Time Lapse WebCam?

Charles Curley charlescurley at charlescurley.com
Tue Apr 14 12:41:02 MDT 2009

On Tue, Apr 14, 2009 at 11:37:46AM -0600, Kimball Larsen wrote:
> My company is building a new building, as we have outgrown our current  
> digs.  The new building is being erected about 1000ft from our current  
> location - just across 2 parking lots.  From the roof of our current  
> building, we have a very clear line of sight to the construction plot,  
> and would like to put a little camera up there that will snap a photo  
> every day that we can stitch together into a time-lapse movie of the  
> building going up.
> There are 2 issues to deal with:
> a)  Zoom.  The new building is far enough away that it would appear too 
> small on most run-of-the-mill webcams.

Get enough optical zoom. Digital zoom ain't worth squat.

> b)  Distance from nearest linux box.  It is likely that we'll have to  
> run a cable in excess of 50' to get from one of our always on linux  
> servers (where I could set up some software to take the shots  
> periodically) to the mount point for the camera.  Can usb go this far?
> (ok, 3 issues)

Given the cost of your time running cables, I'd look at a low powered
ruggedized PC, stick it on a battery and charge it with a solar
panel. Use wireless to get the data from time to time. Then you can
use a USB powered camera (assuming you can find one with the zoom you
need). I'd look at the FIT-PC slim or FIT-PC2, 5 watts max.

> c)  Software.  I am not at all familiar with what sorts of software are 
> available for doing this sort of thing in linux.  Can anyone make any 
> recommendations?
> Thanks in advance!


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