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  1. #1
    Senior Member GraysonPeddie's Avatar
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    Camera and tablet for daytime traffic light

    Hi, everyone. I've came up with something creative (well, almost) that will allow a camera to be my "third eye" for looking at far ahead of me, such as traffic lights. What I thought about is having a camera mounted to a handlebar and a tablet. The first thing that came to mind is an Android tablet, but I want a tablet to do things well, and that is to display what's coming from a bike-mounted camera. So I thought I'd go with Pandigital Novel 7" Tablet and now I'm having trouble searching for a camera in Amazon.com. I don't want to spend upwards of $199 and up, so $150 might seem reasonable to me.

    So, for thinking about my budget, my budget will be $300 or so, but does that seem too low? I haven't look for bike and tablet mounts yet, so I thought I might ask.

    For thinking about a rain, I could go with a camera that is water-resistant, but for a tablet, I don't think it can sustain the amount of water no matter how heavy the rain is, so if it's very cloudy, I could probably see the traffic lights depending on how dark the clouds are during the daytime.

    Yellow filter glasses don't help me out very well, so I thought I'd look for an expensive alternative but still being creative.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Is this for someone with a visual impairment? If so, this could be a good idea. Some of the helmet cameras use blue-tooth to interface with an IPhone to use it as a viewer. There are also various handlebar mounts for the IPhone.

  3. #3
    Senior Member GraysonPeddie's Avatar
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    If you look at "About Me" in my profile, notice that I have a visual impairment. As for iPhones, I'm not into that as I already have a LG Optimus V from Virgin Mobile, which has a 3.2" screen. I will require a 7" screen or better, which is what I've chosen in my first post but I haven't bought it yet. I would like a camera that can do probably 640x480 although widescreen will probably suffice at 30 frames per second. If I want 1080p, I'd get myself a GoPro and not focused toward traffic lights but as a whole. The GoPro is a luxury, so it's not really that important. One thing that I found it interesting with the GoPro is that it has connections for composite video output. This gets me thinking: aren't there any battery-operated monitors out there that features a composite video input -- something that can be mounted to the bike handlebar? I really don't need additional features from an Android tablet other than the fact that the tablet can act solely as a video monitor.

  4. #4
    LBKA punkncat's Avatar
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    I might suggest that you look into 12v security solutions. It would be easy enough to find a weather resistant zoom lens capable camera in a small "bullet" mount run a to a monitor. You can find any number of small weather resistant monitors with a video input. It would work well, and be cheaper than the Android, or similar device. As far as power, I would likely consider running everything off a small 5aH 12V battery stashed somewhere on the bike and use either solar panel trickle, or more reliably a small wheel mounted generator. If you didn't want to mess with the generator, a higher aH battery would run the system for longer periods of time, but you would have to do a load calculation on the camera and monitor to determine the time frame that would suit your needs. You would also have to consider a charging station to refill the battery during off time.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member GraysonPeddie's Avatar
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    Okay, I found something:

    Q-See QSC48030 Camera
    Coby TVTF1091 10" HDTV

    Note, however, that I care less for night-vision, so I'd gladly have no night-vision at a cheaper price than that.

    Am I making a good choice here? The display provides a 2.5 hours of viewing time. That's plenty enough there, but the product info have no mention of water-resistant. I guess I'll have to keep searching. It's despite the fact that the display is widescreen, so I could choose 16:9 even though the input is 4:3 to crop off the top and bottom of the signal coming from the camera focus in looking ahead for traffic lights ahead of me. Pixelation may not matter to me, however, as I'll be getting 360 lines of resolution (640x360), but if it does, well, I'm not going to be focusing at the details because I'm suppose to focus in the road and glance at the screen to see if there's anything far ahead of me.

  6. #6
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Maybe a Lexan box to put the monitor in?
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


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  7. #7
    Senior Member GraysonPeddie's Avatar
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    Know what, after thinking about it, I guess I should not have to use a TV as a monitor for my camera if it's so cloudy outside; thus, minimizing the glare between me and the traffic lights. That I can forget about a TV being weather-resistant and put it in a bag when not in use. So my question is, are there any mounts for the two items?

    Q-See QSC48030 Camera
    Coby TVTF1091 10" HDTV

  8. #8
    LBKA punkncat's Avatar
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    I would not waste the money on the infared illumination. You won't need it, and it required use of power to light them. Focus on a better lens, something vari-focal so that you can focus in on what you WANt to see, not just what it shows.

    I might suggest you check with Ram about mounts, they seem to have a little of everything.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member GraysonPeddie's Avatar
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    Right, that's what I thought. Do you have a camera recommendation that I could make use of? I don't need any recording capabilities.

  10. #10
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    New - Rear view camera system for bicycles.

    The Owl 360 is the first rechargeable, rear view camera and viewing screen that can be easily mounted to any bicycle. It provides the casual biker, enthusiast, or the professional bicycle rider with a greater sense of safety as they share the road with cars and trucks. The Owl 360 enhances your ability to see vehicles approach from behind and eliminates the constant need to turn your head and become unstable.

    http://www.theowl360.com/

    Designed for Rear-view but nothing says it can't work facing forward. Might be looking into.

    Looks like it hasn't made it to market yet but can be pre-ordered.

  11. #11
    Senior Member GraysonPeddie's Avatar
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    What connection does the camera support? Can the camera be connected to Coby TVTF1091 10" HDTV's A/V input?

    Update: The brochure/spec sheet shows nothing about zooming in and out.

    Update 2: After not finding a solution to being able to see traffic lights, I once tried to wear a yellow filter glasses while in my mom's car and it did not help, so it looks like I'm left with just training my right eye to see traffic lights. I'm just being patient, but it seems like I'm just going to give up.

    Right now, I'm feeling trapped with having my tricycle upstairs while living in my apartment, so I'll just have to wait until my lease is up (my mom and dad made a decision to stay upstairs *sigh*).
    Last edited by GraysonPeddie; 09-20-11 at 09:03 PM.

  12. #12
    LBKA punkncat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GraysonPeddie View Post
    Right, that's what I thought. Do you have a camera recommendation that I could make use of? I don't need any recording capabilities.
    Honestly, no, all the places that I know of to find a quality camera require a low voltage license to purchase from.
    If you are so inclined to take a chance and just see what comes up on "Amazon" (etc.) then you should look for a "bullet cam", day/night (but not uv illuminated) with a vari focal lens. I would look to something up around 30-50mm so you could focus it on what you are trying to see.
    Make sure that the camera is a 12VDC, not 24V and not AC. You may look around and find a specialty camera that runs on less voltage, but be sure that you can get the correct charger/power source for it.
    Most professional level cameras have what is called a "BNC" connector for video feed along RG59 (or 6 doesn't really matter you can find plugs for both), and you run a seperate wire for the power.. Some of the cheaper models (that would likely still serve you well) have a pre-made plug setup that will carry video and power, generally on component for the video and "stinger plug" for the power.
    You can convert the BNC connector over to most anything and those adapters can be found readily at your local radio shack.

    As to the monitor, I haven't really looked at what you linked, but so long as it has some manner of video input/aux connector, you should be able to view the camera through it. For simplicity's sake, you might consider looking for a small, dedicated 12VDC monitor and run both the camera and the monitor off the same battery. As I mentioned before, you might look up a load calculation on the two to make sure you will get the battery life you need for the amount of time you are going to ride, unless you hook up some manner of generator onboard. If the monitor is rechargable on it's own and gets the length of time you need that will reduce the size of the battery you need to carry. Alarm batteries of 5ah and 7ah are readily available at Radio Shack as well...

    I might suggest that you call your local reputable alarm company and see if they can put together a package for you. It will cost more than sourcing it yourself, but should fit your needs perfectly and work well together.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member GraysonPeddie's Avatar
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    Coby TFTV1091:


    • 10-Inch widescreen TFT LCD Color Display, DTV-ready with dual ATSC/NTSC tuners
    • Integrated telescopic antenna, coaxial antenna input for use with external antenna sources and AV input for use with video games, VCRs
    • Headphone jack for private listening and High-output stereo speakers, Integrated viewing stand
    • Rechargeable lithium-ion battery provides up to 2.5 Hours of viewing time.
    • Three-way power: AC/DC/battery operation and Full function remote control

    As for camera, this is all I saw as a result:

    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_no...ens&sort=price

    How am I suppose to tell Amazon to exclude IR?

  14. #14
    LBKA punkncat's Avatar
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    Well, it appears there are no more bullets w/o IR in a quick search. I don't imagine they will help anything in your particular case. The issue is that if you get a "standard body" camera, they are not weatherproof and will need some manner of enclosure. According to where and how you are mounting this whole thing, that might not be a bad thing, as the enclosure would give a good place to make all the connections and keep the battery.


    Just a few examples, camera:
    http://www.amazon.com/Security-warni...uct/B000VNNZAI

    enclosure:
    http://www.google.com/products/catal...d=0CI4BEPMCMAA#

    battery and charger:
    http://www.google.com/products/catal...d=0CIsBEPMCMAA#

    12V bicycle mount generator: (this would allow for a smaller battery like a 4/5ah)
    http://compare.ebay.com/like/1606499...=sbar&_lwgsi=y

    All the other items you need could be picked up at your local radio shack. This is by no means the end all...I feel like the bullet, even with the IR, is an elegant solution, but you will still need to set up a spot for the battery to safely be.

    That monitor looks fine. You don't really have to get something with a TV tuner in it, but at that size finding something otherwise might be harder.

    The real issue here is how and where you are going to mount all this. It would seem that some fabrication or extensive use of your imagination might be in order.
    Last edited by punkncat; 09-21-11 at 07:30 PM.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member GraysonPeddie's Avatar
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    Excluding the generator, that will certainly come up to approximately $170. Plus $105, which comes up to $275.

    Well, this will be complicated, as I have to think about how I am going to mount this. I might be thinking that it may not be possible to mount my battery near the chainguard below the basket of my tricycle.



    I might have to take my time to think over this for a couple of months before I make a major mistake in my purchasing when it comes to seeing far-away objects while still keeping both hands in my handlebars.

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