FYI after dismantling a few of these small cameras I believe the problem of noise killing DAB+ reception is once again caused by http://www.brisdance.com/Honda/files...inks/bsmps.png- “broad spectrum hidden interference transmitters” sometimes referred to and used as a SMPS “switch mode power supply.”
Only cameras with inbuilt SMPS's block DAB, cameras with linear regulators had no effect on DAB reception in the units I tried . SMPS's are used in almost everything now because of their small size and efficiency – with, of course, no thought given to reducing the radiated crap from these things!
I finally solved the problem of running my web cameras.
Background: I have a Black-Box recorder and two hi-def webcams.
The Black-Box recorder Advantages:
1: Completely self contained.
2: Low power consumption.
3: Turns on with the ignition and starts recording to inbuilt flash drive.
4: Should save the recording in the event of a severe accident (internal emergency power source).
1: Even in hi-def units the quality cannot match a $48 hi-def webcam.
2: When a second camera is connected the quality and frame rate drop substantially.
3: Great for capturing an accident but not good if high detail is required even when running in hi-def.
The Web-Cam Advantages:
1: A MS-5000 running at 1280 x 720 @ 30 frames looks great even on a 50” WS monitor.
2: Details like number plates, drivers, traffic lights, skid marks etc are captured in hi details.
3: Freezing video taken at speed, even at 100mph, is almost at still camera quality.
4: No loss of quality with multiple cameras.
5: Perfect for recording footage of scenery and interesting visual events.
1: The Car-PC has to be running
2: Because of file size for hi quality capture a large and more fragile HDD must be used.
3: The HDD and PC may not survive an accident and the current file may be lost if not saved or closed.
4: Because of #3 above it’s not ideal as a drive accident recorder.
5: Requires an i3 or greater when capturing multiple hi-def streams to disk.
6: Dual Hi-def recording produces a lot more heat in the CPU/PC/PSU that must be dissipated and especially with long term recording.
7: Not easy to start and stop web cam recording software while driving.
Disadvantages 1 to 4 you basically live with, I had overcome 5 and 6 but not 7 until now. This has been solved by adding a Camera start-stop switch to my feDrive panel.
Unlike the other momentary push switches on the panel, this is an on or off switch and incorporates a small inbuilt led indicator.
Turning on the switch signals the Front End Software to start front and rear web camera recording applications and these will run as long as the switch is on. Turning the switch off will stop recordings and close the applications.
When the PC resumes from any power down state, the FE will automatically start the web camera recording software if the switch is left in the on position.
This change gives me the convenience of on demand hi-def recording at the touch of a button.
Here is quick picture of the feDrive panel, taken with a flash so it’s a bit washed out.
The feDrive panel button layout.
I love my BB recorder. The advantages are great and that is what keeps me on it. Also the fact that I can use auto grade cameras that are weather proof also is a plus for me. The emergency power is also a huge advantage.
Originally Posted by Mickz
1) Yes it is not as clear, but its really only to get what is needed enough to prove your case. Now the image isnt all that bad, ive seen recorders that are garbage. I think the ones we got are fairly high up there.
2) Yes, the frame rate is cut in half. Then again, it all comes back to what its created for. To catch enough frame rates to get an understanding of what is going on. Check out this link (not sure if I posted it before) but its my cam, with both cameras running (the second camera is omitted).
It was good enough that the police used it as evidence. Even the family of the victim saw it and most likely used it also. That is the point of these recorders. In the end they arent made for entertainment use, and thats what I have come to realize making all the disadvantages useless.
PS: You can just about make out the license plate of the car in front of me! Maybe it depends on cam placement?
I should have made it clearer that the Black-Box camera was designed for a specific job and does it well.
This is why I have a BB recorder and why webcams and a PC can’t beat them for their intended purpose of accident recording.
I’ve seen the footage from your camera and mine is similar with two cameras running, my main point was to highlight my reasons for wanting to persist with two hi-def web cameras to supplement and extend the vision over and above that available with a BB camera system.
That problem for me has always been starting them on demand without taking my eyes of the road or having to change menus on the FE or use the touch screen.
When using this camera switch, the only intrusion or indication that camera recording has started or stopped is a short voice announcement.
Again I agree that BB cameras rule for their intended purpose.
Screen grab from the Black Box with two cameras running.
That is one monster set up, I couldn't imagine all of the hours put into this, fantastic!!!!
Thanks for your feedback and encouragement on my efforts. There have been a number of ďwhy did I ever start thisĒ feelings along the way as frustration set in, mostly over commercial products and software shortcomings.
Originally Posted by david69leonard
I had a look at your builds and must say Iím envious of your fabrication skills- beautiful work. Still, Iím glad I hadnít rushed to finish my front panel, I just added a few more controls to it as the final fine tuning of HW microcode, front-end programming and overall driver and passenger useability slowly comes, or should that be grinds, to an end.
I thought Iíd try a couple of night time pictures to give an idea of the buttons, sorry about the blur.
As you would expect the colours are a bit washed out and the cabin is lighter that it appears. One of the pictures was taken form the back seat, very hard for me to hold the camera still, might try a tripod next time.
I tried to get the feDrive panel, centre console and screen in the picture but most of the feDrive panel is hidden by the centre armrest as Iím sitting at some uncomfortable position in the rear of the car, only got a few of the buttons in picture.
I finally got around to adding GPS Speed readout to my FE. I hadn’t bothered before as GPS software has a small indication and with a standard GPS update speed of 1Hz per second the readout always lags the vehicle speed indicator. Having now installed two GPS receivers (one as a backup) and as the second unit has an output of up to 10Hz per second, then I decided to see how this worked with a large Speed readout in my FE.
FIY: I have two GPS apps on my Car-PC and these can be changed on the fly from the FE. Each APP can use either GPS and as I wanted to use one with my new speed readout. So if I needed to change GPS applications, I had to change the code to make both Speed GPS and the current GPS software close, release their GPS ports and restart with one button press (in case the new GPS application was set to use the same GPS as the speed software was currently using).
I also added two GPS port and Baud rate assignments to the FE Port setup screen. This allows the Speed display code to try either port before having to initiate a slower search for a free GPS device. I also added an option to mute Voice announcements of the initialisation and state of the speed GPS, also added auto start of the speed readout and a single physical button to stop/start the readout, anyway it works faultlessly.
I’ve added a few low-res compressed screen captures.
So, how did the readout work with a 5 or 10Hz GPS?
Absolutely fantastic, the speed indicated tracked the main speedometer perfectly, if I accelerate to 100 as fast as the V6 will do it, the GPS readout follows the vehicle speedometer exactly. If I swap to my 1Hz GPS then it lags like any standard GPS does. There is no hunting or difficulty in seeing/reading the current speed with just a glance with a GPS 5Hz or 10Hz update speed.
GPS Speed dispaly OFF.
GPS Speed ON.
Having added the GPS speed code, I can now complete my auto Sound level adjustment with speed along with over speed alerts for School times and standard speed zones based on some simple speed monitoring logic. Always something to play with, it never ends!
I was making up a menu layout for my Service Manual on the FE and Installation. I thought I’d share this layout picture. Amazing to me as this project started out as a simple application to control the HVAC from the PC via a standalone microprocessor which runs independently of the PC so that manual control could be retained.
There were still a few more screens that I couldn’t fit in the layout.
The three almost identical Menus top centre are the same HOME Menu but with the Ignition switch in ACC then in Vehicle running position and with or without the GPS speed display showing.