A Solution for Multiple QuickCams...

Hi technoids!

I've been watching the list recently and it seems a lot of people are
looking for a way to connect up more than one quickcam to a single box.
I too had this problem. Parallel port cards are nice but a bit
cumbersome; I couldn't get such a beast for my laptop that would allow
me to connect four (or more) quickcams simultaneously. What I ended up
doing is designing one for myself from scratch.

I needed a way to switch up to four QC's for a mobile robot's vision
system. Since I was running image processing on a laptop, and my PCMCIA
ports were used up, there was no practical way to do this (unless
there's a product out there for laptops I'm ignorant of.)
What I have is a simple 4-input, 1-output camera MUX which works well in
SPP uni and bi-modes. I've never tested it with EPP or ECP yet. It takes
two control lines (giving four combos). Hint: if you needed two cameras,
you could use Pin 14 on your parallel port since it is unused in
Byte/Nybble modes. Four cameras is a little more complicated :)

SO, I would like a little feedback from you folks to see if this
invention would be useful to anyone or not. It's not very
complicated--the cost would be very reasonable. I'm looking at upgrading
its capabilility to hanble eight cameras as well.
I'm sure the legal issues will get deep, so the feedback would be a nice
place to start.

I look forward to your comments.

Steve Larson, B.Sc. Comp. Eng.      larson@ee.ualberta.ca
Technical Head                  http://www.ee.ualberta.ca/~larson/
Autonomous Vehicle Project                                ~avp
University of Alberta                                     ~ceclub/