Most applications using Raspberry Pi camera are perfectly happy to rely on the FPC flat cable connecting the Pi camera to a Raspberry Pi SBC. But for some use cases, the board and camera may have to be separated by some distance, for example, if you’d like to keep the single board computer indoor, while the camera is housed in a waterproof enclosure outside.
THine Solutions has designed a cable extension kit for the Raspberry Pi camera exactly for this purpose. The kit comes with Rx and Tx boards to be connected to the board and camera respectively., as well as a 2-meter CAT5e LAN cable, but the company says the solution supports up to 20-meter Ethernet cables.
THine camera extension kit content and key features:
- Supported cameras – Raspberry Pi camera V1.3 (for certain modes only), Raspberry Pi camera V2, and Raspberry Pi HQ camera
- Tx Board – Transmitter Board with THine THCV241A MIPI CSI-2 to
V-by-One HS Serializer
- Rx Board – Receiver Board with THine THCV242 V-by-One HS to
MIPI CSI-2 Deserializer
- 2-meter Cat5e LAN cable, straight; support up to 20-meter cables
- 2x ribbon Flex cables
- Mounting screws, short and long spacers for Rx & Tx boards
The system is plug-and-play without any software configuration needed. It relies on V-by-One HS technology, and the V-by-One <-> MIPI-CSI chips from the company. By checking out the datasheet, you’ll learn which Raspberry Pi camera V1.3 modes are supported, and discover that most Ethernet cables work at room temperature, but at low (-25°C) or high (+60°C) temperature, it’s another story.
One application that already took advantage of the camera extension kit is Pikon Raspberry Pi telescope project.
The Raspberry Pi SBC and camera would typically be attached to the telescope, and you’d need to bring a laptop or a computer plus a display to visualize the output of the telescope. It’s not super convenient, and it may be cold or really hot outside, but with the Raspberry Pi camera extension kit only the telescope and camera need to be outside. The Raspberry Pi board and computer can be used indoors.
Via Electronics Weekly.