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Thread: A mill camera

  1. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldtiffie
    I almost got the bloody webcam installed - but no go. Perhaps its because its a lap-top webcam - make any sense?
    You have to install the QuickCam V11.1 software first, before you plug the camera in. Did you do that?

    Otherwise, it was an uneventful install for me...

    While it does have an auto-focus, it does have a utility under "Settings" to control the focus "manually" via software which was interesting.
    It says "autofocus" on the box, but its really fixed-focus. I think that focus menu is just cropping the image. I haven't returned that web cam yet -- I can try it this afternoon when I get home from work, but I dont have great expectations.

    Cheers,

    Robert

  2. #92
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    I have been experimenting with the MS cam some more. I have it producing a usable image at 0.02 lux illumination. That is the illumination provided by a standard wax candle at a distance of about 20 feet. When I find some time from other projects I will write it up as well as do some more test on the pinhole lens idea. A proper pinhole lens may be able to provide better focus than the standard lens, especially if used in conjuction with a monochromatic filter. This may make it possible to image the features of interest at the resolution limit of the sensor.

    Speaking of the resolution limit, the maximum accuracy of a digital optical system is hard limited by the sensor resolution. It is governed by the image scale and the size of the sensor together with the number of pixels in the X and Y axis of the sensor per unit length of the projected image features.

    This can be calculated but the calculation must be made for each individual optical system and sensor. It is further complicated by color sensors as they only have a physical resolving ability one third of the pixel count. This is because the final color image is the result of interpolating the triads of RGB pixels into a single three component color value that is assumed to occupy the same position in the image space. In reality it does not as the three RGB pixels on the imager plane are in different physical locations. The resulting color pixel value is then composed of a "smeared" location in the original focused image that corresponds approximately to the center of the three RGB sensors that comprise a pixel triad.

    This is further complicated by the use of different software and firmware algorithms used in the actual camera circuitry for combining the pixels to arrive at the standard True Color bitmap. This is then even further complicated by the use of compression schemes to transmit this information to the computer for display.

    There are a variety of different schemes in use at the camera firmware level as well as different approaches to the actual design of the imaging sensor. Pixel arrays may be linear RGB, interlaced and staggered linear RGB, hexagonal RGB or alternate line RGB. Each has a different effect on how the final image corresponds to the imaging of small features that are near the resolution limit of the imager.

    The bottom line is that the actual display accuracy of fine features may only be assigned a real +- precision value if these factors are known and accounted for. Empirical testing will not reveal these factors.
    Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Origin now settable to bottom left! All values positive. Click Here

  3. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by lazlo
    • I haven't found a 2.0 Megapixel web cam with manual focus.
    I found the Holy Grail: a 2.0 Megapixel web cam with manual focus: the HP EW099AA#ABA. True 2.0 Megapixel CMOS sensor, manual focus ring. Cheap! ($37):

    http://www.techexcess.net/hp-2-megap...099aa-aba.aspx



    The only problem: the reviews say the picture quality is spectacular, but the video capture drivers suck. These web cams are all made by the same two or three Taiwanese companies, so I might be able to get this HP web cam to run with the Logitech drivers, or the generic Windows web cam drivers...

  4. #94
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    I could not even load the software that came with my logitech webcam. I have a older non registered version of XP In my shop PC and I have not ever been able to upgrade to SP2 from Microsoft because of this. The logitech software says I need to upgrade to sp2 to be able to run and I can't do it.
    So bottom line I I did not install anything yet the camera works in mach3 and centrecam as seen in all my pics. I guess I am just using whatever drivers are built into XP?

    Steve

  5. #95
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    Right, there is a default, generic USB web cam driver that Windows XP (at least) will install if you plug the web cam in before you install the manufacturer's drivers. That's why there are loud warning stickers taped to the end of the Web Cam's USB connector when you take it out of the box: if the OS installs the generic web cam drivers, the Logitech software won't "see" the new web cam, and won't have the chance to install the "correct" drivers.

    At that point, you can either delete the web cam from the hardware tree, or right click -> Update Driver, and point to the directory with the {Logitech, HP, Microsoft) drivers.

    I'm not sure how that works for the high-resolution web cams though. Without doing the calculation, I think for > 1.3 Megapixels you need to use USB 2.0. I don't know what happens if you plug a high-resolution web cam into a (slow) USB 1.0 port, which can't handle all the data from the high resolution image.

    Ordinarily you'd think it would default to VGA (640x480) resolution, but that would mean that the camera would have to down-rez the image, which I doubt they do.

    I don't know if I have any machines left in the house with USB 1.0 -- I'll have to check when I get home from work...

  6. #96
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    Default Webcam problems

    Quote Originally Posted by S_J_H
    I could not even load the software that came with my logitech webcam. I have a older non registered version of XP In my shop PC and I have not ever been able to upgrade to SP2 from Microsoft because of this. The logitech software says I need to upgrade to sp2 to be able to run and I can't do it.
    So bottom line I I did not install anything yet the camera works in mach3 and centrecam as seen in all my pics. I guess I am just using whatever drivers are built into XP?

    Steve
    Thanks Steve.

    That just about validates what I thought about my Logitech and the problems I am having with my fully registered and up-to-date W2K computer.

    Its odd because the box the webcam came in said it required XP but the CD in the box said W2K. The software did not tell me I needed XP nor did it say that W@K wouldn't do either. Chasing what it said was the name of the "missing" driver and getting that installed was a PITA - didn't work - but it was a bigger PITA getting it un-installed.

    I think I will replace the Logitech ands see what else there is that will suit W2K.

    My XP computer is due back this week (hopefully) but I want the webcam to work on both W2K and XP.

    I will look for a manual focus webcam even if at lower resolution. I am sure that is the best solution.

    But I'll keep looking.

    If the webcam was as good as my 40/40 (yep twice as good as 20/20) hind-sight it would be marvelous.

    I can see that I am going to have to get another computer with XP and a parallel port (for Mach3) for the work-shop and the webcam. I've been stalling off with that but it seems inevitable.

    This is getting to be like the HSM equivalent of the "Stations of the Cross" on the way/road to Calvary!! I suspect that the vinegar-soaked bun at the end of it is going to taste sh*t-house in this event as well.

    I will keep you posted.

  7. #97
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    Default Holy grail

    Quote Originally Posted by lazlo
    I found the Holy Grail: a 2.0 Megapixel web cam with manual focus: the HP EW099AA#ABA. True 2.0 Megapixel CMOS sensor, manual focus ring. Cheap! ($37):

    http://www.techexcess.net/hp-2-megap...099aa-aba.aspx



    The only problem: the reviews say the picture quality is spectacular, but the video capture drivers suck. These web cams are all made by the same two or three Taiwanese companies, so I might be able to get this HP web cam to run with the Logitech drivers, or the generic Windows web cam drivers...
    Thanks lazlo.

    That is a good result.

    I have read your latest post as well - many thanks - it all makes sense.

    I have replied to Steve's post/s as well.

    I will get what I can that is available locally to suit both my XP and W2K machines (each is a back-up/"Plan B" for the other and are net-worked).

    I am not interested in the audio or vidoe aspects of thewebcam as I will never use it - so same goes for streaming.

    I just need moving frames and pic captures perhaps for mill/shop use.

    I checked the link you gave for the HP webcam and it requires XP SP2 - which won't siut me as I require W2K compatability as well.

    System requirements: USB 2.0 (high-speed) port, CD drive, Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2, Intel Pentium 4 with 1.75GHz or faster processor or equivalent AMD processor, 512MB system memory
    Bugger it!!
    Last edited by oldtiffie; 02-12-2008 at 05:49 PM. Reason: Include webcam specs

  8. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldtiffie
    That just about validates what I thought about my Logitech and the problems I am having with my fully registered and up-to-date W2K computer.

    Its odd because the box the webcam came in said it required XP but the CD in the box said W2K. The software did not tell me I needed XP nor did it say that W@K wouldn't do either.
    There were several critical USB 2.0 hotfixes in Service Pack 2, especially 812308 "You cannot use your USB 2.0 isynchronous Webcam to capture video on your Windows XP-based computer."

    I know it sounds like you don't care about streaming video, but a screen shot from a web cam is actually a single frame from the streaming video that the web cam is sending. So the web cam video has to work in order to get screen shots.

    But, you should still be in good shape: the Windows XP Service Pack 2 USB 2.0 hotfixes were also included in W2K Service Pack 4. So there's no reason the high-resolution web cams shouldn't work with a Win2K install, but you have to have a USB 2.0 host bridge (USB 2.0 hardware support on your motherboard). USB 1.0 can't handle the high data rates from the high resolution web cams.

    To check if your system supports USB 2.0, open up your hardware tree, expand the "Universal Serial Bus Controllers" tab, and look for one or more entries that say "USB2 Enhanced Host Controller." If you don't have that, your system doesn't support USB 2.0, and you won't be able to use a high-def web cam:



    By the way Mick, ordinarily I'd say call me and I'll walk you through the install, but since you're on the opposite side of the planet, the call would be expensive
    Last edited by lazlo; 02-12-2008 at 06:06 PM.

  9. #99
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    Default Its there - "Enhanced USB host controller"

    Quote Originally Posted by lazlo
    There were several critical USB 2.0 hotfixes in Service Pack 2, especially 812308 "You cannot use your USB 2.0 isynchronous Webcam to capture video on your Windows XP-based computer."

    I know it sounds like you don't care about streaming video, but a screen shot from a web cam is actually a single frame from the streaming video that the web cam is sending. So the web cam video has to work in order to get screen shots.

    But, you should still be in good shape: the Windows XP Service Pack 2 USB 2.0 hotfixes were also included in W2K Service Pack 4. So there's no reason the high-resolution web cams shouldn't work with a Win2K install, but you have to have a USB 2.0 host bridge (USB 2.0 hardware support on your motherboard). USB 1.0 can't handle the high data rates from the high resolution web cams.

    To check if your system supports USB 2.0, open up your hardware tree, expand the "Universal Serial Bus Controllers" tab, and look for one or more entries that say "USB2 Enhanced Host Controller." If you don't have that, your system doesn't support USB 2.0, and you won't be able to use a high-def web cam:



    By the way Mick, ordinarily I'd say call me and I'll walk you through the install, but since you're on the opposite side of the planet, the call would be expensive

    Thanks lazlo.

    Its there OK - "NEC USB2 Enhanced Host Controller."

    see link:
    http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/a...ie/capture.jpg

    You wouldn't want to be walking through what I'm up to my ears in!!

    Thanks for the very generous thought and offer though.

  10. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldtiffie

    Its there OK - "NEC USB2 Enhanced Host Controller."

    see link:
    http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/a...ie/capture.jpg
    Yep, you have USB 2.0. problem I see is that you have a yellow exclamation point on the Logitech QuickCam, which means there's a problem with the device driver associated with it.

    Try this:

    1. In the Device Manager, expand "Imaging Devices." Either the Logitech QuickCam should be there, or a generic "USB Web Camera" should be there.
    2. Right click on it, and select "Uninstall".
    3. Remove the QuickCam (unplug it).
    4. Now install the Logitech QuickCam 11.5 software.
    5. Reboot.
    6. Run the QuickCam software -- you'll get an animated picture of a hand plugging in a USB cable. Plug the web cam back in.


    You should get a Windows traybar popup that a USB device has been recognized, then that a Logitech QuickCam Pro for laptops has been detected, then the Logitech QuickCam software should suddenly pop into video capture mode.

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