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05-23-2007, 08:44 AM   #1
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K100d remote assistance question

Hi, I just recently bought a K100d and wish to use it for prime focus astrophotography, does anybody know if the Pentax Remote Assistance software is compatable with this camera? Or failing that does anybody know of any 3rd party software that will allow me to control the shutter and focus through a Laptop? Thanks

05-23-2007, 10:19 AM   #2
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The currently available version of the Remote Assistant software is written for the K10D camera. It may or may not work, with limited functionality on a K100D. The first version of the Remote Assistant was written for the *istD, but as many happy *istDS owners found out, it worked on their bodies, again with very limited functionality.

I do know that the first version of Remote Assistant works with limited functionality on a K100D, as I tested one day. Haven't run the same test with the current release of RA, as I have a K10D also and use RA with that body.

Best thing you can do is download the software and give it a try. Doesn't cost anything, other than the time it takes to download. It won't hurt your camera is it doesn't work. (Of course, I'm not liable if it does. Experiment at your own risk.)
05-23-2007, 10:28 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Broonie Quote
Hi, I just recently bought a K100d and wish to use it for prime focus astrophotography, does anybody know if the Pentax Remote Assistance software is compatable with this camera? Or failing that does anybody know of any 3rd party software that will allow me to control the shutter and focus through a Laptop? Thanks
I have been thinking of this since the DS model came out. The problem is that all commercial astroimaging software I am aware of these days was written to interface with the bulk of the DSLR market, i.e. Canon and Nikon. If the recently released Pentax RA software will recognize the K100D well enough to trip the shutter and dump a JPG to the notebook, then Chris Venter's DSLR Focus software should be able to read the JPG from the folder and help with achieving critical focus by comparing consecutive shots until you get a sharp image. I don't have a K100D to test this on though. If anyone else has a better solution, bring it on!
05-24-2007, 08:29 PM   #4
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Ah, it is good to see an astrophotographer with a Pentax. You asked about Remote Assistant at just the wrong time for me.

I just came in from my little home built observatory after a frustrating session with Remote Assistant. For some reason, after working in the past, RA won't recognize my modified K110D. Actually it knows the camera is present since if I power off the K110D, RA pops up a message about the power switch. When RA is started the display on the camera changes from "PC" to display shutter speed etc as it should. But the RA display remains greyed out. Also, the PC mode assigns a disk drive letter which lets me read the memory card.

I'm using the istD version of RA which was never blessed to work with the K1x0D. I brought the camera indoors to my home PC, same problem. Plug in my K100D and RA works with that, as it always has in the past. I reset the K110D, compared menus, etc and can't figure out why one works, the other does not. Unfortunately the K100D is my daytime camera, K110D has the filter removed and is intended for astro only. I've used RA with the K100D to take photos of birds at a bird feeder, I'd watch for a bird on a web cam, click the shutter remotely, view the results. It has a few bugs, but I only use a couple of functions (exposure, shutter button, auto save). I view the results with Pentax Browser to check focus.

I'm learning fast about using a DSLR for astro after 7 years with an SBIG. I built a timer box to cycle the exposures, based on a design by a fellow on British Columbia Island. I don't absolutely need RA, but just use it for focusing since stars are pretty small in the viewfinder.

I process raw files using Images Plus. The author added Pentax PEF conversion after asking me for a few PEF sample files to test with.

You mentioned wanting JPEGs, I could not get RA to work with anything but PEF.

Soon I will post my tale of removing the IR filter on the K110D...

05-25-2007, 10:43 AM   #5
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Addendum to last message after more investigation...

I searched around this forum and found some K1x0D members report the istD Remote Assistant did not recognize their K1x0D camera. This indicates the connection is intermittent which may be why Pentax never supported this combination. I have a K100D which has always worked (with limitations) and a K110D which worked Wednesday, unrecognized Thursday. I keep hoping it will start working again.

I did discover the 3 month old K110D (2 weeks back from repair) has version 1.02 firmware whereas the six month old K100D has version 1.00. The firmware upgrade only adds expanded memory card capability and I don't dare update my K100D now.

If anyone knows a configuration change I could have accidentally made that would cause RA to cease functioning I'd like to hear from you. Also, if anyone knows of other software that will take photos via USB with a K110D and allow me to view them I'd like that even more! My needs are simple, I just want to take a handful of shots and adjust the focus between frames. Once focused I'll unplug the USB and use my external timer box and store on the camera's memory card.

An annoying feature of the K1x0D is once the USB is connected, the PC disk drive created, and "PC" appears on the display you can no longer use the shutter button. Otherwise I'd just press the shutter manually (using a shutter cable) and view the images on the PC. No software would be needed.

Camera companies make poor software companies. I had a good $400 Olympus film scanner with lousy software, and Olympus never upgraded past version 1.00.
05-27-2007, 09:29 PM   #6
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Thanks to everyone has replied in this thread, I am always interested in anything to do with using my pentax for astrophotography so any tips, ideas etc are always welcomed. Thanks again
05-28-2007, 04:32 AM   #7
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i tried this after reading this thread and found remote assistant version 1 seemed to work fine with my k100d, auto focused and all from my laptop took a couple of indoor photos
05-28-2007, 04:13 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by onlinejames Quote
i tried this after reading this thread and found remote assistant version 1 seemed to work fine with my k100d, auto focused and all from my laptop took a couple of indoor photos
Hello OnlineJames,

Could I ask what firmware is in your K100D? Power on while holding the menu button to display firmware. I'm trying to narrow down why my K100D (version 1.00) works reliably with RA and my K110D (version 1.02) won't (anymore).

If others with 1.02 are using RA reliably then I'll know the firmware is not the problem.

09-28-2007, 11:49 AM   #9
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Hello all,

I just recently bought the K100D Super and now trying to make the Remote Assistant co-operate. Does anyone know if there is a way to have the Remote Assistant running with K100D Super? My firmware seems to be 1.0.
09-28-2007, 12:52 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by LeoTaylor Quote
If others with 1.02 are using RA reliably then I'll know the firmware is not the problem.
I have a K100D with firmware 1.02 and RA version 1 does not recognise that the camera is connected. Does anyone know where I can get firmware 1.00? RA would be more useful for me than SDHC support.
09-29-2007, 10:59 AM   #11
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Since I posted in May that my version 1.02 K110D stopped working with R.A. it has "recovered." The last few times I tried it in my observatory I can again take photos. I use RA mainly for focusing, then use my homemade timer for the actual images.

I wish Pentax would spend a little time on Software and make a Remote Assistant that is supported for K1x0D, in fact one version for all cameras should not be that difficult. I'll wild guess they can't resolve the intermittent problems either which is why they support only istD and K10D.
09-30-2007, 03:35 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by LeoTaylor Quote
I wish Pentax would spend a little time on Software and make a Remote Assistant that is supported for K1x0D, in fact one version for all cameras should not be that difficult.
Couldn't agree more with you LeoTaylor. I just bought K100D Super for Astro photographing purposes. Since it's quite cold in here during the best observing season it woud be nice to have the camera control done from inside.
10-18-2007, 11:12 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by hmanty Quote
Hello all,

I just recently bought the K100D Super and now trying to make the Remote Assistant co-operate. Does anyone know if there is a way to have the Remote Assistant running with K100D Super? My firmware seems to be 1.0.
I am using istD Remote Assistant for my K100D Super. It works. Limited function, as expected.
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