XBee-compatible cameras?

In a recent post, edric lim mentions the cmucam series of cameras. It’s set me wondering what other cameras people might have found useful when attached to an XBee.

My application is undemanding - I want to read my gas meter remotely, so I want to install a camera in front of it with an XBee to transmit pictures back to a host on demand. I don’t expect to need more than one image every ten minutes, and most of the time much less than that. About the only demanding part would be the need to focus at a short distance.

The cmucam looks good but pricey, and I’d need to set up illumination for night-time pictures (the meter is in the garage).

Does anyone have any ideas for a reasonably-priced solution?


Cameras aren’t my specialty but I have some thoughts for you regarding the XBee (zigbee) stuff.

You’d want to use 802.15.4 firmware, as opposed to DigiMesh, ZB, or ZNet. 802.15.4 has low overhead compared to the other 3; no node discovery, route discovery, etc. Although, you’ll need to fine tune it. The product manual will have details:

Specifically, you’ll want to make sure you’re not using encryption or sleep settings. You might also want to set a unique scan channel (SC) , Pan ID (ID), and destination high/low values (DH and DL). There are likely other settings that will reduce transmission times. You’ll need to look through the manual.

You will also need to use the lowest settings on your camera that you can (320x200 at 8 or 16 bits). I’d be surprised if you get anything better than 5 frames per second.