Things have been pretty quiet for me on the blogging front for the last week, but I have a good excuse.
I have been getting ready to show off my work-in-progress all-sky camera (two of them, actually) at the Westport (CT) Mini Maker Faire, scheduled for Saturday, April 26. The Faire was sponsored by the Westport Library, the same organization that had sponsored my month-long stint as "Maker in Residence", and so I was sure to find plenty of interest in seeing my progress in building the cameras.
There's nothing quite like a deadline to focus your thoughts and energy. I put in a marathon session at the Makerspace to rebuild a version of my "Camera #1" design with an improved layout and dimensions, and finally managed to pull things together by about 11:00 PM on Friday evening.
It rained (and rained, and rained) all Friday night and early Saturday morning, and for a time it looked like the day might be a washout, but the rain finally subsided about an hour ahead of the opening of the Faire.
Estimated attendance was several thousand people and countless robots.
I set up a table with my prototypes for Camera #1 and Camera #2 in the "Maker in Residence" section of the Library's Great Hall, just outside the Library's Makerspace, sharing the area with other 'maker' projects such as a fold-up mobile office, a collaborative, accordian-style book, and an Arduino-powered collaborative quilt.
Camera #1 is the one that has the Gertduino mounted front-and-center. I do not yet have the Gertduino doing productive work within the camera housing (such as coordinating sensor readings) - that will come along over the next week or so - but I explained its key role in the camera design as I described the purpose and goals of the all-sky camera to visitors who stopped by to chat.
The concept behind Camera #1 is to take photos of the full sky by mounting a super-wide-angle fisheye lens adapter in front of an upward-pointing Raspberry Pi camera module's lens. You can see Camera #1 propped up on its custom PVC tubing stand at the left of the photo below - the Gertduino is clearly visible:
Camera #2 is visible at the right of the photo. Its design relies on an upward-pointing hemispherical mirror reflecting the sky for a downward-pointing Raspberry Pi camera module to capture. I haven't taken any photos with Camera #1 yet, but here's a sample photo from Camera #2:
Today is a day of rest. I'll get back to working with the Gertduino tomorrow.