Video functionality??

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Nate
Nate's picture
Video functionality??

I see there's a video link on HiveTool.net. what is the functionality of video? should I be considering adding the camera module to my pi?

If I add a camera, then that kind of forces mounting the enclosure in front of the hive and too far for the load cell cables. Do most of you extend the load cell cables or leave them stock length??

Paul
Paul's picture
Video and load cel cable length

Yes, video is coming. We have been working on it for several years and hope to have it functioning again Real Soon Now. Cameras are used both for streaming and for the visual bee counter. Notice that as an alternative to extending the load cells, you can buy camera extension cables.

I am trying to get the load cells with long enough leads where you don't have to extend them. WARNING: depending on what you read and who you believe, you should not shorten or extend the cables. BUT, I think 1. you can get away with it, and 2. you are better off keeping the load cells cables the same length, wiring them in parallel and "extending" them with on common cable.

Notice that with modular plugs and jacks, you can take a 4 way telco splitter, plug in the 4 load cells, and effectively extend them with just one cable. This is like plugging in one extension cable into a telco jack and plugging the other end into a splitter, and plugging 4 phones into the splitter. The 4 load cells are wired in parallel and summed. This moves the summing point from the HX711/interface board to the telco splitter.

The load cells originally came with 20 cm cables. I had them lengthened to 1 meter 3 feet), then to 1.2 meter (4 feet) on this last batch. Some one has requested 2 or 3 meter cables, but I think using the 4 way telco splitter is the way to go. BUT, when we get the next generation hive interface board going, with 4 separate ADC channels (one for each load cell), the telco splitter idea will not be valid.

This needs to be split into two posts, one in video and one in the hardware/load cell forum.

Nate
Nate's picture
Compatible webcams?

So perhaps we could list here any cameras others have successfully used.

I was going to use the raspberry PI camera (so I got two) but there doesn't seem to be a good solution for a reasonable long cable. it only comes with a ribbon cable that is in reality not good for anything longer than a couple feet (at least that's the info I could find on the web)

I was going to buy a weatherproof webcam of ebay but I noticed others have had difficulty getting them to work with raspberry PI's sooo. I'm wondering if there's a list anywhere of device requirements or compatible camera's (especially interested in a weatherproof webcam)

Walter
Walter's picture
Did you pick a webcam?

@ Nate. Just wondering if you picked a webcam yet and how well it worked?

Nate
Nate's picture
Webcam

I purchased a Raspberry PI camera module.

I tried enabling it in the 0.7.3 image, but was not able to get it running. I purchased a spare SD card and have had some fun playing with the camera with MotionEye It's a seperate full image download like Hive tool - but it may be possible so do a manual install beside HiveTool... (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7DwPzSbLlc) Ididn't have time to try that yet- it's really easy to use and allows video capture and streaming, and still image capture based on motion or schedule.

https://github.com/ccrisan/motioneye

So... it theory once HiveTool gets it sorted out it should be ok. Ryans Hive Control may have it working... I just haven't tried to run the update for Hive Control, so not sure if it will enable streaming.

My general Plan, I purchased weatherproof enclosures with clear covers, I'm mounting the pi, camera and the lux sensor inside the enclosure and will mount the enclosure it in front of the hive.

Walter
Walter's picture
Which enclosure

I've been thinking about the Logitech HD C920 USB webcam. Saw it mentioned in one of the threads here (I think) with a weatherproof enclosure. I looked for an enclosure for the pi cam but couldn't find one that was weatherproof. Which enclosure are you using?

The pi cam would be much cheaper but not sure which would be the most compatible/versatile?

Ian
Extending the camera cable for the Raspberry Pi camera

I found what appears to be a good camera extension cable solution for the Raspberry Pi camera. The developer has created an adapter board design that allows the connection of the camera through an HDMI cable. The product appears to consist of two adapter boards and associated cables:

https://www.tindie.com/products/freto/pi-camera-hdmi-cable-extension/

The developer says that he has used 5 meter long HDMI cables without any problems. I haven't personally tried it yet, but I intend to do so. He has also posted a camera case design on Thingiverse, suitable for 3D printing, and he links to it from the above product page. It may need to be modified to make it more weatherproof, but it looks like a good starting point.

Walter
Walter's picture
Please post results

Please post back with your thoughts on this after you give it a try. Especially curious to see how you mount the adapter to the Pi.

Ian
Results of test with HDMI extender board set

I received the board set yesterday and I am pleased to report that the product worked well in my initial test with a 7 foot HDMI cable.

I have a Hammond case for the Pi3 and an Arducam Raspberry Pi compatible camera with a CS mount lens. The Pi case is not suitable for use outdoors but I am using it while I work on software, so I modified it slightly by drilling two small holes through the case with a 1/16" drill at the location of two internal cylindrical pillars where screws can be used to mount a camera internally. I then screwed one of the adapter boards onto the outside of the case using the screws and plastic stand-off parts that came with the adapter board kit. The result is seems sturdy enough.

I don't have a weatherproof case for the camera module yet, so the other adapter board (not shown in the photos) is just hanging attached to the cables. I will have to build a case different from the one that the developer has posted on Thingiverse, since it needs to accommodate the CS mounted lens. However, my tests show the viability of using this board set and an HDMI cable to extend the camera connections.

Image: 
HDMI adapter board parts
Pi3 case with flex cable emerging
Adapter board installed
Adapter in use
Paul
Paul's picture
RTP and multicast

I think I understood Real Time Protocol (RTP) but didn't understand multicast until recently. My understanding is RPT is a multicast protocol and multicasting is done at the router layer. So, bottom line is that even if 1000 people view your hive, only one video stream goes up from the hive computer through your router. It will still need a public static IP address. I am thinking of installing VLC on our Virtual Server so we can stream hives through it.

Bottom line is this scheme will work: http://hivetool.org/w/index.php?title=Media_Server without using a lot of bandwidth either from your house or from the media server. Whenever the hive computer sends up hive data, we can send back a command to tell it to start (or stop) streaming to VLC installed on our Virtual Server. I'll try to test this in the next few weeks.

Walter
Walter's picture
Would this still need a

Would this still need a public static ip?

Paul
Paul's picture
Still need a public IP

I think a public IP would be good. That would mean you wouldn't have to open a hole in your firewall or set up port forwarding. The downside is only one hive could be streaming at a time and it could only be turned on or off whenever the hive sent data (every 5 minutes.) If you had a static IP or didn't mind us exposing your IP, and set up port forwarding, then a link back to your video stream could be added to the hive listings or on the hive page on hivetool.net

Dennis
Pi-Cam woes

I've got a pi-cam that I was hoping to use with my hivetool sensor platform. I can get it to work just fine with a fresh Raspbian install on a bare R-pi (ie, one without the hivetool HAT). But I've had no luck at all getting it to work on the pi that I've got set up for hivetool. Has anyone else experienced this?
McQ

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