Escaped bird project

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by Storboy12, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. Storboy12

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jan 14, 2010
    Can anyone help -I'm trying to set up a simple communication system where I have a number of switches that detect open /close on at least 20 bird pens/traps and can then send an SMS message to advise me if a bird pen has opened.

    I know the system may involve possibly reed switches to detect open /close on the pens /traps, a data logger and possible a GSM module??? Can anyone please give me an idea of what would be required and would it be easy for a non-electronics/comunications expert to put together?
  2. retched

    AAC Fanatic!

    Dec 5, 2009
    Oh, boy. Ok. The easiest way to do what you want to do, get youself an Arduino board.
    Arduino is a microcontroller development board that will allow you to take the signal from the reed switches, and you can use twitter to notify yourself of the open cage.

    It would be an adapted version of the tweet-a-watt arduino project that measures the power your appliances use and send them via twitter.

    Is there a computer in or near the bird enclosure? If so, you can use the USB on the PC to power and communicate with the Arduino.

    All for $35 plus the cost for the reed switches and some wire.

    here is the tweet a watt project page:

    and the arduino info page:

    Arduinos home page with the code and forums to help:
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2010
  3. spinnaker

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 29, 2009
    Wouldn't it be cheaper and easier to just put locks on the cages. :)
  4. Storboy12

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jan 14, 2010
    That is a great info and a big help many thanks rm.The one problem I have is there is no computer nearby and any power required would need to be via a battery or possibly solar power.
  5. BMorse

    Senior Member

    Sep 26, 2009
    You can always do it without a microcontroller.... Check out Rentron Electronics ( and check out their line or RF transmitters and receivers, you can fashion a circuit that runs on batteries that can transmit a signal when a switch is pressed, (basically you would connect switches to the remotes switch pad from each "pen door"), on the receiver circuit you can connect anything you want to signal a "switch" or door being opened with LED's or even piezo buzzers.

    My .02
  6. maxpower097

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2009
    What about using a temp sensor or motion sensor too? This way not only will you know if a bird flew the coupe but you would know if they were dead, or sick too.
  7. retched

    AAC Fanatic!

    Dec 5, 2009
    The OP wanted to receive the alarm via SMS.


    The only other way I could foresee doing this would be using the idea I had but you would have to send the data from the microcontroller to a cell phone. An Iphone app could be built to take the data from the arduino and text it to you. That way, you could easily run the Arduino and Iphone via solar and a cheap battery.