New lessons learned

I recently run into several issues when building a new OFM. I would like to share my experience with the OFM community hoping will help. I plan to update this post later adding some pictures and links to my BOM of this later if that helps too.

I buy most of my supplies on Amazon because I find good deal. The filament, electronics, nuts and bolts, etc. I like to experiment with the OFM platform and adapt it for different project. During those experimental modifications I run into multiple issues.

Lesson 1: Beware of counterfeit defective cameras: I bought 2 “original” 8MP raspberry pi compatible cameras (US$24) that never worked. The cameras were detected by the Rpi. Meaning that using “vcgencmd get_camera” code I get “supported=1 detected=1” output. However, the OFM software does not stream. Looking for a solution online I read on some post that other people run into this problems too. The camera boards don’t look right. The cables are different color. They attributed this to counterfeit poorly manufactured cameras due to the chip shortage. Hence, I returned the cameras and got my refund.

Lesson 2: Arducam is not compatible with Raspberry pi. So I exchanged those 2 cameras for 2 Arducam cameras (US$24) . In the past I was lucky to make 5MP Arducams work without mayor effort. This was not the case for the 8MP which gave the following error:

mmal: mmal_vc_component_enable: failed to enable component: ENOSPC
mmal: camera component couldn't be enabled
mmal: main: Failed to create camera component
mmal: Failed to run camera app. Please check for firmware updates

Long story short, Arducam lack a component (DRM chip) that makes them not fully compatible out of the box with RPi. Returned and refunded.

Lesson 3: Spare a haedache and buy the original. Now I go to my electronics store (Microcenter) and buy one original 8MP RPi camera (US$24)…it works. End of story.

Lesson 4: After darkness comes the light. I have a similar experience with LEDs. I got a small batch of LEDs that worked fine when I started building my first OFM several years ago. I burnt and broke some during my initial learning days. Since I count not find those same one on Amazon anymore I bought the Chinese manufactured ones with the same specs…or so I thought. I went through 3 different brands and all gave me bad results. Blue or green backgrounds, too bright, to0 dark, inconsistent light. I had enough!. I found another set of 100 LEDS within specs (3V, 3000K, etc) that solved the problem.

…to be continued

2 Likes

Thanks for posting this. The alternative camera modules are ones I’ve mostly not tried, because I thought it wasn’t hugely likely they’d work. It is really helpful to hear from someone who has tried, and can therefore verify that they don’t work!

We’d love to make the LED part of the build more consistent (I think we specify an LED part number, though it may not be all that easy to source). A possibility is replacing the LED with a small PCB, which eliminates the need for hand soldering - this is a work in progress, but is something we’d like to include in the eventual v7 release.