|Robin box in the undergrowth|
The camera setup is designed to be generic so that I can remove it and swop it into other boxes designed with similar dimensions, in that way I can maximise the number of boxes, while not having to equip every one with a camera.
There is a ledge at the top that holds the camera section. This consists of a Raspberry pi Zero-W, an 8 megapixel v2 'Pi-Noir' camera (sensitive to IR as well as visible light). Underneath are 4x each of white and IR LEDs for illumination. Power is via a 12v feed from the WAP-box, dropped to 5v via a recom r-78b5.0 1.5 switching regulator. LEDs are powered form the same 5v source, and switched via a transistor array (ULN2003AN), on the R side of the picture below. This allows low, medium and high setting on each of the IR and visible light, white LEDs. The unoccupied left side slot is wired for a L293DNE to switch an IR-cut filter (to be added at some point later, for a how-to see this post).
The white LEDs are wired in parallel with a 50ohm resistor for each LED. The IR ones are also in parallel, but with no extra resistors.
The circuitry is arranged on a commercial prototyping board designed with the same dimensions as the Pi zero-W. The board layout is as follows:
|Protoboard layout, same footprint as Pi Zero/W|
As with most of my other boxes, video capture is via motion capture software pikrellcam with captured footage/images saved to a mounted network drive (i.e. off the box).
This clip shows the box in situ cycling through various illumination settings:
A couple of observations from the transition from 'testing to the real world...'
Pi Zero-W wifi reception once closed into a wooden box drops off somewhat. Running the following command gives some idea of reception levels: iwconfig wlan0 | grep -i --color quality
Output is: Link Quality=44/70 Signal level=-66 dBm
The impact of this is that I cant set PikrellCam to record video captures direct to the network drive, as it all keels over. Handily there is an archive option, so I just need to keep an eye on it and archive to the network when need be. I also dropped the quality of the live stream which seems to have stabilised it. Just need some visitors now....