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A project log for Wigglegram esp32-cam

Making wigglegrams using some esp32-cam boards

BryantBryant 11/30/2022 at 21:570 Comments

Rework

The first thing I realized from the first success was that my method of "cut some slots in a cardboard box, shove the boards in them, and hold a bunch of wires to try to get a photo" was not only not sustainable but produced terrible results. Along with the power issues it was quickly realized that my cardboard setup was insufficient as the boards were just too floppy to keep them aligned. Additionally the camera modules were loose and in no way stable.

Addressing floppy cameras

A quick fix to address the cameras supported only by their cables was to put a drop of hot flue on the corner of each and attach it to the sd card shield. This is easy to implement and is also reversible if I come up with a better mechanism in the future. This system means that the camera will always be aligned with respect to the board and not necessarily with each other. 

Addressing misaligned boards

A slightly less quick fix for the board alignment was to create a system of board carriers and one board carrier back plane. Boards would then be aligned with respect to the carriers and each carrier to the back plane. A few minutes of laser cutting and I had an ok-ish system of holding the boards. The boards were pushed into the carriers, visually aligned vertically, and tacked in place with some hot glue. Then each of the carriers was glued on to the back plane making sure that the alignment of each carrier was close. This system is ok for a prototype but I will need to revise it in the future to have better tolerances and be more foolproof for assembly.

Addressing funky wiring 

The last bit I saw I needed to fix to make the prototype work better was to make the wiring more secure. My old proto board was not holding the proto wires well and everything was just too wonky to get any sort of result without doing hand gymnastics. I grabbed a perf board and some female pin headers and soldered them up to make three distinct channels for power and communication

Second success

All of the above fixes combined allowed me to take an image that was slightly better but still lacking from the result I expected. A few things to note:

Unaligned

Aligned

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