Forums Historical Software Bisque Blogs Richard S. Wright Jr.’s Blog Backyard EOS and Nikon Support

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    Richard S. Wright Jr.
    Senior Moderator

    The next today's daily build for Windows (build 9241 and later) has a new X2 plug-in listed under O'Telescopes. With it, you can select Backyard EOS or Backyard Nikon (edit: the Premium Edition is required for the TCP/IP interface) as the camera source for TheSkyX's imaging camera. O'Telescopes worked with us and added the ability to get the raw image files and control the camera via an external interface originally developed for other automation software packages. This is pretty cool for a number of reasons. First Guylain Rochon really knows his way around those camera interfaces, so I'm leveraging a bit off of him. Many users have written me asking for similar functionality to Backyard EOS, live view, video recording for planets, jpg color previews, etc. I still want to do these things (for the Mac hey!), but the reality is there's a remarkably few number of actual developers at Software Bisque. Making friends is much better than going to war, don't you think? Besides, I use Backyard EOS myself (and was already a customer) for making planetary videos. This also brings Nikon support to TheSkyX for Windows, and with the introduction of the D810a we are seeing a rise in Nikon demand.

    For some of our users, this is an especially big win because our imaging workflow is really aimed towards CCD imagers, and our style of using a DSLR is more akin to using an uncooled CCD camera. Backyard EOS does an excellent job of making the most of the DSLR and honoring a more DSLR oriented usage model. For people who want to use Backyard EOS as their native imaging front end, but also want to use TheSkyX Pro for their Paramounts and/or guiding, etc. this is the perfect solution. Here's the low down on some provisos, and a few value added features:

    1. First you have to start Backyard Nikon/EOS and connect to your camera.
    2. Make sure you've turned on the server TCP/IP interface in the advanced settings.
    3. Backyard is in “control”, all it's settings for where to save raw files, etc. are of course in force.
    4. Now, connect to Backyard from TheSkyX Pro Camera Add On.
    5. Photo's are limited to exactly 1 second intervals. In other words, no 0.3 second shots from TheSkyX. You also can't shoot for 0 seconds, so if you shoot bias's, do it from Backyard (or use our native Canon plug-in). For mount modeling or long exposure deep sky images, this should not be a real limitation.
    6. ISO ranges are those supported by Backyard Nikon/EOS.

    Some value added things:

    • You can bin 2×2. This is a software bin (and monochrome, just like a color CCD), but is quite effective for image link and mount modeling. Also great if you want to use @focus2 instead of manual focus with liveview.
    • You can save FITS files… of course. This is unbayered and pretty much just like our existing Canon plug-in, plus you get all that extra meta data in the FITS file header (let's avoid the needless debate of exif vs. FITS shall we? ;-)
    • You can save just the red pixels… great for Ha narrowband.
    • You can save just the blue/green pixels… great for OIII narrowband.
    • Nikons do not report sensor temperature in the exif data… so if you choose Backyard Nikon as the camera type, there is no temperature info reported. 

     I think that's it. I'm off to AIC now, so happy DSLR imaging!






    I was interested in this when I heard you mention it at AIC.  So I downloaded TSX daily build (#9240), but do not see OTelescope or BackyardsAnything  as option under Choose Camera.  Am I missing something?

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