Here at Natvr.org we strive to create new technology. While looking into building duck nesting boxes to help the poor declining Mallards, we though hey, why not put a camera on that! We say that a lot…
Refresh the page for a new image every 45 seconds or so.
Our prototype is coming along nicely, stay tuned on this page for more updates.
How does it work?
The small white box that you see at the top of the tunnel is actually a micro camera. This camera is powered by 3 18650 batteries and a solar panel.
Every 30 seconds it takes a photo and sends it to our website! View the duck nest webcam here.
I’m very lucky to say that we have a small creek on our property that the ducks like to try to nest in, each year we see them come but no nests are ever found. While reading https://nestwatch.org we realized that this is something we’d like to be a part of. What a great chance to test out having live display cameras in nesting sites.
Please get in touch with us if you’d like to chat about building your own camera system, we’d be happy to host the images on our website.
The resolution right now is set to low during testing, later today I’m going to try increasing it to see if it can still send the photos successfully on higher resolutions as well as doing live video. Lots more options coming soon.
Here’s a close up look of the solar panel. It’s a 5v 500mah cell that costs about 10 to 15 dollars.
What you’re seeing above is the power supply 18650 batteries, a solar charge controller and a 5v constant step up. The reason the charge controller is installed at an angle is because sometimes if you want to recharge the batteries with a micro usb cable, its much easier to plug it in with this angle. If its flat on the bottom, its really tricky to get the power cord in there and can snap the plug off of the module.
The charge controller makes sure that the batteries don’t over charge. They have a max voltage of 4.2 volts. The charge controller also makes sure the batteries don’t get lower than 2.85 volts, if it does the power will be cut and the camera will stop working until we get a good day of sun to charge it all back up, it will automatically reconnect the power when this happens.
Since our batteries are going to be anywhere from 2.85 volts up to 4.2 volts, we’re going to need to give our little camera 5v at all times, which is why the step up module is used.
These little cameras are amazing, the esp32-cam is a cheap module that takes photos and can send them over wifi. It can also be a live streaming camera. Our next nest is going to be out in the wild, near walking trails where people can connect to the camera with their phone. The can then view in real time streaming video without the need for an app.
This project is coming up next.
Again please reach out if you have any questions or suggestions!