Introduction: Wireless Bird Feeder Webcam
Here is MY make of the bird feeder webcam that is based on a few of the others i have seen posted lately. I thought it was a great idea, so I decided to make one myself...
see it in action here.
Step 1: Gather Up Materials Cut for Your 2 "houses"
I am constructing two houses that are pretty similar... One for the birds to eat out of, and the other to protect the webcam from the outdoor elements.
>2 roofs - approx 7"x10"
>2 back walls approx 5"x5"
>4 side walls approx 5"x7"
>piece of plexi glass or real glass approx 5"x7"
>caulk for weatherproofing and sealing up area where webcam line runs in.
>paint of your choice. i used hunter green.
I cut the side pieces for the houses around 7" wide by 5" tall with a slight angle cut on the top so the roof is attached later, it would have a slant to divert rain to the rear. You will need 4 of these. (2 per house)
Also the "back wall" is approx. 5" wide, I cut these pieces after i cut the slant in the side pieces so i could find just the right angle to trim- so the roof would fit nice and flush later.
For the Bird food house, i am leaving the front open and adding a small wall for the birds to stand on while they eat, and to stop the seed from blowing around. I also cut the ends of "back wall" at a slight angle so when the sides are attached, they will flare out in the front , allowing a more open space for the birds. Also for the bird seed house, i applied the 7"x10" roof longways, whereas the webcam half will be installed the other way around, so there will be more of an overhang in front of where the plexiglass ends up... more overhang, less chance of sun being too bright in the lens... (phew... bare with me here, the pictures should make this a bit easier to understand!)
Step 2: Cut Grooves for Plexiglass on "Camera House"
Using a table saw, cut the slots for plexi in two of the side pieces - just tight enough for the width of the plexi.
Later, you will apply some indoor/outdoor caulking to keep the plexi in place and seal it up real nice.
Put the three wood pieces together to form the two sides and the back of the "camera house". You can also put the other three pieces together for the Bird seed house now as well.
Attach the roof to the "seed house'. (leave the roof for the "camera house" until late... you will screw it down, rather than nailing, so later you can easily access the wiring.
I have a nice jig for making perfect 90 degree angles...highly recommended. Apply a small amount of gorilla glue, clamp together, then nail in place. I like to make a small pilot hole to avoid splitting the wood.
Step 3: Trim Plexi to Fit
Align the plexi to one side of the channel, mark the other side with a knife or marker (in my example i aligned the right half, and marked where the left side should be cut with my knife, then cut with the tool shown )
Once the width is cut, slide the plexi down into the slot, and mark again for the height.
Step 4: Glue in Camera Shelf, Seal Up the Seams.
Glue in the camera shelf, leaving space in the back to run the power wire. Also drill out the hole in the base for the power line to come in.
Attach both houses to opposite ends of the base from the underside using some good wood screws.
Caulk all seams and give a final quick sanding once dried.
Get your paint ready.
Step 5: Paint Heavily!
I painted the CRAP out of this thing. It took a few days to dry even... I hate waiting for paint to dry... I want to put the cam in already!!!!!
Step 6: Install Webcam and Roof.
I got my wireless webcam from http://www.palmvid.com. They have good prices and they are good people to do business with. Slap that badboy in the cam housing and screw the antenna to the roof. Run the power cord in from the bottom. Put the roof on, and caulk around the edges.
Step 7: Install the Feeder!!
SWEET! Now to put this thing up and see if any birds decide to eat up the nice mix of food i have for them. I just took some plywood pieces for a temporary install between two trees, before i decide where i really want to locate the feeder. You can mount yours wherever you want. I try to pick an area of the yard that is relatively calm ( not near the street, etc...) so the birds feel at home when they decide to get a snack.
http://www.toomanymorons.com/webcams.html AND FINALLY... GO VISIT THE CAM FOR YOURSELF. ]
AFTER ATTACHING THE FEEDER TO THE TREES, I REALIZED ONE MAJOR THING TO REMEMBER.... ****MAKE SURE YOU DON'T INSTALL THE CAM IN THE DIRECTION OF SUNLIGHT. WHEN I INSTALLED MINE IT WAS AFTER 4PM, SUN WAS NOT A PROBLEM... AND THIS MORNING I REALIZED THAT I GET ALOT OF SUN IN THE LENS FROM 7AM TO AFTER 10AM. NOTHING A QUICK REPOSITIONING CAN'T REMEDY.