Lucam Recorder

The easy way of professional image
acquisition with your Imaging Source
or Lumenera camera

Lucam Recorder - Astronomy software for image acquisition

Overview

After 2 years of using the popular Philips ToUCam webcam to capture images of our sun and other solar system objects I wanted to break new ground to get the best images possible from our planets. I scanned the internet as well as other ressources to find a camera without the drawbacks of the ToUCam design. The Lumenera industrial camera series seems to be a good alternate camera to the Philips webcam. I ordered the monochrome Lu075M camera. This camera came without a capture software application but together with a well described programming interface.

I began to code a capture software application for my own purpose. In November 2005 I got a message from Helmut Heinicke, another user of a Lumenera camera for astronomical purpose here in Germany. Helmut asked me to use my capture software together with his camera. I decided to provide my software project to Helmut and other interested people, bought a second Lu075 (color) camera and began to think about software structure, usability concept and features. My first requirement list was born and it is still my guide to develop Lucam Recorder:

  • Full support for all Lumenera USB II camera series – LU, LW, Infinity, SKYnyx
  • Full support for Imaging Source DMK, DFK and DBK camera series (Firewire and USB)
  • Support for all dedicated camera properties like 16Bit pixel depth, ROI sizing, ROI positioning, Binning, Frame rates, long time exposure
  • Invention of the „variable“ frame rate property to provide intuitive “one slider” access to the camera’s entire range of exposure time
  • Full integration of motorized and manual filter wheels including automated acquistion of spectral filters images sequences
  • Fully automated image acquisition sessions, including slow motion and quick motion
  • Continuing integration of user requested features
  • Intuitive and convenient user interface

In January 2006 I released the first version of Lucam Recorder to the public and a Lucam Recorder user community grows up very quickly. A lot of important additional features were implemented since this first release and some of the unique Lucam Recorder features were copied by other software application providers. But beside all these new features: The main goal for Lucam Recorder is providing the very best intuitive professional astronomical image acquisition software for Lumenera cameras.

I thank all users of Lucam Recorder - persons as well as organisations - who support my efforts to reach this goal. My special thank to Marc Delcroix, Rainer Ehlert, Helmut Heinicke, Mark Manner, Eric Roel, Karl Thurner, Gian Luca Valentini and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

I also thank the following persons and organisations which supported me by providing information or test samples of their products: Cor Berrevoets, Andy Homeyer, Gerd Neumann jr., Finger Lakes Instrumentation, FRAMOS, Lumenera and Santa Barbara Instrument Group.
This project to the memory of Werner Wilkens.

Main features

  • Support of the entire Lumenera USB II camera suite including SKYnyx
  • Support of Imaging Source DMK, DBK and DFK Firewire/USB camera series
  • Free definition of ROI, ROI position and binning
  • Long time exposure up to the camera’s limit
  • Display of minimum, maximum, median, mean and deviation values as well as graphical life histogram and level meter
  • RAM capture to boost capture frame speed to the camera’s theoretical limit
  • Focus estimating feature helps to achieve optimal focus position
  • Full integration of a wide range of automatic filter wheels brands and manual filter wheels
  • Fully automated filter sequences with individual camera settings for each filter: LRGB picture of Jupiter by Don Parker
  • Fully automated capture sessions with stream limits and/or timer controlled loops Jupiter and his moons: animation by Rainer Ehlert
  • Fully automated Quick-motion capture
  • Detailed capture log including time stamp for each frame
  • Time overlay to preview and each captured frame
  • Unique ‘variable’ frame speed for intuitive access to the entire range of exposure time

Advanced features

  • False color coding for preview and captured files, great for public viewing of sun images in
    h Alpha or calcium emission line.
  • Image stack, Realtime Dark frame and Flat Field processing
  • Preview zoom (manual and auto)
  • AVI codec and file size limiter support (1GByte, 2GByte), automatic AVI chaining if selected limit was reached
  • Proprietary 8/16Bit SER “video” file format for highest capture speed
  • Integrated SER file batch converter converts SER files into any supported standard image file format (including AVI)
  • Image flip (preview and capture file)
  • Night vision illumination

Supported
filterwheels

  • ASCOM
  • DFM Engineering – Serial interface
  • Finger Lakes Instrumentation – USB / Serial interface
  • Homeyer – Pulse code via serial port (D-SUB9 pinout: Pin3 - Pulse / Pin5 - GND)
  • Gerd Neumann jr. FR03 – Serial interface
  • OES – Serial interface
  • Optec IFW – Serial interface
  • SBIG CFW-6, CFW-8 – Pulse code via serial port (D-SUB9 pinout: Pin3 - Pulse / Pin5 - GND)
  • SBIG CFW-10 – Serial interface
  • True Technology – Serial interface
  • Manual Wheel – Dialog interface with timer also perfect for capture automation with unsupported motorized wheels
  • Generic Wheel – No interface integration

Interface

    • Lucam Recorder 8/16Bit SER files are accepted by AVIstack, Images Plus and RegiStax for further processing

Lucam Recorder - Interfaces

Languages

Lucam Recorder - Astronomy software

Requirements

    • Hardware and Operating system

To run Lucam Recorder you need a PC or notebook with Microsoft WindowsXP SP2. Lumenera USB II cameras are able to stream image image data with a bandwith up to 40Mbyte per second to the computer. Furthermore your computer has to process these data for previewing and saving to the hard disc in realtime. For an effective work with your camera it is a wise decision to use a powerful computer together with a very fast hard disc! I recommend using a computer at least with a 1.6 GHz processor together with a hard disc with 7.200 rpm. The computer should have at least 1 Gbyte RAM or more.

    • Microsoft software

Lucam Recorder software needs the Microsoft .net Framework 3.5 installed. The installation of the .net Framework makes use of Microsoft installer 3.1. Lucam Recorder installation package will check for these software components and will download them from Microsoft website if necessarily. In case the target computer has no access to the internet during installation process you have to check manually for the needed Microsoft components (see “Installation packages for download” below). Microsoft DirectX 9c has to be installed to run Imaging Source cameras with Lucam Recorder.

    • Camera software

Lucam Recorder expects an already installed camera driver environment from Lumenera and Imaging Source. Please use always the newest available drivers for your camera. Check the Download center of Lumenera website for the latest Lumenera camera drivers. Check Imaging Source driver download website for the latest DMK, DBK and DFK camera drivers.

Download

    • Lucam Recorder installation

Click the icon to the left to start download and installation.
Without a license file Lucam Recorder will run in casual mode. Consult chapter “Order” for information how to obtain a permanent license or a charge free evaluation license for Lucam Recorder Premium or Professional.

    • Full offline installation package (includes Microsoft Dotnet 3.5 SP1)

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Use this installation package if your capture computer does not have connection to the internet and the lean installation package above failed to install. Click right to the icon on the left and choose “Save target as” to download the full offline installation package.

Without a license file Lucam Recorder will run in casual mode. Consult chapter “Order” for information how to obtain a permanent license or a charge free evaluation license for Lucam Recorder Premium or Professional.

  • Lumenera camera driver software

SKYnyx driver software V5.0.00

LU/LW Industrial camera driver software V5.0.03

      • Imaging Source camera driver software

USB driver software V1.0.1.24

Firewire driver software V4.0.1.5

      • Manuals

Lucam Recorder V1.7 Quick start guide written by Rainer Ehlert

Lucam Recorder V1.7 Instruction manual written by Rainer Ehlert

Contact
& Order

Please don't hesitate to get in touch if you need support or if you have any questions.

 

Heiko Wilkens

Heiko Wilkens

astrofactum
Fon +49(0)89.8955-7663
eMail heiko.wilkens@astrofactum.com