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Author Topic: Problem with white level using va11a, and iwitness  (Read 14941 times)

deimos_anomaly

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Problem with white level using va11a, and iwitness
« on: May 17, 2007, 10:45:08 AM »

I have been messing around with x10 for years, and recently decided to ad a wireless camera to my system. The problem is durring the daytime even if it is overcast outside ANY sunlight will cause the picture in ahp to almost completly white out. I am using a wireless xcam2, ninja mount, video receiver, and va11a with ahp. Ok i am thinking the problem is with the va11a or ahp itself because if I hook the receiver directly to a tv the picture is vastly improved. I tried to change the options in ahp but nothing helps and some of the options are grayed out (gamma, white balllance, and backlight comp). At night with my living room lights on the video loks fine, but ANY daylight seems to ruin it. I think those grayed out options would be the key, but how do i access them. any help would be greatly appreciated or else i just spent ~$200 for nothing as right now the thing is useless. Below is a link to a screenshot from ahp showing the video.

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/196/502140289_079adc2122_o.jpg

Deimos Anomaly
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HA Dave

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Re: Problem with white level using va11a, and iwitness
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2007, 07:13:18 PM »

So have you tried sliding the brightness control to the left?
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deimos_anomaly

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Re: Problem with white level using va11a, and iwitness
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2007, 08:41:11 PM »

I have played with all the comntrolls they don't seem to do much to help. I have also tried searching for some other tweaks in the hardware controll pannel in windows. about the only thing I have not tried is digging through the system registery. I am thinking that the va11a is a piece of junk, unfortunatly we are stuck with it because x10 forces us to use only their hardware while i have other perfectly good video capture hardware floating around. Anyway I think the key to this is the greyed out options. I just wish i knew why they are greyed out and how i can access them. BTW the settings shown are default if I change the brightness it helps only a slight bit, but then at night everything is way to dark.

Here is a screenshot at night with the living room, dining room lights on full.
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/211/502722577_4c60de9640_o.jpg

Deimos Anomaly
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HA Dave

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Re: Problem with white level using va11a, and iwitness
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2007, 08:51:24 PM »

You wouldn't have another camera you could try plugged into the va11a do you? Even a old video camera... or maybe a VCR or DVD video output would work. Then you would know for sure if it's the camera or the va11a.
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deimos_anomaly

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Re: Problem with white level using va11a, and iwitness
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2007, 10:25:01 AM »

About a week ago i tried connecting my digital camera to the va11a to see if the bad picture quality was due to the camera or the dongle. the picture quality was much better and I did not notice any problems with the brightness but this was in a different room. This weekend I will play around with it some more, also I will look into hacking the greyed out controlls, but I am not a terribly good software hacker so not anticipating success there.

Deimos Anomaly
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Bill H

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Re: Problem with white level using va11a, and iwitness
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2007, 01:41:39 PM »

I recently bought four new X10 wireless cameras to add to the eight I have already running. All four exhibited the white-out problem you described (both on AHP and on TVs scattered around the house).  I posted the problem but never got a definitive answer. My eventual cure: I returned all four cameras. (Tech support says this is NOT an issue...but maybe your posting proves otherwise.) My intention was to wait a while and check the postings before ordering them again. Guess I have to wait a bit longer....
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deimos_anomaly

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Re: Problem with white level using va11a, and iwitness
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2007, 04:38:26 PM »

There has to be a solution to this, and I am not going to give up until i either find one or loose all of my hair trying. I have some time this weekend, and I will be messing with this. I will keep updating this thread, and if anyone has anyother suggestions please feel free to chime in.

On a side note, I had a hell of a time getting this wireless camera working in my apartment due to my own and neighboring wifi networks. Infact when my camera was on it completely overpowered my wifi so none of my pc's would connect. I had to force my router to use only channel 11 and my camera is on house code b. Any other configuration resulted in either crapp(ier) video quality, or no wifi connectivity. I only hope i did not kill any of my neighbors wifi's ;D

Deimos Anomaly
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HA Dave

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Re: Problem with white level using va11a, and iwitness
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2007, 04:46:32 PM »

What some call a problem with X10 cameras... is the range. Rarely (never) have I read of anyone worried about the range of the cameras effecting a neighbor. Phones are more likely to interfere with WiFi. When that happens you can simply change channel setting in the routers set-up.  You could always just ask... but your neighbor should be OK.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2007, 07:42:33 PM by Dave_x10_L »
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MichaelC

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Re: Problem with white level using va11a, and iwitness
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2007, 07:33:02 PM »

If the picture is fine when you plug the video receiver into the TV, I'd have to guess that the VA11A is bad. I've used literally hundreds of different VA11As at different times, and none of them had any problems with washing out like that. Call X10 and get a replacement.

You might still want to check the camera. I've seen more problems with the sensors on cameras than I have with VA11As. Plug the camera into the TV and point it towards the light in a regular room -- if the picture washes out, the camera is not working very well.
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KDR

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Re: Problem with white level using va11a, and iwitness
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2007, 08:51:15 PM »

A temporary fix if the camera is going to be used outside in the daylight only is to get a Neutral Density filter. You can get flexable gel type filters at a camera shop and tape it over the lens. These filters can be used to slow down the electronic shutter speed which will improve the white out condition or as a permanent fix in extrem high bright light situations. Neutral Density filters will reduce the amount of light without altering color. Another side benefit is it reduces the depth of field which inturn improves the focus of the camera. If this corrects the problem I would suspect that the camera has a problem with its electronic shutter speed control. This problem compounded by a possible problem with the VA11A might make it seem impossible to fix. A new camera might not fix it and a new VA11A won't do it either. You may need to replace both.

Cameras that are on 24/7 over a long period of time will loose some of the topend electronic shutter speed control and start over exposing the images or causing it to flicker from light to dark in an attempt to correct itself. The lower cost cameras we use around our houses and our yards typically have electronic shutter speed ratings of 1/50 to 1/10,000 of a second. High end cams can be 1/50,000 or higher at the top end. I don't know what X10 cams are rated at.

----------------KDR
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