JayThree TimeLapse CAMERA

Using It You Can Create Stunning Videos!

Hi, we’re back, baby!

JayThree TimeLapse CAMERA brought to life using a @Seeed Grove_CAM and @Sparkfun Pro_Micro. Welcome!

Ardu_Serie #36 — J3TLC Project!
Presenting The J3TLC Project!

Time Lapse is a fast playback of slow processes that aren’t usually noticeable to the eye.

Summary: Want to build a really cool camera and take time lapse photos? Keep Reading on :)!

JayThree TimeLapse CAMERA is new on the market! it’s being born now!

Photo Lapse is perfect for shooting

  • study of the behavior of animals — (biological study);
  • the physical form changes, weight loss/gain muscle mass — (Fitness study);
  • the building — (architectural study);
  • plant growth, root, fertilizer penetration — (agronomic studies, etc.).
  • You name it…

A Tour for The Project

Prelude: Minimal Viable Prototype Working!

Construction: Step by Step

1- Material needed

1 x Arduino UNO
1 x
Arduino Pro Micro - 5V/16MHZ
1 x
Grove — Serial Camera Kit
1 x
LC Studio SD card breakout board
1 x
Small Toggle Switch Toy DIY
2 x
LED 3 mm (Red & Green)
1 x
9V Battery Clip
* x
PRT-00115 Headers Female
1 x
Soldering Station
1 x
PCB Board
1 x
Black Box
1 x
9 V Batt
1 x
Wire Electric wire 30 gauge
1 x 9V Battery Clip Connector
1 x SPST Toggle Switch
1 x SD_Disk 2GB SD Card


2-Understanding Datasheets & Docs

CJ-OV528 Protocol (.pdf)

Sparkfun Arduino Pro-Mini Docs


3-Software — Firmware (Visit my GitHub)






_36_Grove_Serial_TimeLapseCAM_06 (Final one)

4-Schematics & Codes:

I try to go step by step. I work with Arduino progressively. Here are the codes I used to get to the end result. The camera is the most sophisticated code. You have to understand the bitwise operation and study it calmly … no more … the rest is highly auto-explanatory codes:)


2-Arduino UNO and SDcard interaction(HARD_V1);

3-Arduino UNO and SDcard and RTC interaction(HARD_V2);

4-All Components together (HARD_V3)

Codes Details


From Exploring Arduino — Code Listing 13–3: SD Reading and Writing with an RTC.


This code initializes SDCARD, writes to the card and then reads it. 
 The written LOG.CSV file will contain ‘Test SDCard OK’ lines. 
 Leave the file on the card because the next code will read it.
 This example shows how to log data from analog sensors to an SD card using the SD library.


Testing opening file: log.csv (it must be on the disk — run Flavor I)
 This example shows how to read once a file from the SD card using the
 SD library and send it over the serial port. It does not use loop()!


This code simulates a sensor storing information in the SDCard in certain Format <time, message> ex: <25309, Hello There!> at about each 5s frequency.


This code storage RTC data in the SDCard at the frequency established in the variable ‘refresh_rate’; The format: <timestamp, message> ex: <2017/10/12,21:4:59, Hello There!>. Want another Refresh Rate? PLEASE WRITE XXXX Refresh Rate in the first line of the LOG.CSV (ex: 5000) file so Reading Command File will parse this integer and make the Card Ready to Logging. If the SDCard is virgin it will create a LOG.CSV and refresh at 5 ms the RTC timestamp. Fast Format the SDCard Disk after saving file for your CPU — you’ll get a better result! **********Be careful when inserting the disk into the module — ensure that the card lock switch does not close the disk for reading or writing. I put a tape to hold the key ;)**********


This code initializes the SDCard, then initializes the camera, sets it up and takes pictures according to the button pressing on the A5 port. Photos are saved in SDCard. Each photo has about 30–50 Bytes and if the card has 1.85 GB, in these 30.000 photos of these sizes can be saved in this card.


This is the first draw for my Camera Time Lapse Project — Don’t leave me alone, Please!!! help us to get it better!!!

(Hardware: See intro schema above:)


  • To test the led, use Lithium Batt Cell CR2031 (3v);
  • To avoid short circuit using a custom electronic board. Let’s make one for this project;
  • I bought from China a micro Arduino, but the quality is low. Burned the board right in the middle of the project:(. Choose more robust stores such as SparkFun Electronics, Adafruit or Seeed Studio for these minis and micros Arduinos components;
  • Some details that deserve your full attention: the connection of the momentary button should be done with caution unless you short circuit your Arduino;
  • Another detail key concern is about the wire connections of the circuit. Carefully follow the above schematic;
  • For many times I had to test the continuity of the tracks with a multimeter and resolder the faulty parts. Prepare yourself mentally for soldering ... a good bench and a prof soldering station with temperature control is a must. I used a very simple tool and to control the temperature I had to turn the soldering on and off :\ You waste time waiting for the right point and you can lose your patience… I will buy a soldering station with more responsibility!
  • Have a professional bench for soldering. I used the home’s kitchen and my wife does not like at all…
  • When trying to put the SF Arduino Pro Micro in the box the USB connection broke:\ Now I can not load it with a new code. I used female connectors and I can trade for a brand new one :)
  • I have to greatly improve my soldering technique :|Use safety caps, please! By carelessness, I had some burns on my hands and burned some wire’s plastic…it stinks :/
  • In order not to cause a short circuit I used the drill bit to break the tracks by opening some shallow holes. See photos on my GoogleDrive(c). The ideal is a board with a high-quality FR-4 double sided and through-hole plated prototyping perfboards like this one…
  • For several times when placing the board in the box, the connections were broken … you must have a lot of patience … I used hot glue to isolate the wiring and/or fix the components inside black box :b
  • Always have two parts of each component at hand. Avoid long waiting for the postman …
  • Especially have a lot of fun! The yummy is the process … we’re not even talked about when your prototype works…it’s a wonderful feeling :D
  • and if it does not work, much will be learned \o/…

I am waiting for a product PCB by mail and as soon as possible, I’ll publish the integrated circuit board. Be tunned!

Finally…Here it is:

Front side 1
Backside 2. ugly? but functional:)

Wanna make your own prototype?

Follow these slides. I used it myself. It Works very well!

Soldering Guidance J3TLC v1.0 PCB.

There you have it!

Download All Files For This Project

Videos links:

Presenting     : https://youtu.be/xKKdBASA1wI Duration: 0:52 vid: 01
Soldering Guide: https://youtu.be/v34RUw2zU8E Duration: 4:00 vid: 02
Initial Testing: https://youtu.be/micVEoKVMIM Duration: 1:54 vid: 03
Final testing : https://youtu.be/ijD78AnUtDk Duration: 4:44 vid: 04
InTheAfternoon : https://youtu.be/M8Z4J7vcboE Duration: 0:09 vid: 05
SunsetWideAngle: https://youtu.be/DNkTlXtqQ_I Duration: 0:17 vid: 06
InTheMorning : https://youtu.be/bRO4C65nyAw Duration: 0:17 vid 07

Camera Specifications:

Input Voltage: 5V Pixel: 300,000 Resolution: 640480, 320240, 160*120 Uart Baud Rate: 9600~115200 Communication: RS485 and RS232 Photo JPEG compression, high, medium and low grades Optional AGC Auto Exposure Event Control Automatic White Balance Control Focus adjustable

References & Credits:

JR TimeLapse Cam Project!


Wiki from Grove — Serial Camera Kit

Bitbucket Repo

Anime Cube :-)
Taking pictures: See videos in the link above

— First published Oct 2017 by J3, The Arduino Hobbyist —

— Edited w/ Grammarly Oct 2018…so many typos; Help me improve the text!