Optics not good enough to see the result of perfect breathing, trigger control, and doping? Neither are mine, so the ShotCAM idea took root.
For perspective, we are shooting at a range of700+ yards. Here is a panoramic picture taken from an iPhone. Our shooting benches are below the blue arrow.
What is it? Simply, a remote camera over a wireless bridge, with a WiFi access point at the bench. End users connect their iPhone, Android, iPad, etc, to the open Wifi and are redirected to the camera feed.
Let's start with a description of the components from the target back to the shooting bench.
Pi Zero w/ Camera and USB Ethernet(running PRI_CAM_CONTROL) -> Ubiquiti Nanostation Loco M5 (remote Bridge) -> Ubiquiti Nanostation Loco M5 (bench Bridge) -> PI3 (running OpenWRT as WiFi access point) -> iPhone,iPad,Whatever
Both bridges are powered from a 12V battery using a 12-24v converter to create the necessary passive PoE for the Ubiquiti Nanostations. I used three CAT5 jacks to cobble together the power and data into a single cable for the Nanostation. Each Pi is locally powered by a 5200mAh lipo battery.
The idea is to have a low-powered, relatively disposable camera in the blast zone. After all, this is a shooting range, every once in a while somebody is gong to score a direct hit on the camera, so a pi-zero it is.
The Nanostations are configured in bridge mode and mounted on tripods. For testing I repurposed a work-light tripod stand for the remote end, and a camera tripod for the bench end.
I will go over each software configuration step, starting with the ShotCAM itself and working back to the bench. For clarity's sake, the following anachronyms describe the components as a module, each module possibly consisting of multiple components.
CBX: Core Bridge Transmitter - Nanostation on tripod and Pi3 OpenWRT w/ external USB battery
RBX: Remote Bridge Transmitter - Nanostation on tripod
ShotCAM: Pi Zero w/ camera, tripod, and external USB battery
BPU: Battery Power Unit - 12V battery, step-up converter,and associated cabling (2 required)
I am going to make some assumptions as to your technical ability, for example a knowledge of basic networking and physical connectivity. For the most part, we are going to keep this simple, however I may skip over sections of the build that are outside of this scope (like how to build a network).
|ShotCAM||PiZero||Tripod||PiZero Battery||Associated Wiring|
|RBX (Remote Bridge Transmitter)||Ubiquiti Nanaostation||Tripod||Associated Wiring|
|BPU (Bridge Power Unit)||12V, 20AH Battery||CAT5 Jacks||Associated Wiring|
|CBX (Core Bridge Transmitter)||Ubiquiti Nanaostation||Tripod||Pi3||Pi3 Battery||Associated Wiring|
Parts List(work in process)
|OpenWRT Software, Open Source||Free|
|RPI CamControl Software, Open Source||Free|
|Pi Zero Case||$4|
|Pi Zero Camera||$30|
|Pi SD Cards||$8|
|Pi Zero and Pi3 Battery||$17|
|Battery Converter for Ubiquiti||$16|
|Ubiquiti Nanostation Loco M5||$60 (two required)|
In the next part, we will move onto building the ShotCam itself.
Next Post: ShotCam Beta Part 2