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Saturday, May 18, 2024

This 3D-Printed Roof Mounting System Turns a Raspberry Pi Into an Aurora-Capturing Flight Tracker

Pseudonymous maker “Do_Hard_Things,” hereafter referred to easily as “Issues,” has been engaged on roof-mounting a Raspberry Pi-powered sensor system in a 3D-printed provider — and has recommendation on what you may want to consider in the event you’re doing the identical.

“I made a rooftop mounting system for some completely different [Raspberry] Pi-based sensors,” the maker explains of the challenge, which sees two sensor packages — one for radio and one for seen mild — mounted to the apex of a picket roof. “Needed to resolve some attention-grabbing thermal and moisture points.”

The challenge is pushed by a Raspberry Pi 4 Mannequin B single-board laptop, with the non-compulsory Energy-over-Ethernet (PoE) HAT to make delivering electrical energy less complicated whereas the board is externally mounted. To this, there is a software-defined radio (SDR) dongle that serves to select up Computerized Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) alerts to trace passing plane and a Raspberry Pi HQ Digicam Module linked to an excessive fish-eye lens.

That lens, on an M12 mount, factors immediately upwards — capturing a view of as a lot of the sky as potential. To make that work took just a little pondering: the electronics are housed in a size of ABS tubing, cleverly organized on a 3D-printed shuttle that may slide immediately into the tube. An off-the-shelf end-cap is then modified by drilling it out and including an acrylic dome — permitting the digicam to see out however holding the climate from making its presence felt inside.

On the base of the tube, which is mounted to an antenna bracket, the system’s cables seem. “[I] mounted a cable gland within the backside of a screw-in plug in hopes of holding it watertight,” Issues explains. “It did not work very nicely, as I attempted to get two wires by it on the identical time.”

One other problem was temperature: regardless of being painted a lighter shade than its inventory black, the tube proved efficient at capturing the daylight — hitting over 60°C (140°F) on sunny days. Coupled with moisture gathering contained in the tube, which turned out to be much less well-sealed than anticipated, Issues set about redesigning issues for improved air flow — and to separate the digicam sensor from the single-board laptop.

“Due to Tinkercad, I made a housing solely for the [Raspberry Pi] HQ [Camera Module], tailored to a[n] HDMI cable (Arducam HDMI-CSI adapters), so I might put the [Raspberry] Pi inside the home with good air motion round it.” A 3D-printed weatherproof cable gland and a freshly-printed tube — housing some silica gel to soak up any moisture which will have snuck in throughout meeting — accomplished the construct, which delivered some spectacular pictures of the Northern Lights.

The total write-up is offered in Factor’s Imgur submit.

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