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ATIK status update

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NickK

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So I've been ploughing on and I'm finishing some additional architectural changes that affect all cameras. I still want some additional testing around stability - such as performing 12 hours of exposures.

The 383L is now setpointing and reporting temps, images with binning, subframe from 0.000001 to minutes are now working nicely. In short - the 383L is very usable (read there's just the beta usage trials on this) :D I've also pinged ATIK about an idea for this camera and I'm hoping that they'll implement it. I still have "overlapped" exposures to complete but that's progressing.

This seems happy with repeated exposures atm.

The Titan is running, naturally it cools uncontrolled, currently just battling this due to the architectural change (worked before but there's something that's not happy).

The 4000 carcass I have has allowed progress on this. Ultimately I need to put some additional time into this (not having a sensor means I can't see if the resulting image is correct).

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I found a few of my own clangers in the Titan code... it's now running nicely: 5000 frames at 19.73 frames/sec - the development tools are showing no memory leaks etc. Not bad as it's beating the 15 fps quoted on the site ;)

I still have a few things (soft-reconnect attempt, overlapped, guide port and a bit more testing) to sort out but things are really starting to come together. As it stands I could actually do astrophotography if I switched the 16ic out. I've submitted a few ideas to ATIK for consideration too.

People have already asked if this will support the old 16ic etc and I think I will add this (I use the 16ic still!)

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Okies.. 16IC - the camera is recognised and starting to get the communications sorted. The pain is to support this camera will require the user to install the FTDI drivers. It would be possible to embed it in the driver framework if the dynamic library path wasn't hard coded (OSX uses full library paths and not a leaf name that's searched). I'll revisit this later and see if I can get it so the user doesn't have todo anything..

Naturally this is slow legacy.. USB1.. etc but it's a good camera and I'd prefer the titan to be imaging at the same time - letting the 16ic guide.

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Ok the old legacy support could be in doubt - down to FTDI (32 bit-ness in a 64bit modern world).

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Not a word back from FTDI about 64bit versions of their 32 bit only libraries :( It looks like my ye-olde 16ic's days are numbered ;(

Almost there on the EFW2 filter wheel. And the all-new fledgling capture application is now taking shape and should allow the user to perform some basic ArtemisCapture-eqsue sequencing and control of the filterwheel, cameras etc.

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I have a 4 day weekend coming up - the application is coming along nicely (the benefit of not requiring hardware to be attached to test!)

I'm targetting the following for the app first release:

* multi-camera and EFW2 support

* sequencing

* able to group cameras and filterwheels etc into 'optical trains' (groups) which can execute sequences simultaneously.

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So I have a full setup for testing:

USB port A -> 5M repeater -> 5M repeater -> powered USB hub -> Titan, EFW2, 16IC, 4000 carcass + Logitech G500 mouse

USB port B -> 5M repeater -> 5M repeater -> 383L

I found that the problem I had with the Titan on the hub is down to power, once adding the 5V power to the hub it's fine.

The drivers recognise and provide the app with it all... so I did a few tests - I ran a test of 50,000 bias exposures on the titan, 42 minutes later (19.7fps in preview mode, faster than the 15fps quoted with preview) and all was well. I also timed the 383L download, with a 5 second exposure - the total time was 15.637916 seconds so that's 10.5 seconds download time - a little shaved off the PC time too.

I spent most of today christmas shopping though.. so tomorrow I think I'll try and get the sequencer window running properly.

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I have a plan with the 16ic.. use a 32bit OS temporarily :D

Options to get the unique ID (only needs doing once!):

a) Use windows with the FTDI library and write 32bit application - a useful option for PC to mac movers.

B) Use OSX 32bit Leopard in a VirtualBox install and write a 32bit app <- currently seeing if this works..

Then the driver should work :D Will keep you all updated :)

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Somewhere between the previous post and this one the universe was re-arranged slightly. Cunning use of secret squirrel techniques.. and I have my unique ID.. bypassing 3 layers of encryption.

My 16IC now takes exposures *smug mode engaged*.

I've been attempting to get my Leopard install stable but it's a little touchy.. so I had to plumb for a different technique.

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The little 16IC is currently taking 4 seconds to download the image.. not bad for a little USB1.1 camera. I've just spent an hour banging my head against a brick wall with the FTDI drivers.. turns out the 1.1.0 drivers have their own internal threading issues.. so an upgrade to 1.2.2 sorted this out.

The beauty is that to switch between the 383L, the Titan and 16IC only requires asking for the camera by name.. This is basically how AOSX will appear on the front end to the application:

id<Services> services = [legacyDrivers serviceManagement];

NSDictionary *available = [services availableServices];

id serviceObject = [services claimService:@"ATIK 16IC"]; // Just change this for the camera you want..

if( ![serviceObject conformsToProtocol:@protocol(Imager100)]) {

// oops

}

id<Imager100> bigRed = serviceObject;

... away you go

If you want the filter wheel...

id<Services> services = [driver serviceManagement];

NSDictionary *available = [services availableServices];

id serviceObject = [services claimService:@"ATIK EFTW2"];

if( ![serviceObject conformsToProtocol:@protocol(FilterWheel100)]) {

// oops

}

id<FilterWheel100> efw = serviceObject;

[efw setPosition:0];

sleep(5);

[efw setPosition:1];

sleep(5);

[efw setPosition:2];

sleep(5);

[efw setPosition:3];

sleep(5);

[efw setPosition:4];

Simples ;)

The sharp of eyesight have noted legacyDrivers - this is because I've broken off the old USB1.1 cameras into a different OSX Framework - works identical to the main framework with the same Imager100 interface..

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So I have a mass of automated testing... the 383L and Titan I'm happy with now for alpha release (there's still some aspects that need tidying up but this is doing really well). The EFW2 works easily.

The 16IC I have working and I'm just sorting out the automated testing (these seem ok however the FTDI library is being a pain in the proverbial - shutdown and restart of management with the driver running is currently being worked on).

So tomorrow...

Finish the 16IC.. it's getting there.. just the FTDI camera close and open needs resolving..

The 4000 carcass I will attempt to reflash with the ATIK PC firmware program... see if that will unlock this for further development.

Do some daylight photos for the developers guide.. finish the dev guide..

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