Cat Cam mark 2

First testing of the new Raspberry Pi cat-cam today, the original goal was simply to allowcapture-20140405-085936
my wife to know when the cats had last been home after one disappeared for couple of days. This version now includes the capability to email a zip file me after every 16 or so pictures have been taken.

The project started life way back in the Rpi pioneering days of capture-20140405-0859432012 using Motion and USB webcam, but I abandoned it after much frustration with unreliable wifi links and problems with the Motion application crashing randomly. So what has changed, well most importantly a decent power supply and I have found the trick to disable the power saving mode on Realtek wifi dongles [ see my Random pi notes for details ].

Having now also got hooked on Python I decided to drop Motion for the excellent light weight python motion detection ‘picam’ code originated by brainflakes, with some cat_pi_camimproves by pageauc, peewee2 and Kesthal. And as you can see from the picture I am using a Picam now rather than a USB webcam.

http://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=43&t=45235&start=25#p390983

Rather than adding the ziping and emailing code to the basic picam program I decided to write this as standalone application. This avoided the need use multitasking within a single python application -as I was concerned with how stable this would be.

The email application monitors the size of a folder containing the captured pictures from picam when this reaches about 1Mb it makes a temporary copy then zips and emails it to me using a Gmail account setup specifically for this job, again see my Random pi notes for a link on how to do this. Keeping this as a separate application also ensures that if it does break I will still have pictures on the SD card to go back to.

To avoid a load of emails as picam captures dusk and dawn I have amended the picam code to stop recording movement from 7pm to 6am – at some stage in the future I will add a light sensor to automate this.

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One Response to Cat Cam mark 2

  1. Pingback: Low cost motion detector for the RaspberryPi | The Meandering Pi

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