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A site for a Hobbyologist's personal projects and information, broadcasting to the world.

Fine Tuning Felix 3D Printer Start and End GCode Routines

I picked up a Felix 3.0 printer for xmas.  I had a few problems getting clean prints using the Repetier software. Since moving to the Simplify3D software and coming to grips with the not so intuitive interface, I am getting 100%  looking prints.  Thanks to Stephen for getting me onto Simplify3D and starting off the gcode discussion.

PiPole-Cam Fly's Again Out Bush

In mid-November 2013, a good friend and I travelled South to record GPS coordinates and measure tree height of a patch of Xanthorrhoea grass trees that I had stumbled upon back in April 2013.

The night before, I had upgraded PiPole-Cam with the latest version of Picamera - 0.7.  Although I only tested my script with a maximum of 100 photos in each run, it all worked well, and there where no dark photos

Together, we recorded 252 grass tree positions and their heights. 

Next Round of Enhancements

These are just a few extra bug fixes and enhancements that I have implemented ready for testing on the next bush walk. 

1) I am just waiting on version 0.7 of the Picamera software to be released, as that should fix the 'fade-to-back' issue I experienced last time

2) I also added a simple routine to log the GPS the photo's GPS details and the RPi CPU temperature to a logfile for later analysis.  It also makes it easier to upload the photo locations into my QGIS software.

Long Bush Walk with PiPole-Cam

During some previous walks out in the WA State forest, South of where I live, there are some patches of bush that have a lot of one kind of plant.  One of these interesting areas is a dense patch of Xanthorrhoea grasstrees.  I managed to record a GPS reading part way into the patch and one on the West edge of the patch.  I thought it would be interesting to try and take some photos of the area and PiPole-Cam would be handy as some of them are quite tall.

Enhancing the PiPole-Cam

So far I haven't really written about the software side of the project.  That is because there has been very little software.  Just a few shell scripts.

I have some scripts to turn the wireless Access Point into a normal wireless client and visa-versa.  I have some scripts to control raspistill and rasipivid etc.  Nothing really earth shattering going on here.  Life turned very busy over the local native orchid season (July-October), so the PiPole-Cam project took a back seat for a while.

Going Bush with the PiPole-Cam

Wanting to go higher, the following week I purchased another extendable 2.4m to 4.8m pool pole from Bunnings.  I cut the pine pole section down to a bit over 1m in length and doubled it up, so now it's 1005mm high x 290mm horizontal top bar.  It's shaped like an upside down L.

I cable tied in a fresh set of batteries and drove out to my patch of bush.  I was hoping that the 10m tall PiPole-Cam would rise above the tree tops and allow me to photograph the top foliage etc.

PiPole-Cam First Flight

Late on Sunday afternoon, much to the amusement of the local kids, PiPole-Cam managed to take to the air down at the local park.

Initial Build of the PiPole-Cam hardware

I did a bit of online research during the preceding week, so I knew about different suspension systems and what other people had built.  I had a spare Model A Raspberry Pi and the Raspberry Pi Camera board lying around that where going to be used in another project, so thats what was used here.  The initial prototype was quickly assembled over a one weekend period.  There isn't really much too it, as it just has to hold a set of wooden cross beams for the suspension system, the Raspberry Pi, a daughter board, camera and a set of Li-Ion batteries. 

Project: Building a Pole Camera