CCTV Camera

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jwb
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CCTV Camera

Postby jwb » Thu Mar 19, 2009 5:51 pm

What the heck am I gonna do with this here camera?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jbgeekdad/3368481355/

It's a Philips LTC 0330/21 with a Computar 10-25mm zoom lens. I got it for free, along with two others, and I'm not sure if it works.

I plan on rigging up a 12v power source and buying a BNC-RCA adapter and seeing what happens.

But let's assume it works, what then? I bet I can do something cool with it, but I'm looking for ideas.
///////// John B

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Theo
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Re: CCTV Camera

Postby Theo » Thu Mar 19, 2009 7:26 pm

Do you think you might be able to hook it up to something like this? 'Cause I've got this idea...
Bear in mind, we have some Arduino hackers in the roster. ;)

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Nicholas Lee
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Re: CCTV Camera

Postby Nicholas Lee » Thu Mar 19, 2009 9:58 pm

i've always been curious about vision systems - via processing or somesuchstuff. like to track a red ball or something.
maybe it could the eyes to an autonomous nerf turret.

i have a webcam that still works - so i havnt had the motivation to research more into it.

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jwb
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Re: CCTV Camera

Postby jwb » Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:53 am

Well, the unit itself is monochrome, based on the product sheet I downloaded. Still, there might be some fun possibilities. This particular unit, the iris seems to be manually controlled, but on the other two cameras, you can control them electronically.

Other than the awesome-appearing lens, so far the camera seems on par with a B&W webcam that can't easily be hooked up to the computer.

It might be fun to do some sort of laser graffiti system variant...
///////// John B

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Theo
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Re: CCTV Camera

Postby Theo » Fri Mar 20, 2009 8:55 am

jwb wrote:the camera seems on par with a B&W webcam that can't easily be hooked up to the computer

Heck, "easy" isn't really a requirement. I'm talking about being able to drive a 25x25 matrix of hand-soldered LEDs to 16 levels of brightness (y'know, like gray levels) so monochrome would be fine. As an added bonus, it already LOOKS like a surveillance camera. And a manually-controlled aperture would add a little more interactivity.

My concern is... well, it's BIG. A webcam tucked behind a cool-looking hunk of salvaged lens from Ax-Man would probably work better for what I'm envisioning, at least if I were to integrate the camera right into the frame matrix. I wouldn't have a lot of depth to play with.

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jwb
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Re: CCTV Camera

Postby jwb » Fri Mar 20, 2009 9:18 am

They're at home, but the smaller of the cameras is about 4.5" inches from front to back. They're not huge. The one in the photo is bigger and has a big ole lens.

But you'd be welcome to play around with one if you want.
///////// John B

uptownmaker
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Re: CCTV Camera

Postby uptownmaker » Fri Mar 20, 2009 8:13 pm

Well, here's a thought- if you pry off the optics and everything, and get down to the bare detector, more likely than not you'll see a little piece of material stuck to it. Pop that off, and your camera will suddenly see infrared like crazy.

If you REPLACE that little bit of material with, say, a piece of exposed 35mm film, you'll filter out visible light. You now have a super-cheap infrared-only camera.

Note that this is NEAR infrared- you still need a light source for it to work. But infrared LEDs are a dime a dozen (even Ax-man sells them).

What you do with it then is up to you.

Unfortunately, the process for taking analog video signals (your cams probably push out NTSC) and converting it to digital is so painful, 99 times out of 100 it's simpler just to buy a camera that dumps out digital data into USB or FireWire.

And, FWIW, using an Arduino to do this would be an epic challenge. The Arduino can't possibly keep up with the data rate, but it COULD (possibly) arbitrate the data flow through a CPLD into some type of a PC-bus-friendly linkage (FireWire, USB, etc). We have several products that use an a processor very similar to the Arduino's to do just that. It would NOT be easy.

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Theo
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Re: CCTV Camera

Postby Theo » Fri Mar 20, 2009 9:24 pm

Well... once you've got some sort of digital video signal (and I do have an old webcam somewhere), THEN it appears to be just a few more steps to get it to display the way I'm imagining, and each of those steps is relatively easy. It's already been done at least twice (by Jay Clegg and Windell Oskay); I'd just be taking the end result further. Adding some craft & presentation,y'know.

uptownmaker
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Re: CCTV Camera

Postby uptownmaker » Fri Mar 20, 2009 9:49 pm

That project uses a PC to do the heavy lifting. It downsamples a video signal to 625 pixels (a whopping .000625 megapixels, for you digital camera buffs out there) then shuffles that video out to the Peggy through serial.

The downsampling is the hard part- actually displaying that data is fairly easy. You could cheat, of course, and take every 30th pixel of every 30th row (or whatever, depending on the resolution of your camera). That would very possibly not give you any kind of viable image.

Actually, maybe a hardware low-pass filter to average the signal out, then a fairly slow ADC...

Now you've got me thinking. Dammit.

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noise
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Re: CCTV Camera

Postby noise » Sat Mar 21, 2009 4:21 am

Here's another idea.

Pipe the output of your CCTV to a monitor and mount photoresistors or some other light sensor on the surface of the monitor. Use the photoresistors to control simple noise making devices that I love so much, or perhaps to control variables on a more sophisticated synth.

Then point it at yourself and flail around madly to make musik.

Would also be a big hit with the geeklets.
Make it happen.


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