The TV has previously used easyRadio modules to control an unattended camera on a farm in Scotland for a documentary studying the psychology of cats.
As with this new application, the “cat cam” camera had to be set up and left unattended for many hours and a system was required to maximise usage of the camera’s on-board video storage. This original system was triggered by an infra-red beam detector and used LPRS' wireless link to remove the problems running of connecting cables in such a difficult environment.
With the success of the initial single camera system, the designers at the TV decided to increase the capability of the wireless communication system to control multiple cameras. Having additional cameras would allow film makers to cover more angles in the field and allow them to make cutaway shots and cross-fades between cameras.
The end result is a new system comprised of a base unit fitted with the infra-red trigger beam and four slave units, each with a day/night camera connected and a 50 watt infra red flood lamp to light the night scenes.
The system uses the eR400TRS module for communication between the master and slave units.
The designer comments,
“The LPRS wireless modules have proved to be transparent in use, making the additional wireless connectivity simple to implement. My experience of using LPRS’ easyRadio modules continues to be excellent. All the hard work is already done in the modules leaving me with just a small amount of software required to control the VTRs and simple interfacing of the easyRadio module to the micro-controller. One of the best things about easyRadio is that all data received is good data, or there is just no data at all and then you know to send the message again. I designed the system to be polled every 20mS to ensure good responsiveness."
The most recent modification to the TV wireless camera control system has been to include a GSM modem in the base unit. This makes it possible to leave the system unattended for days on end and send it a text message from a mobile phone to discover how many times the system has been activated and collect system data such as the state of the batteries etc. When a text message is received by the base unit, each slave is contacted via the easyRadio link to establish the battery state. A reply is sent back via the radio link the information is collated, formed into a text, and automatically sent back to the mobile phone user.
John Sharples, (former) MD of LPRS comments,
”This is a typical easyRadio solution to a unique control requirement. easyRadio provides an out-of-the-box, stress-free solution to replacing cable connections with short-range wireless modules. Our software is simple and easy to use and ensures reliable, error free wireless communication.”