Small Woodland Owners' Group

Springwatch

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Re: Springwatch

Postby SimonFisher » Fri Feb 20, 2015 2:04 pm

boxerman wrote:Thanks for the thoughts re a leisure battery, Simon. It is something I've considered but resisted for various reasons 1) the physical size and weight (could get away with that where they are right now). 2) They would have to sit on the ground where they're vulnerable to badgers/squirrels chewing the cables - the smaller ones I have strapped part way up the tripod and pretty much out of the way. 3) Voltage- the 6210's I'm currently using would be fine on 12V but most trail cams only use 6V

I've used a Really Useful Box to house the battery with a notch cut out under the lip of the lid for the cable. I've also just left it on the ground and not had any problems with cable damage by squirrels or (the admittedly occasional) badgers. I've only my own experience using a Stealth Cam I540 which has a 12 volt supply socket. Conversion from 12v down to 6v is possible.
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Re: Springwatch

Postby boxerman » Fri Feb 20, 2015 7:30 pm

Thanks both...

A big battery in a box is a possibility but I do have to be careful with anything fragile, such as wiring, around the sett - badgers are nosey buggers particularly if something new appears on their home turf. My next vid will show one standing on it's hind legs closely examining the camera and I've had the tripods wobbling quite well a time or two.

A video cam is something that I've vaguely considered 'cos it may be possible to get some goods results with the right camera. My thinking has been along the lines of a CCTV system. Some modern ones are quite good and, of course, they have their own infra red and PIRs. Firstly I'd have to get Mum's agreement to set it all up tho and the issue of wiring could cause some headaches as the sett is around 150 feet from the house. I reckon costings would be about the same as 3 or 4 Trail cams for a reasonable set-up so it wouldn't be cheap to put together. It's a route I may well end up going though as once set up it would solve a lot of the issues and probably improve lighting considerably with maybe 4 cams up there. Couldn't afford to spend that much at this time of year but busy season for work will be with me soon.
Phil

https://twitter.com/boxermanphil for my Badger videos
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Re: Springwatch

Postby Dexter's Shed » Fri Feb 20, 2015 9:19 pm

boxerman, I made this a couple of years ago for shooting, but the same could be rigged up for recording, mine cost around £55 all in, and all runs from a small sealed 12 volt battery, a reversing camera, although you wouldn't really need this for recording, it would be needed to frame your shots/film, a cheap cctv camera with the white lights removed, and a piece of infra red perspex in front of a lamp, theres quite a few recording devices on e bay, the dash mounted ones, could easily be connected up and filmed onto an SD card,

http://youtu.be/pMwgZx5eTVA
the distance from the test area to the cuddly toy is approx 130 feet, outside I've used it to see out to 70yds easy

if you fancy giving this a try, I'd suggest you search a few hunting/shooting forums for more ideas, as shop bought night vision for rifles start at around £400 upwards, so lots of people out there have made their own
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Re: Springwatch

Postby boxerman » Fri Feb 20, 2015 11:09 pm

Many thanks for that, Dexter - I'll get a proper look at it when I get time. Wasn't aware that there was such a thing as infra red perspex. Is that for converting ordinary light to infra red or does it just filter out infra red? If that would simply turn an ordinary led light into infra red that, alone, would be magical for back lighting for the cams I already have up there and could make massive differences i.e. could a simple PIR controlled LED light be turn into infra red simply by placing a piece of this over the lighting?

I'm sure you're all tired of my badger vids by now but I've just (about 5 minutes ago) uploaded the latest here http://youtu.be/sHdNdSa7SuE and about 4 minutes in shows why I have to be so careful with placement and strapping stuff down etc. As I said before, they're nosey buggers if something new appears and like to check it out....
Phil

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Re: Springwatch

Postby Dexter's Shed » Fri Feb 20, 2015 11:34 pm

infra red perspex only allows infra red light through, so when the lamp is on, you cant see anything/light, but infra red cameras can
not 100% sure if it'll work with LED's, I'm sure I read somewhere they produce the wrong type of light, but I could be wrong, it has been known :lol:

loads of the stuff on evil bay
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/INFRARED-962- ... 2a14e35d50


if you already have the LED's, give it a try
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Re: Springwatch

Postby boxerman » Sun Mar 08, 2015 9:59 pm

Well, just to update, briefly, on my 'badgerwatch'. I bought a sheet of infra red perspex and tried it out with some LED lighting - clearly Dexter is right about the light quality of LEDs 'cos tho they did shine through there was virtually no power in the light and the perspex would be a waste of time with LEDs - haven't tried it with a proper light (mainly 'cos I don't have a torch that isn't LED but even if it worked that wouldn't be practical because of power consumption. Was a good idea tho Dexter and I appreciate the suggestion.

Have put both the additional lighting issue and the mammal box on hold for the moment as time doesn't permit so many projects at one time and I need to concentrate on sorting a hide and getting the badgers used to camera sounds etc 'cos it won't be long till they're out in daylight and only a couple of months or so till the cubs start appearing - really want to be able to get some good shots of them so I'll come back to the lighting and mammal box later. Plus, of course, they've managed to break through the crappy fencing that the gardener put up to keep them out of the main garden and I need to build a better one from scratch to keep Mum happy....

It's still pretty active around the sett but it's very noticeable that only two badgers appear to be around now so little exciting video. I suspect that the other three are tucked up in the sett either nursing cubs or preparing to give birth so it could be a busy spring up there.
Phil

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Re: Springwatch

Postby Dexter's Shed » Mon Mar 09, 2015 12:56 pm

boxerman wrote:Well, just to update, briefly, on my 'badgerwatch'. I bought a sheet of infra red perspex and tried it out with some LED lighting - clearly Dexter is right about the light quality of LEDs 'cos tho they did shine through


I think your missing the point with using IR perspex, with a light taped behind it, YOU WILL SEE NO VISIBLE LIGHT WHEN SWITCHED ON, It can only be seen by cameras etc that are IR sensitive, ie your trail cameras,

something like this would give you around 2 hours of lighting time, so if you could rig it into a sensor to turn on/off with movement, then it'll last longer

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/gun-lamp-/201 ... 2ede7af4e9

failing that, look through this e bay page, find the cheapest lamp and power it via an old car battery

http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_from= ... =&_sacat=0

be warned though, as no light shines through the perspex, it gets very very hot if left illuminated constantly, I've had lamps melt, so placing it inside a box with some sort of 12 volt fan would be an option, sometime out of an old computer would work silently ?
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Re: Springwatch

Postby boxerman » Mon Mar 09, 2015 3:25 pm

Wasn't missing anything, Dexter. Should maybe have been more specific and have added that what I was seeing was via video from a trail cam and would be useless. This confirms your talk of hearing that LEDs don't give the right type of light. Holding the light 2 feet from a wall produced zero visible lighting. For leaving at the sett for a couple of weeks anything other than LED would be way too power hungry.

Usage at the sett is heavy with the cam closest to the sett producing around 6 hours of video a week and that's a lot of lighting time. I've come to the conclusion that the only way I'm going to get something usable up there for additional lighting will be to power from a big, 40/50Ah SLA battery but even that wouldn't last too long with anything other than LED. Had hoped to be able to find some sort of self contained and simple unit but it seems that no-one produces what I'm after. With the increase in easy availability of these trail cams and their restrictive lighting someone could access a ready and growing market by producing something.. What I'm now considering is something along the lines of this http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1-2x-Security ... 5d478498da combined with a PIR switch and a big battery - I reckon it'll be the simplest and reasonably cost effective route. Only time will tell just how good it is and it may be some time before I get chance to try and test 'cos busy season with work has arrived and I have more work backing up than I can cope with right now and I need to get sorted for some proper photography at the sett when the cubs start appearing. I'm reckoning it could be busy around the sett 'cos out of the five regulars I've been seeing only two are now active so I suspect there may be three mums tucked away for the duration - this could mean 9 or 10 cubs running around in a couple of months...
Phil

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