Blueboat camera installation

Hi colleagues. We have a project with one University in Lithuania. They are asking if we can install a camera to Blueboat and make some videos for them… Unfortunately I’m not a big expert in electronics, so maybe somebody try to make something similar with Blueboat and can advise ? Our idea is to use SIYI A2 mini camera.
Any idea or advise really appreciated.

Hi @aleksandr-5980 -
That camera appears to not be a digital USB or Ethernet type, but analog. To view the video from it requires a dedicated video transmitter, and a compatible receiver, which is available from the manufacturer.
This could work, but would not provide video recording or integration into BlueOS in any way.
We typically recommend IP cameras that provide a h264 stream via RTSP. We’ve not tested this camera, but it is a potential option if you’d like stabilization. USB cameras that support h264 stream and UVC driver are also supported.

This camera work for live viewing but not for recording anything.
It is not really waterproof either. They told me the connector cannot go in water.
Finally, to access the gimbal you need to install SiyiQGC build. No customization with this. They don’t share the code for rebuilding qgc.
That being said. I use it for FPV on my boogie board and I am happy with the quality of the image.

We mounted a deepwater exploration usb camera to our blueboats. We used a 4 pin cobalt connector in the hatch for quick disconnect and plug the hatch end right into the navigator. Video shows up in qgc or cockpit.

If you want to save some cash you can use a wetlink penetrator vs the cobalt connector.

It’s worth noting that for USB devices, you need the cable used with cobalt connector(s) to have the data lines twisted together! Standard pre-terminated Blue Trails cables may not have this by default…

Hi Tony,
Thank you very much for information. We are looking now for best option, unfortunately our partners dont have a big budget and asked to find something cheaper, but for future I think that camera will be a good option.

Hi Ian,
Maybe you have couple of pictures how you mounted your camera to BB?

Here are a couple pics…the cameras are mounted on the front crossmemmbers on some custom mounts.


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Hi Ian,
Yhank you for pictures.

Are there any guides available for Blueboat camera installations?
Can i just plug a USB webcam onto the navigator board? - What else needs to be configured?

Hi @CA_BlueBoat -
Yes, you can plug a supported USB camera into the Raspberry Pi 4, and add the stream under the video streams page. You can then view the stream in Cockpit or QGround Control, but the quality of the video stream will be dependent on the connection bandwidth you have available - at extreme range with WiFi you may not get many frames through! Let us know if you have any issues trying this!

Hey Tony,

I plugged an old USB webcam in and got it working immediately.

Cheers

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Hey all!

I was surfing around on the forum and I came across this thread regarding the SIYI A2 Mini camera. For the past week, I’ve been trying to set up this specific camera for one of our BlueBoats.

I can confirm that it does work on the BlueBoat without transmitter, over ethernet, fully integrated into QGC including Servo Control!

However, there were quite some obstacles I stumbled up on:

The SIYI A2 Mini is an Ethernet camera, but the IP Address can’t be changed. The IP address for this camera is 192.168.144.25.
This means that in order to get it working, you need to set the BlueBoat, the Router and the Basestation to the 192.168.144.xx range.
I first changed the IP within BlueOS, then the Boat Router IP (by reaching the Boat Router by 192.168.2.4) and then the BaseStation (by reaching the BaseStation Router by 192.168.2.3).

To link QGC to the new IP, you have to change the GCS Client’s IP within BlueOS MAVLink Endpoints tab. SIYI provided the exact rtsp stream that I was able to directly paste into BlueOS for the video stream. (rtsp://192.168.144.25:8554/main.264).

I do have to mention that the SIYI works on 12V. Since SIYI didn’t specify an operating voltage range, we played it safe by using a DC-DC converter with a 12V output so the battery voltage will be converted to 12V.

Now the camera worked fine within QGC for its video stream!

Since the SIYI A2 Mini has PWM Control, it could be controlled as a servo. For the current ArduRover setup, you need to create Virtual Buttons within QGC in order to send PWM values to the camera over a certain Navigator pin. This is possible by making Custom Actions .

I found out that the SIYI PWM control isn’t ‘coordinate based’, it’s more of a speed control / direction control for the SIYI’s tilt function. This resulted in me using 3 Virtual buttons; Camera UP, Camera DOWN, and STOP. In order to move the camera up to a certain position, you need to press the Camera UP button and then press the STOP button if the camera reached the position you like. Here’s my code for the SIYI Control:

{
    "version":    1,
    "fileType":   "CustomActions",
    "actions":
    [
      {
        "label":        "Camera DOWN",
        "description":  "Moves the camera DOWN using Pin 5 on the Navigator",
        "mavCmd":       183,
        "param1":       5,
        "param2":       1400
      },
      {
        "label":        "STOP",
        "description":  "Stops the camera using Pin 5 on the Navigator",
        "mavCmd":       183,
        "param1":       5,
        "param2":       1500
      },
      {
        "label":        "Camera UP",
        "description":  "Moves the camera UP using Pin 5 on the Navigator",,
        "mavCmd":       183,
        "param1":       5,
        "param2":       1600
      }
    ]
  }

By importing this code into QGC and adjusting the BlueBoat’s IP Adresses to the 192.168.144.xx range, I was able to fully integrate the SIYI A2 Mini Camera. On a sidenote: the gimbal of the SIYI still works when adjusting the position with PWM Control. It will just stay focused on the exact position you moved it to! So the SIYI really is a great addition to our BlueBoat!

~ Sietse

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Super info. I also use the A2 and a8 but not on blueos. I use the Siyi QGC.
With your setup do you get a video when you hit the record button in QGC or only picture?

I only get pictures.