Saturday, 31 March 2012

Birdbox Battles

A bird box can be a dangerous place... photos from Saturday morning after the Blue Tits have been setting up home for about a week:
Is breakfast ready?A nice sharp beakOpen wide!

Birdbox Update for the week

At the moment at least, not that many people seem to be reading the bird box blog posts, perhaps because thus far they've been more on the technical side of setting up the cameras and infrared illumination. So here are a few more pictures...

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

CCTV lenses on an Xbox Webcam

Anyone following this blog will know I've been hacking Xbox Live Vision web cameras for fun. This started with removing the lens, and attaching a telescope - which is great for photographing the moon, or the bottom of the garden. The M12 x 0.5mm thread (aka S-Mount) is also used on many CCTV cameras, so you can get alternative lenses covering a range of focal lengths. I decided to buy a £10 set on eBay and try them out.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Xbox Birdbox Mk III

Yes, I made a third bird box with an infrared modified Xbox Live Vision webcam. This used 4 IR LEDs as in my original design, but splayed even more than in my second attempt.
4 IR LEDs on webcamCrude wooden clampsWebcam installed in birdbox

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Another eBay webcam with Entron inside

I've been using eBay late at night again for impulse purchases... this was a £2 webcam claiming 5.0MP (which turned out to be 0.3MP again).

Square 0.3MP webcam

My favourite thing about it is the packaging where on the back there is nice spoofed Skype logo:
Skype, Free internt telephony that just sucks [sic] 

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Night Vision Xbox webcam bird box Mk II

I've already made one DIY IR LED Night Vision Xbox webcam for a bird box, and since I had some infrared LEDs left over, I decided to make another: Xbox Birdbox Mk II. This time I selected a taller bird box to ensure I capture the entire floor in the webcam's field of view, and tried six directional LEDs splayed to try to get more indirect lighting.

6 IR LED Xbox webcamGardman Nest Box & webcam

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

6 LED webcam with microphone

I just bought a "USB 30.0M 6 LED PC Laptop Video Web Cam Webcam + Mic" on eBay, which (as I suspected) doesn't live up to its claims - 30 mega-pixels! Ha! Not that I expected much for £3 but still... it only seems to be 0.3 mega-pixels.
Example retailer's photo of 6 LED webcam

Xbox birdbox first visitor (and second)

After three nights up on the wall, my new "Xbox Birdbox" (bird nesting box with an IR night vision modified Xbox Live Vision webcam) recorded its first visitor using the 'Motion' automated webcam monitoring software. It was probably a blue great tit, but as the images are infrared dominated it is hard to be sure of the colouration - there is only a hint of yellow in some of the frames. This would have been a great image except for the focus:

Sunday, 11 March 2012

IR Night Vision Xbox webcam birdbox

I've already talked about removing the red glass filter in an Xbox Live Vision webcam to make it infrared sensitive - what I did next was add some infrared emitting LEDs to the camera so it can see in the dark. Not for astrophotography, but for close range night vision - inside a birdbox.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Japanese Yen bank notes under infra red

I have an Xbox Live Vision webcam modified for infra red (IR) sensitivity for astrophotography, by removing the red glass filter. This helps with capturing hydrogen-alpha light which is handy for red nebulosity etc. Some people do this to normal digital cameras too for infrared photography. Today I tried a DIY infra-red pass filter to block out most of the visible light... and tested it with an IR remote control and some bank notes.