Solar SkyCam is a great addition to your SkyWeather2 weather system or to your WeatherSense sensors. It provides a solar powered camera and transmits the picture to the Raspberry Pi. The Raspberry Pi builds a daily TimeLapse video and stores the pictures on the Raspberry Pi.
Having a SkyCam in your SkyWeather2 system means you can keep the Raspberry Pi inside your house and don't have to mount it outside. Both the internal Pi camera on SkyWeather2 and multiple SkyCams are supported at the same time.
How to Choose your SkyWeather2 Kit
SkyCam can be used stand alone supplying data to your Raspberry Pi or you can connect with the SkyWeather2 weather station to get even more local environmental information. You can even have multiple Solar SkyCams running on the same network!
And as always, easy to put together with NO SOLDERING!
SkyCam Assembly and Operations Manual
Raspberry Pi WeatherSense Software
Arduino IDE ESP32 Code for SkyCam
- 3D Prints Files for SkyCam
If you want to buy a 3D Print, you can find it here.
Articles about SkyCam
- Tutorial: Changing MQTT Server IP on Solar SkyCam
- Adding more Solar Panels to SkyCam and other WeatherSense Sensors
- TIme Lapse video with SkyCam
This is the way the SkyCam system works. The ESP32 wakes up every minute (programmable) and takes a picture. It then transmits the picture to the Rapsberry Pi using an MQTT reliable data connection in pieces (chunks!) that are reassembled and checked as the full picture on the Raspberry Pi. The ESP32 then throttles down the CPU and goes to sleep until the next picture to save power. Meanwhile, the SunAirPlus3 board is monitoring the solar panel and battery to keep things up and charged safely for your LiPo battery.
The Raspberry Pi then takes the picture and puts it in a MySQL database for later use and then records all the glorious data from the Solar Power system on SkyCam for later analysis and graphing. More Data! More Data! More Data!
The Raspberry Pi then updates the included Dash App (local display) and every morning at 5am builds a new Time Lapse for your enjoyment (Excuse the lawn sprinklers going off in a few places!)
These are kits that are easy to build and require NO SOLDERING! You can do this easily with your kids.
SkyCam is a great way to learn about modern small computers and about the fantastic Raspberry Pi by yourself or with your kids!
By the way, do you have interesting things around your home or school? You can add multiple SkyCams to your system to see EVERTHING!
What is Included in the Kit?
This is the complete kit for the Solar SkyCam. Add on extras include small hardware assembly parts, a precut crystal window, a 3D Print and pre-loaded SD Card. Raspberry Pi is not included. A 3.7V LiPo Battery is not included.
The SkyCam Kit contains:
SunAirPlus2 or SunAirPlus3 Solar Controller and Data Collector
330mA 6V Solar Power panel
ESP32 base OV2640 camera
USB to Serial Interface Board
Grove ESP32 Cam Interface
HDC1080 Internal Temperature and Humidity Sensor
2 -20cm Grove Cables
Short USB A to USB Micro Cable
Links to Full Documentation and Assembly Instructions
Links to all Source Code
Links to 3D Prints STL and Design Files
Comes with great open source software for the Rapsberry Pi, as well as all the open source Arduino ID C/C++ for the ESP32 in the SkyCam! All of this great data is saved by your Raspberry Pi receiving this data using the built in WiFi. The Raspberry Pi stores all the pictures and information about how your solar power system is performing (this is GREAT data to look at with your students, educators!) More coolness. And these are solar powered! No messy power cords. No plugs. Hang it up in a tree! Oooo. And all that wonderful solar power data (solar panels, battery and computer power) are sent back to your Pi too! More Data! More Cowbell! These units will transmit about 100m (~300ft) depending on what you have between the unit and your Rspberry Pi. You can always add a bigger antenna however!