Capture Button Unavailable Error Message When Starting Lynx Software

Lynx System Developers recently wrote a blog post on this issue. The exact error message will read “Capture button serial port unavailable; keyboard capture will be used.”

As explained below, ask yourself the most basic of questions:
A. Do I have the capture button plugged in? If that answer is no and you plan to use it, plug it in and then restart Lynx.

B. Am I even going to capture? Often you are using Lynx to review a prior race and you are not even connected to a camera. If this is the case, then I agree with the advice to simply click on okay and proceed. The warning means nothing IF YOU WILL NOT BE CAPTURING IMAGES during this use of the Lynx software.

I would like to offer a few additional suggestions, however, if in fact you will be capturing during the current Lynx session that go beyond the blog post.

If you are using autocapture and not planning to use a capture button at all:
a. The blog piece’s advice is just click okay.
b. Our advice is different — you do not want to use the spacebar capture with autocapture as it defeats the whole point of using autocapture. It presents a dialog that must be kept open throughout the meet and prevents you from evaluating while capturing, which is one of the main advantages of autocapture. So what to do:

  1. click on file > options > general tab and un-select allow button override
  2. go to hardware control (always best to do so when an event is not open)* and then for each camera you are using, click on the camera information icon (blue cirle i logo top left). Go to the Capture tab and then be sure that you have manual unchecked, automatic checked, and if using identilynx, unless you really truly know what you are doing uncheck use IdentiLynx motion (see our article on setting active area for your IdentiLynx Motion if you are using an IdentiLynx and do desire to use it as the motion sensor to trigger capture)

Taking these steps will prevent the keyboard capture from being active. The downside of course is that if for some reason your exposure is not correct, such as sudden light changes, you have no way to “override” the autocapture.

We almost always use the capture button in any event (not a pun). It does give you the option of capturing when light conditions are suspect. While you can tweak your picture (open the iris, increase the gain, etc.) that isn’t always the best option in context as you wish to keep the meet rolling. We also often add space to an image using our capture button, for example at the start of each lap for a race where we are doing laps, or just before the first finisher.

Don’t know what auto-capture is? It is a software plug-in (Part 5LACM) that makes the camera motion sensitive. It detects finishers automatically and captures their finish images using the camera sensor as a motion detector. It can also be used with photo-beams and other methods to trigger capture. It is available on all systems except the Scholastic. If you don’t have it, you should! It is the best Lynx investment you can make. Tired of pushing the little red button? Tired of focusing on the finish during the duration of the 3200 meter run to decide when you need to capture and when you don’t? Tired of scrolling through finish image to find your finishers (autocapture eliminates dead space)? Tired of having to use autocrop to eliminate dead space and in lower light conditions worrying if you cropped a finisher? This solves all of that. Want it for your system, just contact us.

If you are using the capture button they mention checking to see if the USB to Serial Device is active and working. If so you will see it under the device manager when you expand Ports (Com and LPT). It should not have a yellow triangle next to it. All of the necessary drivers are available under the download tab on the Lynx Website. Often even though the Com Port USB/Serial driver is shown and available, it does not appear in the drop down in the Lynx Software — how can that be? Simple, you didn’t have the USB/Serial adapter plugged in when starting Lynx — so maybe we forgot the most basic question, “why am I getting the alert?” Answer, because I didn’t plug it in. Lynx software will not populate that drop down while Lynx is running if a new device is plugged in. So you need to plug it in, close Lynx and re-open Lynx. It will then be available.

*How to access hardware controls: 1. simply close all events, the remaining screen is the hard ware control screen, or 2) alt + 1 will always bring it up, but beware, if events are open, changes may not bind, or 3) window on navigation bar and select it in the drop down. LLC is a FinishLynx Dealer. Our customers benefit from the world class tech support offered by Lynx System Developers and also gain our level of support as daily users in addition to the factory support. This gives our Lynx customers the best of both worlds. Need a Lynx product, just contact us and let us give you a quote and show you our level of support.

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