SkyRaider Quick Guide
SKYRAIDER -DS
Revision Sheet
[Version 2.0]
Michael Burns
Rock Mallin
[SkyRaider Quick Guide]
This document will quickly introduce you to the wonders of the MallinCam SkyRaider
Camera. It will include instructions on how to install the Software and Drivers and how
connect the SkyRaider to your computer along with explanations of the camera’s
major settings. The purpose of this guide is to quickly get you up and running with the
SkyRaider Camera so that you can image. For a more detailed explanation of the
various camera parameter settings, look for the SkyRaider User Manual.
SkyRaider Quick Guide
Page i
Revision Sheet
Revision History
Version
Date
Revision Description
1.0
06/03/2015
Template Creation
2.0
07/06/2015
Added DirectShow, WDM, ASCOM, MaximDL, PHD2
SkyRaider Quick Guide
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Table of Contents
Contents
Revision History ................................................................................................................................... ii
Table of Contents .......................................................................................................................... 0
1.
Introduction ............................................................................................................................ 1
The Contents of the SkyRaider Package .............................................................................. 2
2.
Installing Driver and Software ............................................................................................... 3
System Requirements ................................................................................................................ 3
Installing the Software ............................................................................................................... 3
Connecting the SkyRaider Camera .......................................................................................... 5
3.
Using the Software .................................................................................................................. 6
The MallincamSky Window ...................................................................................................... 6
SkyRaider WorkFlow ................................................................................................................ 7
Select SkyRaider Camera....................................................................................................................... 7
Select an Exposure Time for Dark Field Correction .............................................................................. 7
Take Dark Field Correction ................................................................................................................... 8
Reduce Exposure Time to Align Telescope ........................................................................................... 9
Increase Exposure Time to Image .......................................................................................................... 9
Adjust the Parameters ............................................................................................................................ 9
Have Fun and Experiment...................................................................................................................... 9
Installing DirectShow Driver .................................................................................................. 11
Installing WDM Driver ........................................................................................................... 13
Installing Mallincam Ascom Driver ....................................................................................... 15
AutoGuiding with MaximDL .................................................................................................. 16
Running PHD2 with WDM Driver ......................................................................................... 19
Running PHD2 with ASCOM Driver ..................................................................................... 22
SkyRaider Quick Guide
1.
June 30, 2015
Introduction
After years of designing and testing under all operative conditions, MallinCam
has created the next generation of Live Astronomical Video CCD Cameras. Not
only live observation is possible, the series of SkyRaiders can take images and
video recording too! No one in the industry has developed and pushed the
envelope in an astronomical camera with such a state of the art product. We
are the leader in the Live Video CCD camera industry and plan to stay that way
for the benefit of astronomical advancement for the amateur community and
professionals alike.
The software package features the most advanced live video imaging system
ever created. MallinCam has created the world's first software with the MC
DarkField Subtraction System, on-the-fly eliminating the need of a Peltier cooler
under live application and yet retaining the best low noise live image ever
encountered on the market today. A MallinCam Advanced exclusive, the
MallinCam Dark Field live subtraction feature is unique to the MallinCam
SkyRaider Series of cameras. Images can be saved in the same manner or video
files can be created with the same On-The-Fly DarkField correction. Among
other advanced features, a live on-the-fly histogram make final image
adjustment possible to produce the finest live image, with the option to save
your view as an image or video file. The MallinCam SkyRaider-DS features the
world renowned Hyper-circuit with a buffered variable gain. The Hyper circuit is
used in our other camera designs and allows a user to increase sensitivity with
low noise without increasing exposure time. A MallinCam Exclusive. Installation of
the Hyper circuit in the SkyRaider-DS differs from other MallinCam cameras in
that it uses a triple buffered electronic section to keep noise to a low level and
still can be used with the Live MC Dark Field Subtraction for even lower
noise. The MallinCam SkyRaider-DS features dual independent on board
memory, ensuring separate video / imaging signal / data from the camera
control through USB2 demand. No other video CCD camera system has these
exciting unique features on the market today. The MallinCam SkyRaider-DS uses
a two stage step up voltage driver to operate the CCD sensor to its maximum
sensitivity at 15.3 volts from a 5 volts source. A MallinCam unique feature not
found on any other video CCD cameras using USB2 system.
Special thanks to Chris Appleton and Rock Mallin who expertise and experience
are way beyond my capabilities.
So thank you for your purchase, and let the adventure begin.
SkyRaider Quick Guide
Page 1
SkyRaider Quick Guide
June 30, 2015
The Contents of the SkyRaider Package
Depending upon the SkyRaider Model purchased, the contents may vary, but all
SkyRaider cameras include the following standard equipment:





MALLINCAM SkyRaider Camera
High Precision 1.25" C mount Eyepiece Adapter
5 metre USB 2.0 cable.
CDROM that contains the driver and software for the SkyRaider.
SkyRaider-AG also includes 2 metre ST4 Guider cable
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SkyRaider Quick Guide
2.
June 30, 2015
Installing Driver and Software
System Requirements
PC running either Windows ® (32-bit & 64-bit) XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, Mac OSX.
Performance is not guaranteed if the following specification cannot be reached.






DirectX 9.0 or later installed
2.0GHz processor(Recommend dual core 2.8GHz or more)
USB 2.0 Port or USB 3.0 Port
CD-ROM drive
2GB RAM(Recommend 2GB or more)
200MB Free HDD
Installing the Software
Step 1
Insert the Mallincam CD into CD-ROM drive of your
computer. Have windows open the CD and you will be
presented with 4 files:




Step 2
95
MALLINCAMDshowSetup
MALLINCAMSKYSetup
MALLINCAMTwainSetup
Double-Click on the MALLINCAMSKYSetup File
Windows may display a warning asking for permission to run the program, if it
does, select YES
The following MallincamSky Setup Screen will appear:
Step 3
Click on Next to start the installation process.
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June 30, 2015
The installation program now want to know where you would like to install the
software. Either choose your own location, or select the default.
Step 4
Click on Install to proceed.
Windows will again ask for permission to install the device software.
Step 5
Click on Install to accept.
The MallincamSky Software will take about a minute to be installed. When
completed, the following screen will appear:
Step 6
Click on Finish, and the MallincamSky will start and will appear on your screen.
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SkyRaider Quick Guide
June 30, 2015
Connecting the SkyRaider Camera
Connect the provided USB cable to the SkyRaider Camera and connect the
other end of the USB cable to a free USB port on your computer. Windows will
then load the specific SkyRaider Camera Driver onto your computer.
Once the driver has been successfully loaded, you will see the name of the
SkyRaider Camera in the MallincamSky Camera List on the upper left of the
Window. You can install numerous SkyRaider Camera’s, but the software can
only control one SkyRaider Camera at a time.
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SkyRaider Quick Guide
3.
June 30, 2015
Using the Software
The MallincamSky Window
①
②
④
③
The MallincamSky Software Window is segmented into a few regions to make
viewing and adjusting the SkyRaider camera easy and intuitive.
① The Top Menu Line provides dropdown menus to allow you to make major
settings of the software
② The MallincamSky Toolbar provides the simple click activation and selection
capabilities.
③ The Left SideBar provides selection options for Camera, Folders, or Undo. Left
Clicking on the selection choice will fill the SideBar with its options.
④ The Video Window will contain the display from the SkyRaider Camera. It is
here that you will see the video results.
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SkyRaider Quick Guide
June 30, 2015
SkyRaider WorkFlow
The Mallincam SkyRaider Cameras provide a processing technique called Dark
Field Correction (see the SkyRaider User Manual for a complete description of
Dark Field Correction).
The Dark Field Correction is prepared by the user at the beginning of an
observing session by covering the camera or scope, pre-determining the
exposure time (the times you select will become more intuitive with practice),
and setting the software to automatically take up to 10 images. As your
telescope equipment will be different, along with the possible use of various
types of filters, and the skies you observe under, experiment with the length and
number of the Dark Field Corrections. Take this into account when selecting you
exposure time for your dark images.
Step 1
Select SkyRaider Camera
With the Camera Tab selected on the Left SideBar, LeftClick on the Camera you are currently using (between lines
in Camera Heading). Once a camera is selected, a black
rectangle (with SkyRaider Camera name) will appear in
the Video Window of the MallincamSky Software along
with the Horizontal and Vertical Rulers.
Step 2
Select an Exposure Time for Dark Field Correction
With the Camera Tab selected on the Left SideBar, Left-Click
on the Exposure & Gain Line (a Green Rectangle with the
word Exposure will appear in your Video Window, to inform
you that you are setting an exposure time. Closing the
Exposure Window will remove the Green Rectangle). The
Exposure & Gain Window will open up and you can either
slide the Exposure Time bar (Left-Click Hold and Drag) or LeftClick on the current Exposure Time value, and a another Window will open to
allow you to manually enter a time (don’t forget to click OK).
Exposure Target is only active when Auto Exposure is selected. The Green
Rectangle is used to see if reference region it encloses matches Exposure Target
that you set (We recommend that Auto Exposure is not selected).
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SkyRaider Quick Guide
Step 3
June 30, 2015
Take Dark Field Correction
Ensure that the cover is either on the SkyRaider Camera or
the Telescope is covered. With the Camera Tab selected on
the Left SideBar, Left-Click on the Dark Field Correction Line.
The Dark Field Correction Line will open up allowing you to
select the Quantity of Dark Fields and the option to start the
Dark Field Capture process.
Select up to 10 for the Quantity (Start with 5 with 30 second
exposures to get a feel of the process). Then Left-Click on the
Capture Button. The Software will display its progress above
the selected Quantity.
Due to the unique way the Mallincam SkyRaider camera’s utilize odd and even
image acquisition, a Dark Field is obtained for each of the odd and even frames.
That is, five 30 seconds Dark Fields will take two times (5 x 30 seconds) or 300
seconds to complete. You can use this time to finish setting up your equipment.
Click in the Enable check box to have Dark Fields applied
in real time to your video.
M57, 20 Seconds exposure, VRC
6", F/4.5 with MallinCam 0.5X
focal reducer, NO Dark Field
Correction. No processing, as
seen live on monitor. Single
frame.
SkyRaider Quick Guide
M57, 20 Seconds exposure, VRC
6", F/4.5 with MallinCam 0.5X
focal reducer, One Single DARK
FIELD CORRECTION APPLIED LIVE,
No processing, as seen live on
monitor, Single frame.
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SkyRaider Quick Guide
Step 4
June 30, 2015
Reduce Exposure Time to Align Telescope
As you will most likely use the camera to align your Telescope, now is the time to
reduce the Exposure Time to 1 or 2 seconds, and if not already attached to the
Telescope, remove the lens cap from the SkyRaider Camera and insert the cmount on front end of the camera and slide camera into eyepiece holder of
telescope.
Step 5
Increase Exposure Time to Image
Now is the time to display some images. Adjust the Exposure Time to match the
target and the equipment you are using. Remember, due to the dual image
capture process, a 30 second exposure will actually take 60 seconds to display
(you will actually see the half interlaced image at 30 seconds, then the final
image at 60 seconds).
Since you have already created the Dark Field Corrections for this session (Dark
Fields are stored directly in the SkyRaider Camera and will be deleted when the
camera is turned off, sorry no way to save the Dark Fields). The SkyRaider will
automatically apply the best Dark Field Correction to your image when Dark
Field Correction is enabled.
Step 6
Adjust the Parameters
Depending upon what SkyRaider Camera you are using,
determines what sort or image corrections you can apply (a
Monochrome camera will not be able to adjust the colours).
Choose a parameter from the Camera Tab on the Left SideBar
and see what you can adjust, and how it affects your image.
You will have to wait until the next image is exposed to see how your adjustments
look.
Step 7
Have Fun and Experiment
You can now spend some time to become more comfortable with the
MallincamSky Software. The SkyRaider User Manual will go into more detail
about all of the options and adjustment you can perform with the SkyRaider
series of camera. But, don’t be afraid to experiment.
Hint
Go into Options from the Top Menu Line, and choose Preferences. It is here that
you can set options for the MallincamSky. If you go into Misc., you can change
the Color Style of the MallincamSky software.
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SkyRaider Quick Guide
June 30, 2015
Some things to try:
 Change Exposure time (a 30 second exposure will take 60 seconds to
appear, you can actually see the odd and even frames appear)
 Adjust the Gain to your liking (located in Exposure & Gain).
 Play with the Histogram
 Adjust Color Balance
 Make Color Adjustment
 Save a snapshot (default location is in the Documents folder in the
MallincamSky sub-folder folder
 Save a Video
 Change Size of Video Window (on Mallincam Tool Bar)
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SkyRaider Quick Guide
June 30, 2015
Installing DirectShow Driver
Step 1
Insert the Mallincam CD into CD-ROM drive of your computer. Have windows
open the CD and you will be presented with 4 files:




Step 2
95
MALLINCAMDshowSetup
MALLINCAMSKYSetup
MALLINCAMTwainSetup
Double-Click on the MALLINCAMDshowSetup File
Windows may display a warning asking for permission to run the program, if it
does, select YES
The following MallincamSky Setup Screen will appear:
Step 3
Click on Next to start the installation process.
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SkyRaider Quick Guide
Step 4
Step 5
June 30, 2015
Click on Install to start the installation process.
Click on Finish to close the process.
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SkyRaider Quick Guide
June 30, 2015
Installing WDM Driver
Step 1
Insert the Mallincam CD into CD-ROM drive of your computer. Have windows
open the CD and you will be presented with 4 files:




Step 2
95
MALLINCAMDshowSetup
MALLINCAMSKYSetup
MALLINCAMTwainSetup
Double-Click on the MALLINCAMTwainSetup File
Windows may display a warning asking for permission to run the program, if it
does, select YES
The following MallincamSky Setup Screen will appear:
Step 3
Click on Next to start the installation process.
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SkyRaider Quick Guide
Step 4
Click on Install to start the installation process.
Step 5
Click on Finish to close the process.
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June 30, 2015
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SkyRaider Quick Guide
June 30, 2015
Installing Mallincam Ascom Driver
Step 1
Visit www.Mallincam.net
Select the Support Tab
Go into Software Downloads
Near the bottom of the page under Miscellaneous Downloads is the ASCOM ST4
DRIVER SKYRAIDER G Guider link
Step 2
Download the driver
Step 3
Double Click on the Driver to install it onto your computer system (Windows), This
assumes that you have already installed the latest ASCOM software on your
computer.
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SkyRaider Quick Guide
June 30, 2015
AutoGuiding with MaximDL
The following is a pictorial procedure on how to install the SkyRaider DirectShow
driver (assumes you have already installed the driver) into MaximDL
Step 1
Start MaximDL
Step 2
Click the Setup Camera Icon. (Camera Control Window will open up)
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SkyRaider Quick Guide
June 30, 2015
Step 3
Choose Video DS (from Camera Model in Setup Video DS popup Window)
Step 4
Click OK in the Setup Video DS popup Window.
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SkyRaider Quick Guide
Step 5
Click Connect in the Camera Control Window.
Step 6
Now use MaximDL as you normally would.
June 30, 2015
If you have installed the Mallincam ASCOM Driver, choose ASCOM Toupcam
Driver from the list and have MaximDL use it to Autoguide.
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SkyRaider Quick Guide
June 30, 2015
Running PHD2 with WDM Driver
Step 1
Start PHD2 software
Step 2
Click on the Camera Icon to open up Connect Equipment Window.
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SkyRaider Quick Guide
June 30, 2015
Step 3
Choose WDM-style webcam camera from Camera Drop Down List.
Step 4
Click on Connect button on Camera List.
Step 5
The Camera choice window will pop-up. Select MALLINCAM and Click on OK.
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SkyRaider Quick Guide
Step 6
Select Resolution (recommend 640x480) and Click on OK
Step 7
Click on Red X to close the Connect Equipment Window.
Step 8
Now use PHD2 as you normally would.
June 30, 2015
The Cam Dialog Box in PHD2 will open a window where you can adjust the
parameters of the SkyRaider Camera (such as Exposure, as the Exposure Tab in
PHD2 does not control WDM driver’s actual exposure, but rather just the refresh
rate).
If you see a rectangular Box in your Window, go to the ROI Tab in the Cam Dialog
Box, and move and shrink the box to one side of your window so it doesn’t affect
the image.
SkyRaider Quick Guide
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SkyRaider Quick Guide
June 30, 2015
Running PHD2 with ASCOM Driver
Step 1
Start PHD2 software.
Step 2
Click on the Camera Icon to open up Connect Equipment Window.
SkyRaider Quick Guide
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SkyRaider Quick Guide
Step 3
Choose ASCOM Toupcam Driver from Camera Drop Down List.
Step 4
Click on Connect button on Camera List
Step 5
Click on Red X to close the Connect Equipment Window.
Step 6
Now use PHD2 as you normally would.
SkyRaider Quick Guide
June 30, 2015
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