The PC2-CamLink from the Canadian manufacturer Teledyne DALSA is a unique frame grabber using the CameraLink interface, that is available at a very attractive entry-level price. This frame grabber can acquire from area scan and line scan cameras using the CameraLink BASE configuration. Despite its low entry-level price, this frame grabber provides all the required functionality such as camera control signals, trigger, strobe and opto-decoupled I/Os via a separate board. So-called shaft encoders and start/stop triggers are available for use with production processes such as synchronisation to the speed of a conveyor belt. The card is suitable for the PCI bus (5V and 3.3V) and is therefore compatible with all commonly available and PCs.
Verification mechanisms implemented in hardware guarantee the immediate reporting of transmission errors and (partial) image loss. Thanks to this precise information about the location of any error that occurs, users are better able to optimise their systems. DALSA describes this functionality as "trigger-to-image reliability". It not only offers outstanding data security but also greatly simplifies troubleshooting operations. Simple, very well documented software and additional status LEDs permit rapid start-up.
"Trigger-to-image reliability" is the name Teledyne DALSA gives to the function which continuously and automatically flags all the pixels, images and lines for transfer, counts these and checks them in each function block. This guarantees that once capture has been triggered, whether in hardware or software, all the data is also present in the image processing PC's main memory. If any pixels are transferred incorrectly then the error code and location are reported immediately.
The status LEDs are another source of assistance. One of the LEDs provides a visual indication that a camera is connected and transmitting data (green) or whether image losses are occurring (flashing red). The other LED indicates whether a trigger is being applied to the board (flashing green) or whether the board has been overtriggered (flashing red). This functionality very greatly simplifies the identification of error locations, particularly at start-up.
The PC2-CamLink provides a variety of trigger and control modes. In addition to the asynchronous image trigger and the pulse-width control modes for area scan cameras, a programmable-edge trigger input is provided which is an essential precondition for line scan camera applications. This trigger can be used to signal the start or end of the object that needs to be inspected. Thus, a start/stop trigger reduces the image capture so that it only includes the data that is required. Usually the feed information is determined via an incremental encoder which generates a defined number of pulses per rotation. Usually the feed information is determined by an incremental encoder which generates a defined number of pulses per rotation. To adapt these pulses to the required resolution, there is a counter (shaft encoder) directly behind the trigger input which reduces the value to the required scale.
The PC2-CamLink is the ideal frame grabber for all cost-sensitive tasks in which CameraLink base cameras are used.