Time-Lapse Camera Package

The Time-Lapse Camera Package is a complete system for documenting construction projects, animal behavior monitoring, analyzing environmental changes, and an amazing variety of other long-term outdoor photographic tasks.

This equipment will yield significantly higher resolution and higher quality images than can be achieved with “web camera” equipment, and is designed to be completely autonomous. No connection to AC power, computers, networks, or video recorders are needed. You own the equipment, and there are no monthly charges!

Except for a few mounting screws to suit your particular application, everything you need is included and completely assembled. The system can be installed in as little as a few minutes.

Time-Lapse Camera Package

Items included:

Optional Modifications:

AC Power Adapter Cable: $50, plus $1 per foot.

The system is normally charged using the included solar panel. If you are installing in an indoor location, or would like to use AC power to keep the internal battery charged, we can provide a adapter cable to connect the included AC battery charger to the system, using the charge connection on the top of the housing.

Standard length is 10 ft ($60). Contact us for custom lengths.

Alternative Camera Options:

The standard camera is the Canon EOS Rebel T3 (1100D). You can choose to upgrade to one of the following cameras, or supply your own camera. All of these cameras include the 18-55mm kit lens.

Nikon has a couple other very attractive camera models, the D3100 and the D5100, which fit nicely, and are very efficient. Unfortunately, we can no longer recommend them. We have recently run into several D3100 cameras that are stopping operation after somewhere around 150 pictures into a sequence, and showing an error. "Error, please press shutter release again". These cameras were replaced, and the new cameras ALL exhibited the same problem. We don't have any first hand reports of this with the D5100 cameras, but a quick check on the internet suggests that it might have a similar problem. We want to be confident in our camera recommendations, and as of Nov 2011, we have lost all confidence in these two Nikon cameras.

DC Power 'Y' cable: $75, plus $1 per foot

The system is normally charged using the included solar panel. If you are installing in an area that has little or seasonal sunshine (for instance, in the arctic wintertime), and would like to use an external DC power source (e.g., car battery) to keep the internal battery charged, we can provide an adapter cable. This cable would connect the included solar panel, the charge connection on the housing, as well as an un-terminated power cable, which you can attach to a battery, or other DC power source. We also include a 2 ohm, 3 watt resistor, which we recommend installing in series with the positive terminal of your power source, to limit the charge current to our internal battery.

Standard length is 10 ft ($85). Contact us for custom lengths.

Dual Battery Option: $210

The battery that comes with the system is a 11.1V, 9AH battery pack, which is sufficient to power the system for more than a month, without any charging at all. This is sufficient capacity for the vast majority of customers, allowing the system to operate through long periods of gloomy weather (no solar charging), etc. A dual battery option will double that capacity, which might be useful if you operate without any charging power.

External USB Download: $100

Normally you would extract images by swapping memory cards in the camera. If your equipment is on a high pole, and access is difficult, we can add two external cables to the housing allowing access to the camera's USB feature.

  1. Camera USB cable - this is only about 1 ft long, and has a USB type A connector. It's simply routed through the housing, connected to the camera, and the hole sealed. You will need to buy and install a USB extension cable. If the distance needed is only up to 3 meters, a simple passive USB extension cable can be used. For longer distances, an active USB repeater cable may be needed. The ends of this cable should be protected from the elements, either by a waterproof seal using silicone rubber or self-adhering tape. Alternatively, the connections can be shielded from the elements, allowing air to reach the connectors, to keep them dry. A partially sealed connection will accumulate moisture and cause corrosion.
  2. Wake-up switch cable - This thin cable has a switch at the end, which will cause the camera to wake, and take a picture when pressed. This will then allow the camera to recognize the USB connection. The cable is also routed through a sealed hole in the housing, and connected to the DigiSnap 2700 time-lapse controller. The length of this cable is normally 30 ft, but if the site requires a longer cable, simply let us know.

Lens Options:

Two wide-angle lenses are available:

With both these options, you will still receive the Canon 18-55mm kit lens.

Larger lenses can be accommodated by modifying the housing window. Contact us for specific requirements. We can help with the math as well!

Low Temperature Modification: $60

The system has been proven by many many customers in the arctic, and even the antarctic. There are only a couple circuits that have demonstrated temperature sensitivity, and we can address them by a couple of modifications to the production circuits. This is really only necessary if your equipment will be operating at less than -10C.

MiFi Power Option: $175

This option adds an additional power supply and USB cable to power a "MiFi" device.

The memory card in the camera can be replaced with a WiFi card, (for instance from Eye-Fi), allowing the camera to connect to a nearby WiFi router, to provide automated image transfer to the internet. Further addition of a MiFi hotspot can translate the WiFi signal to a 3G or 4G cellular signal. While Harbortronics does not supply, nor support Eye-Fi cards nor MiFi devices, we do have a number of customers using them, and we can offer a power solution for your MiFi equipment. This option will provide a Micro-USB cable connection, to apply 5V power to your MiFi.

The DigiSnap 2700 time-lapse controller already included in the system can be configured to control the power to the camera, and to the MiFi. When time to take a picture, the camera and MiFi are powered on long enough for the MiFi to connect to the cellular network, take a picture, upload it, then shut the power off again to save power. Multiple selections for boot time / image transfer time are provided in the DigiSnap 2700.

Tripod plate: $100

We can machine and install a threaded aluminum plate on the bottom of the housing, for use with any tripod. The plate is threaded with 1/4-20, 3/8-16, and 5/8-11 threaded holes.

USB-to-Serial converter cable: $20

Configuring a DigiSnap 2000 series controller requires a serial port. If your computer does not have a serial port, you will need a USB-to-Serial converter cable. This USB-to-Serial converter cable is based on the FTDI chipset, which we have found to be of high quality and very reliable. We supply drivers for this converter cable for Windows and Mac OS X; modern Linux distributions come with the required driver pre-installed (click here to download current drivers for Windows, OS X, or Linux).

Additional Product Photos:

Note: some photos show Pentax cameras. New Time-Lapse Camera Packages will ship with the Canon EOS Rebel T3 (1100D).

Internal view of the Time-Lapse Camera Package with dual battery option.Internal view of the Time-Lapse Camera Package with dual battery option.

Time-Lapse Package with dual-battery option

Camera mount extends to allow access to camera menus and memory card. The magnetic arm system preserves the camera's original position in the housing.

Front view of closed Time-Lapse Camera Package

Rear view of Time-Lapse Camera Package, showing mounting brackets.

Mounting Examples


Use the ball mount to mount the Time-Lapse Camera Package to flat surfaces.

Use u-bolts to mount the Time-Lapse Camera Package to a pole.

Part Details (example only, shipped fully assembled)


All Parts

Mechanical

Mounts

Battery Pack & Charger
Circuit Block
Circuit Block (top)

Enclosure

Accessories