Comments: Setting Up the Pi Zero Wireless Pan-Tilt Camera

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  • There are two important problems that I had with this product:

    1. The pan servo has a annoying buzz when idle. I think this might be an issue of the code given that it has no problem when I tested with an Arduino.
    2. The mount does not appropriately hold the pan servo, when I “sandwiched” the pieces it has a gap of about 3mm, sufficiently for the thing to wobbly itself at each move.
  • Suggestions for improving the assembly instructions for the pan/tilt mechanism:

    Install the single-arm horn into its upper bracket before assembly of the sandwich of the upper servo + brackets. (Once you have the sandwich assembled, you can’t put the horn attachment screws in straight unless you have a tiny right-angle screwdriver. There is no reason not to attach the single horn to its bracket first, while you can put the screws in straight.)

    The instructions mention needing both horn-to-servo screws, but left out the instruction to put in the one of the two - the one through the base, into the lower servo.

    The instructions say to use longest machine screws from the baggy to attach the upper servo to the top platform. The shorter machine screws are the better choice. They are long enough, and don’t create the potential hazard of rubbing against the servo wires that the longer screws do.

    • A little surprised that it has been three months now and the assembly instructions haven’t been updated to include the corrections I suggested.

  • Set up went OK but GitHub kept asking for password (I have one) and nothing made a difference except time. Tried again 2 hours later and all went smoothly. Great directions. Unfortunately, both servos wander. The vertical especially; it slowly creeps up 10 degrees per minute or so. Then when I click the browser down arrow a few times it goes down and then starts creeping up again. When I switch Left/Right for Up/Down, and now they both just randomly wander around. I’ve also tried 2 power supplies (4.8 and 5.3).

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  • I got everything set up flawlessly following the tutorial. Well done.

    I have had it running for about 2 months and just ran into an issue. My pi zerow went dark and wouldn’t reboot. I was receiving this error message on boot screen:

    bcm2835-aus-uart 20215040.seial: could not get clk: -517

    I narrowed the problem down to one of the servos, everything runs fine if the servo is not connected. For now I only have tilt. Will replace servo and try again.

    Any ideas as to what the cause may be?

  • I just got this set up after a few hiccups. My first challenge was that my first 2 USB cables didn’t work properly. However, all of that trouble was pointless, because I already had WiFi and SSH set up on the Pi, so I could have just SSH’d in and bypassed all of the serial monitor setup.

    My second challenge was installing the RPi_Cam_Web_Interface. I received several “404 not found” errors communicating with the repositories, so I had to edit my repository sources in /etc/apt/sources.list.

    It should also be noted that it appears that only PHP 7 is an option for Raspbian Stretch, so be sure to select 7 when setting up the web interface.

  • Hi! Will the camera be able to be viewed over the internet? I have that set up on my Octoprint pi camera for 3d printing when I’m far away, and I would love to buy this kit as a home security cam with pant tilt function.

    • This is entirely up to the user. If you know how to set up the system so that the IP address of the Pi is visible from the internet, the answer is “yes”. We don’t at this time have any plan to update the tutorial to add that functionality.

  • I’ve also hit a snag. I’m having trouble finding the motor shield on USB on my Mac (Sierra 10.12.6). It’s been years since I’ve used the Arduino IDE (1.8.5), and I tried following and installing the FTDI drivers as instructed in the related Sparkfun article, but no luck. I also have an old Arduino Leonardo, and the Arduino IDE isn’t finding it on the serial Ports either, so my guess is that this is a Mac OS FTDI driver issue, but I’m stuck. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

    • I’m a bit confused as to your question since this tutorial/shield is for a Raspberry Pi not an Arduino, and only microcontrollers should be visible to your computer (not shields). But if the IDE can’t find your Arduino board I’d check your USB ports and cables and check the Mac equivalent of the Windows Device Driver. Also the Leonardo does not use FTDI drivers (nor does the Uno). If you are still having problems try emailing our techsupport department and they should be able to help you out.

      • Thanks for the reply. I tried the Arduino Leonardo to test if the problem was the motor shield, my cable, or computer. The Arduino IDE recognized an Arduino Uno. I’ll keep plugging. Thanks!

    • :-( It’s a bad sign that you can’t see the Leonardo, because it doesn’t use the FTDI drivers at all. That suggests that maybe you have a bad cable, or a bad USB port. Try rebooting the machine, swapping the cable, and using a different USB port.

      • It was a cable issue. The first 2 failed. I almost didn’t try a 3rd, but that made the difference.

  • Have hit a brick wall - trying to download the camera software from github and get the message “unable to resolve host name github.com”. I can get to github from my PC but the Raspberry can not. (Yes - I am entering the command correctly) Help!

    • Sounds like maybe you don’t have a good internet connection. Can you use ping (ping github.com) to ensure that you’re reaching the internet correctly, and that github is up and functioning?

      • Back on track. Problem was I did not include the quotes (“) around the SSID and the Password. The wpa_supplicant file was there but without the quotes. Just got the git file from github and hope to finish this evening. Thanks again for the clue to the problem.

      • +I think the problem is with the wpa_supplicant.conf file. I created the file using Notepad on win 7 64bit and did “Save As” with the conf extension. Windows explorer shows the file on the MicroSD card under “boot”. Put the SD in the Raspberry and tried to get the updates and clone the git file from github. Removed the SD, put it back in my PC and the wpa file has disappeared. I think you are correct in that I am not getting to the internet. Thanks for your help.

  • Tabs on back of pan/tilt platform interfere with the ribbon cable. The sticky tape is not thick enough to allow the camera board to seat on the platform. How is this intended to work?

    • See the picture at the bottom of the hardware assembly page. It shows where to put the camera module and how to route the ribbon cable.

  • Hi

    Thanks !

    Yep, that was it :)

    On another note, the pan servo would not work correctly when attached to channel 0. It would continually ‘buzz’ and got very hot. I changed the address in pantilt.py to channel 2 (0x10) and connected the servo to that channel it works OK now.

    Bob

    • Hi, I have the same issue as you, regarding the buzz in the pan servo. I changed the address in pantilt.py both in lines 16-17 and in line 29 (https://github.com/mhord/RPi_PanTilt_Cam/blob/master/pantilt.py) so I can use channel 2, but I got the same problem. Did you do the same as I?

      Thank you.

  • Hi, built the camera kit and camera is working OK but servo’s are not. Used latest Raspbian image, Stretch.

    Version:September 2017 Release date:2017-09-07 Kernel version:4.9

    Error message on start up: bcm2835-aux-uart 20215040.serial: could not get clk: -517

    Also when executing this command

    pi@raspberrypi:~ $ RPi_PanTilt_Cam/pantilt.py & [1] 11720 pi@raspberrypi:~ $ Traceback (most recent call last): File “RPi_PanTilt_Cam/pantilt.py”, line 6, in <module> bus = smbus.SMBus(1) IOError: [Errno 2] No such file or directory ^C [1]+ Exit 1 RPi_PanTilt_Cam/pantilt.py

    Is this something to do with Stretch?

    Any help would be much appreciated!

    Bob

    • Sounds like maybe you didn’t enable the I2C interface with the raspi-config utility. That would result in the “No such file” error. Check out the “Configure the Raspberry Pi” page of the tutorial for more info on how to do this.

    • This is the error I encounter on Stretch. Haven’t been able to work past it.

      Traceback (most recent call last): File “RPi_PanTilt_Cam/pantilt.py”, line 13, in <module> bus.write_byte_data(addr, 0, 0x20) IOError: [Errno 121] Remote I/O error

      • Try opening that file (pantilt.py) and changing “0x20” to “0x40”. I think that’s the problem, an incorrect I2C address.


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