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Help with setting up a new [multiple] camera system?

 
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Florida Tech GPL



登録日: 2013.09.21
記事: 10

記事日時: Wed Sep 25, 2013 1:52 am    記事の件名: Help with setting up a new [multiple] camera system? 引用付きで返信

Hi all,

I work in the Geospace Physics Lab here at Florida Institute of Technology and we currently have a 1 camera set-up on our roof looking for sprites and jets. We are going to set up a few more cameras to capture more (if not all) of the sky but I have some questions. I did not set up the existing system, it was here when I started and so I am completely new to setting this up. We are currently using the Watec 120n+ but we do have the 902H3; we just do not use it because it is more noisy than the 120n+.

My questions are:

1) Is it possible to set up 4 cameras running off of one dedicated computer? I saw a thread asking a similar question to this but it was from a couple years ago and was wondering if things have changed enough in the past couple years to really make this practical.

2) We are interested in capturing high-speed footage. Is it possible to use UFO capture with a higher frame rate than the standard 30? If so do you have any suggestions on a analog to digital converter than can keep up with that kind of data?

3) Is it feasible to use a digital camera rather than these cameras that put out an analog signal? If so do you have any suggestions and is it possible to put a GPS timestamp on a digital feed like that? Currently we have a GPS unit timestamp the video before it goes through the analog to digital converter.

I am sure I have more questions that I cant think of right now. I will post them to this thread if I think of them later.

Thanks
Nick

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Florida Tech Geospace Physics Lab
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SonotaCo
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登録日: 2004.08.07
記事: 10019
所在地: 139.67E 35.65N

記事日時: Wed Sep 25, 2013 9:44 am    記事の件名: Re: Help with setting up a new [multiple] camera system? 引用付きで返信

Hi Nick

Florida Tech GPL wrote:
We are currently using the Watec 120n+ but we do have the 902H3;
we just do not use it because it is more noisy than the 120n+.


Well. it depends on the shutter speed (exposure time). 120n+ has very slow shutter speed like 1sec by using frame stacking function.
Slow shutter reduces noise of back ground image (that is still), it means, it reduces the contrast of short time events like sprites or noise.
Therefore you should use fastest shutter speed that is possible to get brighter short time event like sprites or meteors.
So, almost all of us are using interlaced 1/60sec shutter (means normal NTSC or 60i) on 30 frame per second.
On 1/60 sec shutter, 902H2Ultime is better than 120n+. Therefore 902H2Ultimate is widely used.

Florida Tech GPL wrote:
1) Is it possible to set up 4 cameras running off of one dedicated computer?

I might be possible now. There are 3 cams/PC system actually. But I strongly recommend up to 2 cams/PC.

The point is parallel operation ability of capture device, CPU and storage.
But also total data transfer band width or the cooling ability can be fatal. So stable multicam/PC operation is not easy.
Please be aware that UFOCapture is very heavy load for CPU and storage.

On SD, my recommendation of 2cams/PC is
Capture device: IEEE1394 capture device that use Windows builtin driver (ex Canopus ADVC55) x2.
IEEE1394 interface: 2 independent interface chip (ex. mother board and PCIexbus)... do not use daisy chain of one interface, bus band width is limited.
CPU: more than 2 thread, 2.0GHz.
Storage: 2 independent and dedicate HDD or SSD that is connected SATA or USB3.0.

It will be much difficult on HD. There is no one who are operating 2HDCam /PC.
Yet color HD is wonderful especially for TLEs. So it may worth to try.....
Here are some samples of color 1920x1080/60i TLEs
http://sonotaco.jp/HDsamples/


Florida Tech GPL wrote:
2) We are interested in capturing high-speed footage. Is it possible to use UFO capture with a higher frame rate than the standard 30? If so do you have any suggestions on a analog to digital converter than can keep up with that kind of data?

It may be possible with appropriate equipments though no one has tried.
The point is the camera, capture interface(it must be compatible for Widows directshow video capture interface), and the PC performance.
For example, 1920x1080/60p color may be the first step.
Equipments for HD 60p are ready in market, but it will cost around 20,000 USD/cam. Let me know if you are willing to do it.

Florida Tech GPL wrote:
3) Is it feasible to use a digital camera rather than these cameras that put out an analog signal? ....


Well, for example, ImagingSourse IEEE1394 or USB cameras can be used with UFOCapture, but they do not have enough sensitivity.
So I don't know appropriate digital camera for SD.
As for HD, there are a few cameras. please refer http://sonotaco.com/soft/UFOHD2/UFOHD2Manual/en/0-0.html

Florida Tech GPL wrote:
is it possible to put a GPS timestamp on a digital feed like that?

I don't know. Some professional video mix equipment for broadcasting may have those functions.....

Cheers,
SonotaCo
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Florida Tech GPL



登録日: 2013.09.21
記事: 10

記事日時: Thu Sep 26, 2013 12:14 am    記事の件名: Re: Help with setting up a new [multiple] camera system? 引用付きで返信

SonotaCo wrote:
So, almost all of us are using interlaced 1/60sec shutter (means normal NTSC or 60i) on 30 frame per second.

We are also using interlaced 1/60sec shutter speed for 30fps. The lab had already switched over to the 120n+ before I started in the lab so it is possible that the camera was never set up correctly in the first place resulting in high levels of noise. We generally get pretty good videos (contrast wise) of sprites or jets when we get lucky enough to be pointed in the right direction (Hence wanting more cameras). On top of that we get TONS of meteors. We also have a decent amount of light pollution. Our camera is mounted on the roof of our building which is in the middle of a small city. We are however one of, if not the tallest building within a few miles.

SonotaCo wrote:
But I strongly recommend up to 2 cams/PC.


Ok I will just stick with two to minimize any maintenance I may have to do to them system. I would just like to clarify somethings as, like I said earlier, I am very new to this.

SonotaCo wrote:
On SD, my recommendation of 2cams/PC is
Capture device: IEEE1394 capture device that use Windows builtin driver (ex Canopus ADVC55) x2.
IEEE1394 interface: 2 independent interface chip (ex. mother board and PCIexbus)... do not use daisy chain of one interface, bus band width is limited.
CPU: more than 2 thread, 2.0GHz.
Storage: 2 independent and dedicate HDD or SSD that is connected SATA or USB3.0.


Will I need one PCI Firewire card for each camera or will a multi-port card do the job?
I am not sure what is meant by "2 thread CPU" but I am sure if I get, say, a quad core 3.50GHz processor, that should suffice. Correct?
I will also need a dedicated high speed storage device for each camera right?

Sorry if some of these questions seem a little redundant. I am simply trying to make a list of required equipment and do not want to forget anything or buy something we do not need.

SonotaCo wrote:
It may be possible with appropriate equipments though no one has tried.
The point is the camera, capture interface(it must be compatible for Widows directshow video capture interface), and the PC performance.
For example, 1920x1080/60p color may be the first step.
Equipments for HD 60p are ready in market, but it will cost around 20,000 USD/cam. Let me know if you are willing to do it.


So the 'triggering' mechanism for UFOCapture should still work even at several hundred frames/sec? And it will record the entire event and not cut it off? Obviously, since no one has tried it before we cant know for sure, but in theory it should work? (Assuming the PC and capture device can handle it)
Also: WHHOOAAA 20,000 USD/cam!! I am not paying for this set up, the department is, but that is probably WAY outside our budget, but, you never know until you ask Wink *laugh*.

SonotaCo wrote:
Well, for example, ImagingSourse IEEE1394 or USB cameras can be used with UFOCapture, but they do not have enough sensitivity.
So I don't know appropriate digital camera for SD.

Ok. I think I will just stick with the Watec cameras; the equipment that I know will work.
Which brings me to my next question; We currently use a combination of GPS and KIWI to put a timestamp on our feed before it enters the converter. I am unsure if they still make this box (I am still trying to find information on it), do you know of any GPS timestamp units that are used for the analog feeds coming out of the WATEC cameras?

Thanks SonotaCO you have been tremendously helpful.

Nick

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Florida Tech Geospace Physics Lab
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登録日: 2004.08.07
記事: 10019
所在地: 139.67E 35.65N

記事日時: Thu Sep 26, 2013 9:20 am    記事の件名: 引用付きで返信

Florida Tech GPL wrote:
Will I need one PCI Firewire card for each camera
Yes.
Florida Tech GPL wrote:
will a multi-port card do the job?
No.
Florida Tech GPL wrote:
I am not sure what is meant by "2 thread CPU" but I am sure if I get, say, a quad core 3.50GHz processor, that should suffice. Correct?

Thread is the number of parallel processing unit of Intel Hyper Threading CPU. Recent Core2, Core3, Core5, Core7 has 2 core to 4 core 8 thread, so >2.0GHz processors will be all OK.
But Pentium4, PentiumM, Core(original), Cerelon, Atom processors will not be enough.
Florida Tech GPL wrote:
I will also need a dedicated high speed storage device for each camera right?
Yes. HDD's seek time cause problems. So HDDs should be physically dedicate drive.
SSD can be an exception, but they are small still....
Florida Tech GPL wrote:
So the 'triggering' mechanism for UFOCapture should still work even at several hundred frames/sec? And it will record the entire event and not cut it off? Obviously, since no one has tried it before we cant know for sure, but in theory it should work? (Assuming the PC and capture device can handle it)

I think so logically.
Still, there can be two problems.
Time shift buffer is on memory. So if you need same 1 sec time shift on high frame rate, the buffer size will be 10 times of usual. There is no known logical limit. It depends on Windows spec and the memory size of PC, but there can be some problems.
Scintillation mask time constant is limited up to 5. Usually it is 2 for around 30fps. 5 is designed for almost 200fps. So over 200fps, program should be modified. Let me know if you really need it.
Florida Tech GPL wrote:
We currently use a combination of GPS and KIWI to put a timestamp on our feed before it enters the converter. I am unsure if they still make this box (I am still trying to find information on it), do you know of any GPS timestamp units that are used for the analog feeds coming out of the WATEC cameras?

No. Once I have used low cost GPS time stamper made in Japan, but it has a problem(It does not use PLL so the super imposed time jumps at a moment of the time correction). I am searching a good one since then.
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William Stewart



登録日: 2010.08.11
記事: 13

記事日時: Thu Sep 26, 2013 9:29 pm    記事の件名: 引用付きで返信

These GPS Time Interserters are still available: http://videotimers.com/home.html and are used by the moon / asteroid occultation community.

Hope this helps

William
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Florida Tech GPL



登録日: 2013.09.21
記事: 10

記事日時: Fri Sep 27, 2013 6:43 am    記事の件名: 引用付きで返信

Ok I have one last question as far I can tell. Do I need one license of UFOCapture for every camera on the computer?


William Stewart wrote:
These GPS Time Interserters are still available: http://videotimers.com/home.html and are used by the moon / asteroid occultation community.


I JUST ran across this website like 5 minutes before I saw your reply. Thanks. I think I will probably go with one of those. Do you happen to know if I go with the external GPS version of the IOTA will I need a GPS for each box or can I attach multiple IOTAs to one GPS. I figure I will probably need one GPS per IOTA but that will get bulky real quick.

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SonotaCo
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登録日: 2004.08.07
記事: 10019
所在地: 139.67E 35.65N

記事日時: Fri Sep 27, 2013 7:22 am    記事の件名: 引用付きで返信

Florida Tech GPL wrote:
Ok I have one last question as far I can tell. Do I need one license of UFOCapture for every camera on the computer?

One licence per one computer is enough.
---
Make 2 different directory such as c:\UFO\UFO1, C:\UFO\UFO2.
Place unziped UFO2 package on each directory.
Do registration on UFO1 directory only, Then both instance will be enabled.
Be sure to activate UFO2.exe by selecting "Run as administrator" on the menu that appearas by right clicking of UFO2.exe for the Registration or re-install ax on Windows Vista, 7, 8.

I recommend to confirm, in advance , that two IEEE1394 interface cards are simultaneously operatable.
It depends on the driver of the device, some are OK, but some are NG. Usually, two different models, such as one on motherboard, and one on PCI-ex bus is OK.
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William Stewart



登録日: 2010.08.11
記事: 13

記事日時: Fri Sep 27, 2013 7:00 pm    記事の件名: 引用付きで返信

> Do you happen to know if I go with the external GPS version of the IOTA will I need a GPS for each box or can I attach multiple IOTAs to one GPS

I'm afraid I don't know. I've asked a colleague who uses one of these but in the occultation community this type of need doesn't arise and so he doesn't know either.

At the bottom of the Order tab on the IOTA-VTI website there is a "Contact Us" link - they are probably best placed to answer this particular question.

Best regards

William
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