Infrared Camera Instructions
The My Naturewatch Camera
All components of the camera are off the shelf and can be ordered online or bought in selected electronic hardware stores. To use the camera, just assemble the components, construct a water-proof housing, and decide where to put it.
Steps in the Tech Set-up section can take a while, depending on things like the speed of your internet and the computer you’re using. You can skip to Step 7 and continue working through the ‘Assembly’ and ‘Housing’ sections while you wait for actions in steps 1-6 to complete if you like.
1. Copy the camera software to an SD Card (up to 1 hour). This software contains the operating system for the Pi Zero and an application that controls the camera. This bundled software is often referred to as a ‘disk image’.
2. Download the disk image from here (up to 1hour):
3. Download an application called ‘Etcher’ this will copy the disk image to the micro SD card safely and easily.
4. Unzip the disk image, making sure you have around 10GB of free space on your computer.
5. Insert the Micro SD Card into your computer - using a micro SD Adaptor (your laptop may have a built-in SD Card Reader), or External Micro SD Reader
6. Using ‘Etcher’ software - select the unzipped disk image as ‘Image’ and the Micro SD Card as ‘Drive’, then press ‘Flash’. This step can take up to one hour.
(Helpful Tip: the time can be shortened by deselecting "Validate write on success" in the Etchers settings menu, found by clicking the cog on the top right of the app)
7. Make sure your USB Power Bank is fully charged by plugging it into the mains via its cable and plug. Most batteries have LED lights to indicate level of charge.
8a. The camera module might come supplied as three separate components: the camera and two lamps. If so, attach the lamps to either side of the camera with the nuts and bolts provided.
8b. To attach the Camera Module to the Pi Zero:Unclip the black locking strip away on the white camera connector on on the Pi Zero - it should move outwards by 1mm and feel loose. Now insert the Camera Module ribbon under the black strip and into the white connector - the metal side of the camera ribbon should face toward the green board. Secure the ribbon by re-clipping the black strip towards the white connector.
9. Super Glue a metal bolt or nut to the darkly coloured square chip on the Pi Zero. This helps with heat dissipation.
We have to consider how to package and position the Naturewatch Camera. The main purpose of the housing is to waterproof the Naturewatch camera kit and create opportunities to capture unique footage of nature.
A zip seal bag is the simplest way to keep moisture away from the electronics, but you may want to consider sturdier enclosures such as tupperware, PET bottles and other kind of food container. During winter time, condensation may build up inside casings and so you may wish to add some grains of rice to any enclosure you make. The following instructions are simple guidelines that can be further improvised by using: bungee cord, tin cans, plasticine, heat shrink wrap, electrical tape, food containers, rope / string, fishing line, cable ties, velcro, tape, elastic bands…
10. Blu Tack or tape the Camera, Battery and Pi Zero to the inside of an up-turned bucket. The Camera is best positioned in the centre, and the battery, Pi Zero and cabling tucked out of viewing angle.
11a. To photograph smaller animals place the bucket downwards, with bait below. Prop the bucket up on stones or bricks to create a clearance height of a few cm to allow small animals to enter this waterproof dome.
11b. To photograph larger animals place the bucket on its side, and set bait outside the bucket. For “head shots” try placing the bait inside the bucket.
Configuration & Power-up
Hopefully by now Steps 1-6 have been completed
12. View the contents of the ‘Micro SD Card’ on your computer and open the ‘naturewatch-configuration.txt’
Tip: You may need to eject the Mirco SD Card and reinsert it again before you can view the contents
13. The Name and Password of your Camera can be edited by rewriting the appropriate lines which are defaulted as ‘naturewatch-robin’ and ‘badgersandfoxes’respectively, or can be left as default
15. Insert the ‘Micro SD Card’ into the silver socket on the Pi Zero - the metal side of the SD Card should face toward the green board.
16. Power the assembled Unit by connecting the USB Power Bank to the Pi Zero. The small end of the USB cable plugs into the ‘PWR’ port on the end of the Pi Zero. The large end of USB cable plugs into the USB battery or power bank (or can also be powered by plugging into the USB charger). The LED on the Camera and Pi Zero should illuminate when successfully powered (Tip: you may wish to cover these with a small amount of Blu Tack)
17. Allow 30 seconds for the Pi Zero to boot up and remove the lens cap.
18. On a Smartphone, tablet or computer connect to the Pi Zero’s Wifi network - name and password as per Step 13.
19. Open any internet browser and visit the following webpage to access the Camera Interface, which should bring up a live-feed alongside a ‘Start recording’ ‘Sensitivity’ and ‘View Photos’ button.
Tip: Unplug the battery when you’re not using the camera to save power
The Naturewatch Camera uses specially designed machine vision to understand when something is moving in front of the lens and then captures those images - you can view the captured images by pressing the ‘Browse Photos’ button when connected to the Naturewatch Cameras’ Wifi.
You do not have to remain connected to the Cameras’ Wifi for it to function and continue recording.
The battery pack of the Naturewatch Camera will have to be periodically charged for it to continue working.
For best results, try to frame the image of the Camera so that the action you expect to capture will be 0.5 - 1 metre away.