Author Topic: Do you know of anyone hardware hacking webcams, sports cams or dashcam's?  (Read 1082 times)

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Offline jonovid

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by hacking or mod'ing hardware.   I mean the digital video side of things. not just an audio or lens mod.

can any one help? Im looking for a mod or hack schematics for car dashcam's / sports cams & webcams.
has any one mod'ed a dashcam? HD CCD sensor's by adding an analog video output for an in car video monitor.
. or adding a second image sensor of the same type.? split screen dashcam or 3D dashcam, 2 image sensors.
a two headed split video cam DVR mod?
lots of DVR sports cam audio mic mods out there. as tapping in to the analog side of the audio is easy!
but their is a lack of video dvr mod's!  dashcam or sports cam mod's.
I am looking for electronics schematics of hacked dash cams , sports cams & webcams.

has any one mod'ed a webcam so two image sensors will split their computer screen monitor?
into two so that they can view two video image sensors side-by-side. a 3D type hack?  a split screen webcam
I have looked at many YT videos of webcam mod's, most are just lens mod's.
I know of software that can have more then one webcam at a time. this is not the idea here.
 I am looking for a hardware solution for the mod. so software can handle a single USB video feed.

do you know of anyone hardware hacking webcams or dashcams?
by tapping the HD image sensor adding  using digital buffer ic's and a 2nd driver chip?

i am interested in copying or trying this for my self. if an electronics engineer has successfully completed this type of mod.
I have some cheap webcams & dashcam's to try it my self. all I need is a good schematic circuit diagram of a engineers mod.
I have looked at http://hackaday.com/category/video-hacks/ but nothing

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Offline evb149

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Sorry I can't say I know much about the modifications of off the shelf camera devices for such functions.
What I can say from experience is this:

1: If there is an analog output present in the circuit then yes somehow that is relatively easily possible to extract and connect to something that takes an analog output.

2: If there is a digital output already available at some connector but that connector isn't supplied with a cable or the connector isn't fitted on to the PCB in a given version of the product then it may be simple to add a cable or connector and extract that signal.

3: Many devices have moved from using CCD sensors to CMOS type image sensors over the past 10 years.  Some old or high quality devices may still use CCDs.  Digital SLRs for instance I think still may use either kind but many even of those use CMOS these days.  Almost all "low cost" consumer applications will use CMOS sensors over CCDs because the circuit is less expensive in almost all cases I have learned about.

4: If you have a digital video output from a camera whether it is MIPI CSI, LVDS something, parallel streaming TTL level pixel bus, etc. that is relatively pretty hard to "tap into".  Usually one camera chip has one and exactly one output stream. So if that camera chip is at all used in the circuit, its output is already connected and there is really nothing "else" you would easily be able to do with that output of the camera chip in terms of multiplexing / mixing in another signal from another sensor or camera system unit.

5: Adding new sensor chips etc.?  Not really technically practical.  Even if you had the simplest case of having two physical identical cameras and you just wanted to multiplex their video streams one switching to another once every N seconds that is still a pretty hard thing to do even if the camera unit output signals are in a common easy standard format like VGA, DVI, HDMI, LVDS or similar.  Possible but not trivial without engineering a custom circuit that would generally require ICs and a PCB and so on.  Combining different inputs into split screen and so on is just not practical as a simple "modification".  You're talking about adding an entire new capture / frame buffer / video processing board if that function does not already exist in the video receiving unit.  I guess if you had a video receiver unit that had 2 inputs but it was made by a company that also makes the same basic model with 3, 4, 6, and 8 inputs and the PCB was literally the same but the case was different so they only provide the connection of a lower number of inputs for the more basic models then yeah you could add extra inputs because the circuit already supports it and maybe change jumpers or something to tell it the "model number" is different to add more switching options.  Otherwise forget about it.

6: If you want something with specific numbers of camera inputs and screen outputs and so on you should consider to just design what you want using off the shelf modules or devices that are EASILY (relatively) adapted to functioning in the desired combination.  Digital video is not like analog audio where you just add a cable and a couple of resistors and an analog "T" splitter or something and create a "mixer" or a simple relay to make an input switcher or something.  That might work sort of for analog but never digital without much added complexities.  There are lots of cheap USB output webcams and similar devices.  Take a computer like a little Raspberry PI SBC or something and plug in two different USB webcams that it has drivers for and that would be an easy way to get two outputs to show on one screen in alternation or side by side or whatever because there's an easy way to connect and input and process those independent signals.  Tapping into sensor ICs directly is much harder and you basically have to do the same work as designing the camera or video system to succeed with that.

 
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Offline jonovid

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Sorry I can't say I know much about the modifications of off the shelf camera devices for such functions.
What I can say from experience is this:

1: If there is an analog output present in the circuit then yes somehow that is relatively easily possible to extract and connect to something that takes an analog output.

2: If there is a digital output already available at some connector but that connector isn't supplied with a cable or the connector isn't fitted on to the PCB in a given version of the product then it may be simple to add a cable or connector and extract that signal.

3: Many devices have moved from using CCD sensors to CMOS type image sensors over the past 10 years.  Some old or high quality devices may still use CCDs.  Digital SLRs for instance I think still may use either kind but many even of those use CMOS these days.  Almost all "low cost" consumer applications will use CMOS sensors over CCDs because the circuit is less expensive in almost all cases I have learned about.

4: If you have a digital video output from a camera whether it is MIPI CSI, LVDS something, parallel streaming TTL level pixel bus, etc. that is relatively pretty hard to "tap into".  Usually one camera chip has one and exactly one output stream. So if that camera chip is at all used in the circuit, its output is already connected and there is really nothing "else" you would easily be able to do with that output of the camera chip in terms of multiplexing / mixing in another signal from another sensor or camera system unit.

5: Adding new sensor chips etc.?  Not really technically practical.  Even if you had the simplest case of having two physical identical cameras and you just wanted to multiplex their video streams one switching to another once every N seconds that is still a pretty hard thing to do even if the camera unit output signals are in a common easy standard format like VGA, DVI, HDMI, LVDS or similar.  Possible but not trivial without engineering a custom circuit that would generally require ICs and a PCB and so on.  Combining different inputs into split screen and so on is just not practical as a simple "modification".  You're talking about adding an entire new capture / frame buffer / video processing board if that function does not already exist in the video receiving unit.  I guess if you had a video receiver unit that had 2 inputs but it was made by a company that also makes the same basic model with 3, 4, 6, and 8 inputs and the PCB was literally the same but the case was different so they only provide the connection of a lower number of inputs for the more basic models then yeah you could add extra inputs because the circuit already supports it and maybe change jumpers or something to tell it the "model number" is different to add more switching options.  Otherwise forget about it.

6: If you want something with specific numbers of camera inputs and screen outputs and so on you should consider to just design what you want using off the shelf modules or devices that are EASILY (relatively) adapted to functioning in the desired combination.  Digital video is not like analog audio where you just add a cable and a couple of resistors and an analog "T" splitter or something and create a "mixer" or a simple relay to make an input switcher or something.  That might work sort of for analog but never digital without much added complexities.  There are lots of cheap USB output webcams and similar devices.  Take a computer like a little Raspberry PI SBC or something and plug in two different USB webcams that it has drivers for and that would be an easy way to get two outputs to show on one screen in alternation or side by side or whatever because there's an easy way to connect and input and process those independent signals.  Tapping into sensor ICs directly is much harder and you basically have to do the same work as designing the camera or video system to succeed with that.


Thank you for your input,   its a lot harder than I had anticipated  :-\
my goal is to see a 3D video usb type video microscope out there. even if someone else achieves this task.
with a common high definition video feed that can be sent to the monitor. or letterbox video for virtual reality 3D goggles.
a common video feed makes a 3D video backwards compatible with 2D video software apps. youtube posting esc.

hope someone makes this a reality  :)
Hobby of evil genius      basic knowledge of electronics
 

Offline evb149

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If possible optically and mechanically I would try to prototype that by taking two suitable cameras each having probably a USB 2 high speed output (webcam like devices).  Then feed that into a single board computer which could be at minimum a Raspberry Pi or BeagleBoard type unit or even a full mini-ITX PC or something.  Use simple software to accept and process and combine the two images however you need.  Then there is nothing stopping you from using the normal video output of that PC (HDMI, DVI, VGA, DisplayPort) and use that video output to output the desired combined / processed image in a "full screen" window.  That would be about as simple as possible.
To achieve 3D video you might need to do something optically to have the cameras looking down on the subject with known different angles or whatever is needed for your 3D perspective.

Thank you for your input,   its a lot harder than I had anticipated  :-\
my goal is to see a 3D video usb type video microscope out there. even if someone else achieves this task.
with a common high definition video feed that can be sent to the monitor. or letterbox video for virtual reality 3D goggles.
a common video feed makes a 3D video backwards compatible with 2D video software apps. youtube posting esc.

hope someone makes this a reality  :)
 


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