Bird feeder filmed by a Raspberry Pi and my camera

once is not custom, today, I will defer to Guillaume to talk about her bird feeder that is filmed by a Raspberry Pi powered by POE with a motion detection to take pictures:
is a project for a long time, I first started with a hack NSLU2 (little NAS for hackable Linux) with a simple webcam of Interior in USB , and yarn needle, I added the Poe (Power Over Ethernet), an ignition / extinction using an Arduino based on the time of sunrise and sunset the Sun, a motion detection for photos only at the right time… But after several years of good and loyal service, I was finally able to change the whole by a Raspberry Pi with my webcam.

the objectives of this project are the following:

  • use hardware low-cost

  • make sure the solution is the most WAF possible 😉

  • whether it is fun to make!

this first article will introduce the material that I used to put out my Raspberry Pi: starting with the choice of the camera, then my experiences with the water of the webcam, the shelter used to put all out and implementing POE passive.

the model of camera I use is the standard accompanying Raspberry Pi with the peculiarity still it is equipped with a 21mm tested in lens this ticket . This type of camera has the particularity of having a goal with a compatible screw CCTV (surveillance camera) no which offers a wide range of interchangeable lens and therefore be able to change it if necessary.

Webcam du Pi avec un objectif interchangeable de 22 mm

Webcam of the Pi with a 22 mm interchangeable lens

my initial idea is to remove the IP camera to put it in a small box near the feeder. The slick connecting the camera to the Raspberry is small (15 cm) and rigid and the longest tablecloths are 30 cm Max

Nappe de la camera du Raspberry

tablecloth of the camera of the Raspberry

so I must connect the webcam and the Pi with a longer cable. Never mind, I will make me one! I used a sheet of flexible cable of 2 m long walk from 1.27 mm type DIP.

Nappe de 2m au pas de 1.27 mm

water of 2 m walk from 1.27 mm

the surface of origin is very thin, 0.7 mm FFC type, I used FFC ⇔ DIP adapters on which I’ll weld one side the tablecloth and the other adapter. The FFC connector must be soldered onto the adapter.

Connecteur FFC et adaptateur DIP

connector FFC and DIP adapter

after a few welds, this is the first assembled connector:

connector soldered

editing is to connect the webcam with its tablecloth of origin to the adapter itself connected long-term water and then iron on the adapter to plug into the Raspberry Pi.
I was afraid that the length of cable has image stability problems, but this isn’t the case. The camera is well recognized and the transmitted images are perfect.

connector side camera

Raspberry Pi connecté

Raspberry connected Pi

Webcam du Raspberry Pi dans une boite électrique

Webcam of the Raspberry Pi in an electrical box

I assembled all in a waterproof electrical box and I cut the cover to House an opening with a transparent plexiglas cover plate.
I then wanted to reduce the width of the water by separating the strands 4 and in the sense of the length but the webcam syncs more :'(I think that there is now too much electromagnetic interference; a hypothesis would be that the usual alternation of a wire circulating a positive signal with its neighbor which puts the opposite signal is more preserved. This has the consequence that the received signal is not as ‘clean’ and the webcam won. Back to square one: ‘(

Pour pallier à cet échec, j’ai décidé de tout mettre dans une même boîte: Raspberry + webcam.) I found a small bird House of decoration found in a large area of gardening. Adapting it, I did everything inside.

Maison d'oiseau

Bird House

I’ve arranged a window on the Central face to accommodate the webcam of the Raspberry pi using my Dremel. The webcam is attached with countersunk screws and small spacers. With a piece of plexiglas from a box of chocolate, I made a small window placed in front of the webcam to close the box – 8). The small front door was closed using a background wood box of Camembert cheese cut to the right size.

I also painted the Bird House to withstand the elements.

Maison d'oiseau convertie en caméra de surveillance

Bird House converted into surveillance camera

to save space in the small bird House, I do not use the Micro – the Raspberry USB power connector. “‘” Instead, I use the connectors’ 4 ‘ and ‘ 6 ‘ port GPIO to power it with a home made connector.

Brochage du port GPIO

the GPIO port pinout

the Raspberry integrates a connected voltage regulator right after the Micro-USB port. By feeding it directly through the GPIO port, this level of regulation is by-past. Therefore be very vigilant on the voltage applied on pine trees to the risk of toasting.

the feeder will be placed in the garden and the length of the cable between the Raspberry and the server is 35 m. I don’t want to bring the 220 v in the middle of the garden and so I looked how implement the passive Power Over Ethernet. To get there is POE adapters from online auction sites: on the one hand, there is the power + input and the other network transport Ethernet cable. The twin brother of the adapter is found on the other side and separates the power of data.

Connecteur POE passif

connector POE liabilities

to work, to know about a cable Ethernet, 100 Mbits only 2 pairs on the 4 are used. Many hacks are possible: POE, double Ethernet

here is a diagram of the final assembly:

POE on the Raspberry Pi

to end the suffering of the reader, I jump the steps of calculations of resistance of a cable according to its diameter to get to the final formula with :

  • resistivity:

  • diameter:

  • length:

the resistance of the driver is to:

Calcul de la résistance d'un cable

calculation of the resistance of a cable

Pi is given to consume about 5 W minimum, is 1A with its supply of 5 V.
so the voltage drop is at a minimum (Ohm’s law) : 3.7 * 1 = 3.7 V. By feeding it directly with my transformer at the end of the cable, it will receive only 5 – 3.7 = 1.3 V, it does not work with so little power. Therefore, a higher input voltage.

so I will use a dedicated power supply. The Pi regularly consuming more than 1 has, you must use a consistent diet, those usually sold with high-tech devices are too fair.

I finally opted for a multi voltage 24W AC adapter around and I selected a voltage of 12V

for 5 V at the level of the Raspberry Pi, several solutions are possible, including including the use of a regulator of type LM7805 . These are very simple to implement but transform into heat voltage drop and thus become very hot.

the voltage switching regulators are also common. Rather than apply a variable resistance as the LM7805, they chop the current with a frequency of 150 kHz about by varying the size of the slots up and down then the re – linéarisent so that the average output voltage is stable. This is much more effective and very little heat. Many ready-made fixtures are available on the websites of auctions online at a low cost.



Thus, by putting this regulator at the end of cable between the POE Adapter and the Raspberry Pi, I can then supply it with 5V.

of this regulator are set using a potentiometer, initially empty and then plugging the Pi in order to load power.

Réglage de la tension : de la théorie à la pratique

the tension adjustment: from theory to practice

then yapluka do final Assembly, fix everything near the feeder, and set the goal of the webcam to get a clear image.

the hardest has been to do everything inside without damaging the material: the Raspberry, the POE, the webcam adapter and the power regulator.

Raspberry Pi dans sa petite maison

Raspberry Pi in her little house

the attentive reader will have noticed that I have described nothing compared to the tightness of the whole: I indeed did nothing special, the roof of the feeder protects well water and does not prevent air circulation in order to avoid the phenomena of condensation. It is now more than a year overall is outside of all time and I have no malfunction to report!

I set them on top of a claustrat with a big square. (

Gros plan sur la maison d'oiseau avec le Raspberry Pi

close-up of the Bird House with the Raspberry Pi

Vue de l'ensemble : webcam avec le Raspberry pi et la mangeoire

view of the whole: webcam with the Raspberry pi and the feeder

all finished is rather clean and the WAF is a very acceptable level.).

here are some pictures taken by the webcam during last winter:

doves. (Click to enlarge)

sparrows (click to enlarge).

pie (click to enlarge).

this is the 2 e winter that my Raspberry Pi going on out there and I have not had a problem of moisture or other. The birds feast on seeds that I drop and does the joy of the camera that captures all of these moments.

the somewhat exotic material used here comes from auction sites online that make the joy of hackers.

in a second article, I would describe the software implementation to implement the video stream on the local network, motion detection and an ignition / extinction of the Raspberry Pi in function of the time of sunrise and sunset using an Arduino.

you can find this article and many others on my site:


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