Public Lab Research note

Eye-Fi + BAP + Solar install = Win?

by natevw | | 2,571 views | 10 comments |

Read more:

What I want to do

Broadcast our progress as my dad and I install solar PV panels on my roof, using the balloon kit for a great perspective.

My attempt and results

So far it's going great :-) should offer a live feed of our progress over the next few days. Right now it's updating every 10s since I was testing range, but when this battery runs out I'll likely bump it to a 1m/5m interval or so. Source code is at

Questions and next steps

There's a lot of hops, so the live feed isn't always quite as reliable as I'd like. The biggest issue is probably battery life. I'm using which seems to help, but I suspect the Eye-Fi is a significant additional drain, especially at the edge of WiFi connectivity.



This is the coolest thing ever! It's so exciting to see the image moving. How long do you think the balloon will stay up?

Is this a question? Click here to post it to the Questions page.

Oh, one thing -- could you change the Balloon Mapping kit link to:


Thanks @warren! Fixed my store link — you might want to update the one at then, too?

The camera seems to last around 3h. Hoping to keep the system rolling throughout the install, which will take a couple of days at least. Today's probably the most boring, just inventory and chalking lines and whatnot.

Is this a question? Click here to post it to the Questions page.

OMG i have been wondering for months where people are finding that link!!!

Great progress today, Nate. I just watched the 15th panel go up. Excellent broadcasting.

Wow, it got dark fast, but it looks like you got all 20 of them in place. Nice work.

The balloon was just launched this morning. All 20 panels were installed yesterday. Well done. Update: I counted wrong; only 19 went up yesterday.

Thanks all! Yesterday was the fun day for watching, today's work is mostly in the attic and garage but I've got the balloon up anyway — got a garage sale having a balloon overtop can't hurt ;-) There's one more solar panel that will cover a hookup box you can watch for.

Awesome, they have a customer for the garage sale.

Login to comment.

Public Lab is open for anyone and will always be free. By signing up you'll join a diverse group of community researchers and tap into a lot of grassroots expertise.

Sign up