Keck Lab Usage

Keck Lab Usage Guidelines

When using the Keck Lab, please leave it as you found it.  Specifically, if you change the settings of any cameras or PCs, please return them to their original configuration when you are finished.  The Keck Lab was not designed to be reconfigured easily, so removing the cameras from the original mounts is not recommended.  In the past, doing so has resulted in taking many hours before getting the system working properly again.

All changes to the Keck Lab should be mailed to

Data Acquisition

Using the tools described on the rest of the page, data acquisition typically consists of the following steps in some similar order:

  1. Make sure cameras are ON and connected properly.
  2. Point and focus cameras.
  3. Adjust camera settings using HyperTerminal.
  4. Capture and inspect test sequence. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you are satisfied with your images. If there are actual problems capturing, see below.
  5. Capture any applicable calibration data (calibration frame, LEDs, color grids, background images, etc.).
  6. Capture actual data.
    NOTE: Since any changes to the lab setup could ruin your calibration and render your data useless, you are well-advised to be careful to not accidentally alter the lab setup between capturing calibration data and actual data.
  7. Collect data and clean up. Since storage on the Keck PC's are limited, please do not leave data on them. You can store your data on tape or burn it onto CD's, but please remove your data from the Keck machines within a reasonable amount of time.

See the Frequently Asked Questions for resolutions to common problems encountered during data acquisition. If your problem is not listed, then send mail to

Keck Controller Usage

The Keck Controller provides a versatile interface for using the cameras in the Keck Lab. It supports the following operations:

During operation, the Trigger button reflects the status of the sync signal. When the sync signal is being generated, the button is depressed. The sync signal is automatically controlled by the other operations of the Keck Controller. However, should the need arise, the Trigger button also acts as a manual switch to manually control the generation of sync signals.

Keck Server

The Keck Controller uses the Keck Server, a custom DCOM server running remotely on each Keck PC, to perform the camera operations. The controller makes connections with each of the camera PCs, and sends and retrieves messages and images. The ICamera interface used for the Keck Server is:

In the future, the Keck Server can be customized to perform other tasks (such as locating LED points).

lc3 Usage

Images can also be captured by executing lc3 remotely on each Keck camera PC to capture images to memory and save them to disk.

lc3 has the following command-line:

c:\bin\lc3 cams num_frames dcf_file save_name

Typically, lc3 is executed in batch to capture from multiple rigs. The batch file lc3_all.bat shows how to use lc3.  The general procedure for capturing video is:

  1. Start (the old) Keck Controller (if the frame rate is changed, restart Keck Controller)
  2. Run lc3_all.bat (or your own version that selects the desired cameras)
  3. Press "Capture" in Keck Controller

Changing Camera Parameters

The Kodak ES-310 camera parameters are set using the RS-422 bus, which is connected to the keck16 controller via a Blackbox RS485 controller.  A HyperTerminal configuration "ES-310" is available on the desktop of keck16.  Use HyperTerminal to change camera settings such as exposure (EXE).  

Use the LOG command before communicating to any camera (which are numbered 1-64).  The document ES310_UM.PDF describes all camera features and parameters, and Patrick's Calibration Notes describes the commonly used parameters.

Backing Up Data

The PC keck16 has a Quantum 35 GB Digital Linear Tape drive installed, which is used to save and retrieve data from the Keck computers.  Use the Backup program to save and retrieve data.  The drive transfers data at 5MB/s, so a writing a complete tape takes about 2 hours.

ImgTool Usage 

The color cameras in the Keck Lab captures images using Bayer color filter mask as shown below. See the specification for more details.

The ImgTool application performs color interpolation and converts the captured "grayscale" TIF images to true color BMP images.

Select "Auto" to automatically determine whether an image is color or grayscale by using image contrast. Select "Color" to convert to color BMPs. Select "Grayscale" to convert to grayscale BMPs. Check "Remove TIF" to have the original TIF files removed after conversion. Finally, click the "Convert to BMP" button and select all of the TIF images to be converted, and ImgTool will do the rest. 

Memory Configuration

After installing MIL 6.0, you need to install the latest drivers, which are located in "\\degas\archive\cameras\kodak\es310\latest drivers". Once this is done, the ReservedHostSpaceForLcBuffers in genesis.ini should be set to 0x70000.  Each computer (keck00-keck15) has 1GB of RAM, and is setup so that the upper 896MB is available for capturing to memory (Windows NT 4.0 uses 128MB).  Alternative NT hardware configurations would allow different memory configurations.

The uninstall feature for MIL 6.0 does not remove the genesis and mtxdma drivers.  To change the memory configuration, these need to be removed manually using the instsrv (part of the NT Resource Kit, and located on c:\bin in keck00).  To remove these drivers, type:

  1. instsrv genesis remove
  2. instsrv mtxdma0 remove

To install the drivers (with 128MB for NT, 896MB for capture), from the c:\genesis\drivers\nt4.0\i386 directory, type:

  1. mildrv mtxdma 917504 -pcmemorysize=1048576
  2. mildrv genesis

Note that you need to also update the c:\winnt\system32\genlib.dll file.

There are batch files available in c:\bin\drivers on Keck16 to check and update the drivers:

Hard Drive Cloning

To make setup of the PCs as easy as possible, we use disk cloning software (DriveImage Pro) to clone keck00 to keck01-keck15.

Step 1:

Step 2: