SkyRaider User Manual
SKYRAIDER
Revision Sheet
[Version 2.0]
Michael Burns
Rock Mallin
[SkyRaider User Manual]
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
07/17/2015
Template Creation
2.0
08/26/2015
Version 3.7.5985
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Table of Contents
Contents
Revision History ................................................................................................................................... ii
Table of Contents .......................................................................................................................... 1
1.
Introduction ............................................................................................................................ 5
The Contents of the SkyRaider-DS Package ....................................................................... 6
Specifications: ........................................................................................................................................ 6
System Requirements: ........................................................................................................................... 7
In the Box............................................................................................................................................... 7
The Contents of the SkyRaider-SLP Package ..................................................................... 8
Specifications: ........................................................................................................................................ 8
System Requirements: ........................................................................................................................... 9
In the Box............................................................................................................................................... 9
The Contents of the SkyRaider-AG Package ..................................................................... 10
System Requirements: ......................................................................................................................... 10
In the Box............................................................................................................................................. 11
2.
Installing Driver and Software ............................................................................. 12
System Requirements .............................................................................................................. 12
Installing the Software ............................................................................................................. 12
3.
Connecting the SkyRaider .................................................................................. 15
Connecting the SkyRaider-DS Camera to Computer ........................................................... 15
Connecting the SkyRaider-DS Camera to Telescope............................................................ 16
Connecting the SkyRaider-G Camera to Computer............................................................. 17
Connecting the SkyRaider-G Camera to Telescope.............................................................. 18
Connecting the SkyRaider-SLP Camera to Computer ........................................................ 19
Connecting the SkyRaider-SLP Camera to Telescope ......................................................... 20
4.
Using MallincamSky Software ............................................................................ 21
The MallincamSky Window .................................................................................................... 21
SkyRaider Quick Setup and WorkFlow ................................................................................ 22
Detailed Workflow for MallincamSky................................................................................................. 23
Select SkyRaider Camera..................................................................................................................... 23
Select an Exposure Time for Dark Field Correction ............................................................................ 23
Take Dark Field Correction ................................................................................................................. 24
Reduce Exposure Time to Align Telescope ......................................................................................... 25
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Increase Exposure Time to Image ........................................................................................................ 25
Adjust the Parameters .......................................................................................................................... 25
5.
The SkyRaider Software Controls ....................................................................... 26
Top Menu Line ......................................................................................................................... 26
File ....................................................................................................................................................... 26
Open Image ...................................................................................................................................... 27
Open Video ...................................................................................................................................... 28
Open Broadcast ................................................................................................................................ 29
Save .................................................................................................................................................. 29
Save As …........................................................................................................................................ 29
Batch Save… .................................................................................................................................... 32
Quick Save… ................................................................................................................................... 34
Paste as New File ............................................................................................................................. 34
Recent Files ...................................................................................................................................... 35
Exit ................................................................................................................................................... 35
Edit ...................................................................................................................................................... 35
Cut .................................................................................................................................................... 35
Copy ................................................................................................................................................. 36
Paste ................................................................................................................................................. 36
Image Select ..................................................................................................................................... 36
Select All .......................................................................................................................................... 36
Select None ...................................................................................................................................... 36
View ..................................................................................................................................................... 37
Browse.............................................................................................................................................. 37
Sidebar.............................................................................................................................................. 38
Grids ................................................................................................................................................. 39
Best Fit ............................................................................................................................................. 41
Actual Size ....................................................................................................................................... 41
Full Screen ....................................................................................................................................... 42
Track ................................................................................................................................................ 42
Reticule ............................................................................................................................................ 42
Browse ................................................................................................................................................. 43
Sort ................................................................................................................................................... 43
Icons ................................................................................................................................................. 43
Paste Shortcut ................................................................................................................................... 43
Delete ............................................................................................................................................... 43
Refresh ............................................................................................................................................. 44
Properties.......................................................................................................................................... 44
Setup.................................................................................................................................................... 44
Start/Pause ........................................................................................................................................ 44
View Properties… ............................................................................................................................ 44
ST4 Test… ....................................................................................................................................... 45
Capture ............................................................................................................................................... 46
Capture Image .................................................................................................................................. 46
Start Time-Lapse (Auto Capture)… ................................................................................................. 46
Start Record… .................................................................................................................................. 48
Start Broadcast… ............................................................................................................................. 49
Image ................................................................................................................................................... 50
Mode ................................................................................................................................................ 50
Adjust ............................................................................................................................................... 51
Rotate ............................................................................................................................................... 56
Crop .................................................................................................................................................. 57
Scale… ............................................................................................................................................. 58
Histogram ......................................................................................................................................... 59
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Process................................................................................................................................................. 61
Image Stacking ................................................................................................................................. 64
Options ................................................................................................................................................ 66
Window ............................................................................................................................................... 70
Close All........................................................................................................................................... 70
Reset Window Layout ...................................................................................................................... 71
Windows… ...................................................................................................................................... 71
About ................................................................................................................................................... 72
MallincamSky Toolbar ............................................................................................................ 73
Open ..................................................................................................................................................... 73
Save...................................................................................................................................................... 74
Quick Save ........................................................................................................................................... 74
Browse ................................................................................................................................................. 75
Zoom .................................................................................................................................................... 76
Image Select ......................................................................................................................................... 76
Track .................................................................................................................................................... 76
Stitch ............................................................................................................................................... 77
EDF ...................................................................................................................................................... 80
Reticule ................................................................................................................................................ 82
ST4 Test .......................................................................................................................................... 82
6.
Controlling the SkyRaider ................................................................................... 84
Camera List .............................................................................................................................. 84
Capture and Resolution ........................................................................................................... 84
Exposure & Gain...................................................................................................................... 87
Exposure Target ................................................................................................................................... 87
Exposure Time ..................................................................................................................................... 88
Gain...................................................................................................................................................... 89
Defaults ................................................................................................................................................ 89
Color Balance ........................................................................................................................... 89
Color Adjustment ..................................................................................................................... 90
Hue ....................................................................................................................................................... 90
Saturation ............................................................................................................................................. 91
Brightness ............................................................................................................................................ 91
Contrast ................................................................................................................................................ 91
Gamma ................................................................................................................................................. 92
Frame Rate ............................................................................................................................... 92
Color/Gray ................................................................................................................................ 93
Flip ............................................................................................................................................. 93
Sampling ................................................................................................................................... 93
Bit Depth ................................................................................................................................... 94
ROI ............................................................................................................................................ 94
Histogram ................................................................................................................................. 95
Dark Field Correction ............................................................................................................. 96
Select SkyRaider Camera..................................................................................................................... 96
Select an Exposure Time for Dark Field Correction ............................................................................ 96
Take Dark Field Correction ................................................................................................................. 97
Enable Check-box ................................................................................................................................ 97
Parameters ................................................................................................................................ 98
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7. Installing Optional Software .............................................................................. 101
Installing DirectShow Driver ................................................................................................ 101
Installing WDM Driver ......................................................................................................... 103
Installing Mallincam ASCOM Driver .................................................................................. 105
8.
AutoGuiding with SkyRaider G ......................................................................... 106
AutoGuiding with MaximDL and DirectShow.................................................................... 106
Video Capture Pin ... .......................................................................................................................... 111
Video Capture Filter … ..................................................................................................................... 111
Running PHD2 with WDM Driver + ToupST4 Driver ...................................................... 112
Running PHD2 with ASCOM Driver ................................................................................... 117
9.
Appendix ......................................................................................................... 121
How Do I … ............................................................................................................................ 121
How do I get rid of the Green Exposure Rectangle? .......................................................................... 121
How do I Select a part of the Image and Zoom in? ............................................................................ 121
How do I automatically save 1 image every 30 seconds? .................................................................. 122
How do I adjust the brightness in my monochrome SkyRaider? ....................................................... 122
How do I Broadcast my image onto Night Skies Network (NSN)? ................................................... 122
Can I Use MallincamSky with One SkyRaider and Auto-Guide with another? ................................ 122
How Do I Pause the Video? ............................................................................................................... 123
How do I Undo an Operation? ........................................................................................................... 123
How do I make my ROI the whole Image Again? ............................................................................. 123
How do I Turn Off Dark Field correction? ........................................................................................ 123
How Do I take Another Dark Field? .................................................................................................. 123
Dark Field Explanation ......................................................................................................... 124
Dark Frame vs Dark Field .............................................................................................................. 124
Dark Frame Subtraction ................................................................................................................. 124
Dark Field Correction ..................................................................................................................... 124
Setting up to Broadcast on Night Skies Network ................................................................ 126
Focal Reducers ....................................................................................................................... 133
MFR-8 ................................................................................................................................................ 133
User Notes ............................................................................................................................... 134
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August 26, 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 SkyRaider Cameras 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.
The SkyRaider Cameras are USB cameras and due to the physical limitations of
USB, the length of the cable is restricted to about 5 metres; even though some
users may try to extend that distance using other hardware, there is no
guarantee that the video signal (timing issue) will be recognized when going
beyond the recommended maximum.
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.
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The Contents of the SkyRaider-DS Package
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.
Specifications:















PC Win XP, Win7, Win 8, Win 10. Will include a separate Mac software.
Hypered Buffered Gain circuit for greater low noise sensitivity
Two stage voltage step up to ensure full ccd sensor sensitivity
Dual independent memories for image / camera control
5 meter (15 feet) USB2 cable included
1.25" C mount eyepiece adapter included
Zinc Aluminum Alloy construction for unmatched durability
Sealed multi coated optical window with 350 to 950nm range
Grade 1 Industrial electronic components throughout
5 volts USB operation at low 250 ma current draw
13.30 oz / 377 grams
Uses ceramic Sony ICX829 EXview HAD II Chip
Available with color ccd sensor SkyRaider-DSc
Available with monochrome ccd sensor SkyRaider-DSm
17.5 mm spacing between chip and front of SkyRaider-Ds
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System Requirements:

Equal to Intel Core2 2.8GHz or Higher

Memory: 2GB or More

USB port: USB2.0 High-speed Port

Display: 17" or Larger Recommended
In the Box
Depending upon the SkyRaider Model purchased, the contents may vary, but all
SkyRaider cameras include the following standard equipment:




MALLINCAM SkyRaider-DS 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.
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The Contents of the SkyRaider-SLP Package
The New SkyRaider-SLP has been designed for Solar, Lunar and Planetary live
viewing and imaging. Part of the SkyRaider series of USB type cameras, the New
SkyRaider SLP has a 3MP sCMOS with pixel size of 2.5 x 2.5um capable of binning
mode of 2048 X 1536, 1024 X 768, 684 X 512 in full color. A monochrome mode is
also included in the software. The new MallinCam SkyRaider-SLP uses the same
software of all other SkyRaider Series cameras. A 5 meter (15 feet) USB cable is
included, sealed sensor chamber, passive cooling, and attractive stainless steel
front mount to keep the sensor alignment with the optical train and make this
camera built to last. There is no other camera designed and built for Solar, Lunar
and Planetary like the new MallinCam SkyRaider-SLP.
Specifications:

PC Win XP, Win7, Win 8, Win 10.

Up to 8 Seconds exposure @ 2048 X 1536

Binning mode 2048 X 1536, 1024 X 768, 684 X 512

Ceramic sCMOS sensor (super CMOS or scientific CMOS)

Passive cooling for greater temperature stability

Super low noise

Superb Dynamic Range

Up to 8 seconds exposure at full resolution

Hypered Buffered Gain circuit for greater low noise

Dual independent memories for image / camera control

5 meter (15 feet) USB2 cable included

1.25" C mount eyepiece adapter included

Aluminum / Stainless Steel construction for unmatched durability

Sealed multi coated optical window with 350 to 970nm range

Grade 1 Industrial electronic components throughout

5 volts USB operation at low 200 ma current draw

9.30 oz / 263 grams

Exclusive On-The-Fly Dark Frame subtraction

Full live video mode, full screen selectable

Full imaging capabilities

Seamless fast download live video observation
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System Requirements:

Equal to Intel Core2 2.8GHz or Higher

Memory: 2GB or More

USB port: USB2.0 High-speed Port

Display: 17" or Larger Recommended
In the Box




MALLINCAM SkyRaider-SLP 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.
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The Contents of the SkyRaider-AG Package
The New SkyRaider-G Guider-Imager is the most affordable camera in its class.
Packed with stunning features, it can perform very well as an imager. The
camera can be used as a guider or an imager for Lunar, Planets, Solar and Deep
sky objects. Using an Aptina ARO130 CMOS sensor, the camera deliver sharp
images and provide superb accuracy when used as a guider. The New
SkyRaider-G is the most affordable astronomical camera ever offered and it’s a
MALLINCAM. Available with an Aptina color sensor or a monochrome sensor,
there is a SkyRaider-G just for your specific requirement. Fully ST-4 compatible,
Native WDM drivers for easy connection with 3rd party software
astrophotography software.
Specifications
* Passive Sensor Cooling
* Carefully Selected Aptina ARO 130 color or mono sensor available
* 3.75X3.75 pixels size
* 1280 X 960 resolution and 640X480 binning mode
* 1.2 Mp sensor, 1/3" size (6 mm)
* Protective sealed Window with Double-sided AR coatings
* Exposure up to 16 minutes 40 seconds
* 1.25" threaded adapter included
* ST4 guiding cable included
* 15 feet USB cable (5 meters)
* Aluminum CNC housing with built-in passive sensor cold finger
offering thermal heat transfer from the sensor to camera body
* Dedicated astrophotography software to support live video, image acquisition,
video saving and Auto guiding
* MallinCam unique Dark Field Correction
* Built-in ST4 auto-guider port
* 2.15 oz (61grams)
* 2.5 Inches long
System Requirements:

Equal to Intel Core2 2.8GHz or Higher

Memory: 2GB or More

USB port: USB2.0 High-speed Port

Display: 17" or Larger Recommended
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August 26, 2015
In the Box





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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2.
August 26, 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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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:
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Step 6
August 26, 2015
Click on Finish, and the MallincamSky will start and will appear on your screen.
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August 26, 2015
Connecting the SkyRaider
Connecting the SkyRaider-DS Camera to Computer
Attach the 5 metre USB 2.0 Cable from the back of the SkyRaider-DS to a free
USB 2.0 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 more than one SkyRaider Camera to your computer, but
the software can only control one SkyRaider Camera at a time.
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Connecting the SkyRaider-DS Camera to Telescope
Remove the rubber dust cover from the front of the SkyRaider-DS camera (place
it back in the box for safe keeping).
Screw in the C-mount adapter to
the front of the SkyRaider-DS
Insert the SkyRaider-DS (with C-Mount
attached) into a 1.25” eyepiece adapter
on your Telescope.
Depending upon the telescope, you may need extenders so that you can reach
focus with your telescope. It is recommended that you set this up in the daytime
so you can see what you are doing (plus can aim at an easy to find tree or
telephone pole).
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Connecting the SkyRaider-G Camera to Computer
Attach the 5 metre USB 2.0 Cable from the back of the SkyRaider-G to a free USB
2.0 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 more than one SkyRaider Camera to your computer, but
the software can only control one SkyRaider Camera at a time.
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Connecting the SkyRaider-G Camera to Telescope
Remove the rubber dust cover from the front of the SkyRaider-G camera (place
it back in the box for safe keeping).
Screw in the C-mount adapter to the front of the SkyRaider-G.
Insert the SkyRaider-G (with C-Mount attached) into a
1.25” eyepiece adapter on your Telescope.
Attach one end of the ST4 cable into the ST4 slot on the back of the SkyRaiderG, and the other end into the ST4 port on your Telescope Mount
Depending upon the telescope, you may need extenders so that you can reach
focus with your telescope. It is recommended that you set this up in the daytime
so you can see what you are doing (plus can aim at an easy to find tree or
telephone pole).
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August 26, 2015
Connecting the SkyRaider-SLP Camera to Computer
Attach the 5 metre USB 2.0 Cable from the back of the SkyRaider-SLP to a free
USB 2.0 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 more than one SkyRaider Camera to your computer, but
the software can only control one SkyRaider Camera at a time.
SkyRaider Quick Guide
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August 26, 2015
Connecting the SkyRaider-SLP Camera to Telescope
Remove the rubber dust cover from the front of the SkyRaider-SLP camera
(place it back in the box for safe keeping).
Screw in the C-mount adapter to the front of the
SkyRaider-SLP.
Insert the SkyRaider-SLP (with C-Mount attached) into a
1.25” eyepiece adapter on your Telescope.
Depending upon the telescope, you may need extenders so that you can reach
focus with your telescope. It is recommended that you set this up in the daytime
so you can see what you are doing (plus can aim at an easy to find tree or
telephone pole).
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4.
August 26, 2015
Using MallincamSky Software
The MallincamSky Window
①
②
④
③
⑤
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 live video, or images.
⑤ The Information Line will indicate the current camera, current frame rate,
number of frames displayed, resolution, information about captures, etc.
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SkyRaider Quick Setup and WorkFlow
The following is a typical workflow when using the SkyRaider with MallincamSky.
Start Computer, Attached SkyRaider,
Power on Telescope Mount
Start MallincamSky
Take Dark Fields
Configure Telescope Mount
Adjust MallincamSky Settings
Use MallincamSky to assist in Alignment of
Telescope (Short Exposure)
Image with MallincamSky
Exit MallincamSky, and Power down the
equipment.
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Detailed Workflow for MallincamSky
The Mallincam SkyRaider Cameras provide a processing technique called Dark
Field Correction (see the Appendix 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).
You can Left-Click Hold and Drag corners of the Green Exposure Rectangle to
resize it to either cover the whole image window, or even to be a zero size box at
one of the corners of your image window. This way you can always have the
Exposure & Gain tab open without the green rectangle in the middle.
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Step 3
August 26, 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. It is beneficial to set the Dark Field
exposure time greater than the longest time you will be
imaging at.
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.
Once the Dark Fields have been taken, you have the option of saving them with
the Export button in the Dark Field Correction Tab.
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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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. If you select another Color Style,
Apply, then Left-Click on OK. Choose the Color Style which works for you. (Use a
bright Color Style if using computer in Daylight).
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The SkyRaider Software Controls
Top Menu Line
File
This Drop-Down Menu will allow you to load and
save images, load a previously saved image,
plus the future ability to View or Broadcast video
stream on Night Skies Network.
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Open Image
The Open Image command is used to open an existing image file. This command
can also be used to preview an image in small size, or to view its statistics and
information without actually opening the image itself. You can use this
command to quickly locate a particular image. MallincamSky supports and can
open a variety of image formats. These are identified in the Files of type list box.
MallincamSky can open more than one image simultaneously by:
 Ctrl + Left Mouse Click on each required File then Left-Click on Open
 Shift + Left Mouse Click method to highlight the files to be opened, then
Left-Click on Open
When an image is opened, MallincamSky places it into a new image window. It
then becomes the active image.
MallincamSky maintains, at the File>Recent Files submenu, a list of the last
opened files.
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Open Video
Use the Open Video Command to open an existing video on your computer.
The Open Video command is only enabled when no SkyRaider Camera is
present when MallincamSky is started. Only a single video can be opened at a
time. If a SkyRaider is started, this menu will be disabled and the Open Video
command will be disabled.
Hint
Right-Click on Video Window’s Title, then choose Close. This will shut-down the
video stream and allow you use the File>Open Video command.
Select the name of the file you want to open. If the file does not appear, select
the option for showing all files from the Video Files Drop-Down Button. The video
file type can be wmv, asf, or avi format.
You can preview the Video by Left-Clicking on the Play Button on the Preview
Window on the right side of the Open Window.
Click Open to open a video file, this will create a video window and begin to
start the video stream. The video window will be associated a name called
“Video [XXX.XXX]” (i.e., its title bar will display “Video [XXX.XXX]”, here, XXX.XXX is
the video file name). No sound will be heard when playing the video stream.
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Open Broadcast
The Open Broadcast command is not active as the programmers may use this
control for interfacing with Night Skies Network (NSN) at some time in the future.
Save
The Save command allows you to save the updated image onto your computer.
The command immediately stores the current window image to its file (the
filename is listed on the window's title bar) while leaving the image still active in
its window.
If the image is untitled or titled with a digit, MallincamSky will issue the File>Save
As dialog automatically. The default “Save as type” will be “Window Bitmap
(*.bmp,*.dib,*.rle)”.
The File>Save command can be used to save the most recent changes to disk. It
is often performed as a precautionary measure during lengthy or involved
processes to reduce the amount of reprocessing that might be required in the
event of a system failure or operational error.
When an image is being closed (Left-Click on Image title) and not to save its
changes is chosen from the Popup Window, MallincamSky discards all changes
made since the last File>Save operation.
The File>Save command always saves the contents of the entire window, even if
there is an AOI (Area of Interest)defined on it. The File>Save command will be
disabled if the file is not changed or the changes have been saved.
Save As …
The Save As command allows you to save an image onto your computer with a
specified file format. At the end of a File>Save As ••• operation, the image
window will be associated with the new file and the new format (i.e., its title bar
will display the new file name). MallincamSky supports the following file formats:









Window Bitmap (*.bmp,*.dib,*.rle)
JPEG (*.jpg,*.jpeg,*.jpe,*.jif,*.jfif)
Portable Network Graphics (*.png)
Tag Image File Format (*.tif, *.tiff)
PCX(*.pcx)
Targa (*.tga)
JPEG 2000 Standard (*.jp2)
JPEG 2000 Codestream (*.j2k)
MallincamSky File Type (*.tft)
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The Save As command has several important uses beyond simply storing an
image to a new file name. Left-Click on the Option button to select the different
parameters to encode the file (based on selected Save as Type).
JPEG
Image quality
Progressive
Optimize Huffman codes
Smoothing
Save these setting as defaults
If you save an image in JPEG format (*.jpg),
you may adjust image quality in the edit box.
The values range from 0 to 100. Default value
is 75.
The default is unchecked.
The default is unchecked.
The values range between 0 and 100. The
default value is 0.
When saving a file, the current settings will be
saved as defaults for the next file save
operation.
PNG
Interlaced
Save these setting as defaults
SkyRaider Quick Guide
The default is unchecked.
When saving a file, the current settings will be
saved as defaults for the next file save
operation.
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TIFF
Appended Pages
Compression
Image Quality
Save these setting as defaults
Determine whether the current image will be saved in
multiple pages style or not.
Specifies a method for compressing the composite
image data. For saving a 32-bit TIFF file, one can
specify that the file be saved with predictor
compression, but have no option to use JPEG
compression.
If choosing Compressions as "JPEG", the Image quality
can be adjusted by the slider bar. The values range
between 0 and 100. The Default value is 75.
When saving a file, the current settings will be saved
as defaults for the next file save operation.
JPEG 2000
Compress Ratio
Save these setting as defaults
SkyRaider Quick Guide
If choosing Compressions as "JPEG 2000", the
Image quality can be adjusted by the slider
bar. The values range between 0 and 100.
The Default value is 0.
When saving a file, the current settings will be
saved as defaults for the next file save
operation.
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TFT
Compression
Image Quality
Save these setting as defaults
Choose Lossless or JPG (Lossy)
If choosing Compressions as "JPEG", the
Image quality can be adjusted by the slider
bar. The values range between 0 and 100.
The Default value is 75.
When saving a file, the current settings will be
saved as defaults for the next file save
operation.
For Bitmap (*.bmp), PCX (*.pcx), Targa (*.tga); There is no Option.
Batch Save…
The File>Batch Save••• command will be enabled when:
a) An image is opened.
b) An image is captured from the camera.
c) An image window is created by choosing the File>Paste as New File
command.
d) An image window is created copied from the Undo/Redo Sidebar.
Batch Save for the a) style image window
1. If the image is modified, choosing the File>Batch Save••• command will
save the file with its opened file name and file extension.
2. If the image is modified because of the Measurement Objects, choosing
the File>Batch Save ••• command will save the file with its opened file
name but with “MallincamSky File Type (*.tft)”file extension format;
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Batch Save for the b), c) or d) style image window
If the image window has been created with b), c) or d) style choosing the
File>Save As •••command to realize the file saving task will be time-consuming.
The Batch Save •••command will runs File>Save As •••command with the
name automatically specified according to the paradigm specified in the Batch
Save dialog.
To start the File>Batch Save•••command, you have to:
1. Start the camera;
2. Snap at least an image first;
3. Choosing the File>Batch Save ••• command will bring up a Batch Save
dialog:
Directory: Enter the name of the drive and directory where your captured
images will be saved. You may either type the path information, or use the
Browse button to locate it from a standard Browse Folder dialog.
Name Format: The year, month, date, hour, minute and second or nnnn
(sequence) are used as part of the filename. If more files are saved with in
a second, a (xx) suffix is attached to the end of Name Format to avoid the
possible name conflict. For the nnnn (sequence) “Name Format”, no suffix
is needed.
File Prefix: Enter a file name prefix for Batch Save when generating files
names for a series of images. This prefix will be combined with Name
Format to form a final file name naming paradigm.
File Type: In this combo box, select the format in which you want the
image to be saved (can be BMP, JPG, PNG, TIF).Click the Option Button to
set the different parameters for encoding the file (For BMP format, the
Option will be disabled. See File>Save As ••• command about the details
of the format encoding methods); If there are Measurement Objects over
the image, the File Type will be chose as “MallincamSky File Type (*.tft)”.
Sample: The final file name is shown at the right of the Sample label for
quick reference.
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Once the settings are made, Left-Click the OK button to begin the file
batch save process or Cancel to cancel the File>Batch Save •••
command and return to the application.
 when the File>Batch Save••• command has finished, the Title on the
Image Tab or Image Window will be modified with the file name formed in
the Batch Save dialog.
 The File>Batch Save••• will perform no saving operation if the file is not
modified.
Quick Save…
The File>Quick Save command will be enabled when:
a) A new image is captured from the camera;
b) An Image Window is created by choosing the File>Paste as New File
command.
File>Quick Save can save the file a quick way with no need to specify the file
directory, file name and file format. All those are specified in Options>
Preferences •••, Quick Save Property Page. The file name can be renamed
according to the setup in the Options>Preferences•••, Quick Save Property
Page’s Show the rename dialog item
Paste as New File
The File>Paste as New File command will be enabled when there is valid image
data on the clipboard first (see the Edit>Copy command). If there is no image
data on the clipboard, the File>Paste as New File command will be disabled.
Choose the File>Paste as New File command to place the contents of the
clipboard image into a new image window, which becomes the active image.
The new image type will be the same as that of the original image.
MallincamSky will accept image data from other applications via the clipboard
as long as it is in Windows Bitmap (DIB) format.
MallincamSky will assign a digit to the Paste as New File command in the
created image window Title Bar.
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Recent Files
MallincamSky maintains 4 (default) of the most recently opened document files
under the Recent Files command. Choosing one of these submenus will reopen
that file immediately.
 The maximum number of Recent Files can be modified by choosing the
Options>Preferences••• command and clicking the Misc selection. Here,
clicking the 4 (default) edit box will allow you to enter the number of the
Recent Files submenu that you want. The value ranges from 0 to 8, the
default is 4;
 One can also check the Clear the Recent Files when exit the application
to clear the Recent Files after exiting the MallincamSky application.
Exit
Choosing the File>Exit command will close video, all of the image windows and
Browse window and remove their windows from the screen. After all of the
windows are closed, MallincamSky will end itself.
If an image has been modified before attempting to Exit, MallincamSky will issue
a warning to ask if user wants to save the image or not.
Edit
This Drop-Down Menu will allow you to Cut, Copy
and Paste Layers over your images. From the Edit
Menu you can also select a Region of Interest
(ROI) from your image and copy it to the Windows
Clipboard, or even de-select the ROI if you have
changed your mind.
Cut
This command is or future implementation.
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Copy
This Edit>Copy command can be used to copy a selected part of your image to
the Windows Clipboard. Then you can use another software’s Paste Command
to place this selected image inside that software.
Hint
You can select a region of your currently live image (using the Left-click Hold
and Drag technique) then choose Edit>Copy (or Ctrl+C). Now you can Paste that
selected image into another document (such as Microsoft Word, or Microsoft
Paint) for later use.
Paste
This command is for future implementation.
Image Select
You can select a Region of Interest on your Image Tab (live or static) by using the
Left-Click Hold and Drag technique. Once selected then you can Copy (Ctrl+C)
the selected region and then Paste it into another software program.
Select All
This command is not fully implemented, but you can use it to select the Whole
Video Image Window. Once selected then you can Copy (Ctrl+C) the selected
region and then Paste it into another software program.
Select None
This command can be used to De-Select the image that was selected using
either the Image Select or the Select All commands.
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View
This Drop-Down Menu will allow you to Browse
folders, Display or Remove Tabs from the Sidebar,
Activate Grids or Reticules on the Video Window,
Change the Video Window Size to match your
computer real-estate, and Allow you to move the
image around in your Video Window.
Browse
The View>Browse command from the View Menu (or the
Browse Icon on the Icon Tool Bar) is used to browse
images under the specified directory in the Folders
Sidebar.
The Browse Window resembles the Windows Explorer. LeftClicking on the + will expand a folder so that you can
examine its contents.
You can Right-Click on a Folder (or file) and the actual
Windows controls will pop as in Windows Explorer.
As you get deeper into the Browse Window, you can
Back-Out or Move Deeper via the Green Left or Right
Arrow in the Browse Window.
The Blue Right Arrow will take you to your computer’s Root Directory.
Left-Double Clicking on a Folder will open up a Window Tab in the Video Window
(this Window will be labeled Browse). This Tab will display all of the graphic files
inside that Folder. If you Left-Double Click on a Graphics File inside the Video
Window, it will open up that Graphics File in a new Tab in the Video Window.
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Hint
August 26, 2015
You can close the Tab in the Video Window by Right-Clicking on the Tab’s Title
(Browse), then choosing Close.
Sidebar
The SideBar can contain 3
different Tabs: Camera, Folders,
and Undo/Redo.
Left-Click on the SideBar control to expand it. You will see the 3 choices (each
with a check-mark beside it), Left-Click on the check-mark to Select or DeSelect which ones of the 3 you would like to see displayed in the SideBar.
The Tabs on the SideBar can remain docked to the SideBar or can be free
floating. Just use the Left-Click Hold and Drag technique to move the Tab to
another location on your Desktop Window.
To Dock the Floating Tab back to the SideBar, just Left-Double Click on its Name.
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Grids
The View>Grids control has the
ability to display a grid overlay
on top of your Video Window.
You can use the Auto Grid style
of create your own grid format.
Left-Click on the choice you require (No Grids, Auto Grids, or Manual Grids) to
activate.
Auto Grids
Auto Grids can be set in the View>Grids>Settings control.
This command will pop-up the Preferences Window.
Left-Click on the Grids option on the left of the Preferences Window and adjust
the Style (No Grid, Auto Grid, and Manual Grid), Line Style (Solid, Dash, Dot, or
DashDot), and Color that you are interested in.
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Left-Click on the Apply button to display the Grid, then Left-Click on OK to
accept.
Manual Grids
Choosing this control will display two small Blue Right Arrow and Down Arrows
overlaid on the top of the Vertical Ruler and on the left of the Horizontal Ruler as
shown below:
Use the Left-Click Hold and Drag technique to move the Blue Down Arrow along
the Horizontal Ruler to where ever you want. When it is dragging over the
video/image, there will be a Vertical Line (in the Color and Style chosen by you)
appeared to let you judge where to release this line on the video/image. You
can drag as many lines as you require to overlay them on the video/image.
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Similarly, you can drag down as many Vertical Lines as you like to create Vertical
Grids.
Hint
You can at any time, grab and move the Blue Arrows to adjust the locations of
the Horizontal and Vertical Grid Lines.
No Grids
The No Grids control can be used to temporarily remove the grid overlay from
the video/Image.
If you re-select Manual Grids, your previous designed Grid Lines will re-appear.
Remove All Grids
This will remove the Grid Overlay from your video/image. It will also delete your
Manual Grid Lines settings (thus allowing you to create a new set of Manual Grid
Lines).
Best Fit
Select the control View>Best Fit to automatically resize the image/video to fit
inside the Video Window Tab.
Actual Size
Select the control View>Actual Size to reset the Zoom to 100% (Actual Size will be
disabled if the View is already set to 100%) and place the image/video inside the
Video Window Tab.
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Full Screen
Selecting the View>Full Screen control will display the video window in full screen
style. You will not see any commands or controls while in this mode.
Pressing the Esc key on your keyboard will return MallincamSky to the Default
Video Window.
Track
If the video/image's actual size is larger than the video/image Window, then this
control will allow you to position the actual video/image within in the
video/image Window. This control is activated automatically when necessary.
Its function is similar to the scroll bars. It is an alternative to using the arrows on the
scroll bars for positioning the video/image within the window. Position the mouse
(make sure to choose a location outside a Region of Interest rectangle. You may
need to close the ROI rectangle if necessary) on the actual video/image.
Left-Click and Hold (the Open Hand will change to a Closed Hand). Now drag
the image around inside the video/image Window
If the video/image size is smaller than the video/image Window size, then the
track operation will be disabled.
Reticule
MallincamSky provides a Reticule (or cross-hairs)
to aid in aligning your telescope to a star (or
other stellar object). You can change the color
of the reticule via the Option>Preferences
control in the Top Menu Line.
Left-Click to Activate
and Left-Click again
to De-Activate.
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Browse
This command is used to determine how MallincamSky
should display the graphic files when you are viewing the
Folders. This command will allow you to change the size
of the image icons, determine how to sort the files, add
shortcuts to the folders, delete files, refresh the folders,
and even determine the properties of the image file all
without having to perform these tasks thru the Windows
Environment.
Sort
This control allows you the option of
rearranging the image files via a
variety of choices (Name, Type, size,
Width, and Height. All in either
Ascending or Descending order.).
Just Left-Click on the choice that best
suits you needs and MallincamSky will
automatically rearrange the files.
Icons
This control allows you to display the Graphic Files as either Large or Small Icons.
Simply Left-Click to make your Selection.
Paste Shortcut
This control allows you to place a copied File Shortcut (you have previously
selected the File and then have used Edit>Copy) into you currently selected
folder.
Delete
This control allows you to delete a selected file from your currently selected
folder.
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Refresh
This control allows you to refresh the contents of the currently selected folder.
Properties
This control will display the current File properties for the Graphics File that you
have selected (This is identical to Right Clicking on a File while using Windows
Explorer).
Setup
This Top Menu Line Command is used to
provide you information about the current
SkyRaider Camera activated thru
MallincamSky.
Start/Pause
Left-Clicking on this control will Pause the SkyRaider Camera’s live display. LeftClicking on this control again will activate the live display.
View Properties…
Left-Clicking on this control will pop-up the View Properties Window that contains
information about the currently activated SkyRaider Camera.
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ST4 Test…
If your SkyRaider camera (such as
the SkyRaiderG Autoguider series)
has a ST4 port then it can be used to
AutoGuide your telescope mount.
This control is used to check if the
camera can correctly communicate
with the Telescope Mount.
Connect the ST4 cable provided with the SkyRaider Camera to the ST4 Port on
your Telescope Mount. Turn on the Telescope Mount to ensure that it is ready to
be tested.
Left-Click on this control and the ST4 Popup Window will appear.
The ST4 Window will contain 4 Green Arrow keys that when pressed will send a
specific direction command thru the ST4 cable. Press each Green Arrow and
note if the Telescope Mount moves in a specific direction.
Due to the various orientations of the SkyRaider Camera once inserted inside the
telescope, the Green Directions Arrows will not necessarily match the direction of
Mount movement. Don’t worry; all guiding software will automatically orient itself
with the movements.
You can abort the movement by Left-Clicking on the Red Stop button in the ST4
Popup Window.
The number box located in the middle of the 4 Green direction Buttons can be
increase or decrease to affect the distance the Telescope Mount moves when a
Green Direction Button is pressed. You can directly enter a number into the
number box, or Left-Click on the up and down arrows to scroll up or down the
value in the number box.
Hint
Attempt to orientate the SkyRaider Camera in the eye piece holder of the
telescope in such a manner as to match the Green Directions Buttons movement
of the stars in the video display.
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Capture
This Top Menu Line command allows you
a more in depth capture routine of
either a still image or a video stream.
This command will offer connection to
Night Skies Network (NSN) future
releases.
Capture Image
During the video preview, you can always choose the Capture>Image Capture
command to capture the video image. After the image is captured, the
captured image (still image) will be placed the current active window with an
automated title (0001*).
The Capture>Capture Image menu now be disabled (as you are now viewing a
still image). If you wish to capture another image again, Left-Click the active
video window (Video [SkyRaider]) title to activate the Video Window and the
Capture>Capture Image menu will be enabled again.
The Snap Button on the Camera SideBar can continuously shoot the image even
if the video window is not activated. Left-Click this Snap button on the Camera
Sidebar to a capture image quickly
Only when the video window is active, the Capture>Capture Image menu will be
enabled. If the Live and Snap resolutions are different, then MallincamSky needs
to switch the resolution from Live to Snap in the background to capture an
image with Snap resolution. After the Snap is finished, then MallincamSky will
switch back to the Live resolution to continue the video stream process.
Therefore it will take more time to capture a still image.
Start Time-Lapse (Auto Capture)…
This function can capture a sequence of pictures with the same time interval;
you can precisely set the time interval (2 to 3600 seconds) and the total number
of images you require taken. The images will be saved to the computer (not
displayed in the video/image window) Left-Clicking the Capture>Time-Lapse
(Auto Capture)••• command will bring up Time-lapse(Auto Capture) Dialog
Window as shown below:
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Directory:
The file Directory can
be select by LeftClicking the Browse
button (…).
File:
The File Name; This
can be a combination
of Name of Format,
File Prefix, and File
Type as shown in the
Sample.
Time Slot:
This Time slot (in Seconds from 2s to 3600s) is the time that MallincamSky waits
before capturing another image (5s would indicate waiting another 5 seconds
before capturing another image).
Total Images:
Checking Total Images will enable its edit box. You can enter the Total Images
(from 1 to 9999) to be captured. MallincamSky will stop the Time-lapse capture
process automatically when the Total Images are reached.
If Total Images is unchecked, MallincamSky will capture the images continuously
until you choose the Capture>Stop Time-lapse (Auto capture) command again
to stop the Time-Lapse capture.
Left-Click OK to begin the Time-lapse capture, or Cancel to cancel the Start
Time-Lapse (Auto Capture)••• command.
After the Time-lapse capture is started, the Capture>Start Time-Lapse (Auto
Capture)••• menu will be changed to the Capture>Stop Time-lapse (Auto
capture) menu. Choosing this command will stop the Time-lapse capture.
There are a variety of image format available (they are bmp, jpg, png, and tif) to
save the captured image. For example, when choosing the jpg format, you can
set the parameters of Option to adjust its compression quality or encoding
method. Please check the File>Save As••• menu for more details.
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Start Record…
Left-Click this control to start the
process of recording videos of
what your SkyRaider is currently
imaging. The video format can
be in either avi or ser format.
A Video File window will pop-up
so that you can give the
captured video a file name and
location. Enter a name and
choose a location for your
video files. Left-Click on Browse
to help choose a directory
location
Then Left-Click on Next to choose
the File format that you would like
MallincamSky to save the video
in (choose avi).
If you Left-Click on the Finish
button, MallincamSky will start
recording until you Left-Click on
the Stop Recording Button that
appears on the SideBar.
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You can now enter the length of
the Video you want MallincamSky
to record by Left-Clicking the Time
Limit (Minutes) Checkbox and
choosing a time (from 1m to
1440m); leaving the check box
unchecked will record until you
click on the Stop Record Button in
the SideBar.
You can also insert a Time-Lapse value from 1 to 100
This Time-Lapse seems to record every Time-Lapsed frame from the Frame
Rate of the Sky Raider Camera. The following are the observed recording times
when choosing a 1 minute recording. Take extra note of the length of the video
when you set the Time-Lapse to 2.






At 60 seconds a Time-Lapse of 1 will produce a video of about 60s
At 60 seconds a Time-Lapse of 3 will produce a video of about 41s
At 60 seconds a Time-Lapse of 10 will produce a video of about 26s
At 60 seconds a Time-Lapse of 30 will produce a video of about 6s
At 60 seconds a Time-Lapse of 50 will produce a video of about 3.5s
At 60 seconds a Time-Lapse of 100 will produce a video of about 1s
 At 60 seconds a Time-Lapse of 2 will produce a video of about 90s
The only way to view Videos using MallincamSky is to restart MallincamSky
without a SkyRaider plugged into the computer.
Hint
Use Windows Explorer to View your saved videos.
Hint
I would leave to Time-Lapse at 1, as this best matches the capabilities of your
SkyRaider Camera’s output.
Start Broadcast…
This menu will be used for future plans. The intention is to give this command the
ability to broadcast on Night Skies Network (NSN)
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Image
The Image menu will allow you to adjust the
properties or any captured image in an active
Image Tab in MallincamSky video/image
window.
Hint
You can use the SideBar’s Undo/Redo Tab to revert any correction back to a
previous state.
Mode
The Mode Control will
give you the ability
Color Quantize, Gray
Scale, and Decolorize
the selected still image.
The Color Quantize••• command is widely used
to change the image bit. MallincamSky supports
the mutual changes among 24 bit, 8 bit, 4 bit or 1
bit images. When the Colour Bits dialog is
opened, the default checked color bit is the
current image's color bit. Check the desired bit
and click OK to end the command. The image
will converted to the selected color bits in the
image window.
The Gray Scale command to convert a color image (true color image or index
color image) to a gray scale image. If the original image is 24 bit, the new image
is 8 bit. Otherwise the bit of the image will not be modified.
The Contrast Preserving Decolorization command to convert a color image (true
color image or index color image) to a gray scale image with a unique algorithm
to preserved as much of the color contrast for each channel into Monochrome
image. If the original image is 24 bit, the new image is 8 bit. Otherwise the bit of
the image will not be modified.
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Adjust
The Adjust menu will allow you to adjust the
Brightness and Contrast of the image. You will
be able to modify the RGB Color balance, as
well as the High Lights, MidTones and
Shadows values. Color Curves and Filtering
algorithms are also in the menu control. You
will have the ability to Invert the image as well
as perform some Detail Enhancement
procedures on the image.
Adjust Brightness/Contrast
The Image>Adjust>Brightness/Contrast••• command offers simple adjustments
to the tonal range of an image. This command makes the same adjustment to
every pixel in the image. The Brightness/Contrast command does not work with
individual channels and is not recommended for high-end output because it
can result in the loss of details about the image.
Brightness: Dragging the slider bar to the left decreases the level and dragging it
to the right increases the level. The numbers on the right of the slider
bar displays the Brightness value. Values can range from -150 to
+150. The Default value is 0.
Contrast: Dragging the slider bar to the left decreases the level and dragging it
to the right increases the level. The numbers on the right of the slider bar
displays the Contrast value. Values can range from -150 to +150. The
Default value is 0.
Make your adjustments to the Brightness and Contrast values and Left-Click on
OK to accept.
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Color
Choose the Image>Adjust>Color••• command to modify the overall mixture of
the colors in an image.
There are four color modules that are supported by MallincamSky:
RGB
MallincamSky uses the RGB model. It assigns an intensity value
to each pixel ranging from 0 (black) to 255 (white) for each of
the RGB components in a color image.
For example, a bright red color might have an R value of 246, a
G value of 20, and a B value of 50. When the values of all three
components are equal, the result is a shade of neutral gray.
When the value of all components is 255, the result is pure white;
when the value is 0, pure black.
RGB images use three channels to reproduce up to 16.7 million
colors on-screen. In addition to being the default mode for new
Mallincam images, the RGB mode is used by computer monitors
to display colors. This means that when working in color modes
other than RGB, such as CMYK, MallincamSky uses RGB mode
for display on-screen.
Although RGB is a standard color mode, the exact range of
colors represented can vary, depending on the application or
display device.
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CMYK
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The CMYK mode is based on the light-absorbing quality of ink
printed on papers. As white light strikes translucent inks, certain
visible wavelengths are absorbed while others are reflected
back to the eyes.
In theory, pure cyan (C), magenta (M), and yellow (Y) pigments
should combine to absorb all light and produce black. For this
reason these colors are called subtractive colors. Because all
printing inks contain some impurities, these three inks actually
produce a muddy brown and must be combined with black (K)
ink to produce a true black. (K is used instead of B to avoid
confusion with blue.) Combining these inks to reproduce color is
called four-color process printing.
The subtractive (CMY) and additive (RGB) colors are
complementary colors. Each pair of subtractive colors creates
an additive color, and vice versa.
HSI
Based on the human perception of color, the HIS model
describes three fundamental characteristics of colors:
Hue is the color reflected from or transmitted through an object.
It is measured as a location on the standard color wheel,
expressed as a degree between 0° and 360°. In common use,
Hue is identified by the name of the color such as red, orange,
or green.
Saturation, sometimes called Chroma, is the strength or purity of
the color. Saturation represents the amount of gray in proportion
to the hue, measured as a percentage from 0% (gray) to 100%
(fully saturated). On the standard color wheel, Saturation
increases from the center to the edge.
Intensity is the relative lightness or darkness of the color, usually
measured as a percentage from 0% (black) to 100% (white).
HLS
The HLS model is very similar to the HSI color model. The main
difference between them is the calculation used to produce
the brightness value. In the HLS model, a pixel's brightness (L) is
derived from its three (R, G and B) color values. That is, a pixel's
brightness (L) is determined by the minimum and maximum
values of its three color values.
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The values beside the slider bar show the color changes in various color
channels.




The RGB channel values can range from -100 to +100. The Default values
are 0.
The CMYK channel values, they can range from -100 to +100. The Default
values are 0.
In the HSI channel, the H value can range from -180 to 180, the S value
can range from -275 to 275, and the I value can range from -442 to 442.
The Default value are 0.
In the HLS channel values, the H value can range from -180 to 180, the L
value can range from -100 to 100, and the S value can range from -100 to
100. The Default values are 0.
HMS
Select the Image>Adjust>HMS••• command to adjust the HL (Highlight), M
(Midtone), and S (Shadow) parts of the image.
Each part's value ranges from -100 to 100. This command is only available for 24
bits true color image.
Curve
Sometimes you may desire more precise
control, or more unusual, nonlinear
effects. The Curves tool in MallincamSky
provides more arbitrary remapping of
the color channels; it is the colorcorrection tool of choice among many
print and photographic professionals.
Using Curves, the input-output mapping
of color channels can be defined by an
arbitrary cubic spline or can be drawn
freehand. This flexibility provides extreme
generality.
It is worth the effort to review how color curves work in such graphics programs
such as Photoshop (tons of information about curves on the internet).
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Filter Color…
Select the Image>Adjust>Filter Color
command to filter out a special color
channel from a color image. Check
either Red, Green, or Blue color to
filter.
For Example, if Red color is checked,
then only information about the Red
channel will be discarded. The Green
and Blue information will remain
there.
Extract Color…
Select the Image>Adjust>Filter Color
command to retain a special color
channel from a color image. Check
either Red, Green, or Blue color to
filter.
For Example, if Red color is checked,
then only information about the Red
channel will be retained. The Green
and Blue information will discarded.
Invert
Select the Image>Adjust>Invert command to reverse the pixel values of the
active image.
Edge Preserving Smooth
This control looks for the
most homogeneous
neighborhood area
around each point in a
picture, and then gives
each point the average
gray level of the selected
neighborhood area. It
removes noise in a flat
region without blurring
sharp edges, nor
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destroying the details of the boundary of a region. This smoothing also has the
ability to sharpen blurred edges.
Choose either a Recursive or the Normalized Convolution. By adjusting the
Spatial Sigma (like the domain) and the Range Sigma, you can affect how many
pixels the algorithm uses when applying the smoothing.
Detail Enhance
This filter works by
identifying sharp edge
boundaries in the image,
such as the edge
between a subject and a
background of a
contrasting color, and
increasing the image
contrast in the area
immediately around the
edge. This has the effect
of creating subtle bright and dark highlights on either side of any edges in the
image, called overshoot and undershoot, leading the edge to look more
defined when viewed from a typical viewing distance.
Choose either a Recursive or the Normalized Convolution. By adjusting the
Spatial Sigma (like the domain) and the Range Sigma, you can affect how many
pixels the algorithm uses when applying the smoothing.
Rotate
This control allows you to rotate and or flip your image
across an axis.
Your options include:




Rotate the image90 degrees Clockwise (CW)
Rotate the image 180 degrees Clockwise (CW)
Rotate the image 270 degrees Clockwise (CW)
Rotate the image an Arbitrary amount
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To Rotate the image a
specified amount (in
degrees) in a chosen
direction (clockwise or
counter clockwise), LeftClick on the Arbitrary
control. When this option
is selected, the Image
Rotate Window will
popup, where you can
enter in the required values. You also have two redrawing algorithm choice for it
to use when rotating the image (Bilinear or Bicubic). Bicubic seems to be better
for images, but it is your choice that counts.
This control also allows you to flip your image Horizontally or Vertically.
Flip Horizontal reverses the image in the application area so that the top right
corner of the original image is now the top left, and the top left corner of the
original image is now the top right corner.
Flip Vertical reverses the image in the application area so that the top right
corner of the original image is now the bottom right corner, and the top left
corner of the original image is now the bottom left corner.
Crop
Choose the Image>Crop command to remove the portions of an image that
does not want so that the focus is on the part of the image that is left.
First select Edit>Image Select (the mouse cursor will change into cross hairs) from
the Top Menu Line. Next use the Left-Click Hold and Drag technique to draw a
rectangle around the portion of the image you would like to keep. Finally select
Image>Crop and your image window will now only contain the portion of the
original image that was inside the Image Select’s Rectangle.
When you create an Image Select Rectangle, you can Left-Click Hold and Drag
the rectangle around your full image to move it to a different location.
You can also resize the Image Select Rectangle by grabbing one of the little
boxes around the rectangle and dragging the mouse to increase, decrease, or
change dimensions of the rectangle.
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Scale…
Select the Image>Scale•••
command to change the
image to a specified size. This
process actually changes
spatial resolution by adding
(replicating) or removing
(decimating) pixels to achieve
the specified dimensions.
Width and Height:
When choosing the Image Scale command; the dialog
box displays the dimensions of the original image in pixels.
The Width and the Height can be set on the new image
by adding or removing pixels. If Constrain Proportions is
checked, the Width and Height will stay proportionate to
each other. If the Constrain Proportions is unchecked, the
Width and the Height can be set independently, but this
will distort the image.
Reset:
Resets the image’s Width and Height to the original
settings.
Constrain Proportions: To maintain the current proportions of pixel Width and
Height, check Constrain Proportions. This option
automatically updates the Width as the Height is modified,
and vice versa. Otherwise, uncheck the Constrain
Proportions button.
Scale method:
There are 2 options for the algorithm that the Scale
method uses to resize the image. They are: Bilinear, and
Bicubic. The default scaling method is Bilinear.
Once you have selected your parameters, Left-Click on OK to make the new
Image Scale final.
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Histogram
A Histogram illustrates how
pixels in an image are
distributed by graphing the
number of pixels at each
color intensity level. The
Histogram shows detail in
the shadows (shown in the
left part of the histogram),
mid-tones (shown in the
middle), and highlights
(shown in the right part).
A Histogram can help you
determine whether an
image has enough detail to
make a good correction.
A histogram is a mathematical graph that shows you the current tonal range of
an image. This way you can evaluate it and, if necessary, correct it.
Tonal range refers to the range of brightness levels in the image. A histogram
shows us how much of the image is currently pure black, how much is currently
pure white, and how much of it falls somewhere in between.
It is very important to note that even though we're talking about brightness
levels, we're not just talking about black and white (grayscale) images, but
Histograms work equally well, and are just as important, with full color images.
This is because, even though we don't always think of color as being anything
but color; yet every color in your image has its own brightness level.
Orange, for example, are typically very light; while blues and reds are much
darker. These differences in brightness values mean that color can have a huge
impact on the tonal range of your image.
Do a Google Search on How to Read and Understand Image Histograms in
Photoshop to find out more information on how to use Histograms to improve
your images.
Choose the Image>Histogram••• command to open the Histogram Window.
Depending on the image’s color mode, choose R, G and B, or Luminosity to view
a composite Histogram of all the channels.
If the image is RGB true color, choose Luminosity to display a Histogram
representing the luminance or intensity values of the composite channel.
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If the image is RGB true color, choose R, G and B to display a composite
Histogram of the individual color channels in color.
Do one of the following:
 To view information about a specific pixel value, place the mouse pointer
in the Histogram.
 To view information about a range of values, click down the Left-Click
hold and Drag the mouse into the Histogram to highlight the range.
The Histogram Window displays the following statistical information below the
Histogram:
Pixels:
Represents the total number of pixels used to calculate the
Histogram.
Level:
Displays the intensity level of the area underneath the pointer.
Count:
Shows the total number of pixels corresponding to the intensity level
underneath the pointer.
Percentile:
Displays the cumulative number of pixels at or below the level
underneath the pointer. This value is expressed as a percentage of
all of the pixels in the image, from 0% at the far left to 100% at the
far right.
The Histogram from Image>Histogram (still images) provides different information
about the video/image window than the SideBar’s Histogram (live video
capture).
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Process
MallincamSky provides some very advance image processing tools. You can
apply these tools to your image to tweak the final output. It would take a novel
to explain each of these standard graphical enhancement tools. So I will leave it
up to you to Google Search the enhancement type to see if it is something you
could use.
Hint
You can use the SideBar’s Undo/Redo Tab to revert any correction back to a
previous state.
You can find Enhancement Filters inside the Process command to sharpen your
image.
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You can modify the color effectiveness range with the Range control to color
sharpen your image.
You can modify the image the pixel/no pixel count with the Binary control
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You can examine the image as a 3-D color contour map with the 3-D setup
control
You can apply the Pseudo Color application tools to turn a Black and White
image into color tones.
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Image Stacking
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Image Stacking control will allow you to select a saved video file, then it will do a
elementary stacking process on the file.
In the Image Stacking process, MallincamSky takes the first frame as the
reference image, this means the first frame is very important and should be
assure the first frame to be the right image scene and the subsequent frames
have a greater overlap region with the first frame.
The stacked image signal to noise ratio is greatly improved. The stacked image
may have has some black edges, this is because the images in the video has
moved and in the stacking process, MallincamSky will added black to the
image area that has no corresponding pixel in the reference image.
This Image Stacking process will not align the video images, so may be better
suited for Deep Sky than for planets.
Left-Click on the control and MallincamSky will open up a Dialog Window.
Using the Open Dialog Window move to the directory and Left-Click on the File
you would like to apply the Stacking process to, then Left-Click on Open.
MallincamSky supports the following video formats for the Image Stacking
process: wmv,asf,avi,mp4,m4v,3gp,3g2,3gp2,3gpp,mov,mkv,
flv,rm,and rmvb .
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MallincamSky will Open an Image Stacking Progress Bar to inform you of the
process.
Once completed, the stacked image will appear in the Video/Image window.
You can now apply other processing techniques to this image which has a large
signal to noise ratio.
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Options
The Options Menu provides 6 Tabs in the
Preference Window. They are: Quick Save, File,
Grids, Cursor, Video, and Misc.
File>Quick Save menu or
the Quick Save Icon can
save the file with no need
to specify the file directory,
file name and file format.
All those are specified in
Options>Preferences•••,
Quick Save property page.
Directory:
Enter the name of the drive and directory where the new
image will be saved. You may either type the path information,
or use the Browse button to locate it from a standard Browse
Folder dialog box.
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Name Format:
The year, month, date, hour, minute and second or nnnn
(sequence) are used as part of the filename. If more files are
saved with in a second, a (xx) suffix is attached to the end of
Name Format to avoid the possible name confliction. For the
nnnn (sequence) Name Format, no suffix is needed.
File Prefix:
Enter a file name prefix for Quick Save when generating files
names for a series of images. This prefix will be combined with
Name Format to form a final file-name naming paradigm.
File Type:
In this combo box, select the format in which you want the
image to be saved (can be BMP, JPG, PNG, TIF). Left-Click the
Option button to set the different parameters for encoding the
file (For BMP format, the Option will be disabled). See File>Save
As•••menu about the details of the format encoding methods.
Sample:
The final file name is shown at the right of the Sample label for
reference.
Show the rename file dialog:
The file name can be renamed according to this item. When this item is
checked, a Rename Dialog window will pop up after choosing File>Quick Save
command or click the Quick Save Icon on the toolbar. The new name can be
specified again according to the requirement.
One can check a File
Extension for the specified file
Format and its Abbr.
(abbreviation), to determine
whether or not it will be
displayed in the Browse
window or not (The checked
Format can be displayed in
the Browse window).
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The Grids Tab allows
you to determine if
you would like a
Grid displayed, and
if so how should it be
draw. Grids can also
be used to define
the color of the
Reticule that can be
drawn over the image.
Grid Style:
The Grid Style can be No Grid, Auto Grid or Manual Grid.
Default is No Grid.
Grid Line Style:
The Line Style for the grid can be Solid, Dash, Dot or DashDot.
The Default is Solid.
Grid Line Color: The color of the grid line. The Default color is Red (255,0, 0).
Reticule Color:
The color of the Reticule. The Default color is Red (255,0, 0)
This Cursor command will set the mouse cursor for the video and image window
operations.
Select the Horizontal Cross as:
None (window default), Single (single line), Double(1 Pixel), Double(3 Pixels),
Double(5 Pixels), Double(7 Pixels), and Double(9 Pixels)formats.
Select the Vertical Cross as:
None (window default), Single(single line), Double(1 Pixel), Double(3 Pixels),
Double(5 Pixels), Double(7 Pixels),and Double(9 Pixels) formats.
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Single means single line. Double means two parallel lines. 1 Pixel means the line
space between the two lines is 1 pixel in distance. The other sizes also have this
meaning.
Select the cursor shape from: Cross, Point, and Null.
In the figure below, a cursor with Double horizontal and vertical lines with 9 Pixels
cross (for the alignment application, the longer one) and the Cursor as a Cross
was defined.
You can overlay the
Date and Time on the
Video Window (With a
location and color of
your choice). You can
also have
MallincamSky display
the Clarity Factor (can
assist in focusing) on
the image. These
overlays are updated
in Real-time.
For Example:
The settings on the
Right will overlay the
video stream with
Will produce the
ovelay:
In the top left corner.
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The Misc page is mainly used
for the control of the
MallincamSky’s User
Interface. It mainly includes:
1. MallincamSky’s special file
format warning
information.
2. Sidebars.
3. User Interface Style;
4. Language.
5. Graphics accelerator
6. Privacy.
Just Left-Click in a checkbox to choose your required Option.
Window
The menu control will close all open windows
(Tabs), and can reset the lays back to its default
settings.
Close All
Selecting the Closes All command will close all of the pictures opened or
captured inside MallincamSky’s frame. If you have made any modifications to
the pictures or if you have captured some pictures from the camera, choosing
the Close All will let you finish the saving operations quickly.
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Hint
August 26, 2015
The Close All will actually close down the live Video Stream window. You can
now use the File>Open Video to view a saved video. Left-Click on camera will
again open the Video Stream window.
Reset Window Layout
Choosing this command will reset the MallincamSky window layout to the
original one. The reset will be effective after restart.
Windows…
Choosing the Windows>Windows••• control will open a dialog box that lets you
manage the currently opened windows.
The dialog allows you to manage large lists of open windows by assigning them
into groups. Let us say you have eight windows open, but want to close four of
them scattered through the list.
1. Choose the Windows>Windows••• control.
2. Select the windows you want to close. Hold Ctrl or Shift key to select more
than one at a time. Here, 4 windows are selected.
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3. Click Close Window(s) button, those four selected windows will be closed,
leaving the other files or captures available for editing.
You can use this command to switch to a required window on a list by hitting
Activate.
About
This control will popup a window that
informs you of the
version number,
and built date of
this version of
MallincamSky.
Left-Click on OK to
Close.
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MallincamSky Toolbar
Open
The Open Image command is used to open an existing image file. This command
can also be used to preview an image in small size, or to view its statistics and
information without actually opening the image itself. You can use this
command to quickly locate a particular image. MallincamSky supports and can
open a variety of image formats. These are identified in the Files of type list box.
MallincamSky can open more than one image simultaneously by:
 Ctrl + Left Mouse Click on each required File then Left-Click on Open
 Shift + Left Mouse Click method to highlight the files to be opened, then
Left-Click on Open
When an image is opened, MallincamSky places it into a new image window. It
then becomes the active image.
MallincamSky maintains, at the File>Recent Files submenu, a list of the last
opened files.
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Save
The Save Icon allows you to save an image onto your computer. The command
immediately stores the current window image to its file (the filename is listed on
the window's title bar) while leaving the image still active in its window.
If the image is untitled or titled with a digit, MallincamSky will issue the File>Save
As dialog automatically. The default “Save as type” will be “Window Bitmap
(*.bmp,*.dib,*.rle)”.
The Save Icon can be used to save the most recent changes to disk. It is often
performed as a precautionary measure during lengthy or involved processes to
reduce the amount of reprocessing that might be required in the event of a
system failure or operational error.
When an image is closed and not to save its changes is chosen, MallincamSky
discards all changes made since the last Save operation.
The Save Icon always saves the contents of the entire window, even if there is an
AOI (Area of Interest) defined on it;
Hint
The Save Icon can be used to save a Snap Shot to the default File folder of an
active Video Stream (it will ask you for a File Name).
Quick Save
The Quick Save Icon will be enabled when:
a) A new image is captured from the camera;
b) An image window is created by choosing the File>Paste as New File
command.
The Quick Save Icon can save the file a quick way with no need to specify the
file directory, file name and file format. All those are specified in
Options>Preferences •••, Quick Save Property Page.
The file name can be renamed according to the setup in the
Options>Preferences•••, Quick Save Property Page’s Show the rename dialog
item
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Browse
The Browse Icon from the MallincamSky Tool Bar is used to browse images under
the specified directory in the Folders Sidebar.
The Browse Window resembles the Windows Explorer. Left-Clicking on the + will
expand a folder so that you can examine its contents.
You can Right-Click on a Folder (or file) and the actual Windows controls will pop
as in Windows Explorer.
As you get deeper into the Browse Window, you can Back-Out or Move Deeper
via the Green Left or Right Arrow in the Browse Window.
The Blue Right Arrow will take you to your computer’s Root Directory.
Left-Double Clicking on a Folder will open up a Window Tab in the Video Window
(this Window will be labeled Browse). This Tab will display all of the graphic files
inside that Folder. If you Left-Double Click on a Graphics File inside the Video
Window, it will open up that Graphics File in a new Tab in the Video Window.
Hint
You can close the Tab in the Video Window by Right-Clicking on the Tab’s Title
(Browse), then choosing Close.
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Zoom
The Zoom Icon allows you to Zoom-In or Zoom-Out while viewing
a Video/image window. The Drop-Down list will off you the zoom
options. Just highlight the zoom option with your mouse and
release the mouse button.
Image Select
You can select a Region of Interest on your Image Tab (live or static) by using the
Left-Click Hold and Drag technique. Once selected then you can Copy (Ctrl+C)
the selected region and then Paste it into another software program.
Once a Region of Interest Rectangle is on the screen, you can drag it around, or
grab one of its handles and resize it.
Left-Clicking on the Image Select Icon again will remove the Region of Interest
Rectangle from the screen.
Track
If the video/image's actual size is larger than the video/image Window, then this
control will allow you to position the actual video/image within in the
video/image Window. This control is activated automatically when necessary.
Its function is similar to the scroll bars. It is an alternative to using the arrows on the
scroll bars for positioning the video/image within the window. Position the mouse
(make sure to choose a location outside a Region of Interest rectangle. You may
need to close the ROI rectangle if necessary) on the actual video/image.
Left-Click and Hold (the Open Hand will change to a Closed Hand). Now drag
the image around inside the video/image Window
If the video/image size is smaller than the video/image Window size, then the
track operation will be disabled.
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Stitch
When the video window is active, choosing the Stitch Icon will invoke the video
Stitch dialog window as below:
The purpose on this control is to stich (glue) together images to create a
panoramic view (image) so plan ahead with this control; are you going to
create a horizontal panoramic image, or a vertical panoramic image.
 Have the camera viewing a specific location (or object), Now Left-Click
on the Snap button. This will place a snapshot in the viewing box.
 Move the telescope so that you have some overlap, and Left-Click on the
Snap button again.
 Repeat as needed.
 When you are completed taking the snaps, Left-Click on Next to bring up
the next Stich Window.
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 Examine the options in this window and make the appropriate decisions
on how you would like MallincamSky to Stich the snapped images
together (this is where the pre-planning comes in handy). You will still be
experimenting with your decisions.
 Once completed, Left-Click on Next to bring up the final Stich Window.
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 Again make some logical guesses with the numbers, and Left-Click on the
Finish button when decisions have been made.
MallincamSky will work thru the Snaps (and apply the choices you have made)
and will place the final result in an image window for your viewing pleasure.
You can try other Stitching decision by having the Stitched imaged active in your
Video Window and Left Clicking on the Stitch Icon again. You will notice that
your original snapped image are available for you to play with and combine in
other ways.
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EDF
EDF or Extended Depth of Focus is used to image the appearance of the object
you are imaging by slightly moving the object off its current position. The EDF will
ask you to capture images after each movement. It will then realign the images
in such a manner to provide better focus on the primary object.
This technique belongs to the microscope world, but what the heck give it a try,
as when you are imaging planets they bounce around due to atmospheric
difficulties. See if this control can put together a satisfactory image.
When you Left-Click on the
EDF Icon, the Capture Image
Window will popup. Position
your image then hit the
Capture Button.
Either move the mount a little
bit (of if the image itself is
moving about), Left-Click on
Capture to take another
image.
Repeat as necessary (note
how the Window keeps track
on the numbers of captures
you have taken.
Left-Click on Next when you
are ready for the next step.
The Select Method Window
will now pop-up. In this
Window you will select a
merging method on how
MallincamSky will align the
captured images.
Read the Descriptions and
choose a method that you
would like to try.
Then Cleft-Click on Next to
continue.
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The Options Window will now
pop-up. Now you will choose
the Detail Clarity, Total
Brightness, and Background
Brightness values for your
combined image.
Read the Description about
these controls and make
your best guess (I always start
with the Defaults and move
from there).
Once the values are
selected, Left-Click on Next
for the Auto Align Window.
The Auto Align Window
allows you to choose the
alignment method
MallincamSky should use to
align the images on top of
each other.
I would recommend using
the Shift+Scale+Rotate
method.
Once the alignment method
is chosen, Left-Click on Finish
and MallincamSky will
attempt to overlay all of the
captured images.
Once it is completed, MallincamSky will place the final image in an image
Window for you to examine.
You can try other alignment methods or stacking algorithms by clicking on the
EDF Icon again. If you Left-Click on the EDF Icon again when the combined
image is active, the first popup window will already have a list of the captured
images for you to choose from.
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Reticule
MallincamSky provides a Reticule (or crosshairs) to aid in aligning your telescope to a
star (or other stellar object).
Left-Click on the Reticule Icon to activate it
and Left-Click again to De-Activate.
You can change the
color of the reticule
via the
Option>Preferences
control in the Top
Menu Line.
ST4 Test
If your SkyRaider camera (such as the SkyRaiderGm) has a ST4 port then it can
be used to AutoGuide your telescope mount.
This control is used to check if the camera can correctly communicate with the
Telescope Mount.
Connect the ST4 cable provided with the SkyRaider Camera to the ST4 Port on
your Telescope Mount. Turn on the Telescope Mount to ensure that it is ready to
be tested.
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Left-Click on this control and the ST4 Popup Window will appear.
The ST4 Window will contain 4 Green Arrow keys that when pressed will send a
specific direction command thru the ST4 cable. Press each Green Arrow and
note if the Telescope Mount moves in a specific direction.
Due to the various orientations of the SkyRaider Camera once inserted inside the
telescope, the Green Directions Arrows will not necessarily match the direction of
Mount movement. Don’t worry; all guiding software will automatically orient itself
with the movements.
You can abort the movement by Left-Clicking on the Red Stop button in the ST4
Popup Window.
The number box located in the middle of the 4 Green direction Buttons can be
increase or decrease to affect the distance the Telescope Mount moves when a
Green Direction Button is pressed. You can directly enter a number into the
number box, or Left-Click on the up and down arrows to scroll up or down the
value in the number box.
Hint
Attempt to orientate the SkyRaider Camera in the eye piece holder of the
telescope in such a manner as to match the Green Directions Buttons movement
of the stars in the video display.
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Controlling the SkyRaider
Once you have a connection to the SkyRaider
Camera, your next task will be to adjust the controls
that make it possible to improve the image the
SkyRaider is capturing. These controls are located on
the Left SideBar Menu on MallincamSky.
The Controls all have drop-down arrows; Left-Clicking
on the Down-Arrow in the control heading will
expand that control. Some controls will also display a
coloured rectangular box on the Video Window to
remind you that that control is in effect. You will be
able to collapse the control window by Left-Clicking
on the Up-Arrow on the control heading.
Camera List
The Camera List control lists the current SkyRaider cameras connected to the
computer. Left-Clicking on the camera name will start the camera video
window. You will see a tabbed frame (with SkyRaider Camera Name) appear in
the window after selecting the Camera from the list.
You can only access one SkyRaider Camera at a time.
Capture and Resolution
This control allows you to adjust both the display
and capture resolution of the SkyRaider Camera
(each model of the SkyRaider Camera will have its
own resolution settings that will appear in the list.
Once the resolution is set, this control will also allow
you to either take a snap shot of the image, or
save a video recording of what is currently being
displayed.
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Left-Click on the Drop-Down list on the Live Control to see all the allowable
resolutions available for your SkyRaider. Simply Left-Click on the resolution you
require, and the MallincamSky will now display the image in the Video Window
with the selected resolution.
The Snap Shot resolution is usually adjusted to match the Live Resolution. But if
your SkyRaider allows independent settings, its Drop-Down List will be enabled
and you can select a resolution of the saved image.
Left-Clicking on Snap will tell MallincamSky to display in a New Tabbed window
a snap shot of the image that is currently being exposed by SkyRaider Camera.
The image will appear in the Video Display Window, with a name which follows
the naming convention nnnn* (for example 0001*).
Every time you Left-Click on Snap, another tabbed window with the name
number increased will appear in the Window. The image is only displayed in the
Video Window; it is not saved on your computer.
You can save the image (and thus rename it), by using the Save icon, or
File>Save As… command from the Top Menu Line.
Left-clicking on Record, will tell MallincamSky to start recording a video of what
is currently being captured by the SkyRaider.
MallincamSky will open up
a Video File window where
you can indicate where you
would like the video file to
be saved (via the Browse
Button), and what name
you would like give the file.
You can then either Leftclick on Finish to Start the
video recording process, or
Left-Click on Next> to
choose which one of two
formats that MallincamSky
can save the video in.
Left-Click on Next>
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The Video Format and
Encoder window will open
up. It is here where you
choose the Video format to
save your video in.
You can now choose either
ser or avi, we recommend
selecting avi.
Left-Click on Next> to display
the Start to Record Window.
Here you can set the time
length of the Video (you can
only select minutes).
If the Time Limit Check Box is
unchecked, then you
manually stop the recording
by Left-Clicking on the Stop
Icon that will replace the
Record Icon on the SideBar.
Time-Lapse will allow you to the rate at which the frames are captured. See Start
Record … in the Capture section of the User Manual for more detailed
information on using Time-Lapse.
Left-Click on Finish to Start to recording process, the process will then continue
recording until you Left-Click on the Stop Record Icon, or when it reaches the
Time Limit (if you selected a Time Limit).
If you need to record video in units other than Minutes, use the Capture>Start
Time Lapse (Auto Capture)… from the Top Menu Line. This command will allow
you to select a time in units of seconds rather than minutes. You must have the
Video Window active to use this command.
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Exposure & Gain
The Exposure & Gain control will allow you
to set the Exposure and Gain for the
SkyRaider Camera. This control also allows
for Auto Exposure, but for AstroPhotography we recommend that you set
your own Exposure and Gain values. This
control allows you to adjust the values via a
slider, arrow keys, or by entering a specific
time value.
When Exposure & Gain is expanded, you will see a Green
Rectangle (labelled Exposure) will appear over your
Video Window. This Green Rectangle is a marked region
that is a reference region for judging if the image
brightness has reached the Exposure Target Value (When
Auto Exposure is selected). Dragging or Resizing the
Green Exposure Rectangle to a dark area will increase
the video brightness and Dragging it or Resizing it to a
bright area will decrease the video brightness.
Hint
The Green Exposure Rectangle will be removed when you minimize the Exposure
& Gain control, but since most of us will leave that control open so that we can
make changes to the values as we image; I recommend that you enlarge the
Green Exposure Rectangle to the full size of the Video Window (Left-Click Hold
and Drag) or drag and reduce the green rectangle to a corner of the image
window.
Exposure Target
To use Exposure Target, Auto Exposure must be checked. You can Change the
Exposure Target by Left-Click-hold and drag the marker bar to the required
value.
If you Left-Click on the Slider Bar (which selects it), you can use the left and right
arrow keys of your keyboard to move the slider (this gives you more control). See
above on how to use the Green Exposure Rectangle.
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Exposure Time
The current Exposure time is displayed above the slider. MallincamSky will display
the exposure time in ms, until 60000 ms is reached, then it will switch to minutes,
seconds, and ms.
To use Exposure Time, Auto Exposure must be unchecked. You can modify the
Exposure Time in three different ways:
 By Left-Click-Hold and Drag the marker bar to the required value.
 If you Left-Click on the Slider Bar (which selects it), you can use the Left
and Right Arrow Keys of your keyboard to move the slider (this gives you
more control).
 If you Left-Click on the Current Exposure Time Value, a window will open
up where you can enter in the exact exposure time you require. This
window will also provide you the exposure limits your specific SkyRaider
Camera can handle.
Don’t forget to Left-Click on OK to have MallincamSky accept the
entered exposure time.
If you set the Exposure Time to 10 seconds or higher, you will see a timer in the
lower right corner of the screen indicating the current half cycle time out of the
exposure time for the current image.
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Gain
This control allows you to adjust the gain. Gain will brighten up the image (but it
can also brighten up the artifacts). The higher the Gain value; the shorter the
exposure that you will require. All you need to do is find the highest Gain value
that provides you with the image you are satisfied with.
The Gain Control Bar will indicate the maximum Gain value that is available for
your specific SkyRaider Camera.
You can modify the Gain in two different ways:
 By Left-Click-Hold and Drag the marker bar to the required value.
 If you Left-Click on the Slider Bar (which selects it), you can use the Left
and Right Arrow Keys of your keyboard to move the slider (this gives you
more control).
Defaults
If you (or the SkyRaider Camera) ever get confused with what settings you have
entered into the Exposure & Gain control, you can reset these values back to
their defaults by Left-Clicking on the Default Button.
Color Balance
This control is only enabled on those SkyRaider Cameras that can produce color.
The Color Balance control allows you to
manually adjust the individual Red, Green,
and Blue components of your image to
better match your requirements.
Once this control is expanded,
MallincamSky will draw A Red Region of
Interest Rectangle on your Video Window.
You can adjust the size and location of this
rectangle by using Left-Click Hold and
Drag mouse techniques.
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Drag or Resize the Red Rectangle to a pure white area
and Left-Click on the White Balance Button to
establish the video White Balance for future video
streaming process.
To adjust the Red, Green, or Blue components of Color
Balance use the Left-Click Hold and Drag technique
to mode the sliders., or Left-Click on a slider (to
activate it), then use your Left and Right Keys on your
Keyboard to move the sliders.
If you (or the SkyRaider Camera) ever get confused with what settings you have
entered into the Color Balance control, you can reset these values back to their
defaults by Left-Clicking on the Default Button.
Color Adjustment
This control contains commands that are only
enabled on those SkyRaider Cameras that
can produce color.
The Color Adjustment control will allow you to
adjust: the Hue, the Saturation, the Brightness,
the Contrast, and the Gamma of the object
that the SkyRaider is exposing.
Any changes to these commands will only be
display after the next camera refresh.
Hue
This command controls the Hue of the Video image. Hue is one of the main
properties of color. By adjusting Hue, you are changing the balance of Red,
Green, and Blue in the image.
You can either use the Left-Click Hold and Drag technique to move the slider to
the left or right, or just Left-Click on the Hue’s slider (this selects it), then use your
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Left and Right arrow keys on your Keyboard to adjust the value. The value of the
Hue setting will be displayed above the slider. Only works with a color SkyRaider.
Saturation
This command controls the Saturation of the Video image. Saturation increases
the separation of colors on a video image. It has the ability to enhance or inhibit
the colors on the video image.
You can either use the Left-Click Hold and Drag technique to move the slider to
the left or right, or just Left-Click on the Saturation’s slider (this selects it), then use
your Left and Right arrow keys on your Keyboard to adjust the value. The value of
the Saturation setting will be displayed above the slider. Only works with a color
SkyRaider.
Brightness
This command controls the Brightness of the Video image. Brightness makes the
video image brighter or dimmer. This is a linear adjustment.
You can either use the Left-Click Hold and Drag technique to move the slider to
the left or right, or just Left-Click on the Brightness’s slider (this selects it), then use
your Left and Right arrow keys on your Keyboard to adjust the value. The value of
the Brightness setting will be displayed above the slider. Only works with a color
SkyRaider.
Contrast
This command controls the Contrast of the Video image. Contrast is defined as
the separation between the brightest and darkest areas on the video image.
When you adjust the Contrast, you increase the separation between bright and
dark.
You can either use the Left-Click Hold and Drag technique to move the slider to
the left or right, or just Left-Click on the Contrast’s slider (this selects it), then use
your Left and Right arrow keys on your Keyboard to adjust the value. The value of
the Contrast setting will be displayed above the slider.
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Gamma
This command controls the Gamma of the Video image. Gamma adjusts the
mid-tones in a non-linear manner. That is, rather than make the image look
brighter; it can increase the brightness of the shadows and mid-tones, without
affecting the highlights in the image (This control is like adjusting the mid-tone
slider on a histogram.
You can either use the Left-Click Hold and Drag technique to move the slider to
the left or right, or just Left-Click on the Gamma’s slider (this selects it), then use
your Left and Right arrow keys on your Keyboard to adjust the value. The value of
the Gamma setting will be displayed above the slider.
If you (or the SkyRaider Camera) ever get confused with
what settings you have entered into the Color Adjustment
control, you can reset these values back to their defaults by
Left-Clicking on the Default Button.
Frame Rate
The speed of the through-put on the USB
port on your computer can depend on
many parameters that are specific to the
processes running on your computer. This
through-put can be affected by the current
Windows environment, CPU, graphics cards.
Using the Left-Click Hold and Drag
technique, move the slider to the highest
frame rate that your computer can support.
Start with the Frame Rate slider at the highest value, and only adjust lower if
video image fails to appear. Most will find setting frame Rate towards the Low
end of the scale better.
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Color/Gray
This control contains commands that are only enabled on those SkyRaider
Cameras that can produce color.
If you require the color video to be
displayed in Color, then Left-Click on the
Color choice.
If you require the color video to be
displayed in shades of Gray, the Left-Click
on the Gray choice.
Flip
This control allows you to Flip the video
image, Horizontally, Vertically, or Both.
Left-Click to place a check mark in the
Horizontal, Vertical boxes to have the
image immediately reflect your choices.
Sampling
This control contains commands that are only enabled on those SkyRaider
Cameras that support binning.
If you require to Bin or Skip your video
sampling rate from the SkyRaider Camera,
then this control allows you to select
and/or change the current setting.
Bin refers to the method of combining (averaging) pixels of block of
neighbouring same color pixels to resize the video to a lower resolution (can
increase video frames/second).
Skip (also known as decimation) means that a certain amount of pixels are not
read out but skipped (horizontally, vertically or in both axes). This reduces
resolution of the resulting video but introduces subsampling artifacts.
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Left-Click on the required button to select the Sampling technique you need.
Bit Depth
This control contains commands that are only enabled on those SkyRaider
Cameras that support various Bit Depth capabilities.
Pixel Bit Depth relates the number of bits
assigned to produce a color (or shade of
Gray). The larger the number of bits, the
larger the number of assigned colors (or
shades of Gray) that the camera can
produce.
In an 8 bit image; for each color channel (Red, Green, Blue), there are 8 bits
assigned. That is, there are 256 (28) shades of Red, Green, and Blue available.
In a 12 bit image; for each color channel (Red, Green, Blue), there are 12 bits
assigned. That is, there are 4096 (212) shades of Red, Green, and Blue available.
The larger the Bit Depth, the larger the data, and the harder the CPU must work
to produce image adjustments.
ROI
ROI or Region Of Interest relates to the rectangular portion of the video image
that you may be interested in. You will lose you Dark Field using this control.
A Blue Rectangle will appear over your
Video Window. You can adjust it using the
Left-Click Hold and Drag technique, or
Left-Click and Hold to drag it over a
specific portion of your Video Window.
Once you have resized and placed the Blue ROI Rectangle on your Video
Window, Left-Click on the Apply Button to selection this as the New Video
Window.
You can then resize the New Video Window by either the Drop-Down Size
command in the MallincamSky Tool Bar or by scrolling the wheel on your mouse
(if your mouse has a scroll wheel).
This command allows you to Zoom in on a specific area of your original Video
image.
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If you (or the SkyRaider Camera) ever get confused with
what settings you have entered into the ROI control, you
can reset the ROI to its full screen by Left-Clicking on the
Default Button. You may need to set Fit to Window in the
Drop-Down Size command in the MallincamSky Tool Bar.
Histogram
A Histogram illustrates how pixels in an
image are distributed by graphing the
number of pixels at each color intensity
level. The Histogram shows detail in the
shadows (shown in the left part of the
histogram), mid-tones (shown in the
middle), and highlights (shown in the right
part).
A Histogram can help you determine
whether an image has enough detail to
make a good correction.
The Top Window in the expanded Histogram
Control shows the Histogram of current
active video.
Two vertical line markers (white) show the upper and lower limits of the intensity
levels. These markers can be dragged with mouse (Left-Click Hold and Drag).
If you are looking at a color image, the Histogram will reflect
the RGB (Red, Green and Blue channels histogram at the same
time) values with shading of the same color. You can also use
the Pull-Down to select the Histogram for just the Red, or just the
Green, or just the Blue channel.
You can also enter directly the desired values in the Left or
Right boxes below the Histogram chart for both Left and Right
Histogram boundaries.
Left Click on the Defaults Button to return the Left and Right
Histogram boundaries to their original settings.
Left-Click on the Auto Button to automatically locate the Left
and Right boundaries thus letting MallincamSky determine the
best video quality.
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Dark Field Correction
What makes the Mallincam SkyRaider series of cameras unique is the built in
ability to take Dark Fields.
The best explanation of what a Dark Field is come from Simon Hanmer. See
Appendix for his explanation.
To have the SkyRaider camera to automatically apply Dark Fields, you need to
follow the following procedures before imaging.
Select SkyRaider
Camera
Step 1
Select Exposure
Time
Take Dark Fields
Check Enable Box
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).
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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).
Step 3
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.
Hint
Step 4
Once you have finished taking your Dark Field, don’t forget to remove the lens
cap on your camera, so that you can actually image (I won’t mention any
names…).
Enable Check-box
Click in the Enable check box to have Dark Fields applied in
real time to your video.
Once you have collected your Dark Fields, you can then save them with the
Export Button (choose a location and File name that allows you to locate the
correct Dark Fields if you would like to reuse them.
You can load previously saved Dark Fields via the Import Button. Just browse to
the folder where you saved them when you used the Export Button.
It has been found that setting the Histogram to 0 and 255 is best for Dark Fields.
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Parameters
The Parameters control allows you to:
Load a previous set of camera control
parameters, or Save the current camera
control parameters for another session. The
parameters includes most of the settings in
the SideBar including the Rectangle
Regions of Interest.
The Drop-Down control provides a list of
previous (if any) saved parameter settings. Just
sellect the parameter session that you require
from the list.
Left-Click on the Load command and it will load the control
parameters from the above file in the Drop-Down List.
Left-Click on the Save command and MallioncamSky will open a
window that will allow you to give a name to the current sessions,
and then will save the current camera parameters under that
name (see Management command below).
Hint
Give a Name that is easy to determine what the parameters in the file contain.
That is, choosing a name like Eagle Nebula Dark Skies, would indicate that the
parameters in the File are designed for the Eagle Nebula when you have great
dark skies.
Left-Click on the Overwrite command and it will overwrite any
setting changes you made to the current parameter file.
Left-Click on the Management command and a Management
Dialoge Window will open up.
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This Dialog Window will allow you to:



Rename the Parameter File name
Remove the Parameter File from the computer
Re-order how the Parameter names appear in the
list.
The Management Dialog will also allow you to export all
of the Parmeter Files to a *.pgt file, so that you can send
this *.pgt file (which contains all of your parameter files)
to a collegue.
The Management Dialog will also allow you to import a
collegues set of parameter files ( single *.pgt file whci
contains all of their parameter files) into your
MallincamSky folders.
When you import a set of parameter files into your system, it will overwrite all of
your parameter files. So use caution. See Hint below.
Hint
After you have created a list of parameter files that you are using. Save them in
a Parameters File Folder (pick a location and name for This Folder such as
Parameter Files) on your computer under a name that indicates that these files
are yours (such as Michael’s SkyRaider-DSc Parameters Files for New Hamburg).
This way you can save a another set of parameter files for another SkyRaider
Camera In the same folder (Parameters File Folder) this way you can load
parameter files for a specific camera. Also you can also include other collegues
parameters files in the same Folder (Chris’s skyRaider-DSc Parameter Files for
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Toronto). This allows you a method to reload your parameter files after trying
colleagues (and not have them overwtitten).
Parameter File Folder






Michael’s SkyRaider-Dsc Parameters File for New Hamburg
Michael’s SkyRaider-Gm Parameters File for New Hamburg
Michael’s SkyRaider-Dsc Parameters File for Mount Forest
Michael’s SkyRaider-Gm Parameters File for Mount Forest
Chris’s SkyRaider-Dsc Parameters File for Toronto
Chris’s SkyRaider-Gm Parameters File for Toronto
Michael’s SkyRaider-Dsc
Parameters File for New Hamburg



Eagle Nebula Dark Skies
Eagle nebula Light Skies
Focus and Goto Parameter
Mic
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Installing Optional Software
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:
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Step 3
Step 4
Step 5
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Click on Next to start the installation process.
Click on Install to start the installation process.
Click on Finish to close the process.
The DirectShow driver will give you the ability to display the SkyRaider video using
other video display software. The software that uses the DirectShow video
protocol, will always have a button that pops up the DirectShow Control Window
where you can control the exposure, and other settings on the SkyRaider
camera.
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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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Step 4
Click on Install to start the installation process.
Step 5
Click on Finish to close the process.
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The WDM driver will give you the ability to display the SkyRaider video using other
video display software. The software that uses the WDM video protocol, will
always have a button that pops up the WDM Control Window where you can
control the exposure, and other settings on the SkyRaider camera.
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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 ST4 ASCOM driver
Plus download the ASCOM Video driver when made available
Step 3
Double Click on the Drivers to install them onto your computer system
(Windows); just follow the on screen instructions. This assumes that you have
already installed the latest ASCOM Platform on your computer.
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8.
August 26, 2015
AutoGuiding with SkyRaider G
AutoGuiding with MaximDL and DirectShow
The following is a pictorial procedure on how to select the SkyRaider DirectShow
driver (assumes you have already installed the driver, and the ST4 ASCOM Driver
on your computer) into MaximDL
Step 1
Start MaximDL
Step 2
Left-Click the Toggle Camera Control Icon (Camera Control Window will open
up).
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Step 3
Left-Click the Setup Camera button on Camera 2.
Step 4
Choose Video DS (from Camera Model in Setup Video DS popup Window)
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Step 5
Click OK in the Setup Video DS popup Window.
Step 6
Click Connect in the Camera Control Window.
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Step 7
Left-Click on the Guide Tab in Camera Control.
Step 8
Left-Click on the Settings Button in the Guide Tab, and select ASCOM Direct in
the Autoguider Output Control when the Guider Settings Tab opens up.
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Now Left-Click on the Setup Button in the Autoguider Output Control and the
ASCOM chooser winder will popup. Select ToupST4 (ASCOM) as the driver
You should now be able to Left-Click on the Start button in the Guide Tab to start
the guiding process.
As MalimDL is using Direct-DS to obtain the video image from the SkyRaider, it
CANNOT directly control the exposure. But, MaximDL does provide a link to the
exposure control written into Direct-DS.
Left-Click on the Arrow beside the Options heading on the Guide Tab on the
Camera Control.
In the Drop-Down list that appears, choose Camera Settings.
Another small Drop-Down list will appear with two
choices (Video Capture Filter…, and Video
Capture Pin…)
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Video Capture Pin ...
Choosing this choice will Pop-up a Properties Window that will allow you to
choose the pixel size of the camera (selections depend upon which SkyRaider
you are using).
Make your Selection and Left-Click on OK to accept.
Video Capture Filter …
Choosing this selection will Pop-up a Properties Window that will allow you to
adjust the Exposure of the camera (along with ROI, Histogram. Misc, and
Parameters. See Above in the User Manual for how to use these control). This
window can stay active when using MaximDL.
I recommend, turning Off the Auto-Exposure, and control the exposure manually
The Flashing Rectangle in the Middle of the Live Video Screen will disappear
when you close the Properties Window.
Now use MAXIMDL as you normally would.
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Running PHD2 with WDM Driver + ToupST4 Driver
Step 1
Start PHD2 software
Step 2
Click on the Camera Icon to open up Connect Equipment Window.
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Step 3
Choose WDM-style webcam camera from Camera Dropdown List.
Step 4
Left-Click on the Connect button on Camera List.
Step 5
The Camera choice window will pop-up. Select MALLINCAM and Click on OK.
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Step 6
Select Resolution (recommend 640x480) and Click on OK
Step 7
Choose ToupST4 (ASCOM) from the Mount Dropdown List
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You can check to see if the SkyRaider can control your Mount by Left Clicking
on the Mount Setup Icon
moves.
and use the Arrow Buttons to see if your mount
Step 8
Left-Click on the Mount Connect Button activate the connection.
Step 9
Click on Red X to close the Connect Equipment Window.
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Step 10
Left-Click on the Looping Icon to start the SkyRaider imaging.
Step 11
Since WDM is only a Video image from the SkyRaider, You will need to set the
PHD2 Exposure Duration to a value other than AUTO (say 1 second). This will NOT
control the actual exposure rate of the SkyRaider, but rather show what the
SkyRaider has on its video image every 1 second. Left-Clicking on the Cam
Dialog Box (see image above) in PHD2 will open a window where you can adjust
the parameters of the SkyRaider Camera (such as the actual Exposure, as the
Exposure control in PHD2 does not control WDM driver’s actual exposure, but
rather just the refresh rate). It you can, set both the Actual Exposure and the PHD
exposure duration to the same value (experiment).
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.
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Running PHD2 with ASCOM Driver
Step 1
Start the PHD2 software.
Step 2
Click on the Camera Icon to open up Connect Equipment Window.
Step 3
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Choose ASCOM Toupcam Driver from Camera Drop Down List.
Step 4
Step 5
Left-Click on the Camera Setup Button to open Setup Window.
Setup Recommendations for SkyRaider is to use 640 * 480 Resolution with the 8 Bit
Depth and Low Frame Rate. Left-Click on OK to go back to Connect Equipment
Window.
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Step 6
Step 7
Step 8
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Left-Click on the Connect button on Camera List to connect camera.
Select ToupST4 (ASCOM) from the Mount Dropdown list
Left-Click on the Connect on Mount List to tell PHD2 that the mount that the
SkyRaider controls the ST4 port itself.
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Step 9
Step 10
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Left-Click on the Red X to close the Connect Equipment Window.
Left-Click on the Looping Icon to start the SkyRaider imaging and then start using
PHD2 as you normally would.
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9.
Appendix
August 26, 2015
How Do I …
How do I get rid of the Green Exposure Rectangle?
First remember the Green Exposure Rectangle is used for the auto-exposure
process, but it can be annoying when you are imaging.
 The way to remove it from the Video Window is to minimize the Exposure
& Gain control.
Hint
If you require the Exposure & Gain Control to be expanded (so you can adjust
the exposure), but still do not want the Green Rectangle in the middle of your
screen, try this.
 Chose Fit to Window from the Zoom Drop down Box (on the Icon Tool Bar).
Now just drag the Green Rectangle (Left-Click and Hold technique) to the
lower left of the window.
 Next grab the Upper Left corner of the Green Rectangle and drag it to the
Lower Right corner to make a zero size rectangle (all you should see is the
Green word Exposure). Finally, grab the Left of the MallincamSky window
and move it to the right until the edge is next to the actual video window
(Watch how the word Exposure just gets covered (This is part of my Startup
routine).
How do I Select a part of the Image and Zoom in?
 Expand the ROI control (a Blue Rectangle should appear around you
image). Using the Left-Click Hold and Drag technique, maneuver and size
the Blue Rectangle so that it encloses the area you are interested in. LeftClick on Apply and watch the part of the image in Blue Rectangle, be the
whole image in the Video Window.
 Now, Left-Click in the Blue Rectangle, and use the scroll wheel on your
mouse to enlarge or reduce the image (you can also use the Fit to
Window control on the Icon Tool Bar).
 Left-Click on Defaults to get back to Full screen.
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How do I automatically save 1 image every 30 seconds?
 Choose the Time-Lapse (Auto Capture) from the Capture Menu on the Top
Menu Line. Now determine your naming convention and location.
 Enter 30 in the Time slot
 Enter the total number of images you would like (or leave unchecked,
and you will manually stop the process when you are ready).
 Left-Click on OK
At the bottom of the MallincamSky Window; a running count will be displayed.
 Left-Click on Stop Time-lapse (Auto Capture) to stop the process.
How do I adjust the brightness in my monochrome SkyRaider?
You will have noticed that the Brightness command in the Color Adjustment
control is deactivated. You can use the Gamma command (moving it to the left
will brighten the whole image, but the better control is the Histogram command
in the SideBar.
By move the Left Marker Line or the Right Marker Line (or a combination of both)
to the left will brighten up you image in a more controlled manner.
How do I Broadcast my image onto Night Skies Network (NSN)?
As a direct way is not yet available, you will need to use a third party software to
assist you.
Obtain one of the following: ManyCam, WebCam Max, SplitCam (different
opinions on which is the best, it becomes a personal preference). Each of these
software programs will allow you to capture what is happening on your
computer screen. The software packages also act as a webcam to NSN.
Therefore whatever screen image these software packages are capturing, will
display on NSN as a webcam image.
See Setting up to Broadcast on Night Skies Network in the Appendix for more
detailed instructions.
Can I Use MallincamSky with One SkyRaider and Auto-Guide with another?
Yes, as long as you use DirectShow, WDM or ASCOM with the second SkyRaider.
Remember if you are using DirectShow or WDM, the guiding software CANNOT
control the exposure setting on the camera; look for a Settings or Property Tab
button that pops up the SkyRaider exposure control window.
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How Do I Pause the Video?
You can Pause or Resume the live video by either choose Setup>Pause from the
Top Menu Line, or even easier, just press on the pause key on your keyboard.
How do I Undo an Operation?
On the SideBar, there is an Undo/Redo Tab; Just Left-Click on the Tab and the
Tab will open with a list of all the operations you have performed on your Image
(not Video, you cannot undo video operations such as contrast).
Just Left-Click on the location before the operation you would like to undo and
MallincamSky will revert the image back to that step.
How do I make my ROI the whole Image Again?
Just Left-Click on the Defaults Button in the SideBar’s ROI control. Note, by
changing the ROI, the Dark Fields will be removed from the SkyRaider.
How do I Turn Off Dark Field correction?
Just Left-Click in the Enable box to remove the check mark in the Dark Field
correction control on the SideBar. Place a check mark back in the Enable box to
reactivate Dark Field correction.
How Do I take Another Dark Field?
You have to either disconnect the SkyRaider, or even easier just Left-Click on the
Video Window Title and Choose Close to disconnect. Now Left-Click on the
SkyRaider camera in the Camera control on the SideBar to reactivate it. Now
you just retake your Dark Fields.
Note: If you change the ROI, then the Dark Fields will be removed from the
SkyRaider.
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Dark Field Explanation
The following is the best explanation of what Dark Field is, and it comes from the
work of Simon Hanmer.
Dark Frame vs Dark Field
Dark Frame Subtraction
First, take an image with the camera shutter closed or the camera/scope
covered under the same conditions of exposure time and temperature as the
light frames you are going to capture of your astronomical target. Many
astronomers will take ten or more such dark frames and then combine them into
a master dark frame, principally for statistical reasons: the more sub-frames, the
better quality of master frame.
This will give you a single (master) frame of hot and warm pixels generated in the
imaging chip, electronically and thermally, including amplifier glow.
Second, subtract the dark frame from each of the light frames in order to
remove hot and warm pixels and amplifier glow. However, other noise will remain
and needs to be removed with other manipulations and software.
Dark Field Correction
Dark Field correction is another matter entirely. It does not refer to a single image
and the recommended/default 10 frames captured to perform the Dark Field
correction are not used to generate a master frame – nor are they simply
subtracted from the light frames.
Instead, the 10 frames are first used to perform a running stacking, analogous to
the stacking procedure applied in both the SSI software and the new
Universe/SSI software.
Running Stacking: the first frame in the series of 10 is recorded in the camera as
is. Then the first and second frames in the series of 10 are combined to form a
new frame that is also recorded. Then the third frame is combined with the
preceding 2 frames to form yet another combined frame that is also recorded …
and so on until you end up with 10 frames in a series that represent 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,
7, 8, 9 and 10 combined frames, respectively.
Note that stacked and combined frame #10 represents information derived from
all 10 frames.
But hold on … we are not talking CCD imaging here – this is video. When a CCD
chip is activated it cranks at full blast and requires effective cooling to prevent it
from rapidly heating up beyond a user-determined temperature. But video chips
work differently: they heat up slowly and progressively. This means that the first
frame of the series of 10 was taken at a lower chip temperature than the final
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one. Therefore, each of the 10 frames records different levels of thermal noise. In
other words, when stored in the camera, these 10 combined frames represent a
library of information that the camera and software can now choose from and
use to CORRECT (note : not « subtract from ») the light image that we want to
display on our computer screen.
Now, how does this work in practice – and why is it called a 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 and setting the software to automatically taking up to 10 images.
We all know our equipment and the skies we observe under (or we certainly will
with a bit of practice). We also have an idea of what range of filters we might
use that night and the effect they have with respect to exposure times. Take this
into account when selecting you exposure time for your 10 dark images.
But remember: this is NOT a Dark Frame subtraction – the exposures required for
dark frame subtraction must be close to those used for the light frames of our
astro-targets. Not so for Dark Field correction. The camera and software in the
latter case are not looking for a single FRAME to subtract based on exposure
time. They are looking at the 10 combined frames to see which one has the noise
level that most closely matches the noise level in the light frame itself. In other
words, they are looking for a noise FIELD. The point here is that camera and
software will select the appropriate Dark Field for the correction, for both shorter
and longer light frame exposure times from the same « library ».
In addition, unlike the single frame of a CCD dark frame, the images used for
Dark Field correction are interlaced combinations of odd and even scan lines.
Apparently this too factors into the fact that this correction removes ALL NOISE,
not just hot and warm pixels.
The important point to retain here is that, because of the stacking and
combining to form the library of images for the correction procedure, long light
exposures do NOT require similarly long exposures for the Dark Field correction
images. For example, a 2 minute light exposure using a narrow-band h-alpha
filter may still only require the user to prepare ten 30 second dark images for the
dark field correction. The precise numbers will vary with your equipment and
conditions.
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Setting up to Broadcast on Night Skies Network
Introduction
I found that when I first started connecting tonight Skies Network (NSN), things started
happening too fast for me to keep track of everything at once. So, pre-planning was the most
the most crucial step for me. I found that by doing test runs in the comfort of my house allowed
me to develop my techniques that work for the equipment and software that I use. Below are
the results and steps that I use to broadcast on NSN, feel free to follow them and/or made
modification as you deem as necessary.
Note
Computer real-estate will be your nemesis. So, depending upon the size of the
monitor (laptop), then number of screens that you are using, then number of
software programs that using are simultaneously are using, will dictate how you
will manage your windows. I will describe how I have organized my windows
under a variety of situations (1 computer, 1 computer with 2 monitors, which
software packages am I using, and what am I trying to do this session).
Remember, it’s all about having fun, and time and patience are your best friends
(not to mention all the guys and gals, and the Yahoo – MallinCam site :
http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/mallincam/messages
One of the most important decisions you will need to make with broadcasting the image of the
SKYRAIDER is what Video capture software are you going to use. Some simple suggestions:
Currently MallincamSky is not capable of modifying the Video Image and having that Video
Image be directly captured by NSN Flash. So if you want to use all the features of the
MallincamSky software and broadcast those results, as well as save screen shots and videos of
your images, then we need another program to capture MallincamSky’s output and have the
output from that program linked to NSN’s Flash grabber.
You currently have three choices for that other program: Splitcam, Manycam, WebcamMax. All
three have about the same features, some of these have versions that will cost you, but all have
a version that is free (reduced functions, advertisements, etc…). My current program of choice
is Splitcam (I can live with the Advertisements). You will then use Manycam/Splitcam/Webcam
Max along with MallincamSky Software to broadcast the images on NSN.
Step 1
Plug in the SKYRAIDER camera into an usb port on your computer.
Always use the same port for your connected devices. I even mark on my laptop
which usb port is for which device.
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Start MallincamSky
Get the image of your object on the Image Window of MallincamSky, adjust the settings on the
software for your planned object and size the window so you have room for other software on
your monitor real-estate. If you have a dual Monitor system, move MallincamSky to the second
monitor.
During your initial NSN experience, you will find it easier to even get the object of
interest onto the MallincamSky Software window. This allows you to spend some
time playing and adjusting the settings prior to connecting to NSN. As you become
more comfortable, you will not worry about that and will adjust while connected
to NSN (with the whole universe watching you live).
Step 3
Start Manycam/Splitcam/WebcamMax
Size the Manycam/Splitcam/WebcamMax window so that is beside the
MallincamSky Window and you can see both with little overlap. If you have a dual
monitor system you can slide both the MallincamSky Software Window and the
Manycam/Splitcam/WebcamMax window to the second monitor.
Step 4
Have Manycam/ Splitcam/Webcam Max grab the window image
All of these packages have the ability to get a desktop image. Choose this option
and overlay the sizing window on top of your MallincamSky Software Image
Window. You may need to play with the sizes until you obtain the ideal
combination of both the fit in your screen. You want to ensure that you get a
good image of whatever the MallincamSky Software is looking at inside the
Manycam/ Splitcam/ Webcam Max window.
This allows you to select
the size and location of
the desktop that you
want on the SplitCam.
Just slide and adjust the
overlay on top of your
MallincamSky’s Software
image.
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Adjust the Resolution and frames/second (fps) value on Manycam/Splitcam/WebcamMax
This will be trial and error; it all depends upon resolution, bandwidth, and what
over members on NSN experience from your broadcasted image. You will end up
adjusting both on the Manycam/Splitcam/Webcam Max side as well and on the
NSN side to get the best image. A helpful hint: I slide over the Manycam/
Splitcam/Webcam Max window so that some of the text appears in the
Manycam/Splitcam/Webcam Max window. Can the members on NSN read the
words? If not, adjust. Remember, this may take a couple of sessions until you
obtain the ideal resolutions for your particular setup. For me I have set both
Manycam /Splitcam at 640 x 480 at 15 fps.
Step 6
Minimize the Manycam/Splitcam/WebcamMax software window
Click on the little underscore on the top right side of the Manycam/Splitcam/Webcam Max
window. This will eliminate the Manycam/Splitcam/Webcam Max window from your desktop (it
should now appear on the bottom of your desktop monitor), but note that the software is still
running and still has hold of your desktop (MallincamSky) Image location.
Do not move the MallincamSky Window around your desktop when broadcasting,
since Manycam /Splitcam/WebcamMax is just grabbing the real-estate location
that currently your MallincamSky Software image is situated at. If you move the
MallincamSky Software Window, then Manycam /Splitcam/ Webcam Max will still
grab the desktop location, but may not grab the whole MallincamSky Video
Image. Don’t be afraid to practice moving the MallincamSky Software window
when not broadcasting to learn how it affects the displayed Manycam/ Splitcam/
WebcamMax Window. If you need to, you can again use the Manycam/ Splitcam/
WebcamMax desktop select icon and select or change the location or size of the
window for it to grab.
If you have a dual monitor, you can leave the Manycam/Splitcam/WebcamMax
window open on the second monitor since real-estate will not be an issue in the
situation. In fact with Splitcam, you have an option to view the displayed image in
full screen mode by clicking on the”[ ]” symbol in the upper right side of the
screen (the escape key returns you back to normal size).
Step 7
Start your Web Browser of Choice
You may have to play with a number of Browsers to see which one works well with your
particular computer setup. I have had success with many browsers: Chrome, Internet Explorer,
Firefox, and Maxthon.
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Log into Night Skies Network (NSN)
Have your Web Brower go to the location: http://www.nightskiesnetwork.com/ . Locate and
click on the BROADCASTERS AND MEMBERS SIGN IN button. The next Login screen will ask you
to enter your username and password. You will next be presented with the Channel Line Up
screen for Night Skies network. Click on the Login selection on the upper right hand side of the
screen.
You will be presented with the Channel Launch Sign In screen for NSN. Again enter your
Username and Password and click on Publish Channel button.
Step 9
Allow Adobe Flash to use your Manycam/Splitcam/WebcamMax
The Adobe Flash Player Settings window will pop up on your screen asking you for permission
to use your camera and your microphone. Select Allow.
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Turn off your Microphone
Until you have your microphone figured out, it is best to initially turn it off. If you do not, the
viewers on NSN may hear an extreme loud buzzing (feedback noise). Later on we will look at
using the microphone, but until then I recommend CLICKING on the little microphone symbol on
the upper right corner of the NSN video display window to disable the microphone.
Step 11
Set a message for the NSN observers
It is a good idea to display a message above the NSN display window, so that the other NSN
views understand what you are doing. When initially setting up (which usually takes longer
when you are learning), I usually type the message “Setting Up the Camera” then CLICK on the
SEND button to have it displayed.
When you are us and running and everything is working as it should, you will
change the message to indicate, what telescope, mount, and camera you are
using. For that is the most frequently asked question from the NSN viewers.
Step 12
Select the Camera
Now is the time to activate the camera, or in our case have NSN driver point to our
Manycam/Splitcam/Webcam Max output.
 RIGHT CLICK inside the NSN Video window to bring up a Settings Window
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 CLICK on the Settings choice and you will be presented with the Adobe Flash
Player Settings Window.
 CLICK on the Camera Icon and you will be presented with a pull down menu to
select your camera.
 CLICK on the Pull Down list to select your camera of choice.
 CLICK on CLOSE to Continue.
NSN will remember what camera you chose from the last visit. So usually you only have to go
through this process whenever you want to change what camera device you would like the NSN
flash driver to use.
Step 13
Choose your Camera Settings
We will now select the settings for our camera. We have the option of changing: The
Bandwidth, Picture, Resolution, Framerate, and even the microphone rate (when you are
ready). The changes will not be activated until you CLICK on the Green OK symbol in the
window.
 LEFT CLICK inside the NSN video Window to bring up the Camera Settings
Window.
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 Use the sliders for Band Width and Picture values. I usually have both of my
sliders way on the right. Over time you will find the sweet spot for your system.
 Select your Resolution from the Pull Down Menu. Select a starting value of (640
x 480) for the system. Again, play with these to see what settings the NSN
viewers say is the best.
 Select your Frame Rate. From its Pull Down Menu. I usually leave it at 15 fps,
but I have used 30 fps at times. Again trial and error for your system.
 CLICK on the green OK symbol to accept these settings.
That’s it, you are done. If everything is working well and the Window’s gods are in a good mood,
you should be broadcasting whatever object the SkyRaider is capturing. You should now enter
another Message and SEND it out to indicate what system you are using and what object you
are viewing.
There is a time delay on what you say (if you have you microphone activated) and
do on your computer as compared to what others see (and hear) on the NSN
broadcast.
You will freeze (and I don’t mean like what Chris does when he broadcasts in
winter till 3am), I mean from time to time your NSN connection will freeze for no
apparent reason. It happens to us all. When this happens, you can simply
terminate the Web browser program (Ctrl –Alt-Del). Then restart your browser
and Log back into NSN. This usual is a very quick process. But, sometime we all
have to restart our computer (this takes longer for we need to power down
hardware and software) and reactivate everything before login back in. Don’t
worry, the NSN viewers sense what is happening and will keep the conversations
going while waiting for you to come back on.
Don’t be afraid to ask for advice by typing in on the Video chat window, as we are all learning
and are willing to assist whenever we can.
When ready, try activating the microphone (click on the microphone symbol). Other will let you
know if they can hear you, or if there is noise. Remember there are settings for the microphone
in the camera settings window.
When you are finished with your session, you simply say your good nights to the
crowd of NSN viewers to let them know that your session is ending. CLICK on the
red STOP button on your NSN Window and NSN will shut down your channel and
you can power down your system and call it an evening (It won’t force the NSN
viewers off the channel and some viewers will continue chatting long after you
have gone to bed).
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Focal Reducers
MFR-8
MFR 8 Mk II Kit. This focal reducer is made for the SkyRaider Series of cameras.
Typically it is a MFR-5 II without the rear (MFR-6) small part. The front lens has a
high precision achromatic 25 mm double sided coated lens, and includes two 10
mm spacers and a 5 mm spacer offering a variety of variable focal reduction for
just about all telescope type. This is an ideal combination for the SkyRaider Series
of cameras. If a user already own a MFR-5 type focal reducer no need to
purchase the MFR-8 II Kit.
The MFR-8 Mk II Kit will vary focal reduction from 0.55X down to about 0.4X. Test
result did confirm reduction as low as 0.38X reduction when using the SkyRaiderDS using all supplied spacers.
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User Notes
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