Apr 19 2014
I was visiting my buddies Rebecca and Chip in STL and he said he was working on a making a timelapse device with a RaspberryPi. This got me inspired, so I built one too.
Camera Kit for RaspberryPi
The camera kit is just a floppy ribbon cable with the camera on the end of it, so it’s hard to position. I looked on Thingiverse.com to see if anyone had created a RaspberriPi case with a camera holder that I could 3D print. I didn’t find exactly what I was envisioning, but I did come across this:
It’s a really cool little arm made up of 3 pieces that you connect with 2 screws. The arm holds the camera at one end, and sticks into the Ethernet connector at the other end – no electronics, it just is the right shape to fit nicely and stay put.
Here’s my little rig:
I had it in a box case, but I dropped it and it broke I need to get another one somewhere, or 3D print one.
Now that I had the physical setup done, I followed this blog post to set up the software:
The same author has a great post on using an app called BerryCam to help setup where the camera is pointed:
The author goes further and gets the whole device stuffed into a coffee can with a battery pack, which I’ll get around to at some point.
I modified the python script so it names the captured files sequentially by date and time rather that the default setup. I found this a lot easier to work with when I wanted to stuff the pictures into a timelapse video.
Now, the SD card on the RaspberryPi I have is only 8G, so it’ll fill up if I don’t drain it, so I rsync the files off to another, bigger machine once an hour with a cronjob. I had to learn the “–remove-source-files” rsync switch and that helped a ton.
At first, I just wanted the timelapser to watch out toward the West and capture the clouds and sunset:
Then I had to idea to stick a dish of birdseed out in front of the camera to see what would happen, and I got some really neat pictures of local birds!
More pix here:
Here’s how I have the camera positioned:
This took some trial and error, and the BerryCam software referred to above helped with positioning a lot.
I finally secured the camera to the deck with cable ties:
Hope this makes sense! It was pretty easy to do, thanks to the blog posts I link to above. I have a wifi adapter in the RaspberryPi – this might help you get that set up properly. Also, when the camera is taking a picture, it lights up an LED on the camera board. I thought this might cast a color on low light frames, so I disabled the LED using these instructions.
Have fun making one, and let me know if I can make this post more clear!