State of v1 Prototype

Light Barrier Test

View functional test of the light barrier.. Passage detection works and can distinguish between in/out direction.

Status: Functional & optimized
Possible improvements: lower current consumption.
Next action: Test IR LED with higher efficiency.

RFID Reader Test (NFC)

View functional test of the NFC reader with plastic bird ring. LED turns on and blinks while RFID tag gets detected. Max. tested range: <1 cm.

Status: Functional but makes microcontroller crash after 1-2 minutes.
Possible improvements: Increase range. Avoid crashes.
Next action: Test the entire system again with lower read rates.

Power management (Vbat to 3.3 V converter)

Status: Functional. Non-optimized.
Possible improvements: More efficient component at given power consumption.
Next action: Test different component for v2.

Data storage (internal FRAM)

Status: Functional.
Possible improvements: Internal storage space is too small.
Next action: Add external (SD card) storage on v2

Real Time Clock

Status: Available, but not implemented.
Possible improvements: -
Next action: Configure microcontroller to make use of RTC.

State of v2 Prototype (Jan 4. 2018)

Component Evaluation

Status: Done. Transferred to Schematic
Possible improvements: -
Next action:

PCB

Status: Schematic done. Layout pending.
Possible improvements: Double check schematic.
Next action: Start layout.

LF antenna

Prototypes with coil antennas were tested (range ~1 cm, due to high resistivity: 12 Ohms) as well as wire-wound antennas (similar range if long enough wire is used). PCB antennas with >40 windings proofed to be the best performing version if placed horizontally below the tag.

Status: Evaluation phase completed.
Possible improvements: Better matching capacitor for optimal performance.
Next action: Evaluate in real test conditions.

Weight sensor

Proof-of-concept with standard low-cost load cell successfully tested.

Status: Evaluation phase completed.
Possible improvements: Temperature compensation.
Next action: Integration of the acquisition IC on the main PCB.

Mechanical design

We are opting for a horizontal PCB antenna fixed on the nestbox entrance's lower edge. Advantage: PCB fits inside 10x10cm board size.

Status: Concept is clear. Implementation needs to be tested.
Possible improvements: -
Next action: Add wooden enclosure & ensure waterproofing.