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02-20-2018, 08:04 PM - 1 Like   #1
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Creating new software for Pentax

OK, so I am wanting to dabble around creating a possible tether program that's a bit more updated than PK_Tether and supports newer camera models. Now PK_Tether is not open source, so I have no way to look at his source code. I am curious where to begin on this and what resources are available out there. Preferably I would like to find resources that go over the communication with the cameras over USB etc and what kind of protocols they are using. I am in school for software engineering and thought this might be a fun side project to take on and see if it is anything worth pursuing. I am just a little lost on where to begin. I mean I can make a GUI and such easy enough, but I need to know what is going on between the camera and the computer and wasn't sure if there was anything that talked about it floating around out there. If you know anything like that I would greatly appreciate it! Thanks.

02-20-2018, 08:21 PM - 1 Like   #2
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Resurrecting Pentax firmware hacking - PentaxForums.com

Not sure if this is helpful but the people in the thread may know.
02-20-2018, 09:42 PM   #3
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There are open source projects for wifi integration, so I would start there.

Also, the KP supports native USB tethering, so I'd expect all future bodies to support it as well, both APS-C and FF.

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02-20-2018, 09:48 PM - 1 Like   #4
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Yeah, primarily a few people with K-3 II are wanting to be able to do it and I said Id give it a go. Newer bodies Im not as worried about but it is still a fun learning experience. If I do it though, I want to open source it, so anyone can build on it.

02-20-2018, 10:07 PM   #5
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Somewhere there was discussion of the way the flucard worked and how you could build an interface using it.
02-20-2018, 11:13 PM   #6
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I think wired communication is useful and it would be great to have a more effective tool than pktether for my K5. Best bet might be to scope the USB communications on the line during a session, you may also get some documentation from the person(s) behind pktether. This kind of tool is great for mobile Astro deployments or macro focus stacking or studio workflow. Full automatic raw download and remote live view would be a dream come true
02-21-2018, 12:04 AM   #7
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Have you checked this: My Pentax wifi remote software - PentaxForums.com
Apart from USB communication it has all what you are asking for. Perhaps the USB interface can be included, just ask Andrea.
02-21-2018, 02:54 AM   #8
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PKTriggercord is open source, based on PKRemote I think, which was originally written for Linux then ported to Windows. I haven't heard of anyone having much success in getting PKTriggercord working, so it could be a good starting point for some further development.

02-21-2018, 03:35 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by EUPPhotography Quote
OK, so I am wanting to dabble around creating a possible tether program
I as a user would very much prefer if skilled people would join forces and create something better rather than everyone doing his own thing and then stop halfway.

pkTriggerCord

is already nice Pentax tether software and working well for many models.

The official IT2 software shows what can be done (nb: IT2 uses the other USB mode than pktriggercord).
02-21-2018, 04:19 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by beholder3 Quote
I as a user would very much prefer if skilled people would join forces and create something better rather than everyone doing his own thing and then stop halfway.
.

And that is why I suggest you look at what Andrea has created
02-21-2018, 06:41 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by EUPPhotography Quote
Yeah, primarily a few people with K-3 II are wanting to be able to do it and I said Id give it a go. Newer bodies Im not as worried about but it is still a fun learning experience. If I do it though, I want to open source it, so anyone can build on it.
Oh yes please. A K-3II user here. Thank you for your initiative!
02-21-2018, 06:46 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by beholder3 Quote
I as a user would very much prefer if skilled people would join forces and create something better rather than everyone doing his own thing and then stop halfway.

pkTriggerCord

is already nice Pentax tether software and working well for many models.

The official IT2 software shows what can be done (nb: IT2 uses the other USB mode than pktriggercord).
I understand the concern here, but the flaw in that logic is that one must dabble for one to become skilled. I am not making any promises to anyone on a product or software. I am simply looking for more information on what is out there, so that I can satisfy my own curiosity and if something comes of it great! If not, its absolutely no hair off anyone's back but mine. Can't just magically know it all. Even experienced reverse engineers, etc still heavily rely on Google and other research to get the job done. We aren't magical beings that just know everything there is to know about something and can just deconstruct or rebuild without any outside research. (though I wish it were that way!)

Now in terms of skilled people getting together, yeah I am sure that would be a better route to go. But since this is primarily for me to play around with no guarantee, I am not making any commitments to get something created. So having a team of skilled people for what I am wanting to do, wouldn't make much sense. I have not tried pktriggercord, PK_tether has always worked fine on my K-5 IIs. Ill look at it though and give it a shot

Last edited by EUPPhotography; 02-21-2018 at 07:20 AM.
02-21-2018, 08:49 AM - 1 Like   #13
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For reverse engineering and exploring the protocol used you would want a tool like Wireshark and use it to analyze a full USB tethered session. Hopefully the communications between the camera and computer aren't encrypted to prevent people from reverse engineering things. To capture a USB tethering session you would want to use a tool like USBPcap and then load the capture file into Wireshark.

The biggest help would be documenting the protocol as that would allow others to do with it as they wish. Either make their own tethering program as a replacement or just to use as an interface to the camera.
02-21-2018, 12:01 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by EUPPhotography Quote
I understand the concern here, but the flaw in that logic is that one must dabble for one to become skilled. I am not making any promises to anyone on a product or software. I am simply looking for more information on what is out there, so that I can satisfy my own curiosity and if something comes of it great! If not, its absolutely no hair off anyone's back but mine. Can't just magically know it all. Even experienced reverse engineers, etc still heavily rely on Google and other research to get the job done. We aren't magical beings that just know everything there is to know about something and can just deconstruct or rebuild without any outside research. (though I wish it were that way!)
I don't think the comment was aimed at people "dabbling", per se, but if you have multiple people working together, it is more likely to have more momentum and get finished. If one person loses interest, there will be more people who can carry on with it; if there's only one person doing it, when they stop, the whole thing stops.
02-21-2018, 12:16 PM   #15
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Darktable has working USB tether on Linux. Its not full of features (no live mode, no settings) but its a place to start. It uses gphoto I believe.
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