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How-to setup BackyardEOS to use two (2) cameras


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Using 2 cameras with BackyardEOS is a Premium Edition feature.

If you have BackyardEOS 3.1.5 or BackyardNIKON 1.0.3 Premium Editions this feature is a built-in; you do not need anything else.  If you have the Classic Edition or an earlier version you can still achieve dual camera support.  Please read below if this is your case.  

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In order to use 2 cameras with BackyardEOS you need to start 2 instances, each camera will connect to its own BackyardEOS instance.  Using this method ensures that each instance will have its own application configuration separate from one another.

This is not possible with BackyardNIKON as the Nikon SDK does not allow for 2 cameras to be connected/operated at the same time.

Setting it up...

  1. Go to the BackyardEOS install folder and create a shortcut of the ...camera2.exe executable on your desktop.
  2. Start this camera2.exe and enter your license key.

 

Now you have the standard BackyardEOS icon and a second BackyardEOS icon pointing to the camera2.exe; use this second for the second camera.

Connecting both cameras...

 

  1. Start BackyardEOS instance 1 using the regular BackyardEOS icon on your desktop.
  2. Start BackyardEOS instance 2 using the icon created earlier which points to the camera2.exe executable file.
  3. Connect both cameras to your computer and turn them on.
  4. Using each instance of BackyardEOS connect your camera as you normally would.
  5. BackyardEOS will display a window with both cameras connected to your computer for you to choose from; select one camera using BackyardEOS instance 1 and select the other camera using BackyardEOS instance 2.

You now are ready to use 2 cameras :)

The implementation does have it's limitation however.  You can not dither for instance if you have both cameras mounted on the same mount.  This is because both instances are insular from one another, meaning one is unaware of the other one.  So if instance 1 is dithering instance 2 has no clue that this is occurring and instance 2 will continue imaging just the same.

Hope this helps,
 

 

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In BYE v3.1, BYE will be able to connect to discrete PHD Server Instances.  Correct ??

Per PHD2 Wiki "SocketServerInterface":

When the server is enabled (Tools -> Enable Server), PHD2 listens for TCP connections on port 4300. It accepts one-byte commands and sends one-byte responses. PHD2 supports multiple concurrent client connections. When there are multiple PHD2 instances, each instance listens on successive TCP port numbers (4301, 4302, ...).

While Multiple BYE Instances will require separate Mount/Scope/DSLR (due to BYE lacking synchronization feature), each Mount will be managed including Dithering via separate PHD Instances.  (How will each BYE Instance - camera1.exe camera2.exe - specify the PHD Server Instance with which to connect ??)

(Just keeping up my enthusiasm for BYE v3.1... ;) )

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s3igell said:
In BYE v3.1, BYE will be able to connect to discrete PHD Server Instances.  Correct ??

 

Per PHD2 Wiki "SocketServerInterface":

When the server is enabled (Tools -> Enable Server), PHD2 listens for TCP connections on port 4300. It accepts one-byte commands and sends one-byte responses. PHD2 supports multiple concurrent client connections. When there are multiple PHD2 instances, each instance listens on successive TCP port numbers (4301, 4302, ...).

While Multiple BYE Instances will require separate Mount/Scope/DSLR (due to BYE lacking synchronization feature), each Mount will be managed including Dithering via separate PHD Instances.  (How will each BYE Instance - camera1.exe camera2.exe - specify the PHD Server Instance with which to connect ??)

 

(Just keeping up my enthusiasm for BYE v3.1... ;) )

Yes, in 3.1 you are able to choose a port different than 4300... so if you have 2 mounts you will be able to dither both cameras using each their own instance of PHD :)

Regards,

 

 

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dts350z said:
How do I tell which camera is which:

Camera Selector.png 

Ah, you don't <_>

The Canon SDK does not provide any more info than that.  Unfortunately you have 2 identical cameras.

The 1st camera listed is the first camera connected to Windows if that helps.  Not precise by any means for sure <_>

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Changing the color of the 2nd instance is a good way to tell the BYEOS instances apart after launch. I also plan on changing the icon of the Camera 2 shortcut/exe.

Don't know if it was absolutely necessary, but I made separate "BackyardEOS Cam2" and "BackyardTEMP Cam 2" directories for the Camera 2 instance to keep things clean.  

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admin said:
Yes, in 3.1 you are able to choose a port different than 4300... so if you have 2 mounts you will be able to dither both cameras using each their own instance of PHD :)

The BYE Setting for the 2nd PHD2 instance is "localhost:4301".  The 2nd PHD2 Instance must be started with a Start Icon Command Line of "phd2.exe -i 2".  (And the 2nd Instance of PHD2 will require that you make the proper Firewall Setting to allow TCP:4301 - or just state "Allow" for PHD2 in general.)

This will allow the 2nd instance of BYE to request Dithers of the 2nd instance of PHD2.

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Okay Stupid question where is the Backyard EOS install folder? I am clicking on My Computer, C drive, Program Files, Backyard EOSv3.1 but do not see anything with camera2.exe. Am I in the wrong place? This is driving me crazy Running Windows 7.

Also I want to piggy back my other dslr on top of my main imaging scope for wide field. Since I dither I want to I want have both work together and the dither not effect the widefield photos. Will the dual camera work for this.

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Also I want to piggy back my other dslr on top of my main imaging scope for wide field. Since I dither I want to I want have both work together and the dither not effect the widefield photos. Will the dual camera work for this.

Unfortunately, there is No Synchronization between Camera1 and Camera2 (at least not yet).  So, with 2 Cameras on the Same Mount, you cannot perform Dithering as synchronization will be lost and Camera2 will be taking Exposures while Camera1 is directing the Mount to perform a Dither Movement.

If you have 2x Mounts, then each can perform a complete PHD2 Auto-Guided and Dithered Imaging Session - both controlled from a single Laptop.

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On 2/17/2015 at 9:33 AM, eansbro said:

Can I synchronize a Nikon D700 with a video camera with the new BackyardNIKON?

The Nikon D700 is for spectroscopy while the video camera is recording simultaneously at the same target.

 

Eamonn

What do you mean?

You should probably start a new thread in the BackyardNIKON forum.  This how-to thread is for connection 2 Canon cameras to BackyardEOS only.

Regards,

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On 6/15/2014 at 10:48 AM, guyroch said:

Using 2 cameras with BackyardEOS is a Premium Edition feature.

In order to use 2 cameras with BackyardEOS you need to start 2 instances, each camera will connect to its own BackyardEOS instance.  Using this method ensures that each instance will have its own application configuration separate from one another ...

... The implementation does have it's limitation however.  You can not dither for instance if you have both cameras mounted on the same mount.  This is because both instances are insular from one another, meaning one is unaware of the other one.  So if instance 1 is dithering instance 2 has no clue that this is occurring and instance 2 will continue imaging just the same.

Hope this helps,

Are there any plans to implement two camera synchronous dithering in a later edition?

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On 4/20/2015 at 7:33 AM, mmastro said:

Are there any plans to implement two camera synchronous dithering in a later edition?

Yes, I do plan to implement manual dithering (without guiding) and -real- master/slave dual camera support without the need to split a serial cable.

Regards,

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Hi,

I am constructing a triple DSLR system but am trying to find a solution to dithering all 3.

I was thinking along the lines of only capturing one DSLR to the PC via BYE/PHD and having the other two DSLR's as "slaves" which trigger from the BYE command at the time it triggers the main camera following the dither process. ie they will be effectively manually operating  saving to the camera memory card so all I need is to get the capture command/signal sent onwards.

I have colleagues who would understand program commands (more than I) who might be able to construct a custom micro controller for such a task, but if you could offer any pointers as to the BYE capture instruction this would be very helpful to help them work out where to start  if its possible. 

Any thoughts you have on this whilst your in the throws of hopefully creating an on board multiple camera/dither process would be very much appreciated.

Thank you

Simon

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The current suggestion is to build a custom "Y-Cable" to extend the Shutter Cable that one uses to control a DSLR via a DSUSB.  Then, one would manage the 1st DSLR using BYE and Force Serial Cable for the Shutter Activation.  Having each DSLR connected to the "Y-Cable" would trigger the Shutter on the two non-BYE-Connected DSLRs as well.

As the Serial Shutter Cable is a simple Electronic Signal (I believe a 5v High Signal forces / keeps the Shutter Open), there are no "Program Commands" to be replicated via a Custom Microcontroller...

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I'm going to experiment with a side by side rig.

Two (RC) OTAs on the same mount. One will have an OSC Canon DSLR and the the other will have a monochrome Nikon DSLR and Narrowband filters in a filter wheel.

I want to know if I can use BYE and BYN to control both cameras so the dither and shutter releases are sync'd between the two cameras? Narrowband Monochorome exposures will likely be longer than the One Shot Color exposures.

Can this be done, and if so, pointers? Do I just follow the instructions above for two BYE instances?

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On 10/14/2016 at 2:18 PM, dts350z said:

I'm going to experiment with a side by side rig.

Two (RC) OTAs on the same mount. One will have an OSC Canon DSLR and the the other will have a monochrome Nikon DSLR and Narrowband filters in a filter wheel.

I want to know if I can use BYE and BYN to control both cameras so the dither and shutter releases are sync'd between the two cameras? Narrowband Monochorome exposures will likely be longer than the One Shot Color exposures.

Can this be done, and if so, pointers? Do I just follow the instructions above for two BYE instances?

Yes, just follow the instructions in the user guide for dual camera.  The communication protocol between BYE/BYN is the same so you can mixed them just fine.

Edit: You will have 1 master instance of BYE and a slave instance of BYN.

Regards,

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