Deer camera for cars?

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I have a trail c amera that takes pictured of deer walking down trails
in the woods.  I would like to use it to take pictures of vehicles
entering/leaving my driveway.  I thought the engine heat would trigger
the IR sensor but there is a problem.  Although the camera can sense a
deer 30' away it doesn't seem to be able to find my car at close range.  
Any ideas?

--
Free men own guns, slaves don't
www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/5357/

Re: Deer camera for cars?
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Reliable automobile sensing almost always seems to be done by buried
sensors.  I've had my X10 Hawkeyes detect moving cars from 50 feet away -
but not reliable.  Many cars scooted by undetected for reasons I never
bothered to ascertain.  Maybe only well-warmed up cars triggered the PIR.
I'd look toward putting the sensor about a foot off the ground and very
close to the roadway.  A car's exhaust system and engine will be the warmest
parts and they're down below.  Try keeping the sensor pointed north so that
you minimize direct sunlight exposure.

What kind of sensor is it?

--
Bobby G.





Re: Deer camera for cars?

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PIR, "1.3 Megapixel".  I had the sensor low and the cars warm, but my
Saturn was never able to trigger it.  I did get ONE shot of the rear of
my wife's Caravan, presumably trigerred by the exhaust.

--
Free men own guns, slaves don't
www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/5357/

Re: Deer camera for cars?

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away -
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PIR.
warmest
that

Still not sure what you're using in the way of PIR but the battery-powered
Hawkeyes from X-10 would be certain to detect warm vehicles from 10 feet
away.

www.Smarthome.com offers a wide variety of driveway sensors and alerts.
Perhaps the manuals for their PIR models might give better ideas about
placing the sensor you have to maximize detection.

A good outdoor PIR has a lot of features that take into account the ultimate
location and environment of the unit.  Here are some specs for the outdoor
PIR that I use, which so far has not been triggered by squirrels or cars -
just people::

http://www.optexamerica.com/products/specsheets/lx40.cfm

Show me where you have the detector set now, with C being where I would
place it - it should be close enough that car would fill the entire
field-of-view of the sensor.

'_' = 10 feet

                C
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Roadway
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _


What's the ambient temperature at the sensor?  Is it possible the deer
trigger the unit only after multiple "counts?"  If that's the case, it's
going to be difficult to trigger on a car unless it stops to munch on your
shrubs.   You might be able to tell by looking at the existing deer pictures
to see if they are just entering the frame or already dead center when the
camera trips.

--
Bobby G.





Re: Deer camera for cars?

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I probably need a sensor triggered by cars.

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   - - - - - - - - - - - -    
                           |  <- C
   - - - - - - - - - -     |
                      |    |

Not good asci art but camera is aimed straight up the road from the
outside of a curve, less than 10' from the road.  Maybe I should aim it
more into the curve, with the road at the right edge of the field of
view?


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There is about a 5 second lag between trip and shoot, that's why I put
it on a curve.  But it's not that I am getting an empty picture of the
road after the car passed, the camera is not getting tripped and am
getting no pictures.  I might have gotten one picture of an MT road when
I drove by with my window down, I'll have to experiment more.  Ambient
temp is chilly, that should help.  Turning on the headlights did not
help.

--
Free men own guns, slaves don't
www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/5357/

Re: Deer camera for cars?

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I'd go for an IR beam across the roadway about 3' up.  A car passing is
guaranteed to interrupt it.  It will be hard to keep them aligned without
setting posts into the ground.  Again, nose around Smarthome - they sell
sensors that look like PIRs as part of some of their remote driveway kits.

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I would try to place the camera so that the bottom part of the car spends
the longest time possible in front of the sensor.  That's probably looking
at the rear of the car, unfortunately.  I would say the second best spot,
based on how my Hawkeyes detect cars, alongside the road, close by so that
all the exhaust parts pass by the detector.  Probably down at ground level
pointed up.  Another idea is to put it way down the road so that the PIR is
looking at the tailpipe of the car as it the car enters the zone have the
camera.  Or is the camera not separable from the PIR?

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your
pictures
the

All I can say at this point is that I know that X-10 Hawkeyes will track
cars with the usual X-10 hit or miss results at 50' and that it was not one,
but two that behaved that way.  IIRC, the X-10 PIRs are way too sensitive
for many applications and don't have any kind of pulse counter to delay
triggering and reduce falsing.

--
Bobby G.






Re: Deer camera for cars?

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Deer move slow, cars don't.  The sensor in the trail camera isn't designed
to detect the much larger and usually much faster-moving target that an auto
would represent.

Better choice might be to use a video camera setup that uses motion
detection.  Given how large disk drives are these days it wouldn't be too
much data.

What are you trying to monitor?


Re: Deer camera for cars?
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That's a sad fact of life for deer, too.

--

Regards,
Robert L Bass

Bass Burglar Alarms
The Online DIY Store
http://www.BassBurglarAlarms.com

Re: Deer camera for cars?

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Trying to monitor cars going thru my gate, which might be open or
closed.  Area has no electricity, which is why I'm trying the trail deer
camera.  What would work better?  I prefer longer range to keep the
camera out of sight (and theft).

--
Free men own guns, slaves don't
www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/5357/

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