Let’s talk about air quality data! Join us for Open Call on this topic every Tuesday until Dec. 14. Click here for details!

Public Lab Research note

Design Specifications for Field Camera

by tonyc | July 07, 2016 19:01 07 Jul 19:01 | #13266 | #13266

What I want to do

Establish a set of design specs for a field-deployable time lapse camera, based on real-life use-cases.

My attempt and results

From conversations with @mathew and @gretchengehrke, I"ve taken a first pass at a list of design goals.

  • should be waterproof, able to survive inclimate weather.
  • should be able to record photos at 10 minute intervals for minimum of 30 days without recharge.
  • should be able to have data removed and battery replaced/recharged in the field by a non-technical user.
  • should be able to be mounted to a variety of bases, in urban and natural environments.
  • should be of a minimum of 8MP resolution.
  • should have total BOM cost of less than $100.
  • should provide accurate time stamp or ability to determine time/date for every photo

stretch goals (nice but not necessary):

  • solar power
  • gps geotagging
  • camo in natural setting
  • camo in urban setting.
  • able to preview shot
  • able to exchange lenses, using standard M12 lens thread.

Questions and next steps

discuss tweaks or additions here in this thread, to compile into a revised set of specs. Then we can answer the question: is there existing hardware that does this? And if not, we can map out our own plan to make something that does.

Why I'm interested

I've been tinkering with hardware for a trap cam, but I want to make sure development work is heading toward clear goals set by real-world use cases.


@tonyc, @mathew, @warren, @stevie, @donblair: I think an additional stretch goal that would be worthwhile is to be able to control the trap cam with a microcomputer that receives input from a sensor (e.g. so a turbidity spike could turn on the camera).

Reply to this comment...

Login to comment.