advertisement
Forums

The Forum is sponsored by 
 

AAPL stock: $153.14 ( +2.59 )

*Cached every 60 seconds. For live updating, Click Here

You are currently viewing the Tips and Deals forum
Help me design a remote, WiFi, low power, camera system from cheap parts...
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: August 03, 2017 10:12PM
So, I have this hare-brained idea... actually, it's not an original idea, there are even commercial systems like this now.

Let me back up - what I'm looking to build (hopefully from scrounged parts...) is a "target camera". A battery powered, wifi transmitting, camera to put within a few feet of a paper target, to spot shot-holes as they appear for target shooting (trying to see .22 caliber holes appear on a warm day with a light breeze through a spotting scope is like trying to read a newspaper through a jar of marmalade some days).

There are DIY threads on shooting forums, etc, but I'm hoping to get a "fresh eye" from you brilliant folks, and maybe do something a little different, maybe more efficiently, or cheaper, or just from a set of components I hadn't considered before.

The main "hard part" is range - I'll need to connect to this bugger by WiFi from the shooting line, 200 to 1000 yards away (200 is my "minimum"... if I can't do that, it's not worth doing... more range is better, but 200 yards is mandatory... 1000 yards would be fantastic!).

It's got to see a quarter inch hole from a distance of 10-15 feet or so.

It's got to run, and transmit, for up to 3-4 hours (2 would DO...), and use something rechargeable as a power supply.

I've BEEN thinking of using an old (or cheap new, I'm not picky) IP Security Camera, and an old Buffalo router running DD-WRT (because I have a couple), and an external antenna to get the range. But I'd be open to solutions using other hardware.. like a Rasperry Pi? I wouldn't mind an excuse to get one, if it would make this work "better, or cheaper".

So..
Please discuss!



Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

--
Eureka, CA
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Help me design a remote, WiFi, low power, camera system from cheap parts...
Posted by: space-time
Date: August 03, 2017 10:21PM
Get a WiFe?
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Help me design a remote, WiFi, low power, camera system from cheap parts...
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: August 03, 2017 10:41PM
Quote
space-time
Get a WiFe?

Find me one of those cheap, and I'm in! But they tend to be spendy to support. grinning smiley



Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

--
Eureka, CA
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Help me design a remote, WiFi, low power, camera system from cheap parts...
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: August 03, 2017 10:43PM
Don't bother trying to make one cheaply. Take apart a cell phone like a HTC One M7, refurbs were $70 on sale at the 'egg recently. Get one of the cheap multiple lens kits to focus in the range you want.

The Monoprice action cam was about $70, but it sold out and has been over $100 since then.

BGR has been pimping a $65 4K cam, not sure if it has the WiFi you need tho.



In tha 360. MRF User Map
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Help me design a remote, WiFi, low power, camera system from cheap parts...
Posted by: Z
Date: August 03, 2017 10:57PM
[www.techgyd.com] With a power brick...
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Help me design a remote, WiFi, low power, camera system from cheap parts...
Posted by: Mike Johnson
Date: August 03, 2017 11:38PM
Maybe a used GoPro or similar, a repeater, and a battery pack. Drone enthusiasts do this sort of thing all the time.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Help me design a remote, WiFi, low power, camera system from cheap parts...
Posted by: Speedy
Date: August 04, 2017 01:25AM
Cantenna.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Help me design a remote, WiFi, low power, camera system from cheap parts...
Posted by: TheTominator
Date: August 04, 2017 08:39AM
Two options:

  1. Use a well braced tripod-mounted telescope. This may be more forgiving than a spotting scope for the detail you need.
  2. Weather proof IP camera with directional external antenna and a solar panel and/or a 12-volt battery. (Note that I haven't used either of these two linked products. I have used a similar IP camera of a different brand. I have purchased but not used a pair of those yagi antennas.)

If it works, option 1 is likely going to be much less hassle and can be set-up/taken down easily. This may be the best choice if you don't want to leave the equipment up permanently. It is likely also cheaper than option 2,

Option 2 of using a camera and wifi will have its own issues.

  • Optics - you may get condensation/fogging in the lens area if left outside all the time
  • wifi range - adding directional external antennas makes reaching up to 1/2 mile pretty easy. A routers with directional external antennas and a camera with the same would connect via wifi just like you would do on short range and using the stock omni antennas.
  • power - since you would probably be using this in full daylight running directly off of a solar panel is an option. If you already have one, a 12-volt battery (or 2) can be used -- deep cycle is better. If powering directly wired to the solar panel, you will probably need at least a voltage regulator if you aren't going to use a charge controller and a battery.
  • alignment - depending on the mounting it may become misaligned or need to be reconfigured for a different target. (Note Option 1 is less hassle to point to a different target.)
  • damage - bullet holes, bad weather
  • network security. Don't trust these cheap IP cameras to be secure on a network. Expect that the OS in its firmware is hackable and/or it phones home if connected to the Internet. The safest thing is to keep this wifi network isolated from the Internet.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/04/2017 08:56AM by TheTominator.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Help me design a remote, WiFi, low power, camera system from cheap parts...
Posted by: michaelb
Date: August 04, 2017 08:51AM
The other ideas here are probably better, but if you had an old iphone to use, that would have a camera, a battery, and wifi. I do assume you walk to the target each time/day to set up, otherwise this is a dumb idea. If you could get the cheapest pay as you go just data plan, that may run $10-30 a month and then you skip the whole problem of getting wifi out in a field at 1000 yards.

I use the app Presence on an old ipod as a security camera, but I think there are other app choices now too.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Help me design a remote, WiFi, low power, camera system from cheap parts...
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: August 04, 2017 09:09AM
I actually like this idea, but I would design it as a permanent fixture.
1- Bullet resistant box (partial buried, glacis plate sort of design)
2- Solar battery
3- cheap Web camera
4- Small wifi directional antenna directed to an access point under the shooter station canopy.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Help me design a remote, WiFi, low power, camera system from cheap parts...
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: August 04, 2017 11:58AM
Tominator;

Thanks for the ideas! To clarify - I (and other competitive shooters) have tried optical solutions... and they are fine for "average" conditions. However, when the humid air is roiling and mirage is rolling right to left, no optic on earth at any price will allow you to spot .22 holes at 200+ yards. I have tried $400 spotting scopes (I have one), $800 spotting scopes (got one of those too), $1200 5" cassegrain-maksutov telecopes (borrowed), and $6000 imported 120mm Flourite lens spotting scopes... (another shooter). NONE of those will resolve in poor seeing conditions, which my local range has more often than not. On a typical day, I can see .30 holes OK, but .22 holes? Rarely.

That's why the "remote" option is getting to be a BIG seller in the commercial target camera arena. I'm just looking for a "cheapskate" solution that may use some components the average non-tech-savvy shooter may not have on their radar.

The target camera is not in any danger of ME shooting it, but as I will usually be using this on a public range, there is always the danger of some dufus on the next bench sending an unintended shot its way.


Michaelb;
THAT is a very interesting idea! It would be a nice compact package for my shooting kit, too... I will investigate the idea of using a cheap Android phone. A mini-tripod, and external battery, would be compact. The router on the shooting bench end could have the directional antenna.
The WiFi range (200 yards minimum, remember) may not work, but it's a place to start!


cbelt3;
It wouldn't be a permanent emplacement (as nice as that would be...), as our marine environment (literally 200 yards from the Pacific Ocean) would destroy anything electronic in short order.
And most folks building or buying these are opting to make them non bullet resistant, but placing the camera closer to the "line of accidental fire" and the brains further away.


For the curious; here are a couple commercial systems. Nothing wrong with them except the price!
[targetvisioncam.com]
[www.bullseyecamera.com]



Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

--
Eureka, CA
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Help me design a remote, WiFi, low power, camera system from cheap parts...
Posted by: TLB
Date: August 04, 2017 12:10PM
Your range needs to invest in electronic targets like Talladega. smiley-laughing001

Expensive, but instant gratification right at your firing point.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Help me design a remote, WiFi, low power, camera system from cheap parts...
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: August 04, 2017 12:57PM
Quote
TLB
Your range needs to invest in electronic targets like Talladega. smiley-laughing001

Expensive, but instant gratification right at your firing point.

Again - no electricity at the range, and a harsh marine environment... never going to happen. Portable systems are all that will ever be there.



Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

--
Eureka, CA
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Help me design a remote, WiFi, low power, camera system from cheap parts...
Posted by: C(-)ris
Date: August 07, 2017 12:25AM
All i can think of is running a 1000 yards of fiber and throwing a small POE switch at the far end with a battery backup and cheap POE cameras. Another switch at the near end and a laptop would do the trick.



C(-)ris
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Throwback Thursday Signature:
Options:  Reply • Quote
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login

Online Users

Guests: 276
Record Number of Users: 52 on November 20, 2014
Record Number of Guests: 847 on February 04, 2015