Mobius
activity:mobius

The Public Lab community has been using variants of the Mobius ActionCam for aerial photography purposes for some time, and has also used this as the basis of our Infragram Point and Shoot camera. The purpose of this page is to provide an overview of operation for these cameras, specifically as an aerial mapping tool. ## Questions [questions:mobius] ## Activities [activities:mobius] **** ## Lenses ### Model A From the factory, the Mobius has a couple options, including the Model A, which has an 87-degree field of view. This is the __least__ fisheye option from the sales channels, such as Amazon or Mobius-USA websites. We offer this camera in the PL store, and this is the model we have modified as part of the Infragram Point and Shoot camera (where they remove the IR cut filter at the factory, and replace with our red gel for NDVI photography. ### M12 Security Camera Lenses The Mobius was designed to take a standard "M12" threaded lens, which makes it simple to swap out the kit lens for any of a number of lenses available online. @pcoyle posted some research around finding the best options for aerial mapping, and you can find those notes [here](https://publiclab.org/notes/patcoyle/08-01-2015/mobius-non-fish-eye-lens-conversion). Based on this research, we decided to offer Mobius cameras pre-fitted with 6mm lenses [found here](http://store.publiclab.org/collections/mobius-actioncam), installed at the factory. We also offer 8mm lenses as an alternate. ## Exchanging Lenses this involves opening the camera, then using the small hex driver (provided) to loosen a set screw. This will allow the original lens to be unthreaded and exchanged. Photos and tutorial on exchanging lenses to be created soon, but for now, you can find this information readily on youtube, examples [here](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dZRjscVtkA) and [here](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0rfPHh01NA). In order to focus the lens, you can view the camera in a live-view mode, a.k.a. webcam mode, and manually adjust the focus. Once the focus is set, you can choose to lock the focus in place, or to leave it unlocked before closing the camera body housing. Locking it will prevent accidental loss of focus, but will limit you to the one focal setting. In aerial applications, this is preferable, leaving focus locked at infinity. In some operations, you may want ability to focus on nearer objects. ## Camera Operation [![mobius-demo.jpg](//i.publiclab.org/system/images/photos/000/013/845/medium/mobius-demo.jpg)](//i.publiclab.org/system/images/photos/000/013/845/original/mobius-demo.jpg) This is the basic instructions we ship with the camera, explaining the custom default settings we install, and enough info to get you going. The Mobius has three main modes of operation. You can toggle between these modes by pressing the "Mode" button (signified by "M" on the button). The modes are: * Photo mode (Red) * 1080p Video (Yellow) * 720p Video (Blue) We modify the firmware and system configuration before selling these cameras to optimize them for aerial mapping purposes. Specifically we: * set the default mode to "Photo" * set the photo mode to a 5-second intervelometer, at highest resolution * allow locking white balance and exposure by pressing and holding "mode" button for 3 seconds * setting camera to turn off automatically after 2 minutes of down time. * turning off the time/date stamp ###Setting balance and exposure It is ideal to lock both white balance and exposure prior to taking a large series of photos, especially if you plan to later "stitch" these photos together, as inconsistencies in the exposure settings can make the job much more difficult. You can set custom white balance and exposure for the duration of an entire flight by simply aiming the camera at the grey card provided (or any 18% grey card or equivalent), in lighting conditions as close to your flight as possible. Make sure the camera is turned on, and in standby mode (not taking photos). Top LED should be a solid red. Then hold down the "Mode" button for 3 seconds, until the camera LED light turns off. Release the "mode" button, and your exposure is now set. ## Mounting the Mobius camera for flight There are many ways to attach a camera such as the Mobius to a flying line; one of the biggest advantages of such a camera is that its light weight and tiny form factor allow it to be easily rigged up. Here we will give a couple of the most direct options, using common materials. You can post your own solutions, and find many others under development, by looking at Public Lab research notes with the tag: pendulum-rig. ## Customizing the configuration file and firmware. We ship the camera with the current version of firmware. You can find the most up-to-date version here, and if you see a discrepency between this and our version, please let us know by emailing kits@publiclab.org. We might have missed the update! The coinfiguration file can be edited in a few ways. There are graphical tools available to let you edit the configuation file on your camera, available for Mac and Windows systems. The most direct way is to edit the file directly using a text editor program, such as Notepad for Windows ## accessories some accessories that look promising, currently available from third-party vendors (links provided as example, not we don't actually recommend anyone in particular). ###lens extension cable ###silicon housing ###AV Out cable (for live view applications) ##other relevant links and notes link here to other links and tags on PL and beyond....


Author Comment Last activity Moderation
theowallis "My second lens arrived today and I reluctantly performed the same procedure (with a slight difference) on it. I went out and bought a glass cutter ..." | Read more » almost 10 years ago
theowallis "Yeah I'm stumped too. As you said, I can only think it's a loose element inside the remaining lens assembly. I've ordered another lens to repeat th..." | Read more » almost 10 years ago
mathew "The sensor is screwed in straight to the lens assembly, so the issue must be some other focus hardware, or a loose piece inside the lense itself. I..." | Read more » almost 10 years ago
theowallis "Nothing rattles when I shake the lens but reassembling the case (or any movement/vibration) alters the focus. I haven't installed a new filter yet...." | Read more » almost 10 years ago
cfastie "theowallis, Did you add a new filter to replace the IR block filter? Where did you put it? Do you think it is the act of tightening the set screw ..." | Read more » almost 10 years ago
warren "Hmm, i once saw this with a different camera, where the filter was helping to pressure the lens into place, and removing it let the lens rock back ..." | Read more » almost 10 years ago
theowallis "Just a friendly warning for those of you looking to attempt this conversion, I did this last week, it wasn't too hard to smash the ir blocker out b..." | Read more » almost 10 years ago
mathew "I tried acetone, ethanol, and hot air, none moved the glue. " | Read more » almost 10 years ago
WhiteRabbit "Would acetone or some other solvent dissolve the glue holding on the IR blocker so that it can be removed without shattering it? Is it known what ..." | Read more » almost 10 years ago
cfastie "The only filter I tried that worked was Wratten 25A. Two blue filters worked poorly. @mathew has tried Rosco #19 which seems to work well. I don't ..." | Read more » almost 10 years ago
WhiteRabbit "" I can try different filters to learn how to make the best plant health images." Which filters have you found that make the best plant health ima..." | Read more » almost 10 years ago
warren "I've recently used just a flag-shaped piece of foam core and a swivel to stabilize my Mobius (infragram p+s) and it worked pretty well, although I ..." | Read more » almost 10 years ago
ajawitz "Very True. In fact I'd have no other choice since my Printrbot Simple can only print about 4x4x4 anyway. Unfortunately, I won't be printing much ..." | Read more » almost 10 years ago
mathew "I flew the mobius on a redstone rig, but the rig was overkill--- weighing twice what the camera did. I bet just scaling it down to closer to the m..." | Read more » almost 10 years ago
warren "Here is Mathew's PDF on conversion, as well, for reference: mobius_instructions.pdf " | Read more » about 10 years ago
mathew "Ok-- I have the ROSCO Fire filter and several others in my swatch booklet. Going to run tests tomorrow, and try digging into the white balance pre..." | Read more » about 10 years ago
mathew "Nice writeup, thanks Chris. I like the tip on focusing, hadn't tried that. " | Read more » about 10 years ago