Radio remote PIR sensor.

Archilochus

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Hi All,
Just wanted to share some info on my latest trail-camera related experimenting.
http://www.geocities.com/archilochus57/rf_tx.html
This one is a radio remote PIR sensor.  Seems to be working good so far.... though water-proofing the little housing is a pain!
Range is about 125 feet in dense woodlands.

Archilochus
 



Richard Webb

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Hi Archy,

Congratulations.... it looks like you're ready for a completely automated (remote) Slow Scan TV Station. If there is an Amateur Radio Club in your area, there should also be a SSTV Repeater that you can link.

Ammended:

Here are the specs for the Kenwood VC-1:

1/4" CCD (270,000 pixels), Resolution: 512x492 pixels,
f=4.6m/m, Focus: 50 cm ˜* (19.7" ~*), Aperture: auto,
White balance: auto

Dimensions [WxHxD]
(projections not included) 2-5/8 x 1-3/8 x 6-3/4 in (62 x 30 x 160 mm)

Monitor 1.8" TFT color LCD

Terminals Data I/O (for transceiver), Video in, Video out,
COM (for computer), DC 1N (6.0V)


Hi Arch,

Glad to see you are on the air now. We're going to have fun if you're interested in SSTV. Because, with 270K pixels this little gadget is close to some older CCD Cameras, and is designed for outdoor use. The VC-1 with supplied cable the will transmit SSTV back to back with a Kenwood Handy Talkie (I have one).  So, all our little motion detector would have to do is activate the radio's push to talk, and we're on the air.  


(Edited by Richard Webb at 10:42 pm on June 22, 2001)
 

Archilochus

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Hi Richard,
That's a big step up from my little remote control to a full remote video system!!  My knowledge of HAM radio is about the size of this dot -->  .
I was at a tag sale the other weekend where a guy was selling his complete HAM radio set up from antenna to desk chair for only 100 US$ - almost bought it but couldn't think of any immediate use for it - if only I had known of this idea at the time!!  -  Oh well, next time I guess.

Just a few questions.....  
Assuming a local repeater - would this system be a "plug-and-play" kind of affair? (ignoring the motion sensors etc. for the moment).  From your description it sounds as if all the components are in production already.  If so, I'm surprised nobody is selling it as a complete package for wildlife researchers, etc.
Any idea of power consumption on the video / Tx side??
What special equipment is required on the receiving end in order to view / record the pictures?
Any ideas of price and who sells the components?
And I'm guessing that a HAM radio ticket would be required - but would there be some other restrictions on the use of the system? - Power output, where and when the system could be used, etc.
Also...any chance someone could locate the system by tracking  down the signal??

This is sounding interesting enough to go see if that guy at the tag sale hasn't moved away already.......

Archilochus
 

Richard Webb

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Hi Arch,

One of the reasons I'm not active in Amateur Radio is that everything now-a-days is plug & play. The reason being, complete circuits are condensed down into an IC chip. I more or less bailed out during the early 80's when a few Hams in Arizona developed Packet Radio, so my electronics knowledge ended with the 741 Op Amp & TTL. In a nut shell, the radio waves are regulated, because it's a fixed space with an expanding world population.  Luckily, the Ham's carved out plenty of frequencies early while the rest of the World slept. The FCC has rules forbidding a remote station on the Amateur Bands, but everyone is doing it. (Repeaters & Packet Node stations are remote controlled) Much of the current defence technology was developed by Hams, so the government encourages experimentation on the ham bands. That means that if the Trail Cam guys get their ham radio ticket they can experiment also. As a ham upgrades his license he gains more privileges, and myself as an Advanced Class gained SSTV privileges. I can tell by talking to you that you are Advanced or Extra Class material, so all you would have to do is take the test. The new Kenwood SSTV is another one of those miracles that makes all the previous electronic miracles looks primitive.  The discounters are selling it for measly $399.  
 

Nino

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Arch, Richard

Have you ever tried any of the Glolab stuff.  I was also thinking of playing with some rf stuff but don't know when I'll ever get around to it.  Had the idea of building something like those driveway detectors.  One of the encoders can give like four different addresses.  I was thinking of putting a couple around the house and the RX inside.  Possibilities then included adding a ringer and counter.  I could then take movement data for the lunartics club.
 

gizz

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You guys are into it
How about some type of locating beacon in case a cam get stolen? I have the videocam out right now and am worried about it. I didn't document everything and hate the thought of having to start over.
 

Richard Webb

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Hi Arch - Every time I visit your WebPages I'm amazed. This time I found your Trail Cam with a big plexiglas window.  And, being the copycat that I am, I quickly started hacking away at one of my extra Radio Shack Hobbie Boxes that I had purchased. (thought I would screw one up, but didn't) So now, I have a plexiglas window in one of Jon's Cam's, and it looks pretty good.  I followed the Owl's "V" line, and up around the Flash.  But now, I'm ahead of my self, and don't know weither the Owl PF's Auto Focus AF Emitter & AF Sensor will pass through plexiglass? Also, if the Light Meter Sensor will pass through plexiglass? Anyway, we are have a few cool days, so I plan to place the new plexiglass enclouser in the spot as my first roll of pictures. I noticed that in the first pictures the weeds in the foreground were out of focus (or over maybe over exposed?), so I'll try your plexiglass idea for a while.  
 

Archilochus

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Hi Nino, gizz, Richard,
Nino..... I've never used any of the Glolab parts - so this is just guesswork.  Their PIR kits look like they should work as far as the electronics go...but the optics they sell look a little weak (note: I did read a comment in the newsgroup sci.electronics.design that stated that the Glolab PIR schematics had some flaw - don't know what it was though).  I'd say the lens will give a VERY narrow detection area and not much range - probably not very good for any small animals either, if that's what you're after.
The Glolab RF modules look like DVP parts (DVP seems to have gone out of business). I've heard that these work(ed) well - the only issue being that the receiver uses 8 mA of current which would drain the batts pretty quick in a remote, battery-powered circuit.  Since it sounds as if you want to have the Rx indoors, this isn't really an issue. Also - don't expect to get the claimed range out of any small RF module - if they claim xx feet, divide that in half to get a "real-world" range.
>>>>>>
gizz....A locator beacon?? uhhh... better talk to Richard about that one - a bit beyond me! - Wouldn't the loss of the video camera be kinda irritatin' too?
>>>>>>
Richard......I've tried test pictures with the Infinity Jr, Fuji 60 AF, and the two older Owl cams with plexi over their various sensors and saw no noticable difference in pic quality (did notice pic degradation with sensors completely covered with cardboard)  You might have some trouble with having one window for both the flash and lens though as the flash might 'flare' across the plexi covering the lens.  That's why I used two separate windows for the lens and flash.  I also put some strips of foam weatherstipping inside to divide the lens and flash.  To keep from having over-exposed or blurry weeds in the foreground of pics, cut them out of the way - makes for a cleaner looking pic.
Archilochus
 

Richard Webb

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Archy - Thanks for the warning about plexiglass.  Everything is on hold until I see how the pictures come out.  I had all 3 Cam's out last night, and the one with the plexiglass front got 2 pictures.  I'll take a few more practice shots in total darkness to see how those come out.  I already have the cut out finished, so will probably use that one without plexiglass for close up shots.  During dry weather, of course.    
 

Nino

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Archilochus

Thanks for the info.  This is another project on my to do list.... I probably will start with the Radio Shack PIR and just add the rf module.  You are correct about the receiver.  I was planning on keeping it inside so power won't be an issue and then I could add the other components also.  Foliage is pretty thick here so line of sight is pretty tough but I won't have to go far through the trees.  Time issue is killing me right now though but if its on the list I'll get to it eventually.

Another question.  On your cam did you just mount another fresnel lens on the outside?  Neat idea.  Did you have any problems.

Hey Gizz...You can try a Lojack system but it comes with some additional parts (a car!)  I know that there are devices for wildlife tracking but have never researched the specifics.  They use them to tag animals and then track their movement.

(Edited by Nino at 11:25 pm on June 26, 2001)
 

Archilochus

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Hi Nino,
I took that picture of the outside of the camera housing  before I had the idea to leave the Frensel lens mounted in the 49-425 - so the picture shows the Fresnel lens mounted on the lid of the housing.  I guess I should change the picture to avoid confusion.  In the final version of the finished camera the window mounted in the lid of the box is just a flat piece of plastic material that I got as a sample from
http://www.fresneltech.com
This way I avoided the lens alignment problems that crop up when mounting the Fresnel lens in the housings lid.

Archilochus
 

Archilochus

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Hi Nino,
I took that picture of the outside of the camera housing  before I had the idea to leave the Frensel lens mounted in the 49-425 - so the picture shows the Fresnel lens mounted on the lid of the housing.  I guess I should change the picture to avoid confusion.  In the final version of the finished camera the window mounted in the lid of the box is just a flat piece of plastic material that I got as a sample from
http://www.fresneltech.com
This way I avoided the lens alignment problems that crop up when mounting the Fresnel lens in the housings lid.

Archilochus
 


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