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Asked — Edited

2.4Ghz Mini Wireless Camera

I eventually got one of these cameras via an Ebay seller. But how to you get the thing apart? is it just a case of prising the black ends off? I need to modify the power switch as this won't be accessible when my Robot's finished


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@charleybot To the best on my knowledge, the wireless camera from the EZ-Robot kit is not of direct EZ-Robot manufacturer, nor is it's overall performance directly related to the ARC software. I find that it is a great camera for it's price, but do notice some lag between what happens and what I see on screen and sometimes lower FPS, regardless of the PC or viewing program used. This is likely just the nature of the wireless signal fighting its way through all the similar frequencies in and around my place (Three nearby access points all running 2.4GHz)... this might be the same for you?
@Gunner, just for the hec of it I ran Microsoft's .NET repair tool, which did correct some problems, but nothing that helped with the camera part of it. I totally understand that there will be some lag, but if the camera can only do 5fps using different software packages(EG Blue Iris) and that was in 320x240 mode, if I went to 160x120 mode the camera would get up to 20FPS but the image quality was horrible. I was going over some of the video tutorials and DJ'S camera you could clearly see that it is MUCH quicker than what I have. I don't remember seeing any option in ARC to change the resolution, but I don't know what resolution the software expects, or for that matter the highest frame rate at which it can process the video....

It could be a signal issue I suppose, right now my robot is less than 10 feet from the computer with the ARC software. I do have a couple Wifi routers and I disabled them just to test and the result was the same. About the only other thing I could do is just buy another camera and see how that does, or I guess I could find a small wifi camera and go that route instead...
@charleybot I found a simple viewer that helps me test cameras without any other fancy purposes that might complicate the results... it doesn't actually display real-time FPS, but when choosing resolution it does show approximate levels expected. Try this from Bustatech.com
@Gunner, thanks for the link for WebCamViewer, the camera works fine with it, and does not look like it's at 5FPS anymore, it actually looks like at least 10-15FPS. Just trying to figure out what to do if the camera is working correctly, however with ARC on 3 different pc's what else should I be looking for?

@charleybot here is a silly question, but when using it on ARC are you aware there are two viewing modes, Processed Video and Realtime Video? The default, Processed, is slower and less sharp (lower resolution) then whatever the native signal from the camera is... this is done on purpose so things like motion, face and colour tracking work faster as they do not need the high resolution we like to see. The Realtime Video option should show you what your camera is actually doing.

Edit: it doesn't matter to ARC which mode you chose (it always used the Processed)... the options are for us for use when adjusting for tracking or just to watch what is going on.
@Gunner, not a silly question at all because at first the other day when I started with ARC, I didn't notice the tabs until I started seeing it put squares around objects I had it set to detect, from there for testing I have been going between the realtime and the processed, the processed I expect to be low quality, but the realtime I am still seeing low frame rates, the picture quality is there, just the fps is really low.
@Charleybot Well so much for simple fixes:P This is a harder one to resolve as things like computer speed, O/S, background processes and, of course, the program being used for viewing can all have an effect on one's perceived refresh rate (since neither program seem to have a FPS display that I can find).

As a simple and somewhat subjective test, I placed an analog clock in front of my wireless camera and watched the second hand move... flipping back and forth between ARC and WebCamViewer (at 640x480 30FPS setting) ... it seemed that the FPS is lower in ARC, but not really enough to degrade functionality *confused*

Perhaps you are recording at the same time? (not sure if that slows display down - EDIT: it does a little bit for me). I know at first I kept accidentally hitting the Start button myself... probably just because there is a small delay before seeing the picture and hey, the big button does say START and not RECORD:P
@Gunner, I appreciate your help with this, I am going to order another camera next week and see if there is any difference, hopefully there is, if not then I can't think of anything else to try. I did check to make sure that I was not recording at the same time and I wasn't, but now that I have paid attention to that button, I already hit it by accident a few times....

One other thing I am going to try(and that's if I can find the thing) is my Foscam Wifi camera, at least if that works good it's a start...
@Charleybot Glad to have been of some limited assistance:) I can say one thing that just came to me... when driving my Gunnerator bot around using it's POV (and the wireless cam) I have to be careful as the robot easily overdrives my visual awareness... Drive a bit, stop and wait for the cam to catch up, drive a bit more... like a mini Mars Rover:D Perhaps when other controls are being used, ARC focuses more on other processes then smooth video:) Makes sense as video is not likely its primary function... controlling everything else is:D

Take care!
@Gunner, yup that was the first mistake I made, since my bot has 12vdc motors and uses an HBridge, I had to setup PWM so I could slow it down, otherwise no sensor has the time to scan or detect anything:)
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Make sure you have good light levels. My FPS drops right down in low light level conditions as the camera is trying to adjust its AGC
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So how many people mod the USB cable? vs connecting direct to the little battery terminals? I know @winstn60 has connected direct to where the little battery used to be, but I'm wondering how safe that is?
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Hmm, is there a trick to getting this working using the USB cable with the battery removed?

I've currently got it wired like so:

User-inserted image

And have just removed the battery. When I connect it to the ez-board, the charge light comes on and the digital switch turns it on and off via ARC, however I don't get a video feed coming throug. If I reconnect the battery though, I then get the feed.

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How my threads come back to haunt me. Others have found that you lose the video feed if you power the camera thie way you have Matt without the battery. I think its perfectly safe to wire it the way I did as lots of other EZ-Robot builders have. My setup has been running like this for some time now and it always works

Love your wheels BTW any chance of buying a set?

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Hey @Neil, great stuff, I'll rewire it tomorrow. Just wanted to know if it was safe in the long run, which it sounds like it is.

Re tires, you sure can. Drop me an email at me [at] mattbrailsford [dot] com.
@mattbrailsford It almost sounds like the battery was wired in series between the charge and video circuit... you could probably just jumper the connections where the battery would go in order to continue using the USB plug method of powering the camera.

@winstn60 we have to keep you coming back somehow:)
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@Gunner I'm always here lurking just moved house so back to Robot building when we are all sorted
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@gunner I did try bridging the connection and it didn't seem to work. Stemmed like it shorted it out as the "on" light just went out and no feed. Will try again though before I rewire in case it was just me.
hi guys .does the anthena needed after you solder the wires on.?
Yes, the antenna is still needed.