Foxcam - Backstory and setup

foxcam foxes photography raspberry pi

Roughly more than a year ago I started this little project: feeding local foxes, that were already visiting very often our garden, mainly to try and get as many pics as possible.

When I started I just took occasional pics with a DSLR and telephoto lens, I then installed a first Raspberry Pi with an Infrared sensible camera and a single IR light to monitor the garden during the night, studying their habits and how to best interact with them. IR lights are essential to get a light source without disturbing the foxes (and the environment) with too much visible light.

As I started getting results, I started improving my setup times and times. Firstly I added more IR lights This is my current setup as it stands.

Whole setup

There are two raspberry pi cameras: one inside a waterproof box, getting closeups, the other indoors, with just the camera and its cable getting out of the window. There's a set of three infrared floodlights: the smallest two are visible in the picture, and they illuminate the balcony. There's a third one, much bigger, not visible in this picture, that floods the whole garden.

Raspberry Pi closeup camera This is a 3D Printed waterproof box containing a Raspberry Pi and a Raspberry Pi Camera Noir (IR sensitive). Using MotionEye the raspberry can detect motion in video stream, and subsequently start recording.

Raspberry Pi wide field camera

Wide field camera case for another Raspberry Pi Noir camera. In this case only the camera is outdoors, the Raspberry Pi is indoors with only the camera cable passing through the window.

I call this the "Wide Field" camera, although technically the field of view is exactly the same (since the camera itself is the same), but the camera points to the whole garden instead of just the balcony.

Raspberry Pi

The second Raspberry Pi

Wildlife camera

A wildlife camera, perfect for producing videos with sound. Although this camera gives much better results for videos, I still keep the two raspberries as they produce better still pictures.

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