I need to begin this post by saying that one good thing has come from McDonald’s… (at last). Me and my son, Camden were having a treat one evening and in his Happy Meal was, what I thought to be, the usual annoying, useless toy. Not this time! This time he had received a cress growing kit. Yes! You did read correctly, A cress growing kit.
Here is the resulting time-lapse video from my youtube channel:
I used the lego to make a nice little resting place for the supplied greenhouse and to hold my Logitech HD Webcam in place. I had a bit of trouble watering the cress seeds on the first run and managing to keep the greenhouse in the same position.
You may notice that the webcam has a pair of “glasses”. This is due to the fixed focus. Without it I would need to place the camera about 1/2 meter from the cress seeds which meant that we would not be able to see anything.
I had read on the t’internet that by using a pair of magnifying reading glasses you could use the webcam at closer distances. With my 20/20 sight I have never needed to use glasses so set about trying to find something else to use instead. I spent about an hour searching the house when I came across my Celestron PowerSeeker telescope. I found the perfect lens to use on the attached viewfinder. I have no idea what focal length it has i’m afraid though. But it works perfectly meaning that I could place the camera about 20cm from the greenhouse… perfect!
The project began on 18th May 2013 and the raspberry Pi is capturing images every ten minutes. You can view the latest snapshot on my Pi hosted site: http://drewibbo.no-ip.biz/worthingwatch/cresswatch.php.
When the cress has finished growing I will produce a time lapse video and post the link here.