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20 Aug 2017
INDI development team is happy to announce the release of INDI Library v1.5.0. This new exciting release builds on the maturity of INDI Library and comes with many new supported devices and fixes for existing drivers.
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TOPIC: Cheap USB Webcam and platesolving

Cheap USB Webcam and platesolving 7 months 2 weeks ago #15985

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All,

I have a cheap USB color webcam that I want to try an experiment with. I gave my brother a lower end Celestron Nexstar GT mount with a 4.5" Newt on it. I want to control the mount via INDI/Ekos and plate solve for him with the cheap USB web cam. I have the camera working just fine in Linux via the V4l2 libraries. I have captured stills and video both from the Linux Mint OS. I however have been unable to get it to work properly in INDI/Ekos. It connects to the camera just fine, but it seems I can not get any exposures. When I click on preview it just spins and has the message Capturing image in the status screen. I am positive I have a setting incorrect somewhere, but I was wondering if anyone had any idea what could be going sideways here. Like I said, I am not looking for a high end imaging platform here. I would just like to be able to use the astrometry.net plate solved so my brother (who does not know diddly about the sky) can figure out what he is looking at. Any help you guys can offer will be greatly appreciated.

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Cheap USB Webcam and platesolving 7 months 2 weeks ago #15989

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As a follow up, I have tried a logitech (Logitech C270 I think) webcam with the same results. It does report 800x600 resolution capability (the C270 is a 720p camera so something is off there).

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Cheap USB Webcam and platesolving 7 months 2 weeks ago #15991

I just tested with my Logitech webcam and it works OK. Can you test it other Linux apps if you can stream from the cameras?

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Jasem Mutlaq
Support INDI & Ekos; Get StellarMate Astrophotography Gadget.
How to Submit Logs when you have problems?

Cheap USB Webcam and platesolving 7 months 2 weeks ago #15995

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Both of these cameras are working with cheese and guvcview. I am able to capture video and stills in these programs.

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Cheap USB Webcam and platesolving 7 months 2 weeks ago #15996

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Ok. This is interesting. I have been able to get the camera to work on one of the three machines I have tried it with Kstars. I am wondering if I have a different version of v4l2 installed on that machine than the others. Are there any package dependencies or anything I should look for on the linux side to see if I am missing something kstars could be looking for with a v4l2 CCD?

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Cheap USB Webcam and platesolving 7 months 2 weeks ago #15998

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So I have some additional information. I am not sure what it means yet, but I am pretty sure it is relevant. I have gotten a successful image capture in Ekos on 2 out of 4 machines I have tried the Logitech webcam on. The two systems I have gotten to work are both Linux Mint laptops with built in webcams. Neither machine that is not working has a built in webcam. This likely tells me that some package was installed during system setup when the webcam was detected that may be missing from the two other machines. Either that or I have a different version of one of the package versionse. One of the two non-working machines is a linux mint distro as well so I am pretty sure this problem is not Linux distro specific. I am going to start with the v4 libraries as the likely cuplrit. Any ideas you have would be greatly appreciated.

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Cheap USB Webcam and platesolving 7 months 2 weeks ago #16000

Submitting the INDI V4L2 logs would be helpful.

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Jasem Mutlaq
Support INDI & Ekos; Get StellarMate Astrophotography Gadget.
How to Submit Logs when you have problems?

Cheap USB Webcam and platesolving 7 months 2 weeks ago #16003

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Ok. I think I have cracked some of the code on this issue. I tested with two different webcams. One - A cheapo 640x480 generic webcam and a Logitech C270.

Findings:
The USB 2.0 octopus hub I had connected to the devices that were not working properly report different capabilities to the host OS when the camera is connected and that limits some of the modes available. It does not appear that I am able to capture when the camera is connected to a hub. Probably just a poor hub choice on my part. I don't think this is specifically INDI/Ekos related.

Camera 1 - Was never able to get it to work in any of the computers under INDI/Ekos. At first I chalked this up to it being a old piece of crap, which is true. That being said, I did notice that this camera does NOT support the YUYV output. It does support MJPG and YU12 and YV12 (I think). None of those modes worked for me.

Camera 2 - I was able to get this camera to capture when I switched from MJPG to YUYV camera output.

I am not sure if MPJG captures are supposed to work or not, but right now I can not get them to work on 4 of the Linux systems I have INDI/Ekos installed on. One of the systems is a Pi running Ubuntu MATE so it's a different distribution than the Linux Mint systems that the other systems operate. I did discover that the libv4l2rds0 package was missing from the Raspberry Pi. I installed that package before I tried the YUYV output solution that seems to work. Can you comment on the MJPG and whether or not it should work for captures?

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Cheap USB Webcam and platesolving 7 months 2 weeks ago #16004

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As far as the logs go, when I had a debug to file enabled and the capture set to MJPG, it did not generate any log output other than the start of the log. I can certainly try again on that though. When I hit preview in the imaging window, it would just sit there at capturing image indefinitely. I will see if I can get you some logs in a bit though.

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Cheap USB Webcam and platesolving 7 months 2 weeks ago #16008

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Attached are two log files. the 15:27:59 log file should be the one where I was set to MJPG and it just sat there spinning trying to preview a picture. The 15:30:02 log file should be when I was set to YUYV and the capture worked. It appears to me that MJPG captures do not appear to be working in Ekos even though that mode works fine in the host OS.
Attachments:

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Cheap USB Webcam and platesolving 7 months 2 weeks ago #16009

I can confirm the issue and working on a solution with Jean-Luc.

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Jasem Mutlaq
Support INDI & Ekos; Get StellarMate Astrophotography Gadget.
How to Submit Logs when you have problems?

Cheap USB Webcam and platesolving 7 months 2 weeks ago #16010

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Great. At least I am not wasting everyone's time with this and it is an actual issue. Let me know if there is anything I can do to help. Thanks for all of the hard work you have done on this program.

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