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July 17, 2015 AT 11:00 am

Raspberry Pi Monitor With Racing Pigeons #piday #raspberrypi @Raspberry_Pi

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Pigeon racing is totally a thing! And now Robert Threet made a Raspberry Pi monitor that gives each returning bird a photo finish and tweets it. via linux

Pigeon racing season is over now but Robert Threet is still working on troubleshooting the wi-fi connection at the pigeon loft near his home in Indiana. Threet is a systems manager at the University of Southern Indiana in Evansville, but in his spare time he’s engineering a Raspberry Pi to monitor his pigeons’ whereabouts.

“I wanted to use it with a motion detector to take pictures of my returning racing pigeons and tweet them,” Threet said. The setup also includes a temperature probe to monitor the weather at the loft.

Pigeon races all begin in one designated place and finish at each person’s loft, Threet explains. When a new member joins the pigeon racing club, they take the GPS coordinates of the loft and use them to calculate the exact distance of each race – anywhere from 300 miles for young birds, to 400 miles for yearlings, and 500 miles for old birds. Each bird’s flight time is recorded by an electronic clock that scans an RF band on the bird. The bird with the fastest time in yards-per-minute wins the race.

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