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Capture a VGA signal and import as an image in an image control

Posted on 2006-05-30
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Hi,
I have designed a system for handling images captured from different framegrabbers. I use Matrox Meteor 2 for desktop and Hasotec FG-33-2 for laptops. Images are normally produced from microscopes.This works fine and has been in use for a couple of years and therfore still written in VB6.
I now want to handle images from a Scanning Electron microscope (SEM) and I can recieve the image as a VGA signal.
I would like to capture the VGA image in the same way as I capture framegrabbers image and import it into an image control for further image processing.
Anyone knows about a 'framegrabber' or black box (ActiveX control) to input the VGA signal and output it as image, file or whatever that can be handled as an image that can be imported into my image control?

Kind regards
Madde
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Question by:Madde
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by:Callandor
ID: 16791525
A VGA frame grabber card may be what you are looking for: http://www.pixelsmart.com/vga.html
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by:Madde
ID: 16791599
Callandor,
Extremely fast answer.
This seems to  be exactly what i am looking for as long as it meets the spec for professional use. I will check it more in detail.
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by:garycase
ID: 16791637
There are several VGA framegrabbers available for desktop systems;  e.g.
http://www.pixelsmart.com/vga.html

I've not, however, found a PCMCIA card that accepts VGA input.

There are a variety of VGA-to-composite converters that will convert the VGA signal to composite; but there is a notable quality loss in all of these that I've tried (and I'd assume with an electron microscope image this may be unacceptable).   Here's one you could try if you want -- but I think a card that grabs the image from the VGA signal is preferable:  http://www.trianglecables.com/cotovicovgad.html



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by:garycase
ID: 16791655
... looks like Callandor posted the exact same link I found while I was looking for a PCMCIA card with the same features :-)
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by:Madde
ID: 16791851
Garycase,
I do not think converting the VGA to composite is a good idea. I f you have VGA signal it should be possible to capture with better quality than to convert it to a vidio signal. As far as I can see this is what trianglecables does!
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by:Madde
ID: 16791874
Garycase,
I read your point about posting links. I will consider this when granting points.
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by:garycase
ID: 16791907
I agree converting to composite is not a good idea -- that's why I said it was probably unacceptable above.   I included the link purely as an example of what devices are available to do this -- and just in case you HAD to have some way of capturing on a laptop (I've been looking around a bit more and still haven't found a PCMCIA card with a VGA input).
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by:Madde
ID: 16792005
Garycase,
I have had a lot of trouble to find good PCMCIA grabber for laptops until I started to use Hasotec. They work fine for video but as far as I know don't have a VGA grabber. The problem I have just now is to fin a VGA grabber for a desktop.
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by:garycase
ID: 16792064
... by the way, if you don't like the specs of the framegrabber link Callandor & I posted, just do a Google for "VGA framegrabber" ==> the link we posted is the first "hit", but there are others, and some support higher resolutions than the pixelsmart adapter.   It's not clear, for example, that the pixelsmart supports full color captures -- but this one does:  http://www.mutech.com/iv460.htm

I'd suggest you review the detailed specs and perhaps exchange a few e-mails with the vendors before choosing the card you use ==> as I noted, just do a "Google" for "VGA framegrabber".
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by:Madde
ID: 16792459
Garycase,
I did what you suggested but i think there is a confusion. There are a number of Video to VGA grabbers like the ones at mutech but so far i have only found pixelsmart that will grab a VGA signal.
I may be wrong but this is what my short survey has come up with.
I have mailed pixelsmart to find out more and will wait for their answer.
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garycase earned 2000 total points
ID: 16792588
You're correct about the mutech board -- they list several "non-VGA" boards plus the iv460; and as it has a DB15 connector (in the picture) I mistakenly assumed it could capture a VGA input.   But I just downloaded the manual and confirmed that it does NOT capture VGA.

Here's another (higher resolution) option than the pixelsmart:
http://www.ems-digitalmedia.com/html/visionrgbpro.html




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Author Comment

by:Madde
ID: 16792906
ems-digital media seems to be a n interresting choice.
The advantage is that they claim to be able to display 'live' images with a rate of 16 frames/s wheras pixelsmart claims 1 frame/s only.
I will dig deeper into this but for now I think this is the most valuable answer for me.
kind regards
madde
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by:garycase
ID: 16792995
Yes, I thought it looked like a much nicer card.  Captures at higher resolutions, with much higher capture bandwidth.   I'm sure the price is commensurate with the capabilities -- but it should be a much closer match with what you need to do.
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