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PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 7:37 am 
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The commercial market has been on this for a few years now. I tested one out when they first came on the scene, and actually had it working decently. The trouble up here in Canada, is that most of these units that I'm aware of run off a GSM cellular network, and the main networks up here with the majority of the coverage, are not GSM...I can't recall the type off hand, bit some other type that the GSM cameras wont work on. We do have GSM networks but the coverage is very limited to major cities and hiways...once you get off the beaten path coverage is an issue.

Anyway...I've been researching cameras lately for the 2013 Camtrapper camera research, and came across some Point and Shoot cameras now that have WiFi capabilities...where they can send photo to smartphones...and the smart phone can then send to email, or photo hosting sites such as Piscasa, Flickr etc. These have been out for a while, but I have been out of the loop for quite sometime researching new cameras...so my apologies if this is "Old News" ;)

It got me thinking anyway...a guy might be able to build a unit with a P&S camera, and smartphone in the same housing...the Camera would take the photos and send them to the smartphone via "link" software included with the WiFi camera...then the smartphone could send them to your email etc. Using a P&S camera rather than just trying to hack the smartphone itself might be better for our purposes, due to photo quality, flash etc. In addition, it could potentially work on any network and not just GSM.

Seems cool...might be doable...but the only trouble I can see so far is that once the photos are taken on the camera, you have to manually select which ones you want to send, then press the "WiFi" button to send to your smartphone...then once on the SmartPhone you have to manually send them to your email or photo hosting site...I don't know if there would be a way to automate that process, which could be the limiting factor.

Panasonic has a couple of these cameras on the market now, the FX90 and the SZ5

http://www.dpreview.com/news/2012/07/18 ... -superzoom

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGZtfz9pA2M

Something cool, so I thought I'd share...

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 11:39 am 
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I've thought about it to some extent. "Data rates may apply" is the first thing popping into my mind. Here in the US we pay about $40 for 3GB of data transfer. That's only a couple photos from today's P&S cams. You would likely have to cut the MP way down. I'm one of the few who still have the unlimited data from Verizon which is the largest network in the US no matter what AT&T and sprint claim. I had originally considered hacking an older model flip phone and have it photograph and send the photos via text message. They are automatically cropped down by a lot of phones when you send photos as a text message attachment. Also consider the "line charge" to have an extra phone. It sounds great but I don't know how financially feasible it is for 99% of people. Touch phones would be a pita. I was thinking about a picaxe controlled robotic arm with one of those rubber stylus things like the Kindle uses. I have them and they work fine on my phone screen. Some smart phones now have very sweet zoom and MP cameras. My Galaxy III has one of the best cams I've seen excluding the one on my old HTC Rezound. Just some thoughts I've been pondering.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:14 pm 
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Firemanjim was working on something not to long ago.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 2:30 pm 
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We have been doing this for awhile. I have tried the smart cameras with Android operation system. They work but if you cycle power to the camera it will not come back on and send pictures. I have a Nikon Coolpix S800C here I'll make somebody a great deal on. :) What I have found that works is the EyeFi 16gb Pro SD card and a DSLR camera. I set it up so the images go to my FTP server and into a DropBox folder. You can also have it send you an email with a thumbnail so you can see what is happening and then go to the camera to download pictures later. This saves on the expensive cellular data rates.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:39 pm 
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TRLcam wrote:
We have been doing this for awhile. I have tried the smart cameras with Android operation system. They work but if you cycle power to the camera it will not come back on and send pictures. I have a Nikon Coolpix S800C here I'll make somebody a great deal on. :) What I have found that works is the EyeFi 16gb Pro SD card and a DSLR camera. I set it up so the images go to my FTP server and into a DropBox folder. You can also have it send you an email with a thumbnail so you can see what is happening and then go to the camera to download pictures later. This saves on the expensive cellular data rates.


Cool...I read a little on those EyeFi cards...does that need WiFi signal, or can it run on cellular? If WiFi how would you set it up in remote areas?

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 7:44 am 
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They use the WiFi signal provided by the cellular appliance. Verizon sells a product called the Jetpack mobile hotspot. Or you can use one of the many USB cellular modems out there and a cellular router like the Cradlepoint CBR400. I like the Cradlepoint products because I can set the WiFi transmit power to a minimum amount conserving battery power. Plus the Cradlepoint has a good Syslog reporting utility. I have it set to send me a Syslog report every morning so I know it is running.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:01 am 
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TRLcam wrote:
They use the WiFi signal provided by the cellular appliance. Verizon sells a product called the Jetpack mobile hotspot. Or you can use one of the many USB cellular modems out there and a cellular router like the Cradlepoint CBR400. I like the Cradlepoint products because I can set the WiFi transmit power to a minimum amount conserving battery power. Plus the Cradlepoint has a good Syslog reporting utility. I have it set to send me a Syslog report every morning so I know it is running.


OK great! Thanks. So in order for this to work you need a cellular router, cellular modem and the WiFi SD card. So pics from the camera send to the cellular modem and router which get sent to email etc?

Pred

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:19 am 
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Predator 1 wrote:
TRLcam wrote:
They use the WiFi signal provided by the cellular appliance. Verizon sells a product called the Jetpack mobile hotspot. Or you can use one of the many USB cellular modems out there and a cellular router like the Cradlepoint CBR400. I like the Cradlepoint products because I can set the WiFi transmit power to a minimum amount conserving battery power. Plus the Cradlepoint has a good Syslog reporting utility. I have it set to send me a Syslog report every morning so I know it is running.


OK great! Thanks. So in order for this to work you need a cellular router, cellular modem and the WiFi SD card. So pics from the camera send to the cellular modem and router which get sent to email etc?

Pred


Yep, that's about it. The EyeFi card can send pics to an FTP server, your computer or to a photo sharing site like Smugmug or similar. But if you use a camera that generates a large JPG data fees can add up quickly.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:54 am 
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Cool, thanks! One more question...how are you powering your router and modem?

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:55 pm 
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I run it all off of a 7Ah SLA, a 15 watt solar panel and charge regulator. I also have a timer that turns the modem and router on once a day for a couple hours to download the pics and then turns it off again.

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