Bare Metal Dashcam

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So I've had this project idea floating around in my head for a while now. I'm going to be getting a new car soon, one that will last me much longer than the lemon I have right now. I want to create custom hardware and software for loop recording, time-lapse creation, and backup camera all in one. My list of hardware includes a nice Raspberry Pi, one or two decent M.2 solid-state drives, a Raspberry Pi 7" touch screen kit if I can't hijack the car's media system screen, and at least two cameras.

That all sounds ambitious and also wack, I know, but my question is: Where can I find decent, cheap (sub-$200 USD) wide angle full HD cameras that can be hardwired? This is really my only tough step, the rest I can figure out myself.
 

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So I've had this project idea floating around in my head for a while now. I'm going to be getting a new car soon, one that will last me much longer than the lemon I have right now. I want to create custom hardware and software for loop recording, time-lapse creation, and backup camera all in one. My list of hardware includes a nice Raspberry Pi, one or two decent M.2 solid-state drives, a Raspberry Pi 7" touch screen kit if I can't hijack the car's media system screen, and at least two cameras.

That all sounds ambitious and also wack, I know, but my question is: Where can I find decent, cheap (sub-$200 USD) wide angle full HD cameras that can be hardwired? This is really my only tough step, the rest I can figure out myself.
For cameras I would check out HD CCTV IP cameras. There are many different options on the market. Some are quite small these days. There are also some board cameras available that would be suitable. There are various connectivity protocols for these IP cams but most of them will use Cat5 connections. These cameras usually require 12V power.
 
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What websites besides element14, amazon, ebay, etc can I find these things? I'm new to hardware that isn't mainstream.
 

kamkar1

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Aliexpress - wish - alibaba or for that matter any online marketplace, if you are going to use IP cameras it will probably be a god idea to hit up some forums for CCTV users.
A few of us in here also dabble / have a few CCTV cameras, but i am sure you can find even more geeky people on a full blown CCTV forum.

I saw a few days ago someone turned a rasberry into a license plate reading camera, but ill be damned if i can find it again, probably one of those many dead ends on the internet i fell down.
 

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I saw a few days ago someone turned a rasberry into a license plate reading camera, but ill be damned if i can find it again, probably one of those many dead ends on the internet i fell down.
this one?

 

kamkar1

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No i think it was a newer one.

I just saw that in 1958 you could get automatic high beam dimming on some US cars,,,,, of course not as smart as today so you would hear clicking relays ASO.
 

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I still so want plate recognition in a dashcam, but i am not going to start tinkering with raspberries too.

Also if i have to camp outside of police stations to write down plates of cars exiting them, or stake their exit out with a camera to do it automatic.
 

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Where can I find decent, cheap (sub-$200 USD) wide angle full HD cameras that can be hardwired?
There are many different options for the configuration and execution of such cameras, you also need to determine what suits you for your project.
Here are examples on Aliexpress: : example1 , example2 , example3 , example4
And yet - according to the image sensor, it is probably worth considering options for Sony IMX 327, IMX 291
 
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I've been re-thinking my original recommendation to use standard Ethernet enabled CCTV cameras for the simple reason that pretty much all of them have built in IR emitters and that is something you definitely don't want in a dash cam since they will reflect off the interior glass of your windshield.

Probably the simplest approach and most affordable would be to use board cameras like I mentioned in my previous post and @Leonauto mentioned in his post.

You can buy many models of bare board cams from many sources on the internet. Almost all of them use standard M12 lenses (and some C mount lenses) and so you can install whatever compatible lens you want for focal length (FOV), aperture, etc. You can also purchase pre-built board cameras which come in their own housings with adjustable mounts and this may well be your best approach. Many of these come with power and Ethernet connections and this makes them virtually plug and play.

typical bare board camera
boardcam.jpg

Pre-made board camera with 12V input, Ethernet interface and tilt/swivel mount
(This cam has a pinhole lens but any M12 lens can be fitted.)
cctv board cam.jpg

You can also get various ribbon cable mount cameras and sensor modules for Raspberry Pi. The company on the following link also offers CS type board cameras for Raspberry Pi and that could be interesting to explore because it would offer enhanced image quality and low light capabilities.

https://www.iot-store.com.au/collec...mp-sony-imx219-camera-module-for-raspberry-pi


rasberrypi.jpg
 
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My reservation about ribbon cables is how long they would need to be to accomplish my design. Ethernet CCTV cameras could just have the IR light disabled on the board itself, to solve that. And Ethernet wires can go much farther behind panels in the car.

I don't really know what the other connect is called, or how it connects or whatever, the one that isn't Ethernet or ribbon.
 

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My reservation about ribbon cables is how long they would need to be to accomplish my design. Ethernet CCTV cameras could just have the IR light disabled on the board itself, to solve that. And Ethernet wires can go much farther behind panels in the car.
I agree about the ribbon cables. Ethernet is definitely the way to go both for connectivity, durability and the fact that there is virtually no limit on Cat5 cable length (ribbon cable length is very limited). Some board cams and most standard CCTV cams have PoE so you might even be able to eliminate the use of a 12V power cable. As for the IR emitters on CCTV cameras you don't even need to disable the emitters electronically if you want. You could just put black tape over them. I have a CCTV cam near an entrance door and the IR emitters are too powerful close in. By using some rubberized black electrical tape strategically placed over some of the emitters I get perfect IR beam coverage for my purposes both close in and out to about 80 feet.
 

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A BNC cable cctv camera has no IR emitter.
 

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A BNC cable cctv camera has no IR emitter.
That's completely untrue. In fact, until recently with the advent of Ethernet enabled IP HD cameras BNC has been the universal connector for all CCTV cams including those with IR emitters. And in many cases HD CCTV cams with IR emitters cams still use BNC connectors depending upon the interface.

cctvcam.jpg
 

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Some manufacturers used HDMI cables and connectors for the Discrete / Stealth cameras.
These were Full-HD cameras for example Koonlung (in the Russian version - Axiom 1100)
The HDMI cable length from the camera to the unit was 3,5 m/11ft 5in.
Stealth cam.jpg Axiom-1100 camera.jpg
 

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Some manufacturers used HDMI cables and connectors for the Discrete / Stealth cameras.
These were Full-HD cameras for example Koonlung (in the Russian version - Axiom 1100)
The HDMI cable length from the camera to the unit was 3,5 m/11ft 5in.
HDMI seems like it could work very nicely for dash cam purposes with a Raspberry Pi based camera.
 
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A BNC cable cctv camera has no IR emitter.
It is unlikely that IR emitters will be of any help if they are placed inside the cabin, unless you use an IR illuminator outside the vehicle from any military equipment. :)
And in this case, the image will need to be converted to monochrome.
 
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I think the play is to buy enough USB to Ethernet adapters for each camera. I can't seem to find a tiny USB or standoff-based switch, I think I need a miniature router setup to go with Ethernet.

 
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