3-weeks of hourly pictures in a time-lapse at Kampung Pasir Gajah, Kemaman

Written by Adrian Wong

19 May 2014

Watch this 1-min video:

Link on YouTube: Timelapse River Terrapin Hatchery, Kampung Pasir Gajah Kemaman


Kampung Pasir Gajah, Kemaman has been our pilot site for the deployment of a credit card-sized computer, the Raspberry Pi, Pi camera and a Celcom 3G data package, all bundled into an off-shelf AEON Jusco Lock N’ Lock box (for weather-proofing). The hardware was an extension to our successful river terrapin tracking project that we experimented in February/March this year (more on this later). Through the project, we managed to track a post-nesting female for 8 days until the batteries ran out. We’ve a video flyby in Google Earth but due to the sensitivity of our critically endangered friends, we will not post their coordinates—our apologies, but it’s all in good order to protect our fellow river terrapins.

Abigail called home to Jarvis (now renamed to codename: Applejack—our Raspberry Pi setup) daily, every hour with coordinates. So, to further maximise the usages of Applejack, we decided to deploy it at our terrapin hatchery—as an alpha test, as a run up to next year’s eggs and to raise funds by selling raffle tickets at RM3/USD$1 each to guess when the eggs would hatch and from which nest :)

As for the time-lapse build. The Raspberry Pi computer was retrofitted, and programming codes were embedded into the SD card to email pictures, 1MB-1.5MB each (due to our limited Celcom3G 3GB data package) every hour, on the hour except midnight as that’s when we cold boot it. Further enhancements would include a SMS maintenance system to remotely login/call home (to do an SMS back door to activate a reverse VPN tunnelling as mobile data providers serve dynamic IP addresses), upload to Facebook directly to run the raffles campaign (photo updates for donors) and even do “user-request for live pic on demand” (Gotta see whether Celcom or YTL would like to sponsor some data first!).

Would like to help and don’t know how?

We now have more than 230 river terrapin hatchlings! Help us raise them for 5-6 months, by symbolically adopting them! Only RM35 per terrapin. More details HERE!

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