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zAmbonii
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/19/08

Loc: Ypsilanti, MI
Re: Going mono + heads up for cheapskates new [Re: PiotrM]
      #5331681 - 07/23/12 04:40 PM

The larger chip version of the MV can do 8s, but the smaller chip version is only reported to do 512ms max.

Finally played around last night and was able to get the longer exposures and was able to get it to work in PHD guiding.

The trick to get it to work is to do two things.
1) download and install the FlyStream Driver
2) download and install FlyCapture 1.8 version of the software

It didn't work for me at least in using the 2.2 version of FlyCapture. Just make sure that you install 1.8 in a different directory from the 2.2 version.

With Flystream and Flycapture 1.8 installed, the camera would be recognized in programs like K3CCDTools and PHD guiding. You need to open up FC 1.8 and control the settings there. I was able to get a shutter speed up to the 0.833ms like Tim said...BUT there is a lot of constant background signal. Very noticeable at no gain, and very horrible looking at max gain. I should take an image to show how bad it is. It is making me wonder how well it would work as a guidescope. In PHD guiding I did a dark frame subtraction, but it really left holes all over the place.

Wanted to get out last night and do a comparison and see how it worked as a guidescope, but it took me a while to figure out how to get the long exposures and by the time I did, clouds had rolled in. I might have a chance to do so tonight.

BTW, the camera seems to get quite warm on the back case after running it for a while.

Edited by zAmbonii (07/23/12 04:43 PM)


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tim53
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Reged: 12/17/04

Loc: Highland Park, CA
Re: Going mono + heads up for cheapskates new [Re: PiotrM]
      #5332400 - 07/24/12 12:27 AM

Quote:

bin4 with big pixels may not be an efficient solution.




I'll see.

Quote:

FMVU-03MT can go to only 512 ms according to PGR website.




Astro IIDC can run the Unibrain Fire-i cameras at about 1 second exposures even though the manufacturer doesn't say this is possible.

-Tim.


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zAmbonii
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/19/08

Loc: Ypsilanti, MI
Re: Going mono + heads up for cheapskates new [Re: tim53]
      #5341200 - 07/29/12 06:26 AM

Wanted to give you all an update on the camera. Just finished an all nighter testing various things (not any type of rigorous stuff like Piotr does, but just stuff to satisfy myself on several things

1) The camera is worth the money just for lunar images. I did a mosaic at prime focus with my C6-N with both my spc900nc and the Firefly MV and the MV just kicked the webcam's butt from here to Tycho. I'll post some pics of everything when I get things processed....may be in a couple of days, my day today is already taken for other stuff.

2) Guiding: Verdict is kinda out. Its not going to replace my DSI. Just not sensitive enough. It may equal or slightly surpass my SPC900NC in terms of picking up stars, but the stars are going to need to be relatively bright. Also I ran into a problem with PHD Guiding. High gain sucks on the camera so there are a lot of static hotish pixels, and the dark subraction in PHD doesn't quite work right. The MV doesnt easily have a way to set a fixed round FPS. The lowest FPS I have been able to obtain is like 1.151FPS. If you set PHD guiding to 1 FPS, then it captures a bunch of single frames, then 2 frames that isn't dark subtracted right, and causes problems.

3) Planetary = Meh Took some images of jupiter and venus and they are just *OK*. Ill go into it later.

need to get some sleep now....catch ya later.


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PiotrM
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Reged: 01/03/10

Loc: Poland
Re: Going mono + heads up for cheapskates new [Re: zAmbonii]
      #5341207 - 07/29/12 06:39 AM

Other first-light from this camera is on http://astropolis.pl/topic/39108-pierwsze-fotki-kamera-point-grey-firefly/page__pid__464851#entry464851

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luukieboy2
sage


Reged: 05/01/10

Re: Going mono + heads up for cheapskates new [Re: PiotrM]
      #5341408 - 07/29/12 10:16 AM

I'm interested to see how this one performs on Lunar, Solar and Planetary. After a SPC900NC, I was looking for a cheap step up, this could just be it. But does it also performs better on Planets like Jupiter then your SPC? And how much...

Looking forward to you pictures.


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PiotrM
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Reged: 01/03/10

Loc: Poland
Re: Going mono + heads up for cheapskates new [Re: luukieboy2]
      #5341466 - 07/29/12 11:05 AM

Quote:

I'm interested to see how this one performs on Lunar, Solar and Planetary. After a SPC900NC, I was looking for a cheap step up, this could just be it. But does it also performs better on Planets like Jupiter then your SPC? And how much...




At some cases SPC will win (higher gain) and at other FireFly will win (mono, lack of compression and high framerate). For lunar, solar and bright planetary imaging Firefly should win. Pure RGB imaging - probably webcams. Luminance-RGB possible with mono Firefly could however even the results.


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luukieboy2
sage


Reged: 05/01/10

Re: Going mono + heads up for cheapskates new [Re: PiotrM]
      #5341481 - 07/29/12 11:16 AM

Thanks, I think I'm just gonna go for it. The higher framerate without compression and with a mono is what I'm looking for. Usually use my SPC900NC for imaging the sun, the moon and Jupiter. I will use this cam without RGB-filters, only a IR-pass from Baader.

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tim53
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Reged: 12/17/04

Loc: Highland Park, CA
Re: Going mono + heads up for cheapskates new [Re: luukieboy2]
      #5341514 - 07/29/12 11:44 AM

I got my 2 Firefly MVs yesterday, after about a week and a half wait.

I use Astro IIDC on the mac to control my other Pt Grey cameras (FW 400 and 800). So, I first tried controlling the camera from Astro IIDC. The software found the camera, but the video didn't start. Astro IIDC needs the latest firmware update to be installed to run the camera via Windows (I'm running Windows 7 in VMWare Fusion on a Macbook Pro), so I went to the Pt Grey website and downloaded Flycapture, so I could run UpdaterGUI3 and install the firmware update for the MV.

First, I tried running the camera with Flycapture. Everything seems to work fine. But when I tried updating the firmware, I get a "failed" message every time. Anybody else have this problem?

-Tim.


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PiotrM
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Reged: 01/03/10

Loc: Poland
Re: Going mono + heads up for cheapskates new [Re: luukieboy2]
      #5341517 - 07/29/12 11:45 AM

For Moon IR-Pass should be ok. For planets and alike try orange or red visual filters - brighter. For white light solar imaging a filter could help to (like solar continuum).

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luukieboy2
sage


Reged: 05/01/10

Re: Going mono + heads up for cheapskates new [Re: PiotrM]
      #5341593 - 07/29/12 12:46 PM

I'm e-mailing them this evening how it will be transported and some additional questions. Worth the shot.

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zAmbonii
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/19/08

Loc: Ypsilanti, MI
Re: Going mono + heads up for cheapskates new [Re: luukieboy2]
      #5342448 - 07/29/12 09:58 PM Attachment (97 downloads)

Here is a quick comparison between the SPC900 and the MV. The pixels on the SPC900 are slightly smaller, so the image scale on the SPC900 is about 7% larger. Note: I forgot to put my UV/IR filter on the nosecap so these images are taken with no filter in place.

The MV has a larger dynamic range, and has the added bonus of a max image size of 752x480, the SPC900 has 640x480. I captured the SPC900 @ 20fps here, and the MV @ 30fps. On my laptop, anything above 30fps (at full size) my HD lags in writing. Seeing was a tad above average here.

SPC900 on left, MV on right.

Edited by zAmbonii (07/29/12 09:59 PM)


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ZielkeNightsky
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Reged: 10/01/06

Loc: Denmark
Re: Going mono + heads up for cheapskates new [Re: zAmbonii]
      #5370589 - 08/15/12 07:19 PM

Hi

Finally got to test my cameras.

Upgraded the firmware to 1.6.3.0, just had to select all files to see the ".ez2" file in "UpdaterGUI3"

USB driver 2.3.3.23

FlyCapture 2.2.3.14

60 fps. right away on my W7 64bit laptop with FireCapture, works great.

Guide cam, can't get it to work
PHD, AmCap etc. can't see the camera WDM, FlyStream driver seems not to exits for W7 64bit.

Any suggestions?


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ZielkeNightsky
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Reged: 10/01/06

Loc: Denmark
Re: Going mono + heads up for cheapskates new [Re: ZielkeNightsky]
      #5370610 - 08/15/12 07:39 PM

Well, installed and reinstalled/modified the 1,8 version (checked 32 and 64 bit components) and now I can get frames from PHD guiding.

Used "Camera Dialog" in PHD to get exposures at 0,5 sec.


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sullij1
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/08/08

Re: Going mono + heads up for cheapskates new [Re: ZielkeNightsky]
      #5370776 - 08/15/12 09:51 PM

I picked one of these up for solar at 25.00 after a friend brought them to my attention. Glad I did now. Haven't had the chance to try it yet. I will post some filtered solar when I get the oppertunity.

Thanks for the comparisons and opinions. I feel a lil better about the purchase now.

Edited by sullij1 (08/15/12 09:52 PM)


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PiotrM
Post Laureate


Reged: 01/03/10

Loc: Poland
Re: Going mono + heads up for cheapskates new [Re: sullij1]
      #5371107 - 08/16/12 05:46 AM

Revolution in planetary imaging - someone is selling boxes of Fireflies on ebay :] When do they start selling SWIR cams for $30 ?

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ZielkeNightsky
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 10/01/06

Loc: Denmark
Re: Going mono + heads up for cheapskates new [Re: PiotrM]
      #5371356 - 08/16/12 10:17 AM

60 fps. second in FireCapture, not bad....



Still working on a prober guide setup. The camera dialogue in PHD gives me a little trouble. I'm not sure I'm getting 0.5 sec. exposures


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PiotrM
Post Laureate


Reged: 01/03/10

Loc: Poland
Re: Going mono + heads up for cheapskates new [Re: ZielkeNightsky]
      #5371439 - 08/16/12 11:20 AM

From what I remember from Chameleon guiding howto - you set the exposure in flycap 1.* settings, quit and then launch PHD and it should get the exposure time from the settings.

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zAmbonii
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/19/08

Loc: Ypsilanti, MI
Re: Going mono + heads up for cheapskates new [Re: PiotrM]
      #5385445 - 08/24/12 10:55 PM

Been out of the loop for a bit in imaging and haven't been checking in on the CN forums here .

One of the problems I had with PHD and the cam is that PHD guiding wants round framerates and I couldn't figure out how to get a nice and round framerate with flycap. For example, I couldnt get a 0.5 fps with flycap, but something like 0.51 (going on memory here)....so every couple of frames in PHD guiding it would double up on exposures and it would cause problems in the guiding. Couldn't get the dark frames to work right either because that odd frame would get thrown in with the dark frame exposure and throw things off.

I wanted to get some comparison images from my SPC900 and the MV, but couldn't get PHD to work quite right for me...but I think the SPC900 worked better just from judging the exposures....and definitely wouldn't replace my DSI for a guide camera. .

I think I am going to pull the scope out in the morning and do a comparison on Jupiter with the SPC900 and the MV. I also have an ISS Transit of the sun in the afternoon that I am going to see how the MV does on it.

Unfortunately, my normal capture laptop (an older Thinkpad X60) cant keep up with the 60fps the MV can kick out, but it does keep up at 30fps.


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Deven Matlick
Vendor - Criterion Machine Co. LLC
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Reged: 12/31/05

Loc: Moatsville, WV
Re: Going mono + heads up for cheapskates new [Re: zAmbonii]
      #5401757 - 09/03/12 08:04 PM

Any thoughts on how to get MetaGuide to recognize this camera? I have FlyCap 2.3 and the latest firmware installed.

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PiotrM
Post Laureate


Reged: 01/03/10

Loc: Poland
Re: Going mono + heads up for cheapskates new [Re: Deven Matlick]
      #5402252 - 09/04/12 01:37 AM

You need also FlyCap 1.X to get the driver that can be used by PHD or similar apps.

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