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Latest Cumulus MX release v3.1.2 build 3055 - 4 November 2019.
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For discussion of DIY weather equipment - sensors, accessories, improvements to existing kit etc
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Weather Station: Oregon Scientific WMR 200
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Post by geoffp » Sun 14 Jul 2013 6:42 pm

I have four complete sets of "Response" "Security Cameras" two of which are Wireless and two that are Wired, pictures taken by them can be viewed on a TV or Monitor using the AV input and produces a super colored picture.

Are there any boffins out there that can tell me if it is possible to mod these to go into a USB port on a pc and use them as a webcam, I know that I am more than likely talking out of my butt as I do not know much about Webcams etc.


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Re: Cameras

Post by BillW » Sun 14 Jul 2013 8:26 pm

Hi Geoff,

I've used several CCTV camera's over the years and with a decent lens they make excellent webcam alternatives.
Provided the actual cameras output a normal 1 v p-p video signal then it is possible to use them as you intend (I think!)
You won't be able to convert the 1 v p-p video signal directly but these are LOTS of USB video frame grabbers which do the job.
My current cctv cameras for (time lapse) NLC and cloud observing use (the rather inappropriately named...) Climax Digital VCAP capture devices. The video out from the CCTV camera is fed into the appropriate phono connector on the frame grabber, once the device drivers are installed you're away!

I have four VCAP 302's and a VCAP 605 (HD Gaming Capture Box) on the go. These are good enough for my application so I'm happy enough to recommend them.
BUT they do get mixed reviews and have some issues depending on the exact demands. You'll need to determine this to your own satisfaction before buying.

Now the disclaimers' out of the way, they convert the video signal to one useable by many video processing packages, for all intents and purposes they become " deluxe webcams" since you have a much better range of lenses available and even audio options if you want to go that way.
One word of caution however, there are lots of ultra cheap chinese clones on the likes of amazon and ebay. Do a google for the Climax Digital company website and buy a genuine one direct if you decide to. I get the feeling that a lot of problems are due to the clones being used and not the genuine ones

There are also numerous pci onboard cards that plug into the pc motherboard which do the same thing. Again it depends on what format you want to work with and price you're prepared to pay.
For starters there are the now dated Compro C100 and C500 video cards, ~£30 they have video in and you can port it to lots of weather software. I've used both and again had no problems but others have some issues as posted on buyers reviews on Amazon.

As an examples of CCTV "webcams"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0avFJ22_ ... ReYGZNDcIo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVBcyqme ... ReYGZNDcIo

Done with a Genie C5351 CCTV security camera using a USB VCAP 302 into an old pentium 4 pc.

Hope this gives you a few pointers.


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Weather Station: Oregon Scientific WMR 200
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Re: Cameras

Post by geoffp » Mon 15 Jul 2013 9:29 am

Many thanks for the detailed explanation, yes I must agree, I fell for one of the cheap grabbers that was for sale on Amazon, installed it all then kept getting the Blue Screen of death so it is not on the pc anymore needless to say.

I have now contacted "Climax" telling them what I want to do etc. I will see what they come up with.

Below is the details of the cameras:-

The Response Wired Colour Camera CCTV Kit (CWK1) is suitable for indoor and outdoor use, weatherproof to IP54. Installation is quick and easy and the camera can either be used to extend an existing CCTV system or be plugged directly into your existing television/monitor. The CWK1 camera has 9 metre night vision with 11 infra red LEDs for low light illumination (colour CMOS image sensor).

• Plug and play installation
• Connects to a TV/VCR/DVR
• Suitable for indoor and outdoor use
• 1/4" Colour CMOS image sensor
• 11 infra red LEDs for low light illumination
• Night vision range of 9 metres
• Camera viewing angle of 50°
• Weatherproof (IP54)
• 12v DC plug-in mains adaptor

1x wired colour camera with 1m cable
1x 10m RCA(male plug) to RCA (male plug) cable
1x power supply adaptor
All fixings
Installation and operating manual
1x window sticker

Dimensions (W x D x H) 50 x 50 x 135mm
Weight 280g
Image Sensor: 1/4" colour CMOS
Video Format: PAL/NTSC
Pixel Resolution: PAL: 628 (H) x 582 (V), NTSC: 510 (H) x 492 (V)
Horizontal Resolution: 380 TV lines
Minimum illumination 0 Lux when the IR lamps are turned on
Viewing angle 50°
Lens size 6mm
Night vision range up to 9m
Number of infra-red LEDs 11
IP rating IP54
Operating temperature - 10°C to 55°C
Power supply 12VDC/300mA
Cable type connections Fitted with 1m video cable terminated with female RCA and female jack (power) plugs


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