Tuesday, February 23, 2021

This Whole Work Thing Is Getting Annoying

 ... because it's keeping me away from the things I want to do.

I made a base for my USB TomatoCam on Sunday. I didn't have time to do it right, so I did it quick and dirty. It will be functional, but it's clumsy and ugly.

Just say it! You think it's hideous, don't you?

It's a camera tripod bolt (1/4, 20) drilled through a piece of wood with a piece of wood on the bottom that has a much bigger hole in it to fit the head of the bolt. That way, the whole thing lays flat. Two screws hold the abomination together. Horrible. Simply horrible.

More Camera News

My 1400 TomatoCam shot today came out terribly. I changed the cron job to shoot at 1100 instead.

It turns out that my Nikon D3500 Artillery Piece can be triggered through a USB connection. This morning, I bought a Raspberry Pi 3 A+, which is a lower-cost, lower-power, smaller Pi than what I'm using for the TomatoCam. All I will need the second one to do is get on the WiFi and tell the D3500 to take photos at the right time. 

I figure the D3500 could be used to shoot cloud animations, the birdbath to see if I can catch something interesting and even do Milky Way time-lapse shots out in the desert. It's an absolute beast of a camera and I'm not making much use of it these days. 

When I do my cloud animations, I use a point-and-shoot in video mode. It can only record for 30 minutes. When I do the time-lapse stuff in Premiere, I'm effectively throwing out 29/30 of the information. Why not just take a still once a second and put them together? I need to calculate how many photos I can store on the memory card on the camera and also do some tests shipping photos in real time from the Artillery Piece to the Pi to my server. If I can send one per second and still have reaction time to shoot the next one, then I can effectively run my time-lapse captures infinitely.


If I use a 64 GB memory card and shoot in normal quality and medium size, I can fit 14,000 images on the card. At 30 frames per second, that would give me a 7-minute video which would cover nearly 4 hours of sky. Yeah, that ought to do it. My bet is that Premiere would gag on that many files, so I'd have to use something like ffmpeg on the server to make the movie. Hmm.


tim eisele said...

As far as the appearance of your mount, it isn't going to be in the final pictures. If it works OK, who cares what it looks like? I'm still running around with a camera that has a big piece of posterboard taped to a ruler attached to it.

K T Cat said...

Tim, I feel like everything I do as a hobbyist has that same look. I never take the time to do it right, so it's all rushed and crude. Because of that, I never develop the skills to do things well. The same is true of my cooking. I've gone as far as being a simple mechanic can take me. As long as I'm working, however, I don't really have time for the arts.