Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
jolyon

Remotely operating multiple camera functions

Recommended Posts

Hiya,

I am aiming to build a remote-operated-vehicle (a bit like a tank) fitted with a high-definition digital video camera instead of a turret that can pan and tilt remotely. I want to be able to control the camera's many functions (such as zoom, focus, record/stop/playback etc..) remotely from a radio Tx using a video transmitter in the robot to see what's going on with the camera.

I think the easiest way to access the camera's functions remotely is to hack into its IR remote control and wire up the buttons to a receiver on the robot somehow. The simple little IR remote control has 7 buttons/functions that i will need access to remotely access all the functions i need.

I can see that the PIC-chips (Bitswitch and PANcam) on this site can be used to turn things on and off, but would it be easier (and much cheaper in terms of Txs) to take a couple of those cheap mini remote controlled cars - like the ones used in the mini-aeroplane project - on different wavelengths and wire the Rx chip outputs for forward/reverse/left/right to the IR remote buttons? 2 cars = 8 possible functions (unless i program another chip to interpret combinations such as left & forward etc..)? The remote won't draw much current (and can be placed very close to the IR receiver), so hopefully it will be possible to wire the Rx chip outputs directly to the buttons?

The problem would then be the range of the crappy little car Txs. I can put huge aerials on both the Tx and Rx units and take off cripple caps, raise to 5V etc... to boost range, but would it also be possible to amplify the heck out of the Tx signal? I will be using this robot for scientific research to video little animals at remote locations on a tropical island - so causing interference RF isn't my main worry (although i'll have to check local laws), ideally I want to be able to control the thing from over 1km away in line-of-sight, or have signals strong enough to penetrate through dense rain-forest over a decent range so that i don't disturb the animals (maybe 300m minimum).

Could i place this: BBA-322 or this: RF2046 (which seems to have better specs - although i'm not sure its the right thing?) in between the mini-car's Tx and aerial to boost the transmitter's range substantially. Am i stupidly overlooking an easier/cheaper way to achieve all of this?

I also hope to kit out the ROV with motion detection so the animals trigger the camera and maybe add solar-panels... but that's another story.

I am new to electronics and the RC world (as you can probably guess), and found this site very cool and informative - keep up the good work! :)

Thanks,

Jolyon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Modifying the RF link usually requires a good deal of experience (or luck) to be successful. In case you need to stay legal, keep in mind that altering registered RF transmitters violates spectrum laws in many countries.

I think you would be better off using a high quality ground rated R/C system (i.e., 75Mhz for USA operation) that has 7-8 channels. Then use something like the BitSwitch, or commercial R/C switch, on each servo channel to interface to the IR pendant.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

to make it very simple, if you don't have electronic skil and want to stay inexpensive, it's possible to position servo motors that come with your radio 75Mhz and install the horn of the servo over buttons of your remote, so the horn servo will push the button. Some r/c radio come with smaller servos than others. And you can find use radio(like new) for few buck where they sell r/c radio,planes car. radio come with four servos normally.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the advice so far guys,

The ACC - plugin controller looks cool, but i imagine it will only give me access to a few simple functions. I'd really want to be able to do everything on the camera (review footage, change menu settings etc...).

Using servos to mechanically push the buttons isn't idea either given my hopes for making and programming the thermal motion detection system, which should be much easier to do via the IR remote.

I guess a big 8 channel transmitter and Bitswitches might be the way forward, although probably pretty expensive - what transmitter model do you think would suit my application?

j

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×