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Thread: Telecam Update

  1. #11

    Re: Telecam Update

    Thanks Lauren

    Looking at the close up of your monitor (the first one I have seen) I am struck by what a huge difference reducing the FOV makes - on mine the fish eye effect makes the 'lost' view taken up by the louvre below the camera seem quite large - but on yours only a little of the louvre now shows. This might also mean that your camera body is not so deep as mine - allowing you to raise it just a little higher.

    I have to say that leaving aside practicality I entirely 'get' what you are trying to achieve stylistically - your monitor does have that 'Space 1999' look about it in black and white.

    I shall stick with camera-in-the-middle I think, and whilst for the moment I will suck it and see I am fully intending to change the lens over as you have done. As for the Infra red issue - well I'll see how yours turns out ! (tis looking very hopeful though...). Originally I was only concerned with reversing up so could probably have bought a much cheaper camera and put in the rear valence, but I was inspired by your posts !!

    Many regards from Steve

  2. #12
    ***Euro-Nova Supporter*** Spacenut's Avatar
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    Re: Telecam Update

    No problem Steve, I appreciate that my development has not concluded yet, so best to be cautious about the results!

    By all means keep the wide FOV and see how it works for you - I did the same thing myself. But once I got out on the road I found that having an unobstructed rear view was infinitely preferable to the interior mirror (which only showed my the wheels of any vehicle travelling close behind, and obscured most of my forward view of the nearside) that I simply had to do something to reduce the distortion and allow better resolution over distance.

    Nevertheless, its true to say I set out with the specific intention of replacing the interior mirror with a telecam, so I didn't hook up the reversing light switch function in the monitor.

    Its worth noting that the FLIR systems in use by Mercedes and BMW use this enhanced IR sensitivity to their advantage for night driving, but only on roads with little oncoming traffic. These are not true thermal imaging cameras, but they can use the substantial IR content in headlamp beams to afford a greater degree of visibility than you would normally get in the visible spectrum. I have a switchable second camera input into my monitor, so it wouldn't take much to hook up my spare board camera to face forwards, perhaps hooked up to the main beam warning light so that it disables the camera if there is oncoming traffic... "I think you can see where this is going"

    I quite fancy having a "FLIR" button on the dash somewhere - the problem is, where would I locate the camera???

    Lauren
    only Pythagoras can save me now!

  3. #13

    Re: Telecam Update

    I certainly can..... It's really all about the impressive "button" isn't it !

    Now that's a tricky one....

    I am certain you will not want to add any lumps or bumps to the bodywork or canopy, and the front air scoop will be too low to be sensible I am sure. So.... I remember you referring to the possibility of adding a NACA duct/scoop to aid air ingress to the cabin; maybe there's mileage in a small (round) camera going in the side of that if and when it becomes reality (and why not? I reckon it would look very good).

    On the other hand there's right up against the glass at the base of the windscreen - hopefully close enough not to get reflection problems.

    Your comments have changed my mind about something by the way; I have quite a good rear view mirror which is intended to be glued to the windscreen, but I think I might for the moment use a suction one or mount the mirror in a different way - in case I too decide the rear view camera is better than a mirror. We shall see in time - winter is curtailing my efforts now, and I was making real progress too. Talking of impressive buttons I have run out of places to put gauges - and I wanted to add an Altimeter ! Ah well, that can go in when I source a second dashboard pod.

    Steve

  4. #14
    ***Euro-Nova Supporter*** Spacenut's Avatar
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    Re: Telecam Update

    Steady on Steve! I thought I was only one trying to turn my dashboard into a jet fighter cockpit

    Altimeter sounds good though - you will at least know why the engine is running rich when you are halfway up the Alps!

    Regarding the FLIR camera, I was thinking of a small blister on the inside of the canopy at the top of the windscreen, where the T-bar moulding hits the header rail. It would have to be tunneled a fair way to stop stray light coming in from the dashboard immediately below it, but it should be fairly unobtrusive and high enough to give some useful distance vision. Its just the routing of the cable that will be a bit awkward.

    How about chaff dispensers to spoof police radar?



    Lauren
    only Pythagoras can save me now!

  5. #15

    Re: Telecam Update

    Not any more I'm afraid, I couldn't afford flashy gauges in the end (read Nexus etc) so it's now a complete set of VDO gauges - some from a Porsche 944, some from e-bay, and a couple bought brand new. It would indeed look very 'Fighter Jet' / 'Batmobile' if it weren't for those Thunderbirds style coloured switches which I banged on about in previous threads (and I still like them - they look great against a black background). I will upload photographs and comment when I finish modifying the dash pod (now a removable 'cowell') and paint it all - right now it is a patchwork of repaired and filled fibreglass.

    Excellent idea re the blister in the T part of the roof; as you say - the issue will be cable routing (which can be overcome I am sure).

    "Blister" sounds so much better than "Lump" doesn't it....

    I think the nearest I have come to a Chaff dispenser was an amusing discussion with a friend about the possibility of a tray full of sharp objects under the Spartan which could be released at the pull of a lever to deter tailgaters.... Although the idea of an oil tap over the exhaust (clouds of smoke) sounds much more genuinely doable! Especially on a Nova - I don't think the Spartan's exhaust quite gets hot enough... OK - no, I wouldn't really do any of these things.

    Steve

  6. #16
    ***Euro-Nova Supporter*** Spacenut's Avatar
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    Re: Telecam Update

    Hi Steve - I'm looking forward to seeing these buttons - I need some inspiration in that department, although my switches will almost certainly be sourced from industrial process control

    Just been looking at FLIR camera systems for automotive use, it seems that they are genuine thermal imaging cameras, not near infra-red CCD types. FLIR cameras operate with a spectral range of 10-14 micrometers, even the most IR sensitive CCDs only register above 1000 nanometers, so that goes some way to explaining the enormous price tag of automotive FLIR (thick end of £2k!).

    There may still be some mileage in CCD FLIR though, I will experiment with my mini-DVR (which we know is near IR sensitive) and see if I can see any further with that compared with visible light conditions...

    Lauren
    only Pythagoras can save me now!

  7. #17

    Re: Telecam Update

    Said switches are only cheapies from Europa Spares, but I have not seen them on other cars and I didn't like the overly generic look of all the others. I originally fancied the idea of Blake's 7 style push buttons (square light up sort basically) but they didn't suit the curvy nature of the dashboard. My rotary lights switch lets the side down though - I had to sacrifice style for practicality in the end there.

    I was just about to mention that your black and white monitor might be a limitation when I realised that of course it will make no difference at all at night.

    So - if it works then ultimately you need 'monitor goggles' or one of those mirror-monitors set so you can pull it down in front of your face when needed at night !

    Of course if you successfully get all these gizmos working you'll really have to somehow replace your Dark Star sunglasses... Personally I'm working on getting an Ed Straker suit and white wig.

  8. #18
    ***Euro-Nova Supporter*** Spacenut's Avatar
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    Re: Telecam Update

    Hi Steve - my Dark Star glasses had to be replaced because I lost them last year! Gutted I was. They were so cheap and nasty when new that nobody thought to keep a pair for posterity, so finding a replacement has been impossible

    Hmm, Blakes Seven switches was where I was going, although obviously my dashboard will look somewhat different to the original twin pod. That said, my existing switch panel (rockers in a row, mounted vertically in the sill panel just ahead of the side pocket) works very well; I just need to sort out illumination for night time use. There certainly won't be room on the dash itself for switches. Modified side pocket is another possible location, but it doesn't "fall readily to hand", as ancient Top Gear used to say

    Coming back to FLIR systems, its interesting to note that you can't just go out and buy a microbolometer array camera, you have to enquire first. I believe this is because IR night vision systems are controlled under US ITAR regulations, and over here by UK and EU military hardware export control regulations, so the suppliers are cagey about who they sell to.

    Lauren

    PS - Ed Straker look does it for me
    only Pythagoras can save me now!

  9. #19
    ***Euro-Nova Supporter*** Spacenut's Avatar
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    Re: Telecam Update

    OK, just got back from work - 21 mile commute in mixed traffic conditions and pitch dark. If you do nothing else to your CCD camera, DO THIS MOD. It just works. In fact, it was so effective that I forgot I had set the monitor to "day" when I arrived at work this morning. With the "night" setting, the image was very similar to what you would see in a dipped rear view mirror - just the bright spots of the headlamps. Easy to judge distance, and closing speed.

    I'll see if I can capture the improvement on video and post it up, but in the meantime you will just have to take my word for it!

    Lauren
    only Pythagoras can save me now!

  10. #20
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    Re: Telecam Update

    Quote Originally Posted by Spacenut
    Hi Steve - my Dark Star glasses had to be replaced because I lost them last year!
    I just watched Dark Star just last week. Somehow, every time I rewatch it I appreciate it more and more. Sunglasses at 0.49.

    Benson, Arizona
    Blew warm wind through your hair
    My body flies the galaxy, my heart longs to be there
    Benson, Arizona
    The same stars in the sky
    But they seemed so much kinder
    When we watched them, you and I
    Apparently there's a fan movie based on Dark Star. Let There Be Light: The Odyssey of Dark Star. I've yet to track it down.

    Vintage sunglasses 1

    Vintage Sunglasses 2

    Vintange (not vintage) sunglasses 3

    Vintange (not vintage) sunglasses 4

    These look the closest I could find;

    Vintage (not vintage) sunglasses 5

    Oh, sounds like you got the telecam sorted! Excellent work!

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