Quick Start

Getting Started

Please follow the steps below:

  1. You will need the following two items to test the CMUcam4
    • A 4V to 9V DC external power supply capable of delivering at least 250 mA
      • This can be from an Arduino, FTDI Breakout Board, FTDI Cable, or Wall Wart
    • An NTSC TV (or compatible television monitor) and an RCA Cable
  2. Setup to test the CMUcam4
    • Connect the NTSC TV to the CMUcam4's RCA Coaxial Jack using the RCA Cable
    • Connect the external power supply to the CMUcam4's DC Barrel Jack (or other power ports)

The green power LED should illuminate once you connect the external power supply to the CMUcam4. After about 2 seconds, the red auxiliary LED should illuminate to indicate the CMUcam4 is ready for action. If the green power LED does not illuminate please double check the external power supply connection. If the red auxiliary LED does not illuminate please go to the CMUcam4 forums for help.

Testing Procedure

Please follow the steps below:

  1. Press and hold the reset button on the CMUcam4
  2. Press and hold the user button on the CMUcam4
  3. Release the reset button (do not release the user button)
  4. Wait until the red auxiliary LED turns on (2 seconds)
  5. Wait until the red auxiliary LED starts blinking at 10 Hz and then release the user button
    • The TV should turn on (you should see a splash screen displayed on the TV)
  6. The CMUcam4 will now adjust to the lighting conditions for the next 5 seconds
    • Do not place the object you want to track in front of the CMUcam4 for the next 5 seconds
  7. Wait until the red auxiliary LED stops blinking at 10 Hz
    • The CMUcam4 is now done adjusting to lighting conditions
    • The pan and tilt servo pins should output 1500 μs pulses at 50 Hz
  8. Place the object you want to track in front of the CMUcam4 and press the user button
    • If the red auxiliary LED begins blinking at 10 Hz examine the OV9665 camera module connection
      • The OV9665 camera module may be damaged and most likely needs to be replaced
  9. You should now see the tracked object (or similar) displayed on the TV – otherwise ask for help
    • The pan and tilt servos, if connected, will also try to drive the camera towards the tracked object
  10. Please try this procedure with different objects in different environments to see what works the best

Download the testing guide in PDF form here.

Communication Tools

You will need one of the following (or similar) USB to Serial Converters to communicate with the CMUcam4:

  • An FTDI 5V Breakout Board
    • You will also need an external power supply capable of powering the CMUcam4
    • Please connect the FTDI 5V Breakout Board to the 6-pin connector on the CMUcam4
  • An FTDI 3.3V Breakout Board
    • You will also need an external power supply capable of powering the CMUcam4
    • Please connect the FTDI 3.3V Breakout Board to the 6-pin connector on the CMUcam4
  • A Prop Clip
    • You will also need an external power supply capable of powering the CMUcam4
    • Please connect the Prop Clip to the 4-pin connector on the CMUcam4
  • A Prop Plug
    • You will also need an external power supply capable of powering the CMUcam4
    • Please connect the Prop Plug to the 4-pin connector on the CMUcam4
  • An FTDI 5V Cable w/ 5V I/O
    • Recommended for 5V tolerant systems
    • Please connect the FTDI 5V Cable w/ 5V I/O to the 6-pin connector on the CMUcam4
  • An FTDI 5V Cable w/ 3.3V I/O
    • Recommended for 3.3V tolerant systems
    • Please connect the FTDI 5V Cable w/ 3.3V I/O to the 6-pin connector on the CMUcam4

Recommended Serial Terminal Programs

The Parallax Serial Terminal is a handy tool for communication with serial-based microcontrollers such as the Parallax Propeller chip. It is the recommended serial terminal to use to communicate with the camera board. The Parallax Serial Terminal (PST) is a stand-alone application less than 1 MB in size and does not require installation to use. PST is available for download from Parallax Inc. here. Follow the below steps to setup PST:

  1. Run PST
  2. Go to Echo On and make sure it is checked
  3. Go to Com Port and select the COM port the CMUcam4 is connected to from the drop-down list
  4. Go to Baud Rate and select 19200 from the drop-down list
    • Click Enable if necessary

For non-Windows users Brad’s SPIN Tool (BST) is recommended. BST can be downloaded here. BST is a graphical user interface (GUI) integrated development environment (IDE) stand-alone application less than 10 MB is size designed for the Parallax Propeller Chip and does not require installation to use. BST includes a built-in easy-to-use serial terminal. Follow the below steps to setup BST’s built-in easy-to-use serial terminal:

  1. Run BST
  2. Go to View and select Serial Terminal from the drop-down list
    • The bst Terminal should pop-up – please click on it
  3. Go to Baud and select 19200 from the drop-down list
  4. Go to Format and select 8 Bits and Parity None from the drop-down list
  5. Go to Port and select the COM port the CMUcam4 is connected to from the drop-down list
    • Look for ports named /dev/tty/USB###
  6. Go to Communicate and select Connect, Terminal Echo, and Reset Propeller from the drop-down menu
    • Go to Communicate and select Display ASCII for ASCII output or Display Hex for hex output

NOTE: You cannot use the FTDI 5V Cables with BST!

This is because BST pulls the green RTS wire low on the FTDI 5V Cable when you click Connect. This halts the CMUcam4 indefinitely. You can remove the green RTS wire from the connector to fix this problem.

Next Steps

Your next steps (after taking a look at the gallery) is to go to the documentation web page. Additionally, make sure to head over to our color-tracking explanation, tips and tricks, frequently asked questions, and troubleshooting web pages for more information. Finally, head over to the Arduino Interface Library web page and take a look! Then you're ready to build your own visual robots!

Join the CMUcam4 Community

Please register by going to the upper right hand corner of the web page. After doing so you can then post new messages to the forums.

PST_large.png - PST Large (51.6 kB) Kwabena Agyeman, 03/15/2012 12:56 pm

PST_small.png - PST Small (20.6 kB) Kwabena Agyeman, 03/15/2012 01:02 pm