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Using Basler Ace cameras with Vic-Snap


Starting with Vic-Snap 9, Basler Ace USB3 cameras are supported in Vic-Snap. This is brief guide on how to install the cameras and to adjust them for highest frame rate.

Installing Pylon software

To being, install the Basler Pylon software. The best approach is to use the Pylon Suite as it offers more flexibility than the standard runtime package which is also available.

Select "Camera User" at the Profiles screen.

Select USB at the Interfaces screen. Selecting other cameras may interfere with the operation of non-Basler cameras.

All other options can be left as default.

Installing Vic-Snap

Install the latest version of Vic-Snap from the forum link. All options can be left as default.

Checking the cameras

Plug in all cameras, being sure to connect the jackscrews. Note that Ace cameras cannot be used over USB2 - USB3 connection is mandatory. Start Vic-Snap and check for proper operation.

Note that due to their small body size, these cameras can become warm or hot to the touch if they are not yet attached to camera mounts. This is normal and our testing has shown no additional problems with imaging or DIC. Once mounted to additional thermal mass this will not be noticeable. 

Maximizing frame rate

The Basler cameras have a very effective and automatic bandwidth management system. They share bandwidth automatically, and automatically enter an overlap trigger mode when necessary. However, by default they assume a bandwidth maximum of 360MB/s, and some systems can support more or less than this.

The Basler Pylon software has a test tool which will help determine the maximum frame rate that can be supported without errors or dropped frames.

To begin with the test tool, the cameras need to be free running, and Vic-Snap will have put them in software trigger mode. The simplest way to reset this is to unplug and replug the cameras.

Start the pylon Viewer software from the Start menu, and click Tools... Bandwidth Manager.

Click Start Analysis to start the testing. Here, we can see that with both cameras running at 360MB/s, the system begins to drop frames (right-most column).

We can adjust the bandwidth of each camera to 250MB/s, click Reset Statistics, and retry. Now there are no dropped frames but the maximum rate is reduced.

Through trial and error we find the maximum we can support is around 335MB/s. The final step is to start Vic-Snap 9 and click File... Advanced Options

Click Edit Advanced Options to view hidden options, and select Camera Settings. Finally, set the Bandwidth limit under Basler Ace to this same value. Restart Vic-Snap 9 for this to take effect.

Note: If a higher frame rate is needed, it may be necessary to put the cameras on separate buses, e.g., by installing add-on USB3 or USB3.1 cards. Please contact Correlated Solutions' support team for additional details.

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  1. Nick Lovaas

  2. Posted