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27 Feb 2017
INDI development team is happy to announce the release of INDI Library v1.4.0. This new exciting release builds on the maturity of INDI Library and comes with many new supported devices and fixes for existing drivers. Several improvements and enhancements are included in this release including native support for Cygwin and MacOS platforms in addition to Linux, BSD, and Windows (Client only).
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TOPIC: Cheap USB Webcam and platesolving

Cheap USB Webcam and platesolving 1 month 2 weeks ago #16018

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When you guys post a fixed version of code for this, please let me know. If you need any help validating the fix, please let me know and I will be glad to help if I can.

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Cheap USB Webcam and platesolving 1 month 2 weeks ago #16124

Hello,
I have a few fixes in github.com/indilib/indi/pull/205 that may be of use for V4L2 CCDs. Please have a look.
-Eric
The following user(s) said Thank You: knro

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Cheap USB Webcam and platesolving 1 month 2 weeks ago #16127

It's working great here, thanks Eric!
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Cheap USB Webcam and platesolving 1 month 2 weeks ago #16130

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Has this been distributed as an update yet or is it still something that needs to be individually tested. I have never installed a package using github so I am not sure what to expect there.

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Cheap USB Webcam and platesolving 1 month 2 weeks ago #16133

If using PPA, wait for tomorrow's update.

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Cheap USB Webcam and platesolving 1 month 2 weeks ago #16137

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Awesome. Works for me. :)
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Cheap USB Webcam and platesolving 1 month 2 weeks ago #16161

@myxlflik would it be possible for you to clarify what the behavior is in each of the cases you described, if that's not too much of a hassle (no need to check something you would never use).

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Cheap USB Webcam and platesolving 1 month 2 weeks ago #16173

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@TallFurryMan, originally, I came up with the idea of throwing a cheap usb webcam onto the Celestron GT mount with 4.5" Newt I gave my brother. He doesn't know the night sky at all and my theory is that this could help him by plate solving what he was looking at. The intent was to just attach the webcam to the Newt inline and capture a picture good enough to plate solve.

So I found a couple of webcams I had lying around, a cheapy no-name one and a Logitech C270. Initially, I was unable to get either of them to capture when selected as the imager in Ekos even though both seemed to work properly under the Linux host operation system. Playing around, I noticed that the cheap webcam supported less modes than the C270. What I discovered was that if I changed the mode from MJPG on my C270 to YUYV ekos could then take a capture.

The cheapy webcam did not support YUYV and none of its other modes worked either. I concluded at that point that MJPG was broken in Ekos. I haven't had a chance to confirm since the update this morning that supposedly fixes it. I should be able to do that shortly though. Whenever the camera is in a mode Ekos has an issue with, it just 'spins' when trying to do a capture using that device and never downloads the image.

Did that answer your questions?

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Cheap USB Webcam and platesolving 1 month 2 weeks ago #16175

Yes it clarifies what the problem was, but to which extent did the update in the V4L2 indi driver changed that situation in each of your test cases? I would like to know if there are more tracks that should be investigated.

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Cheap USB Webcam and platesolving 1 month 2 weeks ago #16176

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I just tried the cheapy webcam and it does not appear to be able to capture in mjpg mode in ekos still.

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Cheap USB Webcam and platesolving 1 month 2 weeks ago #16180

Some webcams will be unable to capture with an arbitrary exposure duration, I don't know yet how to detect this from V4L2 properties. However, they will be able to stream a live video in Ekos. But then you can't use that for plate solving as the resulting picture will be underexposed.

Is your webcam showing video when you click Live Preview in Ekos?

I don't know gucview (or other tools) enough to tell whether it is possible to request a longer exposure through its interface, and then use the implementation of that capability to patch the V4L2 device.

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Cheap USB Webcam and platesolving 1 month 2 weeks ago #16185

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Ok. That makes sense. The interesting part is when I set the C270 to YUYV encoding instead of MJPG, it is able to do captures. I tried an experiment there and you are correct that I can not adjust the exposure length to hold the shutter open longer. It may very well be beyond the hardware capabilities of the webcams. I still get nothing woth MJPG for either capturing a still or live streaming of video though. I do notice that there are different settings available in guvcview for the cheap webcam vs the c270. The C270 allows me to put exposure into manual, and adjust it out to a longer value (but looks like might max out at 1/2 second). It also allows me to set manual gain. Perhaps the author of that program would be willing to help you understand how he got those abilities reported to him and that might give us some help. I expect the webcams probably have a max shutter time though and this might just be beyond their capabilities.

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