September 25, 2017, 10:37:09 pm
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Author Topic: Geek porn! ;-)  (Read 2678 times)
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« on: April 06, 2012, 12:19:43 am »

The other day I picked up a Sony Mavica MVC-FD91 digital camera for €5 at a boot sale. It is old, a resolution of 1024x768 and it writes to floppy disc! However, I wanted a digital camera to do close-ups for my blog and a mobile phone just doesn't cut it. It's a crying shame that the camera is low resolution as the photos it takes are stunningly beautiful, and the lens can go from 14x to do an astonishing picture of a sparrow in a tree, right down to focusing on something in front of the lens. And when I say "in front of", I mean touching.
So to test the photos, I poked the camera at the OSD. The photos you see below are all scaled to 33% and slightly reduced quality (so it should load fairly quickly). The full size originals are linked.

This shows the centrally located main processor/DSP chip and some of the hardware towards the back of the OSD.

These are the system memory. Each holds 32MiB, providing 64MiB in total.

Here's where your firmware lives - it's a 16MiB (NOR) FlashROM.

The 5150am1 is an impressive little critter. It can accept analogue video in pretty much any format, and automatically convert it to a digital representation. When you tell the OSD you'll be using PAL, you're only telling it what to output. The 5150 works out the input for itself. It can also capture WST teletext and/or US closed captioning, plus detect macrovision (ugh, bloody macrovision...) and it also includes super-sexy-special stability mechanisms to permit wonky videotape playback to be locked on to. Those of you who have tried recording videotape to a PC's capture card of the late '90s generation may be quite well aware of the...quirks...involved. Like erratic video frames (instead of being a frame every 25th/second, they turn up as and when the decoder could make sense of them, and playback can't cope with that).
It includes fine tuning for colour, brightness, saturation, contrast, and (for NTSC) hue. Only, the guys who wrote the low-level stuff for Neuros didn't think to include that sort of functionality.

The DM9000 is the 10/100 ethernet interface. Behind it, the line isolation, the ethernet socket at the back.

The MSP430 is a little microcontroller. An actual other processor (!), its job is to maintain the real-time-clock (you can see the watch-crystal can just above it) plus handle the infra-red side of things; remote control, learning, and blaster output. This is, unfortunately, not a part of the open source so anything non-Neuros running on the OSD won't have access to the system time/date nor will be able to be controlled by the "magic wand".
The MSP430 is a RISC based microcontroller that offers a mere 27 instructions, 4KiB embedded Flash, and a mere 256 bytes of SRAM. Oh, and it consumes ridiculously tiny amounts of power.

This, one of the MAX family, converts the serial from the DM320's UART into something that will work in a traditional serial port. To give you a hint, the DM320 is possibly 5V TTL but more likely 3.3V like mostly everything else. And a serial port? Try +/- 12V, give or take a bunch.

The AIC23 is a sound "codec". These days we are used to the word "codec" as some deep internal thing that can play video clips (for example: "I need a better H.264 codec 'cos mine doesn't support the 10 bit mode"). The word codec actually stands for (en)co(der)-dec(oder), and in this respect, the AIC23 is a true definition of a codec. In a nutshell, it takes the audio and makes a digital representation of it (it does not compress, it only makes it digital)...while at the same time being able to take digital data (again, uncompressed) and turn it into sound.

The PLL1705 shown here takes a 27MHz input and from it generates clock signals for synchronising audio and video sampling. You can see it is conveniently located between the 5150 and the AIC23.

This is the battery that powers the MSP430 microcontroller when the OSD is 'off'. In this mode, the MSP430 will remember, and keep current, the time and date.

Super-close-up of the DM320. This is the heart of the OSD, offering a 200MHz ARM9 core bolted to a hardware image resizer, plus a 100MHz(ish) DSP to handle the grunt-work of encoding/decoding video.

Stylish angle of the Flash (foreground), the DM320, and the RAM.

Looking from the front (over the CF slot), to show more of the board.

The DM9000 (ethernet) seen from above, primarily to show the two clocking crystals.

More clocks around the 5150. The 27MHz one is for the PLL.

A close-up of the battery (from above). No real reason for this other than that I happen to think stuff written in kana is cool. ;-) The three kana you can see on the left of the bar is ri-chi-u, which means lithium. The three on the right is "te-ri" from "ba-tte-ri" (the little kana you can see means the following consonant is long).

Nice "action angle" of the AIC23 and various sockets/connectors.

A tight shot to show off fine focusing.

Hope you enjoyed this. Wink

Best wishes,

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