New Features: 12VDC input, LED Light, Code Updates

A project log for Raspberry Camcorder and Video Editing Station

Creating an all in one portable video production set up.

dustinDustin 02/27/2021 at 04:380 Comments

I've had this thing sitting, untouched for months now. My cousin surprised me with nice GoPro gear kit, which really motivated me to start a new YouTube channel and start work on this camcorder again. I've been very busy the past few months, and am surprised I got more work done on this recently. I'm about to move into a small camper and do the whole "Tiny Home Mobile Living" thing and needed a camera that does more than record wide angle stuff. I got a few new features implemented and made a few mistakes I will have to fix later. I got a DC power converter installed and hooked up. I can now run the Raspberry Pi 4, touchscreen, cooling fan, and light off of 12 volts DC, isntead of just USB type C. This is important to me as I have access to a 300AH lithium battery bank in the camper, and wanted to be able to hook directly into it. I also need 12 volts DC to run the led buld in the camera's light fixture. The convert can take in 12-24 volts DC and puts out about 5.3 volts DC at 15 amps. It's a very nice converter. The only problem is that I can't run the LED light with more than about 20 volts coming into the camera, as the LED is hooked directly to the input of that converter. I added extra current limiting resistors to the power line for the bulb, but the 20 volts from the drill battery was pushing the limits. I started the process of mounting 18 volt lithium Ryobi batteries to the camera, but had to walk away when connecting and mounting it became a massive pain in the arse. I still plan on finishing that, as it will make the camera truly mobile, but I just don't have the time right now. We are preparing to hit the road very soon. I just want this working well enough to take some nice B roll footage and goof around on the road with it. So far, I can record decent quality video, no audio, and have manual zoom and focus. I did confirm that the zoom and focus motors will work on 5 bolts DC, but they are a bit too fast. I think 3.3 volts would be better, but I really want to get motor drivers for them and be able to control the speed and direction of both with the Pi. I plan on implementing software autofocus at some point, assuming I can figure that all out. I need the hardware working first, so that's where that will begin. With those motors under software control, I could zoom and focus remotely, and even program it to zoom in at certain points in a scripted segment, if I wanted. Luxury features for the future. 

The next thing I will do is open up the camera and re-adjust the lens. The focus is off because I must have rotated the assembly when I put it back together. It's almost ready to start making videos. So close.