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An Arduino Time-Lapse Camera Using ArduCam

This Article is written by one of our customer, the original article can be found from here.

AN ARDUINO TIME-LAPSE CAMERA USING ARDUCAM

While experimenting with my pinhole cameras, I did a lot of thinking about capturing and displaying the passage of time.  Day and night, the change of seasons, sunrise, sunset, moonrise, moonset, tides, rush hour, busy times at restaurants, even life and death marks the passage of time.

There are plenty of commercially-available time-lapse photography devices.  These require either an AC power source, a solar panel or a beefy battery, expensive photography equipment, and are large and easy to spot.  Between the size and the expense, this strongly limits the duration of time lapse I would be able to take even if such a device wasn’t prone to being stolen by the first philistine that came across it.  My goal is to make the smallest, most energy efficient and least expensive camera possible so that I am free to set them everywhere and see what the passage of time shows me.

To do this, I decided to give ArduCam a try.

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ArduCAM shield Rev.C Hardware

This section describe the ArduCAM shield Rev.C hardware feature and user guide. For information about Rev.B, please refer here.

Introduction

ArduCAM shield hardware integrates all the necessary components to interface with camera modules. User only need a extra support camera modules and a TF/SD card to start image capture.

The shield provide the following features:

  • Dedicate DigtalVideoPort Camera Module Interface
  • Standard SPI slave bus interface
  • 3.2” TFT Color LCD Screen(a)
  • Build-in 3Mbit FIFO Memory
  • TF/SD Card Reader with LED indicator
  • Use Arduino SPI / I2C dedicate pin out
  • Well mated with UNO/MEGA2560/DUE/Leonardo boards

Note: (a) Model ArduCAM-F doesn’t not include a 3.2” LCD screen

ArduCAM Shield Pin Out

ArduCAM shield includes to sets of pin out see Figure 1,  they are identical in function. One is Arduino standard, it can be well mate with standard Arduino boards like UNO, MEGA2560, Leonardo and DUE etc. The other one is alternative port which can be connect to any platform like Raspberry Pi. The detail pin out for each see Table 1 and Table 2.

Figure 1 ArduCAM pin out

ArduCAM_Pinout

Table 1 Arduino Standard Pin Out

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How to connect ArduCAM shield to MEGA 2560

Arduino beginners often face compatibility problems between UNO and MEGA board. The truth is that the UNO and MEGA board are not compatible with each other in some ways, for example, UNO SPI port pins are 10,11,12,13, and I2C port pins are A4, A5, while Mega board SPI port pins are 50,51,52,53, and I2C port pins are 20,21. Actually the UNO and MEGA boards made some changes from the R0 version to the R3 version to make the I2C interface compatible.

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Introduction

CMOS camera modules are widely used in mobile phones and web cameras, and the price is pretty low when in volume. Therefore it becomes the best choice for embedded applications.  However there is barrier in both hardware and software when using camera modules and block the hobbyists off. That why ArduCAM is born. ArduCAM is an open source project for CMOS camera modules, which hide the complexity of capturing high speed high resolution image data stream and provide the source code configuration for camera modules. User can freely control the ArduCAM shield to accomplish their different tasks. The first release of ArduCAM shield target for Arduino and its compatible platforms like Maple, Chipkit. And we plan to move to more powerful platform like Raspberry PI, Beagle board or Pandaboard. (more…)

How ArduCAM use external trigger from a sensor

The ArduCAM shield has 6 general purpose IOs which can be set as input or output and greatly extend the power for the Arduino board which has limited IO resources. The structure of the IOs in the ArduCAM shield is the same as the one in the AVR chip, it has a direction register(DDR), a input register(PIN) and output register(PORT). In this demonstration, we will illustrate how to set the GPIOs in the ArduCAM shield as an input and use a PIR sensor triggering the shield to start a capture. (more…)

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ArduChip Registers

ArduChip is the core of the ArduCAM, which incoperates a Altera MAXII CPLD EPM240 as main processor. The main task of the ArduChip is do the real time DMA transfer between Camera module and the 3.2″ LCD and act as Arduino, Camera and LCD bus multiplexer. It also provides AVR like GPIO expansion, it can be set as input or output and resolve the problem of limited IO resources in Arduino board. The GPIOs can be used as event trigger in and trigger out.  (more…)

ArduCAM – An Arduino Camera Shield

This camera shield is replaced by newer Rev.C+ shield and ArduCAM-Mini board

ArduCAM is Arduino based open source camera platform which is well mated to Arduino boards.  It now supports Arduino UNO board and we will add support Mega1280/2560 and new released Leonardo,  Maple and Chipkit are also in planning.

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