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Topic # 151219 18-Aug-2014 11:03
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Not sure if this is the right place for this question .... I have a remote sensing task - a weather station for an airstrip.

I can do all the weather bit with a Jaycar kit. I can talk to it with Cumulus (one of several bits of free read-station and upload-to-Web stuff).  The system will use a dedicated onsite PC (we have power) and a cellular modem for uploading to the Web.  Cumulus uses a pretty simple approach where it creates the relevant web pages and uploads the html. So there is no need for any server-side programming.  Cumulus is template-driven so the uploaded page can be customised.  That includes dropping a picture or two into the upload.

Upload to web would be cellular.

The camera bit of the setup should take a picture every so often and save the image in a specified place with a specified name. The (concurrent) Cumulus "build a site" task picks up the image when a web refresh is due, inserts it in the upload and off we go.  Refresh every 30 minutes would be fine. The purpose of the image is to give an indication of cloudbase.  I would imagine that VGA resolution and relatively low quality would be fine. Data volumes and all that .....

Not sure if a CCTV camera/frame grabber is what I need or should I look at a USB controlled point-and-shoot digicam?


 



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  Reply # 1110316 18-Aug-2014 11:07
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You could look at using a Raspberry Pi + camera module and then run 'motion' on the Pi to take regular snapshots. I am using this setup in my garage as a security camera. In order to make the Pi nice and stable I have mounted the SD card (with the OS etc) read-only and have configured motion to dump all snapshots/images to a networked share which is mounted on the Pi. Sounds like this could work for you using your existing PC?

Here is a link I used to get started...

http://www.codeproject.com/Articles/665518/Raspberry-Pi-as-low-cost-HD-surveillance-camera

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  Reply # 1110340 18-Aug-2014 11:16
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+1 For the Raspberry Pi option.

You can do the picture taking and uploading with a simple little script in the Pi which could be written in C or Python or whatever you choose.

Then you could utitlise a 3G/4G usb stick for uploading to the net and providing connectivity. And in case firewalls on the 3G/4G network connectivity become an issue then running a VPN back to somewhere (maybe your home connection?) will get past that - which can be set up on the Pi.

Plus you get to geek out a bit with building the Pi and writing stuff for it which is always fun.

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1110367 18-Aug-2014 11:43
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I used to do this at home with a windows PC and a piece of software that just took a still from the attached webcam every 15 seconds and dumped it into a folder. You could set it up to use a static file name that just got overwritten (what I did), or create a new, unique file every time.




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  Reply # 1110395 18-Aug-2014 12:04
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That is exactly what I need ...... do you recall what the Windows software is?

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  Reply # 1110411 18-Aug-2014 12:24
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ianboag: That is exactly what I need ...... do you recall what the Windows software is?


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  Reply # 1110416 18-Aug-2014 12:32
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It sure looks like my solution .... except I want to run 3 cameras :-(

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  Reply # 1110601 18-Aug-2014 16:04
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I have a few IP cameras (plugs into Ethernet) which can take a photo at set intervals and either e-mail or FTP wherever I want it.  Hook it up to a modem with 3G fallback and you are sorted.  You probably will have to fit in with the file naming convention of the camera, or write a script to rename the files to what you want it to be.  I have used it with time stamped file names to do a time lapse recording of our house getting built.  Typical resolution of these things are VGA and will be fine for what you want to do.




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  Reply # 1110604 18-Aug-2014 16:07
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I was using yawcam for a while, it may suit your needs.

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  Reply # 1110700 18-Aug-2014 18:13
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Perhaps Unifi Vision is what you want?



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  Reply # 1112798 21-Aug-2014 13:10
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I'm not quite there yet, but have made some progress with defining the form of the solution.

I want USB connected cameras, not IP. If I use IP cameras then I have to include a router in the setup. Not a biggie, but worth avoiding :-)

The cameras will be in a box outside. They will have to get power from someplace, so as long as I am running a wire to the box, I might as well put a USB hub in it and run a (suitably amplified) USB cable back to the PC.

I have looked at a couple of the suggested solutions above and can't quite make them work for me. Perhaps the forum has another lurker who has been in this space .... ?

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