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lvspark

PocketcamX CamMan

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I recently got a Pocketcam X on open box special for $100. It takes a good picture, and the camcorder function has a decent frame rate with audio and compresses nicely into an mpeg or AVI. ( I forget exactly wich one). With the internal memory, 20 high res pics, or about 20 sec of video is possible. This camera has a SD slot and if you use a 256M SD, you can get tons of pics, and somwhere around 20 minutes of video! ( more guesses from memory, manual is not with me)

I prog a couple of 12C509 yesterday (thanks for the HEX mr rc-cam) and I am going to try to use one on the new camera.

Removal of (4) screws gives us a quick view inside:

(sorry for the bad pics)

Front:

Lots of room up here for the PIC. Be careful of the flash bulb, the cap is usually charged, and has a good kick :blink: The focus has 2 preset positions and the focus ring is glued into position. I will seperate glue joint and focus as per 1.3mega procedure. There is a switch centered below the battery box that should be shorted for the camera to turn on. ( was used for the lense cover )

Mic is on upper right, and USB is on right side.

front.JPG

Top:

The buttons on top from left to right is shutter, power, and a 3 position switch for video/stills/playback. As seen in the picture, providing a ground to the switch caused picture to be taken. You can see the LCD display backside, and I looked up as much data as I could on the display, and it seems to be a digital signal that runs it, not analog video as I had hoped to transmit it to the ground.

top.JPG

Back:

I found what I think is USB power of 5vdc on one side of a SMD diode and a 3.7volt supply on one side of a capacitor. I guessed I was in the right place for the 3.7 supply because I was very near an inductive coil that I see in many dc-dc converter circuits. You can see the SD card slot on the upper part of the pic.

back.JPG

With a little luck, I'll be able to test it out soon.

Any comments or suggestions are encouraged.

EDIT: BTW, the camera does operate just fine without the LCD panel installed. It weighs quite a bit so it might be advantagous to leave it off for the weight savings. Also, there is additional weight screwed to the inside of the front cover that is removed easily. I believe it is there just to make the camera "feel" better.

Edited by lvspark

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When I plug the cam into the RX with the CamMan installed, it does power up, but comes up in PC mode.... Did anyone ever experiance this with any of the other camera mod's, and if so, what did you do to resolve it?

I will try to locate the v reg or converter (3.7v) and see if i can tap on to it there?

Any suggestion's or comments would be gladly accepted!

Thanks,

Mike

Edited by lvspark

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The only camera(s) that continue to take snapshots from the shutter button, when powered by the USB's power pins, is the Aiptek PenCam series (and their OEM clones).

From what I can tell, EVERYTHING else will just go into a dumb state or will enter the PC communication mode. This is expected. My take is that the Aiptek's convenient operation is actually a USB design spec cheat that is in our favor.

So, powering it via a custom 3V VReg connected to the battery leads is a likely solution. Others have had to do this to their cameras in order to power them from the R/C battery. Overcoming the sleep mode might be a problem if your camera is not compatible with the CamMan's sleep control feature.

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I took the rx power directly to the battery terminal without any ill effects (other than timeout) This version of aiptek shuts off the LCD after 1 min and shuts down the cam completely after 3 min. By commanding a pic after the 1 min time, the unit will be come active once more. If you let the 3 min elapse, your out of luck.

I do not believe my 509's took the prog. They were questionable to start with ( or i screwed up somewhere). I ended up using an old stripped microservo board, and that with addition of a couple of resistors, and a zener, I was able to make it work in close fashion. It all fit inside, with just a servo lead comming out. I posted some pics over at rcgroups if you want to see the results. The camera worked pretty good.

One thing to note: I recently got the NEON single stick 3 ch for my use ($99 with micro gear), and after looking inside, there is a 3 pin connection on the CB for channel 4. I checked it, and open must be 1.5ms, closed one way = 1ms, closed the other way=2ms, so with the addition of a simple switch, presto! A trigger switch on my 3, now 4 ch cheapo TX! COOL! B) Also nice for flaps, cam tilt etc...

Edited by lvspark

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