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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.

The QGIS map below tries to plot out the area of interest:

Bush Walk Map

The above map is a bit busy and is a collection of walks and information that I have previously gathered over the last year (2012/13).


Note: these are just estimated outlines and have yet to be properly GPS surveyed

light purple: tall dense tea tree

green:  Banksia grandis

orange: Xanthorrhoea grasstrees

Dot Points:

bright green:  an April 2013 walk

purple: early October 2013 walk - no search GPS waypoints used

grey:  late October 2013 walk - still no search GPS waypoints used

yellow:  GPS waypoints of the rough edges of an area of Xanthorrhoea grasstrees

cyan:  other interesting waypoints


Unfortunately the night before, I loaded the previously collected Xanthorrhoea grasstrees waypoints into a new iPhone App called 'GPS Tracks'  It's not the most intuative App and I didn't realise that I had wiped the grasstree waypoints.  I only figured that out when I tried looking for them when I was onsite.  Always up for a challenge, I walked off into the bush with the PiPole-Cam held high and taking photos once every 20 seconds. It's not fast going, as I have to walk slowly, because most of the time I have to watch the top of the pole, so PiPole-Cam doesn't get tangled in the tree branches.  The grey dots are the waypoints collected via the 'GPS Hiker' iPhone App.  It wasn't till I arrived back and looking at the photos, that I thought I should have been collecting waypoints via PiPole-Cam.

I use my iPad and the 'vSSH' App to talk to the PiPole-Cam unit.  I also use the 'Remote Files' App to view samba shared out images.  It all seems to work pretty well, however every now and then, the iPad would disconnect from the PiPole-Cam wireless AP.  The only way to get it back would be to cold boot the RPi.  Adafruit forums lists a posible fix for this, but I have yet to test this out with the Element14 WiPi device.

About 3/4 of the way into the 3.5 hour walk, I noticed that some of the photos where very dark.  It wasn't till I arrived home and viewed the thumbnails that I realised I had a new issue with the PiPole-Cam.  Here is an example:

Photos Fading to Dark

Initially I put it down to perhaps the poor old RPi unit over heating.  Hmm, maybe I should be recording the CPU temperature as well?   It turns out that both Picamera and raspistill both had this problem.  Raspistill was fixed back in August and Picamera in the November 0.7 release.

Here is a close-up of a Sun orchid taken via the PiPole-Cam lowered down to ~ 0.5m away from the 1m tall native orchid.

PiPole-Cam Sun Orchid

As a comparison, here is similar photo taken via a Canon A2000IS camera.

Canon A2000IS Sun Orchid

I get a kick out of being able to control the PiPoleCam via my iPad in the bush, way out in the middle of no where.

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