Sunday, May 31, 2015

Portability & Visitors

I took a portable version of the scanning setup to the beaches of Lake Michigan last week. It was interesting, not as successful as I would have liked it to be but I did learn a bit, took some notes, and have a better idea of where things can be improved.

The home setup continued to work fine while I was gone. The biggest issue I have to resolve is storage, switching to a portable USB drive should resolve that, but I'll miss the joy of uploading everything to a remote server, crunching all the images into a video and uploading to youtube / wherever at high speed. It doesn't make sense at this point to justify spending $50 / month when a 1TB drive can be purchased for $70.
Aside from technical fun, it looks like we've had a creature of some sort dig a hole in front of the scanner! No good images of the animal itself, the limited depth of field only gives us blurry images of anything more than 1 or 2 mm away from the scanner.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Documentation Progress + Battery Power

Brief updates
 - Incomplete process notes for Raspberry Pi setup
Lots of work still needed on the Pi setup process.
 - Still trying to decide how much information to include here
 - - Is it necessary to discuss initial image / OS installation, network setup, 
 - - This version assumes everything happens on the Pi - lots of pros & cons with this : )
 - Still need to compile a section on device setup (hub/scanner/wifi) along with pros & cons of different device choices.

I would love to spend more time with someone discussing and either building or linking to information that helps myself and others understand what can be seen in the images.
 - Root Growth
 - Insect life / processes that we're able to see
 - Soil type
 - Seasonal differences

Last, another objective has been to get battery powered version running. I spent a couple hours today setting up a battery (on loan from the wonderful AADL). At roughly 500mA idle and 900mA scanning (figuring 1 min/scan) should provide plenty excess energy to document for a solid day. (27,000mAh Battery).

Though my current understanding is that I can not charge the battery AND power the setup at the same time. The specs for the battery specify a max of 1 Amp output. With a WiFi dongle power hitting 1007mAmps for roughly 30 seconds at a time. It was recommended I avoid exceed the max amperage, even if just a little.