Post by OJ Oxford Post by Paul Post by OJ Oxford Post by OJ Oxford
Downloaded and have tried to start using Zoom on 16.04 to talk to
family and friends. Everyone else seems to be running Zoom under
Win except me, and I am the only one who seems to keep freezing
where I have to stop and restart my camera several times during a
session. Sometimes I've even had a situation where right where I am
connecting into a session, everything is frozen and I have to shut
down Zoom and start again. This seems to be related to the number
of people using Zoom at once.
I'm using the built in webcam in my laptop for Zoom. I check with
Cheese and I never have freezing issues and such. Others are
suggesting I need a better webcam, an external one, but how does
that relate to the immediate freezing I'm having when trying to log
into an active session sometimes?
I thought maybe it had something to do with the fact that I was
connecting to my router wirelessly, so last week I got a long enough
Ethernet cable so I can use the laptop anywhere in the house. I did
a Zoom test and I still had to stop and restart my video due to
freezing several times over a 45 min period.
Then I've thought maybe it was my internet speed, but tested it
today and it is 80 Mbps which, after reading Zoom requirements, is
more than enough even if talking with many people on Zoom.
I am using the latest Zoom and installed the DEB via command line.
Installation went smoothly with no reported issues. I also always
try and keep 16.04 up to date.
Next meeting is coming up this week, but after the brief tests I
tried yesterday with a single family member, I'm still going to have
to stop and start several times.
Any help would be more than welcome. Thank you.
After coming across an old, non-functional laptop, I decided to try
extracting the integrated webcam, wire it up for USB and then try out
the Zoom meeting on my desktop. After some trial and error, after a
couple of hour, I had the webcam working well in Cheese.
Thanks to Paul's Zoom testing links, I got on and didn't find any
problems, but, as he pointed out, that's no guarantee. Tonight I had
the first chance to try the hacked webcam on Desktop in a Zoom
meeting. Performance was flawless, no freezing, glitching or anything
else. And on the desktop I still use 16.04.
I've been suspecting that my laptops were a bit sluggish either due
to the video cards and/or the CPU. The laptops have duo core,
whereas the desktop is quad. The laptops graphics could not be
updated, but I upgraded the desktop's within the last several
years. Both have equal amounts of memory and SSD drives though.
All of the machines in his house are just over a decade old.
A bit of unexpected performance with the hacked webcam though.
Apparently, the two audio wires for the mics output a digital signal
and not analog, therefore all I would get is a pulsating buzz when I
tried to wire the output into my desktop's mic input. For now, I've
repurposed an old Zoom H2 recorder for the use of its microphone via USB.
The webcam was nylon tied to a piece of wood and as much flexure
between the soldered USB cable and webcam wires was removed as
possible. The assembly was then coupled to an unused gooseneck lamp
end. Worked good tonight.
Now if anyone wants to suggest a fairly decent, but not expensive USB
webcam I could buy and use next time (meeting in a month), please
share. I see them from $5 -$100 and even HD ones seem to be low
cost. Thanks in advance and thanks for the help and suggestions here.
The microphone could be DMIC with I2S. Some laptops might have
that as an input option on the sound chip itself. I've seen DMIC
mentioned in datasheets before - what I haven't seen much of,
is digital mikes in the flesh.
They also make a microphone board. It's mono, and there's
some crazy way of running two of them for stereo. The hole on
one side of the PCB, is "where the sound goes in".
Analog electrets can be pesky. I suspect some
don't work right, because the bias voltage coming
from the PC microphone port isn't a high enough
voltage. But this isn't explained anywhere. For example,
I have a Logitech headset, where the microphone is
deads-ville, and it could be a bias issue.
The best electret I've got, is an electret followed
by a four pin amp chip. Whole thing runs off 5V and
it seems to have a nice fat signal. It's sitting
in front of my face right now, waiting for a Zoom
session later today. Not expecting miracles though
in terms of flawless operation during the meeting.
I'm sure the volume will be screwed up in the
meeting. That's just how video sessions go.
As I suspected I had, I just found a clip on electret in one of my
drawers. Looked like I had never used it, so decided to try it. Works
well, now I know what mic I'll be using for the next meeting. The Zoom
H2 did very well, but overkill really in this application. Just trying
to keep things simple. BTW, would you happen to know of any cheap
webcams on the market that work with Ubuntu that I might consider
investing in? At least 720p quality preferred. I can use this "hack
job" for a while, but the day will come where I will need a better
camera. I see prices all over the place. Thanks.
This is a bad time to be shopping for webcams.
The supply hasn't come back yet.
There have been a few products that were available
the whole time, during COVID (maybe some Microsoft stuff).
And other stuff that disappeared in no time.
Start half way down the page:
The C525 would be a cheaper one.
Anything which adheres to the UVC Class standard
should work. Where things get ugly, is with support
for autofocus or auto light compensation. In
guvcview, there's a panel that can control some
of those features. Whether on Linux or Windows,
that stuff (custom hardware features) is not handled
all that well.
To get a C525, I'd have to deal with a foreign
seller. Then wait however long for it to show up.
In a quick check, I'm not seeing stock in my local
stores. I checked a couple weeks ago, in the online
listing of my favorite computer store, and there
was *zero* stock. There were maybe fifteen or twenty
entries, and every one of them was "backorder".
The back-to-school rush, should have hoovered up
any stock if it was ever there. But even before
back-to-school, the supply was just as dire.
It was suspected that some of this was
caused by efforts to make a profit by reselling
them. The stock that should have been there, is
then all on Kijiji or Ebay or something.
And the new camera for RPi, even if you could
get that hooked up to a PC, the couple reviews
I saw, the picture from it just didn't look right.
And while there are other camera types out there,
the trick is getting them to be recognized by
Zoom or Skype. For example, I have two surveillance
cameras, but they're analog, I have a couple capture
cards with inputs to do the job, but then what ?
That's not the right standard for a Zoom session.
The same would go with using a camcorder (with HDMI
monitor port output), then an HDMI capture card,
then what ? Wrong standard.