Archive for the ‘Kits’ Category

Wildlife Cam Kit Resources

Posted by Naturebytes

Assembly Guides

Wildlife Cam Kit & Cam Cases

Components to complete your Wildlife Cam Case

Live View Guide


Educational Materials

Operating system software

Maker resources

Developer Kit (Kickstarter Maker Kit)

Birdfeeder Arm Assembly Instructions (Wooden Kit)

3D printing STL files (Print your own case)

Worlds-first plant selfie!

Posted by Naturebytes

Microbial fuel cells, developed by Plant-E, have been used successfully with‘s energy harvesting camera technology to capture what are thought to be the world’s first plant-powered photographs.

Check out the video below to learn more about this incredible development that could have far-reaching benefits for the natural world!


Wild Dubai

Posted by Naturebytes

We’ve been in Dubai for a few weeks now – and we’ve been overwhelmed at how keen the UAE is to engage with Nature EdTech at naturebytes! If you’re an educator or school in Dubai or the UAE that’s looking to engage students with smart STEM skills, get involved – and spread the word!

Working with the Dubai Future Foundation, the KHDA and our Pioneer partners, the naturebytes team of conservation, technology and education specialists are delivering bespoke education and technology programmes – tailored to the needs of Dubai.

We’re working with the youth of Dubai to give them the tech skills and tools they need to solve the real-world environmental challenges, reconnect with nature and create a brighter future for themselves!

Find out more at

Electronic Components for the Wildlife Cam Case

Posted by Naturebytes

If you’ve bought the Wildlife Cam CASE, but would like to use your own components –  see below are the components we recommend you use to build the kit:

The full page of our digital guides and resources can be found here

We’ve provided links to The Pi Hut where you can buy components but you can purchase them from other electronics/maker stores. Where there isn’t a link you can easily find the parts with a basic online search.

Power alternative – The Wildlife Cam Kit can use the below instead of a power bank:

Create a naturebytes account  to access the assembly guide and resources page which has the download files for the Operating System software that we use for the Wildlife Cam Kit, or watch here for the naturebytes manual.

We love seeing your projects and photos so don’t forget to tag us on social media (facebook, twitter or instagram) in your projects with #naturebytes

We can’t wait to see how you use your Wildlife Cam Case.

Raspberry Pi weather station prototype by @rdhayler

Brand new Wildlife Cam Cases for Spring 2018!

Posted by Naturebytes

Be quick to make sure you get your hands on one of the limited run of cases.

The cases are perfect for those who want to take their electronics outdoors but already have a Raspberry Pi or some of the electronics in the full Wildlife Cam Kit.

Be quick to make sure you get your hands on one of the limited run of cases (the first dispatch for pre-orders will be limited to 50 and shipped on 23/05/18) just in time for the bank holiday weekend.

The Wildlife Cam Case has been designed and made by tech and conservation experts in the UK and are perfect for those who want to take their electronics outdoors but already have any of the Raspberry Pi models or own some of the electronics included in the full Wildlife Cam Kit.

With purchase of the Wildlife Cam Case you will also have access to the free digital guides and software allowing helping you to build your wildlife camera, get it outdoors and catch those wildlife shots.


The contents of the Wildlife Cam Case

The electronics mount included is compatible with all Raspberry Pi models, the Raspberry Pi Camera boards and allows you to use custom set-up’s. Also provided are the fasteners and spacers that we use in the Wildlife Cam Kit for attaching a Raspberry Pi, Camera, PIR and LiPo Rider. The battery holder will secure your power source, and keep the inside of the kit tidy.

The weatherproof enclosure fully protects the internal electrical components from the elements and the hinged-clip design provides the user with easy access to the Pi’s ports and internal components. The rear cable and attachments allows for modular upgrades, for example Solar panels to charge the battery, but other adaptations might include sound capture and wireless connectivity (enabling streaming to a TV or PC).

We’ve also included a robust nylon camera mounting strap to attach your camera to posts or trees to capture the best images.

Birds fly from the naturebytes NestBoxes

Posted by Naturebytes

Naturebytes NestBoxes have been set-up by schools all over Belgium. The NestBox was created especially for the Xperibird project, fitted out with our specialist tech, including; a Raspberry Pi computer, night-vision camera and user control interface;  creating a live video stream direct from the NestBox to the classroom. Students have closely followed the lives of their bird family as they grow from eggs, to hatchlings, to flying the nest.

NestBox Infographic

It’s been an amazing experience to see how the NestBox insights have captivated their audience – we’ve seen nesting great tits and blue tits, 14 eggs laid in just one nest, chicks taking their first flight and some of the breeding pairs are now successfully raising their second brood of the season.

The trials and tribulations of bird life have made it an emotional journey for some of the schools and their adopted bird families. One teacher from Free School of Fraipoint, Belgium said “Our school, children, parents and teachers have all been touched by this fabulous adventure! A big thank you to the designers of Xperibird!”

The Xperibird truck delivers the NestBoxes across the country

The Xperibird project is a three year project delivered to schools across Belgium by the wonderful people at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences and is funded by Through the distribution of NestBoxes, digital learning, bird observations and data collection, the Xperibird project has brought schools and scientists together to better understand these key bird species.

National map of Xperibird NestBoxes

You can find out more and check out the latest videos on the Xperibird website, it’s great!

If you have any thoughts, questions or are interested in a similar project, get in touch as we’d love to hear from you.


naturebytes co-founder



Kenya Cam Kit Conservation

Posted by Naturebytes

It’s not everyday that you get asked if the Naturebytes Wildlife Cam Kit would survive a bite from a hyena. One conservation organisation wanted to trial a kit to support their exciting citizen science project by capturing short 5 second video clips of animals roaming the African savanna so their users could identify what was spotted in the video. The Wildlife Cam Kit was therefore modified to take video (it takes photos by default) and took on the challenge. A USB WiFi dongle, 3G Netgear router and a larger Li-ion battery were added too. Instead of saving to the usual USB drive, videos were saved to the SD card instead.

The real challenge with deploying kits remotely is establishing a connection to the device from your home / office to check battery levels, perhaps change a configuration file, or even command the kit to take a photo / video on demand. The local GSM provider didn’t allow us to purchase a static IP address (so we could connect to the kit directly). To get around this we used a rather fantastic programme called PageKite. PageKite is a reverse proxy service that doesn’t care what your original IP address is – it boots and then provides you with a fixed URL that always points to the kit. We’re using it at the moment to host a small http server too so we can browse the contents of the /video folder on the kit from afar.

It’s great to see users modifying and extending the capabilities of the kit for their own needs and we can’t wait to see what the kit captures over time.

Naturebytes Co-founder




New National Nest-box Project

Posted by Naturebytes

We’ve teamed up with The Natural Science Museum of Belgium, with funding from, to create the Naturebytes smart NestBox national school project. The Naturebytes NestBoxes are creating a network of young people all learning digital skills to become citizen scientists and monitor key bird species. It’s the internet of things for wildlife!

The Naturebytes NestBox includes a Raspberry Pi computer and infra-red camera to covertly live-stream and photograph from inside the nest-boxes and capture key information such as: which species are nesting, how many eggs are laid and how many chicks survive to grow up and leave the nest.

Check out the video below of a Great tit feeding it’s chicks in a Naturebytes NestBox and find out more on the Xperibird project page.

Right now, we’re lining up the expansion of this project into different regions so if you would like to partner with us or get involved in this exciting project, we’d love to hear from you.


Co-founder, Naturebytes


How to remove your Powerboost’s switch

Posted by Naturebytes

The easiest and recommended method is to desolder the switch and remove it. If you have a soldering iron at hand and a desolder pump it’s easy to lift the switch away. Once the switch has been removed, just plug the battery into the Powerboost and connect it to the Raspberry Pi. It will be on by default when you plug the battery in.

If you don’t have a soldering iron you can physically remove the switch using pliers, but we recommend desoldering it if you can as there is a chance that you may damage the board if physically removing the switch.

Step 1. Use the pliers to remove the metal casing of the switch.


Step 2. Remove the second part of the switch. You may need to lightly twist it to remove it from the board.



Step 3. Continue to remove the remains of the switch and ensure that the pin soldered to LB isn’t bent and touching anything else. You should remove the switch but leave the pin soldered to LB on.


Testing your Wildlife Cam Kit

Posted by Naturebytes

First things first, you’re going to need to charge the battery before you take it outdoors as the batteries are straight from the factory and will need charging before use. By all means, feel free to charge the kit and leave it outside for a few hours if you’d like to skip ahead and confirm that your kit is taking photos. Whilst outside, walk infront of the kit a few times and then 5 mins later, open the case and remove the USB flash drive. Load the drive on your home computer and you’ll soon be able to see if your PIR and camera is working as expected as your USB drive will contain photos that your kit has taken. Once done, place the USB flash drive back in the camera and close the case. It will detect the drive and continue to save photos to it without it needing to be switched off.

Note – your kit won’t have the correct date and time as you haven’t yet set this. To do this, continue reading.

Preparing to test your kit

If you’d like to test the kit thoroughly you can charge and use the kit at the same time, which means you can plug the kit into your HDMI TV or computer screen and turn it on to configure and test it. There are three important factors to take into consideration when testing your kit via the Naturebytes desktop;

1) Your kit loads a Python script at startup which will save and stamp photos with information if the PIR is triggered. This process is CPU intensive for a short period of time, so you don’t want to trigger your camera continously when using the desktop as it will provide a poor, slow experience. Place the camera away from you so you can’t be detected by the PIR and when the desktop boots up, click the “Terminal” icon and write sudo killall python. Press enter and the camera will stop the script that takes photos until it is rebooted (i.e placed in your garden), leaving you to explore the desktop and not have to worry about triggering it by mistake.

2) You can improve the stability of the A+ Wildlife Cam Kit by disabling the preview functionality if you still want to trigger photos to be taken when on the desktop. Watch the Testing your Naturebytes Wildlife Cam Kit video for advice on where and how to make this change.

3) If you are using an external hub (the A+ only has one USB port so this would make sense), removing the USB drive and replacing it when on the desktop can sometimes assign a new drive ID if the USB port is detected as the primary USB device, which means your camera can’t save photos to the standard drive for that session. Just take a note of this, as when deployed in the field this isn’t an issue.

Now you know the three points to watch out for, you can get stuck in and test your PIR and camera by watching the Testing your Naturebytes Wildlife Cam video for a step by step visual guide below. Note – we recommend watching the video at full screen and 1080p HD quality to help read the text.

Configuring the date and time.

Your kit has a Real Time Clock that will save the data and time even when the kit has been turned off. It doesn’t have a date or time associated when it is built at the factory, so we’ll need to tell it the date and time when we connect to the kit. The simplest way to do this it to plug the kit into a HDMI screen and following the three considerations noted above. Once you are on the desktop, click the Terminal icon. You will be presented with a command prompt. Enter the following command and press enter. Note – change the date and time as required.

sudo date -s “04 MAR 2015 13:24:00”

Once you have entered the command above we will next need to save the date to the Real Time Clock using the command below. Write the following and press enter:

sudo hwclock -w

Finally, let’s read the date and time from the Real Time Clock to make sure it has been saved. Enter the following:

sudo hwclock -r

You should see the correct date and time. If you reboot the kit (Pi), it will now remember this new data and time that you have entered.