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Video Car Camera Help

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  • Member since
    January, 2009
  • 1,868 posts
Video Car Camera Help
Posted by RR_Mel on Wednesday, March 08, 2017 1:03 AM

I’m working on my latest project, WiFi video camera car.  It’s getting a bit more complicated than I expected.  My SQ8 is record only and because I want the camera to pan 180° using a SG90 servo I want to see the video live.  I was going to use an existing wireless camera as a viewfinder for the SQ8, there isn’t enough room for both cameras on the flatcar and clear my tunnel portals.  The wireless camera doesn’t have good enough resolution for my needs so it’s out of the formula.
 
I have a high res MD81S WiFi camcoder on a slow boat from China due in about 3 weeks.
 
The MD81 camera is 52mm high so I’m going to use a depressed center flatcar so that the camera will clear my tunnel portals.  I have a worked up a geared assembly to hold and pan the camera 180° driven by an SG90 micro servo.
 
I plan on using an Adruino NANO on board the flatcar to drive the servo and a UNO for the base unit.  There are several WiFi adapters for the Arduinos so my question is has anyone worked with Arduino WiFi?  The adapter that looks the best to me is the NRF24L01 (for its small size and low current).  It has a built in antenna.  They say its reliable range is 90 meters which is more than enough for my layout.
 
Any info on my project is welcome, positive or negative.     
 
 
 
Mel
 
Modeling the early to mid 1950s SP in HO scale since 1951
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • 9,013 posts
Posted by mlehman on Wednesday, March 08, 2017 3:39 AM

Mel,

My experience with the SQ8 suggests its close field of focus tends toward rather fussy and mediocre. Maybe you should consider some other camera, which might even have a means to more directly monitor the image?

Mike Lehman

Urbana, IL

  • Member since
    March, 2014
  • 41 posts
Posted by FowlmereRR on Wednesday, March 08, 2017 3:59 AM

Mel - I have looked at Arduino with WiFi for another (non-railroad) project that required video streaming, and everything I have read indicates that it just isn't up to the task in terms of CPU throughput. Especially if you want a decent frame rate. That position may change, of course, with newer, faster processors, but that was my take-away when I looked around middle of last year.

If you just want to do the servo control over wifi then that should be achievable, but I don't have direct experience of doing that yet.

[edit]Also Arduino Yun has built-in WiFi. May be a smaller overall package? 

Bob

  • Member since
    March, 2014
  • 41 posts
Posted by FowlmereRR on Wednesday, March 08, 2017 4:11 AM

One other thought - have you considered using DCC to control the servo and avoid the wifi complexities? There are some nice Arduino DCC solutions about that use minimal extra circuitry to do the decode.

  • Member since
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Posted by RR_Mel on Wednesday, March 08, 2017 6:47 AM

Thanks for your input!
 
I guess I didn’t express what I’m doing very well.  Because of the lack of space on the flatcar for two cameras, my SQ8 and an old wireless low resolution 1.7G camera that I was going to mount on top of the SQ8 as a viewfinder won’t work.  That combination won’t clear my tunnel portals.  I have ordered a MD81S Wi-Fi Camcorder that will replace the SQ8 and also serve as a Wi-Fi viewfinder.  It should be here by the 23rd.
 
The MD81S is 56mm high, 22mm wide and 18mm thick.  It has a self contained 400ma battery, Micro SD card and P2P Wi-Fi with antenna.  I intend to mount it to a 100 tooth 1” gear driven from an identical gear connected to a SG90 servo to pan said camera 180°.  I intend to control the servo with an onboard Arduino NANO connected to a UNO Base by either a Blue Tooth or Wi-Fi module.
 
All of the above will fit easily on a Bachmann 52’ recessed center flatcar.  At this time I have not settled on a power source for the servo control system.  I intend using track power if it will work without glitching the video.  My earlier attempts using wireless cameras using track power glitched the video.
 
If you don’t think that using an Arduino would work let me know, I have no experience with Arduino Blue Tooth or Wi-Fi.  There are all kinds of Arduino wireless modules available.  Keep in mind the Arduino will only be used to control the servo/pan operation, the camera video will be a separate P2P Wi-Fi direct from the MD81S Wireless Camcorder.
 

MD81S Features:
  • The world\'s smallest wifi camera
  • Supportive for Wi-Fi and p2p transmitting, time-saving and convenient
  • Work without router (direct phone wifi to MD81) or Work via router P2P (internet)
  • In no router condition, still support multi point connection to MD81 (Most other IP camera doesn't support this)
  • Compact and lightweight, providing great portability
  • Smart Image detection - Stop recording to save memory when no different detection.
  • Supportive for Micro SD card up to 32GB as external storage for recording.
  • Auto Overwrite the previous file when memory card full - ensure continuous recording
  • Built-in microphone to free your hand from holding an extra microphone.
  • Build in battery.
  • Support Power Bank Charging during operation.
  • Low power consumption to ensure long working time, and also very eco-friendly
  • Wide working temperature and humidity to suit for different working conditions
  • Support iphone/Android/Desktop computer on local network (AP Mode) monitoring
  • Support iphone/Desktop computer on Remote Viewing (p2p Mode) monitoring. .
 
 
Clear as mud? IndifferentDunce
 
 
Mel
 
Modeling the early to mid 1950s SP in HO scale since 1951
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
  • Member since
    January, 2009
  • 1,868 posts
Posted by RR_Mel on Sunday, March 19, 2017 6:41 AM

Well I finally received my MD81S WiFI/Camcorder and it was DOA.  That put a serious ding in my project.  At this point I’m considering scraping my pan-able camera car and go back to my fixed mounted cameras in my dummy E7A & PA1.  Both work pretty good.
 
I have about $25 invested in the center recessed flatcar and Arduino stuff, that’s providing I get a $25 refund for the dead camera.
 
I’m considering removing the camera in my PA1 and installing my SQ8.  The SQ8 will slip into the PA1 rather easily and has much better quality than the 12 year old wireless camera.
 
I used some Velcro to attach the SQ8 to a standard flatcar as a test awhile back and the video looks pretty good.
 
 
Mel
 
Modeling the early to mid 1950s SP in HO scale since 1951
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.

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