Over the holidays while at my parents place I started a project. I wanted to mount a camera in their yard, have it take pictures, and upload them to the Internet. Basically I wanted to start a webcam.
Before heading back to my parents place, I did some last minute shopping on craigslist and was able to get an old Canon A75 camera. In it’s day it was a decent camera, but now at only 3mp not many people would want it. So I was able to get it for a cheap $20.
Next up I was able to get a mini Compaq computer that would control the camera. My friend Oliver helped me out with getting it, and I thank him profusely for it. With these two items, a network cable, and a bit of programing I was able to setup Fauquier Cam.
So how does it work? I will get into the technical details in another post, but here is the brief overview. The camera is mounted outside on one of our sheds. It is connected via USB to the Compaq computer which sits inside the shed, as well to an ac adapter cord. The computer sits inside the shed running Ubuntu Linux, and controls the camera via the usb cable, and the wonderful Linux application GPhoto 2. So I have a script setup that runs every 2 minutes from 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset. The script tells the camera to take a picture, then downloads the picture to the Compaq computer. After the image is downloaded to the Compaq it proceeds to upload the image to my webserver.
Once I have the image on my webserver, I resize it to multiple sizes, insert it into a database, then upload each size to Amazon S3 for storage and hosting. OK I can see your eyes glazing over, so I will leave the rest of this for the technical overview.
So what am I getting at? Well basically that if you browse to www.fauquiercam.com you will be able to see an up to date photo from my parents backyard. Greenhouse? check. Garden? check. New cabin my brother is building? check. Scenic pasture and mountains in the background? check. Yup you get it all. I have even included an archives section so you can go back and view photos from past days. Like January 2nd, when my parents made a snowman and a sign for the camera.
This is all just a start. Up next is compiling time lapse videos of every day and adding them to the site. Then as content gets built up (like lets say a years worth) I will do some time lapses of the seasons changing. Lets hope the Canon A75 stays reliable!
Well I hope you all enjoy this little glimpse into my parents backyard and a view of the weather in the small Kootenay town of Fauquier.