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  • Woodpecker sound detector and automation?

    As if social distancing was tedious enough, now the woodpeckers appear to be returning. 6am and the dumb f*cker is hammering on a the metal chimney cap.

    I've got a bird distress sound maker and that has worked in the past. But it's been annoying to use if it's left on it's own automatic cycles. I've got neighbors and they're nice folks, but they've complained about the sound maker. And rightly so, it's not fine-grained enough in how it behaves to avoid being annoying. Granted, being annoying to the woodpeckers is the goal, but not if it drives everyone else crazy. Even more so now that we're all trapped at home for a bit.

    I'm thinking it might be useful to control power to it with an automated switch. Basically, only power it up and let it remain running if/when the woodpecker hammering is detected.

    Has anyone come across a solution that could be paired with HS?

  • #2
    No solution but a few considerations come to mind.

    1. Assuming the sound generator is AC powered, controlling the power to the unit could be accomplished with an outlet plug, The question would be that when you apply power, does the device start producing sound or does it wait for sound before generating? Could be a design consideration.

    2. The next chore is to be able to detect the specific sound of a woodpecker hammering and then control the outlet plug via HS. I've never seen or heard of anything like that so my mind goes to building one. Given what I am familiar with, I'd be looking at an arduino coupled to HS via the mcsMQTT plugin and detecting the hammering via a sound sensor. Here is something to explore about microphones on arduinos.

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    • #3
      How about some vibration sensors attached to the metal chimney cap and wired in parallel to a wireless door/window sensor? When triggered, HS turns on the repellent device.
      Fred

      HomeSeer Pro 3.0.0.548, HS3Touch, Zwave 3.0.1.252, Envisalink DSC 3.0.0.40, WeatherXML, Z-stick, HS phone, Way2Call

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      • #4
        I can think of two ways to handle this. If it's only your metal chimney then attaching a vibration sensor would be one way. If it's multiple items you could use a sound sensor but then you'd have to tune the level where a response is made although the same is true for the vibration sensor. My initial thought was using a one wire solution but I think the audrino route might be simpler, just depends on what you feel more comfortable with. Homeseer plugins exist for both. Note that a vibration sensor probably should only be attached when you're not actively using the fireplace. Although you might attach one using a high temperature caulk. If you use a vibration sensor you will also want to account for rain, although I'm sure a woodpecker hits much harder than raindrops. There are several outdoor zwave outlets available to power up your bird distress sound maker.
        So in this project a basic vibration sensor module is interfaced with Arduino UNO and whenever the vibration sensor detects any vibration or jerk an LED will start blinking.

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        • #5
          This secret knock sensor may be able to be programmed to recognize the woodpecker tapping: https://www.mysensors.org/build/knock. If you don't use MySensors, then the method outlined there could still be used with HS with some of the other ways to connect Arduinos to HS.

          PS Here's an example of how I've used the knock sensor: https://forum.mysensors.org/topic/14...378&lang=en-US
          HS 3.0.0.548: 1990 Devices 1172 Events
          Z-Wave 3.0.1.262: 126 Nodes on one Z-Net

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          • #6
            I use Microphone Sensor AVR PIC High Sensitivity Sound Detection Module together with an esp8266 to detect my dogs barking in the basement ad they work pretty well ...

            sparkman I like your idea of the knock to open idea, might steel it

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            • #7
              My chimney is way too high to put any sort of motion sensor on it. I've no desire to turn 'social isolation' into 'dead at the base of a ladder'. A friend's Dad made the mistake of trimming trees on Thanksgiving. It wasn't until dinner was ready and he wasn't answering that they found him. I'd pay someone to do it well before making the attempt.

              That and past experiments with vibration sensors has proved them to be pretty unreliable. Lots of false positives from passing vehicles and such.

              This gizmo looks to be interesting: Birds-Away Attack Spider https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000J535QC

              The idea being it's supposedly listening for the noise to trigger the action. It then drops a big-*** spider down on a string. I'm prepared to be underwhelmed, and know it will probably be of zero use for the chimney situation. This would have been more use in previous years where they damned things attacked the architectural foam caps on porch pillars. Apparently the bird-brained idiots are attempting to impress females by making big holes. I'd make holes in them but, alas, they're protected (and I have tree-hugging neighbors).

              So I may try hacking it to pull out a signal when it trips. Use that into 'something else' for input to HS. Then tie that to an EasyTrigger schedule bracket and a HS event with a turn-off. Detect the hammering, trip the input, check that it's not the middle of the night, activate the noise maker and shut it off after a few minutes.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by sparkman View Post
                This secret knock sensor may be able to be programmed to recognize the woodpecker tapping: https://www.mysensors.org/build/knock. If you don't use MySensors, then the method outlined there could still be used with HS with some of the other ways to connect Arduinos to HS.

                PS Here's an example of how I've used the knock sensor: https://forum.mysensors.org/topic/14...378&lang=en-US
                That could be interesting. The hard part would be capturing the sample. For a dog barking that'd be pretty simple. I'd think the sample would need to be grabbed using the mic setup as it would be operating in real life. With all the ambient sound and such. Still... that's an idea worth investigating, thanks!

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