wildlife camera

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Hello group,
I am looking into building an automated wildlife camera.  There are
bunches of commercial ones, but I'd like to do it as hobbyist project.
 What I plan on doing is using a signal from a passive infrared
detector to trigger a cheap digital camera (less than $30 U.S.
dollars) via an Atmel AVR microcontroller.  Some time ago, I can
remember reading a "wildlife camera" article somewhere on the
Internet.  This article would be a good place to start.  But, Google
has failed me.  Does anyone know the location of this article/project?
Thanks for your help,
Matt Meerian

Re: wildlife camera
On 25 Aug, in article

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Look on www.circuitcellar.com there was one such competition winner doing
just that with a wireless link. The micro was mainly dealing with battery

In reality a cheap camera and a cheap PIR detector should do the trick.
Here in the UK it is possible to buy cheap low res cameras that have a
passive infrared detector built in. Look for home CCTV installation

Unless you have some form of battery charging for a remote system or
control of camera pan/scroll/zoom (not available on majority of cheap
cameras) I fail to see what a microcontroller is needed for.

Paul Carpenter        | snipped-for-privacy@pcserv.demon.co.uk
<http://www.pcserv.demon.co.uk/ Main Site
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Re: wildlife camera
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How come you need a microcontroller? The signal from the PIR can drive
the shutter button directly, though you might want to put in a delay
with a 555 or something.

Remember not to buy a PIR sensor with pet immunity :)

Re: wildlife camera

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I found:-

        http://www.glolab.com /

  they do kits for such things. There were quite a few hits with the phrase
"Electronic Camera Trigger" listed on the page:-


Happy browsing.

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Re: wildlife camera

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I did something similar last year when my brother built onto his house.

A waterproof clear plastic box containing:
   modified 1.2 Mp camera
   12V battery + switchmode regulator
   micro with light sensor

I mounted it in the garden where it sat for about 4 months and took one
picture every 5 minutes.

The micro turned the camera on, waited, triggered the shutter, waited
and turned the camera off. But only while it was light.
The camera had to be turned off between pictures because the current
drain is quite high.

I used a PIC micro on a GP board. The switchmode regulator drops 12V DC
down to 6V DC for the camera.

The camera was modified with an opto-couple installed to trigger the
shutter from a simple 3-5V signal from the micro.

Once a week the CF card was swapped out and about every 2-weeks the
battery was swapped out.

The only problem is that the camera is not so good in low light. A
better camera would be great but you have to consider the loss value if
it's stolen.

I've currently got it configured to take one picture every 30 seconds
for 900 pictures which almost fills the CF card) without turning the
camera off until it's finished.

The micro has a trigger input which I plan to use via a simple RF link.
One possible application has a remote vibration sensor to take pictures
of trucks crossing a rural bridge.

Paul Bealing

Re: wildlife camera
The project in circuit cellar was the article I was thinking about!
You're right; putting a microcontroller on a project like this might
be overkill.  It might be as useful as an Internet enabled toaster.
But, a microcontroller does add a considerable amount of flexibility
to the design.
According to the below site, some people have had trouble with their
wildlife cameras being stolen.
A simple home built security system might be a good idea, (or a car
alarm) but nobody else besides the thief would be there to hear it.
Mounting the wildlife camera far off the ground or a big warning
sticker would be a good deterrent.
Matt Meerian

Re: wildlife camera
It is never too late but if 8 years later you still are looking for valuable
wildlife cameras, you will find in the number 4 and 5B of the Wildlife Rescue
Magazine extensive articles about several cameras.


On Wednesday, August 25, 2004 11:30:42 PM UTC+10, Matt Meerian wrote:
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