02 Sep

Farm Cam Moves to Farm Site

After some hemming and hawing, and consulting with Sarah, we’ve decided to move the Farm Cam Project to our Gage Hill Crafts site.  It was something being considered for some time, and now seemed like the time to do it.

All the articles and technical musing on the project will remain here, in my private stash. If one is interested more in the technical aspects of the project than catching a glimpse of a good snow storm or one of the llamas posing, those types of musing will still live on this site.

The images are also all still being uploaded to this site, which will remove any broken image links from the past. Redirects have also been established for any links to the previous location, so there really shouldn’t be any interruption to the find visual products you are used to seeing at Rick Scully dot com.

Be sure to bookmark the new location; and follow me on Mastodon for daily reminder links when the new videos post.

Lastly, there is a new outdoor webcam project in the works. Stay tuned.

20 Feb

The SecuritySpy That Doesn’t Love Me

Almost immediately after I posted my last entry on the trials and tribulations of an EvoCam on life support, the software crashed again.  Fresh start, minimal other applications running, and poof. I cleaned up the mess, and then instructed my iMac to restart itself every Sunday at 1am.

If all goes as planned (stop laughing!), this will be enough to help keep EvoCam running between restarts.  If not? Then the next step is increase the frequency of the reboots until I can set up the Mac Mini, and start all over on that machine.

Because, I am all out of options as far as out-of-the-box software after giving SecuritySpy a close look this weekend. The results, as always, were mixed.

Read More

10 Feb

Pros and Cons of Wide Dynamic Range

Recently I wrote about night vision and green screen, and I assumed that it was a trade off.  It kind of is, but maybe not in the way I thought.

Every time I make a change to EvoCam or to the Hikvision settings, something new occurs. Not necessarily good or bad, just new. And times like this I am simply baffled.

Again, it’s time to look under the hood.

Read More

05 Jan

Options Are Always Nice

A few days ago I wrote about the new features I have added to the FarmCam. While writing the entry I stumbled upon actions settings in EvoCam that allowed me even more flexibility in the ways I share the views. However, I had a few concerns before I could decide if it would be a viable replacement for the current method.

My experiments in the last few days have resulted in mixed — but encouraging — results, and as promised I am sharing them with you. Read More

31 Dec

New Features for the FarmCam

In October my Australian cousin Peter, challenged me to create a different sort of time lapse.  He wanted to see how the view would look at the same time each day throughout the year.

I knew this would be easily accomplished with EvoCam by adding a new action set; so I set up a test, and let it run from 17 October through the last day of 2017. I used EvoCam to manually export the video to MP4 at 5 FPS. Below is the result.

During this experiment I learned a few things:

  • EvoCam software has location abilities, so I am able to have it do things at sunrise and sunset for my location. Therefore, in addition to the Daily Noon image, I have added a Daily Sunrise and Daily Sunset. These are still photos uploaded daily, and can be viewed with the other stills and videos on the FarmCam page. I will make time lapses from the images, but not sure if they will be seasonal or yearly.
  • EvoCam may be able to allow me to cut out my buggy Automator cron job. Right now the encoding from the EvoCam MOV to an M4V is done via default settings in Automator. Then I use the Automator app to convert the M4V to MP4 and upload the file via FTP.  I am running tests now to see if EvoCam can export the final video as an MP4 rather than a MOV. It has a feature for uploading the resulting video to the web server, which is a good thing.
  • If EvoCam can export as an MP4 then I can control the frames per second for playback as well. This allows me to slow down the final daily time lapse video, therefore making it more enjoyable viewing. Things that currently flash past, like animals, birds, cars, sheep, llamas, dogs, etc, will be visible.  The downside is that the video itself will be longer.  That may mean I will need to take stills once every 60 seconds instead of every 30 in order to reduce the final run time for the rustling time lapses.

I should have the answers to the experiment by tomorrow, and I can then make decisions.  Updates will follow.

Fingers crossed.