Images seem fine now - user issue?
Board is wider than than the lifecam - may cause issues mounting it. I doubt it will fit in tunnel climate vents. Have stripped camera body and lens, heavy duty USB cable wired, with cables for external power to drive IR LEDS. The 'external power' will drive the camera and lights from the 12v, rather than taking power from the USB socket - which is fused at approx 100mA. The micro USB that drives the RPi will also come off this regulator.
I have wired the RPi and and USB camera to a 5v reg and 12v supply... and will see how long it stays up. 352x288 at 2 fps. I dropped the resolution again - after dropping the swapfile it crashed on a motion event this evening.
Problems with maintaining a swapfile;
Rapid file swapping on an SD card is going to have a negative effect on it's lifespan. However, a USB hard disk is going to use more power - potentially about 600ma from what little research I have done - so i moderate increase in performance is going to carry hefty price in additional battery power.
Camera still up, but it's 00:47. Time for bed.
Camera still going 14:07
Brightness and colour have been doing some strange things. The picture seems to have stayed green during daylight, and the brightness has been steadily ramping up. Will swap back to Lifecam when I get a chance and see what that is does over 24hrs.