Bird monitors can use battery packs now
A couple of months ago we said longer battery life and cheaper solar for Bird monitors is coming. This is now available with our power bank enabler for sale, making the solar option about 60% cheaper.
This small piece of electronics overcomes a "feature" of modern power banks that turn off after whatever is plugged into them stops drawing charge. Normally to start using the battery pack again you have to unplug the device and plug it back in, or push a button on the pack. This device mimics this unplugging and plugging back in by waking up once per day and cutting the circuit electronically and then reconnecting it. So the bird monitor gets recharged once per day:
With this power bank enabler you can now benefit from the large capacity of these power banks/battery packs. We estimate that with a 20,000 mAh pack the Bird Monitor will last for 3 months.
We're currently testing a solar power bank which we think has enough generation power to last indefinitely, maybe even in shade. The power bank has enough capacity for over two month's of charging, even if the solar generated nothing. Because we haven't finished testing it (it will probably take a year), we can't guarantee this will last, but we are feeling optimistic and will update you on how our testing goes.
We are also going to be looking at a larger, 24,000 mAh solar battery pack - that has a larger solar panel again. You can now buy the a bird monitor with a solar power bank and a power bank enabler together as a bundle.
Many thanks to Ewen Fraser who designed and built the first devices.