Blackfin Console

Blackfin Assembled


For information on how to configure the camera hardware then read this

Connect the camera to your PC via a MAX232 level shifter (or similar). This converts the low voltage (TTL) signals into the values required by a PC RS232 port.

Blackfin Connection


We are now ready to run the console.

My console software is written in Java and requires a Java Runtime (JRE) version 6 (also known as 1.6) or later.

To  find the version of Java you have installed then, on Windows, you can either:

  • Left click 'Start', go to 'Control Panel' and then 'Java'. If there is no 'Java' option then you've never installed it. Otherwise the Java window will have an 'About...' button to show you the current version; or
  • Left click 'Start' and click on 'Run...'. In the new window enter 'cmd' (without the quotes) and click OK to open a command window. Type in 'java -version' (without the quotes) and press enter.
Versions of Java can be downloaded for free from the Sun website.

I have distributed the Blackfin console software using something called 'Java Web Start'. This means that every time you run the program, and you are connected to the internet, then it will automatically check for, and download, new versions of the software.

To download and run my console then point your browser at /blackfin/blackfin.jnlp

 Depending upon your browser, and how it is configured, you may see a screen like:-

Blackfin Opening

 In which case: click on OK to say that you want to run the Blackfin console.

You should now see a window like this:-

Blackfin Console Start

In the first drop-down select the COM port used on your PC, enter the baud rate into the second box, and then click 'Connect'

Once connected the title of the main window will change to display the version of the firmware installed on the camera.

If the system appears to hang then click on the Console button to see more detailed info of the messages in and out.

Blackfin Console Tools Window

The Tools window allows you to change resolution, image quality, and colour bin (bank) values.

NB The higher you set the reolution then the slower the console will become - this is because the images are quite large and so transmitting over a serial link is VERY SLOW. Just be patient - or use a lower resolution from the drop down.

In order to help you set the colour bank you can place the mouse pointer somewhere in the image and the tools window will (eventually) show you the YUV colour of the pixel underneath the pointer. You can use this to set the min and max values of the colour bank. Alternatively you drag the mouse in the image window.

When setting the min/max colour bank values note that the MIN values should be less than or equal to the corresponding MAX value. Once the bank values have been set the console will automatically look for matching 'blob' rectangles - and these will be shown on your image.

 You can limit the number of blobs shown by changing the value in the 'Max blobs' field. Since the largest blobs are shown first then, for example, changing the value to '1' will only display the largest matching blob.