Making the connection  

Everything you need to motorize your head
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Paul
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by Paul » Sun Jan 04, 2009 10:55 pm

claudevh wrote:This is what I call a « VVC » solution (VVC = Very Very Complicated)

Claude, I reckon that my way may be less complicated than yours

if Tronisoft BTL-478 is a branded Rayson BTD-433, what I assume, then the BTL-478 is based on the same BTM-222 module as my PCB

then
- BTL-478 internally converts from TTL to RS232
- you need a second converter to get back from RS232 to TTL for Merlins TTL interface
- the RS232 TTL converter is equipped with a 12V to 5V regulator to power itself

my way
- BT-Module with TTL
- 12V to 5V regulator to feed the BT-Module
Paul

close, but no cigar ... ... ...

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by claudevh » Mon Jan 05, 2009 12:04 am

OK Paul
:)
:cool: Claude :cool:
Merlin + Papywizard on Windows 7 & Nokia 770 § N810 & Acer (Netbook) + PanoramaApp Androïd + Deltawave PapyMerlin BT + Autopano
Spherical Pano (180 x 360) with Canon 40D + Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 Zoom & Pôle Pano with Canon 5D MK2 and shaved Tokina 10-17 3.5-4.5 AF DX Fisheye
Gigapixel photography with Nikon D200 + Sigma 70-200 F 2.8 EX DG APO HSM

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by irpano » Fri Jan 16, 2009 7:59 am

Enough is enough.
I got back a replacement head (The whole box actually, including head, hand controller and tripod) and on inspection the bubble on the head has no water in it.
Then I tried the hand controller on its own.-- The external power connecter did not work
Using internal batteries I tried to set up a simple pan and tilt. Pan works but not the tilt.
Trying to use the goto function - The head find the pan positions but NOT the tilt positions.

Being a masachist I then tried the Bluetooth/Papywizard solution.
The bluetooth connection worked. (The head and computer showed connection)
Set up a simple 5 X 2 sequence in simulation mode and after the first image position found and try to move to the next position "Error message - FAILED"

Tried 5 or 6 different other ways and always got "ERROR FAILED"

SO the head goes back for a refund (I HOPE) and the tronisoft/rs232 module and cable(Thanks to Claude) is available for anyone who wants it.

I might look at the "Gadget Works" solution if the refund is forthcoming and try it out. (Lets hope the hardware is of a better quality)

Thank to Andrew, Claude,and Frederic for the help you tried to give and I wish you well in the future development of this project.
John Tomley

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mediavets
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by mediavets » Fri Jan 16, 2009 10:08 am

John

Sorry to hear of your problems with replacement Merlin.

irpano wrote:Enough is enough.
I got back a replacement head (The whole box actually, including head, hand controller and tripod) and on inspection the bubble on the head has no water in it.

My first Merlin did not have the battery holders, so I got a replacement (although in fact I've never used it with int. batteries).

The replacement had a duff bubble level - as you described - someone else (Paul?) has one with a duff bubble level too. Personally I don't care about the bubble level, they are cheap and easy to replace, and my tripod has a level anyway.

irpano wrote:Then I tried the hand controller on its own.-- The external power connecter did not work

What external power source did you use? Are you sure the connector was the right size and making a good contact? Did you try both of the ext. power connectors?

irpano wrote:Using internal batteries I tried to set up a simple pan and tilt. Pan works but not the tilt.
Trying to use the goto function - The head find the pan positions but NOT the tilt positions.

Being a masachist I then tried the Bluetooth/Papywizard solution.
The bluetooth connection worked. (The head and computer showed connection)

What do you mean by 'The head and computer showed connection'? When you select Hardware/Connect... did you get the status line message 'Now connected to real hardware'?

irpano wrote:Set up a simple 5 X 2 sequence in simulation mode and after the first image position found and try to move to the next position "Error message - FAILED"

Tried 5 or 6 different other ways and always got "ERROR FAILED"

This doesn't make sense - when Papywizard is running in simulation mode there is no connection between Papywizard and the head.

irpano wrote:SO the head goes back for a refund (I HOPE) and the tronisoft/rs232 module and cable(Thanks to Claude) is available for anyone who wants it.

I might look at the "Gadget Works" solution if the refund is forthcoming and try it out. (Lets hope the hardware is of a better quality)

It would be a pity to give up now.

If it was me I would insist that the supplier sends another replacement and that this time he/she fully checks it out before sending it to you - checking that external power connections work and that all hand set functions operate properly. QA at the factory in China seems to be less than perfect but those of use who do have working heads (and there are quite a lot of us now) have not yet had one fail as far as I know, so if you do get one that works out-of-the-box it seems they go on working. You have been more unlucky that most of us.

The Gadget Works Automate head is a pretty limited device offering a mere +/- 15 degrees of pitch and because of the design of the P/T mechanism it is impossible to set any camera/lens at the correct NPP - so it is really only suitable for shooting distant landscape scenes, where parallax is not an issue and restricted VFOV may be acceptable for a partial pano.

But maybe that's all you want to do? If so then it should be OK. Another forum member has used it sicceessfully for this kind of pano scene.
Last edited by mediavets on Fri Jan 16, 2009 2:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Andrew Stephens
Many different Nodal Ninja and Agnos pano heads. Merlin/Panogear mount with Papywizard on Nokia Internet tablets.
Nikon D5100 and D40, Sigma 8mm f3.5 FE, Nikon 10.5mm FE, 35mm, 50mm, 18-55mm, 70-210mm. Promote control.

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by klausesser » Fri Jan 16, 2009 2:18 pm

Hi!

Despite of a waterless bubble level all worked fine on my Merlin right off the box.
The vertical and horizontal movements are powered by their own battery-part: one pack moves vert. the other hor.
Take care of fully loaded batteries - otherwise the head wouldn´t move either hor. or vert.

On my head the external power is named misleading: i have to use "out" for sending power IN it . .
The hand-unit i used only once or twice - for shooting it´s worthless anyway.

I completely agree to Andrew - this GadgedWorks gadged surely is fine for video-surveillance . . but not for shooting panos.

best, Klaus
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by Paul » Fri Jan 16, 2009 2:29 pm

My 2. Merlin ( first one did not work, exchanged on warranty)

waterless bubble too ...

Handcontroler out of function, but both axis are working ...
Paul

close, but no cigar ... ... ...

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by fma38 » Fri Jan 16, 2009 2:36 pm

klausesser wrote:The vertical and horizontal movements are powered by their own battery-part: one pack moves vert. the other hor.

???
Frédéric

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by Gordon » Fri Jan 16, 2009 5:07 pm

Well Bad news today,
I missed the postman with my new Merlin Head :( it's good to see or not as the case might be, all of the problems some of you have been encountering. They plan to redeliver on Monday, so I'll have to wait till then and check the contents carefully, VERY carefully as soon as I receive the parcel at least now I know what to look for.

Gordon waiting in anticipation.
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by klausesser » Fri Jan 16, 2009 5:20 pm

fma38 wrote:
klausesser wrote:The vertical and horizontal movements are powered by their own battery-part: one pack moves vert. the other hor.

???

No? I had one of the batterypackages not ready connected - the head moved horizontally, but not vertically. Having pressed the connectors to have good contact the vertical movement worked also.

So i thought one of them powers the horizontal motor and the other one the vertical one.
Wrong (i never evaluated it)?

best, Klaus
Last edited by klausesser on Fri Jan 16, 2009 5:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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by fma38 » Fri Jan 16, 2009 6:20 pm

Both batteries holders are connected in serial, to provide 9-12V. So it can' work with only one. And there is only 1 power supply cable from the batteries to the main board...

I think you had another bad contact, somewhere, and removing the cover and moving things fixed it...
Frédéric

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by bigwade » Fri Jan 16, 2009 6:49 pm

irpano wrote:Enough is enough.

Hey man, don't give up !
Who is your supplier ?
Just send it back and ask for a WORKING machine...
If I can get a working set, with help from the forummembers :-), YOU can !
Once you have this working set you will be amazed.
grtz
Frank

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by klausesser » Fri Jan 16, 2009 7:17 pm

fma38 wrote:Both batteries holders are connected in serial, to provide 9-12V. So it can' work with only one. And there is only 1 power supply cable from the batteries to the main board...

I think you had another bad contact, somewhere, and removing the cover and moving things fixed it...

Ahh - good to know . . . :cool:

best, Klaus

btw.: i´m at the moment testing stragegies to shoot panos using focusstacking with stillifes in moaic-mode.
1) shooting several identical mosaics, but with differing focus, stitch them in APP to be combined in a focusstacker afterwards
2) shooting different focus-settings from each position and put already focus-stacked pictures into APP

1) needs the head to re-set each position several times absolutely exact for identical panos, HeliconFocus and PhotoAcute don´t accept heavy files
2) the lens has to be touched many times while shooting the set.

Any ideas? Will report my progress . . just began.

best, Klaus
Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance. Coco Chanel

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by mediavets » Fri Jan 16, 2009 7:44 pm

klausesser wrote:btw.: i´m at the moment testing stragegies to shoot panos using focusstacking with stillifes in moaic-mode.
1) shooting several identical mosaics, but with differing focus, stitch them in APP to be combined in a focusstacker afterwards
2) shooting different focus-settings from each position and put already focus-stacked pictures into APP

1) needs the head to re-set each position several times absolutely exact for identical panos, HeliconFocus and PhotoAcute don´t accept heavy files
2) the lens has to be touched many times while shooting the set.

Any ideas? Will report my progress . . just began.

best, Klaus

Klaus,

Is this relevant?:
http://www.breezesys.com/DSLRRemotePro/focus_stacking.htm
Last edited by mediavets on Fri Jan 16, 2009 7:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Andrew Stephens
Many different Nodal Ninja and Agnos pano heads. Merlin/Panogear mount with Papywizard on Nokia Internet tablets.
Nikon D5100 and D40, Sigma 8mm f3.5 FE, Nikon 10.5mm FE, 35mm, 50mm, 18-55mm, 70-210mm. Promote control.

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by bigwade » Fri Jan 16, 2009 8:11 pm

klausesser wrote:1) needs the head to re-set each position several times absolutely exact for identical panos, HeliconFocus and PhotoAcute don´t accept heavy files
2) the lens has to be touched many times while shooting the set.

Any ideas? Will report my progress . . just began.

best, Klaus

Klaus, this is exactly what I want in my studio !
The Merlin is sturdy enough to make several focusshots at one point.
Then you go to the second, third position etc. to do the same.
My plan is to connect the camera tethered to my Mac and use the Nokia for moving positions one by one.
I can release the camera from the mac or a radio remote.
With the radio remote I can work faster because in my case my (usb-wired to Canon5D2) Mac is about 4m away from the set
All images from one point will be blended in Helicon and the results are going to be stitched.
Unfortunally I'm too busy with other work to trie this out.
Keep us informed :-)
grtz
Frank
Last edited by bigwade on Fri Jan 16, 2009 8:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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by mediavets » Fri Jan 16, 2009 8:23 pm

Andrew Stephens
Many different Nodal Ninja and Agnos pano heads. Merlin/Panogear mount with Papywizard on Nokia Internet tablets.
Nikon D5100 and D40, Sigma 8mm f3.5 FE, Nikon 10.5mm FE, 35mm, 50mm, 18-55mm, 70-210mm. Promote control.

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by klausesser » Fri Jan 16, 2009 8:39 pm

mediavets wrote:Klaus,
Is this relevant?:
http://www.breezesys.com/DSLRRemotePro/focus_stacking.htm

Yes - fine stuff! You´re right. I iworked with it already.
BUT:
1) PC only. I´m a Mac-user.
2) needs EXIFs and AF lenses (i don´t have those because of using manual Nikon-lenses on 20D Canon).
3) works only tethered (ok - no problem in-house).
4) the best reason to use a message-pad is PapyWizard.

best, Klaus
Last edited by klausesser on Fri Jan 16, 2009 8:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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by mediavets » Fri Jan 16, 2009 8:49 pm

klausesser wrote:
mediavets wrote:Klaus,
Is this relevant?:
http://www.breezesys.com/DSLRRemotePro/focus_stacking.htm

Yes - fine stuff! You´re right. I iworked with it already.
BUT:
1) PC only. I´m a Mac-user.
2) needs EXIFs and AF lenses (i don´t have those because of using manual Nikon-lenses on 20D Canon).
3) works only tethered (ok - no problem in-house).
4) the best reason to use a message-pad is PapyWizard.

best, Klaus

I did some Googling but so far I have failed to come up with anything else that could automate the shooting of focus stacks - to avoid handling of camera and retaining mirror up - either tethered or wireless.
Andrew Stephens
Many different Nodal Ninja and Agnos pano heads. Merlin/Panogear mount with Papywizard on Nokia Internet tablets.
Nikon D5100 and D40, Sigma 8mm f3.5 FE, Nikon 10.5mm FE, 35mm, 50mm, 18-55mm, 70-210mm. Promote control.

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by klausesser » Fri Jan 16, 2009 10:53 pm

mediavets wrote:
klausesser wrote:
mediavets wrote:Klaus,
Is this relevant?:
http://www.breezesys.com/DSLRRemotePro/focus_stacking.htm

Yes - fine stuff! You´re right. I iworked with it already.
BUT:
1) PC only. I´m a Mac-user.
2) needs EXIFs and AF lenses (i don´t have those because of using manual Nikon-lenses on 20D Canon).
3) works only tethered (ok - no problem in-house).
4) the best reason to use a message-pad is PapyWizard.

best, Klaus

I did some Googling but so far I have failed to come up with anything else that could automate the shooting of focus stacks - to avoid handling of camera and retaining mirror up - either tethered or wireless.

Right!
Breeze is really great stuff - also for HDR shooting. I widens the features of Canon-DSLRs very much.
I tried it using 12 bracketings - fantastic! The camera itself provides just 3.

Would i use a PC-laptop i surely would use Breeze for indoor!

best, Klaus

btw.: did you try the demo? Do it!
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by irpano » Sat Jan 17, 2009 5:07 am

Hello to all who have replied to my last postings.
After a troubled sleep and reading of the encouragement of Andrew,Claude, bigwade,Paul and FMA38 I sat down and went through the setup and configuration of all of the elements in the components.

After no good results i read an associated post from Claude stating that he had problems when using not fully charged batteries.
Using a mains power adapter supplying 12 volts I checked the voltage output with a multimetre. Result was 10.6 volts.
So I changed the adapter and made sure the output was a close to 12 volts as I could get.(2nd adapter output 11.6 volts)
Bingo the computer and head connected and I could manipulate the head from papywizard.

Flushed with success I decided to try the connection again on the other 2 computers on my home network.
On both of the other computers I could not connect so I removed all versions of papywizard and reinstalled anew stable version. Still no joy. (I tried ver 1.4.2, ver 1.5.5 and ver 1.6.0)

I went outside and did some manual work and after some thinking I tried again.
This time I got a patial connection but it then failed and the message 'Cant connect to an unreachable network ????"
This prompted me to look at the network connections and thats where I found that the two computers that wouldn't work were on a different workarea (1 computer on workarea group and 2 on workgroup group)
I set up the network again with all computers on the same network group but still have no success.

More thinking and I then deleted any bluetooth device from the offending computers and checked the drivers etc.
After shutting down the computers and making sure all were still part of the same workgroup and that no bluetooth devices were present in the Bluetooth settings window I tried again.

AND AFTER INPUTTING THE CODE TO ENABLE THE Bluetooth device on the head to connect to the computer I GOT theamazing message at the bottom of the papywizard window "CONNECTED TO REAL HARDWARE"

SO I"M ON THE AIR.

I hope from all of the postings and support that someone else will gain from my experiences and have an easier time with their setup.
"I'm not going to worry about the Bubble or power connection nor returning the head - I'll live with them - I just want to get out and take some shots.

Many thank for the support and I'll try to contribute to the forum in the future.

A HAPPY JOHN





On both cases I got an error mesage "Cant connect to an unreachable network adaptor"

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by Paul » Sat Jan 17, 2009 8:55 am

Congrats John

you've got the remuneration for your patience ...
Paul

close, but no cigar ... ... ...

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by mediavets » Sat Jan 17, 2009 9:28 am

klausesser wrote:Breeze is really great stuff - also for HDR shooting. I widens the features of Canon-DSLRs very much.
I tried it using 12 bracketings - fantastic! The camera itself provides just 3.

Would i use a PC-laptop i surely would use Breeze for indoor!

best, Klaus

btw.: did you try the demo? Do it!

No, because I don't have a Canon DSLR and my Nikon is not supported by the new version for Nikons.

Since it will run on Windows Vista, XP, 2000, ME or 98 SE you should be able to pick up a used laptop that could run Breeze for next to nothing.

I could recommend an old IBM Thinkpad T23, like mine, they don't cost much these days (about £100 on eBay for a good one) and are very well built, spares and accessories are widely available and cheap, and they are reliable workhorses. Papywizard runs well too, under Windows 2000, on mine.

Perhaps Breeze would run under one of the systems for running Windows on a Mac?
Andrew Stephens
Many different Nodal Ninja and Agnos pano heads. Merlin/Panogear mount with Papywizard on Nokia Internet tablets.
Nikon D5100 and D40, Sigma 8mm f3.5 FE, Nikon 10.5mm FE, 35mm, 50mm, 18-55mm, 70-210mm. Promote control.

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by mediavets » Sat Jan 17, 2009 9:42 am

irpano wrote:SO I"M ON THE AIR.

I hope from all of the postings and support that someone else will gain from my experiences and have an easier time with their setup.
"I'm not going to worry about the Bubble or power connection nor returning the head - I'll live with them - I just want to get out and take some shots.

Many thank for the support and I'll try to contribute to the forum in the future.

A HAPPY JOHN

Great news. Persistence paid off. I can still remember how thrilling is was when my system finally worked for the first time after a lot of fiddling around to get the TTL-BT interface connection working - back in the 'old days' before Claude got his 'solderless Tronisoft kit' together, and before there was any documentation on how to configure the BTLink Bluetooth adapter properly.

I don't think the workgroup thing had anything to do with it.

OTOH I do think the mains adapter connection can be 'fussy' - the 'barrel' of the connector must be just the right size (and there are so many different types and sizes) and a good/snug fit. I recall now that I had to try two different ones. My head runs fine from a 12V 500ma regulated mains adapter. I also use an external Skywatcher Power Tank rechargable 12V 7Ah lead acid battery pack. So far I've never used internal AA batteries.

Bluetooth connection is very easy from a Nokia Tablet - it 'just works'. But I agree it can be a PITA from a PC, it took me the best part of a whole day to get it working from my Windows 2000 laptop. It is usually a bit easier on Windows XP which has built-in default drivers that usually work for Papywizard. It's the third-party Bluetooth managers that tend to cause most problems.

I look forward to seeing some panos shot on your Merlin. Have fun.

BTW don't expect too much from APG Alpha 2 and its Papywizard import filter at this stage of development - by all means give it a try but I feel that they don't really work too well yet.

I suggest you stick with APP 1.4.2 right now.
Last edited by mediavets on Sat Jan 17, 2009 9:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
Andrew Stephens
Many different Nodal Ninja and Agnos pano heads. Merlin/Panogear mount with Papywizard on Nokia Internet tablets.
Nikon D5100 and D40, Sigma 8mm f3.5 FE, Nikon 10.5mm FE, 35mm, 50mm, 18-55mm, 70-210mm. Promote control.

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by fma38 » Sat Jan 17, 2009 10:08 am

Did you retry with batteries? My Merlin runs fine down to 7.5V... The power supply is directly used by the motor controller (H-bridge), but as the bridge never reach 40%, the real voltage on motors is 5V at maximum. And internel electronic uses un 5V regulator. So, 6.5V should be the theorical low limit.
Frédéric

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by klausesser » Sat Jan 17, 2009 2:51 pm

mediavets wrote:Since it will run on Windows Vista, XP, 2000, ME or 98 SE you should be able to pick up a used laptop that could run Breeze for next to nothing.

Breeze isn´t really a bargain - and it´s not of that much interest to me because i dont´s own a single AF-lens, not to speak of EXIFs. I just use a bunch of manual Nikon-lenses on my 20D for pano-shooting. Mainly a 20mm, 135mm and a 85mm.
So just the expanded bracketing could be of interest to me - but i´m very used to my 3-step bracketing. It works very fine in 90% of all situations.

Maybe i´ll get a PC-laptop some weeks ahead . . . :/

best, Klaus
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by claudevh » Sat Jan 17, 2009 5:05 pm

Really very happy for you John !

I will try to understand what was the real problem by reading all your story and then after try to modify the "Visual/ Manual"

Thanks fo your persistence !

:cool:
:cool: Claude :cool:
Merlin + Papywizard on Windows 7 & Nokia 770 § N810 & Acer (Netbook) + PanoramaApp Androïd + Deltawave PapyMerlin BT + Autopano
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Gigapixel photography with Nikon D200 + Sigma 70-200 F 2.8 EX DG APO HSM

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