CanonSDK ASCOM.DSLR

jmrp
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CanonSDK ASCOM.DSLR

Post by jmrp » Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:12 pm

Canon SDK with ASCOM driver

I have been trying to connect both my Canon 70D and Canon Rebel XS cameras to Sharpcap
following information described in several forums

I have installed the latest version of Sharpcap(v3.2.6086) with ASCOM 6.4.63.0 and
ASCOM.DSLR 6.3 drivers

After opening then closing the Canon EOS Utility - I start Sharpcap and select the
option Camera>ASCOM camera driver for DSLR - both of the cameras display the message
"Opening camera - ASCOM camera driver for DSLR" in the bottom left corner, pause then
exit without displaying any errors

My question is this - without connecting to the Canon DSLR if I start Sharpcap and select
Camera>ASCOM camera driver for DSLR - a DSLR Setup box is displayed - the Connection method
displays several options - the default is Canon SDK - how can I use the ASCOM driver for DSLR
if it is not listed here? - does the connection method CanonSDK override the ASCOM driver option?

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admin
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Re: CanonSDK ASCOM.DSLR

Post by admin » Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:29 pm

Hi,

I know there are some members who got this working enough to take images with it. I initially got it working, but eventually decided that it didn't seem to be robust enough to use seriously, so have given up on it unless someone comes along and fixes the bugs in the Ascom driver.

Hopefully someone who has got it working will come along with some help soon.

Cheers, Robin

jmrp
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Re: CanonSDK ASCOM.DSLR

Post by jmrp » Sat Aug 17, 2019 8:17 pm

Thank you for the previous reply - I understand that you have tried and posted an update to ASCOM.DSLR
on GitHub and that you probably do not have time to investigate more - however I was hoping that you
can provide me with more info to point me in the right direction - I hope you will answer my questions

1. I have downloaded https://github.com/vtorkalo/ASCOM.DSLR/releases and https://github.com/rwg0/ASCOM.DSLR
I have tried to compile in Visual Studio and get error no ASCOM.DSLR.Camera.DLL - I do not see this DLL
in any /bin directory?

2. without connecting to the Canon DSLR if I start Sharpcap and select Camera>ASCOM camera driver for DSLR -
a DSLR Setup box is displayed - the Connection method displays several options - the default is CanonSDK -
how can I use the ASCOM driver for DSLR if it is not listed here? - does the default connection method
CanonSDK override the ASCOM.DSLR driver option?

3. I have tried several camera connection programs and only see some of the installed programs listed
in the SharpCap "Camera" option - I have tried MallinCam(listed and working), SparkoCam(listed and working),
ASCOM.DSLR(listed but not working), DigiCamControl(not listed), APT(not listed), AstroArt7(not listed) -
All of the above programs connect to my Canon 70D and display LiveView in the native program?

4. where does Sharpcap recognize camera connection/libraries/dll in the "Camera" option - I have tried uninstalling
programs and still see the camera connection listed

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Re: CanonSDK ASCOM.DSLR

Post by admin » Sat Aug 17, 2019 8:34 pm

Hi,

When I last built the Ascom.DSLR code, the main DLL and all its supporting libraries were built into the top-level bin folder (the one in the same folder as the solution file). Try running the build.bat file in the top-level directory.

The Canon SDK option is a sub option of the Ascom.DSLR driver. SharpCap talks to the Ascom.DSLR driver which then has the sub options to talk to the camera via various different routes. I believe the SDK option is the correct one to use.

SharpCap can talk to certain types of camera directly (for instance ZWO, QHY, Altair, etc). SharpCap can also talk to cameras that have a direct show driver (which probably includes your MallinCam) but with less advanced functionality and also to cameras that have an Ascom driver again with less control over the camera. SharpCap isn't designed to talk to other pieces of imaging software like APT or DigicamControl directly.

What you can do with the latest version of SharpCap is use a feature called the folder monitor camera which will watch a selected folder for new image files being added to it. In this way you can use another application to capture images from a camera that is not supported by SharpCap and save them to disk and then SharpCap will process those images perhaps into live stacking each time a new images added.

Hope this helps, Robin

jmrp
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Re: CanonSDK ASCOM.DSLR

Post by jmrp » Sat Aug 17, 2019 11:21 pm

Robin - thank you for the quick and detailed reply - I understand your points 1,2 and 3 - I have used the folder monitor to input jpeg files (from Stellarium screen captures) to successfully test the polar align option - my only unanswered question is #4 - where is the file that saves Sharpcap settings/Camera settings - I remember reading somewhere that Sharpcap saves these in a hidden? "autosave" file - which I can not see

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turfpit
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Re: CanonSDK ASCOM.DSLR

Post by turfpit » Sun Aug 18, 2019 7:27 am

Do a forum search for ‘profiles’.

Dave

jmrp
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Re: CanonSDK ASCOM.DSLR

Post by jmrp » Sun Aug 18, 2019 6:55 pm

thanks to Robin and Turfpit - I have found the camera saved profiles (C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\SharpCap\CaptureProfiles)- I see that with cameras that work there is an autosave file - but none for ASCOM.DSLR - perhaps because Sharpcap does not connect to ASCOM.DSLR? - I have started to use Visual Studio to try and compile Robins updated version - it is a steep learning curve for me - the ASCOM.DSLR.Camera.dll file that I have is from the original vtorkalo version - I am not sure if it is in a correct directory - so my question is: where does Sharpcap look for *.dll libraries?

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Re: CanonSDK ASCOM.DSLR

Post by admin » Sun Aug 18, 2019 9:39 pm

Hi,

The autosave file for a particular camera will only get created once the camera has been properly opened and then closed again. I think because you are getting stuck before the cameras fully opened then that fire will not be created.

There's no need to actually copy the DLLs for the DSLR driver into a particular location – the important thing to do is to register them with Windows as COM objects – this should also register them with Ascom. The tool to do this is a commandline application called regasm which you should be able to find in your .net framework directory I think. Once you run that tool on the DLL, it will put some entries in the registry that allow Windows to then find that DLL in whatever folder you registered it in. You may need to run the tool as administrator.

Cheers, Robin

jmrp
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Re: CanonSDK ASCOM.DSLR

Post by jmrp » Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:50 pm

Robin - again thanks - I am now able to recompile your version of ASCOM.DSLR in Visual Studio 2019 - I have done as you
suggested (regasm in .NET) to confirm and see (regedit) that the dlls are registered - Unfortunately still no connection
with Sharpcap and ASCOM.DSLR with my cameras - my only option now is to tinker with the code as best I can - Bob

jmrp
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Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:09 pm

Re: CanonSDK ASCOM.DSLR

Post by jmrp » Thu Aug 22, 2019 2:27 am

Robin - I have continued to work with and look up references for ASCOM.DSLR - I found an older forum topic :

*********************************************************************************************************************************************************************
2018Aug22 by admin :
I have updated the trial version of the ASCOM driver again this evening - same download link :

http://downloads.sharpcap.co.uk/downloa ... m%20Driver

I have also uploaded an updated SharpCap 3.2 beta build which should further improve experience with the ASCOM driver (3.2.5718).
In particular, using the two new versions together should mean:
* Only one trial exposure taken to identify the camera properties, not 3
* Driver should continue and work after the initial trial exposure, should no longer crash the first time then work after that
* Display of the Gain (ISO) control in SharpCap is logarithmic, so easier to adjust
**********************************************************************************************************************************************************************

I have downloaded and installed the link to DSLR.Camera.Setup.exe - a new driver now shows in the SharpCap "Camera" option:

ASCOM Camera Driver for DSLR (SharpCap test version)

when I select this option the Canon camera (already opened and closed with EOS Utility) begins to take images approximately
every second and displays the image in SharpCap !!!!! - deselecting that option stops the camera - this is a huge step for me

The new driver works well with the Canon Rebel XS - the Canon 70D takes one image then gives the message:

ASCOM.NotConnectedException

What I do not understand is why my latest compile with your GitHub update does not give me the same result? I am still missing some
important step - hope you can provide me with some direction - Bob

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