Adding 3 cameras to BlueROV

Hi,

I see that you are advertising with the possibility to connect a total of four cameras to Rasperry Pi.
I have a BlueROV2 with Rasperry Pi3 where I want to add more cameras.

Do all four need to be your exploreHD, or can i run one original USB-lowlight cam and three exploreHD cameras?
How do you recommend to solve this (adding three of your exploreHD cam) regarding its only two free USB slots on my Raspberry?

3 Likes

Hello, thanks for your interest in our cameras!

If you plan on streaming 4 cameras at all once, you will need to run our firmware for lower bandwidth or else you will exceed the maximum 100M speed of most tether system (unless you are interested in upgrading to fiber :slight_smile: )

Because the original USB-lowlight camera does not allow users to control the bitrate and different version of camera firmware’s you may have a difficult time streaming 4 at once with 3 exploreHDs and one low light cam due to bandwidth limitation. In that case, we would recommend 3 exploreHDs and 1 HDcam with all 4 of them running our lower bandwidth firmware. :slight_smile:

For only having 2 USB ports free, we suggest using a USB Hub system or you can access the GPIO pins for more USB connections on the Pi.

Hope this help!

2 Likes

I just bought this top hat - haven’t tried it out yet though:

2 Likes

Seems similar to what I recommended! Should work perfectly fine :slight_smile:

1 Like

Hi again,

Thank you for all the tips. USB hubs works good.

Another issue has showed up.
I have connected two Low-light HD USB kamera and one exploreHD to my BlueROV2.
This works and gives me three pictures when connected directly to the Raspberry or when the two extra cameras are connected through the powered USB hub.

But, when I have all three cameras connected I loose communication to the sub after 5-10minutes. I’m not able to connect to the companion computer at all. This happens when the cameras are connected either way (directly or through a powered USB hub). If I only use two cameras in total everything works fine!

Anybody else who have experienced this and have any tips on how to solve this?

1 Like

Hello!

You can try using the firmware loader and loading the lower bandwidth version of our camera firmware to see if that works! It could be maxing out the bandwidth on the pi.

Thanks!

1 Like

Hi there @stihus

While a lower bitrate firmware may help, especially when using more than 2 cameras which is definitely best with a lowered bitrate, I recommend attempting a reinstallation of the ArduSub companion BETA since there seem to be a couple bugs with multi-camera streaming.

We are also working on an improved driver software for the raspberry pi, so if you do decide to change to the lower bitrate, I recommend using that once it is released in the next couple of weeks to ensure the best multi-cam performance on the exploreHD.

1 Like

Hi

Thanks.

I Will give it a try and install the firmware for lower bitrate video and definetly try a reinstall of the companion.

But, the thing is, I have upgraded my ROV with fiber tether so the bandwith of the tether should not be the issue. And by using fibre tether, I was hopping to run several cameras with full quality, and also some more sensors later on.

FYI; The case is also tested with original 150m copper tether and the problem still occurs.

Do you think the processing capasity/bandwidth of the pi is overloaded? I was hopping the pi could handle this when swapping to fiber tether. How many of your cameras (with firmware for full bitrate) have you sucsesfully tested through the Raspberry pi of a BlueROV if you dont consider limitations in the tether?

1 Like

We have tested the full bitrate firmware with 3 cameras, just not for extended periods of time. Fiber should be able to handle the full bitrate, and the fact that the companion shuts down completely, further leads me to believe the issue may be in software.

Another possibility is that the pi is overheating when encoding 3 streams and is shutting itself down which could be solved with a thermal heatsink. However, it would need to get quite warm before cutting out. Do you know if the pi is actually shutting off, or just not able to connect?

Definitely keep us updated on your findings :smiley:

Thanks!

1 Like

Not Shure if it is shutting completely down, but I dont think so. The red power LED is still on, and the green act LED flashes slowly.

The highest CPU temp I have seen is 65 degrees celcius.

I Will test some more possible solutions om monday and give you an update!

2 Likes

A small update on this mater;

I changed out the USB hub I was using because the first one was not stable at all. Cameras where moved around to different UDP adresses after reboots, and often had to be physically disconnected and connected to show up after a reboot.
The hub I’m using now is a Delock 62650 USB hub. This is much more stable, but still I’m loosing communication after a while when streaming three cameras.

When I loose connection over ethernet, The PI is accessible over WiFi (at least partially). I guess this proves that the PI is not completely shutting down. At least I’m able to restart the PI over WiFi. But, the video manager page is not accessible, no USB devices show up.

I’m awaiting a new Raspberry PI 4 B, hopefully this will get us better results.

1 Like

Hello!

Were you able to get a Raspberry Pi 4 to resolve the issue?

Thanks!

1 Like

Hi,

Raspberry Pi 4 was a much more stable computer yes, but still not perfect!
The project have been on hold for a while so I did not get to research to much why the Pi 4 was unstable as well. Im about to start working on this now so I will keep you updated

1 Like

Hello!

I see, could you confirm that all cameras are running the updated lower bandwidth version of the firmware. We changed the H264 bitrate from 15M to 10M and that should improve stability a lot.

We updated after Feb 10th. The 10M firmware is much more stable with H264.

Additionally, I would make sure that on your top side computer, you updated your graphics card.

Thanks!

1 Like