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Help Developing Automotive Black Box, DVR, OBD II

Discussion in 'Electronic Projects Design/Ideas/Reviews' started by xhcetortcelex, Aug 7, 2017.

  1. xhcetortcelex

    xhcetortcelex New Member

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    Friends,
    I am a noob that is considering building a Dash Cam DVR Black Box for my car, I suspect that I am not the first so please if you know of discussions on developing an awesome Black Box please direct me to it. The Black Boxes being offered are Gold Dusted empty, expensive crapware.

    I want added protection from bad drivers, bad insurance companies and bad cops so I want six or more 1K or better cameras and DVR with the ability to store on any size SD card and/or SSD.

    I also want telemetry from many sources like GPS, speed, throttle and brake pedal positions, steering degrees, OBDII and more.

    Two problems I suspect will be power drain when the car is parked and chip cooling.

    I'd like to Stink Tank this idea with interested peeps (WOW! I always wanted to use Peeps, yeah, I know Late)

    I look forward to hearing from you
    Sincerely
    ortcelex
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2017
  2. ronsimpson

    ronsimpson Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    What level are you?
    Can you do the software for this project?
    Can you do the hardware?

    Please indicate what parts of this project are most important?
    Modern cars have a on-board computer you can talk to and get some of this information.
    Six 1K cameras running will make a huge amount of data. Can you live with 1 picture every second? OR What about storing only the last 15 minutes of camera?
     
  3. xhcetortcelex

    xhcetortcelex New Member

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    I know basic electronics and am electro/mechanically inclined from a very young age, back in the eighties I taught myself BASIC accidentally and then took a few computer courses in community college and a one year computer repair and electronics course, though I only learned basic electronics.

    I took a few automotive courses and have had about fifty cars and trucks that I fixed up over the years. I can completely rebuild an engine, completely rewire a car. I use to build PCs and have a bit of familiarity with Linux. I am quite capable of learning whatever I need to learn to get the project done.

    What is most important is not being limited to a 32GB SD card, two or four cameras, I cannot accept fifteen minutes of looping storage or 1 FPS, I can buy a dash cam off of the shelf that provide much more than that and yes I know that the OBDII does provide some of that information which is why I mentioned it, I want the device to connect to the OBD to use that information.

    I can live without being able to use a SSD and operating when the car is parked to start recording if an event occurs like an attempt to open the door, or impact to the car, ect.
     
  4. dave

    Dave New Member

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  5. ronsimpson

    ronsimpson Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Look at the Raspberry Pi computer.
    In fact, I am typing on one right now.
    The one I have has 4 USB ports. 1-LAN connection, SCD card, Wireless network and a camera port. I probably would use USB cameras. I have a 1T USB hard drive that works with it.

    The point is that in a car it is a small computer that knows USB, network, etc but when you are developing it connects to a USB keyboard & mouse and any HDMI monitor and becomes a PC. (you have to use open office not MS office)

    The Raspberry Pi has a power down mode where it pulls little power. The advantage is that you do not need to know how to connect to a hard drive or USB camera. The operating system knows.
     
  6. xhcetortcelex

    xhcetortcelex New Member

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    Thanx Ron, I actually have been looking at the Raspberrys, I didn't mention it here so I can see if there are any other ideas. I am realizing that I am going to have to learn about camera sensors. I noticed that Raspberry's cameras (Not USB cameras) have a short ribbon to connect it to the PCB which may be a pain to extend if not impossible unless you add a Raspberry pi Zero at the location of each remote camera.

    About storage, I have a 1TB HDD but I don't want spinning disk, a micro SD card should suffice, I haven't done the math yet but a twenty four hour loop would be stellar and a week would be cosmic. That should leave space where a I can move a portion of the loop to a safe storage place where it will not get erased when the loop restarts.

    To be able to access the system by a smartphone app would be a thing as well as by my home PC when the system in in range of my home wifi, those would make copying videos to my phone or PC easier than the stress of going under the dash or unscrewing a panel to access the DVR Black Box to get the MicroSD card out but those are not top of the list wants.

    I wonder if the Raspberry pi(s) USB can be daisy chained to add more devices because four is good for driving but I need a minimum of two more cameras for Cop Watching when I get pulled over for breathing. Then there is micrphones.
     
  7. ronsimpson

    ronsimpson Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    yes
    You should be able to use network cameras. and a network hard drive.

    I think, with much work, you could save every frame from the camera in low resolution and one frame in 10 in full resolution.
    Working with 4 cameras might be too much for a computer to do. There are cameras with internal storage. Let the camera do the hard work and storage and the computer to collect it and down load to your house.
    -------------------------
    Best Buy has a 128G flash drive $28.00. They have a 1TB drive for $1000,00 usd. lol
    I did not know that SD cards go up to 500gb. Not on my budget.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2017
  8. dr pepper

    dr pepper Well-Known Member

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    You have a lot to learn about microcontrollers & Obd.
    If you understand arduino's check out OBduino.
     
  9. xhcetortcelex

    xhcetortcelex New Member

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    You do know that off the shelf dash cams already do a lot more what you say cannot be done? 2K 60fps video with sound for two cameras, there are a few with four cameras but I don't remember the video quality for those. My main problems with those is low GBs of storage, cost, and large cameras enclosures.

    How about this having pi Zeros for each camera to collect and store video for each camera and a pi 3 as the main controller to copy videos to main storage. I guess I will have to refresh myself on how CPU resources work with video which means that I will buy a Zero and Raspberry and webcam for experimental purposes.

    I am going to also see what are the alternatives to Raspberry. I think Audrino is out because it is a single task CPU.
     
  10. ronsimpson

    ronsimpson Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Yes back in #6 I tried to bring up the idea of each camera having smarts.
    I am looking at wireless network cameras. I can get a 2k 60 frames/second camera but it can not push that much data through wifi. At 2k you only get a couple of frames/second.

    I think the Raspberry camera is ¨parallel" and uses less cpu time. Get a camera and see what % of the cpu us used. I have the idea that you will not be processing 4 cameras data at the same time. You can know soon. There are a number of forums where some one has tried this. (Pi only forums)
     
  11. xhcetortcelex

    xhcetortcelex New Member

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    I am sure that you are right, it cannot be done. .. .. .. in your box. I want you to understand this, I am not committing to any particular technology, platform, or box of thought patterns. I am committing to the end results. I have been looking at technology since I was very young and I understand, even though I am not completely sure how, that what I am asking is very possible with off of the shelf parts.

    If the problem is that the CPUs processing power cannot handle many video sources then the solution seems to be to increase the CPUs processing power. What do you think about a pi for each camera and one as a main processor and to coordinate the storage to a single storage drive?

    Here are some alternatives to Raspberry: http://www.zdnet.com/pictures/move-over-raspberry-pi-here-are-a-dozen-better-alternatives/
     
  12. tcmtech

    tcmtech Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    I'm not following the full DIY concept at all given there are multi camera security systems that come in compact sizes already on the market that work and for prices and ease of use that you will never achieve with a complex DIY system. Especially one that you admit you don't know the fine details of design about.

    As for the OBD interface, again . I don't see the value in this given what limited data you are ever going to be able to fish out of it on the go that the cameras won't give visual confirmation of anyway.

    To me this all sounds like overambitious paranoia driven excuses to justify something that has marginal real world validity.
     
  13. xhcetortcelex

    xhcetortcelex New Member

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    Here is a alternative to Raspberry that can run 4K at 30fps, one issue is that it generates more heat but it beats pi in all benchmarks by a large margin, check out the videos below.OH! Yeah, it is directly swappable with the pi because it has exactly the same layout and can use Raspberry accessories.

     
  14. ronsimpson

    ronsimpson Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    I watched the first video. The last 5 minutes gives the idea the Tinker is not much faster (CPU power) then the Pi.
    I think the USB & LAN is faster.

    At this point you need to get any computer and any camera running. You will know much more by then.
     
  15. xhcetortcelex

    xhcetortcelex New Member

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    I totally agree and am already considering buying one or more pi and picking up a few two dollar webcams from the thrift store to experimenting with.

    Now about the Tinker, it is not the CPU power that interest me it's the GPU that can handle 4K 30fps, the pi doesn't even have a GPU, the CPU handles video in the pi. It doesn't have an audio processor either which is also important to me because I want at least one microphone, so I guess the pi isn't the part for this project, (awesome as it is). That doesn't mean that the Tinker right either because there are so many more Maker Boards to consider and I have soo much time before I have enough cash or enough smarts to start building.

    I am and will be broke for a couple of months because I just bought a used minivan after going a couple of years riding a bike, a minivan that needs registering, smog, insurance, tires and more. That is why is why I decided to get a dash cam. There are so many ridiculous drivers and narcissistic psychopathic cops that I need protection from.
     
  16. ronsimpson

    ronsimpson Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    I found at the thrift store:
    wireless keyboard, wireless mouse, old HDMI TV (old HDMI monitor) (usb keyboard and mouse is also good)
    Purchased: Pi, power supply, SD card with operating system. (last time it took too long to put the system on a SD card) You should get a heat sink set for the Pi. I do not have one and on hot days it slows to 1/2 speed because of heat.
     
  17. tcmtech

    tcmtech Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Fortunately for you people who drive used minivans tend to be pretty low on the target list for such others.

    Basic front and rear viewing cameras are likely more than enough to cover anything you would ever get into.
     
  18. xhcetortcelex

    xhcetortcelex New Member

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    I do my best to drive respectfully, cautiously, safely, patiently, lawfully, However, though I strive to be honorable in all that I do I am a raggedy man and thus cops pull me over for entertainment and pretty much always violate my rights, so. . I must get a Cop Cam too.

    Keep in mind that four or five cams will be on while driving, Left, Right, Front, Back, Driver, the two Cop Cams will only come on when needed. I just thought of a Driver Cam to prove that I, the driver did or did not do something like wearing seatbelts.
     
  19. ronsimpson

    ronsimpson Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    This is so, when the lay you to rest, there will be pictures of your last minutes. All the Cop has to say is "I feel threatened".
    I an certain that all this depends on your color.

    I am more worried about the people that run into traffic and fall on your car. "He ran into me .... call a lawyer"
     
  20. xhcetortcelex

    xhcetortcelex New Member

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    Yeah, you are so right about that, that is why that cop actually ran towards Tamir Rice so that he can fear for his life and thus be justified in killing a twelve year old boy that was very clearly in wonderland playing alone, shot the kid in two seconds after getting out of his car. Contrast that to the cops in Dallas that was cowering behind a car and one was trying to get under it, that was what a cop looks like when they "Fear For Their Life"

    Anyway, let me talk about something lighter, I ordered a Zero for research purposes.
     
  21. ronsimpson

    ronsimpson Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Some one said that, using a Pi-0, he made a network camera with storage. But it was using most of the cpu power. I don't know how much data/camera pixels / frames-seconds. With out knowing all that data it really does not matter.
     

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