Electronics - Infinite battery life camera

I've had to make a few compromises with version 2.0 of the demand feeder.

One is that I've re-written the code and made it a lot more simple than it was originally. I've still got the old code, and I'll use it and post it when I make it a little better, but the full version resets each day at dawn as one of the overfeeding protection measures. I only have two silver perch in a 100L fish tank, with 300L of filtration media, so they can have as much feed as they like. To encourage the pressing of the button, I've made it so that they only get a small amount of feed each time, but they have the opportunity of more feed after only eight minutes since the last feed. The point of making a simpler version of the software was so that it would keep a running total of all events like the number of times the fish have hit the feed lever when the light is lit, and the number of times when the light isn't lit.

The fish pressed the lever only once in the 24 hours since I added it to the system. This may have just been a tail swipe, but it would have delivered feed, so some reinforcement of the behaviour of getting at least near the lever has begun!

It wont take them long to get the hang of it.

I ran the camera until the batteries were dead last night, but the hit must have happened some time since dawn while the camera was on charge. To solve this two hour filming limit, I created this.

It's a camera taped to it's battery charger, that is in turn taped to a tripod.

I plugged it into the earth leakage safety switch that the rest of the system is plugged into.

It blends in a bit with the actual feeder, but that's the feeder with the birds nest of wires sticking out of the back of it. The orange looking light under the camera is the LED that tells the fish feed is currently available. The red light at the top is the power on LED, and the yellow one is flashing out the number of feeds allowed in a day (even though the thing no longer resets after a day, so really it shows the number of feeds allowed ever). There are also LED's that flash out the number of feeds so far, the feeds remaining, the number of attempts made at the lever when food isn't available. That is when the feed LED isnt lit, because they just fed recently. And one more that flashes out the size of each feed that's delivered. The size is measured by how long the motor is on for, and doesnt actually represent the amount of feed, but on average, should spill a predictable amount each time. Currently, they would get around 5-8, 3mm pellets each time they hit the lever.

Hopefully, I'll have some video soon.

120 Things in 20 years - Electronics - Infinite battery life camera - This project is far from finished.

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