Point Grey Grasshopper USB3 IMX174 Advice please

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Ewan
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Point Grey Grasshopper USB3 IMX174 Advice please

Post by Ewan » Wed Apr 20, 2016 8:32 pm

Hi guys / gals.

Really hoping for some productive advice on using the above but first I should explain on what system it's being used.

My laptop is not top of the range & only has a 5400 standard HD, the HD will be cloned out onto a new 1TB Samsung SSD very soon so this may help with frame rate capture, as to how much I don't know.

The cpu is only an i3 5010U 2.1 Ghz Dual Core with 8Gb 1600Mhz DDR3, maybe this is way too slow as well ?

I previously used IC Capture with TIS DMK""618 & it was very straightforward & worked like a charm, with the PG camera I got the Genika Astro software & Flycapture from PG, both have a ton of settings I am not used to so could do with some pointers or a tutorial link if one exists.

At full res 1920 x 1200 it dawdled along at under 20Fps & at 2x2 Bining 960 x 600 res it did 50Fps, both a huge disappointment. I know my laptop isn't top of the range but even I expected faster than that.

So I am now wondering whether to get another new laptop as well as the SSD.
If anyone else can supply there laptop specs, ccd used & frame rate captures so I have some examples to go on that could help as well.

In IC Capture I can drop the Gamma right down, up the Exp until Sol just starts to show on the preview then up the Gain to make surface & spot detail inky black showing a lot of detail to focus on, works really well.

With Genika & FlyCapture I just could not get this to happen, the image was either over exposed or just too bright to be of any use.

Just hope the PG isn't going to end up in the bin at this rate.
Very frustrated at the moment that's for sure.
Thanks for reading, if you got this far you really have patience.

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Re: Point Grey Grasshopper USB3 IMX174 Advice please

Post by marktownley » Thu Apr 21, 2016 6:49 am

Hi Ewan!

Welcome to the world of coal powered laptops, I have one too! mines i7 2.1Ghz Quad core, 8Gb ram with a 5400rpm hard disk, so comparable to yours! I get 27fps on my USB PGR Chameleon 3 compared to the 55fps claimed, and 36fps with the PGR GigE Blackfly compared to the 41fps claimed. This like you've observed is the laptops and not the cameras fault.

My advice, don't bother with the PGR capture software, it is primitive! I can't get Genika to run on my laptop with either camera, it just locks up, so again the (coal powered) laptop is at fault here. Rather, download firecapture and use the PGR on there, but, initiate the PGR SDK first and just minimise it when it see's the camera, then boot up firecapture. In firecapture in performance settings set it to 'single core processor' (I know yours is dual core) and this will get the best out of your system.
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Re: Point Grey Grasshopper USB3 IMX174 Advice please

Post by Montana » Thu Apr 21, 2016 7:16 am

I have just upgraded from a 250GB SSD to the 1TB Samsung SSD and it works great. You definitely have to have an SSD with a Grasshopper. In the Genika software there are 2 settings in the set up and it always defaults to good quality and this restricts frame rate, if you click to the other you will get full frame rate. I can't remember what it is called, something like mode 7 and mode 0 or something like that.

In the Flycapture software, open it and run the camera, in there click the tab to give you the settings and it will tell you what default gain and gamma is for your camera. So in Geneka these will be your standard defaults. If it is anything like my Grasshopper then you cannot change the gamma too far outside these boundaries before you get artifacts in processing so beware. If you use Firecapture the scale will be totally different as I have no idea where these scales come from. In Genika remember to change the scale of the exposure eg milliseconds or seconds to get the different sliders to work. On the Airy lab site there is an instruction guide you can download.

Hope this helps a bit
Alexandra

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Re: Point Grey Grasshopper USB3 IMX174 Advice please

Post by Ewan » Thu Apr 21, 2016 3:38 pm

Thanks Mark, Alexandra.

I got some replies from another forum and so decided to DL Firecapture 64Bit, what an improvement.
It just worked & worked well, I was able to get some pretty good Fps on max res but even the slightly lower res was in the 100Fps + so things are looking up.
There is an option in Firecapture that meant the frame buffer didn't just disintegrate as soon as you start capturing, I understand now higher the res = lower frame buffer = less capture time, a compromise will be needed then dependant really on the seeing conditions at the time whether I need more or less frame, sound ok so far ?

Really nice Fov now with the 0.5 Reducer on (it's a habit) but still very good without, I did grab some detail & was able to see & capture some hairy limb, shooting through a thick haze of a cloud that just decided to sit right in front of Sol & not move.......why when you get new gear eh !

No images worth saving but looking forward to having a proper test with it.

Thanks for the advice guys & clear skies.
The Sammy SSD is a must though

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Re: Point Grey Grasshopper USB3 IMX174 Advice please

Post by marktownley » Thu Apr 21, 2016 6:42 pm

Montana wrote:In the Genika software there are 2 settings in the set up and it always defaults to good quality and this restricts frame rate, if you click to the other you will get full frame rate. I can't remember what it is called, something like mode 7 and mode 0 or something like that.
Hi Alexandra, any chance you could do me a screen shot of where this is when you get chance, i've looked but i'm being blind! Thanks! :)
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Re: Point Grey Grasshopper USB3 IMX174 Advice please

Post by Montana » Fri Apr 22, 2016 7:00 am

OK Mark, I'll try and remember when I get home. It is in the settings tab.

Alexandra

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Re: Point Grey Grasshopper USB3 IMX174 Advice please

Post by Montana » Fri Apr 22, 2016 2:44 pm

Genika.PNG
Genika.PNG (44.44 KiB) Viewed 1565 times

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Re: Point Grey Grasshopper USB3 IMX174 Advice please

Post by marktownley » Sat Apr 23, 2016 7:27 am

Brilliant! Thanks Alexandra, i'll try that today at some point, see if I can get genika to work on my computer finally...
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Re: Point Grey Grasshopper USB3 IMX174 Advice please

Post by fjabet » Sat Apr 23, 2016 8:04 am

Actually I added another setting for PGR camera in the very last release of yesterday.
Some PGR camera will run faster in Raw mode than in Monoxx mode. Raw bypasses the FPGA, the Mono goes through it. Note that gamma is provided by the FPGA.

So I added a setting, just below the one Alexandra has kindly shown, to switch to Raw mode.
Speed difference is huge on cameras that have the raw mode.
And as Alexandra mentionned, by default Genika is in mode7, so slower than mode0.
I added a section in the user manual about the different supplier camera settings.
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Re: Point Grey Grasshopper USB3 IMX174 Advice please

Post by fjabet » Sat Apr 23, 2016 8:09 am

@Ewan : Genika should run your camera at full speed. A i3 isn't an entry level, I've a customer who runs an IMX174 on the AMD equivalent of a celeron :)
Genika is by far the most CPU friendly of all acquisition softwares.
Check that you are using mode0 (so mode7 unchecked) and raw mode in Genika option/acquisition tab.
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Re: Point Grey Grasshopper USB3 IMX174 Advice please

Post by Ewan » Tue Apr 26, 2016 4:35 pm

Montana wrote:
Genika.PNG
Very late reply, sorry Alexandra completely forgot DOH!, I shall take another look at this option tonight.
I think the software defaulted to Mode 7 when I first ran it.

It was the exposure settings etc where I could not get a dark contrasty image to focus on.

I shall have to take a more in depth view I guess.

Thanks for the screen as well :D

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Re: Point Grey Grasshopper USB3 IMX174 Advice please

Post by Ewan » Tue Apr 26, 2016 4:40 pm

fjabet wrote:@Ewan : Genika should run your camera at full speed. A i3 isn't an entry level, I've a customer who runs an IMX174 on the AMD equivalent of a celeron :)
Genika is by far the most CPU friendly of all acquisition softwares.
Check that you are using mode0 (so mode7 unchecked) and raw mode in Genika option/acquisition tab.
I saw the RAW mode so I selected that on the basis RAW is unmolested & I thought could be the quickest way to capture the frames.
So it seems my processor will be quick enough then & I have just installed a Samsung 1TB 850 EVO SSD along with another 8GB Ram up to 16GB now.

Capture times should be very fast now & the frame buffer should be more than adequate, sound about right Fjabet ?

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Re: Point Grey Grasshopper USB3 IMX174 Advice please

Post by _Zakalwe » Tue Apr 26, 2016 5:04 pm

I don't think that a particularly fast CPU is needed for fast frame rates, as long as there is no on-the-fly de-Bayering taking place. The electronics in the camera will just shovel the data onto the USB bus and as long as the disc sub-system can keep up, then the data will be moved by the southbridge chip on the motherboard without much CPU involvement.

So, a fast SSD, yes. Fast CPU, not necessarily so.

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Re: Point Grey Grasshopper USB3 IMX174 Advice please

Post by Ewan » Tue Apr 26, 2016 8:51 pm

_Zakalwe wrote:I don't think that a particularly fast CPU is needed for fast frame rates, as long as there is no on-the-fly de-Bayering taking place. The electronics in the camera will just shovel the data onto the USB bus and as long as the disc sub-system can keep up, then the data will be moved by the southbridge chip on the motherboard without much CPU involvement.

So, a fast SSD, yes. Fast CPU, not necessarily so.
Yep I see it's not CPU dependant

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