[TriEmbed] Camera Advice

Rodney Radford ncgadgetry at gmail.com
Wed Apr 30 05:47:48 CDT 2014

Ted, a couple comments on your first post.

Have you tried using the RPi camera?  I tried a couple of webcams and was
unhappy with them on the RPi - either the resolution was not good enough,
or the data stream was too high for the PI's USB bus.  The RPi camera
really works great and you should definitely give that a try.

As for the power being too much for a solar cell, I have an RPi now that is
solar powered and it is working fine for me.  You just need to have the
solar cell first charge a batter and then run the RPi from the battery.
 This allows you to work through periods of no/low sun and changes the
requirement to having a solar cell whose average power exceeds that of the
RPi (plus the loss to battery and charger).

On Wed, Apr 30, 2014 at 5:22 AM, Tom Billman <tbillman at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi Ted,
> Thanks for the post.  What problem domain are you really attempting to
> solve ?  The photo, cute bird by the way and thanks for naming it,
> indicates your feeder is well within reach of a power cord. A Pi plus a UPS
> solves your power issues, costs next to nothing, and takes no time to
> implement.
> The imp looks pretty interesting, Thx for the link.
> Now a remote setup does have all of the power issues you mention.   That
> situation begs the question of "how remote" ?  Too far for WiFi, etc...
> IMHO, these are all great questions.  There's nothing wrong spending time
> and money on these real-world puzzles.  Much better than watching TV (again
> IMHO). Enjoy the journey!
> I am interested in low-power sensor networks. Also, I would consider
> reflowing some Electric Imp modules on a custom PCB board if people are
> interested.
> Best regards,
> Tom
> 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
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> --
> Tom Billman
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