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madan1 04-21-2019 02:39 PM

IP camera mod/upgrade
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Hello everyone.
Recently bought a home security IP camera. The core of the camera is Hi3516 - Chinese dedicated "all in one" IPcamera processor.
The IC has ton of options and about half of them are not implemented by the camera maker ( USB, SDcard, audio in/out, triggers, etc. ).
The camera software seems to be standard for the processor and the missing options are just grayed out.
On the boards there is a place for the microSD slot, so I just wondered if installing one and making it work will be easy.
Unfortunately, I'm not able to find the "hardware design user guide" thus can not tell if and what other components beside the slot are missing.

Retro-Hipster 05-02-2019 02:44 PM

Re: IP camera mod/upgrade
Hmmm.... I think it's likely that the chip was flashed with firmware that has those options disabled.. Hardware wise you might be able to find another camera that uses the chop and then find a schematic for that camera. It would probably show you what you would need for the hardware to add the SD card.

That being said, if you were interested in doing this project you would likely need to figure out the firmware hacks as well if try to flash the chip with firmware from a camera that does have the feature. You could brick it though...

madan1 05-02-2019 06:20 PM

Re: IP camera mod/upgrade
1 Attachment(s)
Thanks for the reply.

The firmware seems pretty much generic. From what I've read, the firmwares are issued by the processor maker, then they get tweaked by the camera makers ( custom bitmaps, menus, features enabled/disabled, etc. ). As long as you install the firmware for the correct IC, you are fine ( probably will just need to be configured how to communicate with the rest of the hardware ).
As said above - the firmware of my camera seems to be the default one - no custom logos/styles, all features available and so on.
The SD card control also seems to be working - when the mount button is pressed, the request is sent to the camera and it replies with "mount failed". That's why I think it is just a mater of missing hardware.

Retro-Hipster 05-03-2019 01:58 PM

Re: IP camera mod/upgrade
AH, Alright. Sorry, I thought you meant that the option was greyed out.

Well, you may be able to do the thing where you find another camera that uses that chip and go off it's schematic, though that could be difficult. I found the Hardware Design Guide here, but it doesn't show the actual pinout of the chip from what I can see. Section 12-72 looks promising though!

From what I can see I would expect the set up to be pretty easy, given the build in MMC/SDCard interface. If you look at the SD card pinout below, you can see that it kind of looks like the setup would be not too hard to get through if you had the pinout of the chip. (Maybe would need a level shifter and/or some resistors between the MCU and SD card reader.)

Retro-Hipster 05-03-2019 02:59 PM

Re: IP camera mod/upgrade
OH, that is a bga chipset.. I didn't really look at the photo. LOL

Though I think it might be possible to do this, that would be if you got a schematic for the camera/had the pinout on the chip. That being said, the pads to the corresponding bga pins might not actually go anywhere. That is to say, you might need to access some of the balls on the under side of the chip. ^,^; If you are good at reballing and think you can run 6 wires from the underside then maybe this is doable... I probably wouldn't do it though. lol

madan1 05-10-2019 07:13 AM

Re: IP camera mod/upgrade
1 Attachment(s)
Thanks for the reply, I'm not planning to reball the IC or anything that complicated. I was thinking about populating the microSD card slot.
It turned out that I have another camera with similar IC ( hi3518 ) and it has a slot. It looks like, the pads next to the slot space also need to be populated.
Probably next time I visit the local electronics part shop I will get a slot and the corresponding resistors and will try the mod.

Retro-Hipster 05-10-2019 04:15 PM

Re: IP camera mod/upgrade
Oh crap! I'm sorry, I didn't see the pads! ^.^;;;; I seem to have only looked at the second photo you posted.. well I made a mess of that. lol

That's what I would do too. haha It is awesome that you have a similar build you can go off of.

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