Regular Operation

Editing the parameters

Edit the file by running,


and set the parameters to their desired values. In particular, make sure the TWEET, FLICKR and DBOX variables (which control whether photos are uploaded to the respective services) have the values you want them to have.

Note that there are three “delay” parameters, all measured in seconds. They play different roles:

  • DETECTOR_DELAY is the minimum time between detector queries. Pictures will never be taken more frequently than once every DETECTOR_DELAY.
  • SETTLETIME is the time between initializing the tripwire and beginning regular detector operation. The detector needs a (very short) time to recognize the presence of the signal. Do not set this parameter to less than the default value. If the detector reports a single spurious event on every startup, you may try increasing this parameter.
  • PHOTO_DELAY is the minimum time between Twitter posts. (It probably should be renamed to TWITTER_DELAY.) Twitter enforces quotas on the number of tweets which are more restrictive than the Flickr or Dropbox limits, so you may want to set this parameter to a higher value than DETECTOR_DELAY.

Running the software

Once everything is set up, you can start the Paparazzi Birdfeeder by typing,

sudo python

When it’s time to deploy the birdfeeder, you will likely do the following:

  1. Place the birdfeeder in its designated location.
  2. Turn on the Raspberry Pi.
  3. SSH into the Pi from another machine.
  4. Run,
    sudo python &
    disown -h %1

The disown command will keep the process running even after you sever the SSH connection to the device.

A comprehensive log of all events (detections, photos being taken, photo uploads, and of course errors) is recorded as birdfeeder.log.

Lets birds leave you postcards.