VC pro Z Series Operating Manual

Hardware specifications of VC pro Z Smart Cameras

Revision: 1.4
Date: 2017-12-07
Copyright: 1996-2017 Vision Components GmbH Ettlingen, Germany
Author: VC Support,
Foreword and Disclaimer

This documentation has been prepared with most possible care. However Vision Components GmbH does not take any liability for possible errors. In the interest of progress, Vision Components GmbH reserves the right to perform technical changes without further notice.

Please notify if you become aware of any errors in this manual or if a certain topic requires more detailed documentation.

This manual is intended for information of Vision Component’s customers only. Any publication of this document or parts thereof requires written permission by Vision Components GmbH.

Image symbols used in this document
Symbol Meaning
Note Sign The Light bulb highlights hints and ideas that may be helpful for a development.
Warning Sign This warning sign alerts of possible pitfalls to avoid. Please pay careful attention to sections marked with this sign.
Example Sign This is a sign for an example.


Linux, Debian, the Tux logo, Vivado, Xilinx and Zynq, ARM, Cortex, Windows XP, Total Commander, Tera Term, Motorola, HALCON, Vision Components are registered Trademarks. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Table of Contents

1   General Information

The VC nano Z Series Smart Cameras have been designed for high resolution image processing with a very small form factor. They are the ideal compromise between high performance and low system costs, and thus especially suited for high volume OEM applications. This makes them viable to use a smart camera in even more products than before.

Based on a dual-core processor ARM® Cortex®-A9 with 866 MHz and an integrated FPGA the models of the VC Z series offer solutions at extreme high-speed in real-time.

The operating system VC Linux provides for the ideal interaction of hard- and software.

All cameras are equipped with a battery backed real time clock and come with a range of inputs and outputs, with trigger input and flash trigger output, as well as an Ethernet interface.

The VC pro Z Hardware capabilities:

1.1   Technical Specification VC pro Z

Technical Data
Component / Feature Specification
CMOS Sensor
VC pro Z 0010:
1/4" e2v EV76C541, monochrome or color (Bayer filter) version
VC pro Z 0011:
1/1.8" e2v EV76C560, monochrome or color (Bayer filter) version
VC pro Z 0015:
1/1.8" e2v EV76C570, monochrome or color (Bayer filter) version
Active pixels
VC pro Z 0010:
752(H) x 480(V)
VC pro Z 0011:
1280(H) x 1024(V)
VC pro Z 0015:
1600(H) x 1200(V)
Pixel size
VC pro Z 0010:
4.5(H) x 4.5(V) µm
VC pro Z 0011:
5.3(H) x 5.3(V) µm
VC pro Z 0015:
4.5(H) x 4.5(V) µm
Active sensor size
VC pro Z 0010:
3.4(H) x 2.2(V) mm
VC pro Z 0011:
6.8(H) x 5.5(V) mm
VC pro Z 0015:
7.2(H) x 5.4(V) mm
High-speed shutter 15 µsec + steps of 15 µsec
Low-speed shutter 1 sec
Integration Global shutter
Picture taking

program-controlled or external high speed trigger, jitterfree acquisition

VC pro Z 0010:
full-frame 134 frames per second
VC pro Z 0011:
full-frame 63 frames per second
VC pro Z 0015:
full-frame 55 frames per second
A/D conversion 118.75 MHz / 10 bit, only the 8 most significant bits used
Input LUT no
Image Display Via Ethernet onto PC
Processor Dual-Core ARM® Cortex®-A9 with 866MHz and integrated FPGA
Flash EPROM 16 GB flash memory (nonvolatile) industrial eMMC
Process interface 4 inputs / 4 outputs, outputs 400 mA each (limited to 1A in total)
Flash Outputs 4 flash outputs with programmable current: 2 internal / 2 external. External outputs are configurable as additional PLC outputs.
Encoder Inputs Optional, but encoder inputs can be used as additional 5V inputs.
Trigger Input 1 dedicated picture trigger input. Any of the available PLC or 5V inputs can be chosen as an optional trigger input source.
Trigger Output 1 default trigger output on FLASH0/TrigOut pin. Any set of the available PLC or FLASH outputs (internal or external) can be chosen as trigger output.
Ethernet interface 1 Gbit / 100 Mbit / 10 Mbit
Serial interface RS-232
CE certification CE Certification from Vision Components
Storage Conditions Temperature -20 to +60 deg C, Max. humidity: 90%, non condensing.
Operating Conditions
  • without heater: Temperature: 0 to +50 deg C, Max. humidity: 80%, non condensing.
  • with heater: Temperature: -20 to +50 deg C, Max. humidity: 80%, non condensing.
Power Supply

24V DC

  • without PLC illumination: max. 200 mA
  • with maximum PLC output current (limited to 1A in total) and maximum illumination current, or power-up with heater activated: max. 1500 mA
Power Consumption 2.9 W typical
Heater 23 W (only in cameras with S/N 4000673 and higher)

The following diagram shows the maximum reachable (with the shortest shutter time) framerate according to the number of captured lines for the VC pro Z 0010, the VC pro Z 0011 and VC pro Z 0015:


Frames per second over number of lines

The following table gives some example values.

Example Framerates
VC pro Z 0010 VC pro Z 0011 VC pro Z 0015
Resolution Max. framerate (FPS) Resolution Max. framerate (FPS) Resolution Max. framerate (FPS)
        1600 x 1200 55
    1280 x 1024 63 1600 x 1024 63
    1280 x 768 83 1600 x 768 84
    1280 x 640 98 1600 x 640 101
752 x 480 134 1280 x 512 121 1600 x 512 125
752 x 384 167 1280 x 384 158 1600 x 384 164
752 x 256 246 1280 x 256 228 1600 x 256 240
752 x 192 323 1280 x 192 292 1600 x 192 312
752 x 128 470 1280 x 128 406 1600 x 128 447
752 x 64 861 1280 x 64 669 1600 x 64 788
752 x 32 1473 1280 x 32 986 1600 x 32 1272
752 x 16 2288 1280 x 16 1295 1600 x 16 1836
752 x 8 3158 1280 x 8 1535 1600 x 8 2359
752 x 4 3901 1280 x 4 1691 1600 x 4 2765
752 x 2 4422 1280 x 2 1783 1600 x 2 3015
752 x 1 4925 1280 x 1 1832 1600 x 1 3238


Note Sign

2   Hardware Interfaces


Connector Positions

The VC pro Z camera incorporates the following connector interfaces:

Nomenclature for Connectors
Connector Description
J0 Power Connector
J1 Option Connector
J2A Internal Illumination Source Connector
J2B Reserved
JE Ethernet Connector

2.1   Power Connector J0

2.1.1   J0 Pin Assignment

Pin Assignment of J0 Connector (M12 A-Coding Binder 09-3491-600-12 - male)
Camera Socket Rear View Pin Signal Level Cable Standard Color
socket_power 1 Main Power Supply +24V brown
2 Common Ground GND blue
3 PLC In0 +24V white
4 PLC Out0 +24V green
5 PLC In1 +24V pink
6 PLC Out1 +24V yellow
7 PLC Out2 +24V black
8 PLC In2 +24V grey
9 PLC Out3 +24V red
10 PLC In3 +24V purple
11 FLASH0/TrigOut +24V grey/pink
12 FLASH1 +24V red/blue


Warning Sign Ensure, that the current is always limited in such a way that it cannot destroy the to the FLASH0 and FLASH1 pin connected hardware.


Note Sign

2.1.2   Electrical Specification: Camera Power Supply

Voltage/Current Overview
What How much
Nominal Voltage +24V
Absolute Voltage Limits +32V
Minimum nominal Operating voltage 21.6V
Maximum nominal Operating voltage 26.4V
Operating Current (Typical) 120mA (see note)
Operating Current (Maximum) 200mA (see note)
Nominal Power Consumption (Typical) 2.9W (see note)
Nominal Power Consumption (Maximum) 5W (see note)


Note Sign

The power consumption relies on a setup without internal or external LED illumination and without PLC I/O current.

2.1.3   Electrical Specification: Digital PLC I/O

Electrical Specifications
Separation of PLC/trigger output voltage PLC outputs supply not separated from power supply
PLC Input Voltage 24V, threshold: 12V
Input Current (max) 1.5mA @ 24V
PLC Output Voltage 24V
PLC Output Current (max) 4 x 400 mA Max total of all outputs: 1A
Max Current for 1 Power / PLC connector pin 400 mA
Power failure detection Yes, power failure detected if total PLC current > 1A


Warning Sign If power failure is detected, all PLC outputs may switch off regardless of their output state.   Connection of PLC inputs VC pro Z Series


Connection of PLC Inputs   Connection of PLC outputs VC pro Z Series


Connection of PLC Outputs

2.2   Option Connector J1

It is not necessary for that socket to be connected for image acquisition.

2.2.1   J1 Pin Assignment

Pin Assignment of J1 Connector (M12 A-Coding Binder 09-3492-600-12 - female)
Camera Socket Rear View Pin Signal Level Cable Standard Color
socket_option 1 P5V_Out max 100mA, switched 5V brown
2 GND GND blue
3 V24_TxD ±12V max. [1] white
4 TrigIn_P 5V green
5 TrigIn_M GND pink
6 ENC /Z 5V yellow
7 ENC Z 5V black
8 ENC B 5V grey
9 ENC /A 5V red
10 ENC A 5V purple
11 V24_RxD ±12V max. grey/pink
12 ENC /B 5V red/blue
[1]Standard RS-232 voltage. Refer to the RS-232 specification for exact voltage and tolerance.

2.2.2   Electrical Specification: Trigger I/O

The TrigOut connector is available over the Power Connector J0!

Electrical Specifications
Separation of trigger input Yes, optically isolated, 8mA @ 5V
Separation of trigger output No
Trigger output voltage Identical with power supply voltage
Trigger output current (max) 400 mA (1500 mA pulse)   Connection of Trigger Input


Connection of Trigger Input

2.2.3   Electrical Specification: Encoder


Electrical Specifications
Separation of Encoder Signals No
Encoder Input Voltage 5V, differential


Note Sign You can optionally use the encoder pins as 5V inputs.   Connection of Encoder inputs VC pro Z Series



Timings for Encoder Pins

2.2.4   Electrical Specification: RS-232

Standard Voltage vor RS-232 (V.24).

2.3   Ethernet Connector JE

2.3.1   JE Pin Assignment

Pin Assignment of JE Connector (M12 X-Coding Binder 09-3782-91-08 - female)
Camera Socket Rear View Pin Signal
socket_eth 1 ETH_A_p
2 ETH_A_n
3 ETH_B_p
4 ETH_B_n
5 ETH_D_p
6 ETH_D_n
7 ETH_C_n
8 ETH_C_p

2.4   Connectors J2A and J2B


Connectors J2A and J2B

2.4.1   J2A Pin Assignment

Pin Assignment of J2A Connector
Camera Socket Top View Pin Signal
socket_J2A 1 GND
2 GND switched, REF

LEDs at the connector J2A must have an extra resistor attached whose resistance value encodes the allowed flash duration at specific current values. If the current value is set to 0.0 A, the circuit however provides the pins with a minimum current due to buffering purposes.


Warning Sign Ensure, that the current is always limited in such a way that it cannot destroy the to the FLASH2 and FLASH3 pin connected hardware.


Warning Sign Never dis-/connect something to the J2A or J2B connector without turning off the camera device.


J2A Source Model Identifier Resistor

The formula used to calculate the current between maximum steady current and maximum flash current is based on durations at currents specified by the resistor ID of the LED ring, see the table named 'J2A Connector Resistor Specification':

tset = tsteady*(exp − (Irequest − Isteady)*(ln(tsteady) − ln(thighCurr))/(IhighCurr − Isteady)
J2A Connector Resistor Specification
Resistor ID At Maximum Flash Current At Maximum Steady Current
VK-Nr. Value [Ω] IhighCurr [mA] thighCurr [s] Isteady [mA] tsteady [s]
XXXXXX 220R 1500 1.0e-4 300 1.0e-2

2.4.2   J2B Pin Assignment

Left blank for future use. Do not connect!

2.4.3   Electrical Specification: Flash LEDs

The FLASH0 and FLASH1 outputs are available over the Power Connector J0.

The VC pro Z Hardware features four independently adjustable current sources for the connection of four LED light sources. Two of the current sources are designed for controlling the ring illuminators around the lens, connected to J2A. The other two current sources are accessible over the connector J0.

The default and system startup current at the FLASH0, FLASH1, FLASH2 and FLASH3 pins are 500 mA, limited to 1ms duration.

The controller covers a current range from 150 to 1500 mA. The controller provides a steady current in the range from 150 to 400 mA. Currents over 400 mA are available in flash mode saving LED lifetime.

The duty cycle is limited to 1:8, i.e. the off-state is eight times longer than the on-state for the output. Example: 1 ms flash duration, 8 ms cool down duration.

The flash duration depends on the real flash duration and not the maximum given flash duration.

Technical Data for each LED Controller
Iout 150-1500 mA, programmable
Uout 4-16 V (1-4 LEDs depending on the Vf)
Isteady < 400 mA
IhighCurr 400-1500 mA
tpulse > 20 µs

In the header file vcproz.h are the ranges available as defines.

Defines in Header File vcproz.h
Define Name Meaning
VCPROZ_FLASH_MAXCURR_MA Maximum current configurable for flash output pins.
VCPROZ_FLASH_MINCURR_MA Minimum current configurable for flash output pins (0mA will be set if request is lower).
VCPROZ_FLASH01_MAXCURRSDY_MA For FLASH 0 and FLASH 1 output pins, current above this level will limit the flash duration to @ref VCPROZ_FLASH01_DURTNLIMIT_US.
VCPROZ_FLASH01_DURTNLIMIT_US Maximum Duration in microseconds   Connection of Flash Outputs: External Flash


Connection of Flash Outputs using an external Flash Current Source and Opto-Isolation

The figure shows how to connect an external flash illumination to FLASH0/TrigOut signal by using an opto isolation. R limit should be chosen to protect the opto isolator, e.g. 2K2/250mW for a current of 10mA. Remark: R limit is not necessary for Vision Components' High Power IR Illumination VK XXXXXXXX. The current source should be set to 500 mA.   Connection of Flash Outputs: Direct High-Power-LEDs


Connection of Flash Outputs directly to High-Power LEDs

The figure shows how to connect an external flash illumination. The current source should be set to the required current setting between 200 and 1500 mA. The time limit must be set to an appropriate value for the protection of the external LEDs according to the data sheet of the manufacturer. Connectable are 1 to 6 High Power LEDs.   Connection of Flash Outputs: PLC


Connection of Flash Outputs to a PLC

The figure shows how to connect a PLC to the FLASH0/TrigOut or FLASH1 signal. The current source should be set to 500 mA.


Warning Sign

Do not connect inductive loads to FLASH0 or FLASH1 outputs!

2.5   Built-in heater

The VC pro Z camera contains a built-in heater which is automatically activated when necessary. The following table and diagram show the behaviour of the heater. The heater is integrated in all VC pro Z cameras starting from S/N 4000673.

Temperature Heating power CPU
T < -5 °C 100 % (23 W) Off
-5 °C < T < 5 °C 20 % (4.6 W) On
T > 5 °C 0 % On

Behaviour of the built-in heater

3   Software Interfaces

3.1   GPIOs

Connector Assignment of GPIOs
GPIO Nr. Connector Pin Designator Usability Remark
0 J0 OUT 0 Output
1 J0 OUT 1 Output
2 J0 OUT 2 Output
3 J0 OUT 3 Output
10 J0 INP 0 Input
11 J0 INP 1 Input
12 J0 INP 2 Input
13 J0 INP 3 Input
14 J1 ENC N Input Signal cannot be used as input if encoder active
15 J1 ENC A Input Signal cannot be used as input if encoder active
16 J1 ENC B Input Signal cannot be used as input if encoder active
18 J0 FLASH1 Output Adjustable current source
19 J2A FLASH2 Output Adjustable current source
20 J2A FLASH3 Output Adjustable current source
31(Out) J0 FLASH0/TrigOut Output Adjustable current source
31(In ) J1 TrigIn Input Optically isolated

They can be accessed over the linux standard way via /sys/class/gpio, see The GPIO numbers are relative to the start number of the gpiochip labelled with '/amba@0/axi-gpio0@41200000', here: /sys/class/gpio/gpiochip224.

3.2   Trigger Assignment

To choose the sensor input/output trigger signals, the corresponding GPIO Nr. must be determined and assigned by the supporting program named vcio. More information can be found at the help of the program, if you run it with no command line parameter, it will show how to do it. For using this external trigger input source refer to the libvclinux image acquisition documentation.

Default Trigger Assignment
GPIO Nr. Connector Pin Designator Assignment
31(Out) J0 FLASH0/TrigOut Trigger Output
31(In ) J1 TrigIn Trigger Input

3.3   Status LEDs

The VC pro Z Smart Cameras feature 2 LEDs providing status information on power supply and ethernet connection, as well as 4 LEDs being free programmable by the developer.

They can be accessed over the linux standard way via /sys/class/leds, see

4   Accessories

4.1   Camera order numbers

VC pro Z Cameras
Order Number Product / Service description
VK002859 VC pro Z 0010 Smart Camera, b/w sensor
VK002858 VC pro Z 0010 Smart Camera, bayer sensor
VK002088 VC pro Z 0011 Smart Camera, b/w sensor
VK002257 VC pro Z 0011 Smart Camera, bayer sensor
VK002207 VC pro Z 0015 Smart Camera, b/w sensor
VK002230 VC pro Z 0015 Smart Camera, bayer sensor
VK002147 VC pro Z 0011 Carrida Cam Smart Camera, b/w sensor
VK002218 VC pro Z 0015 Carrida Cam Smart Camera, b/w sensor

4.2   Order numbers of all available VC pro Z Series Accessories

VC pro Z Accessories
Order Number Product / Service description
VK002154 VC pro Z Lens Tube 15 mm
VK002155 VC pro Z Lens Tube 35 mm
VK002157 VC pro Z Lens Tube 35 mm with light guide
VK002156 VC pro Z Lens Tube 45 mm
VK002158 VC pro Z Lens Tube 45 mm with light guide
VK002228 VC pro Z Lens Tube 55 mm
VK002212 VC pro Z LED Ring Light - red 640 nm
VK002213 VC pro Z LED Ring Light - IR 850 nm
VK002233 VC pro Z LED Ring Light - UV
VK002227 VC pro Z Protection cap for unused connector

If you plan to use the pro Z camera outdoors, we advise you to order protection caps for all unused connectors, so that the IP67 property is ensured.


Protection cap for VC pro Z camera connectors

5   Appendix A: Block diagram VC pro Z Series


Block Diagram for VC pro Z Cameras

6   Appendix B: Dimensions VC pro Z Series


Dimensions of various parts of the VC pro Z Series Camera