Need simple instructions to make USB camera work Roborio


New to FRC and LabView. We have the Microsoft HD USB camera and it works if plugged into PC (for testing). However when plugged into RoboRio I’m not able to view the camera in the dashboard. In the dashboard in the pulldown for camera the only selection I see is “Camera”. In other discussions there has been mention of seeing HW Camera and something else (I forget) but I don’t have those options.

So as a minimum setup what exact steps should produce video in the driver dashboard. And yes the camera is plugged in to the RoboRio prior to powering it up.

Thanks for your help.

Exact steps would be to visit a nearby mentor with experience.

Less exact steps are generally less exact, because you do not have the exact same setup as anyone else, from PC hardware to software versions, and whatever else you use the PC for (e.g., Lurking CD or Slack).

Here are the general steps in somewhat painful detail (these usually take me about 30 seconds plus boot time): 0) Ignore everything you think you know or don’t have to bother to do, just because you think it’s silly or unnecessary or because you tried it yesterday. :slight_smile:

  1. Update all software/firmware to the latest version, e.g., Windows and especially the radio firmware issued yesterday:
    Now go look to see what the actual latest version of every FRC software installation package really is. I mean it. Go look. Prove you have the latest.

  2. After the firmware update, Configure the radio to your team number and eliminate the Bandwidth option. (You can add it in later once you know things work, and you’re really going to want to have bandwidth limited.)

  3. Disable all PC network related utilities that may have been setup incorrectly (which is ALL of them), e.g., Windows Firewall, McAfee, anti-virus. After you get it working you can add these back in one at a time to see if any of them break things.

  4. Disable all NICs except for the one you are using (these also can be added back in once everything is known to work). Search for Network and Sharing Center, then go to Change adapter settings, then right-click->Disable.

  5. The NIC you are using- Disable it, wait a few moments- re-Enable it. That will clear out any left over settings from connecting to the Internet. Because I have no idea what else you are using this PC for.

  6. Use a USB camera known to work for thousands of teams = Microsoft Lifecam HD-3000

  7. Plug the USB camera into the port closest to the edge of the roboRIO. No particular reason, I just want to know where it is.

  8. Power up the roboRIO. Make sure an Ethernet cable connects it to the radio (with the latest 2/14 firmware). Wait for everything to complete booting.

  9. Connect to the radio from your PC when it’s wireless appears. Wait for it to finish connecting.

  10. Create, build, Run as startup a brand new default Robot Project.

  11. Start the Driver Station app. Wait for it to finish and the Dashboard (the default one, not one you’ve modified in any way-that can come later) to start up. Check that Communication/Robot Code are both green.

  12. Click on the camera selection to see if Camera appears-Choose it. If it does, that means the default Dashboard is communicating with your default user code.

  13. Reduce the camera settings on the Dashboard to 160x120, 10 fps, 50% compression. You can up it later once you get it working.

  14. If the camera doesn’t appear after 10 seconds or so, restart the roboRIO. Wait for it to start communicating w/Robot Code again.

  15. Still no image, reboot your PC, re-connect to the robot radio, restart the Driver Station/Dashboard, Select the Camera again in the Dashboard.

  16. Repeat all steps with a different PC. Try that old Classmate that people hate because it’s old and slow, but still works, because people don’t mess with it since it’s old and slow.

  17. Still not working-consider doing that earlier exact step of visiting a nearby experienced student/mentor.

Thanks for your reply. Here’s some more info to show you where we’re at.

I have been able to deploy some code and the joysticks work fine and control the proper motors. I have flashed the radio and stored the team number etc. That part seems to work fine. Thanks for the notice of radio update.

I am using the exact Microsoft camera you mention the Lifecam HD-3000. The driver Dashboard is the default stock version. No modifications. The communications, robot code, etc are all green. It’s just that the left window pane has no camera video in it. In the drop down box below it the only selection available is “Camera”. I select it and see nothing.

I’d love to meet with a mentor. Where do I find a list of them for my area?

If you know your local teams, call them. The experienced mentors are associated with teams.
To find local teams:

I’d suggest starting with team 1625 Winnebago High School, 20 miles from you.

You can find your local Regional Director and/or Senior Mentor (if any) on the right side of the page here:
They are best equipped to connect you with other locals and/or mentors and even help you look for mentors to train up (but any new mentors won’t be experienced yet).