Pembrokeshire Bird Box Cam

Parts List


I could have opted to use a wired camera but the location of the tree to which the bird box is located meant I would have to drill a hole through the walls of the house.  This was not an option for us.

So after some research on the net I assembled the following and am pleased that the system is working.  I am still gathering data as to how effective the solar panel/battery size is at is so dependent on how much sun we have.

Dated: Feb 2016  

Update Feb 2017:

The 5W solar panel was not really up to keeping the battery charged up long enough and I had to frequently take it out on cloudy days to re-charge. Since purchasing the 5W panel in 2015 you can now get a15W panel for the almost the same price! Due to the increased size of the panel it allowed me to tie wrap to the branches and it is very sturdy. Fingers cross we get some birds to nest again!

Items Bought (Nov 2015):

SpyCameraCCTV Wireless Day and Night Camera and USB adapter - 66.86

Sistema 3.5 Litre Bakery Box - 6.83

Ultra Max 12 volt & 7.2 AmpHr (1/4 Spade male fitting) Battery  - 12.99

5W 12 volt solar panel module - 16.16

12 volt Solar Charger Controller - 6.74

LED LM2596 Voltage Regulator  converter module 4-40V in 1-35V out - 4.95

2 Core Red And Black 12v 12 Volt Cable (5 metres) - 4.79

Halfords Olive Green Camouflage Paint 300 ml - 7.99

Total: 127.31  (including delivery)

Mk 2 Bird box Cam (Feb 2016) 

Due to the battery draining down during the night and little need to view at night I added ...

CellOptik 12Vdc  (On During Day) - 24.08

Waterproof Plug  Pre-wired and makes removing box easier - 3.89

If we need a night view/photo we just shine a torch on the photo electric cell for a couple of minutes


Items already had:

6ft x x 0.063 Aluminium Angle

Rivets, Screws, Bolts, 3M Dual Lock (can also use Velcro)

Double pole single throw (DPST) 4 pin switch

Scotchbrite (maroon or green), 120 grit sandpaper

Rubber wine stopper

500ma Glass fuse and holder

piggy back female connectors (easy to recharge battery if reqd)

Wire cut from old voltage adaptor plug with correct fitting for camera

Couple of balloons

Clear RTV Sealant

Wiring diagram at the end of photos .......

The angle of the solar panel was set at 45 degrees as here in Pembrokeshire that is the suns angle in April (see solar angle calculator here), which is half way through the nesting season.

Balloon contains switch. Daylight sensor - top left.

Mk 2 version with "On During Day" light sensor

Main thing to note is that the solar charger controller shuts off its output at 11.6 volts so you no longer receive the live image.  The Mk2 version now has a light sensor which switches the voltage convertor and camera OFF during darkness to save battery power. If you want to capture an image at night then shine a torch on the light sensor for a couple of minutes.

Contact me at bobrv8"at"gmail"dot"com

Feb 2017 - Birdbox Cam Mk 3 


New Aldi birdbox - previous one rotted after 2 years

2m x 1" aluminium angle - Wickes (same method of attachment as Mk 1)

15W solar panel - eBay