Sunday, August 8, 2010

Bat Footage: Get em while they're hot (infrared and low light)

The OSG Engineering team is pleased to report some progress on Project 71, the follow-up to the previous Bat Watching post. That first time, I tried to use my Tachyon XC 2010 helmet cam to get some shots of bats as they exited the Arizona Canal Diversion Channel for their nightly bug feeding. It came out OK, but that's not really what that camera is designed to do, at least not the way that I set it up. If it were mounted on a cave-driving bat watching robot the results may be better, but I don't have one of those (yet). Or I could duct tape it to a zombie's head and send him wandering around down there, but I also lack that (currently). This time, I took a camera with better low-light and infrared sensitivity, and went back there. I think this footage shows them both leaving and returning to feed the young ones.

This camera is an old-fashioned Hi-8 video camera, so I had to pipe the results through a PVR-350 video capture board. Which is not currently parked in my main computer, but instead in an older one that is CPU-challenged. The capture rate isn't that great. I'm still working on  getting it up to acceptable quality, please to excuse the blocks and artifacts. Project 71 continues. Progress to date is shown below. I need an IR illuminator or full-on night vision, and also to reconfigure my quad core computer to hold the PCI vid capture card. Long story. Project 71B. Unless/Until a zombie shows up. Designate that one project 71Z just in case. Get up. Go ride.


Some low light street footage, too


  1. Now that was cool, especially when the bats fly at the camera.
    I suppose it would be dangerous to hang it right in front of the entrance.
    Great road footage too, the camera holds the contrast well.
    I'm liking it.
    The camera I mean.

  2. Thanks limom! In truth I considered dangling a camera down there at several points. But really you need a gyroscope or something to keep it pointed the right direction. Or one of those RC helicopters with a camera--but that would not be safe with all those bats flying around. Even though something as slow-moving as an RC helo would probably make them all bust out laughing. I don't know if you've ever heard 4000 bats burst out laughing at an RC helo, but it's pretty funny.


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