ASCOM for QSI camera

It appears QSI has an ASCOM driver for their QSI6xx series cameras but it looks like SGP has gone with direct support of QSI rather than ASCOM. I am following QSI’s progress with their new KAF-16200 based camera but before going that route, I would be interested in knowing why SGP doesn’t just use QSI’s ASCOM driver?

Charlie

If I recall correctly, K and J have QSI too and did their own driver which was an improvement on the QSI ASCOM driver. I forget precisely what it was, but I think their driver makes better use of the API.

@buzz

Thanks for the feed back. Before I retired, I had over 20 years of experience in C++ programming but had not worked in C# or ASCOM. So, I decided to do both by writing a simple utility program in C# to play with connecting to and controlling an ASCOM camera. After getting things working with the ASCOM simulator, I downloaded the latest drivers from the new QSI web site and drove to my observatory to bring my QSI683 home to test. I had heard that the QSI ASCOM driver had problems but, if so, the newest updates seem to have corrected them.

In testing my QSI683wsg-8, the cooling, shutter, filter wheel and image download all worked just fine. Very happy to see this.

I know that SBIG does not offer an ASCOM driver for their cameras and I have seen forum posts that imply the FLI ASCOM support is not good. Since I am also interested in the FLI product line, it would be good to get some confirmation about the quality of the FLI ASCOM drivers. I believe SGP is also doing native support of FLI rather than ASCOM.

Charlie

We always prefer ASCOM if it’s available. If I recall the QSI ASCOM driver was missing some functionality when we added support for it many years ago. FLI has native support as they are not currently offering an ASCOM driver for their cameras.

Thanks,
Jared

@Jared

I really don’t understand companies like SBIG and FLI that want amateur astronomers to buy $10,000 cameras but don’t have the courtesy to support the software standards of the industry. They have certainly been able to force software vendors to engage in huge development projects in order for their imaging applications to be able to use those cameras. Perhaps if they each lost the sale of 100 cameras due to not having ASCOM drivers, they would be motivated to make the investment. I will not purchase an SBIG or FLI camera until they have robust ASCOM compliant drivers. I have very good alternative in products like QSI, Moravian, Starlight Xpress and most of the new CMOS camera vendors.

Charlie

1 Like

Hi Charlie,

Here’s my take… SBIG and FLI have low-level drivers I believe for Windows, Mac, and LINUX while ASCOM is Windows only. Both FLI and SBIG have traditionally had many (most?) customers outside of the Astronomy marketplace, for instance in medical and microscopy-related fields. Those markets don’t use ASCOM, much less view it as a standard, thus there is little motivation to create an ASCOM camera driver.

-Ray

@ray

You are absolutely correct – camera companies like SBIG, FLI, Apogee and others sell the majority of their cameras outside the astronomy market where ASCOM has no relevance. But they do market their cameras to amateur astronomers, for whom the purchase is a much more significant financial investment than it is for a large science or commercial research group.

I don’t mean to come off as ranting about this, but how hard would it be for SBIG, FLI, etc. to hire an ASCOM developer to write a driver for their product? Probably about the cost of one camera or one ad in Sky and Telescope magazine.

Charlie

@chasmiller46

Well neither have done that yet, so it doesn’t seem that important to them. Actually since Diffraction Limited purchased SBIG it kind of makes sense for them to forgo an ASCOM driver since they probably want people to purchase MaximDL. As for FLI, maybe they only sell only a small fraction of their cameras to amateur Astronomy customers.

-Ray

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