Monday, February 11, 2008

NestCam

I finally got my NestCam up and running! Several days ago I installed the teeny tiny camera into the nest box. Today I finished tacking up and trying to hide the cable around the yard and house. It's not too ugly, but I could definitely work on hiding it better later in the year when it's nicer to be outside. The worst of it was fighting my way through a pretty thick jasmine vine. I went to BuyMore and bought a nifty little adapter which takes the ordinary A/V input from the camera and immediately digitizes it. If I want, I can let the capture go on for 16 hours! I figure once I start seeing activity around the nest, I'll turn it on in the days, and then trim out the good parts at night. I can't wait!

I did a little test run of the camera. For some reason the audio isn't working yet on my NestCam, but I have some ideas to try. Meanwhile, here's my first bird. I used SloMo because the birdie moved too fast.

video
For those of you interested in maybe doing this yourself, here's the equipment so far:
  • Bird house
  • Night Owl Spy Cam, available from many sites. The cam comes with 100 feet of cable, and you can buy 100 ft extensions. You can also buy a cam already installed in a birdhouse. The house looks pretty big, and the hole looks big enough for you to get sparrows and the like in the house. You might want to put a smaller hole covering on the front (and no perch!), if you want small birds like chickadees or wrens.
  • Dazzle DVD recorder. This has a regular video input and an S-Video input. It also has L and R Audio inputs. I'm thinking this may be why I have no sound, since the bird cam only has one audio jack. I tried each input, but no sound. Maybe they don't work at all if there isn't something plugged into both. I'm going to buy a splitter and see. You need USB 2.0 inputs for this to work on your computer. [update: the sound is just fine! It turns out I was having issues with my computer's sound settings. The video above still doesn't have sounds, but my real birdie videos will. I'll get a splitter anyway so that the sound comes out of both speakers.]
  • I've already got video editing software on my computer, and I think any kind will do. You can get a more expensive Dazzle thingy that comes with editing software, if you need to.
You need to consider how you are going to get the cable in your house, too.

Now hopefully some birds will move in! It would be very sad if they didn't. :<

2 comments:

Stephanie said...

HOw cool are you? I can't wait to see the birdies in action!

Petula Darling said...

I'm unfamiliar with that species of bird. I like the way it moves - very stealthy.