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Thread: I want to install a "camera array" of sorts, wondering if this has been done.

  1. #1
    Low Bitrate Choser's Avatar
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    I want to install a "camera array" of sorts, wondering if this has been done.

    I've seen some car videos where the movie cuts to one of five or more cameras, mounted all around the vehicle.

    Some of these cameras are mounted in the rear plate, some in the front grill, and others in the suspension components!! I love that.

    I do some video editing myself, and I think it would be very very very very cool to record 5 or 6 cameras simultaneously, for later video editing.

    Now, there are sooo many ways to have this hooked up, its not funny. I could hardwire all the cameras to their own recording devices, but ideally, I would like them all to be connected to a carputer. Is there a commercial package that will allow for this, out the box? Something like a breakout box that connects via firewire or usb2, and has a series of rca inputs - and includes software to record from all the inputs simultaneously.

    Of course, if I'm going to have all these cameras in my car for this purpose, I would also like to be able to use them as monitors while driving, and be able to view them remotely, through the internet. (The carputer will be internetable via wifi at the home.)

    PLEAASE help.

  2. #2
    Low Bitrate Choser's Avatar
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    Everyone has heard of the xcam.... I was thinking about going this route as its all a good OOB unit. For <200 bucks, I get 3 cameras. They all talk wirelessly to a central box, they all need to be wired up to a central box for power, which is AC (no problem, just tuck away an extra inverter), and this video reciever box can connect to the computer (I didn't read how, I assume usb), and it comes with software that lets me record everything, and make it available over the internet. This is good, but not good enough.

    First off, the wireless cameras are relatively large, due to the antenna. I don't really need the added complexity of being wireless. A series of rcas is fine for me actually, as its all in a car as opposed to the home. The unit this way will turn on with the acc key position so it wont drain the battery, thats good.... but there is a quality issue here, plus the cameras are not water proof.

    I've seen a lot of cameras that are, and thats something that I want.

  3. #3
    Low Bitrate Maxis24's Avatar
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    I have thought of this and done a little research. I also think it would be cool to chop together a bunch of videos, but it would work great for me and the local Focus club (imagine, an out-of-car cam following 30-50foci through twisties).

    So, I have found some professional surveillance products that use a computer to record video on. These support anywhere from 1-16 camera's and some have optional audio recording daughter-boards. The low-end cards record at 15fps and steadily move upwards to the top of the line 330fps capture. The following site has quite a few of these cards listed. I may not recommend buying from them fully, but they have a wealth of info on the different cards.
    Axion Tech's products

    Another thing to keep in mind is that these cards do require a certain amount of CPU to work correctly. So don't sit there trying to use your MediaEngine at the same time. Also, these cards are expensive! So make sure you are getting what you really want. The one 650 series camera card is what the small business I used to work at uses, and it works very nicely.

  4. #4
    Low Bitrate Choser's Avatar
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    Hey awesome Maxis. That is like the 3rd time you've chimed in to help me.

    Yeah Media Engine would be on 90% of the time. But at the track, or when I say "hey lets record a video"... I can exit to windos and do what I need, I'm not too concerned about flashy gui at that point.

    Awesome link.... may be exactly what I need.

    I was hoping for something similar just using firewire as I wanted to avoid PCI cards but I may have to. Ah but what a dominoe effect now. If I use one PCI card I may as well use an external high quality PCI audio card, and then may as well forget about mini-ITX and get a board with SATA and a bigger processor... but then that might be too much for an OPUS. Damn.

  5. #5
    Jesus Freak antimatter's Avatar
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    Awesome Link!!
    -Jesus- King of Kings Lord of Lords

  6. #6
    Low Bitrate Choser's Avatar
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    Oh yeah I should input my search results here.

    From what I gather, there are a lot of companies that make firewire mini cameras, that can be dazy linked and connected with software.

    May be a good idea to avoid the PCI card for some. I dont havea link but I can refind it....

  7. #7
    Maximum Bitrate TimmyM's Avatar
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    Dudes! Where should always go first????

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...category=48634

  8. #8
    Low Bitrate Choser's Avatar
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    Hey man - why didnt I think of ebay..

  9. #9
    Variable Bitrate telekineticfool's Avatar
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    I remember seeing a capture card on ebay that was some ancient slot configuration...might want to be sure that card will work with your PC


    *edit: never mind, it looks ok*
    MP3 MR2 (click here for details)
    Hardware: EPIA M10000, 512Meg Ram, 5.6"TFT, Opus 150watt DC-DC PSU
    Software: Windows 2000, Media Engine 2.0

  10. #10
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    every video I've seen like you mentioned was made with Topspin cameras.

    Topspin Design

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