QSI  Home Page
   



Drivers & Software

QSI Firmware Updates

Firmware Release 6.2 - QSI 600 Series

Release Date: June 4, 2012
Affected models: QSI 600 Series cameras

Firmware release 6.2 is a general update for all QSI 600 Series models.

Improved Temperature Regulation with continuous exposures in High Speed mode
Improves the stability of temperature regulation when taking continuous short exposures in High Speed Read mode.

Firmware Release 5.2.9 - QSI 583 Only

Release Date: March 10, 2012
Affected models: QSI 583 cameras w/ 8-pos CFW

Firmware release 5.2.9 adds the following new functionality for QSI 583 model cameras.

Support for 8-position Color Filter Wheel
Firmware release 5.2.9 is required for 583 models after being upgraded to the 8-position CFW.

Firmware Release 5.2.6 - QSI 583 Only

Release Date: February 20, 2010
Affected models: QSI 583 cameras

Firmware release 5.2.6 adds the following new functionality for QSI 583 model cameras.

~2 second Focus Mode for small subframes with the 583
Reduces the read/download times for small subframes to approximately 2 seconds anywhere on the sensor. The faster subframe downloads can dramatically reduce the focus time whether focusing manually or with an automated focusing routine.

The frame rate can be further increased by setting the "Pre-Exposure Flush" mode in the Advanced dialog to "Modest" or "None".

  • Flush mode "Normal" is designed to ensure that all residual charge is flushed from the sensor, independent of the original state of the camera. This level of pre-exposure flushing is unnecessary when the camera is cooled and reading a sequence of frames in rapid succession.
  • Flush mode "Modest" is more than sufficient for most focusing applications and will likely yield the best combination of speed and image qualty under most circumstances.
  • Flush Mode "None" can be used for the highest possible frame rate when taking a sequence of images in rapid succession. With flush mode "None", download times are about 1 second. Experiment under your conditions for the best possible results. Be very sure to set the flushing back to some mode other than "None" after your focusing run has been completed.

4x4 Binning with the 583
Firmware release 5.2.6 expands the binning options on the 583 up to 4 pixels in either dimension. 4x4 binning is excellent for fast framing. A full-frame bin 4x4 image can be downloaded in approximately 6 seconds.

Firmware Release 5.2.5

Release Date: Feb 20, 2010
Affected models: 504, 516, 532

The QSI Updater application will load the appropriate firmware in any QSI 500 Series camera.
Note: you must be running Updater version 4.3.4 or later to load this firmware release
.

Firmware release 5.2.5 is a maintenance release to bring firmware for 504, 516 and 532 models up to the current production firmware that ships in new cameras.

Firmware Release 3.5.15 and 5.2.3

Release Date: September 12, 2009
Affected models: All 500 Series cameras

The QSI Updater application will load the appropriate firmware in any QSI 500 Series camera.
Note: you must be running Updater version 4.3.4 or later to load this firmware release
.

Firmware release 5.2.3 does not add new user-visible functionality. Most of the changes were to support new automated testing procedures in manufacturing.

Firmware Release 3.5.15 and 4.1.7

Release Date: September 19, 2008
Affected models: All 500 Series cameras

Firmware release 3.5.15 for 504, 516 and 532 models and 4.1.7 for 520 and 540 models is distributed as a single file suitable for all 500 Series cameras. The QSI Updater application will load the appropriate firmware in any QSI 500 Series camera. Note: you must be running Updater version 4.3.4 or later to load this firmware release.

Expanded Input Voltage Range
QSI 500 Series cameras are designed to operate at 12VDC. This firmware release expands the allowed input voltage to a range of 11V to 14V. This expanded input voltage range allows QSI cameras to be powered by popular 13.8V power supplies and allows for some additional voltage drop when running off batteries.

Note: The camera is designed to operate on stable, regulated 12V DC power and consumes less than 2 amps at full power.  DC power input above or below 12V will decrease the maximum cooling capability of the camera by increasing power dissipation or lowering cooling efficiency. If the input voltage is below 11V or above 14V the camera will report an error until the voltage is returned to the specified range.

Caution: Applying an input voltage over 16V or under 10V may permanently damage the camera and will void the camera warranty.

Firmware Release 4.1.5

Release Date: June 28, 2008
Affected models: 520, 520c, 540 and 540c

Firmware release 4.1.5 is only for 520, 520c, 540 and 540c model cameras and supports new features unique to those models. All 504, 516 and 532 models should continue to use firmware release 3.5.12 below. Firmware release 4.1.5 and 3.5.12 are now bundled in a single file. The QSI Updater application will load the appropriate firmware in any QSI 500 Series camera.

Faster Shutter Speeds
Reduces the minimum exposure time of QSI 500 Series cameras which utilize interline transfer sensors (e.g. QSI 520, 540) from 10ms (0.01 sec) down to 100µs (0.0001 sec). Exposure times can be adjusted in 100µs increments. The faster exposures require the computer to be running software release 4.4.0 or later.

Improved Bias Level Normalization
The floor value for each exposure on QSI 500 Series cameras is set by examining "overscan" pixels read immediately following the active image area. With release 4.1.5, the algorithm for determining the mean bias level has been improved providing a more stable mean bias level between images.

Show Download Progress
By default, the "Show D/L Progress" checkbox is now checked. This allows MaxIm to accurately show the download progress in the "Downloading Image" dialog box. This option can be disabled in the Advanced Dialog box.

Firmware Release 4.1.3

Release Date: December 17, 2007
Affected models: all 520i, all 520ci

Firmware release 4.1.3 is only for 520i and 520ci model cameras and supports new features unique to those models. All 504, 516 and 532 models should continue to use firmware release 3.5.12 below.

Higher Frame Rate
When using electronic shutter priority with the interline transfer CCD in the QSI 520i and 520ci, firmware release 4.1.3 supports frame rates as high as 10 frames per second when reading a small subframe.

Selectable Gain
With the 520i and 520ci, the gain can be set to "high" or "low" to more fully utilize the full 16-bit dynamic range of the cameras depending on whether binning is set to "1x1" or larger. The default gain is set to "High" for 1x1 binning. For binning other than 1x1, set the gain to "Low".

Shutter Priority
With 520i and 520ci model cameras that include a mechanical shutter, you can set the shutter priority to "Mechanical" (default) or "Electronic." In mechanical mode, the mechanical shutter is closed after each exposure. This is best unless you require the shutter to stay open for your application. In "Electronic" mode, the shutter will stay open after a normal exposure and only close for bias and dark frames.

Pre-Exposure Flush
Pre-exposure CCD flushing works differently on the interline transfer CCDs used in the 520i and 520ci. Accordingly, the pre-exposure flush options have been changed to "None", "Modest", "Normal", "Aggressive", and "Very Aggressive". "None" does no flushing between exposures and uses the least amount of time. The default is "Normal" and offers the best compromise in most situations for balancing time and clearing any residual image from the CCD. "Very Aggressive" offers the most thorough flushing, but takes a bit more time.

Additional details on these features can be found in the latest version of the QSI 500 Series User Guide available on the Documentation page.

Firmware Release 3.5.12

Release Date: December 17, 2007
Affected models: all 504, all 516, all 532

Manual Shutter Mode
A manual shutter mode has been added to allow the mechanical shutter to be opened and closed independent of taking an exposure. This can be used, for instance, when taking exposures of subjects illuminated by an external source such as a strobe or laser.   Manual Shutter mode can be controlled using the Windows or Linux API.  Please review the Windows or Linux API Reference Manuals on the Documentation page for additional details.

Firmware Release 3.5.8

Release Date: July 1, 2007
Affected models: all 504, all 516, all 532

External trigger
An external trigger has been added to initiate external events such as the firing of a strobe, laser or external shutter.  The trigger is generated as an output signal through the guider port.  The external trigger can be enabled using the Windows or Linux API.  Please contact QSI Technical Support for additional details.

Asymmetrical Binning
In addition to symmetrical 1x1, 2x2 and 3x3 binning, version 3.5.8 of the firmware now supports binning in any combination of 1 to 3 pixels in either dimension, such as 2x1, 1x3, etc.  Asymmetrical binning is not typically used when capturing astronomical imaging, but it does have uses in other scientific applications such as spectroscopy.  After loading firmware release 3.5.8, MaxIm and other applications will automatically allow you to specify asymmetrical binning.

Enhanced Cooling Fan Operation
Two changes have been made to the camera’s fan control algorithm. The operation of "Quiet" mode has been changed to improve performance under heavy cooling. If the camera cooling power is above 85% or the camera body temperature is above 35C, the fans are set to "Full" speed. Once the cooling power drops below 80% and the case temperature drops below 30C, the fans are returned to "Quiet" mode.

The Over-Temperature "fail-safe" operation has been enhanced. Under any fan mode, if the camera body temperature exceeds 45C the fans will be set to "Full" and the CCD cooling will be turned off to prevent damage to the camera. This will result in a loss of temperature regulation. The camera will remain in Over-Temperature mode until the camera body cools below 40C. At this point, the camera will turn the cooler back on in an attempt to bring the CCD temperature back to the set-point.

Note: Running the camera at maximum cooling and/or at high ambient temperatures, as described above, can cause the fans (and CCD cooler) to cycle up and down every few minutes as the camera attempts to attain a CCD set-point that is unreasonable under the current settings and ambient temperature.

<<Return to the Software page to download the latest firmware


 Shopping Help
 Privacy Policy
 Terms of Use
 Contact QSI
Copyright 2006-2008 Quantum Scientific Imaging, Inc.   All Rights Reserved.