News from April 2017.
The project evolved, I now sells directly SolarCam with the phone and box. it works very well, surfers from around the world are interested !
I keep this instructables open, for DIYers.
There is a lot of change:
- webcam is totally remote control, SMS or web.
- there GPS and temperature
- auto update -Very simple to use, it works worldwide.
please visit the website for more information.
Transform your old Android smartphone into a wireless solar camera !
You can use it indoor or outdoor.
And communicate using wifi or 3G.
Very easy, cost nearly nothing...
I worked on this project, for 2 years in France.
The website is here : Solarcam
As I am a lazy surfer, the idea first was to check swell on the sea from home,
But no electricity and no intenet on the beach, so I decided to create an Android application to do that, and after 30 versions and hundreds of tests, It works !
Maybe now, it can be great to share & build a community of solar camera around the world.
Give a second life to your old phone, and share live images around the world !
See exemple on this page : Live
Step 1: What You Need
- Neoprene glue.
- Metallic L.
- Solar panel from seeedstudio :
You can buy 1W panel is enough to have 1 image every 5 minutes, at day time.
the 0.5W works fine too, but with 1 image/hour.
you need to have the sun !
Step 2: Your Old Android Phone
This one is Galaxy Ace, broken screen, but high quality pictures, 5Megapixel autofocus.
- Directly, connect the wire to the battery ! fix it with tape.
- + is red
- - is black
more detail in this video, in French : Video1
You can do that, phones batteries are self protected.
Disconnect solar panel if you are not using, or the panel will drain the battery to death !
You can directly solder wires on phone's connectors , photo 2.
- You can found galaxy phone, on ebay.
- The Xperia series, from Sony Ericsson are good too.
- Don't try with your Iphone, or your new S5, it won't work ! (above Android 4.2 is not compatible)
- Battery should be in good condition,
- Voltage shouldn't be above 4.2v when panel and battery are connected.
Step 3: Glue a L on the Panel
Use the neoprene glue
Clean before the surface, with alcohol
put some glue, on both surface, wait 10 min, and fix the two parts.
Wait 24h !
This glue is perfect but it takes patience...
If you have, solder the tiny wire with connector.
Step 4: Construction of a Weatherproof Case
Step 5: Download Iwebcam
First, your phone must be :
Old !, above Android 4.2, it might not work at all.
- Run a factory reset. You don t need to login to your Google account after reset
- Prepare the wifi or 3g connection.
- Adjust time
- Full charge battery, remove GPS, synchronisation, sound.
Download iwebcam from here
If wifi is already set launch iwebcam.
your image will be sent to this address : http://www.solarcam.fr/TestCam/
You can see the last 10 images, zoom, or even watch a timelapse of the week.
You can change parameters, 3G wifi, or create a new account.
Some SolarCam are working here more than a year, without any issue !
Hope it works !
* actually we don't have a lot of sun, camera are little bit lazy.