MZ-1: Mega Zoom Security Camera - Revision 1

A security camera with 70x optical, 2000x digital zoom, that will have a lot more features than most cameras.

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What I'm working on here is a security camera on a pan/tilt base that has 70x optical, and 2000x digital zoom (no, that isnt a typo), that will eventually be controlled with OpenCV based computer vision and other forms of control. Some plans (as of right now) are to use it to spot planes, or even small unmanned vehicles, track cars, or maybe even to get a closer look at satellites going by over head than what our human eye can give us. This is just the very beginnings of the project as of right now, as it was a proof of concept, to see if I could even control the zoom. The camera isnt exactly cheap (by my definition anyway), so I didnt want to open it up and risking breaking anything, so any mods that are done will be external, and removable.


This is the proof of concept I have done thus far, and parts will soon be ordered to begin development of this system. Let me know what you think so far, and any cool features you would add! :)

  • 2 × Arduino Nano
  • 1 × 433mhz RF set
  • 2 × MG995 Metal Gear Servos
  • 1 × Sony DCR-SX85 Handycam (720p, 70x optical zoom, 2000x digital zoom)
  • 2 × 9g servo

  • Pan, tilt, ZOOOOOM!

    Glytch06/22/2015 at 18:52 0 comments

    Welp, heres a BIG update! Finally got the parts in for the board, and got it all working, as far as manual pan/tilt/zoom control is concerned. Still quite a bit of work to be done. I need to design and print a base for the electronics to go in, I need to wire up the 5.8ghz wireless video, and need to implement some sort of wireless control, and then the whole thing gets strapped up underneath of an 8 foot wingspan gas powered RC plane! :D

    Let me know what you think! :)

  • Video Update! Tilting and zooming works!

    Glytch06/15/2015 at 15:36 0 comments

    So its been a while since I've done a video update, so here you go :) I still need to design and print the base that will hold the panning servo, and improve the linkage between the servo and the camera mount to allow a broader range of tilt. I have some debugging to do on the Arduino side of things, with those jitters, but once all of that is said and done, I can get started on the computer vision side, which is actually the part I'm most interested in. As per usual, the camera still functions as normal, there have been no direct modifications, especially any that are non-reversible, which was important to me, in case I wanted to dismantle this project later. So far, so good! If you like what you see, please give me a skull! :)

    (Oh, and the next video should be a lot less shakey/jittery, I've got a tripod mount for my tablet on the way, which should improve things greatly!)

  • Printing! Printing! Printing!

    Glytch06/15/2015 at 10:03 0 comments

    Printing? Yep! Finally getting parts printed. Ill need to reprint the tilt structure, due to the addition of a servo mount. A linkage will be connected from the servo to the camera mount, allowing tilt. The hardware will be cut down to size (just what I had laying around) and then the design and printing of the base that holds the electronics and panning servo begins. After that, a majority of the project will be software and control. Let me know what you think, and if you like what you see, give me a skull! :)

  • CAD Work!

    Glytch06/11/2015 at 18:40 0 comments

    As most of the parts I need to get started have arrived, I've started on CAD work today. Here are some renders of the upright structure which is being 3d printed as we speak. Barring (another) catastrophic printer failure (I use a scratch built prusa mendel i2....things happen, it has its quirks), it should be done in about 3 hours. For real time updates, follow me on Twitter @GlytchTech, I post quite a bit of updates. Anyway, here are the renders.

    Let me know what you think, and if you like what you see so far, be sure to leave a skull! :)

  • Parts Inbound, and CAD work...

    Glytch06/03/2015 at 04:35 0 comments

    Today I ordered a pair of Arduino Nanos, a set of 433mhz RF modules, and a pair MG995 servo motors to begin the first stage of this project. Tomorrow I plan to do some of the CAD work for the base, however I will have to wait to receive the servos to verify the measurements before 3d printing the parts. It's been two days, and I have already thought of several more uses for this camera...I have a feeling this will be one of those projects that is never quite "finished." But to me, those are some of the most fun ;)

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Jordan wrote 06/02/2015 at 05:08 point

This is super cool Glytch, Keep the Updates Coming!

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