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Pan & tilt webcam - USB or Parallel port interfacing?

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Clayton, Aug 16, 2006.

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  1. Clayton

    Clayton Guest


    I need some help for my last year project which is a pan and tilt
    webcam controlled over internet using client/server application
    (csharp). Can someone tell me what do I need to interface 2 stepper
    motors with the PC using a USB port? I searched on the internet and I
    found that I will require a microcontroller, right? Which model is the
    best for my needs? I've already managed to control the motors through
    the parallel port, but since the parallel port is out of fashion I
    thought it might be more interesting using a USB connection. Any help
    is appreciated.

  2. look at FTDI usb interfaces, these will convert the usb from the PC to
    logic levels that a micro can understand, through its uart

    As for the micro, there are 3 main breeds, all flash based
    8051, old, still reasonably good, simplish
    Atmel AVR, good,
    TI MSP430, low power, good, trying to find the correct version can be

    PIC, Bletch

    GCC do C compilers, or get a demo from Keil,

    If you are goinig to use the same usb port for the video, and power,
    it might take a bit more time.....

  3. default

    default Guest

    Some interesting pan and tilt mechanisms make use of radio control
    servos. It has been awhile, but I think they work on pulse position.
    Search for RC servo testers.

    I built something back in 2000 to remote pan/tilt my security cameras
    and only needed three op amps from a 4 amp integrated circuit. Strong
    little suckers, inexpensive, and decoding logic built in. I paid
    something like $6 each for them. (~$10 today)
  4. Huey

    Huey Guest

    The U4x1 from might be a good start for you. If you add
    the driver circuit that you used for your parallel port interface, you
    likely have a finished solution.

  5. Clayton

    Clayton Guest

    OK, thanks alot! I think I'll switch to USB, its better! Thanks again,

  6. WE use a little webcam off the shelf at work for ID photo cards. ITs
    made by creative or dlink or one of those big name computer
    manufacturers. It pans and tilts, and the software even tracks your
    face, or multiple faces. Its not fail proof, but its pretty good. I
    will try to remember to get the manufacturer on monday when i go back
    to work.
  7. jasen

    jasen Guest

    In defense of the PIC they do have some with built-in USB2.0
    pic assembler is pretty yucky though, I guess that's why most
    people use C or basic to program them.

    AVRs on the other hand have only software USB, (or the external FTDI)

    still that's probably fast enough for this task.
    The smallest capable AVR is the ATTiny2031

    AIUI atmel do an 8051-oid with built-in USB too.
    Oh yeah! much easier to use a hub and run the motion control
    separate from the video.

  8. There are many USB development boards around. One I found on google: should do almost everything
    you need and includes the microcontroller. It's just $32.
  9. And (I do not see the original posting) there is my RS232 open source PIC
    controller, pan, tilt, focus, zoom, PWM light control, and move to x,y on
    and USB to RS232 converters exist.
    It only wants ASCII.
    Fully programmable, has auto pan, several motion programs.
  10. hackinblack

    hackinblack Guest

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