Aaaaaargh. I inadvertantly deleted a whole swag of pictures from the 08/11 to the 19/11. These were mostly pictures of me and the plumber doing the drains out the front. I deleted them by mistake when I was transferring them off the camera box. Oh well. I should have done them when I was more awake.
The camera box is alive and kicking again. It turned out to be a problem with the network cable. The box was wet inside. Water had been leaking into the box from the top and running down on to the keyboard. It seems to be still functional though, (minus a couple of non-important keys). Besides, since the camera box has no monitor I have to type blind. This involves logging in and issuing shell commands without seeing the output. I take cues from network traffic, (EG ‘ping firewall’ – to check if I have logged in OK), and PC speaker beeps for command history editing. Makes life interesting.
The panorama camera is back up again and taking photos, but I can’t reach it across the network, must be something wrong.
My panoramics, although giving a good field of view, didn’t really cut it for security. I needed a decent webcam that I could shift around. Fortunately, I managed to obtain a QuickCam Orbit. This gives me full pan/tilt control, and there is a Linux driver too boot!
My WiFi laptop now runs the QuickCam Orbit. The reason for this was to avoid disturbing the existing panoramic camera setup. My dad managed to get a spherical dome for me to house the camera in. He also made a small box for it, to be bolted to the side of the tree. Piccies below.
I managed to obtain a Logitech QuickCam Orbit. The good thing with this camera is that it has pan/tilt motors, and full Linux support, (here, and here. I plan on setting it up in the tree so that I can have a better look around. Panoramas are fine, but when I need to see what’s happening elsewhere I can’t. This will alleviate the problem. My original intention was to have all five cameras on a pan/tilt base, but didn’t get the time to do this.
Although you can’t really see it. I finally got my iPAQ going with WiFi. In
this picture I was looking at myself on my iPAQ. I can now reboot the camera box, and physically power off and on the camera box without opening it up. You can see the
faint glow of my iPAQ screen here.
Due to some very creative demolishers ‘touching’ the side of my box, I’ve had to remake a new one. My dad whipped one up for me. Of course, when you do something again you tend to do it better the next time round. I’ve used a lot of the components of the original camera box, but added a few. Namely an additional laptop, WiFi, and a wireless X10 device to turn off the camera PC remotely.
One thing I’ve learnt from all this is that if you want to have a PC sitting
somewhere remote doing something – make sure that there are multiple
ways of contacting it and controlling it. The box I have setup has a modem,
cable modem, WiFi, local LAN, remote power control, and power protection. Good
enough for a Mars landing! Well, at least if something goes wrong with one
method, there’s a backup.
What is all this rubbish?
Well, it goes like this. I am building a house, and I thought, (being a geek),
that it would be really nice to have a time-lapse movie of the house being
built. Now, that would be cool.
So this is my attempt at building a totally automated photo taking panoramic box. Oh! Didn’t mention that. No, no. Not one silly photo of the house. What use would that be! I intend to have several cameras in a focal array taking photos,
and then stitch them together in software. As it turned out, it’s really not
that hard to do, but a lot of fun in the process. Which is the whole aim of
projects like this.