CASE STUDY- “Big Cat Cam” uses LPRS easyRadio Modules...

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CASE STUDY- “Big Cat Cam” uses LPRS easyRadio Modules...

Postby radiomadeeasy » Fri Nov 16, 2012 3:37 pm

“Big Cat Cam” uses LPRS easyRadio Modules for Remote Control of TV cameras in Africa

LPRS, Europe’s leading supplier of short-range radio devices, has provided TV with easyRadio wireless modules to connect remote TV cameras used to film wild leopards in Namibia, Africa.

The TV has previously used LPRS easyRadio modules to control an unattended camera on a farm in Scotland for a documentary studying the psychology of cats. As with this new application the “cat cam” camera had to be set up and left unattended for many hours and a system was required to maximise usage of the camera’s onboard video storage. This original system was triggered by an infra-red beam detector and used the LPRS wireless link to remove the problems running of connecting cables in such a difficult environment.

With the success of the initial single camera system the designers at the TV decided to increase the capability of the wireless communication system to control multiple cameras. Having additional cameras would allow film makers to cover more angles in the field and allow them to make cutaway shots and cross-fades between cameras.

The end result is a new system comprised of a base unit fitted with the infra-red trigger beam and four slave units, each with a day/night camera connected and a 50 watt infra red flood lamp to light the night scenes. The system uses the LPRS ER400TRS-02 module for communication between the master and slave units.

Designer of the TV comments; “The LPRS wireless modules have proved to be transparent in use, making the additional wireless connectivity simple to implement. My experience of using LPRS’s easyRadio modules continues to be excellent. All the hard work is already done in the LPRS modules leaving me with just a small amount of software required to control the VTRs and simple interfacing of the easyRadio module to the micro-controller. One of the best things about easyRadio is that all data received is good data or there is just no data at all and then you know to send the message again. I designed the system to be polled every 20mS to ensure good responsiveness.

The most recent modification to the TV wireless camera control system has been to include a GSM modem in the base unit. This makes it possible to leave the system unattended for days on end and send it a text message from a mobile phone to discover how many times the system has been activated and collect system data such as the state of the batteries etc. When a text message is received by the base unit, each slave is contacted via the easy-Radio link to establish the battery state. A reply is sent back via the radio link the information is collated, formed into a text, and automatically sent back to the mobile phone user.

John Sharples, Managing Director of LPRS comments;” This is a typical easyRadio solution to a unique control requirement. easyRadio provides an out-of-the-box and stress-free solution to replacing cable connections with short-range wireless modules. Our software is simple and easy to use and ensures reliable, error free wireless communication.”
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