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Eclipse Orchestrator compatibility

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#26 andyhawkins

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Posted 16 February 2024 - 01:15 PM

Do you have a serial cable attached as well or only a USB? I’ve just got the USB cable attached.

Just the USB cable.  I just plugged in a Nikon Z50 and it shows up in the pull down.



#27 HxPI

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Posted 16 February 2024 - 01:22 PM

I haven't had a chance to try EO yet, as the micro PC I am planning on using has only two DisplayPort connections and no HDMI connection, so I need adapters to connect my HDMI monitor (which should be here today). I am hoping that I will have better luck with my 7D Mark II, as Canon cameras seem to be better supported, or at least that is my impression. I am also planning to use a Serial shutter cable, hoping for performance closer to what my camera can do with just an intervelometer (10 fps for at least 28 frames before the buffer slows image capture down), but I suspect it may be less than that. Have you tried a longer exposure to generate a set of bracketed images? I know that I can do that with my Canon cameras with a remote switch; I hold the button down with the camera set to high speed continuous shooting long enough for the seven bracketed images it will do as a maximum, then let it up and push the button again to start again once they are done being saved (I could start before they are done, but haven't figured out what the minimum wait time is to not buffer out). I hope to do that with EO, and will work out the shortest interval I can use and not run out of buffer in 4 minutes. I will have a second 7DII on a second OTA running on a programmed intervelometer to cover my bases.

 

In 2017 I found that 7 bracketed (the maximum my 7DII can do) shots 2 stops apart (1/2000 sec to 2 sec) worked well with Aurora HDR for creating an HDR composite of totality. You could get the 14 bracketed images by shifting the base exposure 1 stop and doing another set of 7 if you wanted them closer, assuming that you are using a tracking mount. In 2017 I ended up using a tripod and gimbal head (basically a non-motorized alt-az), so the Sun moved too much to combine two bracketed sets.

 

I hope you have better luck with clouds than in 2017, although history doesn't favor that. I almost got clouded out in Nebraska in 2017 (it cleared up completely literally a couple minutes before the start) and there was historically an 80%+ chance of clear skies there.

 

Paul

 

HDR from 7 bracketed images, 2 stops apart

attachicon.gif 2017 Solar Eclipse-Stapleton.jpg

Excellent comments and image. Thanks for sharing.


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#28 HxPI

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Posted 16 February 2024 - 01:23 PM

FYI - the developers of both Solar Eclipse Maestro (Xavier Jubier) and Eclipse Orchestrator (Fred Bruenjes) just gave a talk and walked through the details of how to use their software in this video:

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=qLHfURDO1YY

Awesome. Thanks for sharing.



#29 alsonwong

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Posted 06 March 2024 - 03:18 PM

Oh that's pretty catastrophically bad, if it disconnects cause you bump something taking the filter off just as the totality begins. Makes me think I should just put it on like a 7 shot +1.5 stop bracket and leave the shutter button down as it gets to totality and forget about using EO at all. I mean it would just be a couple thousand pics to sort through, much better than getting 0  

Seems like its not going to matter as even after downloading 3.9.1 it still doesn't even see that my Z9 is there

I've had the same issue with my Nikon D7500, which I bought two months before the 2017 TSE. If I turn off the camera, I cannot reconnect to it with EO without having to reboot the computer. I've used the D7500 successfully with EO for the 2017, 2019, and 2023 TSEs, and I used a D300 with EO for the 2009, 2010, 2012, and 2015 TSEs. Two other issues are that EO takes a long time to connect to the camera when I start up the program for the first time, especially if there are files on the memory card, and that it only takes RAW images when I specify RAW+JPEG. Shutting down the program with Task Manager and then restarting the program enables it to connect to the camera in a few seconds.

 

I haven't had any problems with the cables coming loose when removing the filter at C2, which should be done carefully anyway since you don't want to shift the eclipse out of the camera's field of view. The cables seat pretty securely; it'd take some force to disconnect them. I normally start up the computer about 20 minutes before C2 to allow enough time for all of the programs to finish loading, and also to allow for enough time to deal with connection issues.

 

It's also very important to make sure that the computer's clock is correctly synced and set to the proper time zone. There was one time on a ship when I realized that the time zone was off by one hour, when I started up the computer 20 minutes before C2. And make sure that you turn off the Sleep mode on the computer. I always do a complete assembly of my equipment and test run of EO the night before the eclipse, making sure all of the camera settings and computer settings are correct before packing everything up. You don't want to go to the observing site the next day and then realize that you forgot to bring a piece of equipment like a bolt or screw, or have it packed away somewhere and not remember where you put it.



#30 tinydog

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Posted 16 March 2024 - 01:31 PM

I have been mostly successful with a Z7II. 

Sorry for the duplicate question (I also replied to your post), but how did you get EO to recognize your Z7ii? I have mine plugged in via USB (desktop and laptop), and EO doesn't seem aware that there's a camera attached. Telling EO to activate the shutter does nothing. Is it necessary to create a script before the app will recognize the camera?

 

Similarly, the Android app EclipseDroid (which I used flawlessly in 2017) doesn't recognize my Z7ii either, even with a USB OTG adapter.



#31 JethroXP

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Posted 16 March 2024 - 01:37 PM

There is a specific order of operations that I use for my Z6.  I boot the PC, then power on the Camera, then connect the USB cable between camera and PC, then open EO.  In that sequence, EO can recognize my camera.  The camera mode dial is set to M, and it can take a few seconds after EO starts for it to recognize the camera.

 

If I turn off the camera, or disconnect the USB cable, I can only get EO to recognize it again by rebooting the PC and repeating this connection sequence.



#32 AsleepAtTheScope

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Posted 16 March 2024 - 09:43 PM

I have a Z7 ii and have been considering using EO, I was also planning on using a D850. Does EO allow you to use your camera at full speed, around 9 FPS (for the Z7 ii) for a given fast exposure? Do you need a Shoestring shutter cable for that?

You have to have a serial cable to get the most frames per second. With EO the best I can do w/ my Z6II is 5 frames per second (with a CF card). EO seems to set to H mode even if I manually set to H extended (where I can get like 12 frames per sec manually).



#33 NCDaveD

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Posted 23 March 2024 - 10:02 AM

No longer have my D850 but I have been mostly successful with a Z7II. The two issues I've encountered are:

  • EO doesn't correctly set the file type (e.g RAW vs. Fine JPG). Looks like the internal list of file types used for the D series doesn't align with Z mount bodies. THrough some trial and error, I determined that if I tell EO "RAW+fine-jpg", the camera is set to RAW as desired. D810 vs D850 might not be as big a jump but I'd verify that.
  • EO tries to set an absurdly high shutter speed of 1/65535 for Baily Beads and Diamond ring exposures. I've overridden manually to 1/8000 and adjusted ISO accordingly but am still suspicious of the original calculation ... 65535 smells like a calculation/overflow error not caught in EO. Am waiting for my new solar filter to arrive to test the script. This may be require further adjustment (actually the same is true for the other exposures settings as well).
That said, script creation and execution seems to work well.


#34 NCDaveD

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Posted 23 March 2024 - 10:12 AM

Looks like I’m a bit late to the discussion but I can confirm that the D850 needs to receive command “RAW+F-JPG” from EO to produce RAW files. For the D800, the command to send is “RAW+B-JPG”

Two weeks to go to the eclipse, and I’m just now getting my scripts set up. Procrastination adds more suspense and adrenaline to the fun. 🙂

#35 alsonwong

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Posted 23 March 2024 - 11:37 AM

 

No longer have my D850 but I have been mostly successful with a Z7II. The two issues I've encountered are:

  • EO doesn't correctly set the file type (e.g RAW vs. Fine JPG). Looks like the internal list of file types used for the D series doesn't align with Z mount bodies. THrough some trial and error, I determined that if I tell EO "RAW+fine-jpg", the camera is set to RAW as desired. D810 vs D850 might not be as big a jump but I'd verify that.
  • EO tries to set an absurdly high shutter speed of 1/65535 for Baily Beads and Diamond ring exposures. I've overridden manually to 1/8000 and adjusted ISO accordingly but am still suspicious of the original calculation ... 65535 smells like a calculation/overflow error not caught in EO. Am waiting for my new solar filter to arrive to test the script. This may be require further adjustment (actually the same is true for the other exposures settings as well).
That said, script creation and execution seems to work well.

 

I've had similar issues with my D7500. When the script is set to RAW+FINEJPG, it only shoots RAWs. When I used the Script Wizard in 2019, 1-second exposures were expressed as 65535/6 in the script. I contacted Fred about this then, and he made a change to the EO Nikon code which resolved the problem.

Diamond ring exposures are normally longer than Baily's beads exposures, as you want to record some of the inner corona. Typical exposures are 1/250-1/60 second. Xavier Jubier, the author of Eclipse Maestro, has an exposure calculator on his website that's very useful: http://xjubier.free....seExposure.html



#36 JethroXP

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Posted 12 April 2024 - 02:26 AM

Since the thread is about EO Compatibility just noting that various folks here mentioned successful EO usage with these Nikon Camera Models:

Z6

Z6II

Z7II

D850

D7500

 

It worked like a charm for me, already thinking of picking up another Z6 or Z6II for the eclipse in Iceland in 2026.



#37 PhotogTom

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Posted 12 April 2024 - 07:42 AM

For the record, I had great results with the Canon R5 using Eclipse Orchestrator.

 

You have to do the preliminaries - getting things set up to work with the computer, ensuring that you have good cabling, and connections. The R5 (and my R7) both use the newer USB-C and I think that helps with connectivity. 

 

And practice runs are essential to iron out the bugs and potential problems.

 

EDIT:  Let me add that I used EO only to control exposure. My file type (RAW on card 1, JPG on card 2) and that type of thing was set up in the camera and did not change. I'm not familiar enough with the software to make too many changes, and I was fortunate enough to have had some vital assistance from someone that is familiar with the program (Creatorshand) to get me set on the right path.

 

In the role of exposure control and timing, EO was exceptionally good.


Edited by PhotogTom, 12 April 2024 - 07:45 AM.

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#38 NCDaveD

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Posted 12 April 2024 - 11:30 AM

I also can report success using EO in a dual camera setup (D850 and D800).  For me, the keys to success were:

 

-  Never attempt to fire both cameras at the same time; separate them by a few seconds.  This was not a problem since I had assigned different roles to the two cameras (D850: 115 mm refractor, 805 mm focal length, assigned to Baily’s beads, prominences, chromosphere, inner corona…D800:  80 mm refractor, 480 mm focal length, assigned to partials, diamond ring, outer corona).

- Camera shutter releases via Shoestring Astronomy DSUSB and DSUSB2

 

- Min  spacing between contiguous exposures:  4 sec for D800, 3.5 sec for D850

 

- Hedged my bets by setting up both cameras to do exposure bracketing in triplets (-1, 0, +1 exposure values).  This also requires cameras to be set for continuous firing (CH on D800, CL on D850),

 

- EO holds shutter release signal for 2.5 seconds (to ensure bracketing has sufficient time to complete)

 

My jpg files are presently too large for posting, but I’ll try to see if I can get decent quality when squeezed down to 500 KB,  and if so will post later.


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#39 NCDaveD

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Posted 05 May 2024 - 05:10 PM

Hi all,

I got a request for images from my dual D850 / D800 setup…here’s a composite image I just posted on Astrobin:

https://www.astrobin.com/0mo41o/?q=

Hope everyone’s eclipse adventures worked out. This year was a weird one, weather-wise.

Best,
Dave



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