Pembrokeshire Bird Box Cam
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
Wireless Day and Night Camera and USB adapter - £66.86
3.5 Litre Bakery Box - £6.83
Max 12 volt & 7.2 AmpHr (1/4” Spade male fitting) Battery
12 volt solar panel module - £16.16
volt Solar Charger Controller - £6.74
LM2596 Voltage Regulator converter
module 4-40V in 1-35V out - £4.95
Core Red And Black 12v 12 Volt Cable (5 metres) - £4.79
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 ¾” x ¾” 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
¼” 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