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Main page  Products  Software

Tool for Gx camera filter wheel configuration available for download
 Gx CCD cameras (currently G2, G3 and G4 series) are designed to operate with either internal or external filter wheels (or without filter wheel at all, of course). While changing number of filter positions of internal filter wheel is not typical, external filter wheels can be easily added or exchanged. However, type of actually connected filter wheel (number of positions) is stored in camera permanent memory and changing number of filter wheel positions requires updating of this information. Newly released tool allows every user to change camera filter wheel configuration without sending the camera to dealer or manufacturer.

Storing of filter wheel configuration in camera permanent memory significantly shortens the camera startup time. Camera firmware needs not to check whether some filter wheel is present and if the filter wheel is found, it is not necessary to count the positions on each startup.

If a certain type of filter wheel, identified by number of filter positions, is stored in the camera permanent memory and the filter wheel is missing, the only problem is prolonged camera startup. Firmware starts to search for filter wheel zero position and if it does not succeed within defined time interval, it continues working as if no filter wheel is present. Added startup time is approx. 10 seconds.

But if camera permanent memory contains some number of filters and a wheel with different number of positions is used, camera firmware successfully finds the wheel origin. Subsequent attempts to set some filter position may lead to usage of different filter, because filter wheel motion optimization calculates with different number of filters (Gx camera firmware always searches the shortest path to the new filter, still it is designed to place filter exactly to the same position, regardless of the direction from which the particular filter position is approached). Here comes the new tool, which allows every user to change the number of filter positions stored in the camera permanent memory.

Gx Filter Wheel Setup

The tool is available for download from our web site a single ZIP file. Download it in unzip into arbitrary folder on the computer to which camera is connected.

Remark:

The software needs Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 redistributable package to be installed on the particular computer. If the 'gxfw.exe' cannot be run, go to the Microsoft download site, download the package and install it on the particular computer. Note that SIPS software itself also needs the package pre-installed, so if SIPS runs on some computer, the configuration tool should run too.

Do not be mistaken the redistributable package is intended for 32-bit (x86) systems even if you run 64-bit Windows (x64). The 'gxfw.exe' is 32-bit utility and it needs 32-bit libraries to run.

The tool is designed to guide user through the process in several steps. First step requires connection of the configured camera.

The tool then guides the user to disconnect and connect the camera again (this sequence is necessary because of some technical reasons). Step 4 finally allows to pick up desired number of filter positions used or to deactivate filter wheel support.

Remark:

Configuration tool, as well as all other software, does not distinguish between internal and external wheels. Only number of positions is important from the software point of view and it is not necessary to distinguish internal and external wheels also during configuration.

When the information is finally written to the camera permanent memory, it is again necessary to unplug the camera and plug it so the camera firmware can perform startup sequence with the updated memory content.

Warning:

The utility needs to run with Administrative privileges. It is necessary to have access to Administrator account credentials on the particular PC.

No other G2, G3 or G4 camera can be connected to the PC during configuration process.

Released versions

Version 1.0:

  • Released on September 13th, 2012.

  • Supported cameras:

    • G2 Revision 3

    • G3 Revision 1

    • G4 Revision 1

Version 2.0:

  • Released on October 27th, 2014.

  • Added support for camera models:

    • G2 Revision 4

    • G3 Revision 2

    • G4 Revision 2

 
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