Long term time lapse project

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    Long term time lapse project
    « on: 19 / August / 2011, 17:02:40 »
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    Thanks to all for the hard work and time dedicated to making CHDK possible.  I apologize in advance if this has been covered elsewhere - I did several searches and couldn't find answers.

    I have an application for CHDK for a long-term time lapse of a municipal project (I'm not involved with the project, just a private citizen who would like to document it).  We would like to mount a camera in a weatherproof box atop a tall pole and shoot maybe 1 frame every half hour for about 6-9 months.  Obviously we will have to provide external power to the camera, and dump the photos every so often - (but preferably not more than once or twice a month) - obviously this is a simple calculation based on frequency and memory card size.  I assume we'll just delete the night-time shots - unless there is a solution preventing the taking of the all black images.

    My question is this: Will the camera have to be "on" all the time?  Should we worry about the camera reverting to the original firmware?  Can we string a long usb cable down the pole and download the photos from the ground - or will we need to go up and check on the camera every so often?

    Can anyone think of any other issues that we should be aware of for such a project?  Any and all advice wold be most appreciated.

    Thanks!

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    Offline zeno

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    Re: Long term time lapse project
    « Reply #1 on: 19 / August / 2011, 18:14:43 »
    I think your best plan is to set things up with an external timer controlling the power supply to the camera so it is powered on at dawn and off at sunset (adjusting the timer every few weeks). You can easily arrange that CHDK automatically runs your timelapse script at power up. It's also not that hard to make the script avoid taking photos at night.

    A570, S100, Ixus 127
    Author of ASSIST, STICK, WASP, ACID, SDMInst, LICKS, WICKS, MacBoot, UBDB, CFGEdit

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    Re: Long term time lapse project
    « Reply #2 on: 20 / August / 2011, 07:52:30 »
    OK, it's good to know that the camera will boot from being "off" with the CHDK installed and run the script without human intervention.  That was unclear in all the info I read - I got the impression that this action would revert the camera to the factory installed firmware. 

    I'm still a little unclear  on how to remotely power the camera on and off.  I suppose it would be fairly easy to use a photo cell to detect sunrise and sunset.  How do you turn the camera on and off (without touching any buttons)?

    Thanks in advance!

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    Offline zeno

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    Re: Long term time lapse project
    « Reply #3 on: 20 / August / 2011, 10:13:29 »
    You can tape over the power button (so that the camera boots as soon as external power is applied). You have to remove the battery from the camera of course. AC power adapters for Canon cameras are pretty cheap on Ebay.

    You don't say if you will be able to get AC power near the camera - if you do, you can do the switching easily using the sort of household timer that switches lights on and off. If you're planning to use something like a car battery, then you can get boxes that turn 12v into 240v AC (in Europe) or 110v AC (in the US) and plug the timer and external power supply into that.
    A570, S100, Ixus 127
    Author of ASSIST, STICK, WASP, ACID, SDMInst, LICKS, WICKS, MacBoot, UBDB, CFGEdit


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    Re: Long term time lapse project
    « Reply #4 on: 20 / August / 2011, 23:02:02 »
    Yeah, I do plan to use a car battery and a power inverter.   I can easily rig a timer and a photocell.  I may even rig the timer to simply power up the camera every 1/2 hour.  Then the CHDK script only has to automate the taking of a single photo per power up.  I think that will actually save the battery vs having the camera on from down to dusk and the script automating the 30 minutes between shots.

    I'm going to get one of those AC power adapters - amazon - $6.99 USD and I should be able to test everything from there.  Thanks for the advice!

    chip
    « Last Edit: 21 / August / 2011, 08:15:55 by only1chip »

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    Re: Long term time lapse project
    « Reply #5 on: 26 / August / 2011, 19:22:34 »
    Your project hits home. I am trying to create a long term (4 - 6 weeks) time lapse using SD600.  Have ordered an external adapter only to get the module that plugs into the camera battery port so I can feed externally from a large capacity battery such as the one that powers tools like hand held drills. etc.  Would like to know the current draw when running CHDK with time lapse script at 2 pix per minute. Knowing the draw I could select battery of suitable amp-hour rating.  Another alternative is a solar panel to recharge the battery during daylight hours.
    Suggestions/comments will be appreciated

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    Re: Long term time lapse project
    « Reply #6 on: 04 / October / 2011, 19:11:05 »
    Hi

    Boat Build Timelapse

    The above is a long-term (several months) timelapse project I did recently with an A570IS  running ult_intrvl.bas. The woman who was building the boat switched the camera on at the start of every build session and switched it off (usually) at the end. The script was programmed to auto-start. iThe camera had a an AC adapter, one of the standard Canon ones sourced cheaply on ebay.

    Played at 18fps, the video lasts 8 over minutes - the camera recorded over 8500 image.  A 4G card was more than adequate because I reduced the image size to 1600x1200 pixels, which is fine for 720p HD on youtube.

    The final movie was done with avisynth, which did the cropping and re-scaling to 720p, the audio dub and the frame rate conversion.  This is another great free software package with a similar philosophy to chkd.

    It was a fun project, and I really recommend CHDK for similar long term time lapses.

    Tim

     

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