Few weeks ago I posted some notes about using the Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 with Gstreamer. I have since ported the setup to the Beaglebone, effectively turning my Beaglebone into a streaming IP camera that can deliver constant bitrate H.264 video at full 1920x1080p30 resolution without breaking a sweat.
As I was trying to find my way around building Ångstrom using OpenEmbedded, I stumbled upon as minimalistic systemd-image recipe for the Beaglebone. It boots up a usable system in less than 5 seconds.
You may already know about my existing enthusiasm for Logitech webcams, which is due to the combination of relatively good image quality, high resolution and easy to use UVC interface. I was therefore very happy to learn about their newest camera, the HD Pro Webcam C920, which in addition to the standard HD webcam stuff we already know from the C910, also provides hardware encoded H.264 video stream! This is rather new and there isn’t much software that can take advantage of it; however, with a little tweaking and hacking we can get the H.264 stream into Gstreamer, where after we can do pretty much whatever we want.
Here is a short demo showing how to receive broadcast FM with Gqrx. This demo uses the Funcube Dongle, which is really not suited for broadcast FM reception. Gqrx does not employ any tricks to make it sound like it works properly – it just does straightforward FM demodulation with wide FM parameters and you will hear the lack of sufficient bandwidth as distortion on some stations (not all though).
Thanks to Jan Simon, DL2ZXA, we now have daily builds of Gpredict for Ubuntu 10.04 – 12.04, both 32 and 64 bit. Jan’s recipe fetches the code imported from SourceForge, merges it with the translations done in the Launchpad, then builds the packages and puts them in the Gpredict teams Daily builds PPA. You can use this PPA as you would use any other PPA; if you don’t know how check out the instructions on the PPA page. Obviously, this is only recommended for testing and not for production use.
I will remember 2011 as the year when the Linux desktop took a huge step backwards. After decades of evolution we finally had a nice Gnome 2 based desktop providing a clean and efficient environment where one could focus on getting the work done. Even the Ubuntu variant with their this-makes-me-wanna-puke-brown and purple theme was okay, because it took only a few mouse clicks to switch back to something more pleasant looking, e.g. the Clearlooks theme. All this is gone now as the majority of Linux desktops come with either Gnome 3 or Unity – two equally useless and pathetic attempts at making the Linux desktop look like a cellphone.
A few closeup photos showing the eCAM32 3.2 megapixel camera mounted on top of the Gumstix Overo Water, mounted on the Tobi expansion board.
As promised in my last post, here is a quick demo of the eCAM32 3.2 megapixel camera connected to the Gumstix Overo Water. I am presenting two videos, one showing the setup where the eCAM32 camera board is mounted on top of the Gumstix Overo Water, the other one being a screen cast demonstrating some of the most common settings of the camera. I am using the Tobi expansion board because it has Ethernet interface allowing me to stream H.264 encoded video to a host PC running linux.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I had only had limited success with the Caspa VL and Logitech UVC cameras. While both cameras work with the Gumstix, the Caspa seems to take poor images while the Logitech USB camera performance is limited by low USB bandwidth. Therefore, I have decided to try my luck with cameras from e-Con Systems.
The Qthid Funcube Dongle controller version 3.1 has now been released. This release includes the necessary fixes to make qthid work on Mac OS X 10.7 Lion. Thanks to Mike KØZAP for the patch!