#561  
Old 01-02-2017, 11:20 AM
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Thank you for replies.

Also let me know if you have any other ideas to add to the options window. Or any other general ideas how to improve things.

I though of another one, to change the colour scheme to black/red to preserve the night vision.

The only one issue I have is that the settings window is getting larger with all the additions. Is this a problem?

edit: Screenshot of settings is attached (needs a bit more work of course)
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Last edited by luka; 01-02-2017 at 11:34 AM.
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  #562  
Old 01-02-2017, 05:13 PM
pat30 (Patrice)
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Once the settings made, I close the window so even if it is big it is not very serious, bravo for your work is great
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  #563  
Old 01-02-2017, 07:18 PM
gehelem (Gilles)
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Thank you for ascom driver :
I think you should tell Sergiy Vakulenko on Ukr forum, as he is certainly working on it too
Gilles
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  #564  
Old 02-02-2017, 01:37 AM
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Gilles, once this is sorted I can make similar changes to the indi driver.

I have noticed some small but significant differences between the source code of the ASCOM driver and the cam86_view (which does not use ASCOM, most of the code is shared). The biggest differences are in the FTDI initialisation and exposure. I assume that the viewer has newer code than the several months old ASCOM code. I am comparing files line by line, this may take some time

Gilles, see Cam86.pas, lines 286 and below if you want the latest settings.

On another matter, I have noticed that APT sends temperature and cooling power read requests while image is being transferred. The driver passes these requests to the ATMega328P and this interrupts the image transfer. This could possibly explain the white line we are seeing in the first row of the image... Another thing to add to my list
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  #565  
Old 02-02-2017, 02:25 AM
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Stopping for tonight, time for

Gilles, I want to finish something before posting on the Ukrainian forums. I am soooo close... but soooo far. Everything is working but I managed to break the offset setting somehow

Some good news for the APT users, I modified the driver to return cashed temperature and power requests and the white line in first row disappeared

Did anyone try to compile the firmware yet? Any idea which compiler was used?
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  #566  
Old 03-02-2017, 12:07 AM
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Volunteers needed to test out the new ASCOM drivers

My camera does not have cooling yet so I did all testing inside with room lighting. Also while I did not touch any of the cooling code I could not test if anything got messed up. So please pay attention. This is a major update.

Changes:
1. Update driver code to match the newer cam86_viewer
2. Update to the latest FTD2XX_NET drivers
3. Added reading time adjustment like in the latest cam86_viewer
4. Added (partial) night mode
5. Fixed bug causing image corruption in APT (a white line in the first row of images). This also fixed the histogram in APT. Basically APT was requesting temperature and cooler power while image reading was in progress and this corrupted parts of the image.
This may not work as intended as I don't have a working cooling. See below how to test.
6. Added min/max intensities, reading time and StdDev. Not sure if we should keep this information but at the moment it is useful for debugging.

Todo:
1. Option to chose between TEC on or TEC off during reading. This will require firmware modification and I did not get that far yet.
2. Option to switch between mono/colour sensor.
3. Have to look into our main settings window. We may be breaking ASCOM guidelines which clearly state:
Quote:
/// Displays the Setup Dialog form.
/// If the user clicks the OK button to dismiss the form, then
/// the new settings are saved, otherwise the old values are reloaded.
/// THIS IS THE ONLY PLACE WHERE SHOWING USER INTERFACE IS ALLOWED!
Setup Dialog form is not the form with all the settings that automatically pops up. As far as I understand this means that the floating settings window is not allowed and that all settings should be in the other settings window (currently empty) that can be accessed when selecting the device. In other words, no changing of settings is possible while the imaging session is running. I will post a question in another thread to see how settings are set in commercial cameras.
4. Saving of settings - it does not work as I believe that the settings are in a wrong place (see point 3). We don't even have OK button on the current main settings form.

I have also uncovered a possible bug for which I may need Grim's help. I will post in the Ukrainian forums.
Gilles, if you are trying to include "reading time" in the indi driver, you have to set it before setting gain or offset as it messes with the gain and offset. My ASCOM drivers sets "reading time" first and things work but I do not know why and don't like it.

Nico, I removed the sensor clearing for the time being.


The driver is too large to attach here so it can be downloaded from here.
This ASCOM driver requires to flash firmware "cam86 prob2.hex", I have included it with the driver. The driver will not run with the initial old version of the firmware.


Source code will be released later, once the bugs are fixed and once Grim/Vakulenko let us know which license they would like to have.

Please test and pay attention to everything. And any other suggestions are welcome.

---------------
Cooling test:
It could be that the temperature is not being updated during imaging. Test if you can disconnect TEC power and keep camera running:
- let the temperature stabilise.
- start 1 minute exposure
- unplug cooling power
- watch the temperature and see if it changes
- see what happens with the temperature at the end of exposure
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  #567  
Old 03-02-2017, 06:34 AM
N_DD
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Awesome Luka, thanks a lot!

I will test the ASCOM driver and let you know if I have any issues with it. I will also test the cooling.

Nico
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  #568  
Old 03-02-2017, 08:49 PM
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Great news, I managed to compile the original firmware for the ATMega328p and it seems to work!!!

Also Grim agreed to license his code as open source (GPL 2 or 3?). Gilles, what did Vakulenko say about licensing his code?
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  #569  
Old 03-02-2017, 09:18 PM
gehelem (Gilles)
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Sergiy told me about ascom that we can publish it under free, non-commercial license.
Neither him nor Rome (Grim) said anything about wich gpl version we should use.
I've suggested gpl 2.1 because of libftdi and indilib, and Rome is ok with that
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  #570  
Old 03-02-2017, 10:42 PM
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Gilles, did you mean LGPL 2.1? I am not aware of GPL 2.1, only of GPL2 or GPL3.
The small problem with LGPL is that the source code can be used in proprietary programs, i.e. that someone could start commercially selling cameras using cam86 software/firmware. GPL does not allow this.

I started adding few more options to the driver but will wait for comments/bug reports before releasing the new version. It is not finished yet anyway... I also want to test the new firmware over a longer time.
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  #571  
Old 04-02-2017, 09:11 AM
gehelem (Gilles)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luka View Post
Gilles, did you mean LGPL 2.1? I am not aware of GPL 2.1, only of GPL2 or GPL3.
The small problem with LGPL is that the source code can be used in proprietary programs, i.e. that someone could start commercially selling cameras using cam86 software/firmware. GPL does not allow this.

I started adding few more options to the driver but will wait for comments/bug reports before releasing the new version. It is not finished yet anyway... I also want to test the new firmware over a longer time.
Ouch ! i must say i'm confused, i misunderstood the purpose of LGPL.
I've chosen this one because of Indilib, wich is using the same.
I understand in what you are saying that LPGL is not suitable for what Rome & Sergiy asked ! Argh...

But can we use pure GPL2/3 with d2xx and/or libftdi ???

That said, I think I have two options
- switch the cam86 library into a separate project published under GPL.
- ask Indilib maintainer his opinion regarding 3rdparty drivers

Last edited by gehelem; 04-02-2017 at 09:20 AM. Reason: went further...
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  #572  
Old 04-02-2017, 10:22 AM
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A good reading why not LGPL is here.

There is no problem of releasing "our" code as GPL on the top of LGPL libraries (libftdi and d2xx). As per LGPL, other portions of the project are permitted have other licenses, even being commercial.

But other way around, i.e. releasing LGPL code on the top GPL libraries would have not been possible. For example if libftdi or d2xx were GPL we would have to be GPL.

To summarise, releasing as GPL is fine, it will not break the LGPL license of libftdi and d2xx.

I will need to do more reading to remind myself what the difference was between GPL2 and GPL3...
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  #573  
Old 04-02-2017, 10:38 PM
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Finished soldering another Cam86, for my mono sensor. Working fine
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  #574  
Old 04-02-2017, 10:47 PM
gehelem (Gilles)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luka View Post
Finished soldering another Cam86, for my mono sensor. Working fine

You're on everything at the same time ! Bravo !
What time is it for you now ?
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  #575  
Old 04-02-2017, 10:53 PM
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Just before 9pm. Thinking about testing it outdoors (no cooling so the images won't be that great...).
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  #576  
Old 14-02-2017, 12:06 AM
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Didn't get any feedback regarding the ASCOM driver so I assume it worked fine? It has been cloudy and rainy here for a few weeks now so I could not do anything outside.

I have uploaded the new version of the ASCOM driver (cam86_v0.3L_setup.exe) and the new firmware (cam86_fw_v0.2L.hex) to the folder on the GoogleDrive above. You will need this new firmware if you want to try this version of the ASCOM driver.

Changes:
- minor bug fixes
- option to have TEC on or off during reading of a frame
- mono sensor (unsure if this is ever used)
- version info for firmware, low level driver and ASCOM driver shown in the window

Again, I could not test anything related to TEC so comments are welcome. Or any ideas for new features...
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  #577  
Old 14-02-2017, 12:28 AM
gehelem (Gilles)
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Sorry => on holidays atm
Will be back in 10 days
Gilles
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  #578  
Old 14-02-2017, 12:29 AM
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There are some news regarding cam90 (ICX493AQ sensor), Grim released the full pack for building, Gerbers, BOM, firmware, programmer and viewer. I put the files on our GoogleDrive.

Also found this thread about Cam84/Cam86 build in German. Not much new there ATM.
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  #579  
Old 14-02-2017, 12:37 PM
rsevs3 (Ryan)
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Hi Guys,

Just signed up to the forum to say wow!

A very late night last night followed by total distraction this morning reading this thread instead of doing what i should have been doing.

I am new to astronomy and AP, just got my scope for chrissy, but AP is something I have wanted to do for as long as I can remember. Loving the DIY nature that a lot of people take.

I was thinking I was going to have to buy a cheap DSLR but maybe this is a better way to get into it. I dont want to have to modify my Sony a7 and getting adaptors etc has been a challenge.

Is there any chance of getting read access to the GD so I can see what parts I already have/need to order?

Keep up the great work guys!

Last edited by rsevs3; 14-02-2017 at 12:39 PM. Reason: Edited to add email notifications
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  #580  
Old 14-02-2017, 02:52 PM
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Hi Ryan,

Sorry to "ruin" your evening and morning with this thread
I remember getting similarly brain-stuck for several nights with a 90-ish page long thread about debayering the DSLR sensors.

AP has a very, very, very, very steep learning curve. The camera is only a small part of the whole picture, which also includes the mount, the scope, dark skies etc. For beginners DSLR is usually recommended as it is much easier to master, while you learn to know your mount, polar alignment etc. But soon you will be longing for more and this project offers a relatively cheap way to jump straight into CCD imaging. If it is a smart step, not sure, that will depend on you. For example, you could just get a t-adapter for your DSLR and start with that... while building this camera
(You can post a question in beginners threads regarding the adapter for your DSLR).

Can you answer few questions which will help us give you a better advice:
What scope/mount do you have?
Where in Perth are you (how far from CBD)?
The project requires good DIY skills. How good are your with soldering SMD parts? (If you decide to do the build I could help with the difficult SMD parts, if required.)
Also the camera housing will require machining. The G106 housing can be purchased from Jaycar/Altronics but requires modification, especially for cooling.

If you PM me your email address and I'll give you access to the GD files.

Luka
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