ZSL – Instant Wild (Eye SPi)
I was just pointed to a link about the talk I done at Cambridge University with ZSL, it seems it was published in the Raspberry Pi for dummies book as an example of the “frontier of exploration”. Details about the original talk can be found here https://garygfletcher.wordpress.com/2012/07/14/instant-wild-at-the-first-ever-cambridge-university-raspberry-jam/
Raspberry Pi Article and PDF Sample – http://www.raspberrypi.org/archives/3909
Ok so after about 3 and a half weeks solid of looking at many many ways of trying to solve the issue of how to send 250kb files reliably and quickly over Xbee including API modes, different bauds, differing topologies, writing my own packet checking routines I by chance saw another radio by Ciseco and ordered a couple up it says they work out of the box – so I thought I’d put it to the test I knew the software worked it was pack loss that was the issue so I just plugged them in one to a camera the other to the central node… I turned them on…
And they worked perfectly… huh? Perfectly so I took the camera downstairs got my wife to jump around and sure enough through 3 walls it was working perfectly! mmm outside… perfectly – I was amazed and overwhelmed! It seems they have hardware ack and nak packet checking meaning you don’t have to do a thing and they work right out of the box… after spending weeks on these I cannot recommend them enough!
Thank you Ciseco for saving the day and the project (again)!!!
We’ve been prototyping for the Instant Wild project for a while now but buying official Arduino boards and equipment were expensive and really a lot more complex than we needed. It was time to take advantage of open source hardware and so I found Ciseco’s Xino boards. They are bare bone Uno boards basically consisting of an ATMega 328, regulators and what’s more they also had an XBee break out board that fits straight on which is perfect for our project!
But the best part of the whole thing is that it cost about a tenner! That’s about £15-20 shaved off the overall cost of each camera right there – amazing!
Another thing caught my eye was the Ciseco RF Radios, of which I ordered 2 (it seems they may well have the cheapest RF Ardunio solution around with a full kit only costing £22?!).
I am currently having a nightmare trying to get the Xbees working fast enough without dropping packets of my JPEGs and I’ve been through API mode and even attempting an XModem implementation (they work incredibly well with smaller data, I think the 250k is pushing it)… and too many long nights and an equal amount of sleepless nights… I have my fingers crossed as I hadn’t even thought of trying a different radio until just now!
Now to assemble this lot! But check this out hhttp://shop.ciseco.co.uk
A lot of people seem to have struggled to implement reading multiple serial cameras on Arduino due to the hardware limitations, this is a software solution that uses a pointer to the connection and a listen command to iterate through each cameras “motion detected” state. It seems to work vey well.
There is still a long way to go, but this is a real mile stone in the projects development.