Video Projects

I have been involved in a number of video projects, most of them involving control of video equipment. The photo above shows some of the equipment I have collected, and a few of the devices I have designed.

The two "black boxes" are called D-BOX units. I developed these as a low cost alternative to Sonys V-BOX. The D-BOX can control up to 8 cameras/vcrs via the devices LANC control port, and provides a simple RS-232 interface and command set to the host computer. LANC (also called Control-L) is a two-way wired control/status interface which is provided on higher-end video gear. I have used these boxes in the development of a video conferencing network, as well as for an assemble-editor and a video answering machine. Here is a look inside - note that the larger unit is based on one my my own BD52 boards.

The left circuit board is a prototype IR-232 unit. The IR-232 is a computer controlled learning infrared remote control. This allows a host computer to control virtually any device which has a infrared remote control.

The right circuit board is a prototype Time Lapse Video (TLV) controller. This device controls a camera via LANC, and is configured with a PC interface program. It is then deployed (with the camera) to perform unattended video "snapshots" according to it's programmed mission schedule and configuration. The device controls all functions of the camera (including power ON/OFF), and contains a real-time clock which allows it to "Wake-up" and perform it's functions according to a time schedule. During inactive periods, the controller switches to a power-down mode, to conserve battery power. The controller supports additional inputs which can be configured to control aspects of the mission, as well as digital (relay) outputs which can be activated in accordance with the mission. An optional lighting system can be configured for PWM gradual On/Off to conserve the life of incandescent bulbs. This system is currently in use by research institutions.

Here is a production TLV board, and a photo of an observation device employing the TLV which was sunk to the bottom of the St. Lawrence river to perform observations there.

I have co-authored a paper describing the TLV device for a Scientific Instruments Journal.

A major project for which I do not have any photos is a control and audio/video switching system that I developed for a multipoint to multipoint satellite video conferencing system.


Contact Information

Copyright 2013 Dave Dunfield.