Cratch Camera

Published: Monday, 22 June 2015
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Cratch Cam Mk 1

 IMG 20150622 102243Cratch Cam Mk1 was based on a standard Raspberry Pi (B+) with camera module in a proprietary case.

This was fixed in to the forward facing cratch window and powered from a 12v-USB adaptor.

Pictures were taken using the Raspbcam command line app with a shell script used to start and stop the picture taking.

After use the stills were downloaded over wifi and processed in to a movie on the macbook.

This was very much a quick and dirty solution, it needs someone to log on and run shell scripts and the frame rate is limited by the command line utility.

The downloading of the captured images is time consuming and also requires manually managing the folders on the Pi to ensure it does not run out of space.

Timestamps rely on an internet connection to set the Raspberry clock, somthing which is not always availiable.


Cratch Cam Mk2

IMG 20150622 102342

This is based on the smaller Raspberry Pi A+ ( same as a B+ but no ethernet and fewer USB ports) with an added GPS "Hat" (Adafruit Ultimate GPS Hat) which allows accurate time stamps, and location to be added to the picture meta data.

The control program has been moved to Python which speeds things up significantly. a push button tri colour LED and a 12/5v convertor complete the unit which is then housed in a custom box.

The Pi's USB port will be presented to the outside of the box allowing either a Wifi dongle or a USB stick to be attached.

Plan is to start and stop the recording using the Button, with the LED showing status.

The USB stick can either be left plugged in and used as the recording medium, or can be plugged in to allow transfer of the data from the Cratch Cam to the macbook/PC.

The Wifi dongle can be used for remote administration and also to mount an external drive over the network as an option.

First stage complete, with the Python script capturing pics at a defined rate adding the GPS location and saving. So far this has been tested up to 15 frames per min and can go faster (mk1 was 6) Further work needed to get the buttons and the recording to USB working.


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