The Imaging Source Community FAQ

Here you can find answers to questions about how the board works. Use the links or search box below to find your way around.

Where can I download drivers?

The latest released drivers can be downloaded from http://www.theimagingsource.com/en_US/support/downloads/

My USB camera does not send images or has a slow frame rate only

The low frame rate using USB cameras and damaged images of FireWire cameras are caused by the idle states of the CPU. As far as we know, following happens: The communications controller receives a list of commands from the CPU. It starts to execute this list. Now the CPU is idle again and changes in the C3 state for power saving. When the communications controller has finished the command list, it asks the CPU for new commands. While it waits for the CPU coming from C3 into C0, the video capture device keeps sending data, which are not picked up by the communications controller. This causes a buffer overrun and leads to lost data blocks.

The USB camera driver can detect these incomplete images and will drop them. The FireWire camera driver can not detect them and therefore you will see the disturbed images.

In case you use an Intel CPU, you may try Processor Idle State Manger. It tries to prevent the CPU going into C3 state. The program can be downloaded from http://www.imagingcontrol.com/en_US/downloads/tools/

Sometime exchanging the USB cable will solve this problem too.

My camera shows disturbed images

The low frame rate using USB cameras and damaged images of FireWire cameras are caused by the idle states of the CPU. As far as we know, following happens: The communications controller receives a list of commands from the CPU. It starts to execute this list. Now the CPU is idle again and changes in the C3 state for power saving. When the communications controller has finished the command list, it asks the CPU for new commands. While it waits for the CPU coming from C3 into C0, the video capture device keeps sending data, which are not picked up by the communications controller. This causes a buffer overrun and leads to lost data blocks.
The USB camera driver can detect these incomplete images and will drop them. The FireWire camera driver can not detect them and therefore you will see the disturbed images.
In case you use an Intel CPU, you may try Processor Idle State Manger. It tries to prevent the CPU going into C3 state. The program can be downloaded from http://www.imagingcontrol.com/en_US/downloads/tools/

How to use my DMK/DFK with Registax

We created a tutorial at Registax DMK/DFK Y800 Tutorial

Y800 video format shows a grid on my color camera

This is normal, because you see the Bayer Mosiac pattern of the color sensor. This is also called "raw data". For more information about color sensors you may see the document at How color cameras work (PDF)

Cleaning The CCD Chip Of DMK/DFK/DBK Cameras

We are often asked how to best clean the surface of the CCD chip. Below is a list of the preferred methods.

1) Compressed Air From Air-Blower

Compressed air is usually sufficient to remove most foreign bodies from the surface of the CCD chip. We recommend using an air-blower, such as from Edmund Optics, and not compressed air from an aerosol. Compressed air from an aerosol may contain other chemicals (propellant, water, oil etc.) which could damage the surface of the CCD.

For details, see www.edmundoptics.com.

2) Hama Lenspen MiniPro II

A company called Hama manufactures a product, which is ideally suited to the task: Lenspen MiniPro II. It is available online and from most well-stocked photography stores. One side of the pen has a brush on it, while the other, a small cleaning surface. The later is suited to efficiently removing dirt and fingerprints.

3) Microfiber Cleaning Cloth

Although a microfiber cleaning cloth is a very viable option, it can be tricky to get the cloth onto the surface of the CCD chip through the camera’s mount opening. A cotton swab (UK: Q-Tip) can help here.

4) Pure Alcohol (at least 90%)

This can be purchased from most chemists. Never use Isopropanol, as it draws moisture from the air, which results in streaks on the surface of the CCD.

5) Alcohol Substitute

Instead of pure alcohol, Methanol or a liquid called Eclipse can be used (Eclipse is essentially Methanol). However, we do not recommend this approach, as Methanol is highly poisonous.

6) Combination Of the Above

Of course, all approaches can be mixed!

Do not worry about touching the glass in front of the CCD chip. It is pretty robust. Only by rubbing glass, sand or diamond on the surface can it be scratched.

IC Capture does not show my web cam

The IC Capture version you got with your The Imaging Source camera or downloaded from the web is a standard version for free. That means, it can only detect The Imaging Source manufactured devices.

In the past we had a non free professional version that handled all WDM video capture devices like web cams, but we encountered too many problems with badly programmed third party drivers. It took us too much time to write workarounds for these errors. Therefore we stopped the professional version.

Linux support

The Imaging Source does not support Linux right now (May 2011). But there are libraries available. E.g Unicap Imaging. As far as we know, this works fine with FireWire and USB cameras.

GigE cameras can not be used in Linux, because the GigE Vision protocol is closed source. At this point of time, we have no Linux GigE Vision library for our GigE cameras.

The CCD USB cameras can be used with V4L driver in Linux, if a special firmware has been written into the camera.

What are possible cable length (USB, FireWire, GigE)

  • USB: maximum 3m
  • FireWire IEEE1394: maximum 4,5m
  • GigE Cat 6 max 100m

DFG/1394 or high resolution FireWire camera (31/41) does not show an image in Windows 7

In Windows 7 is a 1394 bus driver issue. You must install the legacy driver for your 1394 bus. Then the DFG/1394-1e works fine.

You can load the legacy 1394 bus driver using the following steps:

1. In device manager, select the properties for the 1394 controller.

2. Select the 'Driver' page and 'Update Driver' button.

3. Select 'Browse my computer for driver software.'

4. Select 'Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer.'

5. Within the list of devices, you will see a device with '(Legacy).' This is the 1394 bus driver that previously shipped in Windows. Select this device and select 'Next.'

This will install the legacy 1394 bus driver on Windows 7. You can use the same steps, changing the device you select in step 5, to revert back to the new 1394 bus driver.

My FireWire camera is not detected on my laptop

Most laptops do not provide power through FireWire, therefore the camera must be powered externally. This can be done using a 12V 500mA power supply. The power supply can be connected using an PCMCIA FireWire board for your laptop or a special FireWire cable http://www.theimagingsource.com/en_US/products/accessories/cables/ca139464pj2/

I can not get a sharp image

Depending on the lens you use, you eihter need the 5mm ring mounted on the camera, or it must be removed.
C-Mount lens
5mm ring must be mounted between camera and lens
CS-Mount lens
5mm ring must be removed
It happens often the 5mm ring is removed or unscrewed with the plastic protection cab from the camera. However, the cameras are provided with this 5mm ring by default.

Windows Compatibilities

All of our devices like grabbers, cameras and converters can be used in Windows XP, Vista and 7. They can be used in 32 and 64 bit environment.

The DFG/1394, DFG/USB2-lt and the FireWire cameras can be used in Windows 2000 too.

The USB cameras can not be used in Windows 2000.

Embedded Windows

A list of needed files for Windows (XP) is provided by Microsoft at http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd377592%28VS.85%29.aspx

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