RAK WisCam is a $20 Arduino Compatible WiFi Camera Linux Board Powered by Nuvoton N32905 ARM9 Processor

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about Rakwireless’ RAK CREATOR Pro development board based on Realtek Ameba RTL8711AM Wireless MCU, and part of their Wiskey family of development boards. Sub-family include WisNode for IoT boards, WisAP for OpenWrt boards, WisPLC for PLC hardware, and WisCam for WiFi video camera boards. The company has recently introduced Wiscam RAK5281 Arduino compatible Linux board powered by a Nuvoton ARM9 MCU, and supporting a camera module or an SD card + USB module.

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RAK WisCam specifications:

  • SoC –  Nuvoton N32905R3DN ARM926EJ processor @ 200 MHz with 8KB internal SRAM, 16KB IBR internal booting ROM, 16Mbit  x16  DDR2 memory
  • Storage – 128 MBit SPI flash, included sub-module adds micro SD card
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi via Realtek RTL8189FTV module
  • Camera via sub-module
    • 648×488 pixel VGA CMOS Image Sensor (GC0308); 102° FOV
    • Video –  QVGA (320×240) 30FPS, VGA(640×480) 30FPS, MJPEG encoding
    • Photo – JPEG, 16 bits/pixel – RGB565, 32bits/pixel – ARGB8888
  • Audio – 16-bit stereo DAC; built-in microphone, speaker header
  • USB – 1x micro USB port for power and programming, USB 2.0 port via sub-module
  • Expansion – Arduino UNO compatible headers with PWM, I2C, GPIO, ADC, UART, I2S, USB2.0 HS (High-Speed)
  • Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port
  • Dimensions – 55.61mm x 55.88mm
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The board runs Linux, and support both USB UVC mode (like most webcam), and video streaming in Android, iOS, or Windows app using RTSP or Nabto P2P cloud server running on the board.  Wiscam board appears to share most of the same components as Nuvoton NuWiCam development board, so software and apps for it may also be compatible. Wiscam documentation is available in the Wiki, and hardware design files such as Altium schematics and PCB layout, as well as source code for board and mobile apps, and datasheets can be found in Github. For some reasons, they shared some of the files in a compress archivve files in github, instead of using the revision control system. Another downside, but common to most ARM9 “IP camera” SoCs, is that the board runs an ancient Linux 2.6.35 kernel.

Some has already done a short video review with the board.

RAKwireless is a startup company, but their WiFi video camera solutions are also being used in products such as Waggle 3D printer remote controller. They seem to be quite responsive, and if you have questions or remarks, they’ll certainly reply to your comments here or by emails.

RAK Wiscam board is sold on Aliexpress for $19.90 + shipping ($3.75 in my case)

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10 Replies to “RAK WisCam is a $20 Arduino Compatible WiFi Camera Linux Board Powered by Nuvoton N32905 ARM9 Processor”

  1. There are far better choices for a camera SOCs. For very low cost Allwinner V3S and Grain GM8135S are superior to this Nuvoton chip. Both offer 4x the resolution, 3x clock speed and 4x the RAM. For about $3. HI3518RV200 is also in this price range.

    Linux 2.6.35 kernel — that will probably be comprised in five minutes when exposed to the open Internet (assuming someone bothers to try). End of life was in March 2012.

    I encourage RAKwireless to make more boards like this. Nobody has made a dev board for the Vatics chips. They have neat real-time fisheye lens correction hardware. The Hislicon chips do not have an easy access dev board either.

    A line of plug-in images sensor boards would be great. Allow for both MIPI and CSI connectors. Now you can make different base boards and plug in various sensors. Add plugs for standard IR ring and photosensor.

    Also make a line of plug-in wifi modules. Ampak line is a must. Realtek also very common. The wifi modules need to allow for SDIO or USB, plus UART for Bluetooth.

    Always expose Ethernet if the chip has it. It is hard to develop on wireless only boards.

    Note that after you start making a line of these peripheral board you don’t have to stick to camera base boards.

    1. Even Nuvoton’s own NUC970 has it’s BSP for 3.10.103 available on GitHub. With full commit history. They’re even adding device tree support.

  2. Arnd Bergmann (one of the ARM SoC maintainers) comments on G+:

    There was a patch series last year to add support for the SOC series to mainline, but it did not get posted again after the initial version needed minor changes.

  3. Hi,All, thanks for your comment and suggestion for rakwireless product. This definately help a lot for us to make better product to meet developer requirement and assist them to make innovative product. WisCam is unique because we work with nuvoton to make fully open source hardware include media encoder. This can’t support by Hisilicon or other multimedia chipset vendor. With the open source, you can do the more flexible design like supports YUV RAW data so developers can make video scaling (up to x1~x8 scaling), video cropping , video overlapping etc. or change CMOS image sensor. RAK Wireless also have large product portfolio for video camera based IoT product like RAK5270 base on Hisilicon for 1080p resolution, Grainmedia GM8136 based RAK5260 modules. Additional point, we include the P2P cloud sever base on AWS, that will very easy for you to make IoT product with camera feature like doorbell.We will continue to build exciting product with Jon’s suggestion,wait for our update.

  4. Coming from a very inexperianced gadget junkie, how difficult will it be to intigrate this device into my arduino driven tank to stream vidio?

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