Megapixel Webcam Technology

The Marklex-Webcam Sunnyvale is based on software and hardware described on the Foto-Webcam Wiki site (Google translator top right). Foto-webcam.eu shows many great cameras, most of them located in the European Alps.

The Sunnyvale “megapixel webcam” is relatively simple as the California location does not need the “weatherproofing” some of the cameras in locations with more severe weather conditions require.

IMG_6990_small  [Cover not shown]

The camera used is a standard digital SLR, in this case a Canon T3 (12 Megapixel Sensor).   Through the USB port, the camera is connected to a camera processor – the white box.  The camera processor is a small portable router with modified firmware.  Both the camera itself and the processor are powered over Ethernet (POE).  This has the advantage that only an Ethernet cable has to be connected to the housing for both data transmission and power.  The black box above the camera is the POE Splitter.

The camera processor gets instructions from a server, in this case a simple Apache web server.  Here is the process:

  1. Server sends a signal to the camera processor over the network/internet to take a picture.
  2. Camera processor passes the signal to the camera over a USB cable.
  3. Camera takes a picture and immediately sends it to the camera processor.
  4. Image gets uploaded to the server and processed (size, text, etc.)
  5. Processed images are saved to the server and can be accessed by the web server.
  6. Process repeats every 10 minutes.

For a much more detailed explanation of the software and hardware please see the Foto Webcam Wiki.

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