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Old Feb 02, 2011, 11:13 AM
Fly Like A Thing Posessed!
NightRunner417's Avatar
USA, FL, Fort Myers
Joined Nov 2010
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Originally Posted by Tom Frank View Post
There are photos of the circuit boards in Post #2. The rubber case measures 2.0 in. long x 1.25 in. wide x .50 in. thick. The circuit board is obviously a little smaller, but mine isn't open right now to measure.
Just the numbers were good enough, thanks! Smellin' blood now, boy... It'll fit that small case just fine and I can even do some cutting to make it smaller and still have no problems, I think. I also think that since the imager chip is on the end of a ribbon cable, I can mount the new lens holder firmly to the new case, and run the imager chip to it, which will solve a lot of engineering issues. The microswitches I'll probably replace with small momentaries also mounted to the case or just access by opening the top of the case, and I will likely also add a small connector to tap into the lipo leads for external powering of the camera. The USB connector, I'll have to deal with when I get there.

Has anyone done any basic testing to see if the lens is IR filtered or if it's filtered at the sensor chip? I've been seeing a lot of CCTV cameras lately that have the IR cut filter glued right to the chip, which irks me no end. I'm really crossing my fingers that these ones have it tack-glued to the lens body, which would make it totally a non issue for where my camera is going to be heading.

At the end of the day, I'll have an HD camera that will accept standard board cam lenses, and also be adaptable to my telescope or microscope. :-D

Rick NR417
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Old Feb 02, 2011, 11:24 AM
Dance the skies...
Tom Frank's Avatar
United States, MA, Walpole
Joined Dec 2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NightRunner417 View Post
...
Has anyone done any basic testing to see if the lens is IR filtered or if it's filtered at the sensor chip?
...
Rick NR417
I just answered that a few posts ago! I didn't test it, with no way to do so, but the rear element had the same red appearance as the old 808 #3 lens, which you can see at chucklohr.com has the IR filter integrated into the back end of the lens barrel.
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Last edited by Tom Frank; Feb 02, 2011 at 11:35 AM. Reason: add chucklohr reference.
Old Feb 02, 2011, 11:28 AM
Fly Like A Thing Posessed!
NightRunner417's Avatar
USA, FL, Fort Myers
Joined Nov 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Frank View Post
The IR filter IS on the rear surface of the lens, Rick. I'll be interested in your mod. Getting the CMOS array perpendicular to the lens axis will be the biggest trick, I think.
Whoops I skipped past and didn't see this post. Boy now THERE is some badass news... I can rid myself of the IR cut filter WOO WOO!! :-D

Believe it or not, doing this sort of mod isn't all as tough as it sounds. I did something pretty much the same with my Quickcam 9000 and it went off fantastically. That camera is a MONSTER with no IR filter in it, very sensitive for a CMOS webcam, and of course the imager in that thing is very good indeed. I simply tore the case open and repackaged the guts into one of those 2" x 4" x 1" Radio Shack cases. It fit nicely, I was able to easily do the lens mounting, got the mic relocated to a tiny hole in the new case, and of course it now not only takes all my good M12 lenses, it also has a 1/4" tripod thread. :-)

Image quality, you ask? Here's one of my better microscope vids using it and a homemade pvc pipe adapter, totally at the risk of being OT but it kinda isn't since up next on the chopping block is the 808HD for the same basic mod:

Amscope M600A Pond Water Sample 5 (6 min 11 sec)


Rick NR417
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Old Feb 02, 2011, 11:38 AM
Fly Like A Thing Posessed!
NightRunner417's Avatar
USA, FL, Fort Myers
Joined Nov 2010
1,777 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Frank View Post
I just answered that a few posts ago! I didn't test it, with no way to do so, but the rear element had the same red appearance as the old 808 #3 lens, which you can see at chucklohr.com has the IR filter integrated into the back end of the lens barrel.
Sorry about not seeing the post before. Yeah that's definitely an IR filtered lens if it has the same reddish irridescent look to it. They're hard to miss once you know what you're looking at. My KPC-DNR700 cctv camera that I use for FPV is sadly filtered at the chip itself... They glued it right to the topside of the sensor. What this means is that in order to remove it, you have to risk destroying the chip and thus the camera, and that's a real shame considering how much more versatile the camera becomes if you can control the presence of that filter. I really can't see why they started doing it that way, but then too I'm no camera engineer, so whatever. I'm just thrilled that I can have my way with it on the 808HD. :-)

Rick NR417
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Old Feb 02, 2011, 11:45 AM
Dance the skies...
Tom Frank's Avatar
United States, MA, Walpole
Joined Dec 2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NightRunner417 View Post
...
Believe it or not, doing this sort of mod isn't all as tough as it sounds. I did something pretty much the same with my Quickcam 9000 and it went off fantastically....it now not only takes all my good M12 lenses, it also has a 1/4" tripod thread. :-)
...
Rick NR417
For a minimal package for our AV purposes, I think a lens intended for the slightly larger 5 MP CMOS array would be just right. I found a source for just the precision plastic holder for the lens and CMOS array, and even some other 7mm threaded lenses which do NOT have the IR filter and should thread right into the existing HD key cam carrier module. The lens is better quality, and cost $30-$40.
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Old Feb 02, 2011, 11:53 AM
Fly Like A Thing Posessed!
NightRunner417's Avatar
USA, FL, Fort Myers
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Frank View Post
For a minimal package for our AV purposes, I think a lens intended for the slightly larger 5 MP CMOS array would be just right. I found a source for just the precision plastic holder for the lens and CMOS array, and even some other 7mm threaded lenses which do NOT have the IR filter and should thread right into the existing HD key cam carrier module. The lens is better quality, and cost $30-$40.
That's excellent, and I agree that minimal upgrading would be awesome, but I'm going to be focusing strictly on making an M12x0.5 conversion due to keeping things universal on my end. The way I intend to do it, it's not so much a challenge to make it work as it will be to make it work and be light and reasonably small for AV uses. My goal is to make a version of the camera that covers all the things I do already, but also covers my latest love affair with RC flight. I feel that I can make it happen and still keep things reasonable for that, but I know there will be hurdles. I'm definitely going to be brushing up on my plastic milling skills for starters, lol. I think this is going to be fun, and hopefully it will be my best work ever. :-)

That said, I do want to look deeper into what you found, because there's great potential there for a superlight yet improved version of the camera.

Edit: I forgot to mention - it looks like I may be able to use a single lipo cell ripped from a damaged E-Sky Big Lama 800mAH 3S pack in my mod. The cells measure just right for the case I intend to use, and would make a pretty interesting upgrade from the 250mAH stock cell.

Rick NR417
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Old Feb 02, 2011, 02:15 PM
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Davison, MI
Joined Sep 2007
1,221 Posts
Youtube, Freemake, and Windows Movie Maker

Hey Guys,

Here's some test videos I shot yesterday at the indoor arena.

I stuck the cam on a friends plane, my PZ T-28, and a scale Heli. In each case I used Velcro to hold the cam on. On the Heli the Velcro pads was too small and the cam rocked back and forth once the rotor blast hit it. No much good for evaluation, but kinda a cool effect in a "Magic Fingers" kind of way.... No Quarters needed !!

In the arena the lighting is VERY harsh due to the windows so the cams inability to deal with this is highlighted. Plus I shot through the prop a fair amount. All in all I'm very happy.

I used Freemake to convert these file to AVI then set Windows Movie Maker to output in HD. I quickly edited and added music.... Ta daa...

I still have to do the heli vid, I'll add some of the shot from the other vids with the effects turned on so you can see a short "best of" section of shots.

Keyfob Test Skymasters Fly T-28 HD (2 min 57 sec)



HD Keyfob Test Skymasters Indoor Fly Tadpole (7 min 10 sec)


I haven't re-focused any of my cams. Maybe later..

Joe
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Old Feb 02, 2011, 03:24 PM
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KeithLuneau's Avatar
United States, LA, Moreauville
Joined Jan 2002
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That's pretty impressive how the prop disappears under the indoor light! I wish they would do that in the sunlight... lol
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Old Feb 02, 2011, 04:16 PM
Fly Like A Thing Posessed!
NightRunner417's Avatar
USA, FL, Fort Myers
Joined Nov 2010
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Originally Posted by KeithLuneau View Post
That's pretty impressive how the prop disappears under the indoor light! I wish they would do that in the sunlight... lol
It's the light level... You can actually *make* it happen if you put a bit of tinted glass or optical quality plastic in front of the lens. See, in bright light, the electronic shutter of a digital camera has to switch very quickly in order to limit the exposure and keep everything from being too bright or even whiting out. The fast shutter times act like a strobelight, freezing objects in fast motion. That's why you see bands when looking through the prop - because the fast shutter is freezing the moving prop but in a distorted way due to the scanning action of the camera imager. Shutter rates on modern digital cameras can exceed 1/10000th of a second with ease, allowing even very fast objects to be frozen very cleanly in a still image.

In lower light, fast objects begin to blur because the shutter can no longer switch fast enough to cause the strobe effect. When light decreases sufficiently, any very fast moving object will blur so much that it's like looking at a fast fan with the naked eye - all you see is a kind of dimness to the light that passes through the fan blades, but you don't see the blades themselves unless you are looking at it under pulsating light like fluorescent, television glare, or incandescent lighting. Under daylight, you simply don't see them at all, you only see the blur.

If you want to eliminate the stripe effect in your videos of the prop and the shutter rate interfering with each other, simply slow down the shutter by dimming the light that it sees. The prop will blur out as a result. The downside of this is that if you don't get it right, like you darken the view TOO much or the light level drops due to clouds or whatever, even the relatively slow moving objects could begin to blur, causing a general motion blur across the entire view. Pick the right day, with steady light bright or dim, and you can exploit the effect and your prop will only look like a circle of blur, just like it does to your eyes. :-)

Rick NR417
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Old Feb 02, 2011, 04:50 PM
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About refocusing....

So I finally got around to taking the time to try and refocus my HD keychain cam. I brought the laptop outside, put the camera in webcam mode, and used virtualdub to view it and tinker with it while pointing it at trees of various distances. I accurately marked the original focus, and then tinkered with the focus for probably at least a half hour, and the absolute best focus point that I was able to see, even for the far away trees, seemed to actually be exactly the stock focus. I arrived exactly on that spot on my own over and over again, so perhaps some are perfectly focussed.

There were times in flight before I had refocussed, where I felt like the video wasn't as crisp as it should be, but perhaps that was just due to vibration, movement, or lower than ideal light causing the shutter speed to slow. At least now I'm not left wondering "I wonder if this video would have been crisper if I would have refocussed first".


One other thing I noticed, is when using one of the .67x lenses, it definetly makes the field of view bigger, however causes the edges to be blurry. The amount of blur seemed almost identical to the amount of extra fov you gain. I think I will continue to use the .67x lens though, even if the edges are blurry, its better than not seeing them at all.
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Old Feb 02, 2011, 04:59 PM
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Davison, MI
Joined Sep 2007
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Here's the Heli video.

Skymasters HD Keyfob 11 Heli Tadpole and PZ T-28 v2.wmv (7 min 3 sec)


Joe
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Old Feb 02, 2011, 05:42 PM
Test pilot
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Joined Oct 2005
66 Posts
Bill, thanks for the help, found what I was doing wrong when trying to download, was pushing both buttons together, and I was setting it up as a web cam, (Bloody dill) all seems well at present, Regards Goofa.
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Old Feb 02, 2011, 06:02 PM
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Canton, Michigan USA
Joined Jul 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goofa View Post
Bill, thanks for the help, found what I was doing wrong when trying to download, was pushing both buttons together, and I was setting it up as a web cam, (Bloody dill) all seems well at present, Regards Goofa.
Goofa,

Good for you.

Bill
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Old Feb 02, 2011, 06:06 PM
Dance the skies...
Tom Frank's Avatar
United States, MA, Walpole
Joined Dec 2003
17,759 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joespeeder View Post
Here's the Heli video.
...
Joe
That's a beautiful indoor flying venue... wish something like that was available here! Is it always that crowded? I was getting to the point where I was hoping you could make a left hand turn with the plane for a change!
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Old Feb 02, 2011, 06:16 PM
Dance the skies...
Tom Frank's Avatar
United States, MA, Walpole
Joined Dec 2003
17,759 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by carl1864 View Post
About refocusing....

So I finally got around to taking the time to try and refocus my HD keychain cam. I brought the laptop outside, put the camera in webcam mode, and used virtualdub to view it and tinker with it while pointing it at trees of various distances. I accurately marked the original focus, and then tinkered with the focus for probably at least a half hour, and the absolute best focus point that I was able to see, even for the far away trees, seemed to actually be exactly the stock focus. I arrived exactly on that spot on my own over and over again, so perhaps some are perfectly focussed.

There were times in flight before I had refocussed, where I felt like the video wasn't as crisp as it should be, but perhaps that was just due to vibration, movement, or lower than ideal light causing the shutter speed to slow. At least now I'm not left wondering "I wonder if this video would have been crisper if I would have refocussed first".
I know what you mean. I was never convince the web cam method was zeroed in, because of motion while focusing, and the brighter light making it harder to see detail in the web display. It does get you very close, but I found I could make sure I had mine really zeroed in for distant AV work by shooting a test video at the "webcam" spot, then shooting identical subject matter (very distant) by turning the lens about 1 to 2 deg left and right of the "webcam" spot, then using two separate video players to display each pair of videos together. By stepping through frame by frame, I could tell if one was better than the other. I was also comparing corners and edges as well as closer objects in these tests to get the best OVERALL focus, but you could also use this method just for central objects in the frame as well.
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