Remote, off-grid monitoring and automation
|Project:||Remote, off-grid monitoring and automation (I)|
|Description:||Remote, off-grid monitoring and automation|
|Project Type(s) :|
A cottage owner has been having trouble with people breaking into his remote, off-grid cabin while he is away. To make matters worse, the trail cameras that he set up to capture images of the thieves are found and stolen as well. This project's goals are to provide a low-cost solution that is both resilient and functional.
The system is built primarily around the ESP32-CAM variant of the Espressif ESP32 microcontroller, which are inexpensive yet quite capable for this purpose. There are several roles for the microcontrollers based on their location and available power:
- A dormant camera that "wakes up" when triggered, like a trail camera
- An always active camera that continuously records to an SD card, like a dash camera
- A microcrontroller that doesn't have a camera but monitors an area and triggers other cameras that do
We are also creating several kinds of enclosures for these devices as well as building them into other objects like logs. Other enclosures are very inexpensive "dummy" enclosures that are meant to deter and distract from the actual enclosures that contain electronics.
While there is no mains power, the site has ample 12V power available at the cottage. Unfortunately, there is no power outside the building itself. Small 1-2W solar panels and lead-acid batteries are being used to power devices at remote locations, and for high-value enclosed locations (i.e. inside a locked shed), lithium batteries will be used to reliably power cameras if they are disturbed.
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