[solved] gspca_zc3xx possible options in Mint lxde 12?

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[solved] gspca_zc3xx possible options in Mint lxde 12?

Postby jtbo » Thu May 03, 2012 4:24 pm

Good day board!

I have been looking information about how to control certain aspects of my webcam that is working and using gspca_zc3xx driver.

From latest gspca_zc3xx.h from author's site (http://moinejf.free.fr/) I can see many interesting words like min_gain max_gain global_gain and such. Also from some odd site I found gspca_zc3xx.c which had gamma and exposure related words in it.

Still I have had no luck finding what are all possible words to use for options gspca_zc3xx line, I found one single mentioning that with more recent drivers it would be just force sensor setting and nothing else, surely this can't be right?

Issue is that automatic fails with my webcam, I have it set to point into scary outside world and image looks fine up until 2pm, when it suddenly becomes white and to cure that nothing seem to help, not rebooting, not reloading driver, it just stays white until evening comes and light level goes enough low. auto exposure fails to remember that it can do lot better during bright illumination, so I would like to force it to certain parameters that I know will work.

I use software called Motion that have some ability to control webcam, but if I don't get automatic functions turned off it can't of course do so well.

So far any keywords for options that I have found produces invalid symbol and dmesg shows that option was not understood/support by driver. For setting options I made options file into /etc/modprobe.d/, which it warns about that it should be options.conf or something like that, maybe there even is proper file to put those options already, but I found only this old method from internet and as it seem to work I have not tried to search more, I spent already two full days on searching this and it is bit of let down to now find how to do this as with windows all I would need to do is few clicks of mouse, but then again where is fun in that? :wink:

Perhaps here someone has found list of all possible keywords that should work?

Camera with issue is probably that E3500, I think, can't remember which is which, but the issue is one that is not sphere type, there is two cams on that particular machine as shown in here:
Bus 001 Device 002: ID 046d:09a4 Logitech, Inc. QuickCam E 3500
Bus 002 Device 002: ID 046d:08da Logitech, Inc. QuickCam Messanger

edit: With modinfo gspca_zc3xx command I get long alias list and then

Code: Select all

vermagic:       3.0.0-12-generic SMP mod_unload modversions 686
parm:           force_sensor:Force sensor. Only for experts!!! (int)

Does modinfo works so that if there would be other parameters to set it would show them, so that there really are no anything else in my driver than that force sensor?
Last edited by jtbo on Sun May 06, 2012 5:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: gspca_zc3xx possible options in Mint lxde 12?

Postby jtbo » Sat May 05, 2012 11:50 am

I did install V4L2UCP, which adds controls for gamma, brightness, contrast etc. Of course Exposure and gain were greyed out, no possibility to turn auto gain off.

I found out that with V4L2CTRL I could save settings to file, then I could change in that file auto gain to be off, load settings and it complained exposure being invalid argument, but then I got slider to move in control panel.

It really does not work properly that slider, it is more or less random setting of exposure, I have to move it left and right and with luck it sets exposure to such value that I get correct image.

Naturally if I touch slider again it can go to over exposure and hunt begins again.

I use SSH to control my machines as they are in locations that are not so easy to get into, this means that currently this renders Mint useless for my purposes, but it is not Mint's fault, every distro I know uses same driver and that driver is one that is not working properly from some reason.

There is now two different Logitech webcams that have this issue, Communicate STX and I think it was E3500 or then quick cam messenger, probably real light technology is to blame?

With quick slider movements I can get image to get better, if I move it slowly image does not go so dark, certainly something is not able to keep up so I can cheat it, but it should be possible to make to work without all this kind of hazzle and issue has been so many years.

Communicate STX has id of 046d:08d7 don't know how many of these there are in use, but it does work, somewhat. Would love to hear if someone has found better solution than cheating the slider :)

edit: I could not find what version driver is in Mint 12, so I thought that there is nothing to be lost and bravely downloaded new driver from author's site (link to site in 1st post), surprisingly there was no problems with installation.

I did then start Motion and remote machine that acts as monitor shows white image, but in two seconds automagically it did adjust image to correct level and image seems to be very nice quality too. Too early to say if that cured issues as it starts to get bit darker outside too, but I report if that would be cure for this issue, might help some other poor soul struggling with similar issues.

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Re: gspca_zc3xx possible options in Mint lxde 12?

Postby jtbo » Sun May 06, 2012 5:16 am

Update as promised.

With gspca_zc4xx driver 2.15.17 problem of white image seems to be away, it is noon and both problem cameras are showing perfectly exposured images, rapidly moving clouds are causing a lot of brightness changes too, but auto gain seems to be working properly on both cameras that use this driver.

As they work fine, I don't need to set manually exposure, which is one problem cured.

Also I get lot less false recordings with Motion than what I used to get with Windows based software in same conditions, so it is a win with new driver for sure. Motion has despecle and light switch that help in that, but also camera control by zc3xx driver is now better than what it was with Windows Logitech driver, it is amazing what single driver update can do.

In Readme of new driver there is good instructions how to use it, so anyone having zc3xx driver with their webcam and Linux Mint 12 should benefit from driver update.

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Re: [solved] gspca_zc3xx possible options in Mint lxde 12?

Postby MrD » Sun Oct 07, 2012 12:43 pm

That driver linked todisabled my Dell built in webcam.

Had to

sudo rmmod uvcvideo
sudo modprobe uvcvideo

To get it working again
Dell Inspiron 1520 - T6570 2.1ghz C2D, 4 gigs ram, integrated Intel 965 GPU, Intel replacement wifi card.

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