Weekend Sunshine and OaCapture testing for Apple

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Weekend Sunshine and OaCapture testing for Apple

Post by Montana » Wed Aug 28, 2019 9:11 am

A bit of all sorts in this post. Saturday's first light with the C11 and CaK filter is in the other post. Sunday I had some chores to do so couldn't get out first thing so started imaging around 10.30am with the Solarscope DSF100 and the Grasshopper 3 (at last). Here is a full disc, click through to Flickr and click the image for a larger version.

Image2019-08-25 Full solar disc f colour by Alexandra Hart, on Flickr

[url=https:.//flic.kr/p/2h5WXfC]Image[/url]2019-08-25 Full solar disc by Alexandra Hart, on Flickr

Next up I took an animation of the lovely prom in the north west. Here is a single frame as the animation will take too long (I have done the processing and batch sharpened in ImPPG as that is quick, the slow bit is post processing every frame).

ImageSun_102128_25_08_2019 by Alexandra Hart, on Flickr

ImageSun_102128_25_08_2019_f colour by Alexandra Hart, on Flickr

Then Monday the Sun came out very late in the day so after a BBQ I set about testing to see whether I could get the DMK41 to work with the Apple Mac computer. This is a small computer and good for travel on holiday. A few weeks ago the hubby found a capture software called OaCapture which claims to control PGR, ZWO and Imaging source cameras. We initially tested the DMK41, yes, the ZWO, yes, the Grasshopper NOOOOO as the Apple rewrote the firmware and screwed up the camera. So PGR cameras are off limits for the moment.

A couple of weeks ago I tried the DMK41 with the PST and found that I couldn't switch off automatic exposure which meant imaging was impossible. It turned out that JamesF on Stargazers Lounge wrote the program so over the last couple of weeks I have been chatting with him to get it working and overcome the little glitch to manual exposure.

So Monday I set up the PST and DMK41 and tried again. It took an hour and half to finally achieve an image. The aim is for capture only on holiday, to then transfer the data to my computer when home and post process there. I am not sure if Autostakkert or ImPGG work on an Apple, but certainly my Photoshop licence is on my computer.

ImageoaCapture-20190826-180145_f colour by Alexandra Hart, on Flickr

ImageoaCapture-20190826-180145_a by Alexandra Hart, on Flickr

So here are the results of the testing if anyone is interested:

1. The manual exposure issue. Initially I put the camera in the PST and then opened the software. Because it goes immediately to automatic exposure it ramped the exposure really high as I hadn't found the Sun and the telescope was dark. I changed to manual exposure via the method indicated by James but when I found the Sun it was impossible to get an exposure low enough. Even with a double stack on I was at 3 micro seconds and it was just OK. Single stack was impossible. I thought this isn't right, so I closed the program down and started up with the camera out of the telescope and facing the Sun so when the automatic exposure kicked in it didn't ramp it up. Then when I changed to manual exposure I had a good range and double stack was about 40 milli seconds and single stack exposure was possible. It seems that wherever the auto exposure changes to the manual exposure starts from that point when you change it. So it seems a bit random and exposures are not the same each time, weird but workable. Reason from James "I have dithered numerous times over whether the software should set the camera controls to its saved values when connected, or whether it should show what values are currently set. Perhaps I should make that configurable. The fun really starts when the current settings have no actual value for a newly-connected camera. Thinking about this too hard usually just makes my brain start dribbling out of my ears." full chat here https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/3395 ... nt-3699244

2. the next problem was I took several AVI and checked them for processing on my Windows PC and ran them through Autostakkert and started to post process. Nope, it seemed to record on a very high compression and the pictures were very pixellated. Next try I found in the Capture settings you need to tick both boxes, Windows compatible AND no compression. It worked.

3. It doesn't seem to remember settings once the program is closed. I need to remember to set the file path for capture, tick limit to 1000 frames and check the two boxes are ticked for the AVI settings.

4. I must remember to tick the frame limit as there is no way of knowing how many frames you are capturing as there is no counter. Usually in firecapture or ICCapture there is a little counter/clock at the side, so when you press the record button a little dial starts counting in real time how many frames you are capturing. So you can sit and watch and manually click stop when you hit 200 frames, 800 frames, 2029 frames if you wish. In this version with no counter you are blind. If you forget to hit the limit button and set where you want to stop the recording then you sit there and think, hmmm when did I hit the record button, I wonder how many frames I have recorded? The only way to tell is to hit stop and go and view the file in Autostakkert or Registax.

Overall it is a very good capture software considering it seems to be about the only one for an Apple :) and at least I know James so maybe I can get him to iron out the PGR bugs for the future. I certainly recommend it, it is querky but getting there :)

Alexandra

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Re: Weekend Sunshine and OaCapture testing for Apple

Post by MAURITS » Wed Aug 28, 2019 11:09 am

WOW Alexandra, great FD's with nice details, and these lovely proms so clear and crisp full of details too.
Subliem color in that prom image.
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Re: Weekend Sunshine and OaCapture testing for Apple

Post by PDB » Wed Aug 28, 2019 11:52 am

Good job Alexancra. FD's are great.
I used oaCapture for a while on unix machines. (but switched to windows again where I got better USB performance)
Overall it is a very good capture software considering it seems to be about the only one for an Apple :) and at least I know James so maybe I can get him to iron out the PGR bugs for the future. I certainly recommend it, it is querky but getting there :)
Well there is also FireCapture (but think ZWO only for the moment)
Ans there is also Planetary Imager. (But did not try the latest releases)

Regards,

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Re: Weekend Sunshine and OaCapture testing for Apple

Post by ffellah » Wed Aug 28, 2019 1:52 pm

Really beautiful full disks and proms, Alexandra. Thank you for testing extensively the software !

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Re: Weekend Sunshine and OaCapture testing for Apple

Post by allhoest » Wed Aug 28, 2019 3:48 pm

Fine FD and beautiful prom!
Your PST looks to be a good one also.
CS
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Re: Weekend Sunshine and OaCapture testing for Apple

Post by Astrophil » Wed Aug 28, 2019 3:59 pm

Beautiful full disks and proms, Alexandra. You can certainly make the Solarscope sing. Equally impressive are the PST captures. My PST is in semi-retirement at the moment. I will be trying it again with a grass-50s5m-c camera acquired from e-bay. It has smaller pixels than my other Grasshoppers.

I use AutoStakkert and IMPPG on an iMac for processing most of the time. They run fairly well using a program called CrossOver to emulate a windows environment without the need for running windows os. A freeware version called Wine is also available.

Mac capture software for PGR cameras has been a problem ever since Astro IIDC became unavailable. Hopefully something useful will develop soon.

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Re: Weekend Sunshine and OaCapture testing for Apple

Post by GreatAttractor » Wed Aug 28, 2019 5:01 pm

I wrote the FlyCapture (i.e. "native" PGR) and IIDC drivers for PlanetaryImager (IIDC a.k.a. DC1394 is a universal protocol supported by all PGR's USB cameras). Marco (PlanetaryImager's author) does publish macOS builds (.dmg files) in the Downloads section, but likely they do not have FlyCapture support enabled. However, the communication via IIDC is enabled and should work, you could give it a try.

As already mentioned, ImPPG (Windows build) can run under macOS via CrossOver or Wine. In the near future I'm getting a Mac to finally be able to test all this and also publish ImPPG built for macOS.
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Re: Weekend Sunshine and OaCapture testing for Apple

Post by Carbon60 » Wed Aug 28, 2019 6:38 pm

A beautiful set of images, Alexandra. Can’t comment on the use of a Mac though.

The Solarscope images in particular are sublime, indeed.

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Re: Weekend Sunshine and OaCapture testing for Apple

Post by Montana » Thu Aug 29, 2019 8:56 am

Thanks everyone for the kind words and also the Mac information, all very useful. If the weather is kind I hope to have a quite a few PST images coming from the Mac.

To finish and say goodbye I leave you with my lavender sunset I spotted at the weekend, it was beautiful and this is straight from the camera (no manipulation).
ImageLavender sunset 25th August 2019 by Alexandra Hart, on Flickr

Alexandra

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Re: Weekend Sunshine and OaCapture testing for Apple

Post by marktownley » Thu Aug 29, 2019 12:13 pm

Super disks Alexandra, interesting about the capture software for macs (not that I have one!). Love the sunset, we had a nice one on monday (took a crude gif!). Combination of volcanic aerosols and stratospheric particulates from all those fires...

Imagesunset by Mark Townley, on Flickr
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Re: Weekend Sunshine and OaCapture testing for Apple

Post by Montana » Thu Aug 29, 2019 1:15 pm

That's fantastic Mark, I'm glad I am not the only one who has seen this phenomenon as Spaceweather only shows them over America and I wasn't sure it was getting over here. I noticed this purple sky from about a month ago off an on and wondered about volcanoes as this happened a couple of years ago. This means the Pacific volcanoes have spread all over the world. The purple was quite distinct.

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Re: Weekend Sunshine and OaCapture testing for Apple

Post by MapleRidge » Mon Sep 02, 2019 5:48 pm

Great session Alexandra, with lots of different hardware being tested out. The lavender sunsets are beautiful too :bow

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Re: Weekend Sunshine and OaCapture testing for Apple

Post by Starry Jack » Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:39 pm

Alexandra,
Since your posting of purple sunsets I've noticed two now in San Diego. This entire thread is full of good things.
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