Stardot Technology of Buena Park, California, manufactures and sells Internet camera systems including the WinCam.Live, a high quality Internet-enabled camera with accompanying software. The WinCam.Live system snaps pictures and sends them live to a web server that can be viewed from any computer with Internet access. WinCam.Live cameras often monitor locations being shown as public attractions, including Niagara Falls, Old Faithful, and beaches in Portugal.
Serial: Going the distance
Web attractions displayed on a WinCam.Live system are often outdoor locations. The computer connected to the WinCam.Live camera cannot always be located close to the system’s computer. However, a serial connection offers a significant advantage over a USB connection when it comes to cable length: Stardot’s WinCam.Live cameras use cable runs of up to 200 feet, compared to the 15 foot maximum for USB connections. The WinCam.Live camera uses an RS-232 connection to a PC–a connection that provides enough bandwidth to refresh images up to four times a minute.
Web attractions frequently need to be covered from a number of vantage points and the WinCam system from Stardot can process and display inputs from multiple cameras. For WinCam installations that use multiple serial ports, LAVA’s DSerial-PCI, DSerial-PCI/LP, Quattro-PCI, or Octopus-550 are ideal options for adding 2, 4 or 8 high-reliability RS-232 serial ports to a WinCam.Live system. Multiple-camera installations are also popular for security camera installations.
WinCams often pass data to a serial port at full speed, full time. Stardot Technology has found that the serial port drivers for a number of other manufacturers’ serial ports were unable to meet the demands of continuous use, or that the cards encountered buffering problems. Generic cards were often unreliable. At the other end of the price range, the serial ports of several so-called “top-of-the-line” serial card manufacturers didn’t offer any added value for the added price.
Vance Kozik of Stardot says, “We didn’t need fancy utility software for the cards we were using.” The LAVA serial ports provide the rock-solid performance needed, at a reasonable price.
To learn more about Stardot Technology, visit: http://www.wincam.com.