Going mono + heads up for cheapskates
Posted 13 January 2013 - 08:39 AM
Posted 13 January 2013 - 08:40 AM
Posted 13 January 2013 - 09:00 AM
1) use the x2 digital gain (80 hex register) + the x1.2 reference_potential (2C register) and tune the analog gain to cover the histogram
2) if the 12dB analog gain is not sufficient, use the 820 register to increase the analog_gain beyond the 12dB limit
Will be useful to report systematic tests on these strategies
Posted 18 January 2013 - 06:04 AM
I contacted Edelmann, Torsten the author of Firecapture.
He reacted very rapidly in a very effective manner: he has implemented the modification of the 3 registers in the beta version build #37.
You can download the code here:
A big thanks to Torsten for his code and his availability to our community!
To manipulate the 3 registers, there are new controls into the GUI under the additional controls (right-click or left-click on the gamma control to open the popup).
You should see:
1) "Gain2x". This controls the digital-gain. Namely which are the bits not considered in the 10bit to 8-bit conversion. The button puts F8 in the register 80 of the sensor. This corresponds to an increase x2 of the signal (independently of the actual value of the analog-gain).
2) "SignalBoost". This controls the reference potential of the AD converter. The button puts 00 in the 2C register of the sensor. This corresponds to an increase x1.2 of the signal (independently of the actual value of the analog-gain).
3) "GainBoost". This sets the analog-gain beyond the 12dB standard limit. It puts 7F in the 820 register of the camera. This corresponds to a 24dB gain level. For the moment the intermediate values of the analog-gain between 40 and 7F are not implemented. If you need these you should use Flycap2 as described above.
Notice that the off-state of this third button (of just this one) does not work, i.e. it does not restore back the standard level of the analog-gain. However, to restore the standard values, you have just to move the standard control of the gain.
On Jupiter (with average turbulence) at f/27 (with a Mak Intes 703 + barlow, Astrotech Voyager manual AZ mount, I have to manually follow the planet! No space for a bigger mount on my balcony) with very short exposition time, no IR filter, and the 3 new buttons activated:
I have the following:
Not bad (the histogram)!
Posted 20 January 2013 - 04:53 AM
Posted 20 January 2013 - 06:49 AM
Posted 20 January 2013 - 01:16 PM
Posted 21 January 2013 - 01:56 AM
However the situation is radically changed with the 3-register manipulation. Indeed with the three button activated, the covered histogram is amplified by a factor of 4.8. The performances of the Firefly become by far superior with respect to those of the spc900nc (in term of the signal/noise ratio for a given shutter time).
I suggest you to always activate the "Gain2x" and "SignalBoost" buttons, and to play with the standard gain-control to cover 60-80% of the histogram. Just in the case that the maximum gain is not sufficient to cover the histogram, the third button "GainBoost" should be used.
Posted 23 January 2013 - 06:39 PM
Mark here off the French forum site :-)
Okay, so I've tried the latest Firecapture Beta... I'm some what confused though. Using FlyCap2, I get great result, little noise and a very bright image! Using Firecapture beta however, my results are not so good, the image is darker and there is a lot of noise (If I use the dark frame feature I lose a lot of detail!).
Do you know what causes this?
Question, if we are running x64, do we need to install the x32 version, or will the x64 version work with the new Flycapture beta?
P.S. Ignore me, I failed to take into account the night mode in firecapture and the effect it had on illumination in the dark, ha ha! :o
Posted 24 January 2013 - 01:55 AM
could you be more specific?
I get identical results with flycap2 (+register manipulation) and firecapture beta version (if identical settings are used in the two codes).
Could you verify that the settings are identical?
Is the gamma button switched off in firecapture (it increases a lot the noise)?
What do you mean by:
"my results are not so good, the image is darker and there is a lot of noise"
Are you referring to the action of the 3 additional buttons or the "image is darker" with respect to that of flycap2 already without the buttons activated?
Did you try the effect of each button individually?
Can you post a screenshot (with the histogram activated) that illustrates your problem.
Posted 24 January 2013 - 05:48 AM
All fixed now!
I've installed 18.104.22.168 x64 and x64 and can get the camera working in Firecapture and PHD (PHD requires you to pick WDM camera).
Does anyone have any experience getting PHD to work, i.e. exposure times etc? Is it better to use the ASCOM drivers here? http://pludov.free.f...om_firefly.html ? I'm not familiar with the software and would be grateful of any assistance, Firecapture on the other hand seems pretty straight forward!
I have 2 cameras and plan to use 1 for guiding and 1 for planetary...
Update: It seems the ASCOM drivers do not work correctly under Windows x64. I have FlyCapture x32 and x64 installed, but when trying to connect to the camera using ASCOM diagnostics I get an error:
Connect Failed...Could not load file or assembly 'FlyCapture2Managed_v100, Version=22.214.171.124, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=76c6583b4a4585f4' or one of its dependencies. The system cannot find the file specified.
Can anyone do this successfully?
Posted 01 February 2013 - 03:07 AM
Posted 16 February 2013 - 07:50 PM
My question is, after removing the lens on the firefly that has the IR cut filter, is the newton rings interference still present and if so, does anyone know a viable workaround? Money is tight right now and I can't get the imager I want and this would be a great temporary solution while I save for an AS120MM or similar.
Posted 16 February 2013 - 09:44 PM
Posted 17 February 2013 - 01:08 AM
Posted 17 February 2013 - 04:56 PM
Mak 703 at f/26 from Paris
Posted 19 February 2013 - 02:49 AM
This with IR-cut filter at at 20:15 UT (21:15 local time)
Posted 19 February 2013 - 03:33 AM
This without IR-cut filter at at 20:31 UT (21:31 local time).
The image with IR-cut filter is more resolved (the Airy disk is bigger in the IR) and with the IR-cut filter the red spot exhibits more contrast (it is darker).
Posted 20 February 2013 - 03:01 AM
Here is the result without rescaling:
Posted 20 February 2013 - 03:07 AM