Digisnap 3000

User manual: Click here.

The DigiSnap 3000 provides remote control of a submersible digital camera, and associated equipment.

Interfaces
The DigiSnap 3000 provides a communication interface to the surface / ROV / submarine via a simple terminal interaction. This interface is field selectable for full duplex RS232 (short range) or half-duplex RS485 (long distance). Surface control is via a simple terminal, such as a terminal emulator program running on any type of computer equipment (i.e. laptop, palmtop). More advanced features such as image download will require a PC style computer (i.e. laptop), and a dedicated program.

All commands are very simple menu based interactions with typically single key stroke entry. All operations within the submersible camera housing are accessible through this terminal interface, including camera control, lighting, and monitoring functions.

The DigiSnap 3000 firmware may be upgraded at any time in the field via the terminal interface, possibly even in-situ! It is conceivable to have an issue in the field, contact Harbortronics, and have new firmware emailed directly to the site, and uploaded to the DigiSnap 3000 in the water to provide a solution to a particular issue with absolutely minimum downtime.

Camera Control
The DigiSnap 3000 controls the operation of a wide range of digital cameras via serial port commands. Compatible cameras include those from Nikon, Olympus, Sanyo, and Epson. The Nikon Coolpix 990 is often considered for submersible application given it’s feature set, acclaimed quality, and reliability. The DigiSnap 3000 can support all of the 990’s remote control functions. The DigiSnap 3000 will also be compatible with the latest offering from Nikon, the 995.

A wide range of features are available via the serial port interface, including Zoom, Picture Acquisition, Captured Image Review, Image Download, as well as detailed camera settings.

The base firmware of the DigiSnap 3000 will include the fundamentals of camera control (Picture acquisition, and focal length (zoom). More advanced features, such as image review, and serial download, are additional options will be offered subsequent to the initial release. Other camera control features may be added in the future to support various mission profiles.

Other Features

The DigiSnap 3000 manages the electrical signal flow for all of the equipment associated with the camera assembly and housing. Many of these signals are controllable via the terminal interface. All electrical connections are made to this circuit board through connectors designed to be polarized and unique to each function. Replacement of a camera assembly, housing swaps, etc. may be readily accomplished with no potential for miss-connection.

DC Power
The DigiSnap 3000 incorporates an isolated switching power supply to convert the applied DC power to the bias levels required for all internal functions, including the camera. The standard DC power input is 9-36 VDC.

Video Output
The video output of the camera is buffered and amplified for driving long cables.

High Speed Image Download
The USB port of the camera is routed to the housing connector for image download to a computer, without opening the housing. USB is not suited for long distance operation.

High Capacity Lighting
The DigiSnap 3000 has an on-board isolated switch for controlling local lighting for the camera, having a switching capacity of 10 amps.

Macro Lighting
A separate switched power output is available for lower power lighting. AquaPix may offer an internal LED ring light for direct attachment to the camera lens, providing essential lighting for extreme macro situations, as well as general illumination needs.

Temperature Monitoring
The DigiSnap 3000 includes an on-board temperature monitor, having an accuracy of about 1/3 deg C., and a precision of 1/16 degrees C.

High Resolution Analog Monitoring
The DigiSnap 3000 incorporates a high resolution analog measurement subsystem, having four channels of 22 bit differential A/D converters, along with 3 voltage levels for stimulus. This capability is intended for direct attachment to sensors to provide application specific environmental monitoring.

Use of this interface is obviously application specific, requiring non-recurring engineering charges for custom firmware development and testing.