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Using SharpCap to manage the Eclipse Sequence

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#326 drmikevt

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Posted 09 April 2024 - 11:55 AM

What are you using?  The I'm fairly new to .ser files as well.  The first time I opened on in AutoStakkert it was, indeed a black frame.  I freaked out.  But, then I realized it was highly zoomed into one of the corners by default.  I zoomed out to zero and there was the sun, in the center of the frame. 



#327 jfgout

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Posted 09 April 2024 - 01:02 PM

What are you using?  The I'm fairly new to .ser files as well.  The first time I opened on in AutoStakkert it was, indeed a black frame.  I freaked out.  But, then I realized it was highly zoomed into one of the corners by default.  I zoomed out to zero and there was the sun, in the center of the frame. 

I tried everything: AutoStaakert!, PIPP, Ser Player, Astrosurface... It's not a zoom problem.

 

I do have an update: some files (a small minority) do have data! However, the exposure times seem to be mixed up. For example, a file that was supposed to have only 5 frames taken at 1ms will have 2 frames at 10ms and then 3 at 1 ms. So, it looks like frames from different captures get "blended" into the same ser file. Probably a problem with not enough delay at the end of each capture. This also gives me hope that there is some data to be recovered from the other files, it might "just" be scrambled...

 

JF



#328 markmanner

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Posted 09 April 2024 - 02:03 PM

Thank you Robin!   SharpCap and the collaboration from LK to produce the script writing facility made it all happen!  Script worked perfectly and only high clouds intervened preventing optimal conditions to capture the corona.  I have over 50 videos to go through and process now.  Thank you again!

 

Roberto

I'll echo Roberto, thank you so much for the work. I had to change locations, and having the script generated promptly and correctly for the new location was great. Here is a link to some pics.

 

https://www.astrobin.com/gpchn4/F/


Edited by markmanner, 10 April 2024 - 09:03 AM.

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#329 rwgrwg

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Posted 09 April 2024 - 05:27 PM

I tried everything: AutoStaakert!, PIPP, Ser Player, Astrosurface... It's not a zoom problem.

 

I do have an update: some files (a small minority) do have data! However, the exposure times seem to be mixed up. For example, a file that was supposed to have only 5 frames taken at 1ms will have 2 frames at 10ms and then 3 at 1 ms. So, it looks like frames from different captures get "blended" into the same ser file. Probably a problem with not enough delay at the end of each capture. This also gives me hope that there is some data to be recovered from the other files, it might "just" be scrambled...

 

JF

 

Sorry to hear about this - it does sound as though your captures were running before the recent exposure changes had taken effect, so you would quite likely find some frames with the old exposure and some with the new in each capture.

 

There was some discussion of this effect on the equivalent thread to this one over on the SharpCap forums (https://forums.sharp...opic.php?t=7451) - basically the camera settings changes do not take straight away because while the new settings are being sent to the camera, there are already frames that are being captured, transferred to the PC and processed in SharpCap that were captured using the old settings. LK added some delays to the script generator to try to allow time for the settings to take before capturing.

 

Unfortunately the delay before settings changes take effect is variable - it depends on camera make and model, and sometimes on settings for a particular make/model of camera. It looks like in your case the delays were not enough :(

 

Hope that you find enough frames came through with the right settings to piece together some usable images.

 

cheers,

 

Robin



#330 drmikevt

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Posted 09 April 2024 - 05:39 PM

Yes, same thing with me.  Basically the first two frames of every video are the last exposure time.  So, I'm just saving all the individual frames to specific exposure time folders and then moving them around as needed to the right folder, then stacking each folder.  This way, I can use all the frames.  

 

It's no big deal.  I'm just so thankful that the software exists in the first place.


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#331 jfgout

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Posted 09 April 2024 - 06:07 PM

Sorry to hear about this - it does sound as though your captures were running before the recent exposure changes had taken effect, so you would quite likely find some frames with the old exposure and some with the new in each capture.

 

There was some discussion of this effect on the equivalent thread to this one over on the SharpCap forums (https://forums.sharp...opic.php?t=7451) - basically the camera settings changes do not take straight away because while the new settings are being sent to the camera, there are already frames that are being captured, transferred to the PC and processed in SharpCap that were captured using the old settings. LK added some delays to the script generator to try to allow time for the settings to take before capturing.

 

Unfortunately the delay before settings changes take effect is variable - it depends on camera make and model, and sometimes on settings for a particular make/model of camera. It looks like in your case the delays were not enough frown.gif

 

Hope that you find enough frames came through with the right settings to piece together some usable images.

 

cheers,

 

Robin

 

Thanks Robin. I definitely should have done more testing. I'm surprised that most frames are just black, I wonder if there is any data to rescue other than the few videos that have actual images (with a mix of exposure times, but that's a much smaller problem). I'll look into the thread and report if I find a solution.

 

JF



#332 bunyon

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Posted 10 April 2024 - 07:37 PM

Count me in the "didn't test enough" camp.

 

Actually, I tested like mad and had it down. I then made two mistakes. We canceled Texas and moved to Indiana. I actually didn't know where we'd be until a couple hours before. I had four sites picked out over the midwest and, rather than edit the txt file of the sequence I knew worked, I just re-made plans for all four. Based on some other comments, I switched to saving .ser files instead of .tiff. My gear was packed, we'd driven a long way, so I didn't test. It had worked fine before, right?

 

I don't actually know which was the mistake. 

 

I got 38 ser files covering 30 seconds before second contact and a little ways past. And then sharpcap froze. At some point, I glanced at the computer and saw the image on screen had frozen. Ah, well. Too late then to do anything.

 

I'm looking through what I got to see if it's anything. Totally my fault. I expect to see some amazing pictures using this sequence generator. 



#333 min_rk

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Posted 11 April 2024 - 09:39 AM

Thanks to everyone involved in making this a possibility! I had some cloud problems and did not realize I had to change the ROI back to full resolution after focusing so I did not get any widefield shots as everything ended up being 1920x1080. I ended up with close to150,000 frames and while there were a lot trash images, I did get some decent shots considering I had never imaged the sun other than test shots a few days prior. 

Notes for those that will be alive for the next one and using astro cams..

Make sure to set ROI to full resolution before running the script.

Autostakkert/Registax do a good job of normalizing exposure so it is better to spread out those exposure settings rather than just using micro adjustments

Meterologists are not to be trusted in April(they cant even get the colors right in a 2 color map)


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#334 cskozlowski

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Posted 11 April 2024 - 11:59 AM

A quick post-Eclipse 2024 report and using the sequencer feature in SharpCap:

 

1.  Bottom line, it worked quite well.  In fact, everything I captured just before totality and during totality worked.  I was able to capture 13 shot (.0025 ms to 1 sec) exposure sequences that ran continously during the 4 min and 5 seconds of totality (Pocahontas, AR).  I captured Bailey's beads as well as some really good diamonds as we entered totality. 

 

2.  I captured a video sequence with my 2nd camera - starting at mid-totality (2 minutes) - I used SharpCap but this didnt' require a sequencer

3.  I successfully pulled off the solar filters just before totality this time (I forgot to do this in 2017).

4.  Was originally going to Killeen, TX and changed my plans to go to Pocahontas, AR because of cloud cover in Texas.  I was fortunate - the skies were quite good and had less than 10% cloud cover during the entire event.

 

Things I wish I had done better:

 

1.  I am using a ZWO 174mm camera which has a rather small chip (using a 80mm f/6 triplet scope) - I had good tight shots of the eclipse but the field of view is small (about 60 arc-minutes horizontally).

2.  The sun/moon was not perfectly centered on the camera - this was just a simple oversight.

3.  Run a video loop during the entire duration of totality.

 

 

Some of my eclipse images are on astrobin.com/users/cskozlowski for those who are interested.


Edited by cskozlowski, 11 April 2024 - 12:01 PM.


#335 dizzydlz

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Posted 11 April 2024 - 01:02 PM

Thanks to JethroXP for getting this thread started. It was the motivation for using Sharpcap with my Williams optics 91 with ASI2600 duo then capturing to a Mele4 with a very fast internal m.2 drive.

 

Thanks to LK for the script generator along with Robin the creator of Sharpcap. The captures I ended up with would not have happened without the generator doing the heavy lifting.  I ended up removing the delay between the bracketed captures since it seemed to work for my setup without. I also covered the piggybacked computer with a white reflective cloth to keep it cool so no overheat issues.

 

It will take some time now figuring out how to process the SER files properly. Here is one frame I extracted from a baileys SER capture with PPIP and cropped. 

 

#313   Light frames Of  BailysBeadsPostEclipse  13 54 31 3.1ms F4

 

Dean


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#336 Anhydrite

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Posted 11 April 2024 - 05:22 PM

A quick post-Eclipse 2024 report and using the sequencer feature in SharpCap:

 

1.  Bottom line, it worked quite well.  In fact, everything I captured just before totality and during totality worked.  I was able to capture 13 shot (.0025 ms to 1 sec) exposure sequences that ran continously during the 4 min and 5 seconds of totality (Pocahontas, AR).  I captured Bailey's beads as well as some really good diamonds as we entered totality. 

 

2.  I captured a video sequence with my 2nd camera - starting at mid-totality (2 minutes) - I used SharpCap but this didnt' require a sequencer

3.  I successfully pulled off the solar filters just before totality this time (I forgot to do this in 2017).

4.  Was originally going to Killeen, TX and changed my plans to go to Pocahontas, AR because of cloud cover in Texas.  I was fortunate - the skies were quite good and had less than 10% cloud cover during the entire event.

 

Things I wish I had done better:

 

1.  I am using a ZWO 174mm camera which has a rather small chip (using a 80mm f/6 triplet scope) - I had good tight shots of the eclipse but the field of view is small (about 60 arc-minutes horizontally).

2.  The sun/moon was not perfectly centered on the camera - this was just a simple oversight.

3.  Run a video loop during the entire duration of totality.

 

 

Some of my eclipse images are on astrobin.com/users/cskozlowski for those who are interested.

I also ran the 174mm.  I haven't  processed any yet, but now I wish I had color sensor instead.  The large Proms are White in my images.

I also had an EOS R so I can get the color from there.


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#337 JethroXP

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Posted 11 April 2024 - 05:30 PM

Amazingly it all worked out!  Even the clouds over Dallas parted at the last minute and my script ran flawlessly!  The only "gotcha" I encountered was realizing that the MiniPC I was running it from didn't have Location Services enabled so it hadn't changed timezones, despite being connected to the Internet for the event.  I only caught that after I started the script, so I missed the first shot of the partial but got it going after getting the PC on the right time zone.

 

Here are some of my shots:

Diamond Ring at C2

2024 Solar Eclipse Diamond Ring C2

Baily's Beads at C2
2024 Solar Eclipse Bailys Beads C2


Baily's Beads at C3
2024 Solar Eclipse Bailys Beads C3

 
Diamond Ring at C3
2024 Solar Eclipse Diamond Ring C3


Earthsine composite of 12 bracketed images
2024 Solar Eclipse Earthshine

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#338 jfgout

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Posted 11 April 2024 - 05:38 PM

 

Amazingly it all worked out!  Even the clouds over Dallas parted at the last minute and my script ran flawlessly!  The only "gotcha" I encountered was realizing that the MiniPC I was running it from didn't have Location Services enabled so it hadn't changed timezones, despite being connected to the Internet for the event.  I only caught that after I started the script, so I missed the first shot of the partial but got it going after getting the PC on the right time zone.

 

Here are some of my shots:

Diamond Ring at C2

 

Baily's Beads at C2


Baily's Beads at C3

 
Diamond Ring at C3


Earthsine composite of 12 bracketed images

 

 

These might be the best images I've seen of this eclipse! Very nice job. Glad to see that the script worked great for you.

 

JF


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#339 epsilon160

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Posted 11 April 2024 - 07:13 PM

Really nice shots Jason. ESPECIALLY the earthshine composite!!!


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#340 ismosi

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Posted 11 April 2024 - 08:04 PM

Excellent Jason! Those are fabulous captures.


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#341 markmanner

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Posted 11 April 2024 - 10:28 PM

 

Amazingly it all worked out!  Even the clouds over Dallas parted at the last minute and my script ran flawlessly!  The only "gotcha" I encountered was realizing that the MiniPC I was running it from didn't have Location Services enabled so it hadn't changed timezones, despite being connected to the Internet for the event.  I only caught that after I started the script, so I missed the first shot of the partial but got it going after getting the PC on the right time zone.

 

Here are some of my shots:

Diamond Ring at C2

 
 

 Nice images!! I was in Marion, IL, with some haze, so I have only the slightest hint of earthshine in my images, and no real color. I did get decent inner corona detail and pretty proms.  Best,

Mark


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#342 min_rk

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Posted 12 April 2024 - 01:15 AM

Autostakert, Pipp and Registax have been running non stop for the last 2 days extracting images to compile into a timelapse. Mine are lacking quality compared to other images I have seen, but at least the software worked as it should have.
GOLDEN CORE1

 


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#343 R Botero

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Posted 12 April 2024 - 09:04 AM

Great shots Jason! waytogo.gif A well deserved outcome for kicking off this thread bow.gif

 

Roberto


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#344 Brentless

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Posted 12 April 2024 - 10:07 AM

So, the scripting I learned here worked great (special thanks Jethro, Roberto, Chuck).  My timing on Baily's Beads and Diamond Ring on the back end was ever so slightly off (still decent), but got it perfect on the front end.

 

I ended up with 3 separate automations (one for C1 to C2, one I triggered about 2 minutes before totality and running through about 20 seconds after totality, and one for C3 to C4).

 

Using Leo Shatz PHD2 modification for solar tracking, i was pretty much able to set it and forget it for the entire run, and just visit with folks where I was in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas.  I did spot checks along the way, but it went about as smooth as could possibly go for my first eclipse imaging.  I watched my screen for half a second to validate my totality automation was capturing, and then just looked up for the remained.

 

My primary album for sharing you can check out here:

https://photos.app.g...19sSaJG1SiR8wM8

 

Lo-res attached for viewing.


 

Attached Thumbnails

  • 20240408.Eclipse Totality.HDR.03.Cropped.Tagged copy.jpg
  • 20240408.Eclipse Totality.C2.Diamond Ring.01.Cropped.Tagged copy.jpg
  • 20240408.Eclipse Totality.C2.Bailys Beads.01.Cropped.Tagged copy.jpg
  • 20240408.Eclipse Totality.C3.Solar Prominences.02.Cropped.Tagged copy.jpg
  • 20240408.Eclipse Summary.Full.v2 copy.jpg

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#345 JethroXP

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Posted 12 April 2024 - 11:56 AM

@Brentless great shots!  I wish I had known about that solar tracking mod for PHD2!  I had my three systems setup the day prior and polar aligned the night before but even the setup with the best polar alignment had a bit of drift.  I'll check it out and hopefully get a chance to use it in Iceland in 2026.



#346 Anhydrite

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Posted 12 April 2024 - 04:04 PM

@Brentless great shots!  I wish I had known about that solar tracking mod for PHD2!  I had my three systems setup the day prior and polar aligned the night before but even the setup with the best polar alignment had a bit of drift.  I'll check it out and hopefully get a chance to use it in Iceland in 2026.

Same....except Spain is a much better location for weather.


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#347 JethroXP

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Posted 12 April 2024 - 04:29 PM

Same....except Spain is a much better location for weather.

Very True.  Maximum Totality in Iceland is 2:13, while in Spain it's 1:50, but that time of year the chance of clear skies in Iceland is less than 15%, while in Northern Spain its 40%.  The chances of it being mostly cloudy or entirely overcast in mid-August is 30% in Spain vs. 65% in Iceland.  I might have to rethink this.

 

 

Cloud (and other weather) data found here:

https://weatherspark.com/map


Edited by JethroXP, 12 April 2024 - 04:30 PM.


#348 Anhydrite

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Posted 12 April 2024 - 06:02 PM

This site has a good heat map also...

 

https://eclipsophile.com/tse2026/


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#349 JSTAR0057

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Posted 12 April 2024 - 08:44 PM

Baileys 2024-04-10 203629.jpg

 

eclipse_2024light.jpg


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#350 JethroXP

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Posted 14 April 2024 - 02:04 PM

One more to share, made possible by scripting the eclipse sequence

 

Diamond Ring C2 - C3
 

2024 Solar Eclipse Diamond Ring Collage

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