Repurposed Toy Drone Video/Still Camera - RCCanada - Canada Radio Controlled Hobby Forum
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Old 03-22-2021, 08:31 PM   #1
K-Plane
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I saved this camera from a toy quality drone years ago. It has a 3 wire pigtail and its own Micro SD slot. The black and red wires are 5 volt power and the yellow wire is the trigger by shorting to ground through a 1000 ohm resistor. I've used servo wires and plugs to rig it to be powered by my receiver (5 volts). I used the signal wire and a momentary button switch to short the trigger to negative. A quick press and the camera's green power light flashes to red and back to green for a single photograph. A 2 second press will start a video recording (red light flashing) with another 2 second press to stop recording (light back to green). I'm working on a unit with a servo to press the button. So save the camera off those RC toys if you see one.

*Credit to the internet and those smarter than me for figuring out the wiring on these. It took a lot of searching to get the info.
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Old 03-22-2021, 08:41 PM   #2
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Re: Repurposed Toy Drone Video/Still Camera

Nice!

Have you recorded any video with it? I am curious to see what the video size is and what kind of video quality you get through the camera lens.
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Old 03-22-2021, 09:05 PM   #3
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Re: Repurposed Toy Drone Video/Still Camera

Great idea. Light weight and low profile camera!
Love building with and repurposing old parts to things (My wife tells me I'm a hoarder).
Is there a digital switch available to fire this from the tx/rx?
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Old 03-22-2021, 09:43 PM   #4
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It is not a high resolution camera by any means but it takes OK pictures (and I do only mean OK). I have to find my micro SD adapter before I can check it out properly.

I know there are solid state relay switches to be used with RC receivers so one of those would likely work. I'm just going to go with a 9 gram servo physically pushing the button and see how well that works. I'll post more here later.
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Old 03-23-2021, 09:19 AM   #5
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Re: Repurposed Toy Drone Video/Still Camera

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Originally Posted by K-Plane View Post
I know there are solid state relay switches to be used with RC receivers so one of those would likely work. I'm just going to go with a 9 gram servo physically pushing the button and see how well that works. I'll post more here later.
That would work. In the days before digital cameras and digital everything, the only way to get an aerial photo was with a film camera. A servo pressing the shutter button was the only way to do it
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Old 03-23-2021, 12:38 PM   #6
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Yes I remember watching a guy when I was 14. He had a Kodak Instamatic held to the side of his plane with rubber bands. He'd take off, click, land, advance the film, take off..... Lol. I wanted to do the same as I had the same camera but I only had a 4 channel radio and they were all in use.
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Old 03-23-2021, 02:52 PM   #7
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I got the card in the computer and looked in file properties.

This camera takes 640x480 images or 0.3 megapixels. There's no info on shutter speed.

Video frame rate is 30fps. Bit rate is approximately 3700kbps.

Audio is mono. 8khz sample rate. 128kbps bit rate.

In other words pretty tragic. But for a fun project that is almost free it will work.
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Old 03-23-2021, 04:45 PM   #8
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Re: Repurposed Toy Drone Video/Still Camera

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Originally Posted by K-Plane View Post
I got the card in the computer and looked in file properties.

This camera takes 640x480 images or 0.3 megapixels. There's no info on shutter speed.

Video frame rate is 30fps. Bit rate is approximately 3700kbps.

Audio is mono. 8khz sample rate. 128kbps bit rate.

In other words pretty tragic. But for a fun project that is almost free it will work.
Video or it didn't happen....LOL
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Old 03-27-2021, 06:05 PM   #9
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I took the plane out today to try out the camera and left the SD card in my laptop. 😒
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Old 03-27-2021, 08:34 PM   #10
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Re: Repurposed Toy Drone Video/Still Camera

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Originally Posted by K-Plane View Post
I took the plane out today to try out the camera and left the SD card in my laptop. 😒
I know that feeling.
Thursday I took my 550 heli out and forgot my adapters...
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