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Messages - CavOkay

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1
Chronos User Discussion / Re: Replacement Power Adapter
« on: October 06, 2023, 09:59:51 AM »
Hi,

Someone correct me if I am wrong, but
just about any power adapter with same power and Voltage rating and plug tip polarity and size will do as a power adapter replacement for the original Chronos power adapter.

From my side I had success using an adapter from a Laptop from a very common Brand.
of course, before using it,
look at the specs written down on the adapter, and even best :

have it measured with a probe.
you should first verify the tip polarity, then the voltage, then the amp rating. and of course that the tip Do Fit the female plug.
there are Plug tip adapters for a few bucks if the adapter you want to use as a backup has a slight different tip size.

Dont fear to use a 5 Amps rated adapter when Chronos original is rated 3 (this is an example, I am lazy and dont remember the exact rating, and dont want the hassle right now to give exact rating  :D )   

I mean for Amps rating, higher is better, and the Chronos will draw only what it needs.
But if your power adapter is lower Amp rated than the Chronos adapter, then it might be not powerful enough and you may probably face issues.

what is mostly IMPORTANT is to respect the Voltage range rated on the Chronos adapter,  around 22 Volts if i remember well,
with some margins.

over voltage you will probably fry everything and make your Chronos a very nice paperweight.
same for the plug tip polarity, although most devices, nowadays can detect and protect against reversed polarity

well get yourself a probe, (multimeter) and measure the raw voltage, and see if plug inner tip is positive or negative,
this is drawn as a pictogram on the power adapter generally but cost nothing to verify it yourself.

then compare (if you can) with the original Chronos Power adapter.

If within same range and specs, it should work.

it worked for me, I have verified everything, plug it and .. yeah ! it works !
 

2
Hello and thank you for your reply (Thumb Up), and for sharing this trick,

actually I have never used the Chronos Web API, Web interface of the Chronos, I will sure give it a try.

Nevertheless, I still hope and wait for the next upgrade to offer this functionality directly from the Chronos Body, from the touchscreen menu.

if it is available in the web API, it should be easy to the dev. team to add a new menu item to implement this improvement, allowing to toggle easily between active and inactive (dark) screen while on the wild, without the need to connect to a web browser.

BTW, either by a menu, but even better together with a hardware toggle, even if I guess this HW toggle would be a bit more tricky to implement.

But like, 3 jog press in less than 1 second, you blank the screen and led, call this Night Mode, and in that state, the next 3 jog press in a second or 2, you pop up the screen ON.

This will need to add a watchdog for the 3x jog keypress, so to me, it looks as a rather simple but great improvement to implement.

so let's hope for it, very soon hopefully, + more more goodies / improvements

Thanks and KR

3
Chronos User Discussion / Re: Procedure for RAM upgrade
« on: July 17, 2023, 09:22:42 AM »
Finally I did it !

Did Yesterday a Successful RAM upgrade from 8 Gb to 32 Gb.

actually I had planned to do this mod long ago, but never found the time and guts to jump in.
I was a bit too fearful of breaking something.
Short Story : I have bought my 2x16 Gb DIMMs online and received them in July 2021 !
Yeah that's too years shelf life before jumping into the cold waters !  :D 

And yes I am seconding what Nikon1 wrote earlier, there are some tricky parts of the job.
To remove the flat cables, is kind of pretty easy, but this is another story to put them back !!! more on this later.

so after removing all flat cables ( 4 in total ) then the Memory Board became fully accessible and separated from the Chronos assembly.
(gently popping out towards you the Mezzanine connector, see the video shared earlier in this tread)

it was pretty easy to remove the old 8 GB DDR3 module. I have save it aside in case I ever have to return the Chronos.

the trickiest point to deal with was, maybe, The (too) short flat cable that connects from the Inner side of the memory board, to the side board hosting the camera interfaces (Power, BNC trigger, e-SATA, Ethernet etc...).

This short Flat Cable connects to a Omron connector, easy to unlock, Harder to put back :
 this was a bit hard to feed-in the short cable : you have to align it perfectly and find a way
to gently insert it in full, lined up, while holding the memory board, and be disturbed by the coin cell battery protruding, (for RTC power)
+ find a place to put your fingers in between Memory Board and the Chronos Body, then once your cable is finally fully engaged, at last, lock-in the flat cable...
 WoWW !!  that was giving me sweat !!

Okay, now this cable was secured, then comes the 3 last flat cables, they are 3 between the display board, connected to the "outer side" of the Memory Board   

One long and narrow, white flat, easy to remove and plug back secure,
and 2 brown flat, hosting components ICs inside, that is actually the Display LVDS, and The Touchscreen (I have figured this out )

They were rather easy to plug back and secure them locked in place. ... well I thought so.

First power on, at last ... hugh !!
 the Chronos logo appears in Magenta ! same for the UI, the menus...
well I first tought it was needing a new reboot, or calibration, which I did, but of course, the Mangenta color was still there,

Just remembered what I came across a bunch of time in my IT days, some bad connections on a VGA cable and you either have a missing Green color or any of the 3 RVB components
so I obviousy was suspecting a bad connection from the Display LVDS cable (the larger Brown flat cable)

So I have disassembled again the Display cover, checked again the connection, secured the lock, tried to run the Chronos this way with the Cover Open ... and  .. Hugh !!!
the Chronos Turned Down !!!
 Bad Idea, I guess the chip on the outer side of the memory board was heating up too much and the top thermal adhesive need to get tight contact with the heatsink on the Display aluminum cover.

learned my lesson and pray the Chronos was not dead...

Reassembled the Display Cover, power on, suspense ...

 yeah ! Magenta is gone, and Chronos Boot Logo and all Menus fonts are back at their original nominal colors : plain White.
then White is no more magenta.

So I was breathing again. But testing it  ... Hughhhhh ! again ! no more touch functionality !!
again, dont fear, must be the connector,

disassembled again, and yes, the Touch flat cable, dont ask me why, was disconnected !
I would have swear it was properly inserted before, and locked in.
well, after the final full re assembly, the full functionnality was here at last.

 so to summarize, that was a bit tricky, chilly-thrilly, but I am glad I did it, happy owner of a fully 32 Gb upgraded Chronos 2.1.
 
 Thanks BTW to all of you who shared your own experience about disassembling the Chronos Body, and about replacing / upgrading RAM.
 
 
about DIMM specs I used, you may ask   :)  so I bought them on A..zon, was a pack of 2x OWC1600DDR3S16G SODIMMs, 16 Gb each

now working like a charm and glad I can record for 11.59 Seconds :-)

as a last Funny Side Note, I have noticed, after all theses actions, The RTC went wild !! the Current Time was displaying  ... 25 November 1929 !!  :D  :D  :D

while resetting it, found a minor bug in the calendar display, going back to previous month, then it was stuck, had to enter the month with the virtual keyboard displayed on screen.

Bug may be already be fixed. (?) FYI I am still by now at Build 0.7.0 ((0.7.02))

Now still patiently wait for the loooooooong expected New Chronos Firmware Upgrade, hopefully Soon, with hopefully promising new functionalities and improvements.

Regards



4
Chronos User Discussion / Re: Filming lightning
« on: February 11, 2023, 04:01:10 AM »
Hello,

This is also one of my Main activity / passion with the Chronos, yes I found this is pretty challenging to have quality shootings with the amount of light that a strike can provide, same kind of challenge happen with DSLR :

 either you open too much the aperture / Hi ISO, and you get maybe some details of fainter ramifications and more distant lightnings, with rain curtains on the way, or the image and strike gets totally burned and overexposed.
Closing too much can decrease the image crispness, can help on very bright lightnings with multiple strikes, but conversely can underexpose the fainter details, tiny lightning branches.

With the Chronos it will be the same, and you need to use a wise trade-off, of not closing too much (will generate noise like you described) and not opening too much either.

actually there wont be any rule of thumb, it would depend on many factors, the actual lighning brightness, depending on the strike distance, depending as well on dimming sources like clouds, rain or hail curtains ....

IMHO, what could help to relieve from noise in these low light followed by sudden high light with the Chronos,  would be to choose a low analog an digital gain or keep it standard but not push it high.
the higher the gain, the higher the noise, alas, and i should say the Chronos is not yet fully optimized to cope with noise as efficiently as DSLR do

So you need to choose wisely your aperture depending on the average lightness amount you observe at a given moment,
and you must accept misses, and overburned or underexposed images are parts of the game :)

Hopefully, new coming firmwares will improve Chronos denoising, this is my hope,
and set apart the Chronos hardware / software actual limiting factors, getting trained is a key point to have successul captures.

good luck with your Lighnings chase !

Here in France we must wait couple months at least from now to have a chance to get some.

 

5
Chronos User Discussion / Re: Chronos 2.1 max operating temperature?
« on: February 07, 2023, 11:19:53 AM »
I am literally doing just that. currently Modding to be able to mount a Peltier AND a Heater to the Sensor, so i can test the widest possible range of Temperature.
 I am aware of the Condensation issue, and prepared to deal with that.
 .
 And no, i am not afraid to take some Risks with this Project, see my earlier work on a proof-of-concept (Which was not effective enough) Watercooler:
 https://forum.krontech.ca/index.php?topic=608.0
 .
 As well as the Current Project of extending all internal Connections, to fit Long Spacers between the two halfs of the Camera Housing, to be able to fit the Peltier and an Modified Cooler:
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zUavp2P5Kw


Sounds very promising ! i will dig into the details of your project ... when I go time  Thanks !

6
Chronos User Discussion / Re: Chronos 2.1 max operating temperature?
« on: February 07, 2023, 11:16:20 AM »

I'm worried about the noise and the need to calibrate before every shot. Already after 30 seconds of camera downtime, I see an increase in noise.

you mean after camera uptime :)
 
yes soon as the temperature goes up, the sensor noise increase, so rule of thumb is do your calibration at a stabilised temperature,  common working sensor temperature,  and the calibration process shall do its best to remove the noise, i guess with dark frame substraction, column gain adjustment, whatsoever is the magic underlying  :)
 just like we do in astrophotography and image stacking

7
Chronos User Discussion / Re: Chronos 2.1 max operating temperature?
« on: February 05, 2023, 06:56:23 AM »
Hello Dear All,

     Yes ideally we could have a robust solution to cool down and stabilise the sensor temperature to a bit lower temperature than the fan only can achieve, for now the fan blower only is designed to do all the cooling, but that is of course not top optimal.

      Best of world would be a cooling device to lower the sensor temperature, namely a Peltier.
Astrophoto cameras use this cooling system, with a sensor in an Argon dry gas filled low pressurised chamber.
with this kind of device, you can cool down the sensor to -50C below the ambiant air or even lower, to achieve very low sensor noises.

      Unfortunately, our Chronos sensor here has not the same very low base level of noise that an astro camera require.
Probably Chronos Sensor in his specs is not designed to best work in too cold temperatures.
   
Adding a Peltier MOD that will be safe, will be a hard job, if not even impossible, without a big mod of the camera case. Furthermore, you we have to be EXTRA-Careful of one big Drawback of sensor Cooling :

      And this is CONDENSATION ! if the ambient air is too wet, (hygrometry high) the much lower sensor temp, with not enough wind to prevent the air damp condensation will surely let water droplets and humidity inside the electronics and will have the issues you can imagine.

      A Peltier is a power hungry device too, so you will need to provide extra power.
That would be a really interesting experiment, but, you know, the Chronos is an expensive jewel and unless you have really good engineering and craft skills / 3D tools, this adventure might be too much and risky to try.

     Same thing, if you have your Chronos cooled down with a portable air conditionner exhaust, the WARNING is  : Be careful in really Wet and hot Ambiant air conditions, that might build-up some condensation into the sensor or electronics.

Just my 2 cent worth  ;)

 

8
Hello,

This is the expected behavior when you mistakenly took the green pill instead of the white  ;D
you should have think twice and now you are under the matrix trap :D  :D

well, to get out of the Matrix I would suggest you try to Calibrate the sensor for that particular image resolution / FPS.
if you are not comfortable with this process, look into the manual, it is very easy and I think might be done on a routine.
 
noise on the sensor is sensitive to temperature, temperature changes, seasons changes, the space weather and the conditions in the matrix :D

Grin apart, yes I dont know why the calibration is unstable sometimes with the Chronos, but sh** happens, noise increase with sensor temperature, that is true, so when the sensor gets hot, I would say at working temperature, then do you sensor calibration for the particular FPS / resolution you are in.

you may start again a new calibration if temperature conditions change, like in hotter ambiant temperatures, or if temps. are really colder.
cold ambiant temp. will have only a slight influence on the camera sensor final temperature, I believe so, because as long as the sensor gets current, it simply heat up. and heat=noise in the camera sensor math. 

Calibration will do many things on the sensor, vertical debanding, denoising with dark noise image substraction, etc. and at last will -hopefully- take you out of the Wrong MAtrix :)

Let us know how it goes, hopefully this is not something else.

Regards !



9
Chronos User Discussion / Re: SSL certificate showing as not safe
« on: January 12, 2023, 03:38:02 PM »
yes it happened before,
actually this is just the SSL certificate that is expired 8 January, so, not a real threat per se, but best if the owner could renew his Certificate and keep this board a safe place. ;-)

10
Chronos User Discussion / Re: External Power external v-mounts
« on: October 07, 2022, 10:48:06 AM »
Hello,

Not a V-mount, but I would say "Omnicharge Ultimate" or any other variant.

It would provide lots of power, either when pluging the Chronos Original charger, or with a pre-set power output.
with the Omnicharge you can set your own voltage output, but Beware and know what you are doing.

for added security, you could take your best multimeter and compare the power Voltage output and polarity at the barrel tip of the original Chronos Charger, with the output of the Omnicharge, and once you are in range, you are safe.

11
Hello Dear DevOps of this fantastic Gem, (I am on a Chronos 2.1)

It's been a while now, since the latest FW was out.
I feel so exited about the next promising new features and improvements.  :)

May you please share Any Progress, ETA, for the next FW Update release ?

For my personal expectations, as said in my previous post on this forum, among others improvements,
I hope for some way to have an optionnal setting to dim lights :

  • Dim the LCD screen light output, have at least a setting to dim it or even switch it off
  • Dim the leds as well, power and record leds
  • Being able to make the Menu Band Toggle dissapear i.e. 3 quick press on the wheel or 3 tap the screen

The above may sound stupid to some, but here is my use case :

I am shooting storm lighnings, and particularly at night, the menu band, and the leds are so bright, they are blinding  8) and disturbing the visual observation when Chronos is hand held. I have already framed my subject and focus, so actually I dont need the screen full brighness disconfort or even can have it off while waiting the actual lighning strike.

This Feature improvement - Dimming the full screen or even turning it off totally while waiting for a Lightning strike -, would as well help quite a bit I guess on the Battery saving, for longer shooting sessions while on the go.

Toggling the VERY BRIGHT menu bar off would as well stop the blinding light disturbing the observation on night  sessions.
Best of World, would be to have a way to set the LCD light output level, from Zero to max.

Actually, a two tap on the screen toggle on-off the ZOOM,
so why not, having something like a 3 tap to toggle the LCD, or to toggle the menu band individually or both, on-off ?
these will Greatly improve confort at night, and help some battery savings.

Even the leds only are much too bright at night, I guess implementing a way to dim them would be kind of easy to do. (?)

 I dream to see these improvements, among others, being implemented in a future release.
how do you find it interresting ?

Thank You in advance,

 Kind Regards and happy shootings to all !

12
Software Dev / Re: Chronos V0.7.0 Full Release
« on: September 09, 2021, 06:50:34 PM »
Hello Dear Community and Dear DevOPs,

First I wanna say many thanks for this Gem, The Chronos 2.1, on my hand for about 2 month now.
I did not get the time to use it much yet, it came first with version 0.6, and of course I have noticed some functions that I think needs some improvements, more on this later.

3 days ago I did flash the new 0.7 version, (not with Etcher BTW ) and .... WOW !!!
I must say I am very impressed !
I see really huge improvements on image quality, de-noising, as you all have noticed, and I can confirm noise are (nearly) history on many resolution and gain combinations. so some of the camera resolutions that were barely usable I must say, on 0.6, are now very accessible.

Now I can increase sensivity / gain without the sacrifice of quality and so I can now feel the sensor being much sensitive to light, I can close the aperture and get more decent DOF and still get enough light.

Thanks a mil for that and I cant wait for the next improvements on the future version 


1st impressions with Chronos 2.1 : WISHLIST for improvements

I am tracking thunderstorms, looking for the perfect spiders or branched lightning strike in slow-mo.
but using the very bright glittering screen in the nightime, with the high brightness UI, and the high brightness top leds, (power, trigger, charge) is really an annoyance in such a use.

so my wish / suggestion is to have a setting, in future FW releases, to have a kind of Night Mode, easy on the night eyes
   ability to disable the screen completely
   or to choose some lower brightness settings,
   and/or to disable individually the UI display temporarily (i.e. until a screen touch or a jog press )


same for the very bright and disturbing and blinding leds at the top of the Chronos :
either be able to disable them or at least  please have a software toggle/menu to make them -MUCH- more discreet, much less distracting


Other Improvement ideas :

- More custom Presets to be able to save (currently only one user custom white bal, and only one user custom matrix can be saved)
  ideally, they could be user-meaningful named presets

 - a tunable histogram, RGBL, on each channel, like in many consumer camera would be a great added value,
 - Tunable HSV cursors as well would be so simple and great, compared to the current Matrix which is rather obscure and a pain to fine tune

- screen saver : for subjects that don't have dynamic lighting intensity changes, once we have set up the aperture and checked the frame illumination is correct, we could have a way to lower the screen brightness, screen brightness adjustments, even for the UI, even enable the full screen off, to save power but keep the Chronos eiher on standby or fully ready but with screen off, yeah, because you already framed your subject.

 Not sure if you gain much on battery autonomy with this, but at least it can still be useful as a night-mode.

- make the UI disappear (user switchable, toggle UI on or off, i.e. with triple screen tap, or jog clic, or whatever)
- and maximize the frame size, enlarge the frame to full screen display

- UI only, brightness adjustments, or even allow transparency | to keep focus on the photo frame and less be distracted by the always-on UI
  I  guess Alway-on UI may burn the screen at that position with time
 
- if not already an existing function that I missed : allow playback of individual stored files directly from the Chronos, again more like in consumer cameras ( Read and play stored video files and not only the latest ) AFAIK, this is not possible as of version 0.7.

- Some more adjustment steps for Screen Digital Zoom with double tap screen, currently, only 2,5x is available, need more smoother steps and even higher magnifications, i.e. to achieve super precise subject focus.

- Need to be able to pan inside / across the Screen Zoom region to be able to spot an interesting subject not in frame center (currently, the screen zoom is only on the center region)

- from the Play / preview screen : Need to be able to select a frame region-crop for the final save file, thus, even less time to save the relevant region, and this enables a last optional re-framing of the subject before saving (i agree that this function can be left to the post processing software, but again if already implemented on the Chronos, it may boost the clip save speed on some situations, of course at the cost of time to set up this region)
- Video overlay : more user selectable info :
                     - True Source Original Capture Framerate 
                     - Date and Time
                     - Overlay position (enable portrait)
                     - any user free message (ideally formatted with variables, i.e. like "made by CavOkay YYYY/MM/DD HH:MM:SS ")

and last idea, I found the camera startup time is quite noticeable, and so, to be extra super ready to shoot dynamic subjects, (insects, birds and other life forms ) we have currently no other choice but to leave the Chronos running, at the cost of battery autonomy and maybe components life, like mainly the sensor, fan noise.

so I think this Gem needs a sleep mode, with a fast wake up. of course I dont know if it can be implemented, this will involve the ability to sleep the sensor and whatever consumes power, with a real quick wake up, just like any modern laptop.

This would enable a dramatic power saving at the field and I assume it may save on the sensor life too, save on the fan noise too. Fan noise is permanent and can disturb some living and moving creatures that you want to catch as natural as possible.

i.e. imagine this situation : I am near a flower, but currently there is no insect around, so I am waiting.

Case 1 : I let the Chronos up and running + the fan noise. since there is no insect, there is no need for now to pull the trigger and record, but power will be anyhow wasted until the subject enters the flower.
If I choose to save on the battery, then currently with the current Chronos software, I will have to PowerOff.
then if the subject appears, I will probably not be ready to shoot until camera is fully booted, so maybe too late for the interesting part.
 

Case 2 : with a sleep mode (the one I wish), simply put the Chronos to a sleep, kinda like a laptop sleep, until the subject appears, either with low fan or even none if possible, then wake up in seconds and enjoy the extra power saved while it was sleeping.

well these are so far my thoughts for an even better Chronos, a dream Chronos,
Hope that it helps, kindly let me know what do you think about these.


One more couple things (bugs ?) about version 0.7 :
  - the restore settings did not work for me, seems broken, has anyone experienced the same ? (was not a big pain though)
  - the digital shutter aperture angle is maxed out at 357 degrees, no matter how you try to top it at 360, it definitely tops at 357.
    I guess that internally, the real value is updated and that this is some kind of rounding issue, so not a big deal of a glitch.
           
Well, sorry for this long post, and again, Thank you for Version 0.7 ,
and BTW congrats to everyone here with your clips, they are awesome !!

Regards,

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