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May 31, 2006, 10:01 AM
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Aerial Photo Digital Cams


I have five digital cameras that I have modded for aerial photography. Samples of photos from each camera can be found at this thread https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=524435. These five cameras I flew this last weekend on my new AP plane I have bought over the last few years as test cameras, and I no longer need them for my aerial photo work. I am selling them for what I have put into each, shipping included within the CONUS. PayPal preferred.

Argus DC3640 3 MP, 2.5 oz, built in 16 MB memory, can take SD memory cards, powered by 2 AAA batteries, also has a analog video out connection that can be feed into a TV transmitter. Full details can be seen at http://www.chrisgood.com/rcplanes/ae...rgus/argus.htm.

I paid $50 for this camera and it includes the camera, all cables (including the video out cable) and software, and the already installed PIC chip which allows remote shutter control. No SD card is included. Shipped to you for $50.

Flatfoto 3, 3 MP, 1 oz, built in 16 MB memory, can take SD memory cards, powered via the shutter connection to the RC receiver. The built in single cell lipo battery (~100 mah) had a very short life, so I removed it and the Flatfoto is powered from the RC receiver. This is the smallest, lightest 3 MP digital cameras I have found. Full details can be seen at http://www.chrisgood.com/rcplanes/ae.../flatfoto.html.

I also paid $50 for this camera, and it includes the camera, cables, software, and the already installed PIC chip which allows remote shutter control. No SD card is included. Shipped to you for $50.

Ritz Dakota 1.3 MP, 4 oz, built in 16 MB memory, single use digital cams that have been modified to be used over and over, powered by 2 AA batteries. I am able to get 60 - 70 pics on these before they run out of memory; it depends on the complexity of the images. After downloading the images via the USB connection, which has been added to each camera, clear the memory and you are ready to go for 70 more. Full details can be seen at http://www.chrisgood.com/rcplanes/ae...ta/dakota.html.

I paid $11 for each of these cameras, and have added standard USB connectors. Each camera includes the already installed PIC chip which allows remote shutter control, and the software to download pics and clear memory. You can download this software for free from many location on the Internet, but I will burn it to a CD for you. You will need a regular USB male to male connector to go from the camera to a PC. Shipped to you for $20 (for each camera).

Each camera package includes the camera, any software needed, and the already installed (and tested!) chips and wiring for remote shutter control. Each of these cameras still work as regular digital cameras and the external switches on the cameras work as normal.

Edit 5 Jun 06: I adjusted the manual focus and changed the brightness setting on the Argus. I took more photos this afternoon at the field and the photos are much sharper and better balanced. The new photos can be seen at the above thread.

Edit 15 Jun 06: All cameras are SOLD. Thank you for looking.
Last edited by chrisgood; Jun 15, 2006 at 10:30 AM.
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May 31, 2006, 04:08 PM
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Ill take the flatfoto.
May 31, 2006, 04:21 PM
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On the Ritz Dakota cams, how much weight can be saved by removing the case and shrink wrapping the cam?
May 31, 2006, 04:27 PM
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rcdude01 - you are top of the list for the Flatfoto. I will PM you my contact info and my Paypal ID.

All - please PM me with you choice.

You can see pictures of just the Dakota "innards" at http://www.chrisgood.com/rcplanes/ae...ta/dakota.html. If you powered it from the RC receiver to get rid of the 2 AA batteries and removed it from the case, it would probably weigh about 1.5 oz. I semi-remember powering it with 5 volts one time to see if that would work - I will verify when I get home. It does have a regulator between the battery and main board, so it should be OK.

Chris
Last edited by chrisgood; May 31, 2006 at 04:38 PM.
Jun 01, 2006, 08:28 AM
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I had the Dakota powered with 5 volts externally. These pictures show the main board with the flash board, viewfinder, and case removed. This is all you really need for aerial photos.

The first photo shows the front of the main board with all unneeded components removed and the pinouts to be used with my PIC switch (or RC-Cams with a few mods). The ground and +5 pins on the top are where the batteries (2 x AA) are normally plugged in. The camera has a voltage regulator which can use +5, so power from your receiver will work fine. The Shutter pin usually runs to the physical switch which is pulled to ground when it is depressed, but has been wired to my PIC switch in the Dakotas I have for sale. The USB wiring on the left is used for the USB connection.

The second photo shows the back of the main board. The WAKEUP function on this camera is tied to +5 (Vref), not ground as in Aiptek cameras. That is why I have it labeled DO NOT USE (for RCCams CamMan). The wakeup function on the CamMan chip pulls the pin to ground, not Vref. This could be a problem, however the camera goes to sleep only after 2 minutes of inactivity. The PIC switch I wrote automatically takes a picture if you have not done so manually before the timeout period expires, thus keeping the camera awake. If you use the main board by itself with no other components, you will need to solder a momentary-on micro-switch between the WAKEUP pins to turn the camera on.
Jun 02, 2006, 12:01 AM
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if you have any of the 20 dollar cams left let me know. I want one
Jun 02, 2006, 04:27 AM
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second on the flatfoto if it does not go thru
Jun 02, 2006, 08:05 AM
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All three Dakotas are available. The pictures from all three look about the same to me and the cameras are identical, except for the timeouts periods. They are 23 seconds, 96 seconds, and 107 seconds. I experimented with different timeouts and those happen to be the final configurations I have in the Dakotas. If you don't take a picture manually after X timeout, the chip will take one automatically to keep the camera awake.

Jamin - you have first choice - I will PM you with my contact info.

p64m70 - you are #2 for the Flatfoto.

Chris
Jun 03, 2006, 10:06 PM
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All things being equal, I guess I will take the 107 seconds one.

PP sent
Jun 06, 2006, 09:12 AM
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The timeout I posted for the 23 second timeout version on the Dakota was incorrect. I had put that PIC switch into another camera. The Dakota timeouts are: #1: 96 seconds, #2: 107 seconds, #3: 107 seconds.

Dakota #3 is sold, so that leaves Dakota #1 (96 seconds) and Dakota #2 (107 seconds) still available.

The Argus is also available, and after adjusting the manual focus and brightness level yesterday, I took more shots that look excellent. They are posted at the above thread. The Argus has the 23 second timeout switch.

Chris
Jun 10, 2006, 10:09 PM
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dakota cam


i have a question the camera automatically takes a pic if no user input in order to keep camera awake right? do you have any of these left and $20 includes shipping right?,and last you do take paypal if so i would like to have a dakota...thanks jody
Jun 10, 2006, 10:11 PM
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i would also need the software for the cam too thanks
Jun 10, 2006, 10:18 PM
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and since you are more advanced in AP i have a question off topic maybe you could help me with i tried doing AP with a dig camera i had here at home with a servo mounted to the top and arm to push on the button but i am getting a ripple effect that seems to be interference from my brushless setup in order to get clean pics should they be taken off power?as in kiil the motor before shooting shot? sorry to ask questions on your ad but.i am wondering.......
Last edited by repomann76; Jun 10, 2006 at 10:23 PM.
Jun 11, 2006, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by repomann76
and since you are more advanced in AP i have a question off topic maybe you could help me with i tried doing AP with a dig camera i had here at home with a servo mounted to the top and arm to push on the button but i am getting a ripple effect that seems to be interference from my brushless setup in order to get clean pics should they be taken off power?as in kiil the motor before shooting shot? sorry to ask questions on your ad but.i am wondering.......

Those pictures look like it's a shutter speed issue (long exposure) rather than any type of electrical interference. If you have a choice to shorten the exposure then try that (at least 1/240 sec shutter speed, and make sure to shoot the picture while in hovering mode, not moving fast). Even that, the vibration from the heli might still create some blurs.

Good luck.
Jun 12, 2006, 08:55 AM
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I have two Dakota's left; one has a 97 second timeout and the other is 107 seconds. Those are the times the camera will wait before it automatically takes a picture to stay awake. If the manual RC switch is triggered, it resets the timeout counter to 0 and it starts counting up again. Please let me know which camera you would like. I will PM you with my Paypal info.

I agree with thematrixz - those are lines are caused by shutter speed and vibration. If this is mounted in a plane, turn the motor off before triggering the shutter. If you can shorten the exposure, that helps. If the exposure is automatic, you can shoot with more ambient light, which will cause the camera to automatically shorten the exposure.

The Dakotas have automatic exposure, so you do need decent light and I was in glide when I triggered the shots. The shots I have displayed at https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=524435 were taken between 5 and 6 PM, so even that late in the day the Dakotas will work fine.

Dakota Software

This page details the software to download photos from the Dakota. This software is included on the CD.

http://cexx.org/dakota/

This page details some modifications that can be made to the camera firmware, and this software is included on the CD also.

http://www.balerdi.com.ar/dakota/

I also put a freeware digital photo enhancer I downloaded from this link. I have not used this program on any of the photos on the CD - they are the raw output of the camera, but this program does do a pretty good job of enhancing images.

http://www.mediachance.com/digicam/index.html

Use of the remote switch for RC use

To activate the remote function of the camera via RC, plug the pigtail into a spare channel that you can flip from one extreme to the other, such as the gear switch. Turned on manually via the ON/OFF button on the back of the camera. With power applied to your RC receiver and transmitter, flip the switch from high to low to high. That activates the switch. Now flip it again back to low to arm the switch. It is ready to take a picture. Flip the switch high and the camera will take a picture. To take another picture, flip back to low to re-arm the switch and flip to high to take another picture. The Dakota will turn itself off after 2 minutes of inactivity, but the switch keeps track of photos taken manualy and will take a photo automatically after 97 or 107 seconds if a photo has not been commanded manually.


Chris

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