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underwhelmd
Posts: 93
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2016 10:05 pm
Location: East Coast, Canada

Pi camera project progress

Fri Nov 11, 2016 4:58 pm

hardware: two Pi 3, two noir v2 cameras, one DS18B20 temp sensor, 32gb sdcards, 16gb thumb drives in both. both run headless and no mice or keyboards. They are mounted in windows looking outside, I ssh in to control them.

software: Pi one is running Motion MMAL/apache/php/rrdtool. Pi two is running PiKrellCam/nginx/php/rrdtool. Both have samba shares.

All the working directories that are read/written to a lot are on the thumb drives to save wear on the sdcards.
The biggest challenge is getting enough light in the field of view at night. It's a work in progress.
The DS18B20 was so simple to hook up...fun! I found a script from searching that I modified to write the temp to a rrdtool db the way I wanted and the same script had code for the other Pi that gets outside temp from a local weather station (Metar).
Pi two with the DS18B20 will be remounted in a waterproof box and put outside as soon as I work out the camera mount inside the box. I'll probably add an anemometer to it at that time.
Both are on my wifi network and every connected device with a browser can view the feed like so:
Image

so far they are stable, could probably run for months without intervention if I wasn't messing with them all the time. I like that they use very little power and were relatively cheap to put together. It's very satisfying to have things complete and working the way you needed.

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underwhelmd
Posts: 93
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2016 10:05 pm
Location: East Coast, Canada

Re: Pi camera project progress

Mon Dec 05, 2016 3:09 am

Have since put PiKrellcam on both Pi for the ease of browsing the recorded videos.
Have a third Pi 3 arriving tomorrow am. Unsure what it will be used for yet.... maybe kodi.

I did this today and banished one Pi to the outdoors-
Image

The window for the camera is a microscope slide, silicone sealed. The camera is "mounted" on a tiny piece of wood with even tinier screws. Fine tuning the camera angle will have to happen later in daylight. The DS18B20 sticks out the bottom and grabs current temp every 10 minutes.

It's -2 C outside and the CPU is steady at 34C. Inside, it ran at 45-53C. I'm interested to see what it will be when it's -15 -20 outside here soon.

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underwhelmd
Posts: 93
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2016 10:05 pm
Location: East Coast, Canada

Re: Pi camera project progress

Sat Dec 10, 2016 7:34 pm

Some notes after the Pi has been outside for almost a week-

The clarity of the image is far superior with the camera looking through a microscope slide as opposed to a house window. Maybe the window glass has a coating the camera doesn't agree with, dunno. The image is clearer, night and day. Less light is required on the subject to achieve a usable image at night. I wasn't ever happy with the clarity of low light images from the v2 noir cam but I guess the problem was what it was looking through.

Aiming the camera is by far the most difficult part of this project. Not that it's hard...just a pain. I'll be rethinking the mount for version 2.

It recorded a cpu temp 28C last night when outside temp was -8C. I think the kingston USB flash drive will be the first to fail if anything does over the winter. It's rated for 0C. Heat inside the box from the Pi itself may keep it alive through the winter. I have spares!

The box is tucked inside the exterior frame of my garage door. Radiant heat from the house affects the temp probe. It's off by sometimes 2.5 degrees C so it's not the best place if I wanted true outside temp.

the one on the left is outside. right is inside looking out a window.
Image

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underwhelmd
Posts: 93
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2016 10:05 pm
Location: East Coast, Canada

Re: Pi camera project progress

Sat Feb 04, 2017 5:55 pm

Just received a Zero this week so I replaced one of the Pi3 with it. I am waiting for an enclosure and piggyback USB hub for it. Until then, it's hanging by a wire.

It's running PiKrellCam and some other stuff on a full version of Jesse. The cam is a third party device, waiting on an official noir v2 in the mail. So far so good. I like the Zero a lot.

Image

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underwhelmd
Posts: 93
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2016 10:05 pm
Location: East Coast, Canada

Re: Pi camera project progress

Sat Feb 11, 2017 5:38 pm

Outside Pi is chugging along nicely in the eastern Canada winter. -20c has been no problem despite the Kingston sd card and flash drive stated specs being 0c (operating temp).
I saw 16c CPU temp last month when it was actually -20c outside. This screenshot from last night shows -14.5c cpu temp of 22c but it got lower than that around 5am. Very happy with this project. (pi3 with noir v2 cam, DS18B20 sensor running pikrellcam.) Requires no maintenance and the clarity of the image has been as good as I could ask for.

There is one small IR led light with 4 leds lighting my driveway. The ambient light on the street is a street light down the road a bit.

Image

(right click, select view image, for a larger view)

shuckle
Posts: 565
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 11:49 am
Location: Finland

Re: Pi camera project progress

Sat Feb 11, 2017 7:08 pm

I have several (5 actually) Pis outside and I have seen CPU temperature go below 0C. I was positively surprised that the temperature was reported right like -10C. None of my Pis has any issues.

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underwhelmd
Posts: 93
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2016 10:05 pm
Location: East Coast, Canada

Re: Pi camera project progress

Sat Feb 11, 2017 10:08 pm

shuckle wrote:I have several (5 actually) Pis outside and I have seen CPU temperature go below 0C. I was positively surprised that the temperature was reported right like -10C. None of my Pis has any issues.
Very cool. (literally)

Thanks for commenting. What would your outside temps be for the Pi to get that cold?

shuckle
Posts: 565
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 11:49 am
Location: Finland

Re: Pi camera project progress

Sun Feb 12, 2017 8:12 am

about -25C. The cold Raspis do not use GPU and they are not version 3, so they run cooler.
I am still waiting to see what happens when it goes below -30C, which does not happen every year.

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rpdom
Posts: 14478
Joined: Sun May 06, 2012 5:17 am
Location: Chelmsford, Essex, UK

Re: Pi camera project progress

Sun Feb 12, 2017 9:09 am

Interestingly, my Raspberry Pi Zeroes seem to run about 5°C cooler than my Raspberry Pi A and Bs in the same environment.

For example, I have a Pi A and a Pi Zero both in similar environments of around 2.25°C at the moment (the Zero might be in a slightly warmer place, as it is closer to the house). The Pi A is running at 20.7°C and the Zero is running at 15.9°C. (both are pretty much idling).

Also, I have a Pi B+ and Pi Zero near each other in a room at 18.31°C. The B+ is reading 39.0°C and the Zero is 34.2°C. Neither of those are heavily loaded either.

In contrast, a medium loaded Pi 2B and idling Pi 3B, next to each other in a room at 17.43°C. The 2B is reading 34.2°C and the 3B (with small heatsink) is reading 39.7°C.

Just interesting to compare, that's all.

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underwhelmd
Posts: 93
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2016 10:05 pm
Location: East Coast, Canada

Re: Pi camera project progress

Sun Feb 12, 2017 6:18 pm

rpdom wrote: Just interesting to compare, that's all.

True! I have a Pi 3 and a Zero in the same window, doing the exact same job, just looking (cam) in different directions. The Zero's SD card is a clone of the 3. The Zero runs 10-14c degrees cooler all the time.

It's a no-brainer for me if I want to save power in the long run to use a Zero over a 3 for the basic projects I have going.

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underwhelmd
Posts: 93
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2016 10:05 pm
Location: East Coast, Canada

Re: Pi camera project progress

Sat Jun 10, 2017 3:28 pm

More Pi banished to the outdoors. A Zero w and a Pi 3. Both have Noir cameras and the 3 has a ds18b20 temp sensor.

Image

Image


(right click to open the full size images, I guess)

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