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A problem with Eclipse Orchestrator

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#1 Greg M

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Posted 20 February 2024 - 07:27 PM

Hopefully someone with better scripting knowledge than I can look at this video and tell me what I'm doing wrong.

Thanks

https://youtu.be/OpE...0EYJEuBqopXVAkQ



#2 KevinMerchant

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Posted 20 February 2024 - 08:22 PM

Hello Greg,

 

In Setup >> Hardware Configuration there is a Recycle Time setting for the camera you are using. You need to empirically determine this with your camera and then enter the setting. The Recycle Time is the minimum time between exposures, where all of the exposure setting commands need to be sent over the USB connection. If it is too short, the camera is not ready for the next set of exposure commands and doesn't change. The Visualizer tool uses this setting and if it is too short, your visualizations will not be accurate. Check the User Manual for this as well.

 

I would suggest that you want to find your minimum Recycle Time for your camera AND lens that works reliably, i.e. no drops AND the exposure settings all change between shots. Here is what I used to get there:

 

TAKEPIC,C2,+,00:00:00.0,R7,1/250,5.9,100,0.000,RAW,,N,comment
TAKEPIC,C2,+,00:00:00.6,R7,1/250,5.9,200,0.000,RAW,,N,comment
TAKEPIC,C2,+,00:00:01.2,R7,1/250,5.9,100,0.000,RAW,,N,comment
TAKEPIC,C2,+,00:00:01.8,R7,1/250,5.9,200,0.000,RAW,,N,comment
TAKEPIC,C2,+,00:00:02.4,R7,1/250,5.9,100,0.000,RAW,,N,comment
TAKEPIC,C2,+,00:00:03.0,R7,1/250,5.9,200,0.000,RAW,,N,comment
TAKEPIC,C2,+,00:00:03.6,R7,1/250,5.9,100,0.000,RAW,,N,comment
TAKEPIC,C2,+,00:00:04.2,R7,1/250,5.9,200,0.000,RAW,,N,comment
TAKEPIC,C2,+,00:00:04.8,R7,1/250,5.9,100,0.000,RAW,,N,comment
TAKEPIC,C2,+,00:00:05.4,R7,1/250,5.9,200,0.000,RAW,,N,comment

 

This example is for 0.60 seconds apart. If every image taken has the correct ISO, which is alternating between 100 and 200, you could try 0.50 seconds apart. If there is an incorrect ISO, increase the gap to 0.70 seconds. Keep running this until you see the correct ISO for each image over a series of tests. Of course, you'll need to modify for your camera body.

 

When you find the minimum reliable time, go back and change the Hardware Configuration setting to that.

 

This may not be your only problem, but it's a start. I ran into it because I failed to set the Recycle Time to a good value.

 

I would also re-run the Script Wizard after setting the Recycle Time.

 

I hope this helps.

 

Kevin


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#3 Greg M

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Posted 20 February 2024 - 10:32 PM

Thanks Kevin. That's a huge help. I will give it a shot as you suggested. 



#4 CreatorsHand

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Posted 22 February 2024 - 01:41 AM

Hello Greg,

 

In Setup >> Hardware Configuration there is a Recycle Time setting for the camera you are using. You need to empirically determine this with your camera and then enter the setting. The Recycle Time is the minimum time between exposures, where all of the exposure setting commands need to be sent over the USB connection. If it is too short, the camera is not ready for the next set of exposure commands and doesn't change. The Visualizer tool uses this setting and if it is too short, your visualizations will not be accurate. Check the User Manual for this as well.

 

I would suggest that you want to find your minimum Recycle Time for your camera AND lens that works reliably, i.e. no drops AND the exposure settings all change between shots. Here is what I used to get there:

 

TAKEPIC,C2,+,00:00:00.0,R7,1/250,5.9,100,0.000,RAW,,N,comment
TAKEPIC,C2,+,00:00:00.6,R7,1/250,5.9,200,0.000,RAW,,N,comment
TAKEPIC,C2,+,00:00:01.2,R7,1/250,5.9,100,0.000,RAW,,N,comment
TAKEPIC,C2,+,00:00:01.8,R7,1/250,5.9,200,0.000,RAW,,N,comment
TAKEPIC,C2,+,00:00:02.4,R7,1/250,5.9,100,0.000,RAW,,N,comment
TAKEPIC,C2,+,00:00:03.0,R7,1/250,5.9,200,0.000,RAW,,N,comment
TAKEPIC,C2,+,00:00:03.6,R7,1/250,5.9,100,0.000,RAW,,N,comment
TAKEPIC,C2,+,00:00:04.2,R7,1/250,5.9,200,0.000,RAW,,N,comment
TAKEPIC,C2,+,00:00:04.8,R7,1/250,5.9,100,0.000,RAW,,N,comment
TAKEPIC,C2,+,00:00:05.4,R7,1/250,5.9,200,0.000,RAW,,N,comment

 

This example is for 0.60 seconds apart. If every image taken has the correct ISO, which is alternating between 100 and 200, you could try 0.50 seconds apart. If there is an incorrect ISO, increase the gap to 0.70 seconds. Keep running this until you see the correct ISO for each image over a series of tests. Of course, you'll need to modify for your camera body.

 

When you find the minimum reliable time, go back and change the Hardware Configuration setting to that.

 

This may not be your only problem, but it's a start. I ran into it because I failed to set the Recycle Time to a good value.

 

I would also re-run the Script Wizard after setting the Recycle Time.

 

I hope this helps.

 

Kevin

Kevin,

 

Thank you for posting this. I ran through a script like this with my 5DIV, and found it wasn't reliable if the interval was less than 0.8 seconds. To be sure, I extended the script to 30 lines, and it still worked. That was disappointing, as my camera will do up to 7 fps. I then decided to try the RELEASE command with an exposure length of 2.5 seconds (long enough to do 7 bracketed images between 1/3200 sec and 1.3") with an interval of 3.3" (2.5" + 0.8"). The camera ran flawlessly through 6 cycles of 7 bracketed images. Totality lasts 3 min 55 sec in Indiana where I will be, but if I assume that I can get 3 min 30 sec of images during totality, that will give me up to 63 sets of 7-image brackets in that time, which is better than I had hoped for. By setting the camera settings using the Custom Mode buttons, I don't need to send camera commands to change the settings over the USB cable, and it appears that I get the speed I was looking for. I'll need to run out the script for the full length of totality to make sure it doesn't fill the buffer over the 3 1/2 minutes of totality, and may adjust the exposure length to fine-tune things, but it appears that this method works just like a timer remote switch only automated.

 

Paul


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#5 KevinMerchant

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Posted 22 February 2024 - 05:43 PM

Kevin,

 

Thank you for posting this. I ran through a script like this with my 5DIV, and found it wasn't reliable if the interval was less than 0.8 seconds. To be sure, I extended the script to 30 lines, and it still worked. That was disappointing, as my camera will do up to 7 fps. I then decided to try the RELEASE command with an exposure length of 2.5 seconds (long enough to do 7 bracketed images between 1/3200 sec and 1.3") with an interval of 3.3" (2.5" + 0.8"). The camera ran flawlessly through 6 cycles of 7 bracketed images. Totality lasts 3 min 55 sec in Indiana where I will be, but if I assume that I can get 3 min 30 sec of images during totality, that will give me up to 63 sets of 7-image brackets in that time, which is better than I had hoped for. By setting the camera settings using the Custom Mode buttons, I don't need to send camera commands to change the settings over the USB cable, and it appears that I get the speed I was looking for. I'll need to run out the script for the full length of totality to make sure it doesn't fill the buffer over the 3 1/2 minutes of totality, and may adjust the exposure length to fine-tune things, but it appears that this method works just like a timer remote switch only automated.

 

Paul

Paul,

 

For sure using the custom C1, C2 and C3 modes is an interesting and clever strategy. For me, I want to do a bracket set of 12 or 13 corona shots during totality, and the camera does not support that much bracketing. Plus, I have a sequence of earthshine shots at MAX totality.

 

One thing that I found is the buffer limitation of the camera. Once I pieced the various bits of script together (Diamond Ring, Baily's Beads, Chromosphere, Prominences, Corona and Earthshine), I started seeing images dropped downstream as the camera struggled to write images to the memory card. I was forced to start stretching time out between shots and eventually dropped a couple of corona HDR sequences. This is what I have experienced. I even invested in a couple of memory cards that supposedly have the fastest write times for my respective camera bodies (R5 & R7) - I may have gained some slight margin, but there was no magic pill there.

 

At some of your slower shutter speeds, are you factoring in mirror slap and shutter shock? You may need some additional time for certain shots to allow for vibration dampening. Since I am using mirrorless bodies, the mirror slap is not an issue. For the R7, I am using Electronic shutter so there is no mechanical shutter vibration. For the R5, I am using Electronic First Curtain shutter because Electronic shutter does not work below 1/2 sec. I am allowing time at the slower shutter speeds for the vibration to dampen out between shots because it will be very noticeable at the focal length I am shooting (1000 mm).

 

If nothing else, food for thought. I wish you well with your endeavor.

 

Kevin


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#6 CreatorsHand

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Posted 22 February 2024 - 08:33 PM

Paul,

 

For sure using the custom C1, C2 and C3 modes is an interesting and clever strategy. For me, I want to do a bracket set of 12 or 13 corona shots during totality, and the camera does not support that much bracketing. Plus, I have a sequence of earthshine shots at MAX totality.

 

One thing that I found is the buffer limitation of the camera. Once I pieced the various bits of script together (Diamond Ring, Baily's Beads, Chromosphere, Prominences, Corona and Earthshine), I started seeing images dropped downstream as the camera struggled to write images to the memory card. I was forced to start stretching time out between shots and eventually dropped a couple of corona HDR sequences. This is what I have experienced. I even invested in a couple of memory cards that supposedly have the fastest write times for my respective camera bodies (R5 & R7) - I may have gained some slight margin, but there was no magic pill there.

 

At some of your slower shutter speeds, are you factoring in mirror slap and shutter shock? You may need some additional time for certain shots to allow for vibration dampening. Since I am using mirrorless bodies, the mirror slap is not an issue. For the R7, I am using Electronic shutter so there is no mechanical shutter vibration. For the R5, I am using Electronic First Curtain shutter because Electronic shutter does not work below 1/2 sec. I am allowing time at the slower shutter speeds for the vibration to dampen out between shots because it will be very noticeable at the focal length I am shooting (1000 mm).

 

If nothing else, food for thought. I wish you well with your endeavor.

 

Kevin

Kevin,

 

Thank you for your thoughts. I think I have the bracketing covered. The plan would be to run several sets of bracketed images 2 stops apart starting around 1/4000 sec, schedule a short pause where I bumped the base exposure 1 stop, and then start the 7-image brackets again which, when combined, will give me 14 bracketed images 1 stop apart. That was the plan in 2017, until my CEM25 mount failed 20 minutes before the start of the eclipse and I had to shoot it from a gimbal mount on my tripod (using a remote switch). I was able to combine the 7 images from one of the series into an HDR composite, but wasn't able to combine more than one series because I wasn't tracking the Sun. I could discern no ill effects from mirror slap in any of those individual images or in the HDR image. I printed that image of totality at 24" x 36", and it was featured in a month-long display of my eclipse images at my local library. It was also featured in an eclipse sequence composite printed 16" x 10' that was in ArtPrize, the International art event held in Grand Rapids, Michigan. While it is possible I turned on Live View for each sequence of images, I have no recollection of doing so. Those images were captured with a 7DII and 500mm f/4L lens, with an effective (35mm) focal length of 800mm. Turning on Live View is something I could consider for totality. I haven't finalized the exposures for DR/BB, or for the corona, but will combine them with the least changes possible so I can observe the corona visually as much as possible. Whatever I come up with for a sequence will be proven out by testing before I go, and any necessary adjustments made accordingly, and I will live with the results.

 

I wish you well with yours, as well. It appears that you know EO well, and I appreciate the help.

 

Clear Skies,

Paul





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