Raspberry Pi

with sensor gadgetry...


What kind of hardware is required to monitor eating habits of squirrels?

 

That's a tough question, a lot of practicable solutions are coming into my mind. Nowadays a wide range of sensors and micro-computer platforms are available to choose from.

 

I opted for a 1st generation Raspberry Pi which I've bought many moons ago. The credit-card sized Raspberry Pi is a great environment to easily try out some "IoT" (Internet of Things)  prototyping with sensors attached.

 

 

Currently a mercury switch, a temperature sensor and a dual-color LED which is used as a status light are attached to the Raspberry Pi's GPIOs.

 

The mercury switch is mounted on the feeder's lid. In order to give a visual feedback that the lid has been opened the status light changes from a pulsating red to a static green. Whenever the lid has been opened the current temperature is being read from a DS18B20 sensor and the IoT Squirrel Feeder starts tweeting.


Squirrel Café Sensor Setup
Squirrel Café Sensor Setup

I've added a ESP8266 based Witty Cloud board to read and publish weather data independently from the Raspberry Pi which is attached to the feeder. A Light Level sensor is onboard. A DHT22 has been added to read temps and humidity.

 

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Last but not least you'll need a power supply with 5V and 2.1 A to power up the Raspberry Pi using a Micro USB connector and a micro SD card to install the Raspbian operating system via e.g. NOOBS.

Raspberry Pi with attached cam to capture images
Raspberry Pi with attached cam to capture images
ESP8266 Witty Cloud with DHT 22
ESP8266 Witty Cloud with DHT 22