I promised the kids we could make a “Hedgehog Cam” and set it up in what we thought is the most likely place for them to appear in our garden.
My initial thoughts was to go down the Raspberry Pi route, with a camera module attached, inside an enclosure etc and although not ridiculous in price, it started to mount up. Now, having already setup CCTV at home, with some SV3C PoE cameras connected to a small low powered server for the recording, I thought why not just get another PoE camera and rig it up to that, it would be a lot less faff and cheaper too!
Looking on Amazon I stumbled across the Reolink RLC-410 it has a video resolution of 2560×1920, not quite 4K but better than 1080p, and from the moment it fired up I thought “I need to replace the rest of my cameras with these!” the clarity in the picture is amazing for the price, I bought this one for £40! Which just goes to show how much tech reduces in price over time, the cameras I have now were purchased 4 years ago, are 1080p quality and were about £60 a pop, this Reolink is cheaper, has superior image quality, better user interface and the accompanying Android and iOS apps are extremely polished.
The packaging is very minimal and recyclable, there is a Styrofoam internal so ‘Green points’ deducted there.
Setting this thing up for the config I have is a doddle, it’s a PoE device, so plug it in to a PoE switch is all that’s needed to get it active, Junior helped me lay the cabling, a good 50-60 metre length of CAT5.
The camera has a slot for a Micro SD card, I didn’t intend to use it but I had one lying so decided to make use of it (even though I’ll be mainly using the CCTV server for recordings) but it’s turned out to be very useful, the app from Reolink will allow playback and downloading of the clips stored on the SD card and in some ways is just more convenient than using the main interface I currently use (BlueIRIS) for pulling off clips, the SD recorded clips are full quality too.
I created up a shortcut on Junior’s laptop so he can view the footage and watch it live if he wants to and my eldest uses the iOS App. what I really like is the abilty to create users for accessing the camera, my 2 older children can veiw live footage and download stored clips, but not be able to alter the settings of the camera, something I’d not even thought about initially.
And here is our first alert from “Hedgehog Cam!”….. unfortunately…. It wasn’t a Hedgehog 🤣 But the quality really is impressive nevertheless.
We may not have any Hedgehogs just yet, they may still be hibernating after all, but we’ll certainly share our findings if we do get visitors.
A few days later and we have success! A few friends asked if we’d put food, how did we know they would come etc and the truth is we didn’t know and neither did we put any food down, it was literally a matter of placing the camera in the most likely place we thought one might appear.
Junior was absolutely made up with the fact we’d caught one on camera (and so was Daddy if I’m being honest) the chances are that this chap might have visited before, but the low sensitivity setting on the camera might just not have triggered, that’s now been increased so we just have to wait and see if our friend comes back again!