Nowadays a lot of intercom units are equipped with video cameras so that you can see as well as hear who is at the door. Unfortunately, the camera lens is perfectly placed to serve as a sort of support point for people during the conversation, with the result that there’s hardly anything left to see in the video imagery.
One way to solve this problem is to install two cameras on the street side instead of only one, preferably some distance apart. If you display the imagery from the two cameras alternately, then at least half of the time you will be able to see what is happening in front of the door.
Thanks to the video switch module described here, which should be installed on the street side not too far away from the two cameras, you need only one monitor inside the house and you don’t need to install any additional video cables.
Along with a video switch, the circuit includes a video amplifier that has been used with good results in many other Elektor projects, which allows the brightness and the contrast to be adjusted separately. This amplifier is included because the distance between the street and the house may be rather large, so it is helpful to be able to compensate for cable attenuation in this manner.
and IC2c, which generate control signals that are 180 degrees out of phase.
The switching rate for the video signals is determined by a clock signal from an ‘old standby’ 555 IC, which causes the signals to swap every 2 seconds with the specified component values.
Naturally, this circuit can also use in many other situations, such as where two cameras are needed for surveillance but only one video cable is available.
An amplifier, electronic amplifier, or (informally) amp is an electronic device that can increase the power of a signal (a time-varying voltage or current). It is a two-port electronic circuit that uses electric power from a power supply to increase the amplitude of a signal applied to its input terminals, producing a proportionally greater amplitude signal at its output.