Dual Camera System FAQ

Power Requirements

The Dual Camera system requires the same input voltage as a single RedEdge-MX, 5.0 - 15.8 VDC. However, the two cameras operating simultaneously will draw twice the amperage. Therefore, it is recommended to use a power supply that is capable of supporting at least 4.2 amps and 20W peak.

How to update firmware 

Because the Dual Camera System setup only has a single WiFi dongle, in the Red camera, there are special considerations when updating the firmware. Typically the firmware can be updated via the web UI, but since you won't have access to the Blue camera over WiFi, only the Red camera would be updated. Both cameras need to be updated at the same time. 

With this in mind, it is easy to update the firmware on the Dual Camera System. Simply download the "rededgem.bin" file, and place it on the the SD cards for each camera while the camera system is powered off. Turn both cameras on at the same time by pressing the button on the front of each camera. You will notice the DLS2 status light will blink various colors. Do not remove power or unplug anything until you begin to see the typical DLS2 GPS status lights: 3 red blinks for no GPS, 2 yellow blinks for poor GPS, 1 green blink for good GPS. 

Once the update is complete, please hold down each of the buttons on the cameras for 5 seconds until all lights turn off. At this point you should remove the "rededgem.bin" file from each SD card so that the cameras don't update again the next time they are powered. 

File structure

The file structure is different for the Dual Camera System compared to all other MicaSense sensors. Typically, each time a MicaSense sensor is powered on, a new "SET" folder is created. That is, if you had an empty storage device and powered the camera on, a "0000SET" folder will be created. If the camera is rebooted, a "0001SET" folder is created, and so on. Inside of each of these folders are encrypted log files (ending with ".dat") that you can send to MicaSense for troubleshooting if you have problems with your flight. Once captures are taken, they are stored in the flight's SET folder inside of subfolders named "000", "001", and so on. Each one of these subfolders holds 200 captures. 

With the Dual Camera System, these same "SET" folders are created, however they will only contain some log files. The actual image files will be located in the "SYNC0000SET" folder on each SD card. Inside of each of these "SYNC" folders you will find log files and the "000" type subfolders. Note that the Red camera SYNC folder will have logs ending with "0" and the Blue camera will have logs ending with "1". This will allow you to easily merge the SYNC folders from both cameras into a single directory on your computer without any file conflicts. It is possible to merge the SYNC folders such that you end up with subfolders with all 10 band files from both cameras. 

Important notes about the Dual Camera System

  • The Dual Camera System is unique in that it requires the DLS2 to function. The DLS2 is used to network the two cameras together.
  • The Dual Camera network will fail if a properly formatted SD card is not installed in each camera. 
  • The QR mode for automatically capturing Calibrated Reflectance Panels is disabled in the Dual Camera System.

Using the HTTP API 

The usual inputs and outputs of MicaSense products are available with the Dual Camera System, but there are some considerations to keep in mind. Any trigger signal sent to the Red camera (via HTTP API, Serial API, or external trigger) will also create a simultaneous capture on the Blue camera. However, if you want to transfer data in near real time from both cameras, you will need two Ethernet cables.

Additionally, you will need to access the web UI using WiFi on each camera to change the Ethernet IP address on one of the cameras, as by default they both have the same IP address. You will need a different IP address on each camera to get the data from them both at the same time. If you need to change the IP address on the Advanced Settings of the Blue camera, simply power down both cameras, remove the WiFi dongle from the Red camera, and insert it in the Blue camera. Turn on the camera system, and change the IP address as needed.

Keep in mind that the WiFi dongle is not "hot swappable", so whenever it is removed, you will need to restart the camera for the WiFi network to start broadcasting again. 

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Example Dual Camera System Python code

Using the HTTP API, you can easily retrieve files from both cameras soon after capture is triggered. 

import requests
import json
import time

# these are the custom Ethernet IPs you chose in each camera's web UI
redip = 'http://10.1.0.83'
blueip = 'http://10.1.0.84'

def capture():
command = requests.get(redip + '/capture')
#this will get the unique capture id string
captureid = command.json()['id']
# in this example we wait 3 seconds to make sure the capture is fulfilled
# in a production code you can use another method to get the data faster
time.sleep(3)
print('Capture ID: ' + captureid)
theredcapture = requests.get(redip + '/capture/' + captureid).json()
print('Red capture: ')
# print location on red camera's SD card of capture files
redstoragepath = theredcapture['raw_storage_path']
print(redstoragepath)
print('Blue capture: ')
# use captureid from red camera's /capture output to
# get location of images from the same capture on blue camera
thebluecapture = requests.get(blueip + '/capture/' + captureid).json()
bluestoragepath = thebluecapture['raw_storage_path']
print(bluestoragepath)

capture()

Output: 

Capture ID: zivbz5KSN21Hm93JwLRw
Red capture: 
{'1': '/files/SYNC0021SET/000/IMG_0009_1.tif',
'2': '/files/SYNC0021SET/000/IMG_0009_2.tif',
'3': '/files/SYNC0021SET/000/IMG_0009_3.tif',
'4': '/files/SYNC0021SET/000/IMG_0009_4.tif',
'5': '/files/SYNC0021SET/000/IMG_0009_5.tif'} Blue capture: {'1': '/files/SYNC0021SET/000/IMG_0009_6.tif',
'2': '/files/SYNC0021SET/000/IMG_0009_7.tif',
'3': '/files/SYNC0021SET/000/IMG_0009_8.tif',
'4': '/files/SYNC0021SET/000/IMG_0009_9.tif',
'5': '/files/SYNC0021SET/000/IMG_0009_10.tif'}

At this point you can write more code to download the images to your computer. 

 

 

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