Jamie Matthews Revives a Scrap Kodak Brownie Digicam with an Espressif ESP32 Digital Conversion



Maker Jamie Matthews has given a scrapped Kodak Brownie Mannequin 1 digicam an entire new life, by changing it for digital pictures — courtesy of an Espressif ESP32-CAM board the place its innards was.

“Lately I’ve seen in enhance of those outdated Kodak Brownie box-style [cameras] on the market regionally, most are dust low cost and I’ve even come throughout some on the metallic recycling centres,” Matthews explains. “As I am at all times making an attempt to save lots of as many vintage items as humanly attainable, I needed to provide you with a technique to return the usefulness of those beauties. This gave me the possibility to lastly have a go at a undertaking utilizing the unimaginable little ESP32-CAM boards which might be all arrange with a mighty little 2MP sensor.”

The guts of the undertaking is an Espressif ESP32-CAM improvement board, which mixes an ESP32 microcontroller with built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth radio with an Omnivision OV2640 two-megapixel digicam sensor. The result’s an impressively compact all-in-one board that can be utilized so as to add streaming imagery — or native seize — to nearly any system, and which simply suits inside the Kodak Brownie’s housing.

To lift the undertaking to the subsequent degree, Matthews modified the OV2640 digicam module to incorporate an M12 mount — permitting for a variety of lenses, from wide-angle to macro, to be fitted rather than the inventory lens. An 18650 lithium-ion cell linked to a lift converter powers the whole lot, whereas 3D-printed mounts maintain the whole lot in place.

Not like a contemporary digital digicam, there is no show: as an alternative, a easy indicator LED — positioned the place the flash would go — alerts when the digicam is in use. A easy program, in the meantime, locations the ESP32 right into a deep sleep state till a reset button — positioned the place the digicam’s shutter launch initially lived — is pressed, at which level the microcontroller wakes as much as take a picture and put it aside to a microSD card. Another program, in the meantime, converts the digicam to a networked system for distant management.

A full information to the undertaking is obtainable on Matthews’ Instructables web page.

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