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Topic: Sending an Multi Media Message (an image) from a camera via the celphone network (Read 4462 times) previous topic - next topic


Imagine having a low res (640x400 maybe) camera controlled by an Arduino.

Imagine having a SMS/MMS shield connected to the arduino.

I know that the Arduino does not have enough memory to store the image, but is there some trick (an external memory maybe?) which would allow me to send an image from this setup via the celphone network?


Sounds like a similar project:

In all of the comments below it looks like I'm talking to an imaginary friend.
I'm not insane!  Really!
It's because KE7GKP deleted all of his responses and cancelled his account entirely.
I have no idea why?
Did I say something offensive?
Seventh Day Adventist Amateur Radio Club?


You've misunderstood.  The Magic part is already working great thru CAT5!  I don't understand how but it works like magic.  I use it every day.  The only down side is that it needs wires.  My next 2 experiments are both simple, requiring no money nor time for development.  We will see if they succeed.  You're welcome to read about them on the other thread.  I can promise you this, it will take less than 10 hours of my time, not months.  The 1st will either work or it won't.  It would be the ideal solution.  But I'm willing to bet on the 2nd.  I think they fit the needs of this thread's poster Ofran.  Instead of Xbee, just use the GSM shield.  All that will be needed, after my library is done, is to send the raw image data over GSM.  There's a library for that too!  Simple right?  No need for more memory.  I cannot use your control-the-$10-phone idea because there is no GSM coverage here.  Have you seen how bad the typical $10 phone pictures look?  Even at 640x480 it sucks, try 320x240 instead.  Some Lores cameras look much better right?


Once the GPRS connection is initialized and setup using the Library... That may be the hard part.  It's just ONE function call to send a small packet of TCP/IP data.  It can even be done using AT commands:

Like I said... Simple!  (once you know how to do it! and it's initialized ;))
I've qualified that by saying AFTER MY PART IS DONE (getting the image data to send via Xbee).
Still ROTFL?

First of all, Wifi doesn't go 300m reliably.  In addition to the Wifi shield I'd need a decent router between the Uno and my PC.  That means it must be outside.  Powered by batteries.  Weatherproof.  More than just a cheap normal antenna.  Second I said CAT5 CABLE, not ethernet protocol.  It's a CAT5 extender that works like magic.  Sending USB data 300m.  I'm not sure if it goes any further.  With my solution I might get 1000m which is better!  Third I'd need a PC by the camera for this to work.  Uh oh, now we're talking some money.

My solution is less than $100.  Please, I'd like to hear an alternative!

KB3SF active in Ham Radio, RTTY, Packet Radio
and building electronics for 35 years...


I appreciate your feedback!  I need a pessimist to tone down my normal optimism.

1) How can I do it cheaply?  It doesn't help with my EOS utility software wish/requirement, because of the need for a PC on both ends.  But it might work together with Eyefi!  I've built a tennis ball antenna that goes 500m line of sight.  But I'd still need a router outside in the weather and running on batteries for this project, regardless of the antenna.  There will be some trees in the way.  Hilly terrain.  Please advise.

2) I don't need to extend ethernet protocol.  It's USB running on ethernet CABLE.

3) That part is simple.  But it's not for my project.  Just 512 bytes at a time 30K total.  Serial in, serial out.  Did you read my example link above using AT commands?  It'll be the same for the Xbee.  A small buffer at a time.  Interrupts.  I've already done something similar with the 1mw Xbee sending 10KB/sec audio and it works great!

4) Which of those 3 constraints is unreasonable?  Keep in mind I'd spend $1000 if it were useful hardware not dedicated to sitting outside for this project only.  Let's redefine the budget.  $100 outside at risk for being stolen and the weather.  $900 inside and safe running on unlimited wall power.

The distance has already been done, but with wires.  Xbee goes 3x as far.  The Uno only takes 20ma.  The same as my solar cell's output.  Power is cheap.  I'd consider 4000mah if it lasted for days.  That means <100ma of constant current.  The Uno can sleep.

How would it be any easier to go 100m wirelessly?  I'd still need a PC on both ends.  Eyefi won't even go that far.
The problem is almost the same.

5) I'm glad you're laughing, I guess that means I'm entertaining you!


Packet Radio does not beat Xbee, neither for distance, speed, nor price.  The only way I can see Wifi helping this project is in conjunction with Eyefi.  I'd like to avoid leaving a PC in the woods.  I'd welcome any new ideas please be specific.  So let's begin there with an Eyefi card in my camera.  Please walk me thru how antennas and higher power might help.  I am very experienced with these things in the Ham world for 35 years.  I should hook an antenna to the Eyefi?  An RF amp?  No.  So I need a portable router.  Up in a tree?  At ground level it wouldn't be good enough.  There is terrain between us.  Thick trees.  Maybe the camera would be next to a big rock on the wrong side.  Certainly a tennis can antenna would be useful at the base station.  Keep in mind this is not line of sight.  A router up high needs to be powered, for days.  How to make it waterproof.  What is the best price you can find?  I'm thinking $50.  What antenna would you recommend in this case?  It needs to go in 2 directions at once.  How do you increase the power of Wifi?  I've tried the higher powered USB transceivers for a client, they are crap for less than $100.  I would need 2-3 of them.

My constraints are flexible guidelines and not meant to be rigid.  I'm the designer and the client all in one person, so I'm trying to make it easy to get along with myself ;)  200-400m.  $50-$150.  Even the quality of the JPG image is not fixed, it can be very lores.  Every minute or every hour.  I could use a cheap Canon that supports PTP or my good camera when the location is safe.  Sometimes I may want to use this unit in the desert or across a small bay where it is line of sight.  Other times thick woods in the Northeast, or a dense rainforest in S.America.  I cannot use the cell phone network.  My suggestion was for Ofransen.  I'd be happy to write the code for him just for fun!  Since it will only take an hour max to modify mine once he has learned to initialize the hardware and the GPRS connection.  Did you read the AT commands for this?  You do not agree it is simple?  There is simple vs complex.  And easy vs hard.  Something can be simple (not complex) and hard like lifting a big rock.  Or complex and easy like accounting maybe.  I think sending data you already have in a buffer is both simple and easy with a code library.

I'm sorry if I have left out some information about what I'm trying to do.  I feel I'm writing too much.  Did you read the other thread?  If I forgot some detail please ask.  Sometimes I am thinking out loud.  There are many details missing because I have not decided how to implement my goal. 

Simply: I want to see what the camera sees without wires.  And take better pictures to be stored in the camera.

If we start over from square one does that help?


I want to take beautiful pictures.  Security cameras won't cut it.  The only problem with eyefi I can see is how to trigger the shutter.  That would be easy with Uno.  If I'm going to need a Uno anyway...  You see where I'm going.  Brute force?  You mean more power?  Is there an antenna that does in 2 directions 90 deg apart?  I mean besides Omni obviously.  How do I get more power for Wifi?  Is there a USB extender that goes 300m for less than $300?  I'm trying to explore all my options before I begin. 

It will be an easy project!  Only a few library function calls.  Without all the functionality of EOS Utility.

You think Smartphones or iPhones don't use JPG encoding for images before they're sent? 
Are you nuts?  What's more efficient than JPG?


Thanks for all the replies. I gather that may just be possible but it would be too complex for the rugged project I am considering.

It was interesting though!

Now I need to look for a more advanced embedded processor/development environment... and suggestions anyone?


I should warn you, I've already got audio at 32khz sampling with the UNO and video at a very slow speed working.  Not real time of course.  It's just data.  I can send any data that's passed serially at the proper baud rate.  I'm using the library for the Canon so there's no work involved on my part.


Let's make a bet?

Lets not.

First we'll define my project simply.  Send a still picture from my Canon over XBee.  A USB cable connected to the camera.  No time limit.  Alright how about 5 minutes.  Can I send a thumbnail sized image?  That's all I need.  You think I will fail at that???  I've already got all the hardware talking.

Nothing to do with an arduino, so who cares? I think you are talking to your self or possibly an imaginary friend. That being said, photos can be sent at a decent rate over a serial port. A long time ago I used cuseeme with a 14.4 kbs modem on a dial in connection, and later used the MS netmeeting with a 33.6 kbs modem.

Google forum search: Use Google Search box in upper right side of this page.
Why I like my 2005 Rio Yellow Honda S2000  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWjMvrkUqX0


A fellow Ham I'm ashamed to be associated with the same group...

It looks like an imaginary friend because KE7 deleted all of his responses to me.  He does not stand by his words.  It has everything to do with an Arduino, my UNO is at the heart of it.  Of course photos can be sent.  He doubted I could do something so simple so I called him on it.  I wouldn't have done so if he was polite and respectful instead.  Not sure how he deleted all of his comments.  How can we do that?  I never had a reason to consider it, because I don't change my mind so often as he does.  Nor am I ashamed of what I write.

Thread closed!


Nor am I ashamed of what I write.

No need to be if that is what you think.

Thread closed!

Don't think this is your thread.

Let's make a bet?  First we'll define my project simply.  Send a still picture from my Canon over XBee.  A USB cable connected to the camera.  No time limit.  Alright how about 5 minutes.  Can I send a thumbnail sized image?  That's all I need.  You think I will fail at that???  I've already got all the hardware talking.

Just walk your talk. A lot of things are possible depending on one's capabilitys. 

Google forum search: Use Google Search box in upper right side of this page.
Why I like my 2005 Rio Yellow Honda S2000  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWjMvrkUqX0


I didn't mean literally closed, I tried to ask the OP why he gave up?  Then I waited for about a week.  KE7 deleted his account entirely after years of posting on here.  I guess I have that effect on some people!  Sorry KE7...

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