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  • #16
    When the camera car was first announced at the toy show it was promised to have FPV and work with the Carrera race app. A lot was promised, so much so that I was willing to buy it for almost any price. The integration of the Carrera digital specific features made it special. making a camera car isn't difficult, but having it "talk to" the Carrera protocols is what made it special. I guess it's not going to happen...but it doesn't hurt to dream

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    • #17
      Originally posted by carlosinseattle View Post
      When the camera car was first announced at the toy show it was promised to have FPV and work with the Carrera race app....
      Exactly, that's what I thought made this car more than just "a car with a camera on it" that could be simply achieved by attaching a small GoPro on a rolling chassis.

      I realize that making the camera talk to the Carrera digital system is probably not a straightforward thing to achieve, but for Carrera not to be able to make that happen despite the relatively lengthy development time is a bit of a surprise, especially given Carrera's resources.

      I hope the decision to discontinue this project (at least "till further notice") is not emblematic of where Carrera is heading with its new owner, scrapping the development of any new projects to save some money...

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      • #18
        myared - I think Carrera's concern is about the camera feed being hacked into, making it a security liability.

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        • #19
          Most modern cameras can now wirelessly communicate with devices that have Bluetooth or wi fi. How do camera manufacturers deal with the hacking risk and why can't Carrera do the same?

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          • #20
            An alternative to a Go Pro type camera would be an inexpensive keychain camera. I put one on a dedicated chassis, but they are small enough to go on the hood of many cars or even on an HO chassis. https://youtu.be/wGa6lWlU73I [youtube]wGa6lWlU73I[/youtube]





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            • #21
              All the videos I have seen transmitted from a slotcar made my head spin.

              Problem is the view is typically narrow and straight ahead. Every time you 'round a corner you get a blur of the trackside scenery, not the road ahead. A more panoramic view, aimed where the car is going would be more desirable. (Even neater would be the view tilting in the corners, to simulate what a real driver might see. You tilt your head going around a corner, yes?)

              I thought about how angling the view could be done optically -- with lenses, mirrors or prisms -- and came up dry. No simple way to do it. So you have to rotate the camera. Mounting the camera on a pivoting platform, with a linkage to the guide shoe to rotate it might work. Getting enough force to rotate the camera would be the hard part. I'm not confident that problem could be solved without a servo.

              Another possibility would be three cameras. One straight ahead, one pointing to the left and the other to the right. Once upon a time you could have used mercury switches to sense a turn and change cameras. No more. Hg is Ng. Accelerometers would be the solution today, but that will require some extra electronics.

              A purpose-built setup could integrate everything nicely. But a home-made lashup might only work in 1/32nd or 1/24th scale.

              The big issue is that slot track corners tend to be too tight. Certainly tracks built with plastic sections.

              And a regular slotcar is too fast. Your camera car should be geared way the heck down so the video does not produce vertigo.

              I have thought that it would be cool for all the cars in a race to have cameras, and the drivers have screens from which to drive. And then I thought -- shoot -- the much better solution would to go straight to a multi-player video game.

              We've already done that. And dang it -- it ain't slot racing!

              Ed Bianchi
              Last edited by HO RacePro; 08-16-2019, 04:04 PM.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by myared View Post
                Most modern cameras can now wirelessly communicate with devices that have Bluetooth or wi fi. How do camera manufacturers deal with the hacking risk and why can't Carrera do the same?
                Please let me explain... I hope I'm able to bring the reasons across in english.

                The new regulations over here state, that the camera, if mounted on an unusual "carrier", has to be visible enough to not be used as a "spying device".
                (for instance, dolls with cameras were misused on several occasions) (drones on the other hand are meanwhile considered to carry a camera in general).
                We had to change the shape of the canopy a few times to achieve that..
                It didn't help, that the regulating body didn't know from the start, how much "visible" is enough.

                Furthermore, the final nail in the coffin was a sudden demand to prevent the camera from recording and transmitting data when the car doesn't move.
                Hard- and software would have had to be modified again, and at this point, we weren't sure if that was the final necessary modification.
                Enough is enough, a lot of manpower already went into the development, and with a releasedate postponed again and again, the effect of this novelty was already vaporized.

                Sorry about that, 10 years earlier it wouldn't have caused such problems..

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                • #23
                  Thanks Slottus. That makes more sense now... Couldn't Carrera put a clearly visible label on the outside of the car saying "there's a camera inside this car", or something like that?

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                  • #24
                    It was supposed to be decorated with huge letters spelling "CAM CAR".
                    The camera was supposed to be covered by the opaque windshield/roofscoop-array.
                    When the windshield was removed, the camera was clearly visible, and illuminated letters on the spine of the canopy read "ON AIR".

                    But alas, there must be something more... we weren't sure, if there were more "necessary improvements" to be demanded afterwards again and again, like multilingual writing on the car, or pictograms, or braille... so it was canned.

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                    • #25
                      It was supposed to be decorated with huge letters spelling "CAM CAR".
                      The camera was supposed to be covered by the opaque windshield/roofscoop-array.
                      When the windshield was removed, the camera was clearly visible, and illuminated letters on the spine of the canopy read "ON AIR".

                      But alas, there must be something more... we weren't sure, if there were more "necessary improvements" to be demanded afterwards again and again, like multilingual writing on the car, or pictograms, or braille... so it was canned.

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                      • #26
                        Too bad... I really liked the concept...

                        Thanks for the insider info Slottus!
                        Last edited by myared; 08-21-2019, 06:46 AM.

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                        • #27
                          Dual post... Sorry.

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                          • #28
                            It is a shame that the Carrera project had to be suspended. The fact is that your smart TV may be spying on you and its makers may not have made it clear that it was a possibility. Even regular appliances may be sending data back to their maker. Do I really need a smart waffle iron that may blab about my secret addiction to blueberry waffles?
                            In any case I agree with Ed's observations about cameras in slot cars. People seeking a realistic driver's eye view of the track are likely to be disappointed. Slot cars are a LOT faster in scale than their 1:1 counterparts. Corners in a slot track are more like the ones in a typical kart track. When a driver is approaching a corner he would normally be looking to the inside, not straight ahead. I mostly wanted to see what could be done with a small, inexpensive camera. For a start you should have plenty of light, it helps to use a camera with a wide angle lens, those are not common with key chain cameras. I did try stacking a smart phone wide angle lens on both of the cameras that I tried and I did not like the results very much. You have to run the cars as slow as possible or the scenery will be a blur. Using a camera with a faster frame rate is helpful and you could also use software that has a slow motion setting. Some people have suggested having the camera on a pivoting mount so that it looks to the inside of a turn. You could try taking shots with the camera mounted at an angle and edit those along with straight ahead shots to get a similar effect. It is also more interesting if there are other cars nearby when you shoot your video.

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                            • #29
                              Don't GoPro cameras typically have wide angle lenses?

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by myared View Post
                                Don't GoPro cameras typically have wide angle lenses?
                                Yes. They do. I'm going outside now to take some video with my Hero 5 Session and I'll post a link to it later.

                                EDIT: here's the link to the video - the car I used was an old Scalextrix Opel DTM Valvoline - blue taped the cam to the roof of the car with a layer of super thin open-cell foam between the two.
                                Last edited by dinglebery; 08-29-2019, 08:32 PM.

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