What does the Camera Link accessory do?

The Camera Link Module takes CMOS-type digital data from the Tau2 camera and converts it to Camera Link format digital video. Besides a Mini- Camera Link connector for digital video, the Camera Link Module includes a mini-USB connector for power and communications, and an MCX connector for analog video. Note that the module does not include a Camera Link cable, frame grabber, or data acquisition/processing software.

The Tau2 Camera is powered through the mini-USB connector with a nominal draw of 180mA at 5VDC and a peak startup draw of 500mA. The camera uses serial communication at either 57600 or 921600 Baud by creating a virtual COM Port on the computer used for USB communications. The Baud Rate is selected using auto-Baud and the camera will communicate at the first Baud Rate in which it receives a valid command until it is powered off.

In order to use a Camera Link Module for acquisition of data, the CMOS XP Bus Output must first be enabled using the FLIR Camera Controller. This option is found under Video => Digital Video. In the Camera Controller GUI, either 8-bit or 14-bit digital output can be selected.

Tau Camera Controller

Once these changes are made, it is a good idea to save settings to make them power cycle persistent. This can be done in the Setup window.

The digital data complies with Base Camera Link standards and should be compatible with any brand Camera Link frame grabber and software. FLIR has tested the ImperX FrameLink Express model VCE-CLEX01 frame grabber (http://imperx.com/frame-grabbers/framelink-express).

It is important to note that the Camera Link module provides access to digital data only, and the other portions of the Base Camera Link specifications are not met. Camera control, external frame sync, and power through the Camera Link connector are not supported. With simple hardware modifications, it is possible to route communications through the Camera Link interface and not through USB. Please consult a FLIR representative for details on this modification.

The FLIR Camera Controller allows for control of the Tau2 Camera, but does not support Camera Link data acquisition, and third-party software must be used. The ImperX frame grabber comes with FrameLink Express software that allows for recording single or multiple images (BMP, JPG, TIF, and RAW) as well as standard AVI clips. Configuration requires selecting 1 TAP, L->R for the tap reconstruction, selecting the appropriate bit depth that you chose in the FLIR Camera Controller, and clicking “Learn” to discover the number of digital pixels available.

Camera Parameters