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Herp webcams???

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GemmaJF View Drop Down
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    Posted: 04 Jan 2014 at 7:58pm
Hi all,

Would anyone be interested is some live streaming herp images?

Not really sure what would be involved hardware or software wise and could do with advice on the topic.

In my case the camera would be placed about 60 ft away from the PC and I could run a cable of some sort.

The concept could I guess involve members with animals in their gardens, so the camera(s) is/are fairly secure and could easily be checked etc.


I could set up a camera for common lizards in my garden for example. Throughout the active season they can be seen on a purposely placed car tyre in our wildlife garden on suitable days.


Some members also have home enclosures for sand lizards which would be fairly amazing.


Any thoughts on the idea welcome. I've no idea of available hardware costs etc, but I think it could be fun to do. 


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Tom Omlette View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tom Omlette Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jan 2014 at 8:28pm
looks like a simple ip based webcam should do the trick for a small garden. i'd be up for showing off the frogs in the pond but again they are pretty late around here. no reptiles though Cry.

tom
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GemmaJF View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jan 2014 at 8:41pm
Frogs would be great, I would love to see them. As I do not see them locally at all. (We've only seen one in 10 years in the garden pond and it got eaten by a grass snake Stern Smile

Thinking of it, perhaps promoting the web cams through the ID pages would be a good concept, so when visiting the pages one could then view the live streams for the given species.


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GemmaJF View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jan 2014 at 4:41pm
I'm still not really sure of the technology needed, I have a cheap web cam lying about, how does one get it streaming to a website? 

Chris do you have any ideas? It seems one requires a fast server at the source to get live steams to the web, though I'm really not sure.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Iowarth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jan 2014 at 7:39pm
Hi Gemma

Certainly possible although not an aspect I have played with yet. I'll have a look into it - does sound like a both fun and useful idea.

Chris
Chris Davis, Site Administrator

Co-ordinator, Sand Lizard Captive Breeding Programme (RETIRED)
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Caleb View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Caleb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jan 2014 at 1:06pm
Originally posted by GemmaJF GemmaJF wrote:

In my case the camera would be placed about 60 ft away from the PC and I could run a cable of some sort.

If your webcam is USB, you won't be able to run a cable more than 5 metres. 

An ethernet cable could easily handle that distance though, so one solution would be to have a tiny computer (like a Raspberry Pi) near the camera to do all the work, and run ethernet from there to your router. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AndyS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jan 2014 at 6:27pm
Gemma, depending on how much you want to spend how about a wireless camera?
http://www.maplin.co.uk/c/cctv-and-security/wireless-cameras  

have a look on the inter-web for more examples Thumbs Up
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GemmaJF View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jan 2014 at 7:45pm
Cheers Andy I do have a wireless camera somewhere, but I would need a video in card to see it on a computer.

The cheapest solution I have found so far would be to buy a 'USB over Cat5' extender. 

This apparently allows a USB device to work something like 50m away from the computer and costs around £10 - £20. Effectively it's a boosted Ethernet RJ45 connection. So I'll just need the Extender and a long enough Firewire.

So the first stage of my little mini project will be to build a waterproof housing for the cheap spare web cam I have, then get the images from the end of the garden onto my PC using the USB extender.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jan 2014 at 5:56pm
Whilst waiting for the Extender to arrive I've started work on the Herpcam!

Simplest waterproof enclosure for the Herpcam I could think of was a Ferrero Rocher box, no shortage of them in our house after Christmas LOL

I used 5 minute epoxy to glue the camera mounting to the lid of the box: 




Then when the base of the box is added I should be able to seal the whole thing using some silicone sealer and PVC tape.



Though the excess wiring is shown outside the enclosure in the picture above, the plan will be to have all the extra USB wire and the Extender unit inside the water proof enclosure, so the only thing that exits the box is the Firewire, keeping moisture out of the camera and the connections. (This plan will need testing though to make sure all the bundled wire close to the camera does not interfere with the picture quality in any way).

The next step will be to put the waterproof enclosure in a wooden 'house' similar to a bird box, so that rain and moisture do not collect on the enclosure and interfere with the image.

Webcam I'm using is a Creative Live! Cam Optia - rather obsolete but also not very expensive.



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GemmaJF View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jan 2014 at 7:40pm
The Extenders arrived today.


Initial tests showed they did not function on a very long firewire.

However I got it up and running on a shorter test firewire. 

So the concept is good, I'll just need to be careful regarding the quality and length of firewire I use to reach the end of the garden to ensure it functions OK. 

Ideas about bunching up the wires inside one enclosure were abandoned. I'm now planning two enclosures, one for the camera, one for the receiver end of the extender to help optimise the length of the USB cable used and thus shorten the firewire needed.



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