Sparkfun Wireless Camera Module

Hitec robotics including ROBONOVA humanoid, HSR-8498HB servos, MR C-3024 Controllers and RoboBasic
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10 postsPage 1 of 1

Sparkfun Wireless Camera Module

Post by subpilot » Fri Mar 10, 2006 7:30 pm

Post by subpilot
Fri Mar 10, 2006 7:30 pm

I got a color camera module from Sparkfun and found that it will fit inside a Robonova head. Unfortunately I didn't realize that there is a 5V regulator molded into the power cable. I cut the cable off and blew up my camera module.
For anybody hacking them I now know that there are 3 wires to the camera and you need to connect like this:

Blk = COM
Red = +5VDC
Wht = +8 to +9VDC or so

The +5 supplies the camera and the +8 supplies the RF transmitter. Putting +8 on the camera will let the smoke out. :roll:

My transmitter is still working so I just need a new camera module. There are many sources for the cameras with wildly different prices. Looks like the security and spy camera web sites are out to rip you off. I see the exact same wireless camera system for over twice what Sparkfun and others are selling them for.
I got a color camera module from Sparkfun and found that it will fit inside a Robonova head. Unfortunately I didn't realize that there is a 5V regulator molded into the power cable. I cut the cable off and blew up my camera module.
For anybody hacking them I now know that there are 3 wires to the camera and you need to connect like this:

Blk = COM
Red = +5VDC
Wht = +8 to +9VDC or so

The +5 supplies the camera and the +8 supplies the RF transmitter. Putting +8 on the camera will let the smoke out. :roll:

My transmitter is still working so I just need a new camera module. There are many sources for the cameras with wildly different prices. Looks like the security and spy camera web sites are out to rip you off. I see the exact same wireless camera system for over twice what Sparkfun and others are selling them for.
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Post by gsferrari » Sat Apr 01, 2006 7:30 am

Post by gsferrari
Sat Apr 01, 2006 7:30 am

Which one did you get? Can the head be replaced with the module that has audio as well?

Please give me links to the module you used for the Robonova. Thanks!

What is up with their website? Horribly slow and unreliable...keeps getting stuck for me.
Which one did you get? Can the head be replaced with the module that has audio as well?

Please give me links to the module you used for the Robonova. Thanks!

What is up with their website? Horribly slow and unreliable...keeps getting stuck for me.
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Post by subpilot » Sat Apr 01, 2006 7:52 am

Post by subpilot
Sat Apr 01, 2006 7:52 am

Sparkfun seems to have quit selling the smaller module with audio. It was identical size wise to this one:
http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/produc ... cts_id=156
This will fit inside the head minus the visor with a bit of cutting. Looks pretty cool I think.
The Sparkfun website works OK for me. There's zero delay.
Sparkfun seems to have quit selling the smaller module with audio. It was identical size wise to this one:
http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/produc ... cts_id=156
This will fit inside the head minus the visor with a bit of cutting. Looks pretty cool I think.
The Sparkfun website works OK for me. There's zero delay.
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Post by gsferrari » Sat Apr 01, 2006 3:05 pm

Post by gsferrari
Sat Apr 01, 2006 3:05 pm

http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/produc ... cts_id=616

Will that work in place of the head?

I always thought RN-1's head was too small :)
http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/produc ... cts_id=616

Will that work in place of the head?

I always thought RN-1's head was too small :)
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Post by subpilot » Sat Apr 01, 2006 6:33 pm

Post by subpilot
Sat Apr 01, 2006 6:33 pm

You could use that in place of the stock head but it wouldn't fit inside the stock head like the other Sparkfun camera.
I also think that the Nova's got a bit of a pinhead. I'm working on a new controller board that will sit on top of the main body frame. I'm thinking that I'll extend the body plastic up about a 1/2 to 1 inch above the current height. It will give him more of a MechWarrior look and give me tons more room for sensors. My wife likes the cute head but to me it's just fluff.
You could use that in place of the stock head but it wouldn't fit inside the stock head like the other Sparkfun camera.
I also think that the Nova's got a bit of a pinhead. I'm working on a new controller board that will sit on top of the main body frame. I'm thinking that I'll extend the body plastic up about a 1/2 to 1 inch above the current height. It will give him more of a MechWarrior look and give me tons more room for sensors. My wife likes the cute head but to me it's just fluff.
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Post by bauermech » Sat Apr 01, 2006 7:13 pm

Post by bauermech
Sat Apr 01, 2006 7:13 pm

The one I ordered looked nearly identical to spark fun's
http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/produc ... cts_id=156
I ordered mine off eBay for $0.99USD, plus shipping totaled $35.99 from China. The downfall is that there's no warranty and after the first few uses the image became darkened and carried on a green tint (as you can see from the video at
http://www.robots-dreams.com/2006/02/ro ... .html#more )
I thought I'd save some money, but did I? :?
I don't know, but the fact that my cat loves to chew on antennas probably didn't help.
NOTE: for those of us with cats who think antennas are toys, a humane deterrent is to cut open a hot pepper and swipe it over the sheath. It'll last long enough for them to learn it's not so fun.
The one I ordered looked nearly identical to spark fun's
http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/produc ... cts_id=156
I ordered mine off eBay for $0.99USD, plus shipping totaled $35.99 from China. The downfall is that there's no warranty and after the first few uses the image became darkened and carried on a green tint (as you can see from the video at
http://www.robots-dreams.com/2006/02/ro ... .html#more )
I thought I'd save some money, but did I? :?
I don't know, but the fact that my cat loves to chew on antennas probably didn't help.
NOTE: for those of us with cats who think antennas are toys, a humane deterrent is to cut open a hot pepper and swipe it over the sheath. It'll last long enough for them to learn it's not so fun.
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Post by gsferrari » Sat Apr 01, 2006 8:11 pm

Post by gsferrari
Sat Apr 01, 2006 8:11 pm

Another problem I can see is - the cables with the female termination seem to be hard wired to the camera...I could splice them off but I am thinking about going for the non-audio module. The audio module is cheaper!! Thats surprising. Does it transmit the audio also using RF?




subpilot wrote:You could use that in place of the stock head but it wouldn't fit inside the stock head like the other Sparkfun camera.
I also think that the Nova's got a bit of a pinhead. I'm working on a new controller board that will sit on top of the main body frame. I'm thinking that I'll extend the body plastic up about a 1/2 to 1 inch above the current height. It will give him more of a MechWarrior look and give me tons more room for sensors. My wife likes the cute head but to me it's just fluff.
Another problem I can see is - the cables with the female termination seem to be hard wired to the camera...I could splice them off but I am thinking about going for the non-audio module. The audio module is cheaper!! Thats surprising. Does it transmit the audio also using RF?




subpilot wrote:You could use that in place of the stock head but it wouldn't fit inside the stock head like the other Sparkfun camera.
I also think that the Nova's got a bit of a pinhead. I'm working on a new controller board that will sit on top of the main body frame. I'm thinking that I'll extend the body plastic up about a 1/2 to 1 inch above the current height. It will give him more of a MechWarrior look and give me tons more room for sensors. My wife likes the cute head but to me it's just fluff.
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Post by subpilot » Sun Apr 02, 2006 4:26 am

Post by subpilot
Sun Apr 02, 2006 4:26 am

I think that the quality of the camera is the key issue. The Sparkfun cameras are small and low cost but the image and low light capability is pretty poor. I want to run my remote video into a framegrabber board on my PC and do some color tracking etc. I ended up buying a better camera module and just used the video transmitter from my original Sparkfun camera that I had smoked.
The audio gets transmitted and comes out an RCA jack on the receiver.
I think that the quality of the camera is the key issue. The Sparkfun cameras are small and low cost but the image and low light capability is pretty poor. I want to run my remote video into a framegrabber board on my PC and do some color tracking etc. I ended up buying a better camera module and just used the video transmitter from my original Sparkfun camera that I had smoked.
The audio gets transmitted and comes out an RCA jack on the receiver.
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Post by gsferrari » Sun Apr 02, 2006 7:22 am

Post by gsferrari
Sun Apr 02, 2006 7:22 am

Which camera module did you buy? Is there simply a better "wireless camera" kit that can be had for around $150.00 ?
Which camera module did you buy? Is there simply a better "wireless camera" kit that can be had for around $150.00 ?
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Post by subpilot » Sun Apr 02, 2006 7:45 am

Post by subpilot
Sun Apr 02, 2006 7:45 am

Unfortunately I don't remember who I bought it from. There are many suppliers on the net so just search "miniature camera Sony"
I think I got a Sony HAD CCD camera with a lens. Look for low lux (1.0 or less) and good resolution. There is some real crap and wild price differences so look around before you buy. Sorry I couldn't be of more help.
Unfortunately I don't remember who I bought it from. There are many suppliers on the net so just search "miniature camera Sony"
I think I got a Sony HAD CCD camera with a lens. Look for low lux (1.0 or less) and good resolution. There is some real crap and wild price differences so look around before you buy. Sorry I couldn't be of more help.
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10 postsPage 1 of 1
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