Projects, past & present
The Raspberry Pi - live video streaming & HD recording with IR camera module fr outside use.

This is a further development of the previous (non-IR/indoor) project.

Using an IR Module (£18) rather than the daylight only module, I installed modified version of 'motion' - ('motion-mal') - which recognises the RPi camera module. This is a incredibly versatile set of modules that can be tailored to your own requirements.

I wanted a create an IP camera unit that would both stream live video and also record HD video footage when motion is detected.

By amending the ('motion.conf') script I was able to achieve live video of 352x288 with minimal time lag. Now resolution of 1280x720 is possible, the time lag is very long. Bearing in mind that a live feed is generally used to position the camera rtaher than to provide detailed live video. It's really all about juggling your requirements to obtain the best balance between HD recordings and live feed resolution.

The HD video is captured for a predetermined period. The capture (.avi) files are stored on the local SD card or onto a local server (or conventional PC). The quality of the recoded video is excellent.

The next phase was to obtain a suitable weatherproof case. Now this was a challenge, there are many to be bought, but they are generally very costly. I settled for a case (Ebay) for about £19, OK so it was a little longer than I needed. When it arrived, I realied that it was in fact - huge! - far too long. So, with the aid of a hacksaw it was halved. I also opted to enclose the Raspeberry Pi in a further waterproff ABS box. However this did not allow sufficient space for the camera module. OK - so another tiny ABS box was fitted to the front of the main ABS box with the ribbon cable passing through from one to the other. Yes, it still all fitted into the wterproof case.

Next came the design for an IR LED pack - I had already sketched out the arrangement for twenty or so IR LEDs. They are quite inexpensive - however I found that I could buy (Ebay again) a complete x36 IR LED ring with LDR activation (ie only on when light level falls) for under £4. That was it, all the bits sorted..... except for the power arrangments.

I wanted to operate the whole assembly from a 12v source. This would power the IR LED ring directly, but I needed just 5v for the RPi. After a prototype using a linear regulator (L7805) I realised that the dissipation in the regulator would mean a largisg heatsink to be included. I decided that a switching regulator was required. A suitable IC was about £8, that seemed a bit steep. However I dicovered a disused 'In-Car Mobile Phone Charger' in my 'junk-box'. Now this seemed ideal as it is designed to produce 5v @ 2A from a vehicle supply. Not only was efficient it was also quite small. (incidentally these can be purchased (yes.. you guessed it - Ebay) from just 99p including delivery!

Right, finally to get it all in the waterproof case - well it JUST fitted. I should have allowed a little more room, but hey-ho.

I am very pleased with the result, it compares well to commercial units but has the added advantage of being modified (software) to perform exactly how you want. I suppose the overall cost was more than anticipated - RPi £28 + IR module £18 + LED ring £4 + waterproof case £19 + ABS box £4 OK that's quite expensive, but WTH it does exactly what I want.



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