Cellular Webcam

A bit ago I posted about setting up an RPi with cellular connectivity which could be used for any number of ideas. One I mentioned was a remote webcam.

I took the basic setup I had shown before, and attached a small solar panel, sealed it in a watertight enclosure, and placed it on some national forest land adjoining a nearby mountain pass.

I used a small arduino board and a mosfet to control power to the RPi. It woke up once an hour to take a photo and upload some telemetry and a thumbnail to my server over the cell connection. If there was a thumbnail I wanted a better look at, or to establish a ssh connection for admin, there were command files I could leave in place on the server that would instruct the RPi to perform additional actions before going back to sleep.

Every so often as the SD card got full, I would drive up and park nearby, and download the full size files over wifi connected directly to the RPi.

Unfortunately, in summer the unit stopped responding and had to be retrieved. Once I was able to get it home and look at it, I found the RPi’s SD card had died, so it couldn’t boot up to do anything. I’m usually careful to buy quality name brand SD cards, but it appears this time one slipped through and lead to the failure.

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