DIY bird house project with Raspberry Pi and Arduino
Here is a detailed explanation how to make a totally wireless surveillance style bird house.
About the design
The main advantage of this device is that it is completely wireless, so you can hang it almost anywhere without worrying the any data or electricity cables. It is powered by the solar panel and the images are sent wirelessly to the network. At the moment the Raspberry Pi is using Wi-Fi dongle to connect a normal household wireless network. You can easily change your connection method by replacing the Wi-Fi dongle with any USB 3G cellular stick modem.
Here is our first draft of the wiring system:
Component shopping list
SolarXon ES-15P, 15W Standard Power output 15 W Max system Voltage 18.0 V Open circuit Voltage 22.0 V Nominal Voltage 12 V Max Current 0.89 A Height 410 mm Width 350 mm, cost 35€, purchaced from Akkupojat.fi
Switching voltage regulator
this was clear choice to save energy from the solar panel. 5Volts 1A DE-SW050 cost 16€ (15$ + 1.25$ international shipping)
Sealed Lead gel battery
6V, 4Ah, Constant voltage charge: Cycle use 7.20V – 7.50V, cost 6,90€, Size 70 × 47 × 101 mm, we purchaced it from motonet.fi
IRFZ46NLPBF – MOSFET N-CH 55V 53A
2 pcs, 2€/pcs, total cost 4€, can be sourced from your local electronic store
USB camera Logitech C310
any such old model is suitable, about 15€, should work as plug and play with Raspberry Pi.
Piece of proto board
This was used to assemble all charge control circuit components and MOSFET’s in order to power up and shutdown Raspberry Pi safely, cost 1€
How to design your own charging control unit
To avoid over charging situation we added one more MOSFET to cut out the solar cell panel when the battery is full. Arduino is measuring the battery voltage via Pin10. When the battery voltage is over the threshold it cuts out the solar cell using MOSFET(2). See the red wiring:)
About the Arduino software
The Arduino SW is controlling one MOSFET to charge the battery from solar panel and the other MOSFET to power the Raspberry Pi. When battery voltage drops too low the Arduino will signal Raspberry Pi using GPIO 17 to give some time to Raspberry Pi to halt the system safely before it cuts the MOSFET(1) off. Be sure to remember that Arduino gives +5 Volts and Raspberry Pi GPIO’s are 3.3 Volts, so do not connect Arduino digital pins to Raspberry Pi GPIO pins directly, see left side of the wiring diagram resistors. We used 22k Ohm and 47k Ohm valued resistors.
For more detail: Totally Wireless Bird House