Fish Trailcam

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caiawatha
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Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2022 1:12 am

Fish Trailcam

Post by caiawatha »

Hello all!
New to this forum but I'm enjoying the content. I have recently been toying with the idea of a fish trailcam. I fish a lot and recently bought a cheap fishfinder that beeps when it detects a fish. I am thinking maybe I could use this to trigger a gopro and an LED array. Anyone ever done this or something similar? Is it feasible?
The battery life of the fishfinder is pretty good (5-6 hours on 4 cheap alkaline aaa). I figure a big battery could run it and a camera w/light for a couple days at least. I would like to do video so I'm thinking the old gopro hero 2 which is pretty cheap now but takes good quality video. I haven't yet figured out the controller board to pair with the gopro but people on here have done it before so I know it can be done.
One of the bigger hurdles in my lack of electronic expertise is how to use the fishfinder alarm as a trigger. I feel like I could use whatever electronic route usually runs the beeping. If not I can always use a sound detecting sensor but I'd prefer not to have the beeping in case it scares fish.
Any advice would be great. I love diy and problem solving but this is outside my scope of knowledge so I'm not even sure this is really possible yet.
Thanks!
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-jeff
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Re: Fish Trailcam

Post by -jeff »

That sounds like an interesting way to trigger a camera. In the past when I need a motion activated underwater camera I used a inexpensive IP security camera. Most security cameras have built in motion detection utilities that operate on pixel change. You can set the detection area and sensitivity. Most also have a slot for a SD card to store video or still images.

A few years ago I was asked to build a underwater IP camera trap. I chose a Dahua 1080P zoom camera for the project. It was removed from the factory housing and installed in a housing I made in the shop. The dome is a Lexan security camera lens cover.

Image

The camera location was on one of the underwater entrances to a beaver lodge. When there is motion in front of the camera, the internal recorder goes back about five seconds and starts recording for thirty seconds. The video is stored on an internal micro SD card. I can then log in and watch the video and download it. Here is a sample from the first day.





Hope this helps. Good luck with your project.
caiawatha
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Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2022 1:12 am

Re: Fish Trailcam

Post by caiawatha »

I did look at using pixel change as a trigger but I would like the unit to function in the absence of light and the lowlight performance of those units seem marginal at best. Have you tried using something similar in low light? I may have to try something similar at a different time. What did you do for power on that? I looked at a few similar cameras and they seemed to consume a lot of power even when not actively recording.
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-jeff
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Re: Fish Trailcam

Post by -jeff »

The setup in the picture ran off of a solar panel and storage battery. I have powered similar setups with a couple 13.2Ah V-mount batteries.
Two in parallel will last about one week running 24/7.

Here is a video from one of the cameras.

caiawatha
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Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2022 1:12 am

Re: Fish Trailcam

Post by caiawatha »

Well after more consideration I think maybe I will use a camera that triggers based on pixel change after all. The battery life isn’t amazing but I’m thinking I could have the fishfinder trigger an led floodlight which would trigger the security camera via the sudden bright light. This would give me the ability to trigger based on the sonar reading or on motion. Here in Alaska we have a lot of darkness in winter and then a lot of daylight in summer. Setting the system up as two separate parts would give me more flexibility to change methods with the seasons. One potential issue is that I don’t know if pixel difference analysis cameras trigger based on lighting change. It seems like just the sort of thing that could be considered a non-trigger event. Do you happen to know?
Also, do you have any recommendations for a camera to use? I really like the pre-motion recording. I’m very impressed with the videos you shared, they caught the motion very well and are good quality image wise. I spent a couple hours looking and found a few that might work but there are hundreds to sort through and you seem to have already found a couple that work well. If you wouldn’t mind sharing which types you’ve tried it would be much appreciated (also understand if not).
Thanks!
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-jeff
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Re: Fish Trailcam

Post by -jeff »

The camera in this setup was made by Dahua but I can't remember the actual model number. I think it was a IPC-HFW5231E-Z12 but not sure. I removed the guts from the factory case to mount in the underwater housing. Here is a link to the setup manual that will give you more information on the camera and it's capabilities. https://material.dahuasecurity.com/uplo ... V2.1.5.pdf I believe it will trigger on sudden light change
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