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image pro express - can't acquire longer than 10min exposure

I have a dual x-ray camera system connected via firewire to a 2 GHz Dell Dimension 2400, winxp pro, 2GB RAM. The camera is operated through Image Pro Express.  Image Pro Express' specification for the system was for a minimum 1GHz system with 256MB RAM running xp pro, so we should be okay as far as computer hardware.  I need to be able to acquire exposures of about 15 minutes, however, any time I set the exposure beyond 10 minutes, image pro express crashes at the end of the exposure.  I suspect a memory issue.

I do get an image after a 10min exposure, so I know the firewire and serial trigger are working. I just need a longer exposre to get a brighter image.

There doesn't appear to be any settings in image pro express for memory settings. I'm at a bit of a loss to troubleshoot the problem. Any advice? Meaningful answers please - I'm under the gun to get this working, so I don't have time to stab around in the dark. Sorry...
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firebird-sc
Asked:
firebird-sc
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2 Solutions
 
lherrouCommented:
firebird-sc,

I suspect you're on to something. You don't mention what you are using for image acquisition and total amount of data throughput, but I found on the Image Pro Express forums a comment about the "32-bit OS is limited to ~1.6GB per process."

It sounds like your datastream may be exceeding that, and killing Image Pro, once you pass the 10 min point. Options might include increasing your x-ray output to decrease the exposure length, decreasing the density of your subject material so you get greater exposures, decreasing the resolution of your image acquisition device to decrease data throughput, or switching to a 64-bit OS.

Cheers,
LHerrou
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firebird-scAuthor Commented:
Thanks LHerrou,
We're trying to increase x-ray output.  We can't alter the density of the material; we use the system for the orientation of our crystals using the Laue back-reflection diffraction method. Our x-ray generator is running at max; however the camera manufacturer has designed and is testing a sort of light pipe/optic device which will focus all of the x-ray beam into the collimator. Right now only the part of the beam incident on the collimator pinhole passes through to the sample.

The camera manufacturer doesn't recomment 64-bit OS - I don't think the drivers are compatible.

I've played with the binning settings in Image Pro. The camera manufacturer recommends 4x4 binning. I tried 2x2 (much darker image), and 8x8 causes Image Pro to crash.

Image Pro generates a .tif output, each typically 221KB, and given the stated memory requirements - minimum 128MB, 256MB recommended - I am a little surprised that there are memory issues. But that seems to be the way it's acting.  Then again, though the output file is only 221KB, I don't know how much memory is required to generate the file. I suppose I could monitor the performance through windows' task manager.

I have two more options that I can think of yet to try: Image Pro allows for integration of images. I should be able to take two 10 minute exposures and add them together. In theory this should produce the same effect as a 20 minute exposure. The other thing would be to try a newer computer (this Dell is about 5 or 6 years old).
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lherrouCommented:
Yes, if you have another computer you can test in that setup (even on a temporary basis), I suspect that might be the quickest way to see if there's an easy fix. I haven't worked with Image Pro enough to know if the additive property of the images using the integration makes x-rays brighter - if you take it from a theoretical point of view, that may be so, but from a practical point of view, you might just make it darker (like taking two physical x-rays and stacking them on a viewbox, etc).

While your tif is a reasonable size, I still suspect that the total data streamed from your camera is many, many times that.

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