Updated: Apr 12
Originally posted by Jim K2BHM
How much oil is left in my oil tank? Will I run out while I am away?
Raspberry Pi to the rescue!!! Just take a Pi Zero, a camera module, and an LED light and you've got the guts for an Oil Cam!
This kit is available from Adafruit.com for $45. I added a power supply and a USB powered LED light. The Raspberry Pi Camera Web Interface software, (http://elinux.org/RPi-Cam-Web-Interface) can be installed and you instantly have a webcam!
Add a magnet from Harbor Freight, a mount, and an oil tank and you have your own Oil Cam! The black cone is a eye cup magnifier, hot glued over the lens for a close up lens. I set mine up to capture one picture a day and save it. You now have a daily record of your fuel consumption. I used port forwarding in my router to make it accessible from the outside world. I took one more step. I set up my own domain and installed software in my router. If Spectrum changes my router IP address, the software sees it and updates my data to find my modem again.
So, you say that is fine, but I don't use oil... or, yeah, but what else can you do....
Well, Adafruit.com as well as other sources sells a mount that embeds two radio control servos to provide Pan and Tilt to your camera. Add Servo Blaster to your software and the Raspberry Pi will control your servos from the webpage!
For example, a Pi 3B+, a SSD external drive, camera and servo mount and you have this concoction, ready to put on wifi on your home network. What does it do ?
Notice the 4 arrows. You can click them to pan and tilt the camera. But wait! There is more! If you order now, we will include the Touch Screen Interface at no additional cost! Bring the image up on your Smart Phone, Touch and Drag, and the Camera will follow your finger!
I set my camera to do a 1080P frame once per second for 10 minutes. It then takes it and creates a mp4 video time lapse. Check out the "Download Videos and Images" tab. A 1GB drive will collect these videos, 24-7 for about 9 months before it gets full and deletes the oldest files. The best feature... It does NOT access Amazon Servers for whatever reason! (My commercial webcam DID!)
Have Fun, Jim K2BHM