The Perch Sensor

Bird feeders come in different shapes and sizes. I opted to go with a low-tech solution for determining when a bird lands on the feeder perch. While it is certainly possible to construct an elaborate pressure switch mechanism, the time and expense required to implement it seems like a lot of work just to detect when something grips the perch. Instead, we can monitor fluctuations in electrical capacitance.

Cover the feeder perch with aluminum foil, attach a wire from the foil to a resistor connected to the digital pins on the Arduino. By measuring baseline values and fluctuations detected when a bird lands on this sensor, we can establish a threshold value to determine when a landing message should be transmitted.

Building ...

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