Sep 5 2018 Update
Latest project information.
- I may have misstated the power bank power - it's 22000mAH RAV unit.
- But, I have moved on to a small 12V battery, a larger solar panel (about 12x12 in) with a solar controller with added USB outlets. This gives me more capacity in a battery, plus, it can be charged with a larger solar panel.
- That setup allows me to basically run the camera (or cameras, if I desired) continuously. Right now, with the capability to turn the camera on and off, I only run it in times of interest (about 4 hours at twilight).
- I've separated the camera part of the project from the power part. The only connection between the two is the power cord.
- The camera is housed in a one-quart plastic container, the opening cut at a slant at the top to reduce rain entry. A large washer is glued to the inside top of the container. A small hole at the rear allows the power cable access. The camera is affixed upside down to keep it dry from water that might puddle in the container. The image is rotated 180 degrees via the camera software. This ensemble is attached to a plastic stake with an adjustable arm for positioning.
- I communicate wirelessly with the camera at 200' with an Ubiquiti wireless router.
- Most problems have not been with the camera housing, but with power interruptions requiring reset, and occasionally data download.
Updated Jul 13, 2018 - problem with continuous solar operation!
Without taking the reader through all the machinations of development…
The camera runs on USB 5v 1A power continuous, the power bank battery will discharge continuously, but the solar panel does not create power continously. With the drain on the battery over 24 hours being (5 x 0.4) 2 watts, the solar panel must generate enough power to run the camera in the daytime plus enough to recharge what the battery bank used at night. No current solar panels restricted by USB limitations produces the electrical requirements! My estimate is 5v 4A solar output, and I don’t know if the batter bank can take that output (the path is solar panel to battery bank to camera) even if USB restrictions will allow it. Solar panel search is underway - and I’m prepared to construct one if I can’t find one. Any suggestions?
I am in the process of creating a system with the following capabilities:
Wireless communication to 200 feet from controlling device (phone, tablet, computer) - Completed, works fine
WyzeCam protected from moisture (but not “weather proof”) - Problems!! All enclosures tried defeat the IR lights (they reflecdt back into the enclosure). Don’t know about motion detection. I’ll be trying to use an unobstructed “water deflection” trial. Working…
Battery powered (much like a laptop computer) - Completed. 2200000 mAH battery bank gives more than adequate continuous power for two days.
Solar power “sustained” for 24-hour, continuous operation. Working. 10Watt solar USB output panel does not keep battery bank charged continuously. Not enough solar power to replenish full night time camera operation
I have a design and am now assembling the pieces. Therein lies development. It starts with the camera’s needs - its power requirements and weather restrictions. Next is a battery/power bank of appropriate capability. Then, a solar system that can keep the camera and battery running through 24 hours. Encase it all in a weather resistant but camera permissive environment.
All ideas are appreciated. I will give details on the project as they develop.
Major area to work on is camera moisture protection while maintaining night capabilities. Looking at secondary(external IR source) USB powered. The power bank I’m testing with has three external USB outlets.