online cameras are great. an up-to-date view often helps others in decision making when planning outdoor activities.
most commercially available ip cameras are expensive, do not allow full customization, are big and some even require a subscription to access past data. a raspberry pi with camera is a viable alternative. the pre-installed python environment can be used to transform the hardware into an excellent ip camera. what is needed is a splash-proof case that protects the electronics sufficiently.
the webcam uses the following components:
- raspberry pi zero w (see here)
- raspberry pi camera v2.1 (see here)
- 3d printed splash-proof case with a window
- three point support to adjust the roll and nick axes using washers
- power supply
the finished camera can be seen in the following pictures (the base is not shown).
the files for 3d printing can be found on thingiverse. i printed all components of the case in pla, then painted the top cover to protect it from uv light and glued a window to the front.
a simple python script captures images from the camera, overlays some information and uploads the image via ftp to my website. the uploaded image can be seen here.
the electronics hardware works very reliably so far. the same can be said about the picamera package.
the case has protected the electronics very well, even during heavy downpours. what happens from time to time is that the camera or the protective glass fog up when the humidity is high and the dew point is reached. that was to be expected since the case is not airtight. if this becomes too severe i might have to put desiccant inside the case or add ventilation slots.