simple cameras for chessclock project

Hi,
I am looking for a cheap camera for a chess-clock project. I would like to use these camera's to take a single picture every time somebody
presses the clock. These images would be send to a pc using a serial or usb cable.
Does anybody know a cheap camera that is simple to use for projects like this?
Thank you in advance BramGo
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Regular webcam?
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Thank you for your feedback, Padu.
A regular webcam uses USB. Isn't this the hard way? I was actually more thinking about a CMOS Image Sensor. (I guess that's what inside one of those webcams) That would be easier and cheaper to use, no?
But it doesn't have to be a CMOS image sensor per se. I am just looking for something that is easy to connect to my circuit. Is a webcam easier? (I don't know).
Maybe I should make things a bit more clear: The camera should be connected to the clock, and the clock is connected to the pc. In other words, the camera is not directly connected to the pc. That is because I would like to extend the project in a later stage and make it a standalone clock. the clock would then save the pictures on a FlashCard for example.
Did anybody try this before? Or can anybody advice me a certain camera or a certain image sensor, etc...
Thank you :) BramGo
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I don't know about cheaper. Webcams are very cheap these days. Yes, they are USB (with a couple of firewire exceptions), and there are plenty of libraries for dealing with images from USB cameras using either directX (directShow) or WDM streaming. Take a look here for one example: http://www.robin-hewitt.com/framecap/

For one of my robots, I'm using a CCD "boxy" firewire camera. The nice thing about it is that the manufacturer provides the API to talk directly with the camera, but these are more expensive ones (from $400 to $4000, withouth lens)

On that matter, some cameras have a trigger input. When they see a signal in this port, they capture one frame with very small latency. If you are not connecting the camera to the pc, then you'll probably have to worry about interfacing the image with your circuitry... not a trivial task.

What price range are you looking into? There are too many options.
Cheers
Padu
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Something really really cheap. maximum 30euros.
The picture can be black and white. The resolution should be medium-quality though.
The idea is to let a PC write down a game record based on these pictures. (I did a project on neural networks that should be capable of doing this). (But it's only a project, so if it would turn out the resolution should have been better, it's not a disaster, then I'll just simplify my project and make it a connect4-clock instead of chess-clock or something like that).
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<...>
Hi BramGo,
an easy way out might be to buy a cheap digital still-picture camera that stores its pictures on flashcard, and then add a switch from your clock in parallel to the shutter button of this camera. HTH
Peter
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

If you're looking for a challenge, check this out: http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_idc7
For something simpler, try the CMUcam or one of these: http://www.drrobot.com/products_wirobot_list.asp?categoryID=9 http://www.quasarelectronics.com/cmos_cameras.htm
The easiest thing would be to connect a USB webcam directly to the computer and just have the chess clock communicate over the serial or parallel port. Intel's OpenCV has a highgui library that simplifies interfacing with USB cameras. I've used it for several projects; my only gripe is that the framerate seems to max out at 15Hz.
Sending a 320x240 pixel image, with 3 bytes per pixel, will take a while at 115200 baud... Probably too slow for a chess clock.
Later, Daniel
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