Camera for video and audio stream

I am sorry if i mised something, but when i can buy ALCAM? And is it compatible with Raptor, does it have any advantages compared with Serial L2 camera?is it possible to stream a realtime video from Raptor to PC using ALCAM? Thank you.

@ andre.m -
Thank you! I seen it already, but not all my questions are clarified in the faq

@ Alex Bilityuk -

UART, SPI, I2C are supported, so not only Raptor but also any MCU if they have one of these interface.

  • Higher resolution.
  • While Serial L2 has only UART, ALCAM supports 3 interfaces (UART, SPI, I2C)
  • Serial L2 support max 115200, ALCAM supports up to 3Mbs UART
  • More commands and they are easy to use. Simple human-readable command protocol.
  • Support handshaking
  • Support 3 modes video recording (Standard, Timelapse, Stopmotion)
  • Really a camera instead of capture data and send to somewhere.
  • Support Read/Write File so MCU can read movie from USB/SD.
  • Standalone mode allows using ALCAM without MCU.

What do you mean “from Raptor to PC using ALCAM”?
PC can use ALCAM as webcam without Raptor (use UART). ALCAM explorer application has this feature.

@ Dat -
Thank you very much for information you provided.

I meant that is it possible to stream real time video from ALCAM to PC using WIFI RS21 and Raptor. If ALCAM will be connected to Raptor and video stream will be sent over WIFI RS21 to PC. What is a fps?

Alex, any solution like this is going to be a compromise. I’d suggest you look at wifi enabled cameras that are custom built to do this. While you might be able to achieve some of this, it’s unlikely to be robust, simple, and may even be more expensive than an off-the-shelf solution.

If you described what you actually wanted to achieve (like say 2 FPS or 20FPS) then it might be something that others can make a more reasonable judgement call on.

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@ Alex Bilityuk -

You can do that, but it requires you to do some more steps, because there is no command to do that directly.
What you need is raw image data that is easy to be done. Just is movie header and footer, you have to update these information (crc, file lengh, movie length, real fps…) in PC side when you stop recording. ALCAM can not modify a file (header and footer) if it is located in PC. So google and take a look some movie formats that you like, and try it.

Hard to answer about fps. it almost depends on wifi speed, not ALCAM.

A robot use ALCAM is great. If wifi speed is good enough, with 640x480 (VGA), I haven’t tried but I guess we can have about 8-10 fps, 320x240 should be 10-15fps.
About sound? Raptor can do that, then let PC compress raw data and sound into the movie. In case you are interested in sound feature.

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Ok guys, it sounds really good to be able to achieve about 10-15 fps especially with a sound option! I am waiting forward for ALCAM release. I am impatient to try all this functionality…
Also very interesting approach with WIFI camera was suggested by Brett, but i want to control the robot and see a videostream on the same PC and i am afraid that i will not be able to catch up two wifi modules simultaneously to one PC.

@ Alex Bilityuk -

Why do you need 2 wifi modules?

I didn’t say ALCAM has sound option. I can not say about feature but until now, no sound support on ALCAM.
What i meant is Raptor can record sound. You will have a busy week for these implement :D.

wifi is wifi. Once you have a network connection, you get as many connections as you need (within restrictions of the systems you’re using)

I envisaged a simple wifi camera connected to a wifi network. The PC is also connected to the same network, either hard wired or wireless, wired probably better. Then if you have wifi on your control system as well, it connects to wifi and the PC can talk to that device. a simple Ethernet-wifi travel router could be the network hub.

I am using RS21 id Ad-Hoc connection mode established between module and PC and i cannot connect the third wifi device. But if i will use additional wifi router i think i will be able to connect three devices (PC,RS21,wifi camera) to one network without problem.

It would be easy to stream the adio using wifi camera if it supports it i think ))) But spend a couple of weekends and dig into implementation of auduostream using Raptor is very amazing…

Brett, implementation you suggest is very interesting… i will definetly try it… Did you try any wifi cameras? Can you advice a small wifi camera with good quality audio and video streaming? Also how to control this camera from C# code i mean i want the audio and video stream to be rendered in C# window form, also i want to start and stop streaming from c# code. Is it possible? Thank you.

Take a look at Foscam cameras. They are either WiFi or wired. They can easily do 640x480 @ 30fps on a good connection and also support. Specifically take a look at the FI9821P version. It does H.264 and can do 1280x720p and I have seen them around $89. You could take a look at taking it apart to fit it to your needs. The device also already hands 2-way audio on the video stream, so it is already synced up and compressed. They have some other options that will give better resolution, but I haven’t used them yet and they are more expensive. These are proably the best bang for the buck and they can be interfaced to via an application.

thank you for your answer. Can you explaine please how talk to this type of cameras from c# windows forms project? I want to start/stop streaming, render the video from ip cam to picturebox form and control the Pan-Tilt-Zoom… Can you guide me a litle bit please? One thing i found on the web is that the almost all ip wifi cameras use ONVIF protocol, but there is one full featured net library for this called OZEKI camera SDK and it cost 700$ per one lisense it’s very expensive… Maybe there is another options for controling this types of cameras from C#?

take a look at Emgu_CV…

There is almost commercial product out there Not sure if I can\should post a link to it…google: OZEKI as it is a C# SDK and would give you almost everything even PTZ on the camera.

There is also WebRTC…

Usually the streams, images, and command are all done via http commands. It has been a while since I have done it, but and I haven’t upgraded my base code to do H.264. Take a look at the Codeproject “Camera Vision - video surveillance on C#”. That is what I based my project off of. It gives a good start.

This would eliminate the need for a microcontroller, as you would do all this directly on the PC. You can also packet sniff the data to and from the camera and use the software that comes with it. I used that some for a project I did years ago.

@ Samurai -
Thank you for advices… I took a look at Foscam FI9821P and it has a full set of protocols to use (including http, tcp/ip and so on). But this camera consumes so much power 6,4 W.

I found another ip wifi mini camera (Suneyes SP-P705WR ) and it consumes only 1W. And size is pretty small., but it use only ONVIF and RTSP protocols. I hope i will be able to control the camera using RTSP from C#…

@ Alex Bilityuk -

just correct few things.

I thought you need a movie file (streaming and save to file in PC by wifi) which can not be done in ALCAM side.
but if you does only need “start/stop streaming, render the video” without sound then that very easy in ALCAM.

@ Dat -
Ok, thank you for clarification!

I am going to be in the same boat here soon. I need to look for a video system that I can hook up to goggles and\or and wrist mount screen. I have been looking at ALCAM, ip cameras, and the PiCam. I really don’t want to spend the money on a dedicated system that they use on drones.

Hope to hear a couple of words about your experience soon