Birdbox cameras and Personal Cloud Computing


Super Hero And All Round Good Guy
Is there a way to set up some sort of hub at home that I can plug in a HD web cam and maybe a hard drive that I can then access over the interweb ?

I was thinking about setting up my own spring watch type camera in a bird box and it would be cool if I could view it anywhere. As a secondary thought, if I could also have access to a storage device at the same time then why not.

If this is possible would it eat into my interweb allowance all the time or only when viewing the nest box?

I don't even know where to begin with this, pointers would be appreciated.
Simple solution, try looking at web enables security cameras, there are a number of low cost options that you can view over the web if wanted in a secure manner...
I had something set-up before but it was more of a home security system rather than bird watching. I had a rather dubious lodger in my spare room and I used the camera from my ps3 linked to my PC to keep an eye on the living room incase anything went walking.

I found some great software for free which was only set to record when there was movement. The quality of an image will be down to the camera you use but the software to run such a system is readily available.

Where you may run into trouble is when it comes to privacy laws. If you are filming within your own property and not the public area outside your boundaries it should be ok. The software i used did have the ability to mask off area's which you were unable to capture.
If the Great Tits you are watching happen to be in your next doors garden you can find yourself in serious trouble.
IP cameras not a bad idea. The cheap ones don't tend to be HD. I was thinking more USB HD webcam for £20 plugged into something to get it online.

Its the plugged into something bit I am clueless about. I just feel there must be a cheap way of doing this with a few cheap components.

The privacy laws thing isn't an issue the bird box will be in my garden and the camera only looking inside the box.
That seems to be for connecting to your TV rather than the internet. I really want to be able to watch the birdies anywhere not just in my livingroom. And I really want HD. Poor quality pictures just annoy me.
I just did a quick search for wireless webcam and came up with this as an example.

You need to read up on it to understand how to set up the IP addressing / NAT / port forwading to view it from "anywhere" but it does seem to have the stack to work without a client PC having to be on, doing the grunt work and acting as the internet endpoint.

The other challenge you will have is delivering enough power to the bird box to make it work. If you have to run a cable, maybe think about a powerline camera like this

It's doable, but what you don't see on the TV is all the wires they probably have hanging out the back of the bird box! They might also be nesting already so you might have to wait until next year to set it up...
thanks for that jez101 thats a cheap one. :thumbsup:
The bird box will be new purpose built so no birdies in it yet.
I also plan to mount it on my wooden garage so easy access to power.

I think this shall make a nice little autumn / winter project in time for 'spring watch' next year.
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