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HellBound Hackers | Computer General | Hardware

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Bit recorder


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Posted on 25-04-11 18:08
Let be frank..I know almost NOTHING about hardware and electronics,but..I got this idea:

A decent webcam costs around $6 here,a decent microphone costs some $2-3
These are,of course,NOT PORTABLE,ie,they need a computer(PC/Laptop/other) to operate.

Make the same into PORTABLE(camcorder);and costs exceed $200-300 easily

I started thinking,leaving aside all the extra features(I am talking REALLY minimalist),the only major difference(as far as I know) between a camcorder and a web cam is that a web cam redirects all its output into a computer and a camcorder is able to store it on itself.

So i started thinking;why not create a Black Box(I call it that cause I have NO ideas as to its internal working),that captures these bits and stores them..at a later date,these may be redirected to a computer.The computer feels it is recording at realtime; and video can always be edited later to make it better.

All I wanted to know was if this is possible and feasible.
I might never pursue this idea to completion,but who knows?Smile




Edited by on 25-04-11 18:09
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RE: Bit recorder


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Posted on 25-04-11 18:21
Depending on the size of the black box you want you could always lug around a laptop haha. Or a plug computer.... Or a mobile phone(which has a camera built in).... Got an android phone you can compile your own kernel for? Slap on a module for your usb webcam.

http://www.sparkfun.com/categories/102





Edited by on 25-04-11 18:25
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Posted on 25-04-11 18:22
I'm not sure if I quite got it, but what you'd want then is custom hardware with memory, the software for the webcam to work, input to actually use the webcam itself, enough power to power that hardware as well as the webcam, a screen to see what it is you're trying to do and even with all that you'd still end up with a very shitty camera given that webcams tend to be... y'know... crap in comparison. You might as well just buy a netbook and end up with pretty much the same thing, but more capable and less shitty.


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RE: Bit recorder

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Posted on 25-04-11 22:07
It would be about $20 or so less to do the mentioned method. You would need memory, chip-sets to capture and route the live feed, custom firm-ware to process all of it, and still end up with crapy/laggy resolution, not to mention digital drop-out. A pawn shop or ebay would be the best solution for a cam. Don't try and re-invent the wheel, it been done and at better quality.

But if you wanna try it out, you will need to learn a lot about the solid-state.
Here would be a good start.


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RE: Bit recorder


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Posted on 25-04-11 22:21
That HaD link is dead but I think http://www.jrobot.net/Projects/AVRcam.html is more inline with what you want anyway. I'm less optimistic than techb, I doubt you'd be able to do it for $20. Try this http://www.arduino.cc/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1253595882/ I haven't look at it too deeply but it seems interesting, it uses the module i linked you to earlier.

Which makes it very difficult for a new comer.




Edited by on 25-04-11 22:24
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RE: Bit recorder

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Posted on 25-04-11 22:27
Yeah the link is from 2007, but it is still in the right direction. And not for $20, but $20 or so less than the $200 for a real cam.

Speaking of which, what about a Flip? You could add some more memory to it, or even a better cam module? Just a thought.


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RE: Bit recorder

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Posted on 26-04-11 05:46
COM wrote:
You might as well just buy a netbook and end up with pretty much the same thing, but more capable and less shitty.


I agree with COM. To be honest, I think what you're suggesting would end up being far more expensive and would require much more effort than you would think. Probably best to start with a different hardware project, and just buy a used camcorder or use your phone (Wolfman's idea was a really good one).


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RE: Bit recorder


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Posted on 26-04-11 06:06
The cam was just an example;I mean any device that needs to be connected to a computer;
And there would be no view finder or anything;just a box to capture the signals and store them..

I figured it would end being more costly than a netbook,which is why I said I might never pursue it.

But it would be better than a camcorder..as tech progresses;Camera quality will always increase;and buying a new camcorder every time would be a costly affair;

The netbook is a good one;

But if there is some way to make said "black box" at a cost less than the netbook;then maybe it would be worthwhile.




Edited by on 26-04-11 06:07
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Posted on 26-04-11 06:29
OK so a crappier version of the real thing but with the added bonus of not even being able to see what it is you're doing then... oh and we still have the issue with, y'know, the software necessary to get it to work which differs between devices even when they are of the same general type.
So that'd mean that theoretically you want something that can hold an actual OS where you can install whatever you wish, except that it's an insane amount of fussing about before each use or you're just blindly pressing buttons.