What is the Salt and Pepper camera system?
The Salt and Pepper is an easy-to-use, discrete, affordable, lightweight, live-streaming camera system that has a wide variety of applications based on your needs. While portable tactical camera systems are nothing new, the ability to mass produce them at an affordable price point is. Salt and Pepper can easily be added to a grab bag of gear and left behind if retrieval is impossible. The camera system utilizes no existing infrastructure such as cell networks, WiFi, or SATCOM, making it ideal for austere conditions and disaster scenarios.
Salt and Pepper is capable of >200m line of sight and several hours of continuous use with the recommended battery. Currently, as of January 2024 the Salt and Pepper camera unit costs under $30, and the support equipment to control several cameras costs under $50.
Black Hills Designs is making Salt and Pepper available free and open-source as the first in a series of products designed for boosting end-user capabilities regardless of funding levels.
How it works-
Salt and Pepper camera system uses analog 5.8GHz video cameras designed for the FPV drones. You likely have seen footage of these same 5.8GHz camera streams being used to destroy millions of dollars of military equipment since 2022. These cameras are available on various markets (Amazon, eBay, Aliexpress, etc). These cameras are an AIO device – All In One, meaning they are a combination of a camera and a transmitter. When you power on Salt and Pepper the camera immediately starts transmitting and will continue to transmit until its battery dies or you turn it off.
The receiver end of Salt and Pepper is a simple 5.8GHz video receiver that connects to your Android phone or tablet. This receiver presents itself to your phone as a webcam, allowing you to use several USB webcam applications from the Playstore. iOS does not support USB webcams, and thus, iPhones/iPads cannot be used with Salt and Pepper. If you would rather not use a phone, there are standalone video receivers available on various online markets under the search terms of “5.8 fpv receiver.” these standalone devices will give the same imagery as your phone but do not require your phone.
Black Hills Designs offers a free series of files to 3D print an enclosure for your Salt and Pepper camera system. However, if you do not have access to a 3D printer or would like to better conceal the camera, you can use anything that is nonmetallic as a case. We at Black Hills Designs have had success with plastic Tupperware spray painted to match the foliage of your area, but the potentials are limitless. Fake rocks, trash , empty plastic bottles, birdhouses, natural structures, etc.
Remote monitoring of thermals, weapons on tripods, and other existing optical solutions
Additional angles of visibility in armored vehicles
Hide site approach coverage
Additional camera angles for unmanned aerial systems
Door peephole camera
Tl;dw – Obtain listed components, print case with files found below, place camera into case and use the camera with a suggested application
- 5.8GHz FPV Camera: https://www.amazon.com/GOQOTOMO-GT02-5-8GHz-Transmitter-600TVL/dp/B01MY3QSIE/
- 5.8GHz Receiver: https://www.amazon.com/Skydroid-Antenna-Control-Receiver-Smartphone/dp/B09669DW7X/
- LIPO MICRO JST Battery: https://www.amazon.com/250mAh-Battery-Inductrix-Connector-Kingkong/dp/B09GKDZ5YX/ or https://www.amazon.com/Batteries-Rechargeable-Ecologic-Mart-Replacement/dp/B088MHZL5H/
- Battery Charger: https://www.amazon.com/Battery-Charger-Channel-Inductrix-Connectors/dp/B074M77J5M
- Suggested android application: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.shenyaocn.android.usbcamera&hl=en_US&gl=US
- Toggle switch: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09R43HCY3/
Download Salt and Pepper 1.0 Project files here – https://www.blackhillsdesigns.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/SALT-AND-PEPPER-1.0-1.1.2024.zip
Email us or Instagram DM us photos of your SALT AND PEPPER in use!
Questions? Feedback? Ideas? Additional inputs? Concerns? Hand stuck in camera enclosure? – Please reach out to us at help [ a t ] blackhillsdesigns.net