Meshtastic helps Birds (how do I hide my router)

How do I best place a router in the forest… In our region, many routers/clients hang in plastic pipes on ropes in the trees. Why not do something good for the birds and install the knot in a nesting box? I hope a titmouse moves in too. If a male tit hibernates in the box in winter, my Li-Ions will also be nice and warm :wink:


RAK board with 2x3200mAh and 5W solar module. The wood has hardly any attenuation at 868Mhz unless it is completely wet.

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I installed 2 nesting boxes/routers. A titmouse is already busy flying in and out of one :smiley: I’ll monitor the antenna signal. I hope the birds don’t mutate due to the LoRa radiation :space_invader:

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do you have pictures of the “plastic pipes on ropes in the trees” !??

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Unfortunately no, I got the link via the Meshtastic network, but deleted the message. You have to imagine it like this: 40-50mm sewage pipe with a cap at the top/bottom and 2-3 small solar panels at the front. In order to keep everything in the tree aligned against the sun, cords have to be thrown into the tree from two sides, which the router is then pulled up and aligned with. I think the nesting box is more useful and less “conspicuous”.

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You even hid the antenna inside, super duper stealthy! Does this incur a significant signal attenuation? Is the Lägern router built like this?

Yes, exactly, it can be easily stored in your pocket without anything getting stuck.
So far I haven’t noticed any major differences in reception compared to antennas of similar size (T-Echo, Heltec V3 etc.).
Sometimes it helps to pay attention to the polarization. If the device is lying down, the antenna sends/receives horizontally.
A “normal” antenna is used on the Lägern, which can be bent by 90°.
I can add a photo later.
Greetings Simon

Last November I designed my own birdhouse in Freecad. A bit silly, because, as you demonstrated here, the off-the-shelf ones work perfectly well. I realized that myself, so it remained just a silly idea, and a nice PDF.

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For me meshtastic is a bit like geocaching, but with an actual function.

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i thought about that, but then i have 1 big question :slight_smile:
what do you do, if you have to get the device to your hand, for maintainance/update or other things, and there is a whole bird Family living in there !? you kill them? or you wait 3 months ?

so i would rather use a node in a bird house that would not be functional as a bird house (closed entrance) so that it can be accesible :slight_smile:

and maybe set a second, fully functional node-less birdhouse nearby for Karma, so the birds dont get upset :slight_smile:

in welcher gegend bist du ? bin Nähe Köln

Ich wohne im Zürcher Oberland, in der nähe von Hinwil.

No, you don’t kill them, they are too small to be lunch anyway. You just say “Sorry for the inconvenience, little birdies!”, let them complain, grab the router assembly, disconnect the solar cable and close it back up. They just might recover from the trauma and be grateful to still be alive.

that sounds ok… i thought you d have to remove the whole box from the tree…

Yes, I thought about that too. But apart from a firmware update or battery replacement, I don’t have to open the box. Everything else can be done via BLE if there is something to adjust. For important nodes, I have a temporary backup solution that is quickly set up (not disguised) in case the birdhouse fails between March and September.

the backup solution is a life saver for the birds then :slight_smile:

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How do you place the bird house so the panel gets sun? Because trees are in forests, where it’s all shady all the time. Even if the tree is standing alone, near the trunk it’s all shaded by the branches. Do you just ignore all that and oversize the panel?

One idea I had was to find a tree like this, where the top is dead and without branches, but the tree below is still healthy enough to remain standing for some years, maybe.

Or you find an anomaly like this, where a nesting box placed somewhere in the middle still gets enough light, um, but then how do you even reach it? Yeah, not very realistic.

that treee is a local hero :slight_smile:

Yes, of course the solar module does not perform well in a dense foliage under a coniferous forest. The locations are usually on the edge of a forest, or the module is not permitted to face the south due to the slope. In addition, the router only makes sense in a topographically well-located location in order to achieve radio coverage. You can find the right places by studying maps and taking leisurely walks.

This is such an great idea.
Just found a great spot for this on a 550ft hill near me. Should get great coverage.
Just not sure how the birdhouse will effect the signal or the tree for that matter. Was thinking I could install the antenna outside beside the house and even get it away from the tree a bit.
This would still be less suspicious and possibly attract less attention than a plastic electrical box. Would look like somekind of bird activity tracking station and people wouldn’t mess with it…hopefully :wink:

Hello Steve
15-20mm wood actually has little influence on the signal, I was surprised that the values ​​didn’t really increase even when it rained. I live in a house that mostly has wooden walls. My nodes still reach the next router.