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Connecting a Webcam C270 to a Mac PowerBook, Kstars?

astrophotography
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#1 mannimmond

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Posted 08 April 2020 - 03:29 PM

Hi Folks,

 

I was looking for a good free image capturing software to run with a Logitech C270 webcam attached to a Mac PowerBook under Mojave 10.14.6 and found that this is much harder than assumed or that I have just been looking in the wrong places.

 

 I found Kstars 3.4.1 with Ekos in it that looked promising. However, when creating a hardware profile in Ekos, neither the CCD nor the Guider slot have a webcam choice. There appears to be a webcam driver under Tools->Devices->Custom Drivers named INDI Webcam, but I didn't find a way to make that appear in the aforementioned CCD or Guider slots. The online Handbook didn't help me so far either and I suspect that I am missing some fundamental understanding of the relationship between INDY drivers and the Kstar software.

 

Anyway, I am hoping that there is someone here who can help.

Cheers,

Bernhard



#2 Lead_Weight

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Posted 08 April 2020 - 03:40 PM

Ask in the INDILib.org forums. There might be a driver there for your webcam under another name depending on the chipset it uses for capture.



#3 ccs_hello

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Posted 08 April 2020 - 05:58 PM

Logitech C270 is a UVC cam, so the driver shold be readily available.

On the other hand, it has an ISP Logitech private label 334-000084 which is useless from adding functionality point of view.

I.e., not recommended.



#4 Der_Pit

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Posted 09 April 2020 - 08:24 AM

Webcams are handled by the video4linux driver.  In EKOS config, you'd need to select 'V4L2 CCD'.  But I don't know if that one is actually available on a Mac.  If not, consider getting a Pi to run INDI on, and connect it there (or get a better camera, anyhow.... wink.gif )



#5 sbradley07

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Posted 09 April 2020 - 10:28 AM

Der Pit is correct that V4L2 is the right driver, but it's only for Linux, not OSX.  https://www.indilib....eb-cameras.html



#6 mannimmond

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Posted 09 April 2020 - 01:47 PM

Thanks for the replies! I'll look more but it seems that it doesn't look too favorable for the Mac.

 

I had also a look at FireCapture, of which the author said he started developing after he didn't find anything good for his webcam. The newest version 2.6.08 for the Mac has only two supported cameras, but no webcam, while older versions that only run on Windows have many more including the webcam option. Apparently Apple policies are still not too good for driver development.



#7 Lead_Weight

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Posted 10 April 2020 - 01:16 PM

Thanks for the replies! I'll look more but it seems that it doesn't look too favorable for the Mac.

 

I had also a look at FireCapture, of which the author said he started developing after he didn't find anything good for his webcam. The newest version 2.6.08 for the Mac has only two supported cameras, but no webcam, while older versions that only run on Windows have many more including the webcam option. Apparently Apple policies are still not too good for driver development.

I don't think it has anything to do with Apple. All the drivers currently developed comes down to the individual camera makers offering driver support through an SDK that developers can program for. Most of the INDI drivers were made using SDKs provided by the camera companies. They are not writing drivers directly. So in the case of FIreCapture, the developer is 1 person and they created support for two popular camera systems where the camera company provided a driver SDK to program to. Given more resources, they could add more drivers from other camera manufacturers that provide an SDK. And there are some camera makers that don't provide one at all making it impossible to have a driver for any platform other than the one they make their own drivers for, which is primarily Windows.

 

But, more and more companies are seeing the value in providing an SDK for their equipment, and the growing list of INDI drivers is a direct result of this.


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#8 ccs_hello

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Posted 11 April 2020 - 06:38 PM

C270 webcam is a UVC cam.  I.e., it's internal ISP does the heavy (actually, light-) lifting but is also its limitation.

UVC is fairly much a cooked format mainly designed for streaming, not astro.

UVC cam doe snot have any open SDK for it.  The fixed ISP firmware sealed the deal.

 

Raspbian's kernal has the built-in driver for that.  Do a

modinfo uvcvideo

to verify the device driver is installed.

 

P.S., you'll find the consumer-grade webcam's UVC configurable values are limited, especially on values that are beneficial for astro. 

 

Sorry, the topic is OSX. So do a Google Search on OSX UVC

I find this one  https://forum.openfr...n-mac-os-x/3917

and others.


Edited by ccs_hello, 11 April 2020 - 06:41 PM.


#9 MikeBY

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Posted 15 April 2020 - 01:23 PM

Hi Folks,

 

I was looking for a good free image capturing software to run with a Logitech C270 webcam attached to a Mac PowerBook under Mojave 10.14.6 and found that this is much harder than assumed or that I have just been looking in the wrong places.

 

 I found Kstars 3.4.1 with Ekos in it that looked promising. However, when creating a hardware profile in Ekos, neither the CCD nor the Guider slot have a webcam choice. There appears to be a webcam driver under Tools->Devices->Custom Drivers named INDI Webcam, but I didn't find a way to make that appear in the aforementioned CCD or Guider slots. The online Handbook didn't help me so far either and I suspect that I am missing some fundamental understanding of the relationship between INDY drivers and the Kstar software.

 

Anyway, I am hoping that there is someone here who can help.

Cheers,

Bernhard

Try this

install the FFMPEG libraries for OS X,

then install Indi webcam driver which is built on FFMPEG

 

 

https://ffmpeg.org/

 

https://indilib.org/...ndi-webcam.html


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