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Topic: Help save the Vultures with a 10DOF (Read 21895 times) previous topic - next topic


Jun 20, 2014, 12:11 am Last Edit: Jun 20, 2014, 12:14 am by adambloch Reason: 1
These are off the shelf and as they came... I really like them but I do agree that the LEDs will be a problem ultimately if we are to not use any unnecessary power but to start with and get things going the LEDs might be quite useful for debugging etc. Does anyone know if any of the micro SD cards are more power efficient than others? I can see this being another problem area

A rough estimate might be:   25MBITS SPI  = 20MBITS data rate
for  700kbps,  your duty cycle will be 0.7/20
0.7/20  *  20mA  =  0.7mA average current
0.7mA  *  3.3V    = 2.3mW.

I have seen others quoted at 30, 60 and 80mA as well

Flash mode Max Power up
Current (uA)
Max Stand by
Current (uA)
Max Read
Current (mA)
Max Write
Current (mA)
15015060@ 3.6V 60@ 3.6V
20020080@ 3.6V80@ 3.6V

(1) Data transfer mode is single channel.
(2) Data transfer mode is dual channel.

does anyone have any real world data on this?


I worked in one project, only in the beginning of it, and we used, at the time, not an SD card, but a flash IC. And when I look for information about this type of IC it was very different values in the consumption. So, I believe that for SD cards it self it can have different values of consumption too (inside one SD card there are flash IC's).


Maybe I need to get a few Micro SD cards and do some bench marking....

Does and one know which of the online 3D printing services is any good? Anyone ever used any of them and does anyone have any experience of clip together cases? I want to make a case that has single part that when two are printed they will fit together to form the egg case and click together so that no screw are needed. The case needs to have holes in it so that it can have an array of DS18B20s arranged across the surface such a way that the temperature gradient of the surface can be read.

It might be best to have the holes made so that the DS18B20s sit in a pocket with just the legs going through the case so that they can be bonded in and the level of water proofing might be improved...


If not as FOD (foreigh object debris), won't the hen turn out the dummy egg as a dud?
All birds do that - they "know".
"Hey, wait a minute! What the heck is this?"
I thought then, well what's to turn the process in the Towers of Silence?
Just curious.
"Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?"
When all else fails, check your wiring!


The instinct to sit the egg is very strong in most of the birds that they will sit an egg of similar size and colour. There is always one bird that will decide that it doesn't like the new egg and kick it out of the nest but luckily that's the minority and not the majority. We remove the eggs for incubation and then put the chicks back in after 7 to 10days after hatching to make sure that we can give them as much of a head start as we can. We did have several moments with the Griffon Vultures this year where when the chick was due to hatch they would listen to the dummy egg to see if they could hear anything. As the date passed that the egg was due to have hatch they would both listen to the egg and the look at each other as if to say I can't hear anything can you? This is probably the most risky part where they might just give up incubating the egg due to it being over due. 

Not sure what you are asking about the Parsis?


Not sure what you are asking about the Parsis?

Wasn't asking a question there.  I am aware of the "towers" and the vultures' considerable role.
It's a problem for them.
"Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?"
When all else fails, check your wiring!


Interesting project,

Would the egg need to maintain a certain temperature in order for the HEN to know how to incubate it? would that temp need to change over time? Assumedly as the chick grows the general temp inside the egg goes up ?

I know this sounds stupid, but, can vultures hear high frequencies? do they get spooked by RF? has it been tested?  I for example get frequently P****sed off at poorly made electronics that I can hear buzzing when few other people can hear it.

I think that if you made your own board you could stand a chance of getting some good LIPO's in with it in the bigger egg.
You could either put a lot of smaller cells in parallel and try to squeeze them in every little nook and cranny, or go with one bigger,

you might even be able to squeeze two of these in :

Just be aware that an overly discharged lipo can swell, causing 1) a possibly cracked egg. and even worse 2) they can cause fire, which might end up killing the parent vultures.


sorry, one other thing,

Think about filling the whole egg with some non toxic resin, imagine an angry Vulture pecking the egg and finding a LIPO inside,
they could in theory either get zapped or start a fire, which from a charged LIPO is much more fun that a flat one ,


The bird should provide the temperature or heat to the egg. As long as the egg does not increase the temperature the birds should treat it as if where one of their own. No the noise thing is a sensible question. The answer is I'm not sure, if the noise is from or in the enviroment I would sugeest that they would, if it was a new noise start to ignore it quite quickly. If the noise wa to comes from the egg there might be a risk of rejection with by the bird removing the egg from the nest or the birds leaving the nest.

When we added cameras to the nest site it took a week or so for the birds to stop staring at the camera. Vultures don't like change... :)

Making sure that there is no risk to the vultures is critical. We have not had a problem with any of the birds damaging the dummy eggs but they do damage the real eggs by accident normally by standing in them. There are also birds that will destroy their own eggs. Fire, poisoning, death are all things that I would like to avoid.
Many be rather than potting the device, because of the depth of the DS18b20s the case will be thick enough to protect the contents.


well, concerning the noise I guess it will be a suck it and see scenario.

Concerning the Lipo, in my opinion, based on the fact that you need it to transmit for a loooong time, I imagine that you can sacrifice the LIPO in order to get a few more days of transmition, I assume the price of a dead LIPO isnt significant when compared to getting more data,

That in mind, a LIPO normally goes down to 3.2v, you should do some testing with the ones you decide to use, but if you take it down to 2.5v I dont think it will set on fire, maybe a small swell. BUT at that point you should be able to decide if you want just a little more transitting power, or to stop and shut off,  you will need a voltage measuring circuit on the arduino, and the ability to shut it all off if the battery goes critical,

now I think about it ,

if you can get a couple fo these badboys in there, even just one, you should have plenty of power.  They can go down to lower voltages, but IF they get over discharged, they can literally go off like rockets, so it needs to be considered. 


I really don't want to have anything catching fire... We have and others have been using LiPos in a few things for a while and so far no problems... The BM that is in the stack I hope will monitor and solve the problem anyway.

Microduino-BM is a discharge module which combines a single-cell Li-ion battery charge management, power detection and LED indication. The output voltage is 5V, and LDO is 3.3V output. Provides the outstanding battery management for the Microduino-Core module.

If the voltage drops below 3.2V, LED1 flashes and within 5 seconds the HT4901 goes to standby mode to avoid over-discharging the battery.


Great news Microduino have agreed to help with this project... We are currently building a website to host this project and let everyone join in. I'll put the link up as soon as the site is ready but in the mean time I'll continue on here.


Hi all.... Just to keep you all up to date.. we have nearly finished the website and there is a small forum to start talking about how this project is going and what is being done. It's all live and it would be great to have loads more input from everyone. Please come and register and join in.

I have also been in contact with the guys at https://www.3dprint-uk.co.uk/ they have very kindly sent me some sample bits to try out on the vultures to see if they can with stand being bitten. 3d printing does seem so far to be very strong. I'll post the results of the bite test on the forum.

For those of you wanting to find the new site you'll find it here


Again many thanks for the offers of help and please come and give your input on the new site.

I will continue to add up dates here as well



Please say Bill Bailey is involved and that isnt just a random picture


No not  just a random picture of Bill Baley. It was taken during filming at the centre for one of his DVDs. After he had finished filming for the video he spent a lot of the afternoon playing with the baby Condor.

He also very kindly opened our new Raptor Hospital this year and had fun doing Owl selfies

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