Remote field camera

I’m wanting to build a field camera using the boron but I’m not sure if what i want to do is possible with the boron LTE.
I have a large area that i want cheap surveillance on, so my thought was a boron LTE + Arducam5MP+PIR sensor, and call it done. I dont want live feed, instead, I have a short list of requirements

  1. Take single snap when PIR detects motion
  2. Take a single snap at 9am, and 6pm daily
  3. Take snapshot with MQTT request (image now)
  4. take long exposure with MQTT (image 10, for 10 seconds)

have the image MMS or emailed to me. I’m using google Fi, so data will not be an issue, especially since I dont plan on scheduled pictures at high frequency.

I know the PIR part is rather easy, the concern is will a boron be capable of processing and sending 5MP images to MMS or email?


Welcome to the community!

This is something that has been on a number of users minds for some time. @ScruffR has a long thread on his efforts to send images that I highly recommend to you:

Thing is that the Boron LTE uses NB-IOT which is optimized for IOT low bandwidth / low power which are core to most IOT applications. It is not the LTE on your phone which can easily send those 5Mb images. As I understand it, the Boron would not be able to efficiently send those big pictures.

One possible solution, would be to use a camera with AI (such as the Husky Lens or OpenMVCam) and have it give the Boron a description of the image: for example, "two bikers" or "one truck" instead of a 5Mb picture of the same). Then, the Boron simply sends the picture content description. The image itself could be stored on a MicroSD card for future local retrieval. I have not had the bandwidth to build this yet but it is on my "wish list" for future projects.

That said, I am interested in any ideas the community has and do appreciate your bringing this up.


Actually, the Boron uses LTE Cat M1 and not NB-IOT. Nonetheless, Cat M1 is also not ideal for large payloads. In addition, using Particle.publish() for security limits transactions to 633bytes per second (ie per publish), making the transmission of a 5Mb file VERY slow. Even with no encryption (direct HTTP or TCP/UDP), data rates are below the protocol's maximum 375Kbps speed dependent on the Cellular provider, signal strength, etc.

I think @chipmc idea of using an AI camera is great idea. However, I don't believe the Husky Lens provides access to the raw image for storage.

In the end, you may not find the Boron suitable for your application and might need to consider a more powerful SBC board like the Raspberry Pi combined with a Cat 1 or greater (no M1) LTE modem. Unfortunately, these will not have the benefit of the Particle Cloud and device management capabilities.


Thanks for the feedback. I was trying to find an even cheaper way, hence the boron approach. AI wont work as I would need the actual images for security purposes. I guess I’m back to the idea of the Pi+LTE+usb camera approach with MotionEyeOS

Hello! I’m doing just that based on OV2640 sensor. Hardware files for custom board will be CC-by-SA. The thing is solar powered, taking and sending 3 images per day up to 24.

PM me if you are interested.

I am interested in this. Do you have a link to your project?


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