SQP and Bit rate

I am using a Mallincam DS 432 with the Mallincam ASCOM driver. Although Ascom compliant, the camera only takes 8 and 12 bit fit files. In using SGP I find that it only uses 16 bit files. SGP connects to the camera, will take a photo, but it just comes out black, no even in daylight. Very frustrating. Is there any way to get SGP to use this camera? Can the settings be changed for 8 or 12 bit?

Bill H

SGPro currently only supports 16-bit ASCOM cameras. The next version of SGPro 3.1 (this weekend sometime) will have some additional code in there that will tell us what type of data structures Mallincam is piping through ASCOM. If you can take an image with the new version and send us logs, we can take a look.

Thank you Ken

I really do not want to have to purchase another camera yet. I wanted to learn with the equipment I have, and then move to a top of the line mono camera.

I look forward to the next release.

Is there a brand of camera that works particularly well with SGP?

Bill Hansen

Pretty much everything works just great. We support a wide array of cameras.

The ASCOM camera driver specifies that the image array is an array of 32 bit numbers. It is up to the driver to put the camera data into that array. Usually an 8 bit camera would use the lowest 8 or 12 bits of each number. If the array is empty that’s something to take up with the camera driver author.

It may be worth checking the data really is all zeroes, 8 or even 12 bit data may give a very dark image unless the display is set correctly.

Thank you, I will try to ger some images an send the data.

Bill Hansen

Not that I am doubting you, as this summarizes my own experience, but where did you find reference to this? I looked at the online docs and see no reference to the data type or scale of data in SafeArray.

Well the next chapter in the saga of bit rate. I went to test the DS 432C this morning using the Mallincam Skyraider software and all went well. This was a desk top test, as it’s pouring rain. I then closed the Skyraider program and ran the test again SGP. The 5 second dark frame was was completely black (as would be expected) the light frame, with the lens cap off was completely white (Again, as would be expected). This did not happen the other day, when all frames were completely black.

My seagoing scientific analysis of the situation is that I have a troll living under my observatory.

The next day where Its not raining might be Wednesday. I will try some real opservations then.

Bill Hansen

This, in the ASCOM Platform Help file:

ICameraV2.ImageArray Property

ICameraV2. ImageArray Property

Returns a safearray of int of size NumX * NumY containing the pixel values from the last exposure.

Namespace: ASCOM.DeviceInterface
Assembly: ASCOM.DeviceInterfaces (in ASCOM.DeviceInterfaces.dll) Version: (

I isn’t very obvious but it does say a safearay of int and the .NET ints are 32 bit unsigned.

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Thanks Chris - you just cleared up a mystery. I wrote a simple ASCOM interface for a camera remote release and couldn’t work out why my dummy image was really dark!