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SharpCap - free Astro Webcam Capture Software

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thanks Robin, and yes - I'm running 2.8 and 2.9 side by side at the moment - installed 2.8 on the obsy PC this morning. This should allow me to finsih the (re) commissioning of my gear ready for the winter.

Neil

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On ‎04‎/‎09‎/‎2016 at 14:02, Stub Mandrel said:

Take a short sample image of some everyday colourful object.

One of the settings will render the image more or less right, all others will be way out (none will be spot on as an astro camera doesn't have auto white balance). You might find using a red, green and blue target makes it easiest.

Thanks Neil.  On that basis it's GRBG for me.  Is that some hardwired setting in the ASI1600?  Just interested as Robin suggested BGGR...

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On ‎04‎/‎09‎/‎2016 at 17:59, rwg said:

Yes, what Neil says is the best trick to finding the right bayer pattern. Two will still look blocky, two will have smooth colours, but only one of those will have the red and blue the right way round.

Another trick is to use a red laser pen - don't shine it straight at the sensor as I have no idea if it could cause damage, but at a sheet of paper over the sensor maybe. You'll know you've got the right pattern when it comes out red :)

Robin

Thanks Robin.  Yes, was straightforward once I had that advice.  Appreciated.

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Hi all,

I'm periodically getting the same problem reported a while back where frames aren't saving when I try to do a series of captures - the 'camera settings' files saves but not the image files.  I assume it's because I need a USB cable direct to the PC rather than via a powered hub.

Just wondering though what the Turbo USB control does and whether it might make a difference?

Thanks in advance.

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3 hours ago, bendavidson said:

Thanks Neil.  On that basis it's GRBG for me.  Is that some hardwired setting in the ASI1600?  Just interested as Robin suggested BGGR...

I think it depends on both the physical arrangement of the fiters and the order in which pixels are read from the sensor so yes, it will be hard-wired.

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@bendavidson

If you are seeing the frames on the screen then the USB cable is fine - the failure to save is likely just a bug. Can you  let me know the exact setup the next time it happens (capture settings file, how you were trying to capture and if possible the SharpCap log too).

cheers,

Robin

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Wondering whether the horizontal bars issue with the ASI1600MC-Cool when operating Raw16 bin 2 Hardware Binning On has been resolved?

Don

 

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@DonBoy

Have a look at the latest build (2915) that I have just uploaded - it uses the very latest ZWO SDK. If that doesn't fix it then probably worth heading over to the zwoug forums and reporting the issue there.

cheers,

Robin

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Thanks Robin.  2915 took out some of the banding but still present, so I guess I'll put it on the ZWO forum.

Found another issue that was on the previous ver. and this one and maybe others.  When I click on Bahtinov Mask it causes SC to crash.

Don

Edited by DonBoy

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Hi Don,

I can't get 2915 to crash when selecting bahtinov - what camera and what settings are you using? Can you press the 'Send and Quit' button on the crash dialog next time this happens as it sends me all the details of the crash report which makes it much easier to find and fix the problem.

cheers,

Robin

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I tried to download  sharpcap 2.9.2915.0. The download seemed to go OK. When I tried to install it I got a message form windows 10 advising me not to install it. I downloded it from your website. Is there a problem with it?

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Robin,

A question about the .fits files saved.  When not in the live stack mode and I start a Capture sequence are the files being taken from the preview screen with Output Format set to .fits or is it a non-debayed image that SC does no processing on.

Don

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@DonBoy

Nomal captures (non live stack) are unprocessed. The only exception to this is if you have selected to subtract a dark frame using the dark subtract control on the right hand side - then what you get saved is a dark subtracted frame with no other processing.

cheers,

Robin

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Robin

Been having issues with Sharpcap 2.8, but thought best to get the latest version before whinging about them. Downloaded sharpcap 2.9.2915.0 and tried to install it, but it said it couldn't and I should "fix" the problem and try again. The error lines are:

[0E0C:1154][2016-09-15T16:03:25]e000: Error 0x800700e8: Failed to wait for child to connect to pipe.
[0E0C:1154][2016-09-15T16:03:25]e000: Error 0x800700e8: Failed to connect to elevated child process.
[0E0C:1154][2016-09-15T16:03:25]e000: Error 0x800700e8: Failed to actually elevate.
[0E0C:1154][2016-09-15T16:03:25]e000: Error 0x800700e8: Failed to elevate.

I have attached the full log, in case this isn't enough. Can you please advise what I should be doing to fix these problems so it will install?

Thanks.

SharpCap_2.9_20160915160258.log

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@Demonperformer

This one crops up now and then and I've never got to the bottom of exactly why - basically it's trying to do the prompt for the administrator permission to install thing and something goes wrong. If you right click the installer and choose 'run as administrator' it should all be fine.

cheers,

Robin

 

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Hi Robin, Yes that worked and sc2.9 installed without incident.

However, I am running it with a ZWO ASI1600MM cooled camera and SC is doing some things that are a bit disturbing. I did manage to get it take a single image capture (which is good because at least it proved the camera works). I then tried using the settings number of frames=2, sequence length=2 & this gave me four images in two folders. OK, 4=2*2, so I tried frames=2, sequence=1 (on the basis that 2*1=2) and it took 7 (yes, seven) images. I then tried reversing it - frames=1, sequence=2 - and it froze.

I rebooted the computer and SC then showed a blank preview screen [the lenscap was still off the camera], and it immediately started running up the numbers on the bottom of the screen, the 'start capture' button was greyed out and the 'stop capture' button was active, but pressing it (although it produced a message telling me that it had stopped the capture) seemed to have done actually nothing because the same things were happening. Eventually, this 'capture' (which had not produced any saved images) stopped all by itself, but trying to take a 'single frame' capture gave me the message that it had failed because it had produced "too many dropped frames".

I tried to find a log file, but could not find one.

Clearly, I am doing something really stupid (and probably basic) and was wondering if there was a 'user manual' anywhere that I could download and read? I have a feeling that doing this piecemeal could be very irritating for you :icon_biggrin:.

Thanks.

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Ok,

firstly, you'll find log files in

C:\Users\robin\AppData\Local\SharpCap\logs

(obviously with your username replacing the 'robin'). There may be a lot, so sort by most recent first. One of these days I must make the program clean up old ones!

I'm not entirely surprised that sometimes you get more frames than you want, especially when the frame count is very low - with a high speed camera it can just be that by the time SharpCap has the capture fully running and the UI all sorted out there several frames can have been grabbed already. If you truly want to capture one frame then use the single frame option which is much better at getting just one frame captured.

With the other problems, I can't see anything similar going wrong with my 1600MM, so the logs are the way to go although it would be helpful to know if you were capturing in 8 or 16 bit and also what output format you were using as those things could have an effect.

cheers,

Robin

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Thanks, Robin.

The easy one to answer is that I was using the FITS output. 8 or 16 bit? All I can say is that I did not (consciously) make any selection (I rather assumed the progam would deal with what the camera produced automatically) - I will have a look and see what I can find out. Thanks for the explanation about the increased number of captures. This is not something that is particularly worrying - except that I couldn't understand what was going on. I was using low numbers because I was trying to work out the difference between taking x sequences of y images and taking y sequences of x images.

Thanks for the link to the log files. I will have a look - but I was doing quite a lot of 'faffing around' with it to get it do what I expected yesterday, so there may be quite a few of them linked to that session. If this is the case, I will have a go at reproducing what I/it was doing and send that log file.

Thanks.

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Hi all,

I'm trying to find the optimum setting for flats using a light panel with my ASI1600MC Cool .

On my dSLR it was possible to view a histogram of the image as suggested here.  Is there anything similar in SC?

Or is there a standard exposure that works so I don't need to worry?

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On ‎10‎/‎09‎/‎2016 at 18:34, rwg said:

@bendavidson

If you are seeing the frames on the screen then the USB cable is fine - the failure to save is likely just a bug. Can you  let me know the exact setup the next time it happens (capture settings file, how you were trying to capture and if possible the SharpCap log too).

cheers,

Robin

Will do.  Thanks Robin.

Just out of interest, what does the Turbo USB control do?

Edited by bendavidson

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The histogram button is in the toolbar - just to the right of the zoom control and to the left of the focus tools.

Robin

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2 minutes ago, rwg said:

The histogram button is in the toolbar - just to the right of the zoom control and to the left of the focus tools.

Robin

Thanks - I did try that but was not the format I expected - showing a separate line graph for each RGB colour instead of a single block.  Will try again shortly.

Any chance you could please show me a screen grab of what it looks like for an optimum flat capture?  Thanks as ever in anticipation...

PS I tried to use the focus tools, but SC crashed - did I read somewhere this is a bug you're working on?

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One more question for now...

This stacked pic  was from a series of captures of the pinwheel galaxy - gain was too low and the moon was full, so poor quality pic generally, but there's something seriously wrong with the flats - any idea what is causing the banding?  I'm worried I've just got the wrong sort of light panel but hoping there's something in the SC settings I can adjust.  Flats were 1/500th of a second.

(Stacked pic without flats also attached)

Thanks.

Ben

Pinwheel-with-flats.jpg

Pinwheel.jpg

Edited by bendavidson

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Hi, Robin.

I've managed to have another go at using the 1600MM on sharpcap and here are the (similar) results.

Hope you can access this zip file, which contains my session notes, five screenprints taken during the session (which may help make sense of some of my notes), together with the two log files.

When I came to post this, I realised I had not checked 8 or 16 bits, so logged back in again - this time the preview screen started, so I tried the 'single frame' capture again and got the same result. At this point the preview screen was also 'stuck' and changes to focus of the lens had no effect on the display. Therefore including that log file as well, as it may indicate what was different when I fired it up this time.

Cannot see anywhere that tells me if it is 8 or 16 bits, except possibly the 'colour space' setting, which says 'MONO8', but does not appear to be changeable (it is greyed-out).

Thanks for your help.

robin.zip

Log_2016-09-18T15_11_06-5724.log

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