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A New High Quality Underwater USB Camera

Oh wow! This is my first time seeing the case. Very expensive though, that entire case is more expensive than the exploreHD :laughing:

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this video that I made with gopro at 205mt is of poor quality because it is just my test to print the data on the video, and further reduced from youtube. The main problem of gopro with bluerov spotlights is the wrong white balance. With gopro you need spotlights with red LEDs that I have, but which cannot go beyond 100mt.

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Very cool! Yeah it will be interesting to see how the exploreHD compares. I assume the colors would be better (less green/yellowish). I also notice a bit pin-cushioning distortion on the GoPro. I wonder if thats form the GoPro or the case because we didn’t have that issue when using our GoPro.

Anyways! We are rushing to get these shipped out as soon as possible now we have the new updated firmware! :slight_smile:

Thanks for being patience.

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Any more info available on setting these for streaming with an RPi4 and FathomX without using Pixhawk and QGround control?

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The normal camera streaming functionality is already unrelated to the Pixhawk, and QGroundControl is just a receiver.

Given this:

I expect it should be possible to use the exploreHD the same way as any other H264 camera, which could either be done using our Companion software, or just setting up a gstreamer pipeline (if you only want the video stream).

This comment covers how the camera stream is set up in the existing Companion software (including a link to the gstreamer pipeline we use), as well as some ways of receiving a stream outside of QGroundControl.

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The exploreHD is now in stock and ready to ship! We are proud to introduce some of the exciting changes that have come to this camera since the announcement back in August.

The camera is now plug and play with ArduSub Companion software, just put the cable through your electronic enclosure and plug this camera into the Pi! You can even use the new WetLink Penetrator for 4mm cables.

To support multiple streaming (up to 3 cameras at once), you can look at Blue’s new Companion Beta Software. To receive multiple streaming on the surface, you can use software like OBS with the gstreamer plugin or use our alpha software of QGroundControl that allows for displays of multiple streams at once!

If you have a special request for using the camera, feel free to reach out to us on our new forums page or shoot us an email! :slight_smile:

To learn more about the camera:

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We recently got requested to use wetlink on our cameras and we are happy to report that it indeed does work with our cable on the exploreHD! If any of you guys are interested in, send us an email and we would be more than happy to provide a quote!


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Hello!

Our programming team has been working on exactly what you are looking for!

Hope this helps!

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Greetings DWE…any plans to offer different lenses on your underwater cameras? If you had a fisheye option it would make a great rear camera for tether management…

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Hello! Sorry for the confusion on the lens used but we actually started to ship it with the fish eye option on the exploreHD as it provides the least amount of vignetting and best low light performance compared to other lenses we tested in the past. It has a 150 degree FOV underwater, similar to the GoPro fish eye.

Full specs on the camera can be seen here:

Hope this helps!

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Thanks Joseph for the link to the specs. I use a 170 deg FOV on our drop cam, and a full 180 on one of our rear facing tether monitoring cams. Do you guys have any plans for wider FOV lenses in the future?

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Hi Joseph!

This is great! Would you mind if we shared this photo/news on our social media??

Thank you!

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Hello!

Feel free to post it on your social media! We made a lot of changes since the original post and this camera is now plug and play with Blue Robotics ArduSub System!

Thank you so much for helping us out!

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Oh I see! Is the 170 degrees while its in water or only above water? With wider FOV, we will need to go with a dome cap design which was something we were considering a while back but due to the increase cost, we haven’t looked too deep into that! If there is enough interest, we would be happy to start R&D for a dome glass version!

Hello!

Wanted to check in to see if you ever got the chance in testing the camera and any feedback or sample footage will be useful to us! :slight_smile:

Thank you!

unfortunately I have problems with the 4-pin cobalt watertight connector, I have the electronics tube completely watertight up to 300 meters with all cobalt connectors to be able to disassemble the electronics tube in 5 minutes, so if I put a cable gland it becomes a problem. Using the cobalt connector unfortunately lost the video signal, which I saw very delicate, not only with your camera, but also with the official hd one. I did some dry tests, putting visual references 1.5 meters away from the rov to see the differences in detail between the original hd camera, the hd explore camera, and my gopro hero 7 black. In terms of brightness the explore hd is the best, but in the water I use 2 bluerobotics spotlights and 2 spotlights with 17 white and 6 red LEDs of 6000 lumens each, so I’m interested in the sharpness of the image and in this the hero7 black, like I repeat out of the water, it is the best. While in terms of sharpness between the hd explore and the hd bluerobotics camera I didn’t find a big difference, the sensor is the same, the resolution is the same, I mounted a 150 ° wide angle on the hd bluerobotics camera and the results are very similar.

Hello!

Interesting observations! In bright light situation both camera would produce the same sharpness. The differences comes when in low light situation, where our newer image processor will produce a sharper and more accurate color. Anyhow, our main selling point would be of course the color accuracy. The original camera even above water tends to have a blue tint and the colors seem to be washed out. Anyhow, I would love to see some comparison of it in low light as well and in colors.

Here are comparisons of our own in low light! Left being HDCam, and right being Low Light HDCam. Both using same lens to match.


The most important part, of course, is in water :slight_smile:
I remember you were explaining how the colors would be yellow with those rocks. I would be interested in seeing how the exploreHD does in that situation!

Thanks again!

Marco, I don’t know the details of the cable you used on the camera, but if you used one of the Blue Trail Engineering 4-pin Cobalt cables, it probably didn’t work with the camera because the wires inside those cables are not twisted. Usually for USB applications we use a 6-pin cable with the wires inside twisted. We can also make Cobalt cables with true USB cable inside (twisted pairs, shielded).

-Damon (Blue Trail Engineering)

thanks Damon, as you say, the problem is the cable inside the Rov which, not being shielded, absorbs the noise and causes the signal loss. No problem, I bought the explore hd camera because I didn’t realize that the improvement was in the sensitivity to light, where it is really good, while I was looking for an improvement in sharpness, as I have plenty of light with my headlights.

Yeah, let me explain the technical aspects :slight_smile:

Our camera would be sharper in low light situation since our image processor is more modern and better at dealing with noise/grain. When we said sharper image in the previous comment, it was just an easier way of explaining that. Because of this, we are also able to increase the ISO, thus increasing the light through the sensor while still providing great colors. The gain circuitry on our image processor uses a similar technology found on dual native ISO cameras.

I am excited to see how your test goes in water where I figure you will see the biggest difference is color reproduction. :slight_smile: Hopefully you figure out a way to connect the camera soon!