Birdbox update

I did a post some time ago building my birdbox. It is up and running now and I have some guests. I wanted to post some updates as I did discover some flaws in the old post. I am also doing a total remake of the whole project for next year. It will have some new features like:

  • Audio
  • New Cam
  • Youtube
  • New hardware and software

But I will get back to this later on.

The main things I missed was the camera settings in RPI Cam Control. I will go through some settings below.

Exposure Mode, default ‘auto’: AUTO

You can change this if you want but it might affect performance.

White Balance, default ‘auto’: GREYWORLD

If you choose auto the image will be red. Because we are using an IR cam. The image may never be as good as using a normal camera.

Image Effect, default ‘none’: NONE

You can try to use some other settings here but it will affect performance.

Preview quality (1…100), default 10: Quality: 10
Width (128…1024), default 512: 1024
Divider (1-16), default 1: 1

I noticed that the recorded image and video was very good. HD. But the preview was bad. This is because you will have to change the settings above. Try some different settings and check if your PI can handle it.

I also wanted to use VLC. Open VLC with this stream URL below.


Last I wanted to change the default landing page as my birdsite is public. There is a simple way of doing this. Swap the filenames of index.php and min.php. This is not really a good secure way but it is not really a problem if the cam settings are exposed.

Also change the file min.php (former index.php). It can look libe below so that the background is black

<!DOCTYPE html>

<title>RPi Cam Preview</title>
<script src="js/script.js"></script>
<link rel="stylesheet" href="css/style_minified.css" />
<body onload="setTimeout('init(0,25,1);', 100);">
<div><img id="mjpeg_dest" onclick="toggle_fullscreen(this);" /></div>

<body style="background-color:black;">

When you click the image to get fullscreen there will be white borders. To change this to black modify the style_minified.css in var/www/html/css/. Search for FFFFFF and change to 000000. Restart

This is recorded with the modified settings.

Compared to the old settings below.