How long to understand camera and write useful code


I am a 11th grade student. I have never used the camera before
but would like to this year.

How long does it take to become familar with the camera?
How long before I’ll write useful code.

Thanks for your help

IMO, The best way to get started with the camera is to use Kevin Watson’s code from He has not only great documentation but some code that can get you up and running with the camera in no time. Currently it is all for the 2007 and older RCs but I don’t think it will take him long to update it for 2008 if needed.

I will second this recommendation!
The key in learning and understanding Kevin’s code is to READ HIS COMMENTS AND EXPLANATIONS. (I wrote that in all caps for emphasis, I’m not yelling.)
Start by reading the READ ME file he includes. Pay close attention to his .h files, they hold a wealth of information. Then, read the comments in the associated .c files. Lastly, read the code it’s self, you will find it is actually simple to follow.
I would not wait until Kick Off to start this. You can download the files to any PC and start the process of learning right now, you do not need MPLAB to read the files, just open them in Notepad or any text editor.

When you have question about his code, search here for the answers, or, ask the question if your search does not provide a satisfactory explanation.

I would have to agree. As long as you have a basic understanding of the C language, read Kevin’s camera.c, and tracking.c

Camera.c has the lower level functions in it that interface directly with the serial port. Tracking.c uses the data acquired by Camera.c to “track” the light with the servos around the camera.

I am a 10th grade student, and my knowledge is limited as well, but after a whole year (9th grade) of not understanding it, I finally sat down and read the code. Needless to say, it helped!