older smart board cameras work with picaxe?

newplumber

Senior Member
#1
Hi everyone
last summer I was at a auction and bought a bunch of these smart boards similar to these
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Interactiv...917084?hash=item4b380ce7dc:g:koYAAOSw4vFZ~ouj
infact the boards are so smart they out smarted me in buying them with missing almost all the parts to make them work ...so now I am left with the screens
and useless projectors with no bulbs, control wires,etc... so after taking the white screen apart I have 4 cameras one for each corner and was wondering if anyone
has any idea how to make the camera work with a picaxe 20X2 ....I searched online for information and found nothing

I only have 28 of them and before throwing them out I figured to do some testing and after i burn up the 27th one I'm hoping to learn something
Maybe I'm not supposed to ask and sorry if thats the case but figured its worth a try since if i did get a few to work then I could use them as
range finders for another picaxe project

thanks
your friend
Mark
 

Attachments

#2
The board you have linked to (SmartBoard 680) has a resistive touch matrix to detect where the screen has been pressed. I don't know about cameras in each corner; I thought it had optical sensors in each of the pen trays to detect which pen has been taken out of its tray. I have a similar SmartBoard myself. I doubt whether you'll find a use for those optical sensors (if that's what they are). Do the boards work as SmartBoards? You wouldn't need the projector to test them, but you would need to install a driver for the PC you connect them to.
 

newplumber

Senior Member
#3
The board you have linked to (SmartBoard 680) has a resistive touch matrix to detect where the screen has been pressed. I don't know about cameras in each corner; I thought it had optical sensors in each of the pen trays to detect which pen has been taken out of its tray. I have a similar SmartBoard myself. I doubt whether you'll find a use for those optical sensors (if that's what they are). Do the boards work as SmartBoards? You wouldn't need the projector to test them, but you would need to install a driver for the PC you connect them to.
Yes they are supposed to ...i prolly have the wrong link of them...the reason why I called them cameras is because there is a video showing how to replace each of the 4 (cameras) in each corner..ill try to search for that video link which exactly like the ones I have.
FWIW after I bought these smart boards for like $35 apiece...a friend of mine tells me he just got new job replacing tons of the same smart boards and they are just throwing those ones away!
 

newplumber

Senior Member
#4
Here is the link to the same boards I have and your probably right about the driver

Watch "Replacing a camera on the 800 Series SMART Board" on YouTube
 
#5
Ah, totally different type of SmartBoard from the one you originally linked to. I think it is this one. Those cameras just need to identify if something is in their path and so probably wouldn't be useful for anything apart from sensing. Like the other SmartBoards, they use a USB connection and very specific driver software. So I don't think you've have much luck doing anything with a Picaxe. If it's the cameras that normally go wrong, you'd probably be able to make a few working boards from the ones you have.
 

hippy

Technical Support
Staff member
#6
was wondering if anyone has any idea how to make the camera work with a picaxe 20X2
Unfortunately it seems it could be a difficult, possibly impossible, task.

As they seem to be USB it might be worth plugging them into a PC to see what they identify as, though I would connect them to a cheap hub just in case it's not actual USB though it looks like a mini-USB connector.

If they are USB it might be possible to determine what the protocol used is and interact with them to get a dump of the pixel image.

That's not much help though for a PICAXE which doesn't support USB. If the camera can be identified it might be possible to interface directly. Potentially feasible if it has a frame buffer which can grab a picture and then output that at a pedestrian pace using SPI, I2C or bit-banging, but likely not if it runs at video scan rates.

My gut feeling is you're on a hiding to nowhere.

The most likely way to get a video camera working with a PICAXE is to use something like the ESP32-CAM module. There is open source firmware for transmitting video over Wi-Fi and it might be possible to modify one of those to do a frame grab and support a slow-speed interface to a PICAXE.

That would take some work and the issue still remains with how the PICAXE would handle the huge amount of data a camera sees, what use a highly compressed image would be or could be used. THE CMUcam range took the approach of doing object recognition on-board and just reports where objects are to get round the problem of too much data to actually be useful. I would guess an ESP32-CAM could be programmed to process a frame grab in much the same way to identify where an object was.
 

newplumber

Senior Member
#7
Ah, totally different type of SmartBoard from the one you originally linked to. I think it is this one. Those cameras just need to identify if something is in their path and so probably wouldn't be useful for anything apart from sensing. Like the other SmartBoards, they use a USB connection and very specific driver software. So I don't think you've have much luck doing anything with a Picaxe. If it's the cameras that normally go wrong, you'd probably be able to make a few working boards from the ones you have.
Yes your right about the luck...I figured to ask and thanks for the info.
The whiteboards themselves are made out of 16 or 14 gauge good metal so maybe I'll make them into picaxe tables with power supplies and etc....I'm not interested any more getting the smart boards to work since I'm missing tons of parts....they can be used as white boards too.
 
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