Charly's Birds

Charly's Column – Motion Detection

Article from Issue 236/2020
Author(s):

Charly ran a first-generation Rasp Pi for years in the birdhouse in his garden, but the Rasp Pi eventually fell foul of marauding wasps. Now Charly has replaced it with an RPi3 featuring a NoIR cam and motion detection.

After a swarm of wasps finished off the first-generation Raspberry Pi I had been using in a birdhouse in my garden for the past five years, I knew it was time for a replacement – after all, there have been some massive technical advances in the meantime.

Let's look at my hardware first, and I mean the birdhouse. For my purposes, it has to be one with two chambers: one for the technology, and the other for the birds. Carpentry workshops operated by the prisons in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, provide good quality birdhouses in several kinds of wood [1]. I chose the high-rise model in Figure 1, which has two chambers arranged one above the other.

Figure 1: A comfortable villa for birds: the two-story birdhouse in Charly's garden.

A third generation Raspberry Pi with a Pi NoIR camera provides the livestream. As the name NoIR suggests, this is a model that can handle low light conditions, because it does not have an infrared filter. With a small infrared diode, which the birds do not notice, you have a perfect view of what is happening in the nesting chamber.

While I previously covered motion detection software in the December 2019 issue of Linux Magazine [2], I would like to introduce a software project that integrates all the necessary components and is very easy to install: the RPi Cam Web Interface [3].

As a base, you only need a recent Raspbian installation. You then call

sudo raspi-config

and enable the camera interface there. Next, clone the software with the following command:

$ git clone https://github.com/silvanmelchior/RPi_Cam_Web_Interface

In the newly created directory, call

sudo ./install.sh

sudo is required here, because the installation program has to install additional packages. During the installation, you can influence several parameters. Since the programmer chose sensible default settings, they don't really need to be changed unless you have low-performance hardware, such as a Pi Zero. In that case, you will want to replace the resource-hungry Apache web server with the more frugal lighttpd.

After a reboot, the livestream waits for me to access it on the Raspberry Pi's IP address (Figure 2). At the push of a button (motion detection start), I launched the motion detection setup. Let's hope that there is no swarm of wasps to spoil the fun this time.

Figure 2: The first potential tenants checking out the bird villa.

Infos

  1. Birdhouses: https://www.knastladen.de/Artikelauswahl/Garten-Freizeit/Vogelhaeuser/ [In German]
  2. "Charly's Column – ntpd" by Charly Kühnast, Linux Magazine, issue 229, December 2019, p. 45
  3. RPi Cam Web Interface: https://github.com/silvanmelchior/RPi_Cam_Web_Interface

The Author

Charly Kühnast manages Unix systems in a data center in the Lower Rhine region of Germany. His responsibilities include ensuring the security and availability of firewalls and the DMZ.

Buy this article as PDF

Express-Checkout as PDF
Price $2.95
(incl. VAT)

Buy Linux Magazine

SINGLE ISSUES
 
SUBSCRIPTIONS
 
TABLET & SMARTPHONE APPS
Get it on Google Play

US / Canada

Get it on Google Play

UK / Australia

Related content

  • Charly's Column

    Commercial surveillance systems are expensive and typically involve maintenance agreements. I thought there must be a low-budget alternative.

  • The sys admin's daily grind: traceroute

    Like every admin, Charly regularly uses the classic traceroute tool. If unfriendly digital natives interfere with an ICMP filter, he simply switches to a clever alternative like LFT.

  • The sys admin's daily grind – Yowsup

    Sys admin Charly likes to keep up with the state of his domestic strawberry plants, so he has outsmarted WhatsApp to allow status messages to be sent through the service from a PC or Raspberry Pi.

  • Enlightened libcoap

    Charly did a spot of shopping in a furniture store and came out with a smart lighting system that he has now automated with a Linux PC: Read on for further enlightenment.

  • Charly's Column

    Too many cooks spoil the broth, they say, but it could just as easily be an ingredient that isn’t part of the recipe. If you can’t reduce the number of cooks, you have to take other steps to make your broth more edible.

comments powered by Disqus

Direct Download

Read full article as PDF:

Price $2.95

News