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Saturday 3 September 2016

ShackCam improvements

As you are aware, I have a shack cam which currently is offline due to no video hardware being connected, until my windows were replaced this was my JVC Everio camcorder connected to a Dazzle USB capture device, this worked ok as a stop gap but a problem was ongoing with the video connection at the Dazzle end, one of the connectors was not making connection properly and was flaky.

So, what to do, reinstating the Dazzle was an idea but this device has a strange interlacing effect which sometimes was apparent whenever I got up out of my chair and moved past the camera, so instead I look at something a little bit smaller and also on the network and a dedicated device, the Raspberry Pi and the Pi camera, as well as a dummy CCTV camera, the pound shop sell small dummy CCTV cameras and at time of writing the Raspberry Pi Zero, of which I already own one, now has a camera connector on the board, this happened after I bought mine so will need to buy a second one at the same time as the camera, also the Pi Zero has very little in the way of current consumption, and adding WiFi to it would make life easier as the Pi Zero has no Ethernet at all and should still keep current draw low.

This setup should work with the software I use on my shack computer to run the feed, which is currently running at boot and not sending images as it has no video source at this time, effectively I plan to make a custom IP camera using mostly off the shelf parts rather than spending a lot of money on an off the shelf IP camera, all I need is a camera, no fancy features, and as I have a light in the shack at night I do not need a camera equipped with Infrared.

Hopefully I will get the new and improved ShackCam online very soon, this might happen after the Hamfest though but we'll see, I have kept the link up to the ShackCam page over this time but of course with it not sending imagery out the most you will see is a "no device" warning.

73 de M6RSQ/26CT730

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