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Video acquisition

Dewesoft X video acquisition module offers the possibility to acquire video signals synchronised together with other sources like analog, digital, counter, CAN, XCP, etc. A wide range of cameras are supported from simple Direct X web cameras, to high-speed, rugged DS-CAM cameras and IR thermo-vision cameras from FLIR.

Dewesoft X video acquisition module offers the possibility to acquire video signals together with other sources. A wide range of cameras are supported:

  • Low speed cameras (up to 30 FPS): any DirectX compatible camera
  • Medium speed cameras (up to 600 FPS in VGA resolution): Dewesoft DS-CAM cameras
  • High-speed cameras (up to 20.000 FPS): where we combine data and video in post processing or directly use the Photron driver inside Dewesoft X (please consult the user's manual for details)
  • Thermovision cameras: NEC thermovision cameras
  • IR cameras: Micron IR cameras


Required hardwareSirius, Dewe-43, Webcam, DS-GIGE
Required softwareProf (for DS-GIGE support)
Setup sample rateAt least 1 kHz

  

For applications requiring video which is truly synchronized to the dynamic sample rate, there is support for DS cameras. A high-quality image with automatic shutter speed (selectable) is controlled directly by the A/D card, which generates a pulse to drive the camera. The result is a stunning correlation between each frame and the data.

Thermo cameras are supported from FLIR, NEC and MICRON, and high-speed cameras from Photron which can acquire more than 100000 frames per second.


DS-CAM-88 + DS-CAM-120 (gigabit-ethernet camera)

A DS-CAM-88 has following specifications:

  • resolution
    • 640x480 at 88 fps
    • 320x240 at 167 fps
    • 160x120 at 289 fps
  • auto-shutter
  • auto-gain
  • auto white-balance
  • color
  • power-over-ethernet option

DS-CAM-300 + DS-CAM-600

  • full HD resolution (1920x1080)
  • real-time onboard JPEG compression
  • power-over-ethernet option
  • best performance with SIRIUS S-BOX
  • IP67 version available
  • color and monochrome
  • DS-CAM-300bw/c has following specifications:
    • 1920x1080 (HD) at 100 fps
    • 640x480 (VGA) at 300 fps
  • DS-CAM-600bw/c has following specifications:
    • 1920x1080 (HD) at 300 fps
    • 640x480 (VGA) at 600 fps

Applications

All DS-CAM cameras were designed to be high-shock and vibration resistant.

The DS-CAM cameras can run in triggered (sync) and free-run mode. The video is captured by real-time data streaming, even at full resolution! Therefore, a Gigabit-Ethernet port is required.

The system requirements for GigE cameras are:

The applications at which the cameras are used:

  • machine diagnostic
  • product quality check
  • non-destructive testing
  • research and development
  • automotive crash testing
  • impact tests
  • logistics and transportation
  • manufacturing

Specifications

If you have multiple DS-CAM cameras, we can provide adapters for syncing, powering and connecting multiple cameras to Dewesoft instruments.

CAM-BOX1

Adapter box for connecting up to 4 DS-CAM-88/120 to the Dewesoft instrument. Combines Sync and Power to the camera connector. External GigE switch required.

CAM-BOX2

Distribution box for connecting up to 4 x DS-CAM-88/120 to the Dewesoft instrument. Wide range power supply input (9-36 VDC), integrated GigE switch.

CAM-BOX3

Distribution box for connecting up to 4 x DS-CAM-300/600 to the Dewesoft instrument. Wide range power supply input (9-36 VDC), integrated GigE switch with 4 x PoE; SIRIUS chassis with 1.5 U height.

3rd party camera support

If your application requires video you are not limited to using our own DS-CAM cameras. 

Dewesoft X software supports all compatible Direct X cameras as well as 3rd party FLIR thermal and IR cameras and high speed cameras from Photron. See the complete list of supported cameras. All camera sources are synchronised to analog data.

The DS-CAM-88c/DS-CAM-120c are a high-speed Gigabit-Ethernet cameras with following key data:

  • DS-CAM-120c: 120 fps @ VGA (640x480)
  • DS-CAM-88c: 88 fps @ VGA (640x480)
  • Color
  • Auto-gain
  • Auto-shutter (also fixed shutter possible)
  • Auto-white balance
  • Triggered and free-run mode
  • Standard C-Mount
  • Small compact form factor
  • Low power consumption
  • Ruggedized (high-shock and vibration resistant, aluminum housing)
  • Real-time data streaming with full resolution

The camera supports the high-performance industrial standard “GigE Vision”. The standard introduced in 2006 provides a framework for transmitting high-speed video and related control over Ethernet networks.

The benefits are high-speed data transfer rates up to 1GBit/s (based on 1000Base-T) connectable to every standard GigE Ethernet port and cable lengths up to 100m.

Dewesoft uses Smartek GigE SDK for communication with cameras that support GigE Vision standard.

Important: For best performance we recommended using a SSD for storing data. A disk write rate of 100 MByte/s should be established, especially if using more than 1 camera!

System requirements:

  • 1 Gigabit-Ethernet port
  • Good PC performance (Core i5 CPU or better recommended, 4 GB RAM)
  • Dewesoft X or 7.1
  • Smartek GigE Vision SDK 2.7.0.1
  • Dewesoft GigE driver (cdv) 3.5

Technical specifications

Optical


DS-CAM-88cDS-CAM-120c
Image sensorSony IT ICX414AL/AQ with HAD microlens, progressive scanSony IT ICX618AL/AQ with Exview HAD CCD II microlens
Sensor typeCCDCCD
Optical size1/2 "1/4 "
Effective chip size6.5 x 4.9 mm4.46 x 3.80 mm
Cell size9.9 x 9.9 μm5.6 x 5.6 μm
Picture size (max)656 x 492 pixel646 x 492 pixel
ADC14 bit14 bit
Gain control0 – 35 dB; auto-gain0 – 32 dB; auto-gain
Exposure time26 μs – 60 s; auto-shutter58 μs – 60 s; auto-shutter
Smart functionsauto-white balance, color correction, edge filter (sharpness), hue, sat.auto-white balance, color correction, edge filter (sharpness), hue, sat.
Max, frame rate (at full resolution)88 fps120 fps

Power

Supply voltage8 to 30 VDC8 to 30 VDC
Power consumption<3,6 W (@ 12 VDC)<3,7 W (@ 12 VDC)
Power-over-ethernetoptionaloptional

Trigger input

Voltage level representing logical 00.0 … 1.0 V DC
Undefined state between 0 and 11.0 … 3.0 V DC
Voltage level representing logical 13.0 … 24.0 V DC
Absolute maximum voltage (above → damage!)36 V (only with external resistor of 3.3 kOhm in series)

Digital ouput

Maximum current source for output20 mA, open emitter

Mechanical

External housing (h x w x l)86.4 x 44.0 x 29.0 [mm]
Housingaluminum case
Weight< 200 g (without lens)
Storage temperature-10 °C .. +70 °C (14 °F .. +158 °F)
Operating temperature5 °C .. +45 °C (+41 °F .. +113 °F)
Operating humidity25% .. 80% (no condensation)
Storage humidity25% .. 95% (no condensation)
Lens mountC-mount (CS-mount optional)
ConnectorsScrew mount Ethernet RJ45; EIAJ (Hirose) 12 pin (matching part: Hirose
HR10A-10P-12S(73))
ConformityCE, FCC Class B, RoHS, GigE Vision, GenICam

Connections

On the rear side of the camera, there are two connectors. The 12pin HIROSE connector (matching part: Hirose HR10A- 10P-12S(73)) contains the power, trigger and other digital pins. Ethernet connector pinout according to the standard.

Power/trigger connector pinout

12pin Hirose connector (matching part: Hirose HR10A-10P-12S(73)) on camera rear side

PIN #SIGNAL
1GND (for Power and RS232)
2Power (+8...+30 V DC)
3-
4Camera In 1 (TRIGGER)
5-
6Camera Out 1 (open emiter, max. 20 mA)
7Camera In GND
8RxD (RS232)
9TxD (RS232)
10Camera Out Power (for digital outputs)
11Camera In 2
12Camera Out 2

SIRIUS connection example

In this picture you see a typical SIRIUS measurement instrument, consisting of one SBOX unit (integrated PC) on bottom and one SIRIUS slice on top (from rear side).

The camera is directly connected to the Gigabit-LAN port. The second cable to the camera contains the power (from SBOX Power out) and the trigger, connected to the SYNC port of the SIRIUS slice. The camera frames are now in perfect sync with the analog data acquired by Dewesoft .

Note: Even if the camera is connected, syncing to other SIRIUS devices is still possible, because there are different pins used on the SYNC port for triggering/synching.


Connecting multiple cameras

If you need to connect more than one camera, there is a special “CAM-BOX2” available, which consists of:

  • wide-range voltage input (9-36V)
  • an industrial Gigabit-Ethernet-Switch (without Power-over-Ethernet! No supply for DS-CAM-600!)
  • Power and Sync distribution for up to 4 cameras.
  • Small dimensions: 115 x 62 mm (front) and 135 mm deep

Camerabox connector (mating cable connector: FGG.1B.307CLAD52)


Power supply (mating cable connector: FGJ.1B.302CLLD42Z)

Sync connector (mating cable connector: FGG.00.304CLAD27Z)

Connections overview

Benchmarks

The following tests were done with SIRIUS SBOX and 1 to 4 cameras connected to the CAM-BOX2. Setup:

  • 1 to 4 cameras connected over CAM-BOX2
  • SBOX: 128GB SSD -> max 190 Mbyte/s write rate
  • CPU: Intel Core i7 QM57; 2.0GHz; 4GB RAM
  • camera(s) clocked by SIRIUS
  • Dewesoft X1 SP7 b358
  • GigEVisionSDK Version 2.7.0.1
  • GigE Camera driver v3.5 (Plugin)
  • storing data to file, video buffer stable around 0.1%
  • with checked "optimize for switched network"

Achieved frame rates (fps)

Results (FPS) should be considered only as approximate MAX values. Writing speed of disk may be limiting factor (we used SSD). We recommend testing cameras with your setup at about 0.8*max FPS and higher to find where corrupted image, frame lost or buffer overrun will occur.

The DS-CAM-600 is a high-speed Gigabit-Ethernet camera with following key data:

  • 600fps @ VGA (640x480)
  • Full HD resolution 1920x1080
  • Real-time data streaming with full resolution
  • Monochrome
  • Power-over-Ethernet (PoE)
  • Real-time JPEG compression
  • Sync (Triggered and free-run mode)
  • Adjustable shutter time
  • Standard C-Mount
  • Small compact form factor
  • Ruggedized (high-shock and vibration resistant, aluminium housing)

The camera supports the high-performance industrial standard “GigE Vision”. The standard introduced in 2006 provides a framework for transmitting high-speed video and related control over Ethernet networks.

The benefits are: high-speed data transfer rates up to 1GBit/s (based on 1000Base-T) connectible to every standard GigE Ethernet port and cable lengths up to 100m.

Dewesoft uses Smartek GigE SDK for communication with cameras that support GigE Vision standard.

Important: For best performance we recommend using a Core i5 CPU or better, 4 GB RAM and SSD for storing data.

System requirements

  • 1 Gigabit-Ethernet port
  • Good PC performance (Core i5 CPU or better recommended, 4 GB RAM)
  • Dewesoft X or 7.1
  • Smartek GigE Vision SDK 2.6.2
  • Dewesoft GigE driver (cdv) 2.0

Technical specifications

Power

Supply voltagePower-over-Ethernet (42-57V)
Power consumption6 W

Digital I/O

Recommended input voltage0 to 3,3 VDC
Voltage level representing logical 00 to +0,8 VDC
Undefined state between 0 and 1> +0,8 VDC to +2,0 VDC
Voltage level representing logical 1> +2,0 VDC to 3,3 VDC
Absolute maximum voltage (above → damage!)+/- 24 VDC

Optical

Image sensorCMOSIS CMV2000 2E5M1PP
Sensor typeCMOS
Sensor resolution (H x W)2048 x 1088
Optical sizeDiagonal 12.7 mm (2/3”)
Pixel size (in μm)5.5 x 5.5
Pixel data formatJPEG
Dynamic range60 dB
ShutterElectronic Global Shutter
Shutter time210 ns – 90 s
ExposureLinear, 3Slope High Dynamic Range
Scanning systemProgressive
Max. frame rate (at 640x480)specified for 600 (in fact 748 are possible)
ADC bit depth10 bit

Mechanical

External dimensions (H x W x L)94 x 54 x 58 [mm] incl. C-Mount lense holder
HousingBlack anodized aluminum case
Weight290g
Operating temperature0°C .. +50°C
ProtectionUp to IP67 with housing
Fixing holes2 x M6
Lens mountC-mount (1” 32G thread)
ConnectorsEthernet: RJ45, Sync: 4 pin LEMO EGG.00.304.CCL
ConformityCE, EN55022, class A; EN61000-4-2;
EN61000-4-3; EN61000-4-4; EN61000-4-6; FCC Part 15, class A ,
RoHS, GigE Vision 1.2

Connectors and pinout

On the backside of the camera there are two connectors. For the trigger input there is a 4 pin Lemo 00 (called “IO connector”), for the data transfer an Ethernet connector. The pinout of the Ethernet connector is according to the standard.

Note that pins 3 and 4 are used for clocking the camera. Pins 1 and 2 are reserved for synching multiple Dewesoft instruments!


SIRIUS connection example

In this picture, you see a typical SIRIUS device consisting of an S-BOX unit (integrated PC) on the bottom and one SIRIUS slice on top (from rear side).

The camera is powered via PoE (Power over Ethernet, via LAN connector), therefore, a Power injector is required (Gigabit-LAN port of computer → PoE injector → camera).

The second cable provides the trigger, connected to the SYNC port of the SIRIUS slice. The camera frames are now in perfect sync with the analog data acquired by Dewesoft.

Note: Even if the camera is connected, synching to other SIRIUS devices is still possible, because there are different pins used on the Synch-Connector for triggering/synching (see also IO connector pinout).

SIRIUS S-Box with one SIRIUS on top, connected to the DS-CAM-600 (PoE injector in between)

Resolutions and framerates

HINT: Results (FPS) should be considered only as approximate MAX values. It depends on the system performance (CPU, JPEG compression, hard disk). We recommend to test cameras with your setup at about 0.8*max_FPS and higher to find where corrupted image, frame lost or buffer overrun will occur.

RESOLUTIONACTIVE PIXELS MAX. FRAMERATE 
Full frame 4.2M2048 x 2048N/A
Full frame 2.2M2048 x 1088333 fps
2K2048 x 1080
336 fps
HD 10801920 x 1080336 fps
SXGA1280 x 1024355 fps
XGA1024 x 768471 fps
HD 7201280 x 720502 fps
SVGA800 x 600600 fps
PAL768 x 576625 fps
WVGA752 x 480748 fps
VGA640 x 480748 fps
QVGA320 x 2401460 fps

Usually all the drivers come with the Dewesoft X2 installer, if you select the option “GigE camera driver” during installation.

To check if the drivers are installed, go to Settings → Standard devices →  Camera and see if the checkbox “GigE” is visible. If not, execute the fullinstaller again, select Modify and reinstall the option.


The last Dewesoft X2 Fullinstaller can be downloaded here: https://www.dewesoft.com/download?file=Dewesoft_FU...

Manual update

Go to http://www.dewesoft.com/download and download the GigE camera drivers: https://www.dewesoft.com/download?file=GigECamera_..

  • ZIP file includes:
    1. GigE installation manual
    2. GigECamera.cdv file
    3. OptoMotive_OptoStreamSDK:V2_7_4_0.exe file
    4. vcredist_x86.exe file

Step by step instruction

  • Install Smartek_GigEVisionSDK. Note that you must be an administrator, not just a user with admin rights. After the installation be sure that "OptoStream GEV Filter Driver" is installed under Local area connection properties. Note that "filter driver" filters out all packages that are not GigE on hardware level, so the camera will work much faster than without the filter. 
  • Connect the camera to PC via Ethernet cable and PoE power injector in between.
  • The DS-CAM-600 supports DHCP, so just set your computer's IP addres to automatic and wait until the IP is assigned. To test if the camera is working you can run OptoStreamViewer. By right-click on the camera you can also set IP to fix, if you prefer. 
  • To enable the camera in Dewesoft X, copy the file GigECamera.cdv into the Dewesoft X Addons folder, usually located in Dewesoft\Bin\X2\Addons.
  • Copy and replace your existing Dewesoft.exe with the one that you downloaded.
  • Start Dewesoft X and go to Settings -> Devices. For triggered mode, when Dewesoft X is clocking the camera, check if your device is set to Standalone or Clock/Trigger. 
  • Go to video tab (GigE) and check the Use trigger checkbox: 
  • “File types for storing” should be set to “DVI” which is the uncompressed Dewesoft X video format. The CPU will not have enough power to additionally do the “live” compression.  Depending on the measurement duration, the video file can get very big. For compression after the measurement set the appropriate compressor in “AVI file type for compression”. We recommend downloading the XVID codec. In Analysis mode you can then select your datafile and click “AVI compress”. 
  • Go to Channel setup, click the Video button and enable the video channel - change the Unused to Used. 
  • Enter the channel setup, a picture should be shown: 
    • The shutter bar determines the light exposure duration (brightness).
    • If the light is too dark, use the gain bar to increase brightness by software.
    • The JPEG quality is invers to the compression. 80% means good quality and low compression.
    • With the HDR option you are able to increase the dynamic from 60dB up to 120dB if you have an image with low dynamic range (e.g. only light grey and dark shapes).
    • To improve the performance if using the camera on and ethernet switch, use "Optimize for switched network".
    • Use the "Advanced setup", if you want to change specific parameter of the camera, such as the custom resolution.
  • HINT: If you change the frame rate, after typing the value, the input gets a yellow color. Confirm the value by pressing the Enter key.

GigE checkbox in Dewesoft settings missing / Support for 64 bit Windows

For 64-bit Windows, all three Smartek GigE paths needed to be set to Win32_i86 in Environment variable PATH. Go to My Computer and click System properties > Advanced system settings > Advanced tab > Environment Variables >System variables > select Path > Edit. Make the following changes:

  • %GIGE_VISION_SDK_PATH%\bin\Win32
  • %GENICAM_ROOT_V2_0%\bin\Win32_i86
  • %GENICAM_ROOT_V2_0%\bin\Win32_i86\GenApi\Generic

Save and reset Windows. Path correctness can be checked by GetEnviromentVariable('PATH');

GigE plugin is not found in Dewesoft

Issue: In 2.7.0.0 driver Smartek does not run file hard link to GigEVisionSDK_32bit_dll.bat during installation.

Solution: So it needs to be done manually; run CMD as Admin and run the file from the folder \Program files\Smartek\GigeVisionSDK\bin\

When this is done, Dewesoft normally recognizes the GigE plugin.

No picture shown, “No frames received” error

If you receive the error “NO FRAMES RECEIVED”, check:

  • Is the Trigger cable connected?
  • Try decreasing the Shutter value
  • Check in hardware setup if the Dewesoft USB device is set to Master or Standalone
  • Disable Trigger in hardware setup and check if it’s working in free-run mode (cable problem?)

Camera not found (not in OptoStreamViewer, not in Dewesoft)

Check Windows Firewall settings .

Cameras not found in Dewesoft X (yellow mark inOptoStreamViewer)

Not able to use the cameras. Please wait a little bit (until IP is assigned). If that does not help, ensure the computers network IP is set to automatic, as camera supports DHCP.

If the cameras are found, close GigEVisionClient and start Dewesoft X.

Change IP address of the camera

If you manually change the IP address, please close Dewesoft X, start the GigEVisionClient, right-click on the camera and select “Set IP to device”; use the same subnet as the computer, example:

  • PC: 192.168.1.100, Subnet 255.255.255.0
  • Camera: 192.168.1.101, Subnet 255.255.255.0

The IP is ok if the cameras are found with a red mark, close OptoStream viewer and start Dewesoft X.

OptoStream viewer does not start, error message when starting

You can get it working by doing the following: Check if the operating system of your computer is 32bit or 64bit.

Copy the 64-bit dll’s (otherwise take the onces from the 32bit directories) from

C:\Program Files\Smartek\GigEVisionSDK\bin\Win64 and C:\Program Files\Smartek\GigEVisionSDK\GenICam\bin\Win64_x64 to \Windows\system32 (respectively \Windows\SysWOW64).

Then start the GigEVisionClient from C:\Program Files\Smartek\GigEVisionSDK\bin\Win64

Cameras are not working in Dewesoft X

If you followed the step-by-step installation procedure, but still the camera is not working in Dewesoft X, you can try to copy the used dll's manually:

Copy the 32-bit dll’s from C:\Program Files\Smartek\GigEVisionSDK\bin\Win32 and C:\Program Files\Smartek\GigEVisionSDK\GenICam\bin\Win32_i86 to Dewesoft X’s Addons folder. Then restart Dewesoft X.

Maximum frame rate at VGA resolution only 36 fps

When you adjust the frame rate higher than 36 fps, and it is always reset to 36 fps, the Ethernet card in your computer is most probably only 100 Mbit/s. Please check control panel → network card properties. Gigabit-Ethernet (1000 Mbit/s) is required!

Performance improvements (e.g. in case of frames lost, CPU overload or buffer overrun)

A loss of a few frames during a measurement is normal, due to collisions on the Ethernet network. Here are some useful hints to improve the performance:

  • Do not operate the camera in a fully loaded network (e.g. office computers). Just use the direct connection or one switch (with no additional participants).
  • Disable all anti-virus, firewall, indexing and synchronization programs running in the background.
  • Also check if you really have a Gigabit-Ethernet network card, not only 100Mbit/s.
  • Check if the LAN cable is at least of CAT5 quality, if you have longer cable lengths it should be even better.
  • For this camera, the main improvement can be done by using an SSD (disk writing speed about 100...150 Mbyte/s. One camera at 640x480 @ 120fps takes about 35MByte/s, multiply the value with the number of cameras used)
  • Disable any “live compression” in Hardware setup → Video. Codec may take CPU load.
  • Try to decrease the frame rate/resolution
  • Use the Windows resource monitor (can be found in Task manager) to check for bottlenecks.
  • For optimal performance we recommend to enable “Jumbo” frames on your PC network card “Jumbo” frames are Ethernet packets larger than 1500 bytes. This way less CPU time is spent for data reception, therefore, increasing performance and minimizing data loss. (Control panel -> network and internet -> view network status and tasks (network and sharing center) -> change adapter settings -> right-mouse-click on LAN connection -> Properties -> Configure -> Advanced -> Jumbo Frame -> set to highest value (e.g. 9kB MTU)).
  • Also an overloaded Dewesoft X setup (many displays, e.g. high-resolution FFT instruments) will take system power. Try at first only with camera video instruments.
  • Press <Ctrl>+<Shift>+<P> in Dewesoft X's Measure mode. On the right side, the performance monitor will appear. Watch the Cam video buffer. It should stay stable at low values.


System requirements:

  • 6 x independent Gigabit-Ethernet ports. Used network cards at the testing:
    • Intel® PRO/1000 PT Quad Port Low Profile Server Adapter
    • Tenda TEL9901
  • Good PC performance (Core i5 CPU or better recommended, 4 GB RAM)
  • Dewesoft X or 7.1
  • Smartek GigE Vision SDK 2.6.2
  • Dewesoft GigE driver (CDV) 2.0
  • SIRIUS
  • 2 x SYNC BOX (for synchronization)

We have measured the difference between SSD and HDD.

  • WD Black 1 TB SATA Hard Drives ( WD1002FAEX) with 64 MB buffer size
  • Intel® SSD 520 Series (480GB)

Software setup

After we have connected the hardware, we have set the proper network properties.

To set the right configuration of Local Area Connections, we have changed the IP address and Subnet mask in Internet Protocol's (TCP/IP) Properties.

Connect cameras one by one, otherwise, you don't know on which ports they are.

Then we ran GigEVisionClient, where the camera is already connected, but with wrong IP address. So we have changed the IP address of the camera to 192.168.1.71.

The last numbers have to be different in GigEVisionClient and Internet Protocol setup

For the next camera we have changed 3rd number of IP address, because Subnet mask is 255.255.255.0, which means it changes only 3 numbers.

After we have done this part, we were ready for testing.

Testing

For testing purposes, we have done a special table, with which we can measure single point with 6 cameras.

On that point, we have used a tuning fork, so we could actually see the synchronization of 6 cameras. Our goal of testing was to measure different resolution's and then search for the highest frame frequency at each resolution. For each setup, we have done at least 3 measurements. We have stopped the measurement when buffer usage was over 80%.

Results

Synchronization

To see that cameras are really synchronized we have compared 2 following frames.

In the picture below is a display from Dewesoft X software with 6 x camera with 600 fps with a tuning fork.

Next frame of the same result:

If we look at pictures above closely we can see perfect synchronization of all 6 cameras

Resolution and frame frequency

At this part, we have done 2 separate measurements. One was with HDD (Hard Disk Drive) and the other was with SSD (Solid State Drive).

Results for HDD (hard disk drive)

For test we have also used 1 color camera in different combinations with black-white camera. For all tests we have used 2 ports on motherboard, 2-3 on Intel network card and 1 on Tenda network card.

5 black and white cameras and 1 color camera

Results for only one color camera

Important finding: 

  • no difference in size of files between the black&white camera and the color camera

Additional testing with HDD: 

  • we were searching for maximum 24 x analog channel frequency with the highest performance of 6 x cameras

6 x Camera - 1280x720 - 500 fps - 150 kHz with SSD

Results for SSD (solid state drive)

With SSD inside the PC, we have done tests only with black-white cameras.

Additional testing with SSD: 

  • we were searching for maximum 24 x analog channel frequency with the highest performance of 6 x cameras

So which camera to choose for a certain application? It is clear that the thermo vision cameras have their special applications while the high-speed cameras are used to acquire short triggered snapshots where we need extreme video rates to capture crashes, explosions, and other fast events.

The decision between a good camcorder and a medium speed camera is not that easy. The main difference between these types of cameras and the high-speed ones is that with the medium and low-speed cameras we can continuously store video stream to the disk until we run out of disk space. We can also use software triggering on the video to reduce the amount of data or perform the online compression.

However, the system needs to have a good performance to stream video. We will need high-performance hard disks and a very well built system, as we might still run to the limit of performance. We have to know that the typical VGA size image takes 300 kB. If we have 100 frames per second, we need to store 30 MB/s for one camera.

Clearly, if we want to make a high-speed video, we need to use either DS-CAM 120 or DS-CAM 600.

  • DS-CAM 120 has a slightly higher speed (120 FPS in VGA).
  • DS-CAM 600 compresses the picture in camera and we can achieve 600 FPS in VGA mode.

A big advantage of both camera types is that they can be triggered from the analog card and therefore the data and video are perfectly consisted. If 25 or 30 pictures per second are enough, we might consider using a camcorder. I would suggest progressive scan cameras, so as not to have interlaced pictures. Web cameras are usually low price/low speed/low quality but are an extremely helpful tool to document the experiment. We had lots of feedback from customers telling us that a simple, even poor picture helped them to understand the recorded data much better.

We connect the webcam to our computer via USB cable.

To see the webcam in Dewesoft X, we have to enable the DirectX camera devices in Settings.

In the DirectX we can see the list of all the cameras that were found.

The delay defines the difference between the actual event and the event shown on the video display, recorded by a camera. We can define the delay for each connected camera separately. The delay is defined in milliseconds (ms). We enter the wanted value and to confirm the number, we press enter.

To enable a Video module, click the plus button (More...) and select the Video.

HINT: Instead of searching for the Video module, start typing the word Video. The search for the wanted module is much easier and faster.


Video

When we enter the Video section, we see our connected cameras, along with some other quick settings.

ID column shows the consecutive number of the connected camera. In the color column, we can change the color of the camera signal (recorder, ...).

Store options:

  • always fast
  • fast on trigger
  • fast on trigger, slow otherwise

Camera setup

Enter the camera setup.

General

Under general setup you can adjust several pictrue parameters (pan, tilt, zoom, exposure, focus, brightness, contrast, saturation, sharpness, white balance, ...).

File format

File format can be selected from:

  • DVI (best performance)
  • AVI (video standard)

Codec/compression

Video compression setup:

  • direct / raw / uncompressed
  • H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC
  • MPEG4 / DivX / XviD
  • MJPEG

Online decompression

 Rotation

The picture from the camera can also be rotated. The default angle is 0°. We can enter any number we want, to confirm the selection press the Enter butoon.

The angle is defined from 0°to 359°(0°and 360°are the same point). If we enter the rotation angle of 450°, the picture will be rotated for 90°(450°-360°=90°).



The next step is setup the video channel. Go to Video section. In the Camera options section where the webcam should be displayed if it is installed correctly. Click the Unused button to switch on the camera (turn it into Used) and end setup with the Setup button.

Here, we can change the frame rate, resolution, compression and other properties of the camera.


In this test we will measure voltage and current at output of the 0.5 A fuse. With the help of hair dryer we will switch off the fuse. Video will be recorded with high speed camera and regular webcam.


We have two camera types connected, DirectX (which recognizes web cams and camera phones) and GigE.

In the setup screen of Dewesoft X we see all connected cameras. We select needed cameras.

First we set up the camera. We set the frame rate to and resolution. The next step is to set the shutter speed. Higher shutter speeds will reduce the smearing of picture with fast movements, but will also reduce the brightness of the picture. Therefore we will need either a strong light or we will need to increase the gain. On the other hand, this will increase the noise in the picture and will reduce the picture quality.

The settings of the camera depend on the capabilities of the camera. There are a huge differences between one web cam and the next in terms of speed, picture quality and available functions. Some cameras have automatic shutter and automatic gain, there are even a few with automatic focus.

Some cameras have different compression types like YUV or I420. This means that the each pixel will not have 24 bits of data (8 bits of data per color), but less. In short, using such modes will result in smaller picture sizes and will reduce the data file size in the end, but the colors might not be as perfect as with RGB (uncompressed). However, the human eye is much more sensitive to scales of gray than to shades of colors. These compression algorithms use exactly this fact, therefore we might not even see any difference.

Usually, the cameras also offer Advanced setup, which will show all the special functions of the specific cameras, such as flipping, rotating picture and more.

So let's acquire the data and see the results. The high speed camera is synchronized exactly to the analog data therefore we can compare the switching times with analog voltage and current. The current is flowing through the fuse for approximately 20 msec before it really switches off and we can see nicely when the spark switches the fuse off. It is also very nice to see the position of the switch (on the left side of the fuse) as it goes to the off position.

The picture from the webcam is nice, but doesn't show this at all. Because the web cam is neither clocked nor synchronized with analog data, it is time stamped as the picture comes in to the computer. Therefore, we can see the switch off with a delay of approximately 60 ms. In conclusion, web cams have two limitations: speed and time accuracy.


However, there is a way to reduce the time inaccuracy by entering a camera delay. Usually this delay is quite constant and can be compensated. We can do this in the Settings by entering this value in the Delay field in the table. We will still have a time jitter of each frame, which can be in the range of 30 ms or even more, when the system is at the limit its performance, but here we can't compensate it. If time accuracy is needed, we should look for clocked cameras like DS-CAM.

Now if we look at the repeated measurement, both cameras show approximately the same time of the event, however, the web cam shows only one frame when the fuse switched off while the DS-CAM camera shows quite several frames to be able to also see the spark, the movement of the coil and the switch.

This solution, however, is limited to 600 frames per second. Some events require much faster cameras. These cameras store the picture in internal memory and after that to the video file, so we need to combine the picture and video in post processing.

To include the high speed video in Dewesoft X, only few steps are necessary. After acquisition of the video file and the Dewesoft data, please copy the *.avi camera file to the directory where the Dewesoft data file is located.


After this, open Dewesoft X and enter the Analysis mode. Select the datafile and option Post-sync. video.

Next step is to select the video file that you want to import.

Double click on file to open it and Dewesoft X will recognize that this file has no synchronization information included and will ask to synchronize it manually.

It will automatically recognize how many frames are stored in the file. Please enter the correct Frame rate of the camera (sometimes the .avi files hold the correct values, but most of the times not). In the info field Video size, you will enter the video length in seconds. Also enter how many pictures were taken before the video trigger - Pre trigger - occurred. You can enter it in frames, seconds or milliseconds.

Trigger time can initially be selected from trigger (so long as the storing of analog data has been triggered from the same trigger source) or in the relative time from start of measurement in seconds. When finished, Dewesoft X will go to the video screen to see the result of the synchronization and the recorder will show the video frame ticks aligned with the analog data.

You can go back and forth with the yellow cursor to observe the quality of the synchronization.

If you need to realign the video, please select menu item Post sync. Here you can change the parameters. Also, there is the option to select start of video from the current position. In this case, the yellow cursor will be taken as the origin of synchronization.

In order to store the synchronization info for future post processing once you are done and satisfied don't forget to choose Save.

Usually, the camera is operated in the “Start on Dewesoft trigger” mode, using a Dewesoft Counter input for highest precision.

System requirements: 

  • Dewesoft measurement instrument
  • PHOTRON highspeed camera (e.g. FASTCAM Mini UX100, 10 000 fps @ 896 x 488)
  • 1 free Ethernet port on computer
  • 1 Dewesoft Counter input
  • an additional light source

The example below shows a PHOTRON camera (connected over Ethernet) and a DEWE-43 (connected over USB to the notebook). The accelerometer (blue cable) is used to measure the hit of the fingertip, this is also the trigger. The camera puts out a start pulse on the TRIG_TTL_OUT port, which is measured back on one of the Counter inputs of the DEWE-43.

In the photo below, you can see the high speed camera with Dewesoft data acquisition instrument (DEWE-43).

DEWE-43 to PHOTRON connection in detail:

System preparation

Windows network configuration

Please enter the Control Panel, go to the Network Connections and right-click on the Port, where your Photron camera is connected to. Go to Properties and select the TCP/IPv4 protocol. Depending on the model the default IP address is usually:

  • camera IP: 192.168.0.10 –> set computer to 192.168.0.XXX. If connection cannot be established, please try:
  • camera IP: 192.168.10.0 –> set computer to 192.168.10.XXX

The subnet is always 255.255.255.0. This is the default for the currently available cameras. Please refer to the Photron camera manual for further information about default IP address. Please enter



Camera IP reset (factory default)

In case you have troubles connecting to the camera, you can try to set it to factory default by the following routine:

  1. Press and hold the RESET switch at the camera’s back side.
  2. All of the LEDs on the camera’s back side light, then they turn off sequentially from right to left. At the end all LEDs together blink twice, then stay on. This takes several seconds, hold the button pressed all the time.
  3. Then reboot the camera. The IP address is reset to the factory setting.

Photron FASTCAM Viewer

For checking the network connection (and changing the camera settings), you can use the previously installed Photron FASTCAM Viewer to get a live picture. Please enter the IP address mask as shown above, then click Detect, an auto-search will be performed. Alternatively click File → Camera open.

Camera TRIG_TTL_OUT pulse duration

When using the “Start on Dewesoft trigger” option inside Dewesoft, Dewesoft does the synchronisation based on the first frame captured by the camera. In the Photron FASTCAM Viewer, please go to Camera Option and increase the pulse output time from 100 nsec (default) to 100 usec, in order to guarantee a proper triggering under any circumstances.


Setup in Dewesoft

Photron.ini file

During installation, we have copied Photron.ini into the Dewesoft X Addons folder (e.g. D:\Dewesoft\Bin\X2\Addons\). This file contains the interface type and IP address of the camera, please set it accordingly.


Enabling the camera

In Dewesoft X go to Settings → Settings → Devices, click the “+” button and add the “Photron FastCam”.

The Photron FastCam camera is successfully found.

When you click on the camera, you should be able to see the model and it's IP address.

Trigger setup

There are three different types of camera trigger:

Store on Dewesoft trigger

This is the most common used wiring. The software triggers even on complex trigger conditions on analog input, and sends the start impulse over Ethernet. The camera sends a pulse, when the first frame is recorded, this is measured back with the very accurate Dewesoft super-counters (102 MHz timebase) for synchronisation.

Store on external trigger

If the camera is triggered with external trigger, then the same signal can also be used for synchronization.

Store on start of acquisition

The camera will start with the beginning of data recording (streaming). This is of less practical usage, because depending on the framerate, measurement duration and camera onboard memory, the acquisition time is limited.

Store on Dewesoft trigger - example

For connection example we want to acquire both analog and video data of a hit of an accelerometer with the fingertip.

The analog input sampling rate we set to 200 kS/s (this does not affect the 102 MHz counter sampling rate).

We enter the channel setup to get a preview of the signal and check the appropriate trigger level.

In the picture below, there is an example of signal when knocking with a finger on the sensor.

If the Counter section is not visible in first place, please add them with the plus button from top. The Counter is set to “Event Counting” → “Basic Event Counting” by default, which is ok. Please enable the button on the left of e.g. “CNT1/IN0”.

The trigger setup looks like shown below. We select “fast on trigger”, rising edge with a level of 1g. The pre-time is 100ms, post time 500ms. Dewesoft supports complex trigger conditions, such as simple edge, filtered edge, window, pulse width, slope, delta amplitude, … as well as any logical combination on any analog / digital / math channel.


Camera setup

In the video setup, you can see all available cameras. Set the camera to “Used”, then enter the Setup.

The screen on the next page shows the “Trigger setup” and the “Camera settings”, as well as a live preview for adjusting the setup (focus, light source etc).

Here you can set Resolution, Frame rate, Shutter speed and Sensor gain (if the camera supports hardware sensor gain) parameters. You can also calibrate the camera sensor here. The options depend on the camera model in use and also from each other. For example, if you increase the frame rate, the shutter time will be limited.

The camera settings are applied to the camera as soon as something is changed, so the preview is always up to date with current settings.


Please select the Counter and adjust the level to 0.5, as this is a digital channel (0 to 1). When the camera is started over Ethernet, depending on system load and operating system there will be a delay to the storing trigger. This is usually around 50...100ms (in the example below around 70ms, red line). Therefore, we have to set the camera buffer a little bit higher to capture the whole time window.


Camera sensor calibration

Each camera comes with two sensor calibration files. Here is an example how the calibration files are named (e.g. for FastCam 1024 PCI):

  • PixelGainData_Default_1024PCI_1455_0009_0164.gdf
  • shadingdata_1024pci_1455_0009_0164.gdf

If you copy these files from the Photron CD to Dewesoft Addons folder, they will be used automatically. Files are optimized for 1000 fps frame rate and picture will not be optimal when other frame rates are selected. If you do not have these files or factory calibration data is not satisfying or for any other reason the picture is grainy and/or contains fixed shading pattern, you have to calibrate the sensor to get a better picture. You can do that by selecting “Calibrate camera sensor” from Custom setup and press the “Set” button. The Calibrate camera window will pop up. Just follow the instructions (Close camera lens and then press OK) and the sensor will get calibrated.


In the picture below, there is a picture from the camera before (left) and after (right) calibration.


Video download

After the measurement, Dewesoft will show the whole recorded video data. You can navigate without noticable delay, however, it is only accessing the camera onboard memory. If you have verified the data to be good, you can finally download the video file to the computer. This can take from minutes to hours, depending on the file size.


Slow motion replay

Adjust the playback speed with a simple click on the double arrows in Analysis mode.

Example data file

The example below shows the explosion of the firecracker.

Frequently asked question

Camera not detected in PFV

Camera model type not checked in PFV device list:

In Photron FASTCAM Viewer, go to Configuration and select all camera models from the Device List. Now it will search for all of them.

Try connecting multiple times

Sometimes when connecting with PFV, the camera is not found in the first place. Please try again several times.

Network troubles

Disable Windows firewall, disable anti-virus, check IP, reset camera to factory defaults.

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