Overview and Recommended Practices for the WaveCam

The camera template can be applied to the Site where the WaveCam will be installed. No further configuration is needed.

The camera template can be applied to the Site where the WaveCam will be installed.  No further configuration is needed.  Contact support@ayyeka.com to apply the camera template.

If, for some reason, you do not want to have the camera template applied, or you need to change the default camera configuration, you can configure the camera stream manually. 

The WaveCam can be used with the Wavelet V2™ and Wavelet 4R™ devices. Note however, that the Wavelet 4R device has considerably less storage capacity for camera frames.

WaveCam is intended primarily for use with Ayyeka Cloud. If you need to use the WaveCam with an on-premises system, contact support@ayyeka.com.

   

Watch a three-minute video for an overview of the WaveCam.

 

Contents

Overview of Camera and Image Streams 

Prerequisite 

Manual Creation and Configuration of Image and Camera Streams 

Field Installation 

Recommended Practices 

 

Overview of Camera and Image Streams 

The WaveCam is a 2 mega-pixel camera with built-in JPEG compression and a serial (RS232/RS485) output. Communication with the camera is done over proprietary protocol. The camera can take interval-based and event-based photographs. 

The camera device is a serial sensor and is associated with a serial channel type. Camera images cannot be transmitted through a serial channel, so you’ll need two data streams: 

  1. Camera stream is on a SERIAL SINT32 channel. This stream is the serial sensor of the camera device, and it is configured for sampling rates and camera parameters.  

  2. Image stream is on a BLOB (Binary Large Object) channel. A BLOB channel receives the raw images, but it does not do actual sampling.  

In the screen shot below, the Camera stream is the serial sensor of the camera device. It is on channel type SERIAL SINT32 and channel  number 0. The Image stream receives the raw images. It is on channel type BLOB and channel number 0. 

  

Prerequisites  

  • Contact support@ayyeka.com to apply the camera template to the Site that you want to connect the camera to.  No further configuration is needed.

Alternatively, if you want to manually create and configure the camera (rather than have the camera template applied), contact support@ayyeka.com to create the SERIAL SINT32 and the BLOB channels, and to configure the BLOB channel for your Site. You will need to configure the SERIAL SINT32 streams.

  • You must have a camera-enabled version of Firmware installed on the device. In the Device area of the the UI, the Site Name or the Serial Number must have the string  CAMR_v followed by the FW version. See the following screenshot.

   

Manual Creation and Configuration of Image and Camera Streams 

You can manually create and configure the Image and Camera streams in the following instances:  

  • You do not want the camera template applied to the Site. 

  • You need to configure the streams to change the default camera settings to optimize camera-battery consumption or improve image quality. 

Note: The following steps use the screen capture of the STREAM MANAGEMENT table above as an example. 

 

Do the following steps: 

  1. Manually configure the SERIAL SINT32 channel:
    • In the Sites Tree pane, click the device name with the WaveCam, and then open the Advanced Device Configuration.  

    • Click Serial > CHANNEL > 0

    • Configure the serial channel according to the following table:  

Parameter 

Required Value 

Details 

bus_baud 

115200 

 
 

bus_parity 

serial.BUS_PARITY_NONE 

 
 

interface_type 

serial.IT_RS485 

 
 

active 

serial.AS_ON 

Channel is active/enabled. Samples will be recorded. 

sample_handler 

serial.SH_SPINEL_CAMERA 

 
 

wake_time_ms 

5000 

Specify the length of time, in milliseconds, that the camera is powered on prior to when the device requests a photo from the sensor. 

The frequency at which the camera is powered on, is determined by the sample_interval. 

The wakeup time interval will be the maximum time of all channels in the group.  

Example:  

The wakeup time interval is 5000ms. The WaveCam takes a photo 5000ms (5 seconds) after it is powered on. 

slave_addr 

The slave address of the camera. 

extra_param 

String Format: "A,B,C,D" 

 

A: resolution 

0 = SSR_640x480 

1= SSR_800x600 

2= SSR_1600x1200 

 

B: compression 

0 = SSCR_MINIMUM 

1 = SSCR_LOW 

2 = SSCR_MEDIUM 

3 = not implemented 

4 = SSCR_HIGH 

5 = SSCR_MAXIMUM 

 

C:  LED lights 

A = Auto 

1 = On 

0 = Off 

 

D: Buffer size (Byte) 

0 = 512 

1 = 1024 

2 = 2048 

3 = 4096 

4 = 8192 

Sets the camera resolution, compression, LED light usage, and the size of the buffer.  

Use this parameter to tweak the camera's default behavior. Be sure to include the quotation marks (") at the beginning and end of the string. Separate the values with a comma (,) and no spaces. 

A: Resolution is in pixels. 

B: Compression – The less compression: 

  • the better the image quality  

  • the larger the image size 

  • the larger the battery consumption to transmit the image  (see Recommended Practices)

C: LED lights  - The WaveCam uses a smart illumination function so that the LED only turns on when necessary.  If needed, the LED turns ON automatically three seconds prior to image capture, remains ON for three seconds during capture, and then turns OFF automatically.

  • Auto – The WaveCam checks the lighting and decides to turn the light on or off. 
  • On – Light remains on 
  • Off – Light remains off 

Lighting at Night                                         

Lighting During the Day

D: Buffer size - The larger the buffer size: 

  • the less time is needed to capture the image  

  • the less time that the camera uses the battery 

  • the more storage is needed (see Recommended Practices)

Example: 

The string “0,4,0,4” means to use 640x480 resolution with high compression. Keep the LED light off. Use the largest buffer, 8192 bytes. 

 

    2.   Manually create the Image and Camera streams: 

    1. Create the Image stream

      • The channel type must be BLOB

      • In the Stream Name field, type in Image. 

      • In the Stream Type – Engineering Units field, select Image()

b.    Create the Camera stream

      • The channel type must be SERIAL SINT32

      • In the Stream Name field, type in Camera. 

      • In the Stream Type – Engineering Units field, select Image()

 

Field Installation 

 

Installation Tips: 

  • AyyekaGo mobile app can show stream values but not images. As a result, you cannot use the mobile app to verify the camera position during installation at the site.  It is recommended that while you install the camera on-site, someone else checks the images from Fleet to advise you on how to adjust the camera position.  
  •  Do not position the camera facing shiny objects or directly facing the east-west sun.

To install the camera sensor: 

  1. Connect the sensor cable assembly to the mating panel connector on the device.  Turn the adjustable stainless-steel end piece to secure the field attachable connector to the device.   

CAUTION: Do not turn the black plastic hood of the connector. Turning the black hood might cause the wires to disconnect, break, and/or damage the connector pins. 

 

 

  1. Mount the camera sensor on a wall, pipe, or other secure mount location by using zip ties or screws. 

  2. Swipe the magnetic Activator key over the embossed logo on the face of the device. This forced reset expedites the time for the device to connect to the server.

  3. In the UI, check the two streams: 

    • Camera stream - The sensor data shows up in the Samples tab in the Raw Value column of the Camera stream. Look for the following values: 

    • Image stream - The image files show up in the Samples tab in the Raw Value column of the Image stream. For example, a Raw Value might be  czM6Ly0heXIIa2EtYmxvYnMvYmxvYnMvM and its Final Value is 0. 

  4.   If needed, adjust the camera position. 


 

Recommended Practices 

  • Take frames every 15-30 minutes until you’re sure that the camera is working properly and that its aim and focus are optimal.  

The quality of the images is influenced by the colors and the transition of one color to another. Position the camera to get the best colors.  

If you do need to change the default camera configuration, follow the steps in To manually configure the serial stream

  • Conserve battery consumption by taking a frame only when there is an event.  

Taking a camera frame consumes as much battery as a transmission. 

  • Do not take frames faster than the device transmits because device storage is limited. 

A camera frame takes much more space than a data sample. The Wavelet V2™ uses a flash memory card for storage. The Wavelet 4™ uses an external flash, which is smaller. 

  • If the camera is taking frames but the device is unable to transmit, the length of time that the frames are saved depends on the type of device and the image size (which depends on resolution, compression, light in the area, and so forth): 

  • Wavelet V2™ - the frames are saved for several days. 

  • Wavelet 4™ - the frames are saved for a much shorter amount of time. 

  • Adjust the compression and buffer size (in extra_params) to optimize battery consumption.