Swing Catalyst Support Center

How to configure Point Grey / FLIR GigE camera's with Swing Catalyst

How to setup Point Grey GigE camera's to work with Swing Catalyst.

For configuring the camera settings please see this article: https://support.swingcatalyst.com/hc/en-us/articles/204945617

 

 This article covers setting up the IP addresses of both the camera & network card.

Note: Camera support is limited, and camera control is limited to the FlyCapture (Point Grey software).

 

Compatible network adapters & configuration:

Please see: https://support.swingcatalyst.com/hc/en-us/articles/205460708-Gigabit-Ethernet-GigE-Vision-camera-network-recommendations

 

Note: Spinnaker SDK is not supported. We only support FlyCapture2 SDK camera's at the time of this article.

Note, important for performance: If you have an Intel network card, please download & install the Intel drivers, as this will give you options to set interrupt moderation rates, which may be unavailable with the Windows drivers.

Important:

Region of Interest (ROI) does not work on the Blackfly BFLY-PGE-03S3C cameras.

We recommend one dedicated network adapter (port) per camera.

 

 

Setting up your Point Grey / FLIR GigE Camera:

Requirements:

  • Install the Point Grey Flycap software from our website: https://www.swingcatalyst.com/drivers
  • One of our recommended network cards
  • Network card is installed and is receiving power.
  • Camera is connected to the network card.

 

Note: When installing Flycap, please make sure the checkbox for the Point Grey Image Filter driver is selected.

 

 

Installing the network card

 acc_flir_gige-pcie2-2p02.png

To install the network card please consider looking at the steps provided here: https://www.wikihow.com/Install-a-PCI-Card the steps to install the dual port network card by FLiR is roughly the same.

 

Setting the IP addresses using the GigE Configurator utility

We need to configure the IP addresses for both the network adapter (port) and the connected camera.

Lets start by setting up the network adapter!

 

  1. Open the Point Grey GigE Configurator application. It can be found in: C:\Program Files\Point Grey Research\FlyCap2 Viewer\bin64explorer_2020-02-18_09-47-16.png

 

 

2. Open up the Point Grey GigE Configurator application and click on the camera.

TeamViewer_2020-02-18_09-57-25.png

Please note which network adapter the camera is connected to (see highlighted in red).

In our case the camera is connected to Ethernet 9.

Click on Ethernet 9 under Network Adapters in the list as shown on the left of the above screenshot.

 

Setting the IP address of the network adapter:

Change the IP address and subnet mask to match the screenshot below, and click Set IP address / Subnet then click Yes and OK.

 TeamViewer_2020-02-18_10-00-36.png

TeamViewer_2020-02-18_10-01-56.png

 

Now we have set the IP address of the first network adapter. The next step is to optimize the settings of the network adapter.

 

Optimizing the network adapter

Per the screenshot below please note the number in red called MTU

We need to increase this number. Click Open Network Connections per the highlighted area below.

TeamViewer_2020-02-18_10-26-52.png

 

Click on the Advanced tab and locate Jumbo Packet and set the value to 9014 Bytes.

TeamViewer_2020-02-18_10-28-36.png

 

Changing the Interrupt Moderation

Set Interrupt Moderation to Enabled

TeamViewer_2020-02-18_10-30-22.png

Click Interrupt Moderation Rate and set the Value to Extreme.

 

Important: If you're going to use more than 2 cameras might have to set Interupt Moderation to Disabled to avoid dropped frames.

 

Setting the IP address of the camera

TeamViewer_2020-02-18_10-13-51.png

Click on the camera available in the list (in our case we only have one camera connected so we know it is the right camera).

Enter the following IP (note we setting the IP address of the camera connected to Ethernet 9 per above):

TeamViewer_2020-02-18_10-15-30.png

Click Set IP Address / Subnet and click Yes then OK.

TeamViewer_2020-02-18_10-16-35.png

 

Find the camera you just set the IP address of in the list of the left hand side of the FLiR GigE Configurator and click on it.

 

Setting the IP Address Assignment Configuration

This is important to do as we need the IP address changes on the cameras to be persistent, otherwise the camera will forget it's configuration after a power loss.

Uncheck DHCP and check Persistent IP

TeamViewer_2020-02-18_10-21-34.png

 

Click Copy from Current and then Set IP Address / Subnet

TeamViewer_2020-02-18_10-18-59.png

 

Verify packet size

Lets verify that the packet size (MTU) was set correctly.

Click Discover Maximum Packet Size, it should say 9000.

TeamViewer_2020-02-18_10-34-33.png

Click Test Camera Connection to verify that the connection is working and that you're receiving data from the camera.

GigEConfigurator_2017-05-09_12-35-04.png

 

Setting up more than 1 camera

Now that you're configured one camera and one network adapter you can repeat the steps above to configure multiple cameras.

With the steps and screenshots above in mind, we've already set the IP of the camera and Ethernet Adapter 9, setting up multiple cameras follows the same procedure just with different IPs.

For simplicity's sake, lets call it Ethernet Adapter 1, 2 and 3 and so on..

Ethernet Adapter 1:
IP: 10.0.1.1
Subnet: 255.255.255.0

Camera 1:
IP: 10.0.1.10
Subnet: 255.255.255.0
Ethernet Adapter 2:
IP: 10.0.2.1
Subnet: 255.255.255.0
Camera 2:
IP: 10.0.2.10
Subnet: 255.255.255.0

Ethernet Adapter 3:
IP: 10.0.3.1
Subnet: 255.255.255.0

Camera 3:
IP: 10.0.3.10
Subnet: 255.255.255.0

Ethernet Adapter 4:
IP: 10.0.4.1
Subnet: 255.255.255.0

Camera 4:
IP: 10.0.4.10
Subnet: 255.255.255.0

 

 Using the camera(s) in Swing Catalyst

Using Point Grey camera's in Swing Catalyst is a matter of setting the camera angle and clicking enable. Click the Play button to make sure the camera works.

 

All camera configuration needs to be done through Point Grey's FlyCapture Software.

 SwingCatalyst_2017-05-09_13-42-02.png

 

How to change the shutter speed & other camera settings

 

Start the Point Grey Flycap2 software and navigate to Camera Settings.

 

1. Under shutter, makes sure the Auto is unchecked.

It's usually best to use a manual exposure for static environments, such as indoor studios. A fully auto exposure can cause the frame rate to be changed and lead to an inconsistent image.

2. In this case we're not using auto exposure as we want to be able to control this ourselves. Generally an exposure time less than 2000 (2ms) is recommended.

To save settings see 3.

It may also be necessary to adjust the frame rate, you can uncheck auto and set it to what your desired frame rate, then follow step 3.

 

It may also be necessary to adjust the frame rate, you can uncheck auto and set it to what your desired frame rate, then follow step 3.


Setting gain values


Similar to exposure, setting the gain to manual for static / indoor lighting conditions is best. The higher the exposure the more grainy the image will be and the longer the video encoding will take vs low gain.


To set manual gain, uncheck Auto.

Please see this article on how to setup the camera: https://support.swingcatalyst.com/hc/en-us/articles/204945617

 

 

Troubleshooting and further optimizations

 

If you're dropping frames, or having problems with sync with your FLiR / Point Grey camera's please check the packet size under Flycapture2 -> Custom Video modes.

Point_Grey_FlyCap2_2017-10-02_16-46-18.png

 

You can try turning down the packet size from the maximum of 9000, down to smaller value. Depending on your CPU, what works best may vary depending on the computer.

If using 2 cameras on one network adapter it is recommended to set the packet delay to: 9500.

Point_Grey_FlyCap2_2017-10-02_16-43-20.png

Remember to go to Advanced Camera Settings, and save the settings to bank 1 as covered by the camera setup article,  https://support.swingcatalyst.com/hc/en-us/articles/204945617

Point_Grey_FlyCap2_2019-10-14_13-58-40.png

Remember to click save under Memory Channels and make sure Channel 1 is selected!

If you are not getting any image or you're receiving an error in Swing Catalyst, please try changing the packet size and saving to bank 1 (as per picture above)

Point_Grey_FlyCap2_2019-10-14_13-58-30.png

4 camera setup dropping frames:

In some 4 camera setups it is recommended to turn off interrupt moderation, or change the interrupt moderation rate from extreme to low. If the moderation rate is high, the amount of interrupts will be suppressed, which leads to a lower CPU load. However, the less often the interrupt happens, the more likely the ACK response from the host will be slow. This may result in dropped packets if you are streaming images at fast frame rate.

Choosing a different moderation depending on your system can improve network and system performance. 

You can read more about this under Interrupt Moderation Rate section in this article: https://www.flir.com/support-center/iis/machine-vision/application-note/troubleshooting-image-consistency-errors/.

For more detailed information please see FLiR / Point Grey's support article on dropped frames: https://eu.ptgrey.com/tan/10899

 

Please see https://www.ptgrey.com/support/downloads/10113/ for Point Grey's technical reference manual for the Blackfly camera model.

 

Further network adapter optimizations

Receive Buffers

It's recommended to set this value as high as it can go. This can help avoid dropped frames when using multiple camera's & or higher resolution GigE camera's.

rundll32_2017-05-09_13-00-48.png

 

 

Using two cameras on a network switch:

Please note, only the Blackfly BFLY-PGE-03S3C (90FPS) camera is supported. Using other cameras may result in dropped frames.

Important: The network switch must support 9KB Jumbo Frames (most networking switches do support this), we recommend the: https://www.netgear.com/support/product/GS105.aspx switch or similar switches to the GS105 model.

If you are to use a network switch it's important that the Packet Delay is set to 9500 as per the screenshot below.

After setting Packet Delay to 9500, go to Advanced Camera Settings & save to bank 1, as covered by the camera setup article,  https://support.swingcatalyst.com/hc/en-us/articles/204945617

 

Point_Grey_FlyCap2_2017-10-26_12-36-37.png

Setting the Packet Delay helps with dropped frames when using two Blackfly 03S3C camera's on one network adapter.

 More in depth details on a multiple camera setup can be found here: https://www.ptgrey.com/tan/10351

 

 

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