Some adjustments

A project log for Nerdfeeder

Simple, inexpensive bird feeder that dispenses peanuts in exchange for dropping stuff in a hole.

Stephen ChaseyStephen Chasey 06/27/2022 at 12:591 Comment

I reduced the sensitivity of the dispense sensor as it was triggering when a tiny piece of nut was dispensed. Now it dispenses more reliably, though sometimes 3-4 peanuts at a time.

Also got a 20K mAh power bank to run the Pi camera - runs it for about a day an a half. I tried a 10K mAh one as well which ran about 20 hours. I was thinking of getting another Pi Zero W - I got the one I have for 12 EUR a while back - now they are not available or much more expensive. I still have some old standard Pi's and a spare camera module I can use though - just need to figure out a good enclosure.

Cut a window out of the TicTac box for the camera and taped a pice of transparency film over it. Still waterproof and the picture is much better than it was when shooting through the container wall (it was old and a bit scratched up).

Videos are starting to get better, though I only have pigeons and jackdaws at the moment. I went out this morning looking for crows and saw that someone had put out at least a kg of cut up rookworst on a tree stump about 100m from my place. Not sure if this is a regular thing, but if so I will have to go find some hungrier crows somewhere else. The seagulls seemed to have dominated it, but I saw crows sneak in to grab a few bits. I still started trying to make friends with a crow family (2 adults and apparently 3 young ones) a little farther away by giving them peanuts in the shell. They were very cautious, much more so than park crows near the center. This will take time...

I may need to replace the 4 D-cells soon. After a month of constant testing and being in timer mode 24/7 they are down to about 5 volts. I think they may not be able to turn the vibration motor fast enough once they hit ~4.7V or so. Still working fine for now, but the dispense mechanism is noticeably weaker.

I will share some videos this week - even if they are only of pigeons desperately trying to figure out how to get those peanuts.


Stephen Chasey wrote 06/27/2022 at 16:35 point

Thinking of using a couple supercaps (2.7V at 25F) I have laying around to boost current to the vibration motor - may let the thing be operational with weaker batteries.

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