How was your weekend? Mine was alright, I actually went to see a Amsterdam Admirals game at the Amsterdam Arena. The Admirals are Hollandís one an only professional football team and they feature a lot of players that are from the NFL. There are actually only a couple of nationals in the Admirals, for the most parts theyíre Americans that are playing football in Europe.
The game wasnít that good actually, Berlin Thunder, the opposing team, won with a 34-28 victory, which was well deserved as the Admirals really didnít do well. For them to enter into the world finals they needed to win with a 26 points difference. So theyíre back to square one now and can starts preparing for the next season.
Fig 1. The Amsterdam Admirals playing against Berlin Thunder in the Amsterdam Arena.
One other thing actually caught my attention, something that is quite common in football stadiums all around the globe, the blimp-cam. Although I have seen some of them before this one was really getting up-close-and-personal with the audience as it was cruising by at just an arms length whilst its camera was displaying images up on the big screen.
That actually meant I got to see it from real close-up and I was amazed that no one has ever taken the time to think these things through, the camera mount and hardware used was of the Radio-Shack variety, nothing thatíll give you crisp and clear imagery. In my mind I was already putting in a small high-quality webcam and adding a 802.11b wireless network card at 2.4GHz, that would definitely give me high-quality images, instead of these snowy, off color, and not in focus images the thing was generating.
Fig 2. The blimp-cam, featuring cool remote control features, but a rather flaky and underperforming camera.
Does anyone have any experience with these blimp-cams, or know of any plans or how-to guides on the net thatíll show you how to build one? Iíd love to have one just for fun, and to see how many geek toys I can build into it, GPS satellite tracking anyone? Or how about some small microcontroller hardware to plot and track flight path, or better yet, why not have it fully controlled by a notebook through a wireless link? Including video/audio, zoom in/out and full 360-degree camera control.