Thursday 1 November 2012

Mouse in the house!

I've been working on using a Raspberry Pi using passive power over ethernet to monitor webcams in the birdboxes at the bottom of the garden, using the software Motion to capture images or stream video. Given it has started to get cold at night (with frost) I've been testing the camera setup in doors, using it to keep an eye on some autumnal wildlife - at this time of year we get mice in the house:

We'd heard noises in this cupboard, and caught mice here last year, but I was a little surprised to get pictures of a visitor the first night I setup the cameras at this location. Now switching to the second camera positioned closer which benefited from the indirect illumination (and was actually in focus):

Cute little chap, and he didn't fall for the (unbaited) live trap. I must buy some more peanut butter... that worked very well last autumn!

Now back to the first camera (which had the four IR LEDs on it) to catch the exit - this was just a quick inspection visit lasting under thirty seconds:

Here's a quick shot (with flash) of how the cameras were setup in this cupboard under the sink - you can see how the mice get in via the hole cut for the plumbing:

Clearly as with my iterative improvements to the LED placement for birdbox usage, I could do a bit better with the infrared illumination. But this was the first positive result in a live test for my Raspberry Pi 24V passive POE system, using a 40m ethernet cable and two webcams :)


A mouse returned the following two nights (still no bait in the trap), and managed to disarm the trap, probably just by jumping on top of it which could easily tip it and close the door:
Trap disarmed by jumping on it?
Sadly Motion and the Raspberry Pi didn't capture the precise moment the trap closed, the frame rate isn't quite high enough (it seems to fluctuate between one and four frames per second). Probably using one camera rather than two would give a better frame rate.

UpdateSuccessful outdoor camera testing.

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