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krnlcrash 12-03-2007 03:25 AM

In car race camera
Ever watch the indy 500 and see the Race cam view (from inside the car). I basically want to build the same thing, but for an off road race car. Unfortunately this off road race is starting very soon and I don't have too much time to research this and I do have a preference for linux, so hoping to get a little help here.

What I want to do exactly is hook up a Lipstick camera to a video capture device. Then this device is to stream the video to a web server, where the video feed will be viewable by anyone (thank you vlc media). Internet shouldn't be a problem if the RaySat dish does what it promisses.

So my only problem is what video capture device should i use?

My first instinct is to get the Panasonic toughbook with a video capture card, but that only runs windows. Does anyone have experience getting linux on there? Nevermind getting third party video capture card working?

There's also a few rugged DVRs that run linux out there. I'm hoping that they may be suitable, but i am not sure if they give you console access so you can install 3rd party applications like VLC.

If anyone has any tips or hints as to good hardware to look into, I'm all ears.


MS3FGX 12-03-2007 05:42 AM

ToughBooks certainly run Linux. I don't know the specifics of all of their models, but I know people that have them running Linux as the only OS.

If it were me, I would use a EPIA motherboard and a CF-to-IDE adapter. The EPIA boards are small, have no moving parts, and can be run directly from 12v. Using the CF adapter instead of a HDD prevents any issues from shock while the machine is running.

Some of the EPIA boards even include video capture hardware, but you could get away with a USB capture device on any of the boards (you could use PCI as well, but that seems more likely to get jarred).

stan.distortion 12-04-2007 03:43 PM

All the mil spec models run linux well, the hardware is very well behaved. An 800mhz cf-28 is the best bang for your buck and touchscreen ones are easy to find but for what you are looking for a 300mhz cf-27 would be fine. None of them have cutting edge video hardware so its pretty much usb or nothing for input. Both cf-27's and 28's have usb 1.1 and 32 bit pcmcia. 28's have 2 standard mini-pci slots while 27's have the hard to find and not very well behaved plug type mini-pci.

farslayer 12-04-2007 04:25 PM

so if you put a camera in the car along with a wireless video transmitter I wouldn't think you would need a PC or capture device in the car.. I would think you would put your capture device in the pit area or wherever no ? If you are planning to stream the video live there's no reason to store it in the car on a capture device right ?

krnlcrash 12-05-2007 01:42 AM

Farslayer, you're right (sort of). When first looking into this project I ran into RaySat technology. This would give us the ability to stream it live. However it goes a little above budget. (dish alone costs $50 000 then there are big connection costs). So now, I'm looking for a simple DVR that can easily facilitate uploading of the video from the day throughout the night at the pit stops.

Thanks for the tips guys.

farslayer 12-05-2007 07:50 AM

OK I see now.. I had the impression that you wanted to stream live, during the race, like they do in Nascar etc.. :)

so you don't think that transmitter I posted the link to that has the 20-40 Mile range would be sufficient ? I don't know how long or large your course is but I guess if you are offroading it all the way across Baja Calif or something 20 miles would be out of range in minutes..

stan.distortion 12-05-2007 08:12 AM

If you do go with a toughbook I would like to offer a few recommendations:
CF-27 300mhz, very durable and cheap at twice the price. Make sure it comes with the hard drive caddy and a battery with at least half a hour life to act as a UPS.
A CD drive is usefull but doubles the price. Debian (amongst others) will do a LAN install booting from a floppy with no problem.
Distro. I have run debian and ubuntu with no issues. Slackware reportedly has no issues. Not sure about others. If there is any trouble inserting and ejecting pcmcia it needs a kernel command added to menu.1st, cant remember what but can look it up no prob if needed.
12v charger (duh :) )
The shock protection on the hard drive is second to none, same for vibration. However it would be worth using a pcmcia to compact flash addapter and backing up to the solid state medium especially if using the hard drive that came with the unit.
Mind the rocks.

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