Author Topic: JEOL optical camera feed for remote desktop  (Read 565 times)

Jason Herrin

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JEOL optical camera feed for remote desktop
« on: February 16, 2021, 04:41:53 AM »
Hi all,

This is a copy-and-paste from our email discussion last week. We configured a low-cost solution to capture the video feed from the optical camera on our JXA-8530F when operating through remote desktop. Credit goes to our DIY craftsman and resident “karung guni”, a rag-and-bone man of electron microscopy, Alan Lim.

I have attached an annotated photo that tells the connector story. We have “T’d” off the analogue composite video signal from the microscope camera and fed this into a USB video capture card. The shopping list for this setup includes the capture card ($10), a BNC T-splitter, a short BNC cable, a BNC-to-RCA adapter, and a USB cable. Altogether it should be ~$20, although we had most of this stuff laying around the lab.

We have installed the capture card as one would a USB camera. I have also added images showing how to configure VLC Player to accept the capture card input. You can also use the Camera app in Windows 10.
We have Probe Software running on a separate PC, as I assume everyone else does also. Our JEOL PC is not connected to the external network, so our remote desktop procedure is as follows:
1) Remote in to the Probe Software PC using whatever viewer our IT department hasn’t banned yet.

2) Remote over to JEOL PC from Probe Software PC. We use VNC Jumper for this (JEOL PC is VNC server, Probe Software PC is VNC client).

3) Open VLC Player on Probe Software PC to see optical feed as needed.


-If you are sharing the same mouse and keyboard across two laboratory PC’s, I recommend disabling it when working remotely to avoid “lost cursor events”.

-It helps to have at least one big monitor wherever you are working remotely so you can see both PC’s and the camera feed at the same time in the same window.

-If your connection is lagging, it helps to reduce the display on the lab PC that you are connected to (single monitor and/or reduced resolution). More resolution is obviously preferable if bandwidth affords.

-If the camera connection experiences fatal failure, it can be that the $10 capture card is faulty. Alan says to consider buying a spare, because they tend to overheat and fail.

-If you also have access to lab CCTV, increase the size of your spectrometer flags so you can watch ‘em turn. [update: I am told that the post-2019 JEOL models no longer have flagpoles on the spectrometer motors.]
Best of luck in all of your remote operating endeavors,

Jason Herrin
NTU Singapore


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Re: JEOL optical camera feed for remote desktop
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2021, 12:25:15 PM »
Thanks for this Jason,
I bought a USB capture stick and had an OM microscope image on my PfE computer in less than 5 minutes. A bit fuzzier than the original but perfectly useable.
My 8230 is using the older IAI camera.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2021, 01:46:23 PM by glennpoirier »

Jason Herrin

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Re: JEOL optical camera feed for remote desktop
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2021, 04:25:42 AM »
Our camera image quality is acceptable but sometimes turns a bit purple for some reason.  8)

For a few dollars more one could slot an HDMI card (with an HDMI input) into their PC and get an HDMI capture card (instead of the USB version). This could improve the image quality. Making the VNC window really big also helps, lol.