Shrink Your Raspberry Pi Into A 40x25mm SoM(System on Module)

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Raspberry Pi the most popular single board computer platform in the education, maker space, even industrial applications and millions of makers build their own project around the Raspberry pi boards. The credit card size model B/B+ is the standard form factor in the Raspberry pi board family, and upgraded from old 1B to now 3B+ while keeping the connectors and pinout is the same. And the compute module CM/CM3 also opens the door to commercial user to build the Raspberry pi into their own products.

However the model B is too big and heavy for some space or weight constrained application like drones, and compute module’s DDR2 style connector is also bulky and tended to loose in the vibration environment. Recently we are working on OpenHD project for drone, and thinking how to reduce the weight and size for Raspberry pi and put together with other flight controllers. We are searching for the alternate form of factors Raspberry pi solution but no luck, because the Raspberry pi announced there is no such clone boards, they monopolize all the Broadcom chips. Finally we come up an idea to hack the current 3B/3B+ board to build our own SOM3.

After carefully de-soldering the main processor and LPDDR2 chip, we reverse engineered the all the layout of the board and shrink it into 40x25mm size SOM3 board. Two weeks after we got the PCB made, and put all the components back on, surprisingly it starts working. And we can design whatever mother boards for the SOM3 as we want, the stamp style solder pins is sound and steady.

Not just a single case, I guess lots of hackers are not fully satisfying the Raspberry Pi boards in terms of the form factors as we do. We are willing to help them modify their own Raspberry Pi boards. Note that we are not selling clone version of Raspberry Pi board, you have to buy the board from Raspberry Pi foundation. Customization services is something we can help.

Disclosure

ArduCam does not intend to sell/manufacture “cloned” versions of Raspberry Pi boards because at the present time it is not permitted by the Raspberry Pi Foundation, they have elected to keep the Broadcom chip and most of the “magical” parts of the SOC BCM2835/2837 CPU/GPU closed source.

We find this to be somewhat ironic considering that the a vast majority of hackers, developers, and hobbyists use Raspberry Pi hardware specifically for using, studying, or testing open source based projects.

We truly hope that in the near future it will be easier to create customized, modified versions of the Raspberry Pi boards.

In the meantime, all of us here at ArduCam will continue to challenge convention by pushing the limits of what is possible in the pursuit of cutting edge innovation.

Pan/Tilt/Zoom (PTZ) Camera Is Finally Coming to The Raspberry Pi Thanks to Arducam

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We all know that there is a CSI connector on the Raspberry Pi to facilitate the connections of a small camera to the processor, but how should we facilitate the small camera itself?

As a professional camera manufacturer and solution provider, Arducam has been obsessed with this question for the last 6 years, and came up with a lot of solutions like adding a lens mount, a switchable IR cut filter, a multi-camera adapter, autofocus control, and most recently, MIPI camera support to the camera board of OV5647 and IMX219.

Is it a perfect time to take a good break now since we have already covered most use cases? I don’t think so. Arducam never settles down, and we want to push the cameras for Raspberry Pi to the extreme.

I am glad to introduce you to our newest PTZ camera for the Raspberry Pi. It’s real PTZ with servos for directional control and varifocal lens for optical zoom, and it supports autofocus and IR cut switch control.

Here is a short YouTube video to give you an idea on this nice little camera.

What Are PTZ Cameras

PTZ is an abbreviation for pan, tilt and zoom and reflects the movement options of the camera, and a pan–tilt–zoom camera (PTZ camera) is a camera that is capable of remote directional and zoom control.

The Need for PTZ Cameras

A PTZ camera is not a still camera. Instead, it could move the camera and the lens, and that means a single camera can be used to monitor places that should be covered by multiple ones. You can save a lot of cost and time in purchasing and deploying the camera if a PTZ camera can handle the job. With its moveable lens, you will also be able to zoom the camera to see a specific area that you are interested in. To conclude, it’s “do more with less.”

PTZ Cameras Are Expensive, But the Raspberry Pi Ecosystem Is Not

A PTZ camera is usually expensive than the other surveillance cameras. This is what it looks like when you search PTZ camera on Amazon:

Search Results of “PTZ camera” on Amazon

Arducam makes cameras, and we’ve made a lot of cost-effective ones for the Raspberry Pi. The whole idea about Raspberry Pi is “low-cost, high-performance … that people use to learn, solve problems and have fun. ” This is also the idea we are having here. It would be great if we can offer a cost-effective PTZ camera on the cost-effective Raspberry Pi.

Arducam R&D, Reliable Suppliers, and Informative Customers

Arducam has good relationships with both suppliers and customers.

On the one hand, Arducam works closely with all kinds of suppliers, especially those in optical lenses, to achieve better optical performance on our camera boards. The first time we got our hands on the newest varifocal lens from our supplier, we started to think that whether we could integrate this stuff with a raspberry pi camera project, and make a PTZ camera out of it.

On the other hand, we have a group of customers that really enjoy our product and services, and they will always give us new ideas on our products and push us to keep going forward until we surprise them with another new product. We’ve heard a lot of suggestions and proposals from our customers in this PTZ camera project, which really inspires our engineers. Without them, it would be much harder for us to present you with a PTZ camera for Raspberry Pi with optical zoom, autofocus control and switchable IR cut filter.

Possibilites

Although we have released this PTZ camera for Raspberry Pi as a new product, we still think that it’s more like a window to new possibilities. Customers will be able to make greater projects with this camera, such as adding image processing and recognition to the system so that the camera will be able to track and follow an object, and then zoom in to get the details.

Please let info@arducam.com know if you are interested in or have great ideas about this PTZ camera.

Check out the PTZ Camera here or get this cool cam from one of our distributors!

Arducam V2.1 Multi-Camera Adapter Board for Raspberry Pi 8MP Camera IMX219

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Introduction

Since the old multi-camera adapter board doesn’t work with Raspberry Pi 8MP IMX219 pi camera due to the camera driver issue. Now Arducam team designed upgrade V2.1 multi-camera adapter board for both 5MP and 8MP pi cameras. Consider that the high speed CSI camera MIPI signal integrity is sensitive to long cable connection, the new adapter board can only connect maximum 4 cameras to a single pi board. Because it covers the most of the use cases like 360 degree view photography and surveillance, and add more cameras will degrade the performance of the cameras. Like always please note that Raspberry Pi multi camera adapter board is nascent product that may have some stability issues and limitations because of the cable’s signal integrity and RPi’s closed source video core libraries, so use it on your own risk.

Application

  • IoT cameras
  • Robot cameras
  • Wildlife cameras
  • 3D scanner
  • 360 view surveillance camera

Features

  • Accommodate 4  Raspberry Pi cameras on an multi camera adapter board
  • Take still photos in sequence (not at the same time)
  • Display real time video in lower frame rate
  • 3 GPIOs required for multiplexing on the adapter board
  • All camera ports are FFC (flexible flat cable) connectors
  • Support 5MP OV5647 and 8MP IMX219 pi cameras
  • Support Raspberry Pi A/B/B+ and Pi 2, Pi3 B, Pi3B+

Video Demo

Check out the multi-cam adapter board or buy it from one of our distributors!

RaspCAM A Raspberry Pi Based Camera

Recently ArduCAM team designed a simple-point-and-shoot digital camera for Raspberry Pi B+ board, it integrates both LCD touch screen and 5MP Raspberry Pi camera board into a single shield. It is well mated with Raspberry Pi B+ board, combined the WIFI dongle user can optionally transfer the captured photos to anywhere else. The RaspCAM features changeable lens options, user can replace the lens with fisheye or telescope lens according to their applications. Continue reading “RaspCAM A Raspberry Pi Based Camera” »

OV5647 Camera Module for Raspberry Pi Released

In order to meet the increasing need of Raspberry Pi compatible camera modules. The ArduCAM team now released a add-on camera module for Raspberry Pi which is fully compatible with official one. It attaches to Raspberry Pi by way of one of the two small sockets on the board upper surface. This interface uses the dedicated CSI interface, which was designed especially for interfacing to cameras. The CSI bus is capable of extremely high data rates, and it exclusively carries pixel data. The camera is supported in the latest version of Raspbian, Raspberry Pi’s preferred operating system

The board itself is tiny, at around 36mm x 36mm. The highlight of our module is that the Lens is replaceable compared to official one, making it perfect for mobile or other applications where size and image quality are important. It connects to Raspberry Pi by way of a short ribbon cable. The camera is connected to the BCM2835 processor on the Pi via the CSI bus, a higher bandwidth link which carries pixel data from the camera back to the processor. This bus travels along the ribbon cable that attaches the camera board to the Pi.

The sensor itself has a native resolution of 5 megapixel, and has a fixed focus lens onboard. In terms of still images, the camera is capable of 2592 x 1944 pixel static images, and also supports 1080p30, 720p60 and 640x480p60/90 video.

Feature:

  • High-Definition video camera for Raspberry Pi Model A or B
  • Omnivision 5647 sensor in a fixed-focus module with replaceable Lens
  • Lens holder: M12x0.5 or CS Mount
  • 5MPixel sensor
  • Integral IR filter
  • Still picture resolution: 2592 x 1944
  • Max video resolution: 1080p
  • Max frame rate: 30fps
  • Size: 36 x 36 mm
  • Connection by flat ribbon cable to 15-pin MIPI Camera Serial Interface (CSI) connector S5 on Raspberry Pi computer board

Raspberry Pi is a trademark of the Raspberry Pi Foundation

ArduCAM Shield Rev.C Now Released

This camera shield is replaced by newer Rev.C+ shield and ArduCAM-Mini board.

With the great success of ArduCAM shield Rev.B, we received hundreds of comments and feedbacks from ArduCAM users. The ArduCAM team now released a more powerful ArduCAM shield Rev.C with past few months’ hard work. The new features list as follows: Continue reading “ArduCAM Shield Rev.C Now Released” »