Crittercam project - Camera won't take focused pictures

Hi - I am building an Arduino-powered critter camera with my daughter. We are using instructions from the makezine website:

We have the Arduino Uno, the Radio Shack JPEG Color Camera Board, the Seeed INT106D1P SD™ Card Shield, and the Radio Shack Passive Infared Sensor.

Camera: RadioShack.com Official Site - America's Technology Store
SD shield: RadioShack.com Official Site - America's Technology Store
PIR sensor: RadioShack.com Official Site - America's Technology Store

The sketch code for the project is on the makezine page referenced above. I could paste it here if that would be helpful (I'm a first time poster, so I'm not sure how much information to post here vs. reference through hyperlinks).

The makezine instructions are pretty clear and the critter camera is functional, meaning that the sensor seems to detect motion, which in turn triggers the camera to take pictures.

The only problem is that the pictures are extremely blurry. I've tried taking pictures at a range of distances and they're all blurry. I know the camera isn't exactly top of the line in terms of photo quality, but we can't even make out objects. I'm wondering if there's something we could change in the sketch. I've tried Googling, but I'm not finding much help.

My daughter is so excited to hide the camera in the backyard and take pictures of animals, so we'd really appreciate any wisdom!!

Thanks!

There's no detail at all about the technical specifications of the camera. Do you have any idea what the focal length is supposed to be? Does the camera use / support using an external lens to achieve the correct focus?

Thanks for your prompt response. You are correct in noting there is no detail about the technical specifications of the camera. The user guide is very light on details. (The user guide and website were light on all product support, actually.)

(FYI- The user manual can be found here: http://www.radioshack.com/graphics/uc/rsk/Support/ProductManuals/2760248_PM_EN.pdf)

I should have mentioned that I'm using the UART interface. I found this adafruit VC0706 UART Interface cheat sheet online (see attached), but I haven't yet figured out if it's useful. Someone who knows more about cameras may find it more useful?

VC0706protocol.pdf (187 KB)

Most of these small cameras have a screw on lens. Focus is done by turning the lens. Don't force it, as it may not be the case with this camera.

steinie44,

I wanted to thank you because turning the lens worked like a charm! The crittercam works perfectly!

Now the only remaining challenge is figuring out how to attract the animals! We've used it two consecutive nights (trying to lure animals over with a plate of food) and all we have to show for ourselves is a picture of this little bird (attached) :slight_smile:

Thanks again!
Rebecca

CCC852.JPG

Thanks Rebecca. Two days and a bird. Not bad. Sometimes it takes a lot longer. Have patience, and I'm sure you will get some good shots. The photo looks good.