[TriEmbed] Camera Advice

Carl Nobile carl.nobile at gmail.com
Tue Apr 29 09:15:59 CDT 2014


I took a look at that link you sent. It looks very interesting, but It will
only make your situation more complicated if you want to use a
microcontroller I would think. If you stick to a computer based system,
which it looks like you will need to, it may off load some of the things
you need to do onto pre-built functionality making your life a bit easier.


On Tue, Apr 29, 2014 at 9:59 AM, Ted Pudlik <tpudlik at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hello,
> It's too bad things are so complicated---thank you for clarifying it,
> though!  Another TriEmbedder suggested I use a Canon camera with CHDK (
> http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/CHDK_in_Brief) as an alternative to a
> microcontroller-based solution, as it gives access to functionality like
> motion detection and does all the "heavy lifting" of running the camera for
> you.  I'll definitely look into it some more.
> Best wishes,
> Ted
> On Mon, Apr 28, 2014 at 2:31 PM, Carl Nobile <carl.nobile at gmail.com>wrote:
>> Hi Ted,
>> Cameras are complex devices and will almost certainly need a compatible
>> driver for the camera. This is why they are always used with a full blow OS.
>> The only way that I know of to use a camera with a microcontroller is to
>> process the raw data stream yourself. This is essentially writing your own
>> driver and will most likely need more memory than what a microcontroller
>> can offer. You may be able to see what you are dealing with by attaching
>> the camera to the USB connector on your computer and look at the raw data
>> coming from the USB. This is not generally doable without a scope and some
>> skill with how USB ports work however.
>> Sorry, but as I said above cameras are complex devices and there is no
>> easy way to deal with them.
>> Carl
>> On Mon, Apr 28, 2014 at 1:32 AM, Ted Pudlik <tpudlik at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>  Hello,
>>> I'm working on a system for my bird feeder that would detect birds, take
>>> photos of them and put these photos up online.  I assembled a working
>>> prototype using a Raspberry Pi (with a WiFi dongle), a passive IR sensor
>>> and a Logitech webcam, but it suffers from two drawbacks:
>>>    1. The power consumption of the Pi is too large to permit long-term
>>>    operation on battery or solar power, restricting installation options.
>>>    2. The image quality leaves a lot to be desired.  (Here's an example
>>>    picture<https://www.dropbox.com/s/bdqquj6um0vluyg/Carolina_Chickadee.jpg>
>>>    .)
>>> To solve issue 1 while keeping WiFi connectivity easy, I'm looking into
>>> replacing the Pi with an electric imp <https://electricimp.com/>.  I'm
>>> not sure what to do about the camera, though.  Adafruit sells a camera
>>> accessible via serial port <https://www.adafruit.com/products/397> that can
>>> be made to work with the imp<http://forums.electricimp.com/discussion/comment/5824#Comment_5824>,
>>> but capturing quality stills is not its strength.  The excellent built-in
>>> iPhone cameras can be bought surprisingly cheaply on eBay<http://www.ebay.com/itm/Replacement-Rear-Facing-Camera-for-iphone5s-/281316823054?pt=US_Other_Cell_Phone_Accessories&hash=item417fca100e>,
>>> but I'm not sure how to get them to talk to anything other than an iPhone.
>>>  Another possibility might be buying and cannibalizing a cheap digital
>>> camera<http://www.amazon.com/Kodak-Easyshare-Digital-Camera-Silver/dp/B003VTZE1M/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1398662318&sr=8-2&keywords=digital+camera>,
>>> but again I don't know if the modules inside could be interfaced with a
>>> standard microcontroller.
>>> What would you recommend?  What's the best way to get a reasonably
>>> priced camera that takes high quality stills and can be easily controlled
>>> through a standard bus?
>>> Thank you for your help!
>>> Ted
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Triangle, NC Embedded Computing mailing list
>>> TriEmbed at triembed.org
>>> http://mail.triembed.org/mailman/listinfo/triembed_triembed.org
>>> TriEmbed web site: http://TriEmbed.org
>> --
>> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> Carl J. Nobile (Software Engineer)
>> carl.nobile at gmail.com
>> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Carl J. Nobile (Software Engineer)
carl.nobile at gmail.com
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