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Bias and Dark frames


lwbehney
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Hello. I own the 2018 Premium version of Backyard Nikon and am very happy with it. I am just now having enough time to do some more complicated shooting with the program and am asking suggestions for the best way to take Bias frames and Dark Frames. Last night I set up the capture plan to take 150 shots at 1/16000 sec and the program made the effort, but got stuck in the busy cycle for more than an hour. I had asked for a 1 second delay between shots.  I selected the Bias label for this. I first tried to suspend and then abort the shooting, but the program remained busy. I think I had to use my Windows 10 to actually close all of the tabs to get out of the program. (Not sure about that). 

So, what I am really asking, is advice on taking Bias and Dark frames with a Nikon D7000 using BYN?

Thanks very much,

L.B.

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What is the 2018 version?  Versions are numbered, they are not by by year.

I regularly take 1000 images back to back for testing without issues.  I suspect you have a setting somewhere that may be causing the issue.

It is hard to tell what is happening with your vague description... you said the program made the effort... what does that even mean?  It took 1 image and then stopped, it took 149 of 150 images and then stopped?  Please be specific about your work flow so we can better understand /diagnose the issue.

Are you saving to PC only?  Is you PC/hard drive/usb ports going to sleep? How long is your USB cable?  

Regards,

 

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My first thoughts when reading your problem statement was that it needed to be more specific (what version number of BYN, what does "stuck in the busy cycle" mean, how many frames had been downloaded when it became "stuck"). 

Using Bias as the frame type does not affect the operational control of the camera. It only affects the file name (if you choose to include the frame type in the name) and the metadata.

When BYN becomes unresponsive to the point of having to kill it with the Task Manager it is usually due to a communications issue with the camera. This could be due to a faulty cable or the fact that the laptop shutdown the USB port as a power-saving feature. You can and should make sure that when the PC is powered by an external source that it never shuts down ports or devices to save power.
 

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Hello and thanks for the reply. My version of BYN is 2.0.10. I tested it out again last night. I set the capture plan up to take just two Bias Frames at 1/6400 second with an aperture of 3.5 (the lens cap was covered and the camera was placed in a box to reduce ambient light}, the camera battery was fresh and  at 100% and the laptop was plugged into a power source. I used my Nikon standard USB connection cord to my D7000 with no intervening wiring.  The ISO was set at 1600.  I pressed the capture button and the Progress Center said Busy with an estimated finish time of 00:13. and the right upper corner above the Abort button created the little rotating circle with the word Busy inside of it and the same time of 00:13 listed, but although the circle rotated, the timer did not count down. I tried it again with a different aperture setting, and a shutter speed of 1/4000 and an ISO of 800 with the same result. In neither case did the camera make any shutter sounds and I pressed the suspend button and it would not stop the capture attempt; this time the Estimated finish time was frozen at  00:43, because I had increased the exposure count to a higher number than 2. 

I was able to close the program using the "X" box, but it would not suspend or abort the effort. 

Then I tried Frame and Focus with the lens cap off the camera and everything worked fine. My camera connection is using Camera USB. My suspicion is that the program has trouble operating the shutter at very short time values, but works fine when I take light frames at a second or longer Time Value. I will experiment to see what is the shortest TV it can handle, but I thought I should write back now, in case this is enough information now. 

Larry

 

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I have a D7000 so I can test this first hand.  I suspect this is either a camera dial setting is wrong -or- your have mirror lock enabled -or- you have long exposure noise reduction enabled.  The reason I think it is one of those is because you said it worked in live view... where the mirror is already up.

Send me the log file and I'll take a look.

 

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So since you said you were shooting at f/3.5 I am assuming that you had a lens on the camera. If the lens was set to Auto Focus, the camera may be frantically trying to focus before starting the exposure. For astrophotography,  the lens should be set to manual focus. Or actually for bias and dark frames, just remove the lens and put the body cap on.

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Thanks so very much Rick. The lens was attached and set to M/A and not to manual. I will try it again with the lens set to M and AF to M and give it another try. I have not ever tried astrophotography with just the kit lens in place and so never gave this any thought. 

Larry

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