Saturday, February 20, 2010

Birdbox - Video Capture

To improve how I capture what is going in the birdbox I bought the two items pictured below, each device allows 4 connections but the 4 are shared which means the more connections you add the low the frame rate captured from each connection, also special software is needed to make the most of these and the software I wanted to use only allows manual switching so I won't be able to record from all 4 at the same time.  I'll be using both devices to at least allow access to 2 feeds at full frame rate.

As these came from china the instructions on installing the correct drivers wasn't clear, the usb device I got working with not too much trouble but the pci card device took a few attempts plus some emails to the sellers in china to get it working.

Finally item bought for this year is a new power supple to connect the extra cameras

Birdbox - New Cameras

This year I've managed to get a couple ccd based camera's of ebay, ccd is slightly better than our cheaper cmos based cameras

One has be placed in a birdbox but as these cameras have no InfraRed we need to continue to use the old cmos camera in the box for the IR.  The second camera has been placed outside, this may need raising slightly to get a direct line of sight with the birdbox entrance

Runaway cow

On Thursday a cow from Kendal Auction Mart as reported on the Westmorland Gazette got spooked and escaped from mart.

As well as the story on the gazette site I've also been told that the cow headed up Appleby Road into Spital Park, whilst there he checked out our neighbours garden (nice hoof marks in grass).  Then into another neighbours garden who unfortunately came into contact with the cow and was tossed over, then the cow entered another garden causing some damage and left heading towards Shap Road.  The news report carrys on with the cow's journey down towards town where another person was tossed over and the cow finally had to be shot in the grounds of the cricket club. 

Over the years there's been the odd cow to escape from the mart or come through from the nearby fields, one occasion I remember a farmer appeared on our street looking for his lost sheep.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Sunset from Scout Scar nr Kendal

In a previous post I showed a timelapse of me build a PC, it was done using a Canon A590IS Powershot camera which boots to a temporary firmware version called Chdk, which someone has written a script to allow photos taken at set timings.

Saturday was a clear day so I decided to have a practice of using the sunset script available for Chdk, my plan was to go up to Scout Scar nr Kendal and photograph the sun setting then hopefully the stars becoming visable in the night sky.  Scout Scar is a popular place to Kendalians to go for a walk, there are great views available with little effort.  When I arrived on top of the Scar I did expect to see that the Lyth Valley was hiding under a sea of fog.  This was a spectical I've always wanted to experience but thought I'd would have to get up very early and climb up a mountain.

Timelapse of sunset from Scout Scar nr Kendal overlooking the Lyth Valley, as the valley fills up with fog, look at the hills in the background and you'll see the fog rising.  I didn't get any stars due to the camera pointing west but the fog more than made up for it.

This timelapse to produced using my Canon A590IS booting to chdk firmware with the sunset script. Pictures were taken every 10 seconds for about 1.5hrs, I used the settings recommended for the script in a countryside setting. 344 photos were taken which I converted into a video using virtualdub. 

* Sunset script
* Virtualdub

Also a very rough photo merge of Scout Scar with the Mushroom where on the left of the photo you can see the fogged out Lyth Valley - click for full size