <start> on the camera control expose tab and I can see the frame count increase but nothing is showing up in the MaxIM DL Pro 6 screen?
     
  7. Conrad Sanders

    Conrad Sanders Standard User

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    I take that back. After trying to capture a frame, the window did come up but it was dark with no image. I had unity gain turned on and auto dark disabled. My ZWO camera came with a fish lens and I tried that too and I cannot get an image.

    I want to be able to make sure the camera works testing it out indoors first to make sure I capture an image.

    I tried the simulator for the heck of it to see how Maxim DL captures an image and I got an image with the 5 stars.
     
  8. Ross Salinger

    Ross Salinger Cyanogen Customer

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    Location:
    Carlsbad Ca
    You will need to turn the gain WAY WAY down if you actually want to use that camera during the day. Try very short exposure at very low gains. Also, when you see a black or white image in MaximDL, you are seeing a stretched image. As you move the cursor across the screen you will see numbers in the lower right hand corner. Those numbers tell you the number of ADU's in the pixel under your cursor. That's almost certainly going to be 65500 or so in your case. If that's not the case and they are all zero, then you aren't getting any light through at all. The cure for that it to reduce the USB Bandwidth to the minimum value and try again.
     

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