Full Color Imaging with the TSL1401 Linescan Sensor Module

Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi) Posts: 19,530
edited November 2011 in Accessories Vote Up0Vote Down
The TSL1401-DB Linescan Imager is a 128-pixel image sensor that sees in gray levels. It can be converted to see in color with the addition of external RGB filters, each of which can be swung in front of the lens in turn during three pans of the sensor.

I bought some red-, green-, and blue-colored transparent acrylic in the hopes that it could be used as color filters, not knowing what the passband characteristics might be like. Each turned out to be rather dense, blocking a signficant percentage of the light passing through. But it turns out that they all work great as an RGB filter set. I cut them out into pie slices with my laser cutter and mounted them to a GWS Pico servo, which can rotate each into place in front of the lens when called for.

I mounted the the servo, the TSL1401-DB, and a PWR-I/O-DB module to a [url=http://]MoBoStamp-pe[/url]. This, in turn was mounted to a standard servo attached to a tripod for scanning. Here's a photo:

attachment.php?attachmentid=68832

For the actual scanning, I modified the TSL1401 monitor program and its PBASIC client for the MoBo to operate the servos and to display the color output. Here's what a typical triple scan looks like:

attachment.php?attachmentid=68833

It takes eight or nine minutes to do all three scans (at the full 510-pixel width). I've also attached some progressive output below to show how the three color scans are layered.

If there's sufficient interest, I can put together the custom acrylic parts for the filter wheel, the panning bracket, and the tripod mount available, along with the necessary fasteners, as a kit. The price (if any, depending on the parts cost and cutting time) should be fairly modest.

-Phil

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“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they'’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’'s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It'’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” –Muhammad Ali
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Comments

  • 10 Comments sorted by Date Added Votes
  • kf4ixmkf4ixm Posts: 529
    edited March 2010 Vote Up0Vote Down
    That is very cool Phil, i would definatly be interested in it if nothing more than just to play with it.
  • MikerocontrollerMikerocontroller Posts: 310
    edited March 2010 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Nice project, Phil.
  • Spiral_72Spiral_72 Posts: 791
    edited March 2010 Vote Up0Vote Down
    That's amazing! Very cool!

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    "puff"...... crap, there went another one.
    " puff ".... Crap, there went another one!

    My Parallax projects submission: http://www.parallax.com/MattTrakv7/tabid/908/Default.aspx
  • ElectricAyeElectricAye Posts: 4,560
    edited March 2010 Vote Up0Vote Down
    That is amazing. I'm impressed that you could get such clarity using those simple servo motors. Wow. That little color fan reminds me of something.... something oriental...
    Madame Butterfly?



    smile.gif
  • Invent-O-DocInvent-O-Doc Posts: 767
    edited April 2010 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Phil,

    This is really amazing. It reminds me very much of the imagers on earlier space probes like the pioneer and voyager series.

    Thanks for sharing!

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    Tom Talbot
    New Market, MD, USA

    Thomas Talbot, MD - New Market, Maryland, USA
  • Invent-O-DocInvent-O-Doc Posts: 767
    edited April 2010 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Those plastic parts are really nice. Can you tell us about your laser cutter?

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    Tom Talbot
    New Market, MD, USA

    Thomas Talbot, MD - New Market, Maryland, USA
  • Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi) Posts: 19,530
    edited April 2010 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Tom,

    NASA still uses selectable filters like this on their imagers, including those on the Mars Spirit and Opportunity rovers. As long a they don't need to image quickly-moving lifeforms, they will probably continue to do so.

    The laser cutter is an Epilog Zing 16: www.epiloglaser.com/zing_16.htm

    -Phil
    “Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they'’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’'s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It'’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” –Muhammad Ali
  • aarqawiaarqawi Posts: 12
    edited October 2011 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Dear Phil

    I want to do this project this is what iam looking for to recognize the colors by using tsl 1401 do you use the same software stl 1401 for this project
  • aarqawiaarqawi Posts: 12
    edited November 2011 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Evening How are you sir
    just i want to know from where i can get TSl 1401 DB RGB monitor software ( RGB One )
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