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rkmvca

BYE freezes during workflow

Question

Hi,

I'm having a problem with my new copy of BYE; it crashes repeatably during my workflow.  Software version 3.1.18, camera is Canon Rebel EOS T7. 

Since I don't have a good tracking mount, I shoot a lot of short duration exposures.  My flow is that I have a plan called align.txt which shoots 1 exposure at ISO 6400 for 5 seconds, saved to PC so I can look at it.  I use this to align the scope, repeat as needed. 

When I'm happy, I use plan lights.txt, which I edit for the occasion, but this example has 25 exposures at ISO 3200 for 5 seconds, saved to Camera.  When lights.txt is done, I reload align.txt to check and correct for drift.  Then, I reload lights.txt … and the program freezes when I try to run it, and I have to restart and reconnect to the camera.  This happens *consistently*.  

To summarize,

  1. Run align.txt : OK
  2. Run lights.txt: OK
  3. Run align.txt: OK
  4. Run lights.txt:  freeze

The text of the scripts is below.  Anybody seen this before? 

Thanks,

  • Rich

==========================================

Plans -

align.txt:

SaveTo=PC

Mirror=0

Target=General

RA=00h00m00s

DEC=+00°00'00"

Descriptor=

Delay=0

TvValues=BULB|AV|PROGRAM|30|25|20|15|13|10|8|6|5|4|3.2|2.5|2|1.6|1.3|1|0.8|0.6|0.5|0.4|0.3|1/4|1/5|1/6|1/8|1/10|1/13|1/15|1/20|1/25|1/30|1/40|1/50|1/60|1/80|1/100|1/125|1/160|1/200|1/250|1/320|1/400|1/500|1/640|1/800|1/1000|1/1250|1/1600|1/2000|1/2500|1/3200|1/4000

AvValues= |f/3.5|f/4|f/4.5|f/5.0|f/5.6|f/6.3|f/7.1|f/8|f/9|f/10|f/11|f/13|f/14|f/16|f/18|f/20|f/22

IsoValues=100|200|400|800|1600|3200|6400

Seq=1|Exposures=1|Type=LIGHT|Tv=BULB|Av=f/3.5|Duration=5|Iso=6400

 

lights.txt:

SaveTo=CARD

Mirror=0

Target=General

RA=00h00m00s

DEC=+00°00'00"

Descriptor=

Delay=0

TvValues=BULB|AV-Flat|PROGRAM|30|25|20|15|13|10|8|6|5|4|3.2|2.5|2|1.6|1.3|1|0.8|0.6|0.5|0.4|0.3|1/4|1/5|1/6|1/8|1/10|1/13|1/15|1/20|1/25|1/30|1/40|1/50|1/60|1/80|1/100|1/125|1/160|1/200|1/250|1/320|1/400|1/500|1/640|1/800|1/1000|1/1250|1/1600|1/2000|1/2500|1/3200|1/4000

AvValues= |f/3.5|f/4|f/4.5|f/5.0|f/5.6|f/6.3|f/7.1|f/8|f/9|f/10|f/11|f/13|f/14|f/16|f/18|f/20|f/22

IsoValues=100|200|400|800|1600|3200|6400

Seq=1|Exposures=25|Type=LIGHT|Tv=BULB|Av=f/3.5|Duration=5|Iso=3200

 

 

 

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10 answers to this question

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That is your problem IMO  ==>>>  saved to Camera.

This has been discuss many times, including a few times in the last month or two.

This issue us because you are using short exposure and save to camera only. 

The second exposure starts BEFORE the previous image is not done saving to camera.... the camera is busy.... and can not take the second 'take picture command'.

Put a pause of a few seconds between images (to allow the previous image to completely save) before the next image is take and you should be fine.... OR... alternatively, SAVE TO PC, and it will just work.

Regards,

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Thanks for your responses.  I'll try some of your suggestions, but it doesn't seem to me like it explains why the process gets through the first run of lights.txt successfully, then align.txt, and hangs on *the first exposure* of the second run of lights.txt. 

Another data point:  sometimes I can get around this by going into "Frame and Focus" after running align.txt the second time.  It seems like going into and out of live view (F&F) cycles the mirror fully, and it's ready to go, whereas when the program freezes the mirror does not even drop for the first exposure; it hangs at that stage.  I have not fully investigated whether this works every time. 

For information, the reason I save to camera is that it is much faster than saving to PC; about 3 seconds vs 7 seconds.  Since I am constrained to about 5 second exposure times, I want to get as little overhead time per exposure to reduce overall imaging time.

Thanks.

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I understand that you ultimately want to save your images to the SD card, but as a test please try saving them to the PC. If the workflow does execute completely then it is likely that Guylain was correct in his evaluation of the cause of your issue.

I would suggest that you put a delay between exposures when saving the to the camera to give the camera time to finish saving the images to the SD card. I would suggest starting at a 2 second delay and increasing it until the error stops happening.

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51 minutes ago, rkmvca said:

Thanks for your responses.  I'll try some of your suggestions, but it doesn't seem to me like it explains why the process gets through the first run of lights.txt successfully, then align.txt, and hangs on *the first exposure* of the second run of lights.txt. 

Another data point:  sometimes I can get around this by going into "Frame and Focus" after running align.txt the second time.  It seems like going into and out of live view (F&F) cycles the mirror fully, and it's ready to go, whereas when the program freezes the mirror does not even drop for the first exposure; it hangs at that stage.  I have not fully investigated whether this works every time. 

For information, the reason I save to camera is that it is much faster than saving to PC; about 3 seconds vs 7 seconds.  Since I am constrained to about 5 second exposure times, I want to get as little overhead time per exposure to reduce overall imaging time.

Thanks.

It's timing issue.

Keep you process the same, but add a 10 second pause between images?  Does it work always?  If yes then that confirms my suspicion. Reduce the pause between images by 1 second, try again, then repeat until you get the shortest amount of time before it freeze and you'll get you minimum required dead time between images. A faster camera memory card may also help.

Regards, 

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OK, I ran an extensive matrix of experiments based on your suggestions, the results may be of interest to you.

Align.txt == 1 expo @ ISO 6400, 5 sec (bulb); Lights.txt == 10 expo @ ISO 3200, 5 sec (bulb), 0 pause

First, replicate the failure:

  1. Run align.txt, save to PC : OK
  2. Run lights.txt, save to Cam: OK, 1'18" to collect 10 exposures
  3. Run align.txt, save to PC: OK
  4. Run lights.txt, save to Cam:  freeze on first exposure.  Mirror never drops.  Same as before.

Second, try saving to PC:

  1. Run align.txt, save to PC : OK
  2. Run lights.txt, save to PC: OK, 2'7" to collect 10 exposures
  3. Run align.txt, save to PC: OK
  4. Run lights.txt, save to PC:  Works!!  A solution exists (apart from restarting).

Third, add 5 sec pause

  1. Run align.txt, save to PC : OK
  2. Run lights.txt, save to Cam, 5 sec pause: OK, 2'9" to collect 10 exposures
  3. Run align.txt, save to PC: OK
  4. Run lights.txt, save to Cam, 5 sec pause:  freeze on first exposure.  Mirror never drops. 

Fourth, add 10 sec pause

  1. Run align.txt, save to PC : OK
  2. Run lights.txt, save to Cam, 10 sec pause: OK, 2'51" to collect 10 exposures
  3. Run align.txt, save to PC: OK
  4. Run lights.txt, save to Cam, 10 sec pause:  freeze on first exposure.  Mirror never drops.

Fifth, try shooting on non-bulb setting for 5 seconds

  1. Run align.txt, save to PC : OK
  2. Run lights.txt, save to Cam: OK, 1'18" to collect 10 exposures
  3. Run align.txt, save to PC: OK
  4. Run lights.txt, save to Cam:  freeze on first exposure.  Same deal as on 'bulb' setting. 

Finally, I also tried some runs where I went into and out of Frame and Focus during the flow because I thought I'd observed that it didn't freeze when I did that earlier.  I was never able to replicate that.

So, I hope that this data helps in debugging your program, and it looks to me like it's not just a delay issue.  In the meantime, it looks like I can run by saving to PC, at the cost of an extra 5 seconds or so per exposure, which is a lot when exposure time is only 5 seconds. 

Thanks,

  • Rich

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While Guylain, as the Developer, will surely look at the details you've provided, from the start it has bee asserted that only Save to PC works consistently across all Canon Models. (And this seems to be more so with the Newer Models.)

At issue is the Canon SDK, which they provide specifically AS-IS / No Commitment for Support.  We've been quite lucky that Canon has continued to provide a SDK for each New Model (usually several months after the Camera is Released).

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"from the start it has bee asserted that only Save to PC works consistently across all Canon Models."

I definitely missed this part.  Is there any way to accelerate the data transfer between camera and PC?  I'm using a stock cable that I got with my camera.

Thanks,

- Rich

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The speed of downloading an image is controlled by the USB hardware. One way to transfer an image faster is to transfer less data (by using a camera with fewer pixels). If your PC has USB ports on opposite sides of the machine, you should plug the camera into the opposite side from the other devices. Internally this typically uses a different USB hub and so may have less contention. A guide camera that is downloading a new image every few seconds is also a big user of USB bandwidth. Using a high-end laptop will also give you better performance.

I don't use my DSLR for imaging very much, but I did use it to capture the 2017 solar eclipse. I used Eclipse Orchestrator because it was specifically designed for imaging eclipses and had knowledge about the eclipse that BYE did not have. I purchased the fastest SD card that I could find and discovered that I had to put a 1.25 second pause between exposures to allow time for the camera to save the image to the card.

I don't know, but it is possible that the fact that others are having this same issue with newer EOS models, and with Nikons, could be due to some type of bug that crept into the SDKs or into BYE or BYN. I know that Guylain is busy during the pandemic with his day job, but if there is something that he can do to make his software better he will want to consider everything.

The Canon EOS Utility program also uses the SDK, does it behave any differently from BYE? If so this would point to something that BYE could do to better handle save-to-camera captures.

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Thanks!

The obvious long-term solution is to get  a better mount, so I don't have to deal with 5-second exposures.  It's ordered, but won't be here for a month :(

- Rich

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