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rwg

SharpCap - free Astro Webcam Capture Software

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2 minutes ago, rwg said:

Ah, well, that's perhaps less surprising to me...

SharpCap does some fancy tricks with DirectShow that most of the other applications don't try - these include

* being able to switch from preview to capture and back without restarting the video completely each time

* The frame divisor function

* Analysis and enhancement of the preview frames

I guess that it's likely one of these (or a combination) that the OEM driver you are using isn't really happy with. Unfortunately even with a device in my hands to test with this is a difficult bug to fix - it usually ends up with me removing big chunks of code temporarily until I find the bit that is causing the problem and then I still have to work out if I can make the device work while still keeping the important features of SharpCap.

cheers,

Robin

Yes, I am starting to believe it is the driver now. Unfortunately, every driver I tried doesn't work. Maybe someone reading these threads is using the video grabber from OC along with their Revolution Imager and is using a different Win 10 driver than "OEM Device" that is working with SharpCap. 

I know that I tried that driver you provided a link to and there was actually an updated one I tried (USBTV007). These are generic. I just ordered a Hauppauge 610 USB-Live because I know that they have their own driver and I have had luck with their other products. I'll let you know how it works out. 

Thanks for the quick replies.

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I can confirm the same behaviour of single-frame AVI output using the "OEM Driver" that my "easier CAP" eztv clone uses.

I've also got an MS Lifecam Cinema webcam, and using that with the MS driver that appears under the DirectShow listing gives normal as-expected AVI files with multiple frames.

That would suggest to me that it's most likely the interaction between SharpCap and the OEM Driver that is the issue and not something inherent in SharpCap.

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On ‎3‎/‎26‎/‎2016 at 15:43, Giant said:

Yes, I am starting to believe it is the driver now. Unfortunately, every driver I tried doesn't work. Maybe someone reading these threads is using the video grabber from OC along with their Revolution Imager and is using a different Win 10 driver than "OEM Device" that is working with SharpCap. 

I know that I tried that driver you provided a link to and there was actually an updated one I tried (USBTV007). These are generic. I just ordered a Hauppauge 610 USB-Live because I know that they have their own driver and I have had luck with their other products. I'll let you know how it works out. 

Thanks for the quick replies.

As a follow-up, I received the Hauppauge 610 USB-Live2 video capture device and everything works fine now. In case anyone goes this same route, the native Win10 driver does not work, so I had to upgrade the driver from their site.

For my original video grabber, there must be a more recent driver that works with it since it is obvious one of those generic ones. If anyone has the same device and it works during capture, please let me know what driver you are using.

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As soon as i click capture the fps drops to almost zero ?

Any advice most welcome...off out try again.

Kenny

 

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15 minutes ago, kenny k said:

As soon as i click capture the fps drops to almost zero ?

Any advice most welcome...off out try again.

Kenny

 

I've moved your post and merged it into the general Sharpcap thread. It might be helpful if you give a bit more info such as the camera you are using.

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45 minutes ago, kenny k said:

As soon as i click capture the fps drops to almost zero ?

Any advice most welcome...off out try again.

Kenny

 

Could be a disk access issue. try a defrag and make sure you have plenty of space.

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2 minutes ago, Stub Mandrel said:

Could be a disk access issue. try a defrag and make sure you have plenty of space.

I've had at least one bug report uploaded where someone was trying to capture video to an SD card! I guess it works out OK for phone cameras that produce highly compressed mp4 video, but uncompressed AVI or SER at 1+ megapixels and 30fps needs a decent disk write rate :)

cheers,

Robin

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On 3/26/2016 at 16:46, cathalferris said:

I can confirm the same behaviour of single-frame AVI output using the "OEM Driver" that my "easier CAP" eztv clone uses.

I've also got an MS Lifecam Cinema webcam, and using that with the MS driver that appears under the DirectShow listing gives normal as-expected AVI files with multiple frames.

That would suggest to me that it's most likely the interaction between SharpCap and the OEM Driver that is the issue and not something inherent in SharpCap.

A number of folks have reported problems with the ezcap clones.  I'm one of them.  There's a small surge in these reported problems of late owing to Orange County Telescopes selling its Revolution Imager kit, and offering the clone ezcap frame grabber as a freebie.  After two weeks of frustrating attempts to make it work, I sprung for a new frame grabber.  In my case a Pinnacle systems dazzle.  It works fine now.  I had a problem with the pinnacle system one night, but a driver re-install fixed the problem.  I completely removed the   clone and its drivers from my system.

Now, I fully appreciate the wonders of SharpCap!

j

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Polar align looks a very useful trial feature. Any chance it would be possible to allow it to work with the mount not pointing at the pole.... I have a building in the way and always struggle to get the mount aligned! An automated way would make life much easier and enable me to take exposures longer than a few seconds!

 

thanks

 

peterW

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Hi Peter,

the way the polar align works in SharpCap can't cope with not being able to see the pole - there are two reasons for this

1) The built in plate solving is fast because it only checks possible positions with 5 degrees of the pole - trying to plate solve over a big area would be too slow and require enormous lists of stars to be installed

2) Even getting past 1), the calculation of the center of rotation (the point the sky appears to revolve around, which is where your mount is currently pointing) would be imuch less accurate if you were doing it from images taken a long way away from the pole.

sorry about that :(

Robin

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Thanks, thought as much! Would astrometry.net speed it up? If you took several images of different bits of the visible sky after moving a known distance (like in a 3star align), you could determine the misalignment and achieve the same result?

Thanks for the rapid response!

 

peter

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22 hours ago, PeterW said:

Thanks, thought as much! Would astrometry.net speed it up? If you took several images of different bits of the visible sky after moving a known distance (like in a 3star align), you could determine the misalignment and achieve the same result?

Thanks for the rapid response!

 

peter

You could try out Alignmaster http://www.alignmaster.de/ and pay for it, if it suits you.

 

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Hi Peter,

there are apps like Alignmaster as mentioned by Themos (and others, including AstroTortilla) that can help with polar aligning without seeing the pole. I have no plans to add that sort of polar alignment to SharpCap because

a) other apps are available

b ) the techniques depend on goto accuracy - if your gotos during alignment are off then that affects the final alignment accuracy - I certainly found that Alignmaster didn't give repeatable results - just trying again with no adjustmnet would give different figures and re-trying after supposedly getting the alignment spot on gave a much bigger than expected error.

cheers,

Robin

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I had crash problems with the frame grabber that came with the revolution imager. Crashed when trying to save stacks.

 

Problem is solved with recent sharpcap update. I'm using windows 10- using builtin windows driver.

Chris 

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Can anyone answer this. I'm also using an asi224mc. I make darks for different gain/exposure settings.

Do i need to do separate darks for different gamma/brightness settings ?

Chris

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@ChrisFC

the crash in stack saving is fixed in recent 2.8 and 2.9 builds. If a control changes what you see in a dark frame then you need to make new darks if you change that control. ZWO recommend leaving the gamma at the default (50?) as gamma adjustments are done in software and if you apply any other gamma it leads to some data loss.

cheers,

Robin

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I have a (slightly old now) QHY IMG132E that I've just tried to use with Sharpcap on a windows 10 laptop (new installation, so testing everything!).  Whilst Firecapture finds the camera and runs it Sharpcap does not seem able to find it!  Repeated use of scan for cameras/ reboots and update to the latest version have had no effect.  Sharpcap does find my ZWO ASI120mm and the webcam attached to the lappy!  Any ideas?

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Hi,

SharpCap moved to a new QHY SDK a few months back - at that time Firecapture hadn't changed (no idea if they have now). I wonder if it's the new version that is having trouble seeing your camera.

First thing I'd advise is making sure you have the up-to-date drivers installed for your camera. If that doesn't help, then either post over on the QHY forums or I can pass the message on (hopefully they have a IMG132E to test with!)

thanks,

Robin

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Hi again Robin,

Could I make a request for future development if it can be done. Can you allow an interval between each sub when taking say 200 images. I'm thinking that this would give the camera a bit of time to cool between shots. This is what I do when using BYE with my Canon. Any darks would then be more accurate to exposure time.

Just a thought.

Peter

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Hi Peter,

actually I don't think this would have any effect - the reason is that SharpCap runs all cameras effectively in video mode with a continuous stream of frames. When you capture a single frame it just grabs the next one from the stream. So, the camera would still be capturing frames during any pause and that means it wouldn't cool down at all.

I have a plan for a companion application for still capture at some point in the future using most of the SharpCap code but having a new UI - not sure when that's going to happen though!

cheers,

Robin

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Hi Robin,

I just recently bought an ASI224 and have been testing it out with SharpCap, using Live Stacking to view the spring galaxies, and I usually save the stacked screen image as a .png using the "save as viewed" option . Your software works very well thanks, but I have a couple of questions related to Live Stacking.

1) For the ASI224 is there any advantage/disadvantage  to selecting colour space as RAW16 for the camera rather than RGB24 (which I think is the default for the camera at multi second exposures)? Someone had speculated that LiveStacking's ability to detect fainter stars, might be helped if the code makes use of the 12bit output from the ASI224 under RAW16, rather than 8bit per colour under RGB24. Not sure if this is the case, so  I thought I would ask.

 

2) Is the Live Stacking detection algorithm affected in any way by the user's choice of display, i.e. does changing display brightness, contrast, gamma or the histogram settings  affect the ability of the software to detect fainter stars for stacking? (I know that changing parameters in the alignment tab obviously does). Thanks.

 

Errol

 

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Hi Errol,

Raw16 should increase the dynamic range of each sub frame, which means that you will capture a little more of the faint stuff. It has no effect on star detection (since the star detection runs on an 8 bit copy of the image).

Live stacking star detection also isn't affected by display brightness/contrast/gamma or the histogram settings - basically the only things that affect it are the primary camera controls (gain, exposure, etc) and the alignment tab parameters.

If you are having trouble getting enough stars detected for alignment then share a typical single frame with me by PM and I will see if there is anything obvious going wrong.

cheers,

Robin

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