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Board interfaces to Camera Link; Software upgrade adds suites; LCD displays stereo images; Rugged processor targets video ...

May 1st, 2001
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Board interfaces to Camera Link
The RCL-PCI-X3 Road Runner CL interface board series offers four models that incorporate the Camera Link (CL) standard interconnect to digital cameras. The -13 base CL interface board supports one single-channel camera presenting 8 to 24 bits/channel, one dual-channel (odd/even pixel) camera presenting 8 to 12 bits/ channel, or one RGB camera presenting 8 bits/channel, all up to a 40-MHz acquisition rate. In addition to the -13 board capabilities, the -13-L CL board adds a 16-bit-in/16-bit-out look-up table (LUT). The -23 CL interface board provides all of the features of the -13 board except for RGB camera support. The -23-L CL board offers all of the features of the -23 board but includes the LUT. BitFlow Inc., Woburn, MA 01801; (781) 932-2900.

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Software upgrade adds suites
Sherlock 6.0 Windows-based software now includes Smart OCR and Smart Matrix suites of adaptive, pattern-matching algorithms that accommodate optical character recognition (OCR) and 1-D and 2-D barcode readings, respectively, with no programming needed. Smart OCR decodes patterns irrespective of angle or scale and operates at rates to 1000 patterns/s with Pentium II or higher processors. A special font editor trains the software to read all fonts. Smart Matrix reads barcodes to 1000 characters/s, such as 2-D DataMatrix (ECC-200), 1D Code 39, Code 128, UPCa, BC412, and PostNet codes. The software also supports the company's PCVisionPlus and PC-RGB PCI-bus frame grabbers for transferring color or monochrome video data to host computers at data rates to 133 Mbytes/s. Coreco Imaging, St. Laurent, QC, H4T 1V8, Canada; (514) 333-1301.

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LCD displays stereo images
The 2018XLQ 18.1-in. autostereoscopic display features four selectable stereo modes, 1280 x 1024-pixel resolution, 16.7 million colors, and analog RGB, NTSC/PAL, and S-video inputs. It can be switched to 2-D displays with a pushbutton. The display incorporates eyeQ technology, allowing the operator to maximize the 3-D effects. Upgraded optics eliminate moiré patterns. Dimension Technologies Inc., Rochester, NY 14611; (716) 436-3530.

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Rugged processor targets video
The 6U, VME-based CAT video processor and graphics accelerator board operates in harsh temperatures (-20°C to +65°C), shock (up to 20-g peak sawtooth pulse), and vibration (0.002 g2/Hz from 10 to 2000 Hz random and 2 g sinusoidal from 5 to 500 Hz) for military systems and helicopters. The IEEE 1101.2-compliant CAT provides four on-chip DSPs to perform radar tracking, video windows, and radar video compression or decompression. The CAT RISC processor provides up to 2 BOPS of processing power, can move 2.4 Gbytes of data and 1.8 Gbytes of instructions, can act as a VME-64 master, and comes with 32 Mbytes of SDRAM. Primagraphics, Royston Herts, England; 44 1763 852 222.

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Reader sees all The SmartReader module can interpret OCR, barcode, and DataMatrix symbols at speeds to 180 codes/s despite character voids and blemishes, low lighting levels, and variable backgrounds. It can communicate coordinate information to motion control, SPC, HMI, and PLC packages by supporting code formats such as ECC200, Interleaved 2-of-5, Code 3-of-9, and Code 128. The number of corrected errors in the code are reported. Ethernet and Modbus communications allow data acquisition and simultaneous transmission for date/lot code verification, documentation, and part tracking. Profibus and DeviceNet communications are also available. Code match learning is provided through a digital input. Acting as a node on a network, the module comes equipped with FrameWork 2.1 and built-in illumination and offers TCP/IP Ethernet communication with OCR reading. DVT Corp., Norcross, GA; (770) 449-4960.

CMOS camera provides chaining The Phantom V5.0 digital CMOS camera uses IEEE-1394 interfacing to chain as many as 64 cameras together with one camera linked to a controller. Its sensor offers monochrome or color 1024 x 1024-pixel resolution at 1000 frames/s with a variable exposure time to 10 µs and a blooming ratio of 100,000:1 with no pixel-to-pixel spillover. The 5 x 4.5 x 10-in. camera weighs 6 lb and comes with a Nikon lens mount. Key features include 1024 Mbytes of image memory, NTSC or PAL video outputs, and Windows-based Phantom software. Photo-Sonics International Ltd., Thame Oxon. OX9 3FR England; +44 (1844) 260600.

Converter module supports standards The DFG/FW1 supports up to eight PAL, NTSC, and SECAM video inputs and the IEEE-1394 serial bus standard. Video signals are digitized by two 9-bit A/D converters and comb filters and transferred to a PC via a FIFO buffer. A built-in multiplexer switches among the eight video sources with 768 x 576 x 24-bit resolution at 30 frames/s. Contrast, brightness, hue, and saturation can be adjusted. Software support includes a software developer's kit and drivers for Windows 98/2000. The Imaging Source, 28215 Bremen, Germany; +49 (0) 421/33591-0.

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Camera shrinks size Model IK-M43A microminiature camera is compatible with 0.5- and 0.25-in. heads and C-mount lenses. It includes a 410,000-pixel CCD image sensor, a microlens, 470-line resolution, and a signal-to-noise ratio of 46 dB. On-board RS-232 interface allows camera functions to be set by a remote PC or through a digital camera control unit. Outputting both S-video and composite video, the camera head can be used at distances to 100 ft from the camera control unit. Minimum illumination is 15 lux at f/1.6. Toshiba America Imaging Systems Division, Irvine, CA 92618; (949) 461-4986.

CMOS sensor runs fast Scanning linear image sensor is a 2k x 1 CMOS image sensor that outputs 2048 pixels per line of image data through a data port in less than 40 µs or a 60-Mpixel/s data rate. It features a patent-pending PVS-bus video bus and signal integration on all pixels simultaneously. Full frame store allows the image to be read while integrating the next frame, maximizing exposure time. The device also features nondestructive, adaptive exposure readout modes and a quantum efficiency of 65% at 600 nm. Photon Vision Systems, Cortland, NY 13045; (607) 756-5200.

Software locates objects HexSight Version 3.0 machine-vision software serves robot-guidance and parts-inspection applications. It finds object locations within complex images and adverse lighting environments and allows simultaneous processing of multiple part types in the same image. The software uses the geometry of parts to locate them in the system's field of view and can solve applications that involve overlapping or partially touching parts by using contour-based object location. Features include automatic model teaching algorithm and multithreaded execution capabilities. Adept Technology, San Jose, CA 95134; (408) 432-0888.

Software creates virtual instruments Imaq Vision Builder 6.0 enables the design of machine-vision applications with a step-by-step guide to automatically produce LabVIEW virtual instruments (VIs). Previously, the software generated text recipes with which users could write LabVIEW VIs. The latest version automatically launches LabVIEW, and then LabVIEW automatically draws the VIs. With Imaq Vision 6.0 and Imaq Vision Builder 6.0, developers can prototype machine-vision applications that use color pattern matching. Imaq Vision 6.0 opens automated visual inspections to color applications. Its tools include calibrating camera optics, preserving image integrity with nondestructive overlay, making measurements with analytic geometric tools, and finding edges along different search areas. National Instruments, Austin, TX 78759; (512) 794-0100.

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Microscope stores 500 images The portable Model DVM-1 digital video microscope can freeze and store more than 500 magnified images using a built-in floppy-disk drive. It can be bench-mounted, off-bench-mounted, or field-operated to perform nondestructive visual inspections of surfaces using a range of digital capabilities. It offers a selection of lenses ranging from 10X to 1000X and a 6-in. LCD. The microscope operates on either ac power or a 12-Vdc battery. A 6-mm, 100X side viewing borescope allows inspection of small tubes, holes, pumps, and parts. The 50X and 100X narrow-tip contact illumination heads aid in circuit-board inspections. Olympus Industrial products Group, Melville, NY 11747; (800) 446-5260.

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Vision system inspects fiber FiberInspect machine-vision inspection system automatically detects and measures scratches, cracks, and spots on fiber ends that form during the polishing process. The system, which can be used with existing manual inspection systems or can be integrated by OEMs into custom-designed automated systems, helps increase fiber-cable yield by detecting fiber-end defects smaller than 1 µm. The system consists of proprietary software, a Cognex MVS-8100 frame grabber, and a Windows-based graphical user interface. A Visual C++ software development kit version is available. Cognex Corp., Natick, MA 01760; (508) 650-3000.

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Frame grabber works with digital cameras Based on the Camera Link interface, the half-slot PCI-bus PC-CamLink frame grabber comes with 16 Mbytes of on-board memory for buffering image data between the camera and host PC system. It can acquire 8-, 10-, 12-, or 16-bit monochrome images or 24-bit color images from area- and line-scan cameras. The board can transfer images and areas of interest out of memory at full speed without the need to write special code. On-board pixel packing allows data to be sent in 4:2:2 format, enabling nondestructive graphic overlays. Other image-manipulation features provide programmable x/y zoom, decimation, image transforms, and planar transfers of color images. A data ping-pong architecture allows sustained transfer rates to 120 Mbytes/s. Coreco Imaging Inc., Bedford, MA 01730; (781) 275-2700.

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Controller supports three camera heads RH1100 digital camera system provides up to three imaging camera heads that operate in sync and interface to a single camera-control unit. The progressive-scan camera heads can be used in any monochrome or AccuColor combination to obtain 1392 x 1049-pixel resolutions at 12 frames/s with 60-dB dynamic range. Camera system can be optionally configured with company's DirectView technology to provide simultaneous analog video output in NTSC/PAL or progressive-scan RGB format. Triple images can be acquired via a Camera Link or multitap frame-grabber interface. DuncanTech Inc., Auburn, CA 95603; (530)-888-6565.

Camera is IEEE-1394 compatible The monochrome FireFly digital board-level camera uses the IEEE-1394 (FireWire) interface. It consists of a 2 x 2-in. camera, 6-pin PCI interface card, 4.5-m cable, driver software, and image-acquisition software. Three lenses of 4, 6-, and 8-mm focal lengths and a tripod-mounting bracket are included. The camera uses the Sony 1/3-in., HAD 640 x 480-pixel, progressive-scan CCD. It streams VGA images at 30 frames/s without compression and meets the v1.04 digital camera standard. The system requires an Intel Pentium II or better processor and Windows 98SE/2000. Point Grey Research, Vancouver, BC V6J 1Y6. Canada; (604) 730-9937.

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Detector focuses on spectroscopy Princeton Instruments Spec-10:2K detection system for spectroscopy features a 2048 x 512-pixel format and offers thermoelectric (-70°C) or liquid-nitrogen (-120°C) cooling. The 16-bit system can be configured with a front- or a back-illuminated CCD. It is regulated by an EM-shielded detector controller, runs under the company's WinSpec 32-bit Windows software package, and can be coupled with Acton Research spectrometers. Roper Scientific Inc., Tucson, AZ 85706; (520) 889-9933.

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Infrared camera works underwater Encased in an aluminum housing, the Sub-Cam-CL submergible infrared color camera measures 48.92 mm in diameter and 60.04 mm in length. It provides a 1/4-in. CCD, 350 TV lines of resolution, and a lux rating of zero. A 3.6-mm lens offers a 92° field of view. Supplied with a 65-ft cable, the camera comes with LED lighting that projects illumination for 25 ft in murky water. Polaris Industries, Atlanta, GA 30324; (800) 752-3571.

Camera uses trilinear sensor The KLI-8023 8000-pixel CCD image sensor delivers a 15-bit dynamic range. It features 9-µm2 pixels arranged in three rows of red, green, and blue photoelements. Independent electronic exposure control for each color row is used to achieve system color balance. A single shift register per channel simplifies system electronics. A color filter boosts responsivity by 2.5X in the blue region of the visible spectrum. Photoresponse nonuniformity is 3% across the 72-mm sensor length. Eastman Kodak Co., Rochester, NY; (716) 722-7888.

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DSP board pushes data The Champ-AV VME board suits the processing of radar, sonar, telecommunications, and video data. Running Linux and VxWorks, the board can process more than 500 broadband-integrated video/voice/data channels in a single 6U VMEbus slot. It can use as many as four 7410 PowerPC AltiVec RISC processors, each running at 500-600 MHz. The board includes 2 Mbytes of L2 cache, 128 Mbytes of 64-bit-wide local SDRAM, seven on-board DMA controllers, and a user-programmable interrupt multiplexer. A core processor contains a 250-MHz MPC8240 PowerPC controller, 32 or 64 Mbytes of global memory, semaphores, and an Ethernet interface. Ixthos Inc., Leesburg, VA 20175; (703) 779-7800.

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Flat-panel PC The industrial-grade PPC-103T is both a 10.4-in TFT LCD flat-panel display and a PC in one unit that is EN60601 medically certified. It occupies 13.5 x 10.4 x 2.4 in., weighs 7.7 lb, and delivers 800 x 600-pixel resolution with 256k colors. The front panel meets IP-65 standards for humidity, vapors, and dust. An optional touchscreen can be used for both process control and information retrieval. Other features include a 10/100Base-T Ethernet networking, four communications ports, three RS-232 ports, one RS-232/422/485 port, and a built-in 16-bit Sound Blaster Pro audio card. Advantech Technologies Inc., Irvine, CA 92618; (949) 789-7178.

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Camera combines speed and resolution The 4M25 multipixel area-scan camera provides 2048 x 2048-pixel resolution and 12-bit digital output at 25 frames/s. It measures 91 x 146 x 96 mm, weighs 1.3 kg, and consumes 30 W. Pixel size is 12 x 12 µm2. Dalsa Inc., Waterloo, Ont., Canada N2V 2E9; (519) 886-6001.

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Camera does color and black & white The WV-CL920 Series cameras automatically switch from color operation during daylight conditions to black-and-white operation under nighttime conditions. Minimum illumination at f/1.4 is 0.3 lux in color mode and 0.02 lux in black-and-white mode. A 0.5-in. interline-transfer CCD provides 480 lines of color resolution and 570 lines of black-and-white resolution. Features include electronic light control, built-in motion detector and alphanumeric character display, electronic shutter from 1/60 to 1/10,000 s, genlock capabilities, and 120 Vac. Panasonic Security Systems Group, Secaucus, NJ 07094; (877) 733-3689.

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Software searches for patterns Normalized gray-scale correlation software is available for use on the company's line of smart cameras without a runtime fee. The NCORR pattern-matching software is a library, written in C, used to perform recognition of a previously selected reference pattern image in a search area image at speeds of 50-600 ms, depending on search mode and search area. Search modes include fine, normal, and coarse (fast). Pattern sizes range from 8 x 8 to 256 x 256 pixels. Software is virtually independent of brightness and contrast. Vision Components, Burlington, MA 01803; (781) 229-5842.

Board is Camera Link compatible The PIXCI CL1 Camera Link board accepts data from Camera Link cameras and provides exposure, reset, and serial controls. It provides a 26-pin connector, transfers video data to the PCI bus at sustained rates of 100 Mbytes/s as a PCI bus master, and operates in a 32-bit, 33-MHz PCI bus slot. A programmable video-capture window allows the user to capture a minimum of one line of eight pixels or the entire image array of the camera. EPIX Inc., Buffalo Grove, IL 60089; (847) 465-1919.

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