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Old 5th July 2011, 09:10   #1
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Default Infrared Camera Setup - DIY possible?

Didn't find any thread dedicated to this, so I decided to create a new one.

I read about the Infrared setup in the latest BMW 7 series, where the infrared cameras in the car's bumpers can 'see' upto 300 meters up ahead and project the pictures onto a screen mounted in the dash or a heads-up display on the windscreen.

Has anyone tried something similar in their cars?

What would be the cost and effort involved (as well as risks and other parameters in a DIY project) for something that involves:

1. An infrared camera mounted in the cabin (near the cabin light/internal mirror)
2. A dashboard mounted screen connected to this camera

This DIY should be an easy one from the technical aspects, methinks. I would definitely like to know the costs involved. The camera doesn't need to be all that powerful, a range of 100 meters should be good enough.
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Old 5th July 2011, 09:11   #2
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Default re: Infrared Camera Setup - DIY possible?

As long as your are sticking to IR (upto around 1100nm) any normal CCD will do. You get it for few thousands. However, if you want to do thermal imagery etc.,(fog) and process that signal along with IR to create an image, be prepared to spend over a lakh
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Old 5th July 2011, 09:33   #3
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Default re: Infrared Camera Setup - DIY possible?

If it's going to cost less than 10K for a base version, I would like to try one as a reverse camera (which is ON all the time, like in the Volvo buses).
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Old 5th July 2011, 09:54   #4
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Default re: Infrared Camera Setup - DIY possible?

You can try a thermal imaging camera from China. Last time I inquired it was for 30k for the imaging device without the screen.
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Old 5th July 2011, 10:19   #5
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Default re: Infrared Camera Setup - DIY possible?

I have bought a readymade El Cheapo chinese cam which record on IR automatically when on low light, rleays wirelessly to a screen, stores the videos on a memory card, works on an inbuilt battery when required and in short, does a decent job.

I've got this from ebay and stuck this on my windscreen and have mentioned details about the same in my thread.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-d...ml#post2171568 (Review: My new Chevrolet Beat)

Infrared Camera Setup - DIY possible?-cam.jpg
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Old 5th July 2011, 13:40   #6
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Default re: Infrared Camera Setup - DIY possible?

Thanks Alston, how is the performance of this camera?

I have seen the photos you posted in the other thread, but I would like to know if you use it every day. As such have there been any problems with the system?

Also how does it perform in the night? Have you tried driving in the night guided with this system? Does this system actually help you 'see' things that your headlights aren't able to illuminate well?
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Old 5th July 2011, 13:49   #7
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Default re: Infrared Camera Setup - DIY possible?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
As long as your are sticking to IR (upto around 1100nm) any normal CCD will do. You get it for few thousands. However, if you want to do thermal imagery etc.,(fog) and process that signal along with IR to create an image, be prepared to spend over a lakh

Further to what Tanveer has said - true IR imaging will be very expensive. Both the sensor and the optics are going to cost quite a bit of money, and then there is the question of algorithm.

Near-red IR will be sufficient if you want to see what is in front in normal night time (not military grade) as a visual aid - most commercial CMOS or CCD sensors found is consumer cameras can do it, if the optics do not eat away all the signal in the first place.


That said, apart from buying a camera/processing/display setup and then installing it yourself, this is not DIY stuff (if you are planning to do any of the three things yourself), not even an enthusiast's DIY.


You can go to www.sitpl.com and Sarnoff Corporation (FULL DISCLOSURE: I used to work for the former) to see what is possible, and drop them an email (or pay a visit if you are in Bangalore) and discuss with their engineers - they'll show you some really nice videos and may have some demo ready.
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Old 6th July 2011, 11:24   #8
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Default re: Infrared Camera Setup - DIY possible?

Quote:
Originally Posted by honeybee View Post
Thanks Alston, how is the performance of this camera?

I have seen the photos you posted in the other thread, but I would like to know if you use it every day. As such have there been any problems with the system?

Also how does it perform in the night? Have you tried driving in the night guided with this system? Does this system actually help you 'see' things that your headlights aren't able to illuminate well?

Bee, the camera performs very well, no issues faced at all though its China make, it fell off the suction hundreds of time since I used to hurriedly stick it up and never cracked or broke. I sometimes used to face issues with camera not recording and the indicator light used to state its reading the MMC, then I realised the MMC had some error and formatted it. Apart from that no issues at all.

I use the device everytime I am in the car, day or night. During twilight when visibilty diminishes and its time to switch on the headlights, I can see daytime like vision on the screen withouht the lights on, but when oncoming traffic headlights hit me, there tends to be a big glare on the screen which is natural.

The system is not a hifi state of the art device but it does help me see the road to say around 30metres ahead.
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Old 6th July 2011, 21:39   #9
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Default re: Infrared Camera Setup - DIY possible?

I am not interested in military grade or thermal imaging activities. All I need is something that will augment my human night vision. So what Alston has got in his car should probably suffice.
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Old 7th January 2013, 12:32   #10
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Default Re: Infrared Camera Setup - DIY possible?

Bee,
Did you ever get this done ? The el-cheapo stuff from China, the ones that Alston ordered it look pretty neat. And nice that it plugs in the 12v socket that way no re-wiring to plugging it into the car battery et al.

-Santosh
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Old 8th January 2013, 00:06   #11
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Default Re: Infrared Camera Setup - DIY possible?

Nope, not yet. Got a laptop in the meanwhile and am not yet decided if:

1. I should use a decent webcam hooked to my laptop for this purpose
2. Buy a tablet and hook the webcam to the tablet instead of the laptop
3. Go for what Alston did or buy something locally
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Old 8th January 2013, 12:17   #12
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Default Re: Infrared Camera Setup - DIY possible?

Hmm, all interesting ideas. But like you said the normal VGA camera is no fun, IR especially in the nights will help. Sort make you feel like the "predator" from the movie.

Will the standard web cams be able to power themselves from the 12v socket ?
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Old 8th January 2013, 21:16   #13
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Default Re: Infrared Camera Setup - DIY possible?

Relevant product but 3 lakhs plus!

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/modifi...available.html (Forward Looking Infra Red (FLIR) Camera now available)
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Old 8th January 2013, 23:44   #14
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Default Re: Infrared Camera Setup - DIY possible?

Quote:
Originally Posted by santoshr View Post
Hmm, all interesting ideas. But like you said the normal VGA camera is no fun, IR especially in the nights will help. Sort make you feel like the "predator" from the movie.

Will the standard web cams be able to power themselves from the 12v socket ?
The Microsoft Lifecam series has some good powerful cameras. Need to see if they have any night performing abilities.

If the cam is hooked up to the USB drive, you won't need a separate power source. Also the laptop should easily last for a couple of hours or so on its own battery, which is good enough for me.
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