[islandlabs] Balloon Launch II: Progress Report 2

Jonathan Dahan jedahan at gmail.com
Tue Apr 20 23:17:23 EDT 2010


make that two cameras total for me
- Jonathan


On Tue, Apr 20, 2010 at 11:14 PM, Jonathan Dahan <jedahan at gmail.com> wrote:

> Yeah put me in for one too
> - Jonathan
>
>
>
> On Mon, Apr 19, 2010 at 10:11 PM, Burns, William <burns at cshl.edu> wrote:
>
>> Cool.
>>
>> Please put me down for a few cameras if/when you decide you're happy w/
>> this one, and place an order.
>> (above and beyond the number we want to fly in the payload)
>>
>> What voltage does the internal battery put out?
>>
>> -Bill
>>
>> ________________________________
>>
>> From: list-bounces at islandlabs.org on behalf of Joe
>> Sent: Sat 4/17/2010 8:43 PM
>> To: list at islandlabs.org
>> Subject: Re: [islandlabs] Balloon Launch II: Progress Report 2
>>
>>
>>
>> On Saturday 17 April 2010 01:07:55 pm Burns, William wrote:
>> > Joe:
>> >
>> > That's awesome! How many cameras did you get?
>>
>> Just one. I needed to suss out the operational/technical details first.
>>
>> > What happens when it hits the max file size?
>> > How long can it record?
>> >
>> > -Bill
>>
>> Based on further research and some experiments, here's how the thing
>> works:
>>
>> First off, I found this Web site that's a clearinghouse for everything
>> connected to these cameras:
>>
>> http://www.chucklohr.com/808/
>>
>> Lots of info on teardowns, hacks, mods, reviews, etc.
>>
>> There are apparently 5 versions of the keychain camera coming our of
>> China. I
>> have Version #3, which is considered the most desirable in terms of
>> balance
>> between good and bad features.
>>
>> The camera uses Motion JPEG in an AVI container. Videos do play under
>> Xine.
>> The sensor is 640x480 which is up-converted to 748x480. When recording,
>> the
>> system will go for about 30 minutes (the file will be between 2.2 and 2.8
>> GB),
>> stop recording and close out the file...and immediately start recording
>> the
>> next segment!
>>
>> This prevents file size overruns, which are (according to what I read on
>> the
>> 808 Camera Web page but have not verified) a max of 4 GB in a FAT32 file
>> system.
>>
>> I was also under the impression that AVI files are limited to 2 GB, but I
>> must
>> be mistaken due to evidence I have seen firsthand.
>>
>> Under these conditions, recording time is now limited to memory-card size
>> and
>> power. The camera claims up to a 16 GB MicroSDHC card ($50 for a
>> Microcenter
>> store brand), but I've only tested it with an 8 GB card.
>>
>> Battery life is another issue: Estimates are 50 to 70 minutes. I say
>> "estimates" because the firmware doesn't create the file until it closes
>> it and
>> stops recording. If the battery dies, the last video file isn't saved, and
>> is
>> reported as being 0 bytes in size.
>>
>> Boo...
>>
>> Further, I can't get the camera to record if a USB cable is plugged in. I
>> even
>> tried the Duracell emergency charger left in TunaCan I (with fresh
>> batteries).
>> Once external power is applied to the USB port, the camera just does a
>> single
>> task: charge the battery.
>>
>> One of the hacks/mods shown on the Web site was a RC modeler  removing the
>> LiPO battery and adding an RC-style connector for hooking the camera to
>> his
>> airplane's battery pack.
>>
>> This looks to be the major hack needed to make the camera flight-ready.
>> Others
>> have also replaced the internal battery with ones that have higher
>> amp-hour
>> ratings. Naturally, I'd like to see about a system that keeps the internal
>> battery intact but auto-switches to an external connection. That method
>> will
>> help keep the internal clock/calender circuit alive.
>>
>> Now to find a tiny connector set with an integral switch...
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> Joe
>> _______________________________________________
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>>
>>
>>
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>>
>
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