SS-one ZWO Image Capture March 2017 ZWO Image Capture Instruction Manual Hutech Corporation 25691 Atlantic Ocean Dr., Unit B-11 Lake Forest, CA 92630 http://hutech.com SS-one ZWO Image Capture March 2017 Introduction The SS-one Image Capture system is an astronomical imaging system designed with these main goals in mind: ● Portable imaging -- lightweight, compact, low power, and not requiring an additional computer. ● Sophisticated deep-sky imaging -- supporting long exposures, dark and light frame processing, raw images, and optional GPS time/location tagging. ● Supporting astronomical cameras (currently ZWO line) with cooling, filter wheels, and other advanced astronomical features ● Ease of use for field work -- bringing the ease of use of DSLR’s to field operation without requiring an additional computer, monitor, or keyboard. ● Allows for the convenience of remote access when network connectivity is available. ● Flexible programmability for advanced computer users. SS-one ZWO Image Capture March 2017 Items Supplied ● ZWO image capture controller (Raspberry Pi -based) with installed micro SD card containing software. Optional items ● USB Wi-Fi Antenna (to be used with smartphone/tablet, Chromebook, or PC) ● USB GPS receiver (used to save time and location data into each image file) Additional Items (supplied by user) ● USB memory stick for saving image data ● Micro USB cable for the controller system power ● ZWO imaging camera with USB cable SS-one ZWO Image Capture March 2017 Power Micro USB 5V, 2A minimum power supply recommended. Power consumption will vary with the camera and number of external devices used (e.g. 450mA when used with ZWO ASI120MM is used). ■ Connect all external devices first. Before applying power, connect all USB devices such as cameras to insure that the devices are properly recognized by the ZWO Image Capture application program upon startup. ■ Apply power to the ZWO Image Capture After connecting all external devices, connect power supply (2A or greater current capability at 5VDC) to the ZWO Image Capture’s micro USB power input port. There is no power switch in this controller. Upon application of power the Linux operating system will boot up. Various Linux software components will be first installed, showing a scrolling list of text across the display before blanking for a few seconds prior to presenting the ZWO Image Capture’s startup menu: ■ Shutting Down or Resetting the System Underneath the ZWO Image Capture app is a standard Linux operating system. Like the Windows or Macintosh operating systems, the Linux operating system must be properly shut down before disconnecting power. NOTE: Disconnecting power before a proper shutdown risks corruption of the micro SD card with the ZWO Image Capture program. To properly shut down the ZWO Image Capture, return to the opening menu and press [Shut Down]. SS-one ZWO Image Capture March 2017 SS-one ZWO Image Capture March 2017 Hardware Description Connectors ①Micro USB Connect to 5V power source. 2A or more capacity recommended. ②HDMI HDMI digital video output. Not used for standard operation. ③Video output Analog video output. Not used for standard operation. ④LAN Not used for standard operation. ⑤USB USB ports for ●Memory stick ●ZWO camera ●ZWO filter wheel - EFW ●Optional GPS receiver ●Optional Wi-Fi antenna SS-one ZWO Image Capture March 2017 Example Setup An example of a setup is shown below. Connected to the ZWO capture controller is a 5V micro USB power cord (top, right), GPS receiver (1 USB connection), ZWO ASI1600MM monochrome camera and filter wheel (2 USB connections), and USB memory stick for imaging files. SS-one ZWO Image Capture March 2017 Get Started ■ Power On Be sure all devices and cables are connected to USB ports first, then connect the micro USB power cable. There is no power switch on the controller case. After several seconds, the startup screen will be displayed as shown at right. Press [CMOS] to start the imaging program. ■ Power Off WARNING: Do not disconnect or turn off the power source while the controller is activated. To properly shut the system down, press [Shut Down] from the screen above. You will see the following confirmation screen. Press [Shut Down] again, so that the program goes through its shut down sequence. When the screen turns completely white, you may disconnect the power cable or turn power off at your power supply. SS-one ZWO Image Capture March 2017 Main Screen Description Text at top left 2017/04/21 09:56 E139.35 N35.59 (example) Current date, time, longitude and latitude. This is displayed only when the optional GPS receiver is used. The GPS synchronization is done upon startup of the capture program. You may remove GPS receiver at any time after the location data shows up on the screen. Large Digits 16 1:00 (example) This indicates the number of frames and exposure time for each frame. In the example shown, the capture program is set up for 16 frames of 1 minute each. Each digit can be changed by pressing the “Up” or “Down” text above and below the digits, respectively. The minimum exposure time is 1 second. Green and red indicators at lower right These indicators show up only when the ZWO EFW filter wheel is connected. Press a number to select the corresponding filter. The number of the filter currently in the optical path is highlighted in red. Text at lower left Examples ZWO ASI120MC(Color) ← Camera model 1280×960 ← Resolution Temp=22.2(Target=25) ← Current camera temperature (Setpoint target temperature) Bottom Menu Basic main menu buttons. Detailed descriptions follow below. Right Menu These buttons along the right edge change the camera operating mode. Details are described below. SS-one ZWO Image Capture March 2017 ZWO Image Capture Mode The image capture screen is categorized into 3 different modes. Startup Mode Displays the current imaging setup data and allows modification of the setup. LiveView Mode Used for composing the image and focusing. Play Mode Allows viewing recorded images. Bottom Menu (Main Menu) [Shoot] Starts the imaging sequence. In LiveView mode, this button changes to [Flat]. [LiveView] Changes to LiveView mode. [Play] Play mode. The latest image (light) frame is displayed. [Menu] Drops into the imaging parameter setup screen [Info] Turns on the display of additional image data (e.g. histogram) in LiveView and Play modes. [Quit] Exit to the initial bootup menu. SS-one ZWO Image Capture March 2017 Basic Imaging Operational Flow 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Set the desired cooling temperature (for cooled cameras) Select a filter (for camera filter wheel) Focus and compose in LiveView mode Start the imaging sequence Review the image taken in Play mode Setting Camera Cooling Set the desired temperature of the camera first (for cooled cameras only). Press [Cool] at upper right on the Main Menu screen to enter the screen below. [Live temperature] shows the current ambient temperature. Set the desired camera temperature using the [Target Temperature] Up/down buttons. Set the target absolute temperature (Celsius) instead of the difference. The above example sets the target temperature to -10 degrees Celsius. [Difference] shows the difference between the current ambient and the target. Check the difference value to insure that the camera cooler’s specification is not being exceeded. Finally, start cooling by pressing [Cooler On]. This will exit the cooling menu and return to the main imaging menu. SS-one ZWO Image Capture March 2017 Focus and Compose in LiveView Mode Press [LiveView] to go to LiveView mode. Right-side Menu: [Zoom] Press to repeatedly zoom into the live image. Press one of display corners to move (pan) the zoomed area. [Wide] Press to repeatedly undo the zoom into the live image. [Crop] Display the center 640x480 pixels only. This functional is used to speed up the live view refresh rate which may be slow on high-resolution cameras. [Focus] Press once to have the controller automatically select one star near the center and zoom into it. Press once more to switch to 5 area focus mode. It shows 5 stars, selected from the center and 4 corners. [Gain] Allows adjustment of the exposure time and gain (for LiveView only). SS-one ZWO Image Capture March 2017 Setting Exposure for LiveView To set the exposure for LiveView, while LiveView is activated, press [Gain]. This will bring up the Gain/Exposure/Gamma setting dialog shown at right. Gain Image amplifier gain: 1 to 25. Exposure Exposure: 1/1000” to 8”. Gamma Gamma: 1 to 10. The recommended value is 5. Lower the gamma if the screen image is still too bright even after reducing the gain value. Note: These values apply only to LiveView mode. They do not affect imaging mode. SS-one ZWO Image Capture March 2017 ■ Focusing The ZWO Imager has two focusing methods - standard focus mode [Focus] and crop mode [Crop]. The latter option is recommended for high resolution cameras. Focus mode Press [Focus] on the right menu to activate standard focus mode. Press [Focus] again for 5-area focusing, and press again to exit focus mode. While in [Focus] mode, zoom in by pressing [Zoom], or zoom out by pressing [Wide]. SS-one ZWO Image Capture March 2017 Crop mode To get around the time required to download the full image from a camera with a large number of pixels, use [Crop] mode. This speeds up the frame refresh rate by downloading only the central 640x480 pixel area. Press [Crop] for 640x480 pixel view. Press [Zoom] to enlarge the image. By pressing each of 4 corners, the crop area pans to the selected area. Once focusing is complete, press [LiveView] to go back to Main Menu screen. SS-one ZWO Image Capture March 2017 Recording Images Double-check the date, time, latitude and longitude shown at the top left of the imaging screen (if GPS is connected). Also check the camera temperature. Delay starting actual imaging until the temperature of the camera has reached the target value. Set the parameters for your imaging set: number of frames, exposure time, and press [Gain] to pop up the dialog to allow setting the parameters for the images. Note that this is independent of the values set for the LiveView mode. [Gain] Gain value: 1-25. [Offset] Offsets the illumination value: 1-10. Use this to isolate the illumination data from noise. The recommended normal setting is 3. [Gamma] Gamma:0-10. Normally set to 5. Generally it is recommended that you adjust only [Gain]. The gain value you use will depend on sky conditions, camera, optics, and many other factors. Take several test shots to determine the best value for your conditions. Press [Close] to dismiss the [Gain] dialog and return to the main imaging menu. SS-one ZWO Image Capture March 2017 Starting Imaging To begin imaging, press [Shoot] to bring up these imaging options: [Interval] Automatically shoot a frame set of up to 99 frames. To set the interval time, move back to Main Menu and press [Menu], then select [Time], which allows setting the inter-frame interval time. If the image download time is longer than the interval time, the download time is automatically used for the inter-frame interval. [One Shot] Take a single shot using the parameters set up for the imaging set. [Test] Take a test shot using the test exposure parameter. The exposure time parameter (seconds) is set from the main imaging menu: select [Menu] / [Time]. All other parameters are the same as those used in [One Shot]. [Color Test] Not functional in current version [RGB Rotate] Not functional in current version After shooting a frame, the most recent image shows up on the screen with the file name displayed in the top-right corner. You may select other frames using the [Next] / [Prev] buttons on the right side of the screen or zoom into or out of the displayed image using [Zoom] / [Wide]. While exposing a frame, the [Shoot] button turns into [Stop]. Press [Stop] to abort the exposure. The shortened exposure is saved as a file and may be examined like any normal exposure. SS-one ZWO Image Capture March 2017 Review Saved Images in Play Mode Press [Play] to review saved images. If imaging is in progress, once the first frame has been taken [Play] mode will automatically become active, allowing inspection of the frame saved. In [Play Mode] the file number shows up at upper right. A close-up is shown at an inset at lower left. The software automatically picks a certain star around the center and enlarges it for inspection. This is helpful for monitoring focus or guiding status during imaging. Right Menu [Play] mode [Zoom] Press once to enlarge 1 step. Press again to enlarge further. Press one of the 4 corners to pan the enlarged area. [Wide] Press once to decrease magnification by 1 step. [Next] Select the next image file [Prev] Select the previous image file [Delete] Delete the currently viewed image file When in [Play] mode, exit by pressing [Play] again. SS-one ZWO Image Capture March 2017 While viewing a recorded image, additional data may be displayed about the currently selected image. Press [Info], so that the histogram shows up first. For color images, each of the colors will be separately plotted. Press [Info] again to display additional data. The date, time, latitude, longitude, and map* show when the optional GPS receiver is used. *Map is not available in the international version. Press [Info] for a third time to turn off the display of the additional image data. SS-one ZWO Image Capture March 2017 File Naming All of imaging data are saved into the USB memory stick connected to the imaging system. The file naming convention is as follows; ●Monochrome camera SSxxxxxx.tif For monochrome camera images, the files are named in the form: SSxxxxxx.tif where xxxxxx is a sequential 6-digit number. When the ZWO filter wheel EFW is used, “_n” is added to indicate which filter was used for the image. SSxxxxxx_n.tif (n: filter number) ●One-shot color camera For one-shot color cameras, two files are saved. SCxxxxxx.tif RAW file COLxxxxxx.tif Debayerd color file ●Original file When real-time dark and flat mode are turned on, if the option for saving the original raw file is turned on, “org_” is added as a prefix to the file name. org_SSxxxxxx.tif ●Dark and flat file For automatically applied flat and/or dark frame options, additional prefixes are added to the file name. f_SSxxxxxx.tif : Flat-applied file d_SSxxxxxx.tif : Dark-applied file df_SSxxxxxx.tif : F lat and dark - applied file The following calibration files are saved into the folders - dark and flat DGaaEbbbbPnn.tif -- where, aa: gain / bbbb: exposure / nn: sequential number FLATnnnnn.tif -- nnnnn: sequential number SS-one ZWO Image Capture March 2017 Create and apply dark and flat files SS-one ZWO Image capture may be set to automatically apply recorded dark and flat files. ● Creating dark files 1. On Main Menu, set the dark’s number of frames and exposure time for each frame as if normal (light) frames were to be recorded. The exposure time of dark frames should be the same as the exposure to be used for the light frames. 2. Press [Gain] to verify that [Gain], [Offset] and [Gamma] are the same as the light frames to be taken. 3. Cap the lens or telescope to block all light. 4. Set the camera temperature to match the temperature of the light frames and allow the camera to reach the target temperature before recording dark frames. 5. Press [Dark] to open the dark frame submenu. 6. Press [Create Dark File] to start shooting dark frames. Once done, the dark frame is displayed on the screen. Each successive dark frame is automatically composited so that only a single dark frame will result. The composited dark file is saved with the following naming convention: DGaaEbbbbPnn.tif -- aa: Gain bbbb: Exposure time Example: DG10E0060P12.tif nn: Serial number Note: The capture software does not have a function to manipulate these files. Rename or remove these file when the USB thumb drive is mounted on a computer for post-processing. SS-one ZWO Image Capture March 2017 ● Creating flat files 1. On Main menu, set the number of flat frames as if setting up to take normal light frames. For flat frames, the exposure time may be ignored since the exposure will be set up separately in another dialog. 2. Press [LiveView] to move to LiveView mode. 3. Point to the flat illumination target. For the flat-fielding to be effective, the optical setup (including camera rotation) should be set exactly as used for imaging light frames. 4. Press [Gain] to enter a dialog to set [Gain], [Exposure], and [Gamma]. The exposure time allows exposures down to 1/1000”. 5. Press [Info] to check the histogram. Adjust parameters until each color histogram is middle of left side. The controller applies R, G and B channels independently so it is not necessary to manually adjust each channel to the same level. SS-one ZWO Image Capture March 2017 6. Press [Flat] to start shooting flat frames. One composited file is created and saved into the USB memory stick storage with the following naming convention: FLATnnnnn.tif nnnnn: Serial number Example: FLAT00001.tif Note: The capture software does not have a function to manipulate these files. Rename or remove these file when the USB thumb drive is mounted on a computer for post-processing. Two Methods for Applying the Dark and Flat Frames The image capture program has 2 options for applying dark and/or flat frames. One is a batch process used after the imaging session ends. The other is to apply the calibration frames as each light frame is taken, called “real-time process”. ● Batch process 1. On Main Menu, Press [Op]. 2. Select the master dark and/or flat file from each box. 3. Select [Overwrite Original File] [Yes] if file space is limited. For testing purposes, select [Only one file] [Yes]. 4. Press [Dark] only for dark subtraction while press [Flat] only for flat subtraction. Press [Dark+Flat] to apply both. Pressing any of these buttons starts the batch processing. SS-one ZWO Image Capture March 2017 The following files will be created as detailed previously. If the [Overwrite Original File] option is set to [No], following new files are saved. f_SSxxxxxx.tif -- flat file d_SSxxxxxx.tif -- dark file df_SSxxxxxx.tif -- flat/dark file Note: The capture software does not have a function to manipulate these files. Rename or remove these file when the USB thumb drive is mounted on a computer for post-processing. ● Real-time process 1. On Main Menu, press [Dark] and select [ Real Time Dark] on next sub-menu. 2. Select [Dark], [flat] or [Dark+Flat]. 3. Using the [change..] buttons, select dark and flat files to be applied. SS-one ZWO Image Capture March 2017 4. To save the original files along with the processed images, set [Save Original File] [Yes], so that icon turns red. 5. Press [OK] when done selecting options. 6. During light frame shooting, dark and flat processing is automatically applied as each light frame is taken. [Play] images are shown post-processed. Saved light frames will be assigned the same names as light frames recorded when automatic processing is not used, If the [Save Original File] has been set to [Yes], an additional file with the prefix “org_” will be saved along with the auto-processed image file. When the real-time dark/flat option is activated, [Dark], [Flat] or [Dark/Flat] is indicated at the upper right. SS-one ZWO Image Capture March 2017 Menu From the main imaging menu the button [Menu] allows additional “house-keeping” parameters to be set. Use [Close] at the lower right corner to return to the main imaging menu. ●[Time] This menu allows setting up two time-related functions for imaging: [Interval Time] Allows setting the interval between exposures. If the camera image download time is longer than this setting, the interval time will be the same as the download time. [Test exposure time] Set [Test exposure time]. This exposure time is used for the [Shoot] / [Test]. SS-one ZWO Image Capture March 2017 ●[Local Time] This allows the local timezone offset from UTC to be entered. The timezone offset is used with the GPS time to display and record local time into capture files. Use UTC+0 if UTC is preferred. ●[All Delete] Delete all image files in the USB memory stick. Flat and dark holders are not removed. Manipulation of these files must be done on an external computer. ●[Focus Aid] In [LiveView] as well as [Play] modes, the image capture program will select and display a zoomed image of a star for detailed examination. Set parameters for the star selection as shown: First, select the parameters to be adjusted by choosing [LiveView] or [Play], then adjust the Min and Max star size with the up/down controls on each digit. SS-one ZWO Image Capture March 2017 ●[File Number Reset] Use this function to reset the file numbering sequence. A pop-up dialog will appear to allow you to confirm this action. ●[File List] This function displays the list of (light) files which have been recorded and allows the deletion of individual selected files. Use the up/down buttons to move the file selector through the list. The list will begin scrolling at the bottom for long lists of files. SS-one ZWO Image Capture March 2017 Appendix A. Updating Your System Software Currently the Capture software can only be updated by replacing the entire system image. This is held in the micro SD card inserted in the imaging controller. If you wish to preserve the settings you made within the image capture program, first use the procedure to save your settings as described in Appendix B. Downloading and Creating a New System Image Card If you are replacing your system software with a downloaded image, follow these instructions to copy the image to a micro SD card (16GB minimum). These instructions assume you are using a Windows system with a micro SD card reader or SD card reader with an adapter for a micro SD card. 1. Extract the image file from the .zip archive file. The image file should have the extension .img 2. Use Win32DiskImager to copy the .img file to the micro SD card. Note that anything that was on the micro SD card will be overwritten. To replace the system micro SD card, with the system powered off, press the existing card inward to release it (it should pop out a short ways). It will then be free to be pulled out. Pay attention to the side containing the contacts of the card so that the replacement can be inserted the same way. Now insert the new card into the micro SD slot, taking care to orient the contacts the same way as the card which was removed. Upon booting up the new software, use the procedure in Appendix B to restore your customized settings before using the software for imaging. SS-one ZWO Image Capture March 2017 Appendix B. Preserving and Restoring your Customized Settings Currently the Capture software can only be updated by replacing the entire system image. To back up your customized setup, or to update your system image to a new version, but preserve your settings, follow the procedure below after making sure your USB thumb drive is inserted into the system. SS-one ZWO Image Capture March 2017 Saving Image Capture Settings 1. With your USB thumb drive inserted, boot up the image capture system. From the boot-up screen, select [Shut Down] to get to the confirmation screen: 2. Select [Customize] to get to some advanced options: 3. Press [Save Config] to save the settings to the USB thumb drive. 4. Press [OK], to return to the shut down menu and press [Shut Down] to turn off the imaging system. Now the micro USB system disk can be replaced with one containing the updated imaging software (see appendix A). SS-one ZWO Image Capture March 2017 Restoring Image Capture Settings 1. With the USB thumb drive with the saved configuration inserted into the imaging system, at the initial boot up screen, press [Shut Down] to get to the confirmation screen: 2. Next select [Customize] to get to the advanced functions screen: 3. Finally, select [Load Config] to restore the settings to the image capture system micro SD card.
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