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Additional external camera

Hi everybody,
I need to add an external camera for a photogrammetry project. It must be live and eventually also remotely operated (for taking picture)
here you find my project draft:

The idea is to put the additional camera in a battery enclosure, I would like to connect it to a rasbperry-PI board through a HDMI connection, the rasbperry-pi board will be connected to a Fathom-x module.
My umbilical is connected to the ROV enclosure through a 4 pin seacon, and I have an available twisted pair to connect to the additional fathom-x.
I will provide the correct power supply to the boards.
On the surface the ubilical will be splitted into two fathom-x boards. One will take the usual signal to the rov controller laptop, the other will be used just to take the camera flow to another laptop (the idea is to use the camera as an IP Camera)
I would like to hear your opinion about my project, do you think it can work?
I already had some trial without any success, probably due to gopro issues (I will probably use a sony camera for the job) but I have some doubt:

  • do I have to add a pixawck module?
    -does the raspberry-pi works with hdmi camera?
    -Is it possible to use an hdmi camera with ardusub?
    -How can I find the camera ip? I tried with windows netstat application but it finds several IP and no one of them is read by VLC.
    -The sony camera I would like to use is controllable (for taking pictures) by its software installed in the laptop. Do you think I may convert the ethernet signal in hdmi one in order to control the camera?

I’ll be glad to hear your opinion about the project, please don’t be shy, if I’m totally wrong please tell me!!
many thanks

Not natively, maybe something like this or this (I’ve used this one before) could be used?

I have seen this used to control a camera remotely via ubiquity radios. Hopefully it works for yours too.

Our camera system currently doesn’t work as a regular IP camera. We are working on an RTSP server that will likely come on the next few releases of companon.

How does this work? via usb or HDMI? Via USB you could use the USB/IP project, via HDMI I’m afraid the data will be lost in the auvidea encoder.

Hi Willian,
many thanks for your reply!
so, the project draft is not crazy but I have to refine it…

First of all I will Add an auvidea encoder to allow the hdmi camera to be read by rasbperry - pi via USB (i would prefer this solution) or CSI-2.

Yet I’m still a little bit confused about the camera live visualization as it still don’t work as an IP camera.

I see 2 choice, please give me your opinion:

  1. To use the USB/ip project.
    will it work without a “real” IP camera? Will it allow me to see the camera as an USB one?

  2. To use a qground control software.
    In this case, do I have to connect the raspberry pi board to a pixhawk?

The camera I would like to use works via HDMI, so I think I will leave the idea to control it. Yet, I may find an appropriate usb controlled camera and go through the choice number 1 (if ok without an IP camera) having all my problem solved!

Many thanks again


Our current implementation of video uses direct udp connections. The Raspberry sends the video to at port 5600. If you intend to use QGC to watch/record, then that is perfectly fine.
RTSP support should arrive in the next releases of companion, too

Exactly. The idea is that you could connect a camera with usb controls to the raspberry pi, connect the raspberry to the topside computer, and the topside computer would be able to control it as if the camera was connected to it.

QGC allows playing video without a pixhawk, but IIRC you can’t record with no vehicle connected.
You could just use VLC or something like that, though.

Hi willian,
Many thanks indeed! I think your help will be very usefull!
I will be quite busy on another job in the next two week. then I will begin to implement the project and I will let you know how does it works.
many thanks again


Get it touch if you run into any issues and please feel free to share your build when it is done!

Is it a native IP camera or are you planning to use a DSLR or similar?

Not a native IP camera, I have a SONY action camera (a good one) available.

If your tether is shorter than 50m, I’d use an HD-SDI camera and send the signal over a twisted pair using Muxlab baluns. You can do all the live processing on the surface.

Many Thanks but I will use a 300m long tether, the target of the hob is at 80m depth.