Introducing the Biolapse LT (Long Term)
The LT is the result of 5 years of of building long term timelapse enclosures. It started with the original Watchman which were built for the BBC while filming Green Planet. The producers were looking for low cost long term systems that could be deployed in harsh remote envionments.
The first versions were a bit rough, however they worked well. Over the years anytime I found an issue with the system in design or program, it has been retooled and reworked into the current Biolapse LT.
Large internal volume, careful design, and placement of components has allowed the BiolapseLT to easily house larger professional DSLR’s and lenses. Any DSLR without a built in grip should fit without problem, as well as mirrorless cameras, the only requirement being the tripod 1/4-20 threads need to line up with the center of the lens. The barrel is capable of handling wider lenses up to 4 inches in diameter with a total front lens to back of camera length up to 7 inches, giving room to higher quality wide aperture lenses.
The interior also utilizes a panel organization system to prevent cables from getting snagged and to ensure everything stays in its place. It allows you to view through the camera while it is being installed, and if needed the camera mount and camera can both be easily removed.
Efficient low power design
The power efficient electronics paired with the Power Save mode result in a very low power consumption system. A fully charged battery can last up to 7 days of shooting every 30 minutes for 12 hours a day with no power input. However your results may vary depending on camera, shooting schedule, and ambient temperatures. The Power Save mode only turns the camera on before it needs to take an image to reduce power draw.
Another benefit of the low power design is the 25W solar panel is more than enough to keep it charged and running even in cloudy conditions or during winter months with less light. Unlike other systems where the panel must be set with care to be in optimal angle, the BiolapseLT attached will normally work fine with no extra consideration, however the angle is adjustable with the powder coated steel brackets on the top.
The first layer of defense is the placement of the solar panel which protects the system from the elements and keeps the rain off the lens. Next I use a ip67 weather proof plastic case, all holes in the case have been sealed with waterproofing washers. The Lens barrel has a flanged inner and outer bracket that prevents water from making it through the front lens or the connection to the box, resulting in a system capable of staying dry in the harshest environments.
To combat corrosion effects, not only were all the steel brackets plasma cut, thoroughly cleaned, and then powder coated to provide an excellent resistance, but all the nuts and bolts are made from 316 stainless steel for maximum corrosion resistance. The rest of the system is aluminum and quality plastic and will easily last for many many years.
The Lens barrel is 3d printed with UV resistant PETG with a .6mm nozzle, 7 walls and 70% infill and weighs about a pound. It is a very tough lens barrel and more than capable of handling anything mother nature throws at it.
Pan Tilt Mounting system.
Included is a mounting solution, with a powder coated aluminum L bracket with drill holes that can also be attached to poles via cable clamps. The attaching Pan Tilt system once tightened will lock in place extremely tightly to prevent the camera from dropping over time. All the steel parts are Also powder coated to protect them from the elements along with 316 stainless steel hardware.
Flip the tilt bracket over and there is a standard swiss arca style plate for connection to compatible tripods.
The included 25 watt solar panel is more than enough to power this system even in less than ideal conditions, no special consideration for solar angle is normally needed, this gives a weatherproofing advantage as it acts as a rain cover. However, if needed the panel is on adjustable brackets for up a 90 degree tilt. The solar panel plugs into the BiolapseLT via high quality SF waterproof metal connector.
In order to prevent any sort of accident, there is not “start” button on this system. Its default state is ON. As long as things are plugged in correctly it begins to work. If the power is eventually drained by a month of snow on the panel, as soon as those spring temperatures melt the snow it will immediately resume shooting with no action needed.
Simple, easy to use scheduling system
The Biolapse LT sports a very simple and easy to use shooting schedule system. By telling it simply when to start and to end, it will shoot accordingly. This allows you to shoot only during the times you want to prevent unwanted images cluttering up the memory card. No unnecessary complexity.