“My Project” – Obstacles along the way

The whole idea using an infrared movement detector to trigger a smartphone camera is a good one.

As mentioned in my previous Blog, I intended using my old cracked screen Nokia 3 smartphone as the camera. I had fitted it nicely into the box with an opening for the lens. When it came to testing, the phone simply did not react to the 450 ohm resistor across the mic connector like my Samsung did, no matter what App I used and I tried a few. This was quite disappointing!

I refined the timing in the Arduino NANO program and added switching for the infrared “flash”. It worked reasonably well and then I discovered something about cell phone cameras. They don’t see infrared light and so need a “white flash” for night time photography. Those bright flashes will certainly frighten the animals I so want to photograph!

I used my CCTV monitoring cameras to prove the infrared flash was working. You see the flash very clearly on replay. The eye however only sees a dim glow on the LED’s. This is definitely the right flash for the task!

I have a Rasberry Pi and also a Pi camera which I’ve used in the past. I got that going again using MotionEyeOS, a perfect solution for movement detection, snapshots and video’s although the camera is no where near the quality of a smartphone camera. BUT, as soon as I removed the Pi from the network MotionEyeOS became non operational. Now that’s useless if I want to take it to the field!

Then I tried using Python to talk to the camera and I was in control of the software which I like. BUT, the Pi is so slow, the animals would pass by long before any capturing could be done. This added to my frustrations …..

Sure, buying a dedicated trail camera is cheap enough and brings a lot of fun and excitement but I still want to get this dinosaur walking (In comparison to a dedicated, compact trail camera!)

An important point worth mentioning is that the Pi draws way more current than an Arduino. The 12v to 5v converter I use just cannot deliver the current required by the Pi which is important powering the system from a 12v 7 A/Hr SLAB in the field. The converter however appears to deliver enough current to keep a smartphone charged ….

This is the latest Arduino program. The next version will make use of interrupts, a more intelligent way of reaction to the infrared motion detector signal. Watch this space …..


2 thoughts on ““My Project” – Obstacles along the way

  1. ZS6BNE Good job. Some CCD devices have an IR filter on the face of the “target plate”.  It may be as simple as a glass lens, IR is attenuated passing thru glass.  Military IR lenses are often made of germanium. Robert SheppardTroyMissouri, USA DE NØUTD 73

  2. Pingback: “My Project” – Obstacles along the way – Site Title

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