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Glider

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Everything posted by Glider

  1. Has anyone any experience of using this camera for imaging. In particular, does anyone know how to get it to 'show up' in AstroVideo. I can find it as a Twain device but then can't get any of the video properties to show up, they are greyed out. What I can do is use the Canon ZoomBrowser application that came on the CD with the camera to capture sets of images with exposures up to 15s and then load them into DeepSkyStacker. Any ideas?
  2. Caught this on a single avi frame right in the middle of a set of 300, didn't see it until I Registax'd it!
  3. I've got an old laptop that I take down the garden to directly control my mount and run the webcam. It's networked to the fast desktop and the broadband router in the house. I can certainly sit in the house and copy captured avi files from the laptop and then process them quickly on the desktop in the warm. I never thought of trying to run the mount and camera software 'on' the laptop 'from' the desktop. I think this is what you are asking. Next time I have the chance I'll give it a go.
  4. Thanks for the link to that site. Last week I found a site that had an app. which allowed me to enter details of my OTA and it created a mask template as a bitmap image for me. I printed it on my A3 printer, spent an hour with a craft knife cutting the slots and then laminated it A3 for stiffness. I tried it tonight, it worked fine and proved to me the advantage for me of now spending the money and getting a proper one.
  5. The PCW***D guy told me that there is infact, "a distinction between running apps in compatibility mode al la Vista vs. the XP emulation mode that is in the top end versions of Windows 7". He seemed to agree that, "The latter, as I understand it is akin to running Virtual PC whereas, I believe, you can select the compatibility mode, per application/file in all versions".
  6. A very good techie at PCW***D told me that Windows 7 does have an XP compatibility mode but only the more expensive Professional version, NOT the premium.
  7. Yep, ordered Logitech Quickcam PRO 3000 from a South American river and received Logitech Quickcam 3000 for business!!!!! Order and invoice don't match up so it's going back.
  8. Pleeeease tell me I've not just spent £15 on the wrong thing. I just received a Logitech Quickcam Pro 3000 and it looks like this. The insides are nothing like any of the images from the SC1 mod websites. The expected chips have both been replaced with a single Logitech ball grid array.
  9. Where would I get that latest EQASCOM V1.18i driver, I'm on V1.17f?
  10. I've looked through all the video I took this morning and realised this one also looks OK, as above but used x2 barlow. My second attempt!
  11. My laptop has 3 USB ports. For a long time I always plugged my Neximage into the same one, everytime. First time I did it Windows had found new hardware and installed drivers, but didn't do this again. Then one night I used a different port by accident, Windows went through the driver installation again, once. This almost felt like each port needed the driver registered to it at least once. I deliberately tried the 3rd port, and it did install the driver once again. Now I can use any of the 3 USB ports without the install driver happening when I plug the camera in. Another thing is that a USB port supplies power to whatever is plugged into it. There is a limit to the current that can be supplied. Perhaps your 4 USB devices in total are trying to draw too much current.
  12. Here is my first ever attempt. Skywatcher 200P on HEQ5 Synscan. Neximage camera. AVI stacked in Registax and bodged in Gimp. I took Jupiter at 5f/s for 90s at 1/200th with the camera gain turned down so the planet was clear but the moons got lost. Then I took the moons at the same settings but adjusted the camera gain so they showed up. I then cut and pasted the 2 together. The wind was blowing a gale so I had lots of camera shake, at least that's my excuse! I like it.
  13. Ah, now this is starting to sound like a nice little project again. I've bought a Logitech Quickcam 3000 and aim to make the SC1 mod on it and get it working with something like K3CCD in the conventional way. The aim after all is to try some long exposure work. Then I'll have more of a play with signal generators and scopes and see if a PIC18 approach is possible. I'm not saying it will have any benefit over the conventional approach but it'll keep me busy.
  14. There is a platform upgrade on the Ascom website that fixed some connection issues for me when using generic USB-RS232 dongles. Sometimes I had to try connecting to the mount 3 or 4 times before it would work. Look for the file called "ASCOMPlatform5.5UpdaterRC4.exe".
  15. Thanks Arthur, well at least it made an interesting coffee time challenge at work.
  16. Hi Milamber. Yes, I can see that the many programs that are available are one way to go, using a serial or parallel interface for control. I'm just trying to see if a 'simpler' hardware approach would also work. To me 'simple' means basic Windows capture utility and no serial/parallel leads. Do you mean that I forget about capturing video but instead manually capture multiple still snapshots to load into something like Registax.
  17. Thanks very much for that. It sounds like the capture program initiates the exposure and expects to control the timing of reading of the resulting long exposure frame. It sounds like your 50/50 exposure start signal and the capture frame read rate where different and over time kept coming into alignment and then drifting out again. Sometimes this gave the desired result and sometimes not. It doesn't sound like my idea will work. Would you agree?
  18. My basic problem is that, like you, I'm not sure you could have the exposure working free of the capture software. I would plan to use the LX pulse provided by the standard Windows software to start the exposure and then count the number of pulses in the PIC18 for the amount of exposures required. However, what would the capture software do when it sent the intermediate number of pulses and didn't get anything back until the last one. Would it show n-1 dark frames and then one long exposure frame? This would make the captured video look jumpy. Does anyone have any ideas? Anyone got an SC1 modified webcam that they could hook up to a signal generator at say 0.5Hz and give it a go?
  19. Just some obvious things that get me everytime even though I do this for a job; Are you using a comport or a USB-RS232 dongle. Look in Windows control panel and check System hardware to find out what numbers the ports are on your PC. Sometimes modems, etc steal comport numbers. Soemtimes the comport number gets allocated at a higher number than your software can select, say something like COM24 when software only lets you select up to number 4. Is your serial cable OK, as per the Synscan manual. Don't use a 9pin to 9pin cable as an extension lead, pins 2 and 3 may or may not be getting reversed. Have you powered the hand controller directly rather than via the mount. Are you supplying enough volts/current, bootloaders can require a little extra compared to normal operation in my experience. Are you turning the hardware on and starting the upgrade program in the right order/timing. As I said, lots of things that can catch you out.
  20. Thanks Astromerlin. I was thinking of making myself an interface board using something like a Microchip PIC18 (I do this sort of thing for a living). My thought is to make this fit in the webcam enclosure or rehouse the entire innards in a simple plastic box. On the outside would be a simple on/off switch to enable/disable long exposure mode. What I thought was; ..The PIC18 intercepts the frame transfer pulses from the webcam controller going to the imaging chip. ..Depending on how the PIC is configured by the exposure switch it stops the pulses for a user programmed exposure time. ..After the exposure time has expired the PIC lets a frame transfer pulse through. I was thinking of a simple multiply by 10 factor based on the frame transfer rate. So, if the PIC detects frame transfer pulses at 5/s, it counts 10 and lets one through, effectively a 2s expsoure. If it detects pulses at 10/s it would give an exposure of 1s, etc. I'd keep things short to avoid the problems that people quote with the gain amplifier causing heating and image blooming. Infact, once you've got a PIC on board it could handle turning this on/off as necessary depending on a long exposure length limit. Am I correct in thinking that any webcam driver could then be used to capture long exposure images without needing a special serial/parallel interface? Does anyone have any comments?
  21. I've read lots of descriptions of how to make the SC1 long exposure modification to various webcams. I can appreciate what is happening technically by following the circuit schematics that people have drawn and downloading the datasheets for the chips which are used. However, I'm just a little unsure about how the modified camera is then used. It seems that you have to hook it up using a serial or parallel connection so that a piece of image capture software can control the exposure. Something like K3CCD. My Neximage came with something called Amcap. You can select frame rate and exposure. I can see the logic that if you select 5f/s then the exposure is 200ms or shorter. If you select 10f/s then it is 100ms or shorter, etc, etc. However, this software can't interface to the SC1 mod. My question is, if I manually drive the SC1 mod at 1Hz whilst the camera was downloading at say 5f/s would each frame have a 1s exposure, or would I see groups of 5 frames with exposures of nominally 200, 400 600, 800 and 1000ms. Otherwise, how does something like K3CCD sync capturing a frame to the start of an exposure?
  22. I've just done the update, it worked fine. Check the baud rate of your PC, I think the updater requires 115.2K, some older PC's can't do this even though you can select the option. You can slow the hand controller baud rate by holding down a combination of keys when you power it up, it's in the manual somewhere. The hand controller then runs at 9600 baud
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