Friday, 12 August 2016

The Bresser MicrOcular Full HD Digital camera is now supported in AstroDMx Capture under Linux.

Telescope House kindly loaned us a Bresser MicrOcular Full HD CMOS Digital camera to for us to test and implement support in The Linux capture software, AstroDMx Capture that Nicola Mackin and I are developing, primarily for the use of Imaging Source DMK, DFK, DBK series of cameras, hitherto unavailable under Linux. The software works with the primary intended cameras and we are now testing it with and implementing other cameras.

Bresser MicrOcular Full HD Digital camera

The Bresser MicrOcular camera only delivers a compressed Motion-JPEG video stream and it only offers three resolutions: 1920 x 1080; 1280 x 1024 and 1280 x 720. It is
likely that a compressed format has been chosen to deliver a reasonable frame rate at these high resolution formats. However, of the possible compressed formats, Motion-JPEG is a reasonable choice because it is an intra-frame compression system rather than inter-frame compression. This means that each frame is compressed individually, with no reference to other frames in the stream, so there is, for example, no frame prediction involved in the compression.
We have implemented Motion-JPEG in AstroDMx Capture in order to support this camera, which
works now, with AstroDMx Capture, under Linux.

Screenshot of the capture software displaying video from the Bresser MicrOcular Full HD Digital camera

Two AVIs were captured, stacked in Autostakkert2 running under the Windows® compatibility
layer, Wine, and the 16 bit Tiff file post processed in The Gimp 2.9 which can handle 16 bit files.

The seeing was not very good as the Moon was very low in the sky on this lunation. Nevertheless, the camera delivered good results with very little evidence of compression artefacts.

Nicola has done all of the coding for this project and is currently re-working the GUI and working on the open DML AVIX standard. It will only be a short time before the software is released.

AstroDMx Capture fully working under Linux

Nicola Mackin and I have been working on AstroDMx Capture for Linux and it is fully functional with the DMK and DFK cameras. Nicola has done all of the coding and is now working on optimising the GUI. The software can capture AVIs or TIFF files. The object of this project is to make the DMK,DFK, DBK series of cameras available for Linux.

AstroDMx Capture splash screen

A DMK 21AU04.AS fitted with a 0.5 focal reducer was used with a Skymax 127 Maksutov to image M13. 12 x 6s exposures were made and saved as TIFF files.

Photograph of the live computer screen display

The images were stacked in Registax 5.1 running under the Windows® compatibility layer Wine. The resulting 16 bit TIFF file was then post processed in The Gimp 2.9 which can now handle 16 bit files.

M13 captured by AstroDMx Capture

AstroDMx Capture for Linux is working well. Not only can it control the DMK series of astronomy cameras but also a number of other cameras. It is our aim to make the software compatible with as many USB cameras as possible. The GUI will be reworked to incorporate our new ideas.