So, to preface the story let me explain. I own a computer store where I repair computers and other electronics, and sell electronics. I also do commissions for many custom electronics. This story documents one of those commissions.
Step 1: The Commision
I received a phone call from the local business in my town. The director and the head of maintenance wanted to photograph the progression of construction that was happening throughout the winter. They requested a time-lapse camera that would take a picture every so often (like once a minute). Then when the construction is complete, the photos would be gathered and compiled into a video showing the construction.
Unfortunately the construction has been underway for several months already, so the time-lapse camera will miss the beginning of the construction. That was the extent of the conversation, and that is the way I like it, give me and end goal, a budget, minimum desired output, and let me build.
Step 2: Initial Thoughts and Ideas
The end product needs to meet these requirements.
- Needs to be able to access the “camera” remotely and Start / Stop / change settings / retrieve photos.
- Needs to be cost effective, ie; cheap, this company is a non-profit and I need to respect that they have a small budget.
- Needs to be able to access the internet (see point #1) , most likely through wireless.
- Needs to be waterproof, as the “camera” will be installed outside.
- I would like to be able to integrate the photos into a web site easily.
- I would like some external notification when a photo is taken (like an LED blinking when the photo is taken).
I immediately thought of building it out of a Raspberry Pi. I have built a Raspberry Pi time lapse camera before. That is what I use to document progression on my tutorials. I wanted to do this one a little bit differently so that I could integrate the camera into a web site.
Step 3: Parts and Software Used
This is a list of the parts that I will use to make the Time – Lapse Camera system.
- Chunk of 1/4 Lexan — Leftover from a previous project
- Window and Door Sealant — I got this at my local Ace Hardware
- 3d printed Pi camera frame — Found it on thingiverse, not my design
For more detail: Pi Outdoor Timelapse Server