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schoolpost
Posts: 33
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:47 am
Location: Canada
Contact: Website

Skycam - RPI Timelapse Project

Tue Feb 28, 2017 7:35 am

Hello,

Just thought I'd share a project I'm working on and get some advice/feedback on some of my future plans with it.

I realize this isn't the first attempt at something like this, just thought I'd share my spin on it.

"Skycam" as I call it, is a timelapse camera system using the Raspberry Pi 3 and V2 camera module. The camera is currently mounted on top of the roof taking pictures at a 1 minute interval during the day, and every 2 minutes during the night. It's powered over the remaining/unused signal wires from a CAT cable, housed in an ABS 4x4 junciton box with a 55mm lens filter as the camera window.

Images are archived on a local network share and uploaded to this site in real time: http://schoolpost.ca/skycam/

here's a gallery of some images/timelapse's I've captured so far: https://www.instagram.com/skycamyeg/

It's handled the Canadian winter conditions quite well so far, have yet to see how well it deals with rain. But can certainly handle snow.

I'm planning to roll out a few more of these camera's in some other locations facing various directions/points of interest.

My stretch goal is to have one of these setup atop a peak in the Canadian rocky mountains, solar powered with cellular connectivity. As you might guess that bring's with it a ton of challenges. Storage being one of the most obvious I plan to reduce the interval to something like 1 picture very 15 minutes from the current 1 picture/min. I also plan to have batteries in the system to act as a buffer when the days aren't as sunny.

I was hoping to get some input on these issues.
1. What is the best way to get cellular connectivity to a raspberry pi?
2. What are some power saving tricks I can employ to save power on the pi? ( I plan to use a Pi zero )
( I thought of implementing a system to actually shut off the pi in between interval's and turn back on before next capture. )

Any general suggestions for a project like this? anybody done similar?

Thanks,

Csaba Nagy

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