The Raspberry Pi HQ camera goes live in our Otter Box
BUT FIRST HERE IS SOME IMPORTANT INFORMATION if you are thinking of using a trail camera: The UK Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 (Section 5 Sub section 9.4) gives protection to certain animals (otter included) from intentional disturbance whilst occupying a structure or place used for shelter or protection. Please use your cameras with discretion.
Somewhere, on a quiet river bank in the Welsh uplands, sits a comfortable hide-out (if you're 4 feet long and have short legs) offering a free day's sleep for a wet and often weary passing otter as well as many other inquisitive visitors.
The camera iwaits passively - not doing much for most of the time except monitoring the inside of the housing just in case a someone drops by and there is a change of temperature.
Then - things swing into action with lightening speed - a panel of INFRA RED lights is triggered and the Raspberry Pi computer records the details of what is there and transfers the resulting file to a remote USB drive. It logs the date and time plus some extra data we are curious about such as temperature and the river level.
This otter refuge has been in place for a while now and although its entrances are below water level, it is hidden well above the "normal" flood level of the river. Well - that was the situation until Storm Dennis passed by .....
The visiting weasel did get out in time!
All destroyed so it had to be completly refitted - that's where the new Raspberry Pi HQ camera came in
The clip below was taken by our original otter box camera before the flood, the one now sadly commited to the recycling bin. However, this was a shrew taking a look around.
The older camera was also a Raspberry Pi - a strange name I can hear you thinking so this is who they are - from the Raspberry Pi Foundation website
"The Raspberry Pi Foundation is a UK-based charity that works to put the power of computing and digital making into the hands of people all over the world. We do this so that more people are able to harness the power of computing and digital technologies for work, to solve problems that matter to them and to express themselves creatively"
For me , the Raspberry Pi was a brillient solution to a long-standing problem - a small computer that can be programmed by the owner using a user friendly computer language called "python". A range of dedicated cameras is available and these connect to the computer board via a short ribbon like cable. So, amongst the other myriad of uses you can build your own trail camera system and tweak it to suit your own specific needs - and you can learn about computer programming at the same time.
The latest camera on the block is called the Pi HQ and it is High Quality. Unlike its predecessors it takes industrial standard "C mount" lenses and there is a bewildering range of them to choose from.
Here's one of the first clips from the new system in the otter box - this time a Water Shrew!
The difference in quality is immediately obvious.
this article is NOT sponsered by any third parties (in fact nobody has even offered)
Raspberry Pi computers are hard to find at the moment due to the world-wide shortage of microprocessor chips. As is usual these days - beware of imitations and /or people trying to rip you off
To follow soon - Part 2 with more brief glimpes from the Otter Box Archive
Thanks for reading and please feel welcome to comment or contact us.