PCI-14xx MultiCamera Setup

Multi-camera Installation for PCI-1408/09/10 on LimeLight 3 and FreezeFrame 3

Camera Connections

Camera connections are diagrammed below.

  • The Video Out connections on each Panasonic BP334 camera (cameras 1, 2, 3 and 4) get connected to Video 0, 1, 2 and 3 of the IMAQ-A6822. These cables carry the video signals to the computer.
  • The GEN-LOCK connector of Camera 1 (the camera connected to V0) is left unconnected. (Camera 0 sets the timing for the other cameras).
  • The GEN-LOCK connectors on Cameras 2, 3 and 4 are all connected, daisy-chain style, to the CSYNCOUT connector on the IMAQ-A6822. (This allows the computer to synchronize these three cameras to camera 1’s signal.) Put a T-connector on the GEN-LOCK connectors of cameras 2 and 3, and connect them as shown by the blue line in the diagram below: CSYNCOUT connects to GEN-LOCK on camera 2, GEN-LOCK on camera 2 to GEN-LOCK camera 3, and camera 3 to camera 4.
  • Connect the power supplies to the “AC 24 IN” screw terminals on the camera as shown, using the two-wire speaker cable. The polarity (which wire goes to “1” and “2” on the camera) doesn’t matter since the power is AC (alternating current).
  • Leave the switch settings on the back of the cameras in their default positions (INT, AGC ON, ALC, BLC OFF, DC, G/L 75Ohm).


Driver Installation and Settings

install National Instruments NI-IMAQ driver software.

Once the drivers are installed, shutdown, install the PCI-1409 into your computer, connect it to the IMAQ-A6822 and restart. To configure the board and cameras, open National Instrument’s Measurement and Automation Explorer (MAX). It’s icon should be on the desktop (or use the start menu).

  • In the Configuration list (left column) select:
    • My System
      Devices and Interface
      NI-IMAQ Devices
      img0:IMAQ PCI-1409
      Channel 0: RS-170
  • Select the Operating Mode tab at the bottom of the window
  • Set “Video Lock Mode” to “Channel 0” (Leave PCLK Source at “Internal 1x”)
  • Select the Acqusition Parameters tab
  • Set “Bit Depth” to ” 8 bit”
  • All other Acquisition Parameters should be left at their default values:
    • Acquisition Window Left, Top, Width and Height: 120, 21, 640, 480
    • Frame Timeout: 1000
    • Field/Frame Mode: Frame (Interlaced). First Frame: Odd
    • Digital Filter: None
    • Reference Level White and Black: 0.700 and 0.000
  • In the Configuration list, select Channels 1-3 and repeat the steps above.
  • Click the SAVE button at the top of the window.

Now select each of the 4 channels in turn and use the Grab button to see a live image from each camera.

If you can see an image at this point, you should be able to see an image in FreezeFrame, LimeLight or BigBrother (quit MAX before opening your Actimetrics program).

If you can’t see an image, most problems at this step originate from improper connections.

  • Make sure each camera is connected properly as described above.
  • Use a voltmeter, if available, to make sure that the power supplies are providing 24 VAC to the power input screw terminals on each camera.
  • If an image appears on some channels and not others yet the connections seem correct, try swapping camera connections around to see if the problem follows the suspected bad camera. Call Coulbourn Instruments or Actimetrics for help with this.

Note that LimeLight (unlike FreezeFrame or BigBrother) grabs only the center square of the image. That is, the image in MAX has an aspect ratio of 3:2 (640×480 pixels), whereas Limelight shows a square image (480×480 pixels). The left and right-hand strips of the image (80×480 pixels) in MAX won’t be visible in the LimeLight window. Your arenas should be centered in the image both in MAX and in LimeLight.