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rwg

SharpCap - free Astro Webcam Capture Software

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Hi Robin

I'm trying to image Jupiter using the following kit:

Celestron NexStar 4SE

4" (102mm) primary

52" (1325mm) focal length

f/13

Bahtinov mask

Revelation 2x Barlow

Philips SPC900NC webcam

Sharpcap

WcCtrl

Registax

I had a go last night to see what I could get, but couldn't get Jupiter to appear anything other than a bright disc. Troubled by the problem, I found the 'Embarrassing Jupiters webcam clinic' thread here on SGL and have been reading through trying to get some answers. I wasn't using WcCtrl last night but grabbed it this morning and checked out its settings (and discovered a shutter speed control, which I was very happy about). What I've noticed is that if I have WcCtrl and Sharpcap running at the same time, any changes I make in WcCtrl do affect the preview window, but they don't affect the Sharpcap settings visible to the right of the preview. I did a bit more digging and discovered that in Sharpcap, if I opened the options menu and chose the first filter option, a control panel appeared that seemed to have the same webcam controls as WcCtrl was showing, and making any changes in either panel affected the other. So, I just wanted to make sure I wasn't being a complete idiot and to find out when setting up the webcam should I just use WcCtrl or the filter options panel in Sharpcap, and ignore the Sharpcap settings shown to the right of the preview window?

Further to this, would I be right in thinking that in Sharpcap, the settings to the right of the preview just control what you see in the preview and don't affect the actual capture ie they are for observing only, and that the filter settings (or alternatively the WcCtrl settings) govern the capture itself? I'm beginning to think this is the case because when I tried capturing last night I only tweaked the settings to the right of the preview, and set them up pretty close to the 'average' of the settings discussed in the 'Embarrassing Jupiters webcam clinic' thread, but my results showed no detail at all, only a bright glowing disc. Really hoping you can help me out here!

I hope this all makes sense - obviously if you need any further detail don't hesitate to let me know, otherwise once I understand the difference/similarity between the setting to the right of the preview and those in the options menu, I'm sure I'll be on my way to a first proper Jupiter image.

Thanks in advance Robin

Baz

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No, I think the visible settings on SharpCap (to the right of the preview) are supposed to reflect the capture parameters. To get a correctly exposed image, you need to bring down the Histogram and the Overexposed filters and understand what they are telling you. For Overexposed, you don't want any red-looking areas. For Histogram, you want a "hill" (as wide as you can) that slopes all the way down to the right before it hits the right "wall"

Edited by themos

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I have just discovered this little gem.

Amazing piece of software, easy to use, everything worked at first start (ToU cam).

The only software that I can capture 320x240 90fps and 640x480 60fps with no problems.

Just deleted all other capture software :) and made a small contribution.

Keep up the good work.

Request: U think an OSX version would be possible? (even commercial)

I run it now via Parallels.

cheers

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Hi folks,

I'm afraid that I haven't been dropping in here very often recently. For some reason I've not been getting any notifications at all from SGL (probably since the forum software changeover). I have just reset my notification preferences and unfollowed then refollowed this topic to see if that helps. If anyone has any ideas about how to fix email notifications, please let me know.

cheers,

Robin

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Hello Robin.

We tried some LRGB planetary last night. We desperately need

  1. ASCOM Pulseguiding support so that the planet stays roughly centered
  2. Support for ASCOM filter wheels
  3. Ability to script L-R-G-B sequences, with files named according to filter used and the ability to repeat such sequences automatically, possibly adding focusing offsets for each filter and automatically loading different Profiles for each filter.
  4. Some bugs that caused Sharpcap to close when loading previously stored profiles need to be fixed.

I can help with any coding needed.

Themos,

at least one of your feature requests (the filter wheel support) is in the latest beta version for SharpCap 2. Have a look in the news section on http://www.sharpcap.co.uk for more info.

cheers,

Robin

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Hi Robin

I'm trying to image Jupiter using the following kit:

Celestron NexStar 4SE

4" (102mm) primary

52" (1325mm) focal length

f/13

Bahtinov mask

Revelation 2x Barlow

Philips SPC900NC webcam

Sharpcap

WcCtrl

Registax

I had a go last night to see what I could get, but couldn't get Jupiter to appear anything other than a bright disc. Troubled by the problem, I found the 'Embarrassing Jupiters webcam clinic' thread here on SGL and have been reading through trying to get some answers. I wasn't using WcCtrl last night but grabbed it this morning and checked out its settings (and discovered a shutter speed control, which I was very happy about). What I've noticed is that if I have WcCtrl and Sharpcap running at the same time, any changes I make in WcCtrl do affect the preview window, but they don't affect the Sharpcap settings visible to the right of the preview. I did a bit more digging and discovered that in Sharpcap, if I opened the options menu and chose the first filter option, a control panel appeared that seemed to have the same webcam controls as WcCtrl was showing, and making any changes in either panel affected the other. So, I just wanted to make sure I wasn't being a complete idiot and to find out when setting up the webcam should I just use WcCtrl or the filter options panel in Sharpcap, and ignore the Sharpcap settings shown to the right of the preview window?

Further to this, would I be right in thinking that in Sharpcap, the settings to the right of the preview just control what you see in the preview and don't affect the actual capture ie they are for observing only, and that the filter settings (or alternatively the WcCtrl settings) govern the capture itself? I'm beginning to think this is the case because when I tried capturing last night I only tweaked the settings to the right of the preview, and set them up pretty close to the 'average' of the settings discussed in the 'Embarrassing Jupiters webcam clinic' thread, but my results showed no detail at all, only a bright glowing disc. Really hoping you can help me out here!

I hope this all makes sense - obviously if you need any further detail don't hesitate to let me know, otherwise once I understand the difference/similarity between the setting to the right of the preview and those in the options menu, I'm sure I'll be on my way to a first proper Jupiter image.

Thanks in advance Robin

Baz

Baz,

the controls on the right in SharpCap affect both the preview and the capture, but they are 'one way' - you can change the settings of the camera using those controls, but if the camera settings are changed in some other way then those controls do not update automatically. Hopefully that makes sense :)

Robin

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I'm afraid that I haven't been dropping in here very often recently. For some reason I've not been getting any notifications at all from SGL (probably since the forum software changeover). I have just reset my notification preferences and unfollowed then refollowed this topic to see if that helps. If anyone has any ideas about how to fix email notifications, please let me know.

I think that's what I had to do. The move to the new software seemed to break all of my notifications even though it told me they were still set.

James

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Yep, re-subscribing seemed to do the trick - getting emails now so will be more responsive on this thread and by PM.

I am also looking for suggestions for useful new features to add to v2 of SharpCap - the betas already have some new features. Please follow the instructions here if you want to suggest a new feature or see the current ideas.

thanks,

Robin

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Hello rwg,

First time user of your software, lovely piece of kit, however I've got one problem with it, I've tried searching but can't seem to find a solution.

I'm using a CCD security camera, connected to my laptop through a USB EasyCap capture device. The preview appears fine. I only noticed after 5minutes of recording and stopping the capture that it's only saving one frame in the avi file.

I've tried with both 1.5.344 and the beta version, same problem. It can take single captures fine by the looks of it.

The log file is attached, any help would be greatly appreaciated. I'm not sure if its the camera itself or the USB capture device (though it seems to capture fine on other programs so it might just be a user error on my part)

log.txt

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There is nothing untoward in the log file, so a bit difficult to say why it doesn't capture properly. The only thing that comes to mind is that SharpCap does some fancy tricks to allow it to start/stop capture without stopping the preview. Most other capture applications don't do this, so maybe it's causing a problem. With the old version (1.5.344) this was the default and in the new beta it is the only way it works.

If you go back and run the 1.5.344 version, then look in the cameras menu, you will see each camera listed twice. Try picking the second copy in the menu (under the heading 'Direct Show Cameras - old code'). See if that records properly and let me know.

cheers,

Robin

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I'm using a CCD security camera, connected to my laptop through a USB EasyCap capture device. The preview appears fine. I only noticed after 5minutes of recording and stopping the capture that it's only saving one frame in the avi file.

Hi Robin, I have had this previously with security cams using USB EasyCap and Amcap, I found the only way to capture all frames was to go for the lowest resolution and work up till it started losing frames then return to the earlier one.

Jim

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Hi Robin, I have had this previously with security cams using USB EasyCap and Amcap, I found the only way to capture all frames was to go for the lowest resolution and work up till it started losing frames then return to the earlier one.

Jim

Sounds like the security camera DirectShow driver is a bit fishy then - not sure if I can do much about it :(

Robin

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@Robin & Jim

I tried recording at the lowest resolution available and by selecting the USB capture card under the "old code" section. Unfortunatly it's still only recording one frame. I tried with Amcap as well but that reports "filter cannot report capture information" I'm not sure if its the EasyCap capture device or the camera itself. The camera has a BNC to RCA connector so I have no other way of directly connecting it to the computer/laptop.

Thanks for the help though!

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Having problems with Sharpcap. Attached is a file with the errors I am getting. Can actually get sharpcap to work after this error occurs by exiting Sharpcap -then unplugging camera USB cable to my hp 4110 webcam modified. When I plug in my USB camera connection Sharpcap then recognizes the camera. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

SharpCap, Version=1.5.0.344, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=null

System.Runtime.InteropServices.COMException (0x80070057): The parameter is incorrect.

at DirectShowLib.DsError.ThrowExceptionForHR(Int32 hr) at SharpCap.Cameras.NewDirectShow.CaptureGraphBuilder.RenderStream(Guid pinCategory, IBaseFilter intermediate, IBaseFilter target) in D:\Documents\Source Code\SharpCap\1.5\src\SharpCap.Cameras.NewDirectShow\CaptureGraphBuilder.cs:line 109

at SharpCap.Cameras.NewDirectShow.CaptureProvider.StartPreview() in D:\Documents\Source Code\SharpCap\1.5\src\SharpCap.Cameras.NewDirectShow\CaptureProvider.cs:line 428 at SharpCap.MultiCaptureProvider.StartPreview() in D:\Documents\Source Code\SharpCap\1.5\src\SharpCap\MultiCaptureProvider.cs:line 317 at SharpCap.UI.SharpCapForm.StartPreviewonselectedDeviceLoadingDefaultProfile() in D:\Documents\Source Code\SharpCap\1.5\src\SharpCap\UI\SharpCapForm.cs:line 524 at SharpCap.UI.SharpCapForm.deviceMenuItemClick(Object sender, EventArgs e) in D:\Documents\Source Code\SharpCap\1.5\src\SharpCap\UI\SharpCapForm.cs:line 1120 at System.Windows.Forms.ToolStripItem.RaiseEvent(Object key, EventArgs e)

at System.Windows.Forms.ToolStripMenuItem.onclick(EventArgs e) at System.Windows.Forms.ToolStripItem.HandleClick(EventArgs e) at System.Windows.Forms.ToolStripItem.HandleMouseUp(MouseEventArgs e) at System.Windows.Forms.ToolStripItem.FireEventInteractive(EventArgs e, ToolStripItemEventType met) at System.Windows.Forms.ToolStripItem.FireEvent(EventArgs e, ToolStripItemEventType met) at System.Windows.Forms.ToolStrip.onmouseup(MouseEventArgs mea) at System.Windows.Forms.ToolStripDropDown.onmouseup(MouseEventArgs mea)

at System.Windows.Forms.Control.WmMouseUp(Message& m, MouseButtons button, Int32 clicks) at System.Windows.Forms.Control.WndProc(Message& m)

at System.Windows.Forms.ScrollableControl.WndProc(Message& m) at System.Windows.Forms.ToolStrip.WndProc(Message& m)

at System.Windows.Forms.ToolStripDropDown.WndProc(Message& m) at System.Windows.Forms.Control.ControlNativewindow.OnMessage(Message& m)

at System.Windows.Forms.Control.ControlNativewindow.WndProc(Message& m) at System.Windows.Forms.Nativewindow.Callback(IntPtr hWnd, Int32 msg, IntPtr wparam, IntPtr lparam)

===============================================================

Application Log (from start)

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Hi Robin,

I have downloaded sharpcap to replace the amcap I got with my celestron neximage 1 webcam. I have not connected the webcam but tried opening up the program and unfortunately I get the following error message. Could you help please

Andy

SharpCap, Version=1.5.0.344, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=null

System.ArgumentException: Font 'Arial' does not support style 'Regular'.

at System.Drawing.Font.CreateNativeFont()

at System.Drawing.Font.Initialize(FontFamily family, Single emSize, FontStyle style, GraphicsUnit unit, Byte gdiCharSet, Boolean gdiVerticalFont)

at System.Drawing.Font.Initialize(String familyName, Single emSize, FontStyle style, GraphicsUnit unit, Byte gdiCharSet, Boolean gdiVerticalFont)

at System.Drawing.Font..ctor(String familyName, Single emSize)

at SharpCap.UI.FocusScoreBar..ctor() in D:\Documents\Source Code\SharpCap\1.5\src\SharpCap\UI\FocusScoreBar.cs:line 42

at SharpCap.UI.FocusScoreForm.InitializeComponent() in D:\Documents\Source Code\SharpCap\1.5\src\SharpCap\UI\FocusScoreForm.Designer.cs:line 32

at SharpCap.UI.FocusScoreForm..ctor() in D:\Documents\Source Code\SharpCap\1.5\src\SharpCap\UI\FocusScoreForm.cs:line 44

at SharpCap.UI.SharpCapForm.SharpCap_Shown(Object sender, EventArgs e) in D:\Documents\Source Code\SharpCap\1.5\src\SharpCap\UI\SharpCapForm.cs:line 334

at System.Windows.Forms.Form.OnShown(EventArgs e)

at System.Windows.Forms.Form.CallShownEvent()

at System.Windows.Forms.Control.InvokeMarshaledCallbackDo(ThreadMethodEntry tme)

at System.Windows.Forms.Control.InvokeMarshaledCallbackHelper(Object obj)

at System.Threading.ExecutionContext.runTryCode(Object userData)

at System.Runtime.CompilerServices.RuntimeHelpers.ExecuteCodeWithGuaranteedCleanup(TryCode code, CleanupCode backoutCode, Object userData)

at System.Threading.ExecutionContext.RunInternal(ExecutionContext executionContext, ContextCallback callback, Object state)

at System.Threading.ExecutionContext.Run(ExecutionContext executionContext, ContextCallback callback, Object state)

at System.Windows.Forms.Control.InvokeMarshaledCallback(ThreadMethodEntry tme)

at System.Windows.Forms.Control.InvokeMarshaledCallbacks()

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stupid me just read through your previous solutions to the missing fonts problem and it works now

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD

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@coppernob

glad you got it sorted - does kind of make me wonder how so many machines can end up without standard fonts on them though. Odd...

@Nemesis79

replied to your other post over on astronomyshed

Robin

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no probs - havent used the prog yet but it looks so much better than the Rubbish that came with the neximage

Andy

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD

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Hi Robin

Just want to say, I just downloaded this software out of desperation and its the only one of several I've tried that I can see any image properly with my new QHY5L-II camera (using the native WDM Driver.) So well done.

Many of the other popular capture programs don't show an image or crash within the first half minute - very disconcerting - so it's very nice to know the camera works!

Looking forward to getting to know SharpCap more once the weather improves.

  • Like 1

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Hi Robin

Just want to say, I just downloaded this software out of desperation and its the only one of several I've tried that I can see any image properly with my new QHY5L-II camera (using the native WDM Driver.) So well done.

Many of the other popular capture programs don't show an image or crash within the first half minute - very disconcerting - so it's very nice to know the camera works!

Looking forward to getting to know SharpCap more once the weather improves.

I also have proper QHY5L-II support coming soon - I have written most of the code to support their API, just need to go back and tidy up all the loose ends. Maybe get some time to do that towards the end of the week - if I'm lucky!

Robin

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Hi Robin - thanks very much for working on this software, I've been testing it with a new ASI120MM camera, and the latest beta (1.99.581.1) works much better than the 1.5 version I tried first up. The 1.5 version did not seem to load profiles at all, but the 1.99beta loads them fine.

There is one thing that doesn't seem to be working, and I wanted to check with you if this is a bug or a feature :-)

I've created 3 profiles called saturn-R, saturn-G and saturn-B, with the gain and exposure in each profile set appropriately for my filter wheel and camera. Blue is dimmest in my camera and so I normally run a longer exposure and higer gain for that channel compared to R and G.

With my other (Linux) software, I've preset the gain/exposure values for Saturn as:

Red channel: 20ms (50fps) and 25db gain

Grn channel: 25ms (40fps) and 30db gain

Blu channel: 30ms (33fps) and 33db gain

Under linux I have software that automatically changes the gain/exposure values when the filter wheel rotates, but now I'm testing the ASI camera which is Windows only.... so I'm trying out sharpcap as the capture software under Win7 x64.

Ok, so I can set up 3 profiles with these values, but when I start capturing and then switch profiles while capturing, the capture appears to stop as soon as I switch profiles..

eg I start a 4:30 capture (1.30 in each filter) on the saturn-R profile, and then at the 1:30 mark I load the saturn-G profile. The status bar down the bottom tells me that it's still capturing, but that's not true. The capture stopped as soon as I changed profiles.

Should I be able to load a new profile and have the settings take effect while I'm capturing? That would be very useful.

best regards, Anthony

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ps... Robin, is it possible for the behaviour of sharpcap to change, so that if I load a new profile while capturing, it stops the current avi and starts a new one on the new settings? ie if I did an RGB capture, starting on R, and loaded G and B in turn as I went along, I would end up with 3 avi files... that would be perfect, and very useful to people doing RGB imaging...

cheers, Anthony

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