Starting in october we have major building works going on at the school, and it has been proposed that we setup a webcam to allow people to watch the progress, in a number of ways. We want it to:
Take a picture every 5 minutes all day every day, and store these so we can make a short film at the end showing the whole construction process.
Allow a live view from the classrooms, so local network only.
Not essential, but ideally we'd like it to also upload via ftp a new picture every from minutes to our website, however it must only do this during certain times - i.e when there are no children around. If this isn't possible we'll just upload one manually every few days.
The camera is going to be located outside and, as usual we haven't been given a budget for this, so it has to be as cheap as possible! Any ideas?
I thought someone with a bit more experience might have answered, but as not...
We had a "Y Cam" in a birdbox that came with software that did pretty much everything you want (you'd have to write a script to cover the time factor of what stills you wanted uploaded). With our set up it wasn't possible to upload directly to the site (I had to save to a folder and ftp from there, but automated it with a couple of scripts), but this may be different with yours (I could have done it at home). They now do "outdoor" enclosures for them, but this may make them cost-prohibitive.
That said, take a look at YAWCAM which should work with any IP/web camera. (Though I couldn't get it to see the Y Cam, possibly because it was locked to it's own software?)
Thanks for that, the Yawcam software looks pretty good, I might even get away with an old laptop and a reasonable quality usb webcam mounted in a box to do what I want!
Maplin sell a couple of waterproof enclosures (codes: N09GJ and YM93B Weatherproof Boxes : IP Rated Enclosures : Maplin are the clear lid ones I think). You could pop a camera in one of those. There are a couple of really cheap IP (~£50) network cameras, Edimax do one, but I can't say I'm that familiar with how good it is, but I think it does FTP uploads of images). Otherwise your own suggestion of a USB webcam and laptop combo should do quite nicely.