discussion / Camera Traps  / 4 October 2017

Feedback Needed: Wireless Camera Traps

I am interested in making long distance wireless camera traps ( approx 15 kms), but as a proof of concept i am trying to make a short distance one (approx 500 metre) first, possibly using a zigbee controller. In the system, my vision is to make a camera trap(s) that  can send the images taken by it  to a master system (like a PC) over short distances, using zigbee. I'd like to know your thoughts on the feasibility and problems related to such a system?

Thanks in Advance




This is what I tackling now.  Long distance, the only thing I can think of is something like LoRa. But with zigbee (has issues when not line of site) you could do something like this, but the packet size might be an issue for photos (I have never used them for this purpose, only for sensor data). I am building a POC for this now.  I was even exploring using old phones and mesh those with WIFI, then send that all to a sink and then out of the field via satelite or traditional means.

Hi Vasudev,

Great to hear that you are interested in developing a long distance wireless camera trap. I have been experimenting too and have an open source project as part of the Arribada Initiative that you are free to use to accelerate your efforts . You could take the case design and fit LoRa, or you could use the base WiFi setup we installed to get some good throughput.

Take a look at;

https://github.com/IRNAS/arribada-amp
http://irnas.eu/other%20projects/2017/08/21/arboreal-monitoring-platform-for-amazon-rainforest

Kind regards,

Alasdair

Here's an overview of the open design that you could use to experiment with;

https://onedrive.live.com/?authkey=!AKHGQmcsi_pdKvI&id=EF7272B42226A337!59889&cid=EF7272B42226A337

For transmission of images over low baud rate, lossy wireless connections (such as you'd encounter with your target distances) you may want to investigate 'SSDV', as used by hobbyists to transmit images from high altitude balloons ('HABs') over extreme distances at extreme low power:

https://ukhas.org.uk/guides:ssdv

This method splits a JPEG image into packets that can be reassembled by the receiver. The data can be transmitted repeatedly to increase the chance that packets are successfully received, or if the connection is sufficient for a bidirectional link, packets can be requested for retransmission. If those methods fail and packets are lost, the lost packets leave holes in the reassembled image but the rest of the image survives.

Search for 'HAB LoRa SSDV' for more material on the subject.

Best regards,

Simon