Let’s Build a Camera: Step 1

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Technically, this should have been something I finished off in a day. I just, unfortunately, forgot certain things that were important in what I planned.

Consider the fact that I used a 2Gb SD Card? I can’t use the smaller OS on the Raspberry Pi this time, I need to move towards Raspbian as the OS. That is the reason we needed to split it up and it will be a bit slower.

Pi NoIR V2

The Beginning

It took a lot to work out what I wanted to use, as it turned out the Pi’s NoIR Camera V2 can take really nice photos. Sure, the NoIR could be seen as dark, it is rather a camera that makes images more cinematic. The bold sharper colors can help make them seem more impressive.

This turned out to be stumbling block number one for me, as it turns out, everyone is buying the Pi’s NoIR V2 from all the sources I know of in JHB. I had to move a little further to find a new source. You can understand it doesn’t matter for an hour trip out of your home city. PiShop had tons of stock, so I got the camera through them.

The other thing I got to see, and learn, was that I could do filters for the PiNoIR camera. I figured I wouldn’t use filters to start out, I should just make sure I can use them in the future.

The Duracryl Grind

So, a few months ago I broke the glass side of my computer’s case. I was lazy and didn’t replace it immediately. When enough time had gone past I figured why not get Duracryl from Builders Warehouse. I needed to replace the glass.

Sure, I technically could have gotten a new glass pane. However, I thought about it for a long enough time to realize it would be better to use something more durable. I got the 500x500x3mm sheet, got it cut to my case dimensions, then put it on that day.

I have 2 long sheets of it that I could definitely use for other projects.

Sheets at the bottom, this is the start of what was done next

Create The Raspberry Pi Case

Technically? I already have a wooden case I made for the Raspberry Pi, I just felt like doing new things this time. So, the first step became simple. I needed to work out the size of the base to hold the Pi. Then how tall I needed to sides to be, and similarly how big the top would have to be.

The pieces after measuring and cutting

Using a Glue Gun I managed to get it all together.

Cleaned pieces
The final box

You should note, I have door hinges gluing the roof to the back walls. This was just the decision that came from easily opening and closing this box. It is sort of a minimal design.

Pi in the case

As you can no doubt see from this image, I can’t cut in straight lines. There are methods I can take in the future to make it neater, tidier, and actually line it all up.

I just wanted to stick to as much as my skills would allow for this stage of the project. I can always “upgrade” it later to look much better. I just love how it is going so far.

Make the Camera’s Box

The next step is quite understandable, I needed to make a box for the Pi NoIR camera. I wanted it to be protected, just like the case for the pi.

Using drilling tools I drilled a hole for the camera’s view to go out of (you will note it is a small blue plastic lunch box). Smoothing that out I then super glued a piece of perspex just inside the hole. This was what is used to bind the camera there as well.

Careful attention was paid to it, there shouldn’t be any trouble there. Using a soldering knife (for lack of a better word to explain it) a small slot was cut for the wiring to go out the box.

Sugru was then used to bind the camera in the box and close off the wiring slot.

We Should Test Now!

This was the expected plan, I already had an OS on a 2Gb SD card, there should be no problem!

There was a problem, the first one being I forgot I had Kodi on the 2Gb card I had been using. It’s something that was always needed for showing the videos I’ve made through the Pi on TVs.

The boxes are neater

To use the Python for the camera I actually need to, for the easiest method possible, install Raspbian. I pointed out the SD card is 2Gb only. Unfortunately, that means I can’t quite do what I want to this time.

That’s why next week should be Step 2, and I can hopefully get my camera going with more. It is just the current plan, and how far the project got in the first week so far!