[AG-TECH] Cheap Video Cameras

Ivan R. Judson judson at mcs.anl.gov
Wed May 29 06:25:14 CDT 2002

Hey Don,

Exactly right, the critter cam is a usb camera, just need a usb port (I
got mine for $69 at fryes), the iBot was more expensive, $139, but it's
firewire, you need a firewire port.  The USB are more common, for sure.

My list of experience is:

Intel Create and Share Camera Pack
Kritter cam USB (http://www.irez.com/)
And the OrangeMicro iBot (http://www.orangemicro.com/ibot.html)

Looks like orange micro just announced a USB 2.0 camera, dunno about
that yet.  Here's another list of cameras:


When you use these with vic it should work intuitively.  Just select
H.261, small or medium, then select frame rate/bandwidth and hit
transmit.  It might pop up a few driver specific windows or as you to
select a vfw device (if you have more than one), just pick the one you
want to use.

That should be enough to work.


-----Original Message-----
From: Don Morton [mailto:morton at cs.umt.edu] 
Sent: Tuesday, May 28, 2002 9:08 PM
To: judson at mcs.anl.gov
Cc: 'Randy Groves'; 'Sergeant A. G. Tech'; David Hobbs; Borries Demeler
Subject: Re: [AG-TECH] Cheap Video Cameras

Yes, Ivan's understanding of the question is correct.  These folks will
eventually migrate to a "real" AGN but, for now, this gets their feet in
the door, allows them to begin to understand some of the 
software and hardware components and, most importantly, allows them to,
in a crude way, start becoming a part of this great community!

Ivan, with the two cams you mention, have you had to do anything special
to get vic to recognize them?  And, from earlier email, I gather you
didn't even need the Hauppage card, right?  

David/Bo - Ivan has Montana connections - he's one of us :) :) As you
can see, even if we run into problems getting your "mini AGN's" working,
there's a great community here full of advice!

"Ivan R. Judson" wrote:
> Hey Randy,
> The question as I understood it was "How do I get someone online 
> cheaply, but not necessarily with a full AG installation?"  I was 
> merely suggesting that cutting corners to cut costs is a viable 
> solution and that if you aren't panning and tilting, bail on the 
> expensive camera and buy a fixed camera.  The cheapest fixed solutions

> I've seen include the critter cam (usb) and the orange micro iBot 
> (1394).  I have both and have sent video successfully with vic from 
> them.
> As you suggest, I don't think we've gotten an "official" endorsement 
> of what a laptop/desktop solution is, but exploring the options seems 
> a prudent place to start :-).
> It's not a lot of glue to make the desktop/laptop behave like a full 
> node (currently), the only thing that sucks is the lobby :-).
> --Ivan
> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-ag-tech at mcs.anl.gov [mailto:owner-ag-tech at mcs.anl.gov] On 
> Behalf Of Randy Groves
> Sent: Tuesday, May 28, 2002 7:20 PM
> To: 'Sergeant A. G. Tech'
> Subject: RE: [AG-TECH] Cheap Video Cameras
> Has something changed?  I thought that the AG suite didn't support USB

> cameras yet. Or are we talking just being able to get video to show up

> on the screen?
> -randy
> At 06:57 PM 5/28/2002 -0500, Ivan R. Judson wrote:
> >Hey All.
> >
> >If you don't care about pan/tilt; or waiting for big frames to be 
> >supported (full NTSC), just get any old webcam.  The intel usb 
> >camera, the kodak usb camera, and most firewire cameras work good 
> >enough; just don't set it for big frames or vic will crash (for now).
> >
> >Unless you are going to fiddle around with the camera a lot, just get

> >a
> >cheaper camera and skip the wintv board altogether.
> >
> >--Ivan
> >
> >-----Original Message-----
> >From: owner-ag-tech at mcs.anl.gov [mailto:owner-ag-tech at mcs.anl.gov] On

> >Behalf Of Don Lewis
> >Sent: Tuesday, May 28, 2002 6:31 PM
> >To: Sergeant A. G. Tech; Don Morton
> >Cc: Borries Demeler; David Hobbs
> >Subject: RE: [AG-TECH] Cheap Video Cameras
> >
> >
> >The capture card has a composite video input ( rca phono ) and any 
> >ntsc compatible camera will work with it. I have used everything from

> >a small toshiba webcam, Closed circuit security cameras
> >and the more expensive ones. A cheap and readily available starter 
> >camera would be a camcorder. Still offers zoom and auto-focus as well

> >as auto-white balance and auto iris.
> >
> >just my two-cents...
> >Don Lewis
> >VRC/AG Tech
> >
> > >===== Original Message From Don Morton <morton at cs.umt.edu> ===== 
> > >All,
> > >
> > >I'm helping a couple of good folks incrementally jump
> > >into the AG world.  They both, theoretically, have
> > >I2 and multicast, but no funds for an AGN yet.  So,
> > >I've interested them in building a cheap "proof of concept" system 
> > >much like the one in my office (the one that delivers those views 
> > >of mountains and deer to y'all), just so they can start to 
> > >familiarize themselves with the basic software components, work out

> > >multicast issues, etc. while they're still waiting for Santa to 
> > >bring them their real AGN.
> > >
> > >The one area I feel weak in is the choice of a video camera.  I 
> > >happen to use an expensive one in my office (costs more than the 
> > >computer), but that's just because I happened to have a spare.  For

> > >these folks, I'd like to be able to recommend one with the 
> > >following properties
> > >
> > >- CHEAP - remember, this is just proof of concept
> > >- Compatible with the Hauppage video capture cards recommended
> > >  in the AG hardware list, and of course the AG 1.0
> > >  Redhat distribution.  In other words, I don't want to
> > >  be having to compile new drivers, etc.  My "guess" is
> > >  that the only drivers needed are those to interface with
> > >  the Hauppage, and that the Hauppage is relatively
> > >  "camera independent" as long as one has the right
> > >  input (like S-video), but I'm not sure of this.
> > >
> > >Does anybody have a recommendation for a tried and tested video cam

> > >that satisfies the above?
> > >
> > >Thanks,
> > >
> > >Don
> > >--
> > >   Don Morton                   http://MRoCCS.cs.umt.edu/~morton/
> > >   Department of Computer Science       The University of Montana
> > >   Missoula, MT 59812 | Voice (406) 243-4975 | Fax (406) 243-5139
> >
> >Don Lewis
> >Senior Computer Specialist
> >Graduate Institute of Technology
> >University of Arkansas at Little Rock
> >voice: (501)569-8016
> >email: djlewis at ualr.edu

Don Morton                   http://MRoCCS.cs.umt.edu/~morton/
Department of Computer Science       The University of Montana
Missoula, MT 59812 | Voice (406) 243-4975 | Fax (406) 243-5139

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