Scratch-Built Industrial Camera’s Modular Design Really Stacks Up

The news here isn’t so much that [Guarav Singh] built this high-quality industrial digital camera from scratch, but it’s in the way it was accomplished. That plus the amount of information that’s packed into the write-up, of course. And the excellent photography.

Modularity was one of [Guarav]’s design goals, with the intention of being able to swap out the sensor as the technology changes. To that end, [Guarav] came up with a stack of three PCBs. The middle board of the stack contains a Lattice FPGA chip along with two 16-MB RAMs and the FPGA config flash. The sensor board lies on one side of the FBGA board, while the USB 3.0 board is on the other. Each six-layer board is a masterpiece of high-density design, and the engineering that went into interfacing them and getting everything squeezed into a 3D-printed case with an integrated aluminum C-mount ring is pretty impressive.

[Guarav]’s write-up goes into a great deal of detail on processing the sensor data on the FPGA. Also, there’s quite a bit of practical information on implementing MIPI (Mobile Industry Processor Interface) and the CSI (Camera Serial Interface) specification. We’ve delved into this world before, but this project is a great hands-on explanation that might really help move your MIPI project along.

Thanks for the tip, [STR-alorman].

6 thoughts on “Scratch-Built Industrial Camera’s Modular Design Really Stacks Up

  1. That’s very well done and easy to follow. I recently took apart a Unifi Video Doorbell and it used a similar concept of stacked PCBs though on a smaller scale.

    Looking at the 3D printed lens mount, I’d have some concerns about that CS mounting ring popping out since it appears to be press fit. I would either make it captive or make the mount 2 part and sandwich it in the middle. That’s just my armchair analysis though.

  2. i applaud the effort but come on man max 2.13mpix CMOS sensor with C-mount???? that’s like early 1990 tech…..
    rolling shutter is nice and all but CCD sensors are so much better overall nowaday. you can find arduino/rpi 12-20mpix modules for about 50-60$ as well as industrial c-mount modules starting at 20$ so yeah nice experiment but i don’t really see the practical use.

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