This time I've equipped a cheap commercial nest box box, rather than make my own as I liked the 'natural' look of it. This box is supplied by CJ Wildlife, it's basically a hollowed out birch log with a 32mm hole at the front, which should be good for Blue Tits and Great Tits. Total build cost is in the region of £70.
|TamperProof. Holds off any Woodpecker armed with a philips head screwdriver|
My main problem with this box is that the lid and the back baton are attached with 'TamperProof' Torx head screws. I cant see the point since good old philips-head screws would have done just as well. If you're going to buy this box, make sure you spend the equivalent cost on a set of appropriate screwdriver bits.... I also replaced the back batton to give an attachment point beneath in addition to the one at the top.
There is enough of a gap between the roof and the entrance hole to squeeze in the this little fella, which fits in snugly under the lid
|Lid insert with Raspberry Pi Zero-W, 8MP IR camera and 4x IR and 4x White LEDs|
|Birch log box with camera insert|
I made two changes with this design over the Robin box version of this
|Top and bottom view|
LEDs are added via 2x perfboards on the underside, instead of fiddly, messy wiring on the top. The 12v to 5v conversion is done via a recom switching regulator (R-78B5.0-1.5). I had originally planned to supply this box with a 5v feed but this didnt work well, and had to supply at a higher voltage (12v) and then drop it. The switching regulator component alone is an equivalent cost of the Raspberry Pi Zero-W, so I've used it a reusable way rather than soldering it directly in to the stripboard.
|Bodge-tastic use of PCB terminal blocks...|
As previously, the unoccupied left side slot is wired for a L293DNE to switch an IR-cut filter (to be added at some point later, for a how-to see this post).
The finished product
Some inside views
|Top: Infrared mode, Bottom: Visible light mode|