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Saturday, 17 September 2016

ShackCam progress

As you will know I am working on building a dedicated camera for the ShackCam out of a Raspberry Pi Zero, the current incarnation of the Pi Camera (I have the original Pi Camera which I am reserving for another project anyway), and a £1 dummy CCTV camera which has been gutted (with it simply being an LED, some wires, and a switch).

The initial idea for this was to use Raspbian and Motion to run the camera, sending the stream out to the programme on the shack computer that I used previously with the Dazzle and the JVC Everio camcorder, however I found a suitable operating system for the Pi that will allow me to dispense with the complicated setup procedure, motionEyeOS.

For the Raspberry Pi this has a unique feature called Fast Network Cam, with it I can stream the camera output to the shack computer over the existing WiFi network with minimal setup, naturally I will set this up before the ShackCam goes into it's final place so I can see an output while I move the camera about and see where it is best being positioned to get the best view of the shack.

I've also made some changes to the web page the image is displayed on, firstly a Copyright notice that had gone missing during a previous edit some time ago was reinstated, secondly the "about" page was linked to as the hyperlink went missing at some point in time, this is set to open a new tab, tested to work in Chrome (computer, tablet and phone versions) and Microsoft Edge (computer and phone version) though in the computer version of Edge the link to the about page is not very visible due to the blue background I chose for the page until after you open it, but I doubt many people are actually using Edge anyway so I won't bother to fix it, as I cannot test on other browsers I can't guarantee the page will work as intended, but as long as the browser can handle HTML properly you should be fine.

I was also thinking about putting on a mobile ShackCam as well for those occasions I am working portable but of course that would depend on me getting suitable 3G coverage at portable locations, the Everio would not last more than 90 minutes doing this and I'd need a machine I could run off a battery for a long time, the Raspberry Pi's energy usage makes this a suitable candidate again with a Pi Camera and the above OS if possible, worth looking at, this will be added to the ShackCam page if I go ahead with it, I may pick up a 3G or 4G compatible router for this and utilise the Pi3's onboard WiFi again if I decide to go ahead with it, though as the year is progressing I may not do any portable operating for a while.

The improved home ShackCam should be operational sometime next month after the National Hamfest.

73 de M6RSQ/26CT730

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