In this post we are going to cover how a remote managed 4G time-lapse system works. Burgess Technologies LTD has been building remote monitored 4G time-lapse cameras systems for over 7 years (at the date of this post 15.10.21). We have welcomed many end user clients, but we mainly build camera systems for trade customers.
Typically, we get enquiries from traditional media service companies and drone operators. Usually our new client is a trade customer who is already providing some kind of video production service to construction sites. They have then been approached by their client to provide a long term time-lapse camera system, one that can be monitored remotely. This falls into 2 x categories, remote management so the 4G outdoor time-lapse installer knows the system is working. Also, a remote web-portal, so the end client of the construction build can monitor progression remotely, from a phone, tablet or computer.
4G & 5G makes the Time-lapse camera remotely accessible.
If you think of our system as 2 main parts, these are the Camera & our Cellular 4G control box. Using a 5G network for the outdoor time-lapse camera is an option. However, the speeds available from a 4G LTE network architecture are more than adequate for image capture of a construction site. The camera is only sending an image every 10 minutes, therefore 4G is absolutely fine.
Within our 4G control box is a high speed M2M cellular router. In our pre-build and configuration service, we set the router up, so it's broadband ready when it gets to site. As soon as the system has power, the 4G outdoor time-lapse camera will start to send images off-site and to your cloud folder. What is a cloud folder ? The cloud folder is a directory on our own cloud hosted server. We set you up FTP access and this allows our customer to access the images remotely. More importantly, it allows you to download all your captured images, so you can make your time-lapse film.
When the system is up and running, there are 3 x main features of remote access
1, REMOTE FILEZILLA FTP ACCESS - As mentioned above, we set you up as an FTP user to your image cloud folder directory. This would consist of an IP address, port number (always 21) and then your username and password. In the folder will be your captured construction site time-lapse camera images. They transmit from the 4G camera over a pre-set schedule. The FTP access is never given to the end client, It's something the time-lapse provider keeps private. Only he/she can download the images and make a time-lapse film.
2, REMOTE WEB-PORTAL - We have created our own built time-lapse image web portal. It's a web browser based interface, it allows you and your client to monitor the construction site progress remotely.
3, REMOTE SUPPORT ACCESS - Outdoor 4G Time Lapse systems are delivered as a true Plug & Play solution. Inside the 4G control box is a pre-configured High speed 4G LTE router. The SIM card we use is called a special VPN SIM. This allows burgess to log into your camera remotely and make any desired changes. After the time-lapse cameras are installed, it can run for months and years with no issues or remote support needed. However, at some stage through the build project, you may want to change the schedule. A milestone day or something happening with significance may need a higher capture rate, to make a short film.
THIS VIDEO BELOW SHOWS AN EXAMPLE OF OUR OWN BUILT MONITORING PORTAL
Remote 4G Outdoor Time Lapse camera options.
Here are Burgess we like to keep things simple, we have spent years creating and perfecting out of the box 4G camera systems. There are several options of remote time-lapse options. They are:
4K 8MP is the minimum resolution we offer for construction site image capture. 8MP at 4K is classed as Ultra HD @ 3840 x 2160 pixels. Although this is our most cost-effective time-lapse camera system, it's still very powerful in its offering.
Our 12MP camera system offers 4 more Mega-Pixels, it captures images in 4000 x 3000 resolution. This camera also has a different type of lens. The first mentioned 4K system has a fixed lens of 105 degrees. The 12MP features a motorized varifocal lens. You can change the horizontal field of view from 35 to 105 degrees.
If your construction application requires a very high megapixel camera, then we can build you a remote monitored DSLR camera system. Typically, we would help deploy a 24MP canon camera. The DSLR camera would be integrated into our usual 4G box. However, it would also feature a mini PC. The above 2 systems use on-board technology, which allows the camera to send images off site. A canon camera does not feature that same technology, this is where the Mini PC comes into use.
Network camera or DSLR for long term time-lapse
Our out of the box 4K 8MP and 4K+ 12MP are network cameras, network (IP cameras) are much less maintenance compared to a canon camera. Network IP cameras are designed and manufactured to be outdoors in harsh environments for a number of years. As we know, a DSLR is not. Using a DSLR often results in more site visits as opposed to deploying a network camera for time-lapse.
How many Megapixels ?
Network cameras are advancing year-on-year. Certain network camera manufacturers have 1000s of staff in Research and Development. Cameras have superior lenses and sensor technology.