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mattpatt

Timelapse Camera With Picaxe

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I recently purchased one of these ChronoDot for a different project I'm working on. It's an accurate real time clock that interfaces with the 20x2 using 2 pins. It might be a little overkill, but would allow you to take pics at a specific time rather than relying on the picaxe timer or a day/night sensing circuit.

 

Would this work with the PICAXE-18X? It looks to be the smallest chip that has the I2C interface.

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Okay, here's my first timelapse video from this cam. Shot out my back yard and the final movie is at 24 frames per second and was made from about 1400 individual pics.

 

th_test-1.jpg

 

A few things I've learned...

 

1. I have a focus issue on the L11 (I have this same issue with my other L11 game cam too, this must be a setting somewhere) I have it out testing in landscape mode to see if that sets the focus to infinity as I think the cam may still be trying to focus while a pic is being shuttered. I haven't found I way to manually set the cameras focus to infinity in auto mode which is what it was in when the test pics were shot.

(update: changing to landscape seems to have fixed focus issues)

 

2. cheap alkaline batteries aren't going to work. CVS has their branded aklaline batteries on sale so I bought a couple 10 packs. 1400 pics later they are trashed. This is with 2 internal and 2 external AA.

 

3. Don't set the cam where it might possibly be in a shadow during the day. I shot the test underneath my patio. My patio faces east so once the sun got up to around noon apparently there was enough of a shadow to turn the cam off which is why I only got 1400 pics for a whole day.

 

4. I may need to look at going with another cam once I get the bugs worked out. The L11 doesn't support 8gb SD cards plus it seems a little fragile.

 

Matt

Edited by mattpatt

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That is pretty good for the first time :coolsmiley:

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This has been a fun project to say the least. I was lucky enough to have some blue sky today to shoot. It has been overcast here for the last several days. I can now see the advantages of having something like a realtime clock to base your recording off of instead of relying on light. On a very cloudy day you may not get any pics at all or if something covers up the LED. I guess I'm tryin to talk muself into going overboard with Scott's idea and use the 20X2 PICAXE. :D

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Would this work with the PICAXE-18X? It looks to be the smallest chip that has the I2C interface.

 

I think any picaxe with the i2c interface will work.

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I went ahead and ordered a few 20X2s to play with. Mouser has them in stock now for less than $3 each. Other places I found want over $5 a chip.

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Do you have a link to them mattpatt? I searched mouser andcouldnt find picaxe on mouser.

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I went ahead and ordered a few 20X2s to play with. Mouser has them in stock now for less than $3 each. Other places I found want over $5 a chip.

I do not thimk focus looked that bad maybe picking up on something closer in yard. I am pretty sure about this, the Mouser chip does not have the picaxe boot loader to interface with picaxe so they will not work.link

Edited by mheimburg1

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I went ahead and ordered a few 20X2s to play with. Mouser has them in stock now for less than $3 each. Other places I found want over $5 a chip.

I do not thimk focus looked that bad maybe picking up on something closer in yard. I am pretty sure about this, the Mouser chip does not have the picaxe boot loader to interface with picaxe so they will not work.link

 

CRAP! That's the one I ordered... UGGG

 

Guess I'll be seeing how good Mouser's return policy is... I knew something had to be wrong or everyone would have been ordering from them. Just placed a order for a couple from phanderson.

Edited by mattpatt

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Received the correct PICAXE yesterday along with a chronodot RTC. Got it breadboarded up this afternoon and set the time on the chronodot. Also wrote another program to read the time and compare it to what I had set in the program. It if matched, it blinked another LED 3 times (in lower right of picture). I'm sure there are other ways to test it out but this is what I come up with. Now to build up the rest of the circuit around this and test everything out. I'm also trying to think of neat things to do with some of the other input\outputs on this chip since there will be several of them that will go unused for my timelapse setup.

 

IMG00054-20110101-1420.jpg

 

Matt

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I'm also trying to think of neat things to do with some of the other input\outputs on this chip since there will be several of them that will go unused for my timelapse setup.

 

One idea is motion control. For example, you can use the microcontroller to step a stepper motor (or other motor) to slowly pan the camera or move it down a track.

 

I rigged this up as an experiment and made a few videos but got busy with other things.

 

http://vimeo.com/8522514

 

post-6966-1294109210_thumb.jpg

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They are both Cool!

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Learned a valuable lesson tonight.... I've been playing around with etching my own board for this project to give it a neater look. Finally got all the stuff to do it and the board turned out good. I started populating it with components and realized I didn't have a clear LED so I chose to use a solid red one. Well, it turns out that won't work as the solid color of the LED won't let enough light in to turn the camera on. I verifed this by shining a flashlight directly on to the LED and then everything started working correctly. So I guess I'll have to go to Radio Shack tomorrow and get another clear LED.

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I would like to see some pics of the boards, did you get the chrono dot running? With that I would imagine that you might not even need a light sensor, since I am guessing most time lapse is for sunrise and sunsets?

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