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Posted by Jem3 | Sep 05, 2012 @ 04:52 PM | 1,977 Views
I thought I'd post some pics of the wrap up of this project. An issue was fitting the A490 into the tilt frame with the mini USB connector installed. A tricky little bit of X-acto work, micro soldering and silicone did the job. In removing the plastic outer part of the plug, you will invariably cut a wire, so soldering is needed. Check the solder connections before applying the silicone. (If you're extremely skilled or lucky and don't cut the black or red wires, all you have to do is the silicone job).
Posted by Jem3 | Aug 17, 2012 @ 03:21 PM | 2,809 Views
What hardware you need
Canon A490 - $15 to $35 on Ebay
a 4GB (class 10 is best) SDHC card - see discussion below - $7
An adapter for an SDHC card - to be able to plug it into your computer - a USB adapter about $12
a mini USB cable - that you'll modify
a servo channel operated switch $7 to $20
3.5 mm stereo cable for live view to FPV transmitter
a momentary push button switch (normally open is easier to use) $3

What software you need - and how to get it
CHDK (Canon Hackers Development Kit) software to run on the camera's computer. Links to files of CHDK to download are here, both "stable" and "development".
Utilities to run on a PC to format the SDHC card in a specific way to make CHDK available to run on the camera. The applications Cardtricks, or SDMInst.exe, are used with Windows OS, and SDMInst for Mac OS. There are also utilities for Linux. For installation information and instructions, see the supplement to this User Guide:
Utilities to determine version and rev of camera's firmware, there is a number of ways to do this. Go to the homepage of CHDK (Canon Hackers Development Kit) most of the resources you need, or links to them are here.

What to do
I decided to use a Mac, as the ACID software makes it very simple. Here's what I did.
* Go to Dave Mitchell's Zeno site
http:/...Continue Reading
Posted by Jem3 | Aug 13, 2012 @ 11:37 PM | 2,017 Views
Gimp 2.8 and GoPro wide-angle correction
Some people like the GoPro stock lens look and others don't. Many times it depends on how the scene is framed. Here's a package that lets you change a little or a lot.

I came across a reference to GIMP posted here quite a while ago - a GNU (shareware) image manipulation package that runs on UNIX machines, or Unix layers on Mac and Windows machines. The old reference was for Gimp 2.6 - the current is version 2.8.0 - so I thought I'd resurrect the reference for those who don't know about it. Below images taken with GoPro 1, with original lens in watertight case. Yes, they're terrestrial, but show the possibilities quite clearly

available at:

Updated menu selection
Filter ->Distort->Lens Distort
I used parameter values of
Main -64.8
Edge +16.43
all others left default a zero

If centerline of FOV is not perpendicular to subject of interest, you might want to consider adjusting the perspective to make parallel lines look parallel.

Updated menu selection
Tools->Transform Tools->Perspective
Parameters depend on subject