Kodicom 4400R

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Revision as of 01:19, 25 May 2005 by Wbrack (Talk)
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Introduction

The Kodicom 4400R is a PCI interface card with 4 separate bt878A controllers, handling 16 separate cameras. It can be a very flexible solution for applications such as security cameras.

Installing the card

The driver treats one of the bt878A chips as the "master", and the other three as "slaves". To do this, two separate card types are used. Card 132 in the bttv cardlist is for the "master", and card 133 is for the slave. Unfortunately, at this time there is no automatic detection of this card, so the driver must be installed manually.

When the driver is installed, the "master" bt878A is the second controller detected, so the best way to install the driver is with modprobe (or insmod)

modprobe:

  modprobe bttv card=133,132,133,133

This should give you 4 video devices (/dev/video0 - /dev/video3), and you should be able to use them with any program, e.g. xawtv or whatever.

Using the card with multiple cameras

The Kodicom 4400R card allows 16 different "cameras". Let's call those Cam0 - Cam15. The 4 BNC connectors on the card are for Cam0 - Cam3. All 16 cameras can be connected through a 32-pin connector on the top of the card. If you use this connector, 4 "connections" will be "duplicated" (Cam0 through Cam3). You can use either the "on-card" connector or the "vga" connector for those 4 cameras (you'll have to play around to figure out which of the 16 those 4 are). The other 12 cameras (we'll call those Cam4 - Cam15) are only available from the connector on the top of the card.

So much for the actual cameras. Now, there are only 4 physical bt878a controller chips on the board, and with this driver those become /dev/video0 through /dev/video3. The interesting part of the system is that any of the 16 cameras (Cam0 - Cam15) can be connected to any of the 4 controllers (/dev/video0 - /dev/video3). By default, the driver connects Cam0 to /dev/video0, Cam1 to /dev/video1, etc. Different application software packages may do different things with controllers and channels, so it is difficult to specifically say how to select a particular camera for a particular software package. I can, however, be specific with the xawtv program.

Connect a camera to Cam0 and run xawtv. You should see the picture from the camera. Now "right click" on the picture to bring up the control panel. On the line labeled "Video Source" it says "Composite0" - that corresponds to Cam0. If you click on that, it will give you a drop-down box labeled "Input". Select "Composite1" and watch the picture disappear. Then change the camera connector to the next lower BNC connector (Cam1), and the picture should re-appear.

I assume you have at least two cameras around. Connect a second camera to Cam3 (the bottom BNC on the back of the card). With xawtv, verify that you can switch back and forth between the two (Cam1 and Cam3). Then, start up a second instance of xawtv, this time with

   xawtv -device /dev/video1

By default, the driver "connects" Cam0 - 3 to /dev/video0 - /dev/video3, but by default xawtv re-initializes whatever controller it is using to Cam0, so this second instance gives you a blank / blue screen. Now "right click" on the picture and select "Composite3". The picture from Cam3 should appear.

You can continue like that, starting up to 4 instances of xawtv (one for each /dev/videox), and use any of them to look at any of the (possibly 16) cameras.

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