The quest for a Home Monitoring System : Part 1

The quest for a Home Monitoring System : Part 1

General Architecture

For a long , long time I wanted to have a system to monitor, and perform data collection, on my home.
A modular system where I could gather data from indoor and outdoor temperatures to local power consumption.

CasaMonit Initial Architecute proposal

CasaMonit Initial Architecture proposal

The system is meant to be designed in such manner that the server side is fully abstracted from the sensor module side, more sensors modules may be implemented on different hardware platforms. There can be as many sensor modules as required, connected on a single Ethernet network.

 

Sensor Module Hardware (Prototype)

Prototype Hardware Sensor Module

Prototype Hardware Sensor Module

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My first steps into Film Photography (part 1)

Intro

For quite a while, since I began to feel more comfortable with using my DSLR on manual mode,  I had the desire to get into film photography of a while, being pinhole photography the first milestone.

However, for me to deal with film photography, the only practical choices  were 35mm film or 120 film, in regards to availability. My main choice was 120mm due to the fact that the negatives are larger, making it more practical to handle and to make contact prints in the future. The unfortunate side effect is that it is harder to load into the film spiral during film development preparation. And, of course, way less exposures per roll than 35mm film. Another point to consider is camera price. A 120 film camera is, in general, more expensive that a 35mm camera.

Camera Choice

My budget for the camera was set to 120€. In one hand I could get a Holga 120N pretty cheap and call it a day. Lets just say I quickly changed my mind.
The other choice was to get a Twin Lens Reflex (TLR) camera. But due to most if the cameras on my price range being used cameras (and 100% mechanical), I was wary of getting then on ebay, therefore I’ve decided to source the camera locally, at a store that could sell me a clean and tested camera. Unfortunately such stores are 50Km away, in a neighboring town.

Flexaret VII Automat TLR

Flexaret VII Automat TLR

The camera that fulfilled my criteria without looking like a dug up, rusty fossil, or a plastic toy was the flexaret VII automat.
On paper, 1/500 sec maximum shutter speed sounds quite nice, but it also means that the camera uses a more complex leaf shutter design.

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Pinhole Photography Experiments.

After being in a workshop on pinhole photography (held at offo, in Aveiro), and getting a grasp of the development process, it was time to actually start to build a simple camera, as well as to start developing its pictures.

But the initial results were not quite what I expected in terms of sharpness.

Pinhole Photography 1

Photography taken at Aveiro, during the pinhole workshop. This one is quite sharp.

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