VC0706 TTL Camera Rx Pin Broken
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VC0706 TTL Camera Rx Pin Broken

by horotho on Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:46 pm

Hello,

I received the camera on Tuesday of this week, and tested it that night. I had the CommTool working, and I was taking pictures.
Then, I hooked it up to the arduino, and took a few sample pictures that saved correctly to the SD card.

All of a sudden, on my probably 10th test, the camera stops responding.
I've tested the response on power up and I get:
VC0703 1.00
Ctrl infr exist
User-defined sensor
525
Init end

which indicates that the TX pin is working fine and I have the right baud rate selected.

However, whenever I try to Get Version or System Reset with the CommTool, I always get a timeout command.
This, to me, indicates that the RX pin is somehow broken.

My setup is exactly the same as the tutorial, with the RX pin divided down by the two resistors that came with the camera.

Also, unfortunately I need this camera working by Friday night, so any help is appreciated, and quickly if possible.

Thanks
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Re: VC0706 TTL Camera Rx Pin Broken

by adafruit_support_bill on Thu Dec 13, 2012 6:38 am

Make sure that your breadboard connections for the camera and resistor dividers are good. Breadboard connections can be a little flaky. Make sure that the contacts grip the wires well enough to resist a gentle tug.
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Re: VC0706 TTL Camera Rx Pin Broken

by horotho on Thu Dec 13, 2012 4:57 pm

Alright, I will make sure to test my connections on the camera and the breadboard as well.

If that doesn't work, could it be possible (however careful I was in handling the camera), that some electrostatic discharge may have zapped it?

I really would be sad to be out $70 on the camera due to the camera being very sensitive.
Note, I did everything I could to prevent ESD, so this would be a rather low possibility.

On the other hand, if the camera is supposed to be somewhat robust, I wouldn't expect simply handling it to cause it to break.
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Re: VC0706 TTL Camera Rx Pin Broken

by adafruit_support_bill on Thu Dec 13, 2012 5:42 pm

ESD is a potential problem with any device - especially in the winter when the humidity is low. Many otherwise 'robust' components are more vulnerable when they are not installed in a circuit. But if you are aware of it and took appropriate precautions, it is unlikely you 'zapped' the camera.
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Re: VC0706 TTL Camera Rx Pin Broken

by horotho on Thu Dec 13, 2012 5:53 pm

Do you have any other ideas for what I could try to get this thing working?

My TA suggested that I could try very carefully to jumper the RX from the camera chip, but that seems like it would require skill that I may not have.
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Re: VC0706 TTL Camera Rx Pin Broken

by horotho on Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:05 pm

From the people I've consulted in my EE department, it seems like the camera should either be fully working, or completely broken.

This camera seems to be in some sort of limbo state, with only the TX pin actually working.

The oddest part of the problem is that the camera stopped working while it was connected to an Arduino, and I wasn't touching the camera, so that again rules out ESD.

I'm not sure if returning it is an option, given that I had to solder wires to it to get it working, but this is definitely one odd problem.
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Re: VC0706 TTL Camera Rx Pin Broken

by adafruit_support_bill on Fri Dec 14, 2012 6:25 am

Have you tried hooking it back up via the COMM Tool?
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Re: VC0706 TTL Camera Rx Pin Broken

by horotho on Fri Dec 14, 2012 8:37 am

Yeah, and I still get a cmd time out error whenever I try to get version or system reset.

I have another camera made by a company called Linksprite that uses the same VC0706PREB chip, and it has the same exact problem.

Either I'm handling these cameras terribly, or the RX pin only happens to be really really really sensitive to ESD.
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Re: VC0706 TTL Camera Rx Pin Broken

by adafruit_support_bill on Fri Dec 14, 2012 9:37 am

If the Linksprite behaves the same way, it is probably not a problem with the camera. Can you post some photos of how you have everything connected?
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Re: VC0706 TTL Camera Rx Pin Broken

by horotho on Fri Dec 14, 2012 10:45 am

I will later today when I'm able to, but the vendor I got the Linksprite camera from told me that the connections have to be very solid with no wiggle room, or the camera will reset.

I'm starting to think that the camera isn't the issue, as you say.

I'm sorry for the poor quality, my laptop camera is really all I have to take pictures right now.

I also attached a diagram.

I should be able to take better pictures later today.
Attachments
arduinosetup.png
Here is a diagram (which might be more useful)
arduinosetup.png (69.47 KiB) Viewed 2283 times
camerasetup.jpg
Here is the camera setup.
camerasetup.jpg (32.08 KiB) Viewed 2283 times
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Re: VC0706 TTL Camera Rx Pin Broken

by horotho on Fri Dec 14, 2012 11:06 am

It could very well be that something is wrong with the Arduino, or it won't just work as a USB to serial interface by uploading a blank piece of code.

I should see the initialization message if I cycle power on the camera, but I don't see anything in the putty terminal (connected at 38400 baud, standard asynchronous comm. parameters).

By the way, thanks for your help!
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Re: VC0706 TTL Camera Rx Pin Broken

by adafruit_support_bill on Fri Dec 14, 2012 11:23 am

I can't see the photo very clearly, but your diagram is not correct. You should have the two resistors in series between the Arduino pin and GND. Your camera's Rx should connect to the midpoint between the resistors.
Image
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Re: VC0706 TTL Camera Rx Pin Broken

by horotho on Fri Dec 14, 2012 2:58 pm

Right, and it does, I drew the diagram incorrectly and realized that.
Sorry for the mistake.

I do have the RX going to the midpoint of the two resistors.
I have tried to verify many times that I have it connected correctly, and I'm pretty sure I have it.

Could the problem be an issue with the software?
I know that for the Linksprite camera to work, it had to be power cycled and the software had to be launched again a few times.
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Re: VC0706 TTL Camera Rx Pin Broken

by adafruit_support_bill on Fri Dec 14, 2012 3:44 pm

I know that for the Linksprite camera to work, it had to be power cycled and the software had to be launched again a few times.

I have not seen that problem using the Comm Tool software. But a reset probably wouldn't hurt.

It is hard to see clearly in the photo, but it looks like you have Tx and Rx reversed for using the Comm Tool. Since the Arduino is just a pass-through, you should connect Rx-Rx and Tx-Tx.
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Re: VC0706 TTL Camera Rx Pin Broken

by horotho on Fri Dec 14, 2012 8:14 pm

I tried RX-RX and TX-TX, but that didn't work, unfortunately.

That did turn out to be the problem with the Linksprite camera, although I had tried that before, so it could have been a slightly different configuration.
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