Author Topic: Software V0.3 Beta - Updated Jan 4 2018  (Read 3785 times)

tesla500

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Software V0.3 Beta - Updated Jan 4 2018
« on: December 15, 2017, 12:52:17 AM »
UPDATE: V0.2.5 Beta released, fixes free space computation bug in V0.2.3 Beta. (Once the final version is done, it will be called V0.3)

We're just about finished testing the next software release, here is a beta you can try out. Try it out and let us know if you find any bugs.

You can downgrade to previous versions if there is a problem with this version. Just install the old version as normal.

V0.2.5 Beta Changelog (from V0.2:
  • Settings are now remembered across power cycles
  • Fixed issue where slow storage device would cause dropped frames. Video is now throttled as needed to prevent dropped frames on save.
  • Increased the speed of saving H264, now saves at up to 200fps depending on resolution
  • Added trigger delay setting screen (accessible from Record Settings), which allows setting of trigger delay with slider and delay in percentage, seconds
  • Added support for gated burst and segmented memory record modes
  • Fixed bug with RAM controller where horizontal colored speckling may occur when camera is cold
  • Added support for all memory permutations (8/16GB sticks) across both DDR3 slots. Max memory is now 32GB
  • Added save fps display to playback window
  • Added "Delete all user calibrations" button under Factory tab (accessible for users)
  • Camera now checks that storage device has sufficient free space before starting save
  • Added RAW saving (Raw binary, 12-bit packed, 16-bit unpacked LSB and MSB aligned. DNG is still in progress)
  • Added mode to automatically start recording on power-up and after save is complete (see Util menu)
  • Added mode to automatically save video after trigger is received. (see Util menu) Together with above, the camera can run completely standalone without an operator
  • Improved boot time
  • Kernel - turned off USB gadget debug
  • Filesystem - USB gadget networking update and boot splash screen added for serial numbers 00000-00049
  • Partial Ethernet - requires commandline access to enable (ifup eth0) (NOT SECURE! DO NOT PUT THE CAMERA ON A PUBLIC NETWORK - Behind router/firewall should be OK)
  • Fixed bug in V0.2.3 Beta where camera would claim there was no free space when there clearly is enough

Installation instructions:
  • Unzip the Zip file into the root directory of a FAT32 formatted USB stick
  • This should result in a camUpdate folder in the root directory of the stick
  • Boot up the camera and insert the USB stick
  • Backup your calibration data. Tap "Backup calibration data" and wait for this to complete (about 5 seconds). The cal data is now backed up on the USB drive as cal_[serial number].tar
  • To install the update, tap Apply Software Update
  • A message box should pop up indicating the software update was found. Tap Yes to install the update.
  • The screen will go black, you may see a screen saying "updating", and the update will be installed. This will take about 30 seconds, potentially longer depending on the speed of the USB drive. There's no feedback that anything is happening, just give it time. The camera will restart at the end of this process
  • Done!
« Last Edit: January 04, 2018, 05:06:42 PM by tesla500 »

Fyodor

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Re: Software V0.3 Beta
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2017, 01:10:25 AM »
Thanks!

I'll apply the update this afternoon and give it a try!

John DeLonghi

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Re: Software V0.3 Beta
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2017, 02:53:46 AM »
Woo-Hoo! Me too!

NoDak

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Re: Software V0.3 Beta
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2017, 10:38:28 AM »
I'll have to give this a shot.

A couple questions/comments:

1. Thank you for being able to retain settings between reboots.
2. Stupid question, how fast does it currently save at? Faster save FPS will really help those 17,000 fps shots. I'm always paranoid and put big handles on my saves.
3. Easier trigger delay will be handy. Always hard to judge how long to wait before hitting the trigger. Now I can just hit it when stuff happens and know that I'll have a handle on the end.
4. What ram configurations have been used on cameras shipped thus far? Just wondering if I have  2 8gb or 1 16.
5. RAW saving I presume is uncompressed video? Is there. Information about the differences between the option you listed? Sounds like a great option for retaining maximum detail when you know you will be running the video through an editor.
6. Standalone mode will be interesting to try.

7. I know we are all waiting for this, but how are things going with HDMI support?

Thanks again for all your hard work.

JamesB

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Re: Software V0.3 Beta
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2017, 01:19:17 PM »
Will try it out this weekend, that is some serious feature / bug update.  Can't wait to see the increased save speed and more importantly the drop frame fix which could occur from time to time "this is probably the most important fix"  Will report issues/findings! 

Thanks, Krontech Team!      ;D

Loial

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Re: Software V0.3 Beta
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2017, 01:55:32 PM »
I'll have to give this a shot.

A couple questions/comments:

1. Thank you for being able to retain settings between reboots.
2. Stupid question, how fast does it currently save at? Faster save FPS will really help those 17,000 fps shots. I'm always paranoid and put big handles on my saves.
3. Easier trigger delay will be handy. Always hard to judge how long to wait before hitting the trigger. Now I can just hit it when stuff happens and know that I'll have a handle on the end.
4. What ram configurations have been used on cameras shipped thus far? Just wondering if I have  2 8gb or 1 16.
5. RAW saving I presume is uncompressed video? Is there. Information about the differences between the option you listed? Sounds like a great option for retaining maximum detail when you know you will be running the video through an editor.
6. Standalone mode will be interesting to try.

7. I know we are all waiting for this, but how are things going with HDMI support?

Thanks again for all your hard work.


2. Saving will scale with how quickly it can get data to the SD card or other media. At 1280x1024 it's limited to about 60fps but can go as high as 190fps while saving lower resolution or quality.
4. All 16GB models were shipped with a single 16GB stick
5. RAW is simply a packed raw format. Each image is saved one after another without any wrapping or containers - I.E. it's not a TIFF or anything. This is still a work in progress and the goal will be to save DNG/TIFF image series or some other better supported format.
7. HDMI is one of those more difficult problems. In my testing I've been able to get HDMI working from the command line but only while the application was not running. It's something we're working on but it won't be ready until at least the next update.

--- More info about RAW
There are three raw formats: 16bpp, 16bpp right-justified and 12bpp packed.

Because the data coming off the sensor is 12bpp the smallest raw files will be saved in the last mode but that's also the least supported format for reading/writing.

16bpp and 16bpp right-justified both add 4 bits of 0 to either the most significant or least significant bits.
For 16bpp (left-justified) that means that all values will be from 0-65536 (or just under that) and for the right-justified version it'll be 0-4096. The first of these two formats will be better supported by software.

Right now I've prototyped a python script that can convert the raw format into a series of b/w TIFFs but it's in very early stages of development. From colour sensors you'll get the full bayer pattern in the raw data and right now most software that can normally handle bayer-encoded images is not detecting it due to being a TIFF. Once I have it able to make a DNG image series instead with the proper coding for editing software I'll release it so it can be used.

All of the raw saving is still quite preliminary as the goal will be to get the camera saving directly as a more standardized way such as DNG photo series or CinimaDNG.

GhostRider

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Re: Software V0.3 Beta
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2017, 11:30:35 PM »
Does this mean we can upgrade our 16g camera to a 32g one, just by dropping in a second 16g card?

if yes, do you have any links to where I can purchase said 16g card that will be fully compatible?

gahang

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Re: Software V0.3 Beta
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2017, 10:58:30 PM »
Which interface should be USB stick plug in ? The eSATA interface or the OTG interface ?

Loial

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Re: Software V0.3 Beta
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2017, 02:23:27 PM »
Which interface should be USB stick plug in ? The eSATA interface or the OTG interface ?

The eSATA interface. Make sure the stick is FAT32 (under windows 10 you may have to use 3rd party software to format as this because they've removed the option on drives larger than, IIRC, 64GB)

Loial

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Re: Software V0.3 Beta
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2017, 02:28:54 PM »
Does this mean we can upgrade our 16g camera to a 32g one, just by dropping in a second 16g card?

if yes, do you have any links to where I can purchase said 16g card that will be fully compatible?

Technically yes. The only sticks we really support are the ones supplying but any dual-rank 8 or 16GB DDR3 dimms should work in the camera.
A quick search finds these: https://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIADER6682991 (not endorsing, just did a quick search)

gahang

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Re: Software V0.3 Beta
« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2017, 05:17:24 PM »
Which interface should be USB stick plug in ? The eSATA interface or the OTG interface ?

The eSATA interface. Make sure the stick is FAT32 (under windows 10 you may have to use 3rd party software to format as this because they've removed the option on drives larger than, IIRC, 64GB)

Thank you very much! I change another USB stick and it works!

gahang

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Re: Software V0.3 Beta
« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2017, 05:18:36 PM »
How does the ethernet function work? Is there any specifications?

tesla500

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Re: Software V0.3 Beta
« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2017, 11:47:40 PM »
How does the ethernet function work? Is there any specifications?

That's currently in development, targeting release around end of January. When we have a detailed spec, there will be on this forum.

gahang

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Re: Software V0.3 Beta
« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2017, 01:04:18 AM »
How does the ethernet function work? Is there any specifications?

That's currently in development, targeting release around end of January. When we have a detailed spec, there will be on this forum.

So what does the "Partial Ethernet" mean in the change log?
« Last Edit: December 20, 2017, 02:08:49 AM by gahang »

Dan D

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Re: Software V0.3 Beta
« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2017, 07:15:14 AM »
Hey guys, thanks for releasing the beta software early! Sorry for long post. Bug reports and tips below.

I'm using the camera in an optics lab at a university. RAW is essential; 12 bit packed mode is great! Our lab has some high end scientific high speed cameras that cost at LEAST 30x more than the Chronos. I've done side by side comparisons and the Chronos is really holding its own - great work Dave & co. Next year, I'll write up and share the data. The only thing that lets the camera down right now is the lack of a remote control API via ethernet and a working HDMI output so we can control & view remotely. I'm sure it will come! :-)

If anyone else is planning to put the Chronos 1.4 to scientific use, perhaps we should start a forum page for sharing code, tips, and example videos of cool stuff. I'm hoping to write an ImageJ/Fiji plugin for reading in the raw data next year. For now, I've got a Python program successfully extracting frames from the 12 bit packed format with no trouble. Once I've optimised the code (it's rather slow and lacking comments), I'll put it on Github. Planning to add support for directly reading gzipped raw files so we can have true lossless compression.

I've done a whole lot of playing about with the 0.2.3 beta in the last few days on my monochrome 8 GB model and I've found some interesting bugs and workarounds. Info will follow for those who care. I'm happy to field-test stuff and follow up on bug fixes if it helps.

Dan D.

WRITE FILES BIGGER THAN 4GB!
When trying to dump the whole RAM to RAW, the fat32 file size limit of 4GB is a REAL pain. And almost as bad, I can't write past the first 8 GB of fat32 media. I'm going to assume NTFS is out of the question, and exFAT is not supported yet. Since the Chronos is running *nix, I thought I'd take a punt and format my flash drive to ext3 - and it works!! I can now save the FULL ram of the camera (8gb) in a single hit to one file, and to boot I can use the whole size of the drive rather than just the first 8GB! The "above 4GB" warning message will still appear - just acknowledge & continue saving. This is super cool, with two drawbacks. One, mounting ext2/3/4 in windows & mac is a pain - and two, the save speed is roughly half that of fat32.

I'm getting best save performance to a high-end USB 3.0 compatible thumb drive formatted fat32, at about 13 MB/s. It's twice as fast as a '30 MB/s' rated SD card, which seems to only give me about 7 MB/s? Maybe it's not a good card.

EXTERNAL SYNC
I've found that if you want to gate the shutter from a TTL signal or at least sync the start of exposure from an external clock, you need to set the internal framerate to be just slightly higher than the incoming signal, otherwise frames can drop. i.e. 1 kHz square wave on BNC cable, camera set at 1000 fps, some frames dropped, but if camera is expecting 1001 fps, no dropped frames.  Setting the internal frame rate too high above the external signal can also sometimes cause unreliable sync though.


BUG REPORTS
i) The eject SD / eject USB in the Util menu are throwing "failed to eject" errors for me every time in v0.2.3.  The "safely eject" button in the Play:Settings screen works.

ii) Aborting save of RAW can cause the camera to crash on occasion (it goes to a shutting down screen and hangs)

iii) 12 bit packed RAW files are often truncated a couple frames short of the requested mark out point. Sometimes the files end halfway through a pixel! i.e. record 1000 frames, save all of it to 12 bit packed RAW, saving UI counts up to 1000 and done, and I end up with 991 frames and a bit of the next frame in my file. This is not a file size limit issue as far as I can tell.

iv) When saving, the counter over-runs the mark out point by 5-6 frames. If mark out is at the end of the memory, it will overflow and count back up to 5 or 6. Maybe connected to (iii) or could be aesthetic.

v) Warning about file size being too large for fat32 storage (above 4GB) is wrong when using 12 bit packed format - it shows the error once the file gets above about 3 GB. I think the calculation for the warning is assuming that the file being saved will be 16 bpp?

vi) When the total data saved to a fat32 drive reaches 8 GB, a save error occurs (sure...) but then the playback & live framebuffer displays go green and distorted on the left, and black on the right side, as if the software suddenly thinks my mono camera is a color model and is misinterpreting the data. Putting in a new empty media and redoing the Save causes the problem to go away.

vii) Sometimes when I boot, the camera has suddenly gone into Gated mode (1 frame!). I think this is related to the next bug.

viii) I use the external shutter gate option a lot. If I try and change resolutions and frame rates when this is enabled, bad things happen, which can be any of the following:
  • the display stops updating or becomes partially obscured by a block of static
  • the camera goes into Gated mode (1 frame) and refuses to accept a change of setting
  • camera can get stuck in a permanent recording loop (red led stuck on, record button does nothing)
  • camera can refuse to shut down and will still be misbehaving when rebooted!
This did not happen with software v0.2 and is a new bug.
Workaround: turn off external shutter gating before changing frame rates and resolutions. Once settings are good, then switch back to external gating.
When the bad things above happen, turn off external gating and hard reset the camera. I had to actually pull the power cord and battery and hard reboot for the problem to resolve.


FEATURE REQUESTS
  • Partitioned memory mode is cool. I don't see support for being able to switch memory segments yet though, did I miss something?
  • Saving the whole RAM to RAW can be a slow affair. It would be super cool to have an option to turn on an auditory alert or screen flash when saving is done so I know to look up from my laptop!
  • I connected IO2 with frame sync output to an oscilloscope at 1Meg impedance and the signal was very funky until I pulled it down to 50 Ohms. In a future version of the camera, can you include a 50R pulldown resistor option for either IO2 or IO3?
  • Does the hardware support binning mode? i.e. read out each block of 2x2 pixels as a single virtual pixel with 4x the effective sensitivity, image is now 1/4 the size.
  • Can you modify the RAW formats to add a few bytes of header data? Ie pixels width and height, bits per pixel (for discriminating RGB and mono data files), and may be camera serial no? Most scientific cameras write data out this way. ImageJ / FIJI RAW reader by default assumes the first 1024 bytes of scientific camera RAW are header anyway.
  • I see the specs list two 1 MS/s ADCs. Is there any way we could use these for recording an arbitrary signal like a pressure or temperature sensor in sync with the movie? Are they wired to the mic jack?
  • Is Krontech willing to share who they buy their CMOS arrays from? I'm not going to go into competition  ;D , but often these details need to go into the methods sections of scientific journal papers.