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A couple of weeks ago my dad gave me a Syma X5C H5C camera that he found. I wanted a camera for my robot project and I tried to just take the camera but I found a problem with it.

The pcb is called 2202M and is manufactured by a company called Joyhonest. (My next step after this thread would be to mail and see if I could get any information but I don't know if that will be successful)

Here is an image of the pcb (The text on the FPC is JH15A) Image of the PCB

Image of my traces where the connections go. It's not complete but it makes it easier for me to see. Image of my traces

There is some copper visible on the top of the pcb that is connected to the write parts of a micro sd slot. I could use them to get the raw data that's written to the micro sd but that would only be to test if the camera works and not my final solution.

I could also just buy another sensor. That would make this easier but I like when I can take stuff slow and try for a long time. I would like to only take the camera part and use that for my robot.

Is there a way to figure out how to connect to this camera without breaking it?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Connect the camera sensor to where? Most likely you won't receive email back if you ask about the sensor - companies make money selling products, they lose money when wasting time on responding how to repurpose parts from their products. \$\endgroup\$
    – Justme
    Apr 15, 2020 at 8:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ I would want to connect to a raspberry pi using the gpio pins. Though where it connects is not the main question. It's more about how to try connect it to power and ground without it breaking. \$\endgroup\$
    – HardCoded
    Apr 15, 2020 at 8:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ Is there a way to figure out how to connect to this camera without breaking it? Maybe yes but you will need all technical information about this product, that means datasheets of the camera sensor and the chips. The "COB" (Chip-On-Board) chip will be hard as you have no way to identify it. Oh, and then you need to understand how all that works together. Let me tell you what an experienced engineer will do: (s)he will throw this thing in the bin and just buy an RPi camera module. So just forget about trying to use this module. it wasn't designed for what you want to do. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 15, 2020 at 8:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't think connecting a salvaged camera module to Rpi GPIO pins can do anything useful. I don't think they even have compatible voltage levels. How do you expect it to work, and what performance do you expect? I don't expect it to work at all. \$\endgroup\$
    – Justme
    Apr 15, 2020 at 8:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ I though about getting a speed of 100Khz to read the cmos pixels on the Rpi just to try see if I could get anything. I think I'm getting the picture that it's really ineffective to get this sensor to work, I think I agree with Bimpelrekkie's comment. I feel it's really sad that we cannot reuse or just use components super freely. I just didn't want to add to the massive pile of electronics dumped because maybe someone knew something that could make it work :D \$\endgroup\$
    – HardCoded
    Apr 15, 2020 at 9:15

1 Answer 1

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If you search for "2202M datasheet" then you'll find this datasheet that describes your module.

It operates on 3.8V to 5V. 5V to the red wire, ground to the black wire, and it should start right up. Don't use an SD card with more than 32GB - that's the most it supports.

You cannot see the video live. You have to trigger an image capture, and the image (or video) is stored on the SD card.

To trigger a capture:

  • Image - pull the yellow wire to ground for more than 100 milliseconds but less than 500 milliseconds.
  • Video - pull the yellow wire to ground for more than 500 milliseconds to change recording state. First time turns on recording, second time stops recording.

There probably isn't a point on the board where you have an easily accessible video signal. The read out from the camera is probably digital and controlled by that blob covered IC. The big chip on the other side is a 4 megabit by 16 bit SDRAM IC. Tapping data off of it probably wouldn't be much fun.

GPIO access on the Pi probably isn't fast enough to capture video.

The easiest solution would be to plug a simple webcam into your Raspberry Pi via USB. You'll probably use OpenCV2 to actually implement your robot's vision, and it includes live access to USB cameras.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ The datasheet link is not working for me. Could it be a regional thing that I can't access that datasheet? \$\endgroup\$
    – HardCoded
    Apr 15, 2020 at 9:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ I found the datasheet you linked. I've visited that one a couple of times. This is the page for me Unfortunately the page has nothing to do with information about how to control the camera. That page links to a Product Brief about how to operate the circuit board. \$\endgroup\$
    – HardCoded
    Apr 15, 2020 at 10:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ Fixed the link. \$\endgroup\$
    – JRE
    Apr 15, 2020 at 10:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ Then that's about all the information there is to be had on the subject. It tells you how to safely power up the module. From there you can look at the signals on the flex to see what might be going on there - if you have an oscilloscope fast enough to observe the digital signals. \$\endgroup\$
    – JRE
    Apr 15, 2020 at 10:05

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