How This All Works

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The set up for the streaming video uses 5 cameras. Currently only 4 can be broadcast at once. Two are permanently located in birdhouses. One is for the bird feeder. What is currently online is dependent upon the season. The houses use a Hawk Eye night vision camera complete with audio. Infrared diodes "light up" the interior for 24 hour coverage. They use a 100' AV cable complete with DC voltage. The cameras are interfaced to an iMac 2.66 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo computer with XLR8 Xtraview's video to USB adapter. A Sony DCR TRV530 camcorder connected to it via firewire. This is what is used for the bird feeder. It is located on the west side of the house, looking out the computer room window. The “weathercam” is provided by a Logitech Pro 9000 camera connected to the weather server. It not only provides streaming video, but uploads a jpeg to my weather page and to Weather Underground. This one is also in the computer room, looking out the northern window.
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Birdhouse #1
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Birdhouse #2
I use EvoLV webcam software for the Mac, which includes a built-in web server for streaming the audio and video. EvoLV is a powerful application for a relatively low price. A nice addition to the setup is streaming audio. I occasionally use Nicecast to broadcast live audio when possible.
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The latest camera is a Q-See QSC48030 Weatherproof CCD Camera w/80ft of Night Vision. This camera is facing in a westerly direction. The night image is good and shows quite a distance. We use this camera to capture some of the wildlife that comes through at all times of day and night. During the winter months, you may see wild turkeys coming through in the morning and evening hours. A motion sensor records short movies.
As mentioned above, we also have a weather station. I am using an Oregon Scientific WMR968 weather station. I use a MacBook Pro to run Weather Display software. Wireless sensors provide temperature, barometric pressure, humidity, wind speed and direction, as well as rainfall. They are all powered by solar cells backed up with batteries. The sensors transmit every few seconds to the base unit which is connected to the PC via a Serial to USB converter. All this is uploaded to provide real-time updating to that site.
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We have been hosting 2 beehives for a couple of years now. Shown here is one of the Hawkeye cameras keeping track of the activity of one of the hives.
That pretty much sums it up. Just a bunch of stuff connected together along with a server to upload these pages to. This is all done as a hobby. No training in website development, just the drive to do stuff. If you enjoy this site, please use the contact form and let me know. A word of encouragement can be enough for me to know it's all worthwhile and keep me going.
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