Author Topic: How to Identify this Video Processing Board.  (Read 1906 times)

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Offline robotwizard

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How to Identify this Video Processing Board.
« on: October 10, 2016, 11:16:49 pm »
Hello people of EEVblog, this is my first post and I'm happy to join this community.

Here's the story: I acquired a Security cam Video recording setup which includes a "H.264 Network DVR". It was in full working condition...until of course I dismantled it.

Check Attachment 1

When it was functional, the network DVR could accept input from 4 video sources, 1 audio source, 3 USB inputs(One for mouse), something called RS485, a VGA output and an Ethernet port.

Check Attachment 2

Inside I found a 500 gb hard disk, a video processing board and an 8 bit board for the front panel controls.

I tried super hard for half a day to identify what this board is.

Here is what I did:
I found a sticket with it's MAC ID and some barcode:-

Check attachment 3

I looked up the mac and it belongs to "CONTAL OK Ltd" but they don't make embedded boards or anything, but apparently Contal belongs to MIFARE which is a part of NXP. I hope i'm not rambling here, but that didn't yield any results. Neither did the barcode. I searched Digikey, Mouser and element14 but nothing.

Under the sticker i found this:

Check Attachment 4

I searched a lot for this, but couldn't find anything anywhere...It looks to me like some number assigned by the PCB manafacturer.

I've identified the following parts from the board:-

Check Attachment 5

The two chips with heat sinks... what are they? cpu and gpu?

Other features of the board seem to be

  • buzzer
  • Real time clock
  • 2 SATA ports
  • 2 usb ports
  • shitloads of gpio
Now for the most important questions:
Is this what is called an FPGA or is it a Microcontroller Board or is it a Microprocessor Board?
Can i program it?
Can someone explain the other mysterious parts in it like the three circular components on top right (*edit-bottom left) of the last image?
Where can I find datasheets if any for this board?
How to better identify boards better in the future?
« Last Edit: October 10, 2016, 11:22:44 pm by robotwizard »
 

Online ataradov

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Re: How to Identify this Video Processing Board.
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2016, 03:05:15 am »
Why not remove the heatsinks and see what the chips are directly? You will need this information.

Look like a typical ARM-based system, and you can probably re-progam it, but I doubt you will be able to make any of the DVR features functional without a lot of work and luck.

3 components are inductors.
Alex
 
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Offline bktemp

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Re: How to Identify this Video Processing Board.
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2016, 03:13:53 am »
The large chip is probably a SoC (system on chip, containing processor, H264 encoder and all interfaces) purpose designed for DVRs, the smaller one could be the video ADC.
 
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Offline robotwizard

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Re: How to Identify this Video Processing Board.
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2016, 07:02:59 am »
@ataradov Thank you. I didn't know those were inductors. The heat sink paste was holding on to the chips real tight...So I was afraid to remove it. I found dental floss was a method to remove these heat sinks. I was able to take off the smaller one.

@bktemp You are right... the smaller one is a "nextchip nvp1114a" - a 4 channel Video Decoder and 1ch video encoder.

The smaller one came off easily enough with floss, but the large one is resisting... any tips?
 

Online ataradov

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Re: How to Identify this Video Processing Board.
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2016, 07:07:17 am »
The smaller one came off easily enough with floss, but the large one is resisting... any tips?
Soak it in IPA.

But what's the final goal here? Without real documentation the effort required to make all this work is not practical. Even with documentation, it is still A LOT of work.
Alex
 

Offline robotwizard

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Re: How to Identify this Video Processing Board.
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2016, 07:53:12 am »
@ataradov I don't know how much work...I thought if it was an ARM chip I could make some Video processing circuit out of it just for learning purposes (say an IP webcam as it already has ethernet(*edit-with face tracking maybe). I'm a noob at ARM, but still I'm willing to do work, isn't there anyway I could access the chip, reprogram it and connect it to a camera setup to get it working the way I want.

as to the practical considerations...since there is no documentation, I assume(from what I've read) I would have to use a JTAG to get a hexdump from the flash and dissasemble it to make sense of the circuit or write some code. Am I even going in the right direction?
noob alert!
« Last Edit: October 11, 2016, 08:08:56 am by robotwizard »
 

Online ataradov

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Re: How to Identify this Video Processing Board.
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2016, 08:02:35 am »
I'm a noob at ARM
Then forget about it, at least for now.  It will probably take a couple of months of an expert time.

but still I'm willing to do work
Then get a Raspberry Pi with a camera kit and make sure you clearly understand how it all works.

isn't there anyway I could access the chip, reprogram it and connect it to a camera setup to get it working the way I want.
There is, but you need to be an expert. That's just not the ting novice can do.

as to the practical considerations...since there is no documentation, I assume(from what I've read) I would have to use a JTAG to get a hexdump from the flash and dissasemble it to make sense of the circuit or write some code. Am I even going in the right direction?
There is no way you are disassembling a few megabytes of firmware. You can glean a few things here and there from the closed source, but you need to know exactly what you are looking for.

Chances are this thing runs Linux, so your first option is to find a UART debug port on the board.
Alex
 

Offline robotwizard

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Re: How to Identify this Video Processing Board.
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2016, 08:44:40 am »
@ataradov Thanks for all the pointers. I understand I need to learn more.
 


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