Sunday, September 22, 2013

Robot Explorer Log 8 Wireless Camera

The complete wireless camera system for Robot Explorer produces the first color image in this setup test at the lab. The completed system will contain the battery supply, camera and transmitter on the robot carriage. The TV and receiver will locate at the base tracking station. The tracking station will include channels for picture and telemetry, along with a sound channel. As seen clockwise, the TV, camera, 1.2 GHz transmitter, battery pack and 1.2 GHz receiver.

Robot Explorer is a new space robot designed under the Big Brain Initiative at Humanoido Labs, to explore new worlds at the outer fringes of the solar system.

One of the most important parts of the robotics system is the wireless camera. The camera will transmit live images from the surface of the planet or moon on its own channel and allow humans to watch as the robot explores a new world.

It took three months to design and gather all the parts necessary to build the wireless camera system for the Robot Explorer prototype. This system sends a TV color image by a 1.2 GHz frequency signal up to a long range base station, located up to 1,000 meters (.63 mile) in distance. The signal reaches the receiver, is decoded into the A/V NTSC composite 1V pp format and is fed to the TV's A/V input jack.

Specification page for the SONY CCD
The system consists of a miniature camera, camera image transmitter, camera and transmitter battery power pack, receiver and TV monitor. The TV monitor and receiver are located at the tracking station and the other parts remain within the robot. The modules are made in Taiwan. The units are prewired at the store by the store owner. It's apparent, the harness combines the battery plug with both transmitter and camera. The store owner wired the battery pack, which was purchased from another store, and provided the required power barrel end plug. Purchasing the system at the A/V store provided extra service, i.e. the entire system was wired, set up and tested. The other benefit, this is a take home system with no waiting for shipment for an unknown "working or not working" package that would require some assembly.

The camera, battery pack, and transmitter are located on the robot. The receiver and TV are located at the tracking and telemetry station.

The system was purchased locally at the A/V parts store. The owner provided service for putting the system together and testing it. He also wired the battery pack (purchased from another store), provided the power barrel jack, and tested it at no additional charge. Information is gathered from the store owner and a variety of sources.

The camera 1.2 GHz transmitter was measured with a frequency meter and actual respective channel frequencies were 1080, 1120, 1160 and 1200 Mhz.

$1,700 for the camera
$1,200 for the camera transmitter
$1,000 for the receiver
$2,500 for the TV monitor
$432.0 for batteries
$30.00 for the battery holder

Showing the battery pack, CCD camera with adjustable lens and the 1.2GHz transmitter. This is a custom made cable to join the camera and transmitter to a 12-volt battery power suppy.
Image Sensor ⅓” Sony Super HAD CCD (Sony SS11)
Horizontal Resolution 420 TV lines
Medium Resolution
S/N Ratio more than 48dB (AGC off)
Auto backlight compensation
3.6mm Adjustable lens
LUX (.5 LUX @ f/1.2) Color
Effective Pixels NTSC 512(H) x 492(V)
Power Supply DC 12V
Power Draw @ 110 mA
Video Out 1Vp-p  75 ohm
Operating Temperature -10 deg. C to +55
Storage Temp -30 C to +60
Dimension 35mm x 35mm (less swivel base)
Weight 240g
Model (IAS-35XT42) Taiwan

Frequency 1.2 Ghz (1200 Mhz)
Channels 4 (increments of 40)
Output Power 700mW
Range (1000m line of sight)
Battery 12 volt

The receiver is part of the base station that feeds live video transmitted from the camera. It feeds the 1.2 GHz signal into a converter resulting in A/V NTSC composite video out. It has a choice of 4 channels using one slide switch. The AV signal can be recorded on a VCR or camcorder with AV input record capability.
Receiver TR-1500
Power 12Vdc
4 channels
CH1 = 910MHz, CH2 = 980MHz, CH3 = 1010MHz, CH4 = 1040MHz
AV Video Out NTSC 1V pp composite
Video input : RCA*1 composite video 1 Vp-p, 75Ω

Video output : RCA*1 composite video 1 Vp-p, 75Ω
Audio output : RCA*1
Antenna : Dipole
Operation Temperature : -5degree to 45 degree
Operation Humidity 5% TO 85%
Dimensions : 130mm*80mm*23 mm (without antenna)
Weight : 263 g
Consumption : 12VDC 350mA
Connection : White - Audio, Yellow - Video 

Even if the cable looks good with shrink wrap covering the connection, it's likely the two wires were only twisted together and not soldered. If an intermittent open connection occurs, it will not be surprising. Just strip the tubing and wiring, add new tubing, solder it together and shrink the tubing.