My wife raises dairy goats.
Yes, she even kisses them.
If I sound matter-of-fact, it’s only that I’m continually reminded of this by the 365 days-a-year bleating of the teeming masses, especially cacophonic around mealtimes (and yes, cacophonic is a word). What makes it relevant here is that something the wife asks me for has been a “goat webcam” so that she can monitor the goat mommas when they are pregnant and about to give birth. She’s gone so far as to throw a good amount of money at “solutions” (I use the word so very mockingly) that didn’t work. In particular I refer to one “wireless” camera that only transmitted an analog picture, very bad sound, and had a range so short, you basically had to be in the room with the transmitter to get a decent picture.
And so I simmered the idea on the back burner for some time to create a goat webcam that streams wirelessly (perhaps even in HD, we shall see) to a live streaming site like USTREAM or Livestream or Justin.TV (like Justin.TV wants to have baby goats being born on their site — but we’ll just see about that, won’t we). Read the rest of this entry »
Oh yes, I think this will do very nicely:
I decided to create an on air light to indicate when we’re broadcasting. While I could have just wired a switch to a light fixture, I wanted to take the idea a step further. Using Ustream’s API, I set up our on air light to turn on automatically when we start broadcasting. This project was just for fun, but learning how to use the XBee Internet Gateway to get the Arduino online wirelessly will come in very handy for future projects.
As some readers may know, I have an alter ego producing and hosting a wine industry talk show that airs on terrestrial radio as well as podcast to the Internet. As part of the evolution we have something of a ghetto USTREAM.tv setup to allow the curious to watch as we tape our episodes (tape on Wednesday, air on Friday). Since we do use the USTREAM thing, having a beacon like this to let us know that the stream is live (and that we should behave ourselves) would be mighty handy.
So I’m putting this one on the list of show projects, to make our production that much better. I do actually have some other show projects, including:
I’m sure that list is really just getting started.