first planning stage: bird-house - data-logging and transport - to a server with Raspi or ESP32-Cam-module


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Hello and good evening community,


first planning stage: bird-house - data-logging and transport - to a server with Raspi or ESP32-Cam-Module - 

I have a bird house in the garden - more precisely in a nesting box - and I want to attach a camera there. To date, great tits have always been inside. There are already many Birdhouse (Vogelhaus)-camera projects and many solutions with a Raspi-base or with the ESP32-Cam module: 


The goal: I would like to transfer pictures from the bird house next year (in the hope that someone will move into the house again) to a server. The alternative would be a Pi including a Pi Cam. But in terms of electricity and size, the ESP32 would probably be better.


main goal and approach: The bird-house will be outfitted with some ideas of IOT to track what kind of conditions attracts guests and will tweet you when they are at the door! in fact for the bird watchers, it is hard to know when the birds will be visiting your bird house. The smart birdhouse detects guest bird entries and exits. the set-up: It is also set up to take a photos and furthermore also tweet-notifications when a bird comes near the birdhouse. Sensors measuring the temperature, humidity, ,sounts and light inside/outside the birdhouse to help analyze the optimal condition for attracting guest-birds so that they will want to fly to the house.

i guess that a lot of extras with this electronically monitored bird house is necessary:  This will not only give us a look at what’s going on inside, but provide a source for several other bits of data as well that we can analyze and work with. First off, i want to set up a  camera that should be mounted to the underside of the roof. With this we get a  looks down on the nesting area and features night vision so that we can peek in any time day or night. We should use a WiFi webcam that operates separately from the other electronics. That would be great. With the remainder of the setup - we should be able to harvest temperature and humidity data inside, and besides that also and furthermore temperature outside: Besides that  and a in-and-out count for the doorway provided by an IR transmitter/receiver pair. That one also left a lot to be desired as far as protecting the electronics. 


First of all: in principle I would also trust the current hardware / software version of the ESP32 that it runs stably. And the ESP has a full http stack on it, so you can use the WLAN at the same time.

I wanted to briefly discuss the project with you here at an early stage in order to exchange ideas and possibly add new functions. So only with your ideas, opinions and reviews. If you read, you will find that a lot has not yet been determined and that 
I am still in the "viewing and collecting phase". I have all parts here - there should hardly be a thing that I have to order separately - let's take a look at the wood ..

Important: I do not want to disturb the birds, so I should probably cut off the power supply a bit, so that I can at least restart completely if the system gets stuck. Seen in this way - the battery should have a long line on it, the bird house hangs at a height where you can't get it without a ladder  that's 5 meters high. The question is what the cam can do and how good the camera is. e.g. The basic idea of the project is very simple: in the end,  it is an intelligent webcam mounted in the nesting box with software for detecting movement, in combination with sensors for monitoring the  temperature in the house.

So it should be about the following data:
- take pictures under event control;
- Images may transmit moving images;
- Humidity and Temperature Sensor
- tweet-notifications and sounds
- a in-and-out count for the doorway provided by an IR transmitter/receiver pair.
- Log more data if necessary; What would you log here....!?

Approaches and architectures:
The Raspberry or ESP - they are practically digital observers and allow programs and parameters to be viewed remotely and during operation change and thus flexibly adapt the solution to new framework conditions. With ESP and RasPi you can build everything well and have a highly flexible configurable system,


Tasks and dates; log temperature, take pictures and above all:
Log temperature: using a temperature sensor. several measuring points are planned, simply connect and connect further DS1820 via the serial interface. I think that one has to be careful with the frequency of the (constant) access of the processes - otherwise the maximum number of write accesses for the SD card may have been reached. Mounting the camera: if necessary, connect the camera with a 75 centimeter flat cable and install the ESP / RasPi in a separate housing. This would minimize disruptions to 
the breeding season during maintenance work. GGF could build all of the technology in a drawer under the nesting house. That would also be an idea.


Camera options - a first overview:

A NoIR camera from the Raspberry Pi is possible. (NoIR camera at Amazon)
This camera does not have an infrared filter and, together with infrared lighting, also enables a picture in the dark. It is therefore quite suitable for a nesting box project.
Raspberry Pi Zero W with MotionEyeOs: with the "Motion" software and the Raspberry Pi Cam, you can react to movements in front of the camera.
There is even the MotionEyeOS operating system here, which makes the Raspberry Pi Zero W an easy to configure surveillance camera with motion detection.
Principle: the Motion software detects motion in front of the camera, saves the images and / or videos on the SD card or a network storage device and then carries out user-defined actions. For example, after detecting a movement, uploading the images to the dropbox or an email notification. (more about this here:…ngskamera-mit-motioneyeos)
Raspberry Pi Zero W with MotionEyeOs can also be used e.g. drive with a "finished" infrared camera ( (affiliate link)). I think that the setup required here should not be a mega problem so far and I've heard that it should work well. But I wonder if the potential residents will not be bothered by the visible red light on the camera. If you work with headlights: if you work with "headlights" it can often happen that the light emits in the visible area; But we can also use a Abus type mini IR spotlight with 2 LEDs and a twilight sensor;

Furthermore, one can also use e.g. Use Bright Pi. It is a small circuit board with several infrared LEDs. These can then be controlled via the Raspberry Pi. 
The whole thing works relatively easily via commands: I found a short and very compact guide to this here: Unfortunately, the infrared LEDs have to be turned on themselves the small circuit board to be soldered on. The infrared board in the nesting box is best attached next to the camera, which illuminates the field of view of the mini camera.
Basically, the question arises: is that still acceptable for such a project, or is the NoIR better?
- Infrared LEDs - but they are sometimes bright depending on the product.
- I had already seen cameras with a comparatively strong red glow.

So then the question is whether the birds might not be bothered by it !? I had heard of cameras with an IR solution that only emitted a very weak glow - and the birds had no problem with that.


further camera details and types:
- the "OV2640": According to the product description, OV2640 and OV7670 cameras are supported by the ESP 32,
- the Pi has what it feels like to be hundreds of variants with IR or without ...
- ESP32-CAM WiFi + Bluetooth camera module ESP32-CAM development board WiFi Bluetooth dual module OV2640 2MP
Durable Mini Wireless Dual Core Development Board Camera for Arduino….

Question about data transfer to the resolution and the entire concept: Basically: The question is how the resolution should be:
- OV2640 is quite usable so far, apart from IR now: as a guide: 320x240 MJPEG_Stream the ESP32 manages approx. 20-25 fps, maximum resolution 1600x1200,but then there are only 2-3 fps.
- Of course, this cannot be compared to a RasPi-Cam;
- RasPi Zero W + RasPi-Cam is also relatively small and the power consumption is of course much higher, but FullHD with 30fps is possible. If the WLAN plays along at the location.

Basically, in my opinion, it is also a classic Pi application. this would require the possibility of a permanent power supply - if this is guaranteed then I could use a Pi Zero. But then the data transfer is not yet solved or?


what bout more sensors: 
i want to add many sensors: The sensors schould find themselves nestled in plastic enclosures, although some work needs to be done to ensure that the temperature and humidity sensors. What about this setup?!

Questions about DATA RATES:
- how about a reduction to 1-3 frames per minute? What about:
- in total - if you extrapolate that: That would be about 3000 pictures a day,
- if I convert it afterwards on an external device with 30fps that would be 100 seconds a day,
that would result in a cool video from hatching to departure ...
But the data-rates: they depends very much on the ideas and the basic-concepts. Color takes up more space than grayscale. 
Then weu have to weigh up what we prefer for a given bandwidth: more compression or lower resolution. 
And who will calculate the images for the desired resolution? Is the CPU sufficient for this or are there any dropouts?

Additional idea: Maybe the first project should be equipped with a motion detection, which will send me a mail if something settles in, what do you think about the thoughts
 of data transmission - about the basic architectural ideas - and so on.
- a movement notification that sends a mail if something nests,
- and this mail can then be routed to several addresses
- or to several e-mail addresses -
- If necessary, we could also set it to a gateway that then transfers the data via Whatsapp
- If we want continuous operation, a watchdog is not bad.

So much for the collection of ideas: So now only with your ideas, opinions and reviews. If we read, we will find that a lot has not yet been determined and that I 
am still in the "viewing and collecting phase". I have all parts here - there should hardly be a thing that I have to order separately - let's take a look at the wood

love to jear  from you


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