|Project by carpentrymonster||posted 03-01-2010 04:42 AM||6866 views||7 times favorited||39 comments|
Built this for my dad, it was supposed to be done by xmas but work and life got in the way. My dad lives in the northern part of Michigan where he builds custom homes and is an avid hunter. He and my step-mom have a closed circuit camera that monitors the back end of their property where the deer feed nightly. The monitor is situated next to the television in the living room and they spend more time watching the deer than prime time tv. I wanted to get him something really cool for christmas because he’s about the greatest dad a guy could hope for. I looked into buying a camera that pans and tilts remotely but the prices were astronomical. So, I decided to build one for him.
I began back in November, thinking that would give me enough time to finish by xmas. Three months and three designs later, I finished it in time to deliver it on our scheduled visit last weekend. Figuring out the guts was the hard part. first I went out and bought a remote controlled car with good remote range and completely tore it apart. That gave me two motors to work with, one for pan and one for tilt.
I purchased a standard indoor/outdoor security camera with night vision and sound capabilities.
I knew I wanted to set it up on a solar re-charge system, so i went out and found a solar battery charger. Picked up a couple of lazy susan brackets and some mdf and started to experiment.
I won’t mention all the major B.S. I got into trying to find a workable prototype, but after about two months of tinkering I finally figured out how to make the tiny electric motors turn and tilt the camera. Turns out the answer was the simplest design, the least amount of moving parts translated to the least chance for a malfunction.
The housing was pretty simple to figure out once the guts were done. Gave it a roof to keep the weather off and house the solar panel. I painted it black, made some stencils to air-brush the leaves on for a little camouflage, then I added a lot of clear finish. I put a compass in the side because the solar panel needs to be directed due south a 45 degree angle for maximum exposure at the coordinates where my dad lives. the solar panel and compass are switchable so that you have the option to point the front of the unit either due east or due west. The mounting table pans about 330 degrees and the camera has a wide enough angle to compensate for the other 30 degrees so there is no blindspot.
The lady pictured is my girlfriend, I asked her to pose with the “Buck Eye,” reluctantly she agreed. I tried to get her to do it in a bikini but she wasn’t willing to cooperate, maybe next time.