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Using SkyWatcher and BEOS at the same time


rimcrazy
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I downloaded a trial of BEOS for my Canon 7D and was hoping that I could use it in conjunction with my SkyWatcher Mini mount.  I tried it last night and it is apparent that, at least in my trials, the 7D only likes one thing hooked to it at a time.  If I disconnect the Mini, then BEOS will connect.  With the BEOS connected if I try to connect the Mini it says that it cannot find the 7D.  Vice-versa seems to be the same.  Am I missing something in my setup or is this what others see?  I searched the forum and only found two older references to SkyWatcher and those kind of indicated the user was using both but not specifically how.  This being said, it is very nice to be able to first hook BEOS to my 7D for some initial trial shots as it is almost impossible to determine focus with my geriatric eyeballs looking at the back screen on the 7D.  In addition to the fact that you actually do not want to touch the camera if at all possible as you will disturb the alignment.  It is not a major pain to run one then then other but it would be nice if you could.  Is this a "7D" kind of thing or do all DSLR's work this way?

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So if the Skywatcher connects via the external shutter jack, I don't know how that would prevent BYE from connecting via the USB jack. That said, I don't understand why you would need to have both connected at the same time. If you are using the Skywatcher as an interval timer, the images will not download to BYE, even if it were connected. On the other side, if you are controlling the camera with BYE, there is no need to have the Skywatcher connected.

The only advantage that I could come up with is to just avoid having to plug and unplug the small cables in the dark.

That said, it could be that the 7D is just preventing tethering with a PC when a remote shutter is connected, and vice versa. I would try the same scenario with the Canon EOS Utiility in place of BYE. You should see the same behavior and if so it may be worth getting a definitive answer from Canon.

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I have and use the older Star Adventurer (not the Mini - which has additional USB-connected functionality). 

The first tests I would suggest:

  1. Does BYE successfully Find and Connect to the 7D when the SA-Mini is Connected via USB and turned ON but you have NOT loaded the SA-Mini software??
  2. Does BYE successfully Find and Connect to the 7D when the SA-Mini software is loaded but the SA-Mini is NOT connected via USB??

Obviously, every Product and Piece of Software is somewhat unique, and certain Conflicts are sure to be encountered.  Sounds like you may have found one...

But, NO, BYE does not have this sort of conflict reported with too many other pieces of AP Software or Hardware.

For the BYE Dev Team to weigh-in, they will need as much detail from you as possible.

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Well I've not used BYE enough to know all of it's features but Skywatcher, in particular, has a very slick feature where you can do time lapse exposures as it will take a long exposure and then slew the mount back to the start point and wait for a programed length of time and then take another long exposure.  I would suspect that BYE cannot do that or at least it cannot tell Skywatcher to do that.  In terms of just taking a number of planned exposures BYE obviously can do that and probably with better programmability than SkyWatcher.  If/when I have my 7D connected to my main scope in my observatory, then I can see how BYE is indispensable, no question.  Skywatcher is kind of a "fire and forget" and then see what you got system.  It works pretty good so far but I've made all of the n00b dummy thing mistakes everyone has done and then some.  BYE looks like it could help with more than a few of those mistakes.  s3igell, you have some good points that I will look at tonight, assuming the sky gods don't cloud me up.  BTW, where in Az?  I'm currently up in Overgaard where my observatory is located but when I'm not enjoying the coolness of the White Mts. I'm frying down in Phoenix.

 

Thanks both for the input.  I will try a few more things.

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RimCrazy,  I'm down in Gilbert when in AZ. (I'm currently in a self-imposed exile to the swamps and humidity and storms of Central Florida while I get a Business Acquisition back on its feet.)  I've also got a place outside Durango CO, so I've been through Overgaard countless times (Red Onion or the Chevron across from Hwy 277).

Do realize that you don't have to waste any precious Clear Dark Sky time to do most any of the Tests which anyone suggests to resolve your problem.  All you need to worry about is connecting up the appropriate hardware in the same fashion as you would use out in the Dark.  You can readily setup on the Kitchen Table (assuming the Missus allows that), and do you debugging in the daytime (and where you have better Internet connectivity).

In any case, keep us informed of your progress...

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s3igell, Ouch!!!! Central Fl..... I was just there at Mouse Central with my granddaughter.  She had an awesome time.  Papa did what Papa's do for their granddaughters and suffer that horrible humidity/heat for smiles and cries of joy.  

I know I can debug the interface without dark skis... I was just curious if anyone else had seen it.  Off the top of my head it did not make sense that just connecting to the shutter port, which Skywatcher does, should interfere with the USB connection of BYE.  I can't say I've looked at the spec but I always figured the shutter port was simply a on/off type of switch to trigger the shutter.  If there is some kind of protocol going on in that connection that could be why you cannot have one connected with the other.  It's not a deal killer but it is annoying.  I'll run through all possible scenarios to see if I find one that works.  If I do I'll post it. Actually if I don't I'll post that too.

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I just got the SAM as well to try out for my trip to WY (so smokey it looks like the humidity of VA).  I agree that the only reason for not using BYE is for the astro time-lapse routine.  I've only had it a couple times out and focus was the biggest issue.  I'm thinking of having a kid down the street print me up a mask on his 3D printer for my camera lens so that focus better because I agree, it is impossible to focus using the little LCD screen.  Bye does this so much better.  I'll try to run some tests to see if other camera models (I have a T3 and a T5i - can't remember the Euro designations) to see if both BYE and SAM work. 

Even if they don't, the work plan would be to use BYE to focus, then swap cables, double check the alignment, then run the SAM.  I know that BYE can do it all, but the SAM allows for no cables to the mount and I can just leave it alone for 2-3 hours without having to sit with it or have the laptop sitting there.  It truly becomes "fire and forget."

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Found an interesting issue that poses a question.  Was doing a time-lapse of sunset (clouds, really) with the SAM and after about a quarter of the way through the images (was shooting RAW), I ran out of memory.  Never happens with BYE connected to the laptop.  Was using an older memory card that I had dragged out of the old point and shoot camera so I need a larger SD card.  I could have saved memory by shooting in JPG, but then processing is shot.

With the vast Canon knowledge here, what specs do you guys use for a fast rate on your SD Card?  I have a T5i (700D).

 

BTW, the focus was much easier this time around due to the flip LCD.  Still don't know which I method I would use (BYE vs SAM).  It comes down to versatility versus portability.

 

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SDHC and SDXC U1/C10 Cards are supported thru 64GB (such as Rick's SanDisk Extreme Plus), and will reduce the Per-Image storage time by a second or two.  For a Timelapse where there is a pause between Exposures, this will mean very little.  But for an Image Plan in BYE where the SDK causes BYE to wait until the Image has been fully Written onto the Card.  I assume In-Camera Storage works for the T5i - not a guarantee for the highest-end Canon's (other threads indicate their SDK has issues with Save In Camera).

SD Card will have No Impact on BYE Planetary Video, as BYE receives the LiveView Feed one-frame-at-a-time on the PC and assembles the AVI on the PC.

You simply DO NOT want to Record in JPG for ANYTHING which you plan to (or even "just might") Stack.  JPG applies Non-Linear Stretches and Noise Algorithms and Compression which essentially Negate the ability to Stack the Images later.

You also do not want to use the Camera's Video Mode (not even FullHD 60p mode) , for reasons explained in past Threads such as this one.

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