Possible Project: Image upload with Raspberry Pi

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Chris_J
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Possible Project: Image upload with Raspberry Pi

Postby Chris_J » Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:30 am

Hi,

After a lot of searching, I finally came upon your CELLv1.0. I'm pretty novice when it comes to electrical engineering although I have just cut my teeth on an Arduino and Triggertrap Shield.

I want to take an an image with my camera and have it automatically either sent to me via email or uploaded to a webserver. This sounds like conventional tethering but for the fact that the camera is in a remote location away from WiFi and power. Therefore, it would need to use 3G and a portable power supply.

As I mentioned, I'm not wholly savvy with electronics yet so I might be asking the impossible but for all the other examples I have seen, I don't see why this shouldn't be (at least theoretically) possible.

Any thoughts would be much appreciated!

Thanks,

Chris

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donjohnii
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Re: Possible Project: Image upload with Raspberry Pi

Postby donjohnii » Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:51 am

The CELLv1.0 sounds right for your project actually. Here's 2 ways I would go about it, but you're thinking in the perfect direction:

1. EMAIL:
Probably the easier of the two is to just send yourself an email. Once the CELLv1.0 is plugged in using the shield, your Pi would enable the cellular service then send an email. The following seems like a legitimate guide to setting up an email sender from the Pi:
http://iqjar.com/jar/sending-emails-fro ... pberry-pi/

2. SERVER:
A more difficult method would be to send messages to a listening server then another application on your end would have to go get the picture. When we put our server up it will be able to handle such applications but you'll still have to have a client go get the info from the server to display.

Depending on how often you take pictures and where the camera is located, you may be able to use a smaller battery and a solar panel. I'm not sure what the application is, but it should work.

Keep in mind you'll still need the SIM card and calculate how often and how much data you'll send to figure out what data plan you'll need.

-Chris

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donjohnii
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Re: Possible Project: Image upload with Raspberry Pi

Postby donjohnii » Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:57 am

This email library looks better/easier:
http://rpi.tnet.com/project/faqs/smtp

In thinking about the actual sending, there will have to be a config file you will probably have to modify to point it at the PPP server if that's the connection you're going to setup, otherwise sending the image to the server (instead of email) may be easier using the TX/RX (UART) interface.

We don't have the examples and server up yet as those would help get you there.

-Chris

Chris_J
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Re: Possible Project: Image upload with Raspberry Pi

Postby Chris_J » Wed Sep 18, 2013 9:34 am

Hi Chris,

Firstly, thanks for the positive outlook. I've been posting similar questions on forums all day and the knowledgeable folk have been coming back saying this probably isn't possible for various reasons, despite being perfectly sensible!

I'm a nature photographer but I love to dabble and learn about pretty much any subject, so when I find a way of creating something that might link the two together, I get excited.

The setup is this:

A high-end Canon camera is using a laser trip sensor to take pictures. These will probably be in bursts so but not all of them necessarily need to be sent on. (It can also be changed to take one shot at a time if required.) From the camera, I'd like to automatically transfer the images to a device (most likely a Raspberry Pi due to storage constraints on an Arduino) and from there, use the CELLv1.0 to send the images onward.

If email is easier, that's fine, it's simply acting as a method of notifying me an image has been taken.

Powering the set up could be achieved by normal batteries, a car battery or perhaps a solar cell, although they appear quite pricey.

In terms of data, we're looking at about 10Mbs per image! Clearly this is huge and not ideal, however, I have the option to shoot both RAW and JPEG simultaneously. I would just be a case of selecting the JPEG to be sent.

Currently, I can find offers on Orange (UK cell operator) for a SIM card that gives 1GB data for every £10 you top up (on a Pay as you go basis). If' I'm only sending a 3-4MB JPEG, I'm hoping this will last a couple of week. It will all depend on just what activity there is at the camera.

I guess at the other end is the tethering question about communicating with the camera and the Raspberry Pi. I've posted a question there to see what can be done!

When I say a remote location, I simply mean away from a power supply and WiFi. We're not talking up a mountain etc BUT this application could lead to something like this. I'll be collecting the camera after a matter of hours so I can always evaluate what was captured each time I do this, however, as I said before, I dearly enjoy learning new things and this seemed like a great little project with a real use for an emerging technology that doesn't carry the current price tag (circa £600-700 for the Canon gear).

Thanks for the links, I'm sure they will boggle my mind but I'll get stuck in.

Will be backing your project shortly.

P.S. I'm unfamiliar with KickStarter. If you don't achieve the funding, which I sincerely hope you do, are the products still produced and sent out?

Many thanks,

Chris

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donjohnii
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Re: Possible Project: Image upload with Raspberry Pi

Postby donjohnii » Thu Sep 19, 2013 8:21 am

People that say stuff like this should be allowed to post: "probably isn't possible for various reasons"
I'm not sure what their reasoning is, but anything is possible if you try hard enough. Especially when dealing with Canon which has a lot of opportunity for hacking - magic lantern, android USB tethering, wifi cf cards. I have a 60D myself and use magic lantern.

The difficult first step:
Assuming you got your SIM card figured out, which it looks like you have, and you believe you'll have sufficient cellular coverage out wherever you're taking pictures, and you've though about the idea of just storing the pictures then uploading them when you pick up the camera as that's cheaper... then you're past the difficult part.

Your biggest hurdle:
I think your biggest hurdle is going to be getting the pictures off the camera. The wifi cf cards seem like a more straightforward approach at the moment, but they'll drain more battery as you'll have to also put wifi on the RasPi. An interesting option would be to put an Android OS on the RasPi and connect a USB cable direct to the canon - that could be used to transfer images and even trigger the camera. Now, I'm not sure of the libs available for canon, you might actually be able to stick with whatever flavor linux you currently have on the RasPi.

Once you figure out how to grep the images, you're home free. Then it's just a matter of transferring the images which is much more straightforward and has been done before.

-Chris

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donjohnii
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Re: Possible Project: Image upload with Raspberry Pi

Postby donjohnii » Thu Sep 19, 2013 8:23 am

If Kickstarter projects don't fund, no money is transferred and therefore no products are owed. But we funded... so it's all good.

-Chris

Chris_J
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Re: Possible Project: Image upload with Raspberry Pi

Postby Chris_J » Thu Sep 19, 2013 1:32 pm

Hi Chris,

Thanks for your continued feedback. I've been putting all these parts together and I think there are a couple of options for tethering the camera:

Entangle - http://entangle-photo.org/

gPhoto2 - http://www.gphoto.org/

Hopefully one of these will cover the movement of files from the camera to the RPi and from then I'm hoping I can use the links you've previously supplied to do the file transfer onto the web.

I'll be able to do some testing in while you're manufacturing by using WiFi but clearly your innovation holds the key to proper testing in the field.

Pumped.

Well done with the funding.

Chris

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donjohnii
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Re: Possible Project: Image upload with Raspberry Pi

Postby donjohnii » Sat Sep 21, 2013 9:25 am

Looks like you're on the right track. I'm not all that familiar with those tools, but they look promising.

Good luck.

BTW: I'm fixing the email notifications now, so I'll know when posts come up. Thanks for keeping on top of the tweets so far!

-Chris

JonathanRios
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Re: Possible Project: Image upload with Raspberry Pi

Postby JonathanRios » Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:15 pm


alancecchini
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Re: Possible Project: Image upload with Raspberry Pi

Postby alancecchini » Wed Oct 08, 2014 5:38 am

Hi Chris,

I've been on the look out for a solution similar to yours for some time.

I would like to set up a raspberry pi at my apartment in Italy with two cameras.
One camera would be positioned on our balcony for checking the weather.
Another would be inside the apartment, possibly with simple flash capability, for checking all is ok (not that security is a big concern).

I have lots of material to digest as I'm just getting started but wondered if you had completed your project and had any useful tips, pointers etc.

Thanks,

Alan


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