Pixel Advertising Trading Design in Bahrain to use LAVA cards

1st Wednesday, 2014  |  Life at LAVA  |  no comments

logosWhen Pixel Advertising in Muharraq, Bahrain, specializing in print materials, stationery, and lamination needed advice for quality and well engineered parallel cards to work with their older equipment in a production environment, they came to LAVA Computer MFG. Inc. in Toronto, Canada. LAVA recommended our line of parallel ISA cards. The decision was to buy from a company that engineers and manufactures their product in their own factory and then backs it up with a Lifetime Warranty. So if you need “really hard to find parts” LAVA is the place to come to.

Pixel Advertising: http://www.pixel-bh.com

Connecting your camera using the LAVA SimulCharge USB

25th Thursday, 2014  |  Life at LAVA  |  no comments

Cameras today are sophisticated pieces of technology, and your camera can connect to computers, phones, and tablets to permit tethered shooting, remote control, and image viewing. And the SimulCharge USB can be an important part of this interfacing.

What you need:
• a camera capable of being remotely controlled over a USB connection
• a LAVA SimulCharge USB adapter
• a tablet compatible with the SimulCharge USB and that tablet’s adapter
• a remote control/tethering app for the tablet (see below)

Cameras can connect to other hardware through wired connections (usually USB these days), or through WiFi, Bluetooth, or IR. In the case of USB wired connections, the link is established as a USB host mode connection (sometimes called USB On-The-Go or OTG).

This blog post describes using the SimulCharge USB to make tethering work well. This adapter lets the tablet operate in USB Host mode — that is, having a camera attached — and at the same time have power supplied to the tablet.

Since one of the benefits of tethered shooting applications is interval shooting, you might want to have your setup operate for an extended period of time. Shooting a series of interval shots lets you then create amazing time-lapse videos.

The setup is simple: plug your camera’s USB cable into the LAVA SimulCharge USB adapter, plug the SimulCharge in to the tablet, and plug your tablet’s power adapter into the SimulCharge. Now your camera is tethered to a continuously powered tablet.

Canon TL-002 and DSLR control blog page_700px

Nikon TL-002 and DSLR control blog page_700px

On your tablet you will need a tethering/remote control app suited to your camera. A number of such apps exist, offering everything from remote shutter release to almost-complete control of the camera’s settings. Some apps let you set interval shots, and some offer image review, which on a tablet makes it much easier to assess shots you have just taken. The Samsung tablets compatible with the SimulCharge USB have some of the best and highest resolution screens available.

Canon TL-002 and DSLR control connection diagram_700px

 

Nikon TL-002 and DSLR control connection diagram_700px


A good general discussion of tethering is here:

Control a DSLR with your Android phone or tablet


A few remote/tethering apps are:

REMOTE CONTROL NIKON
For Nikon IR
Free

 
DslrDashboard
For Nikon and Canon
Free

 

DSLR Remote
Uses infrared, WiFi,  by wire or Bluetooth connection
For Canon, Fuji, Minolta, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax and Sony
Free

 

Remote Release
A subset of paid “DSLR Controller” below
For Canon only
Free

 

DSLR Controller
Canon only
Paid app

 

Helicon Remote
For Nikon and Canon
Free

Numerous other remote control applications exist.


To understand how the whole operation works, we can delve further into the protocol used when cameras connect to tablets.

PTP, MTP, and Android File Transfer

Although this blog post describes tablet connections to DSLRs, in fact other cameras can also work [an extensive list] [a shorter, older list], depending on the camera and the application running on the tablet. What is required? Two basic things: a camera that implements a specific protocol (PTP) in a manner that the tablet application can use, and a tablet application (such as dslrDashboard) that will recognize that specific make and model of camera.

Getting specific: PTP, MTP, and USB

Back as far ago as 2002, camera manufacturers began to standardize their camera’s interfaces to computers, particularly over USB. Before then, a camera with a USB port needed a driver installed on the computer to be able to recognize the device as a camera and to establish even the most rudimentary connection, such as that needed to copy files from the camera to the computer. That interface was called “Picture Transfer Protocol” or “PTP”. The current PTP has been published as ISO 15740:2013.

Today, many cameras implement PTP only to the degree that they can tell a computer that they are a camera, and support basic file copying operations.

However, the PTP grew and added more access to camera features, permitting the interface to control that camera’s picture-taking settings, the camera’s shutter, and other camera functions.

Some cameras (usually on the higher end of a manufacturer’s product line) have very full implementations of the PTP, and in addition will be able to tell an application their specifc make and model. These cameras, paired with the right tablet or computer application) can be fully controlled remotely.

If a camera control application can detect a camera on a USB connection, and if the camera implements PTP to provide camera control functionality and to supply its vendor and product IDs to the application, and if the application has that specific camera’s information, THEN a full remote control/tethering/ device management environment exists.

PTP has been standardized as the “still image capture device class” by the USB Implementers Forum (making cameras NOT a part of the USB mass-storage device class); and a superset of PTP, the “Media Transfer Protocol” also exists to facilitate file handling on devices such as portable media players and digital audio players, although MTP is also useful for handling video files generated on a camera.

The Protocols and Extensions

Protocols

Picture Transfer Protocol (Wikipedia)

Picture Transfer Protocol: ISO 15740:2013 (Photography — Electronic still picture imaging — Picture transfer protocol (PTP) for digital still photography devices)

Originating as part of the Windows Media framework, MTP has since been standardized by the USB Implementers Forum as a USB device class and official extension to PTP.

Media Transfer Protocol (Wikipedia)

Extensions

PTP has been extended by several camera manufacturers with interfaces to proprietary functionalities, and PTP/IP allows file transfer over IP networks (including WiFi interfaces to cameras by Nikon, Canon, and others).

Operating System Support for PTP

Although this blog post focuses on Android implementations of PTP, other operating systems also implement PTP

Windows

Windows ME and later

Apple

Mac OS X v10.1 and later (although Mac does not implement MTP, preferring the proprietary iTunes)

Android

Android USB Connections Explained: MTP, PTP, and USB Mass Storage

Linux

Linux implements PTP under the libgphoto and libptp libraries.

gPhoto2: free, redistributable, ready to use set of digital camera software applications for UNIX-like operating system, including Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, MacOS X, etc. gPhoto is provided by major Linux distributions like Debian GNU/Linux, Ubuntu, Gentoo, Fedora, openSUSE, Mandriva, etc.

libptp2: a library used to communicate with PTP devices like still
imaging cameras or MP3 players

USB

The USB Implementers Forum (USB.org) defines the PTP transport over USB

Free Software with PTP Support

Free software with PTP Support

Wired Ethernet with Samsung Galaxy Tab A/E/S2/4 using SimulCharge USB: Video

2nd Tuesday, 2014  |  Life at LAVA  |  no comments

This video shows the LAVA SimulCharge USB Adapter (TL-002) connecting a Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 to an Ethernet LAN using the SimulCharge USB adapter. The TL-002 will also work with new Samsung tablets like the Tab E (Android 5.x), Tab A, Tab S2. Click here for full compatibility list.  Also, the new LAVA STS-E LAN adapter can provide wired Ethernet without an extra USB-Ethernet Adapter.

 

wiired Ethernet for your tablet_700px

 

A major point: the LAVA SimulCharge TL-002 is the ONLY OTG adapter on the market that also provides charging to the tablet and hosted peripherals. This means that your wired Ethernet link will not be limited by the battery life of your tablet.

Points to note:

• the USB-Ethernet adapter must be compatible with the Ethernet firmware on the tablet.
• the power required for the USB-Ethernet adapter needs to be within the USB power budget available for your power adapter and setup. Generally, an Ethernet adapter will not in itself draw too much power. However, if you are attaching numerous USB devices to the setup, things might not work, as the Samsung power adapter has been primarily designed for powering a tablet.
• the tablet DOES NOT NEED TO BE ROOTED to use the TL-002. This is a major bonus for those wanting to work within their tablet’s warranty provisions.
• the TL-002 adapter is intended for Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 / PRO / Note tablets. Ethernet support firmware needs to exist in these tablets for them to speak to the USB-Ethernet adapter.
• the “tablet charging” icon (a battery with a lightning bolt) is more properly seen as a “tablet is receiving external power” icon. In the most simple situation–the tablet alone attached to wall power using its power adapter–the tablet will be receiving enough power to also increase the battery’s charge. In other situations, such as when another power draw is added to the mix (a USB-Ethernet adapter in this case), the total power getting to the tablet might not be sufficient to add charge to the battery, even though power is being fed to the tablet. In these cases, the power draw of the tablet will be greater than the power being added to the tablet, and so the tablet will slowly discharge–even though the tablet’s power icon shows a lightning bolt.

Tab 4 hosting a USB-Ethernet adapter

This adapter provides a simple way — in fact the only way — to attach a USB-Ethernet adapter to a Samsung Tab 4/Pro/S/Note, and at the same time charge the battery or run the tablet on wall power using the Samsung power adapter supplied with your tablet.

This diagram shows the very simple setup involved.

2014-09-02 TL-002 and wired Ethernet

As you’ll see, the adapter is truly plug and play, and the Ethernet adapter used in the video is used by the tablet with no need to configure anything.

External HDD with Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 using SimulCharge USB: Video

28th Thursday, 2014  |  Life at LAVA  |  no comments

This video shows the LAVA SimulCharge USB Adapter (TL-002) connecting an external USB hard disk drive to a Samsung Galaxy Tab 4.

A major point: the LAVA SimulCharge TL-002 is the ONLY OTG adapter on the market that also provides charging to the tablet and hosted peripherals.

Points to note:

• the hard disk drive you attach to the tablet needs to be formatted as a FAT drive (NTFS, EXT4, and other formats won’t work). This is a characteristic of stock Android and has nothing to do with the TL-002 adapter. (In fact, a rooted tablet can be loaded with software to read other file formats, but that topic is outside this discussion).
• the power required for the external drive needs to be within the USB power budget available for your power adapter and setup. Generally, laptop HDDs (2.5″ drives) will be fine but this setup is less likely to work with devices with demanding power needs (3.5″ drives, RAID arrays, and so forth). Also, if you are attaching numerous USB devices to the setup, things might not work, as the Samsung power adapter has been primarily designed for powering a tablet.
• the tablet DOES NOT NEED TO BE ROOTED to use the TL-002. This is a major bonus for those wanting to work within their tablet’s warranty provisions.
• the TL-002 adapter is intended for Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 / PRO / Note tablets.
• the “tablet charging” icon (a battery with a lightning bolt) is more properly seen as a “tablet is receiving external power” icon. In the most simple situation–the tablet alone attached to wall power using its power adapter–the tablet will be receiving enough power to also increase the battery’s charge. In other situations, such as when another power draw is added to the mix (an external HDD in this case), the total power getting to the tablet might not be sufficient to add charge to the battery, even though power is being fed to the tablet. In these cases, the power draw of the tablet will be greater than the power being added to the tablet, and so the tablet will slowly discharge–even though the tablet’s power icon shows a lightning bolt.

Tab 4 hosting USB HDD

This adapter provides a simple way — in fact the only way — to attach a USB HDD to a Samsung Tab 4/Pro/S/Note, and at the same time makes it possible to charge the battery or run the tablet on wall power using the Samsung power adapter supplied with your tablet.

This diagram shows the very simple setup involved.

 

2014-08-28 TL-002 w external HDDAs you’ll see, the adapter is truly plug and play, and the hard drive used in the video is assessed by the tablet with no need to configure anything.

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