Quick Start Guide

BirdWeather PUC


Questions?   Email us!  support@birdweather.com
This will be the quickest way to get a response, especially thru the holidays.

Frequently Asked Questions

WiFi Setup

To get started, your PUC needs to connect to the BirdWeather Server via WiFi

1

Download the BirdWeather app from the iOS App Store or Google Play Store
(if you've already installed, please make sure that it's the latest from the App/Play store)

App-Store Google-Play

2

Connect your PUC to a power source, either via a USB-C cable or 3x AA batteries.

3

Launch the BirdWeather mobile app.

Then tap ‘Setup my PUC’ to begin the setup process.

IMG_3609
4

Ensure that your mobile device is connected to a 2.4GHz Wi-Fi network and is within range of your PUC.

Turn on the PUC by holding down the button until the LED turns green. Then tap ‘NEXT’ within the app.

PUC-Setup-3
5

At this point, the button on your PUC should be blinking blue. If it is not, double click the button to switch PUC to setup mode. The button on your PUC should be steadily blinking blue (about once per second).  If not, make sure it's powered on, and try double-clicking the button again.

Then tap ‘NEXT’ within the app.

PUC-Setup-4
6

Enter your Wi-Fi password and tap ‘CONNECT’ to connect your PUC to the network.

Note that only 2.4GHz networks are supported.

PUC-Setup-5 PUC-Setup-6
7

Setup finished! Your PUC is now ready to start recording nature and detecting birds.

The app will show an estimated location until it is able to determine your location via the PUC's built-in GPS.

PUC-Setup-7 PUC-Setup-8

Using the App

1

PUC Stats

  • Basic Stats (battery, SD card)
  • Today's Total Species
  • Today's Total Detections
  • Latest Detection Time
  • Note: Audio Playback is not yet possible in the Android app.

 

PUC_Stats PUC_Species PUC_Playback
2

PUC Environment

  • Temperature, Humidity, Barometer
  • IAQ (Air Quality Estimate)
  • tVOC (Volitile Organic Compounds)
  • Sound Pressure Level (loudness)
PUC_Enviro
3

PUC Light

  • Spectral Light Levels from the PUC's onboard light sensor
PUC_Light
4

PUC Motion

  • Accelerometer (XYZ)
  • Magnetometer (XYZ)
PUC_Motion

Note - for now, we've set the default for your PUC to upload every soundscape, which means that it will consume batteries fairly quickly (depending on the manufacturer), especially in cold temperatures.  We will be pushing an update in the next few days that gives you some options for prolonging battery life.  For a 24x7 station, experiencing cold temperatures, I highly recommend powering your PUC via USB-C (please check the FAQ for my recommendations) or using Lithium Ion Rechargeables - like the CZVV - they'll last for many cycles - and perform quite well during really cold nights!

Frequently Asked Questions

If your PUC appears stuck in a loop with the Red/Blue cyclic light pattern happening for a couple minutes, then a Green flash, it's likely that it is stuck in an Update Loop.  Please send me an email at support@birdweather.com with your PUC-#### and I can work with you to get you onto the latest firmware.

If you're experiencing issues with your PUC going offline - particularly overnight during cold temperatures - the likely culprit is batteries.  The factory firmware is uploading every soundscape, day and night, which results in a continuous power draw.  That's proving challenging for some battery types!  I'm working on an update that will improve the battery usage, as well as giving you more Recording Options so that you can make some tradeoffs to extend battery life.

In the meantime, if you're at all able, I highly recommend powering by USB-C charger - it's a bit like magic, as the PUC will stay online 24x7.

PUC is designed to work only with 2.4GHz networks.  Please make sure to connect to the 2.4GHz network on your WiFi router.

On some routers, this may require (temporarily) disabling the 5GHz network in order to provision your PUC, as your mobile will automatically connect to the 5GHz.  Once the PUC is connected to WiFi, you can reenable the 5GHz, as it is only needed during the WiFi provisioning step.

We designed PUC to be super simple to use — with just a single button, your PUC will automatically switch between 3 different BirdWeather modes:

  1. BirdWeather Live Station:
    • Just turn on your PUC when it's within range of your (home) WiFi network, and it will automatically operate as a Live BirdWeather Station.
    • Click the button, and it will double-blink Blue to indicate it is Live.
  2. BirdWeather Recorder:
    • Turn your PUC on when it's not within range of your (home) WiFi network, and it will automatically record to the on-board SD card.
    • Click the button, and it will double-blink Green to indicate it is Recording.
  3. Uploading to BirdWeather:
    • Once you're back in range of your (home) WiFi network, turn your PUC back on, and it will automatically upload all recordings to the BirdWeather server.
    • Click the button, and it will double-blink Purple to indicate it is Uploading.
    • Note - PUC will automatically power off once all recordings have been uploaded.

We use the button on top of the PUC to indicate what your PUC is doing ...

Powering ON - you'll hold the button until you see the light turn Green.

Low Battery - on boot, the PUC will check the battery voltage, if it is too low, it will flash red about 8 times, then power off.

WiFi Setup Mode - continuous (about 1 flash per second) Blue blinking indicates that the PUC is in WiFi setup mode and ready to be setup via the mobile app.

Booting Up - about 15-30sec after you've powered on the PUC, you should see a double-blink.

  • Blue double-blink indicates that the PUC is Live Station Mode and connected to the BirdWeather server.
  • Green double-blink indicates that the PUC is in Recording Mode, storing all audio/data to the SD card in the battery compartment.
  • Purple double-blink indicates that the PUC is in Uploading Mode - uploading all recorded/stored data on the SD card up to the BirdWeather server

Status - a single click of the button on the PUC will also result in a double-blink

  • Blue double-blink indicates that the PUC is Live Station Mode and connected to the BirdWeather server.
  • Green double-blink indicates that the PUC is in Recording Mode, storing all audio/data to the SD card in the battery compartment.
  • Purple double-blink indicates that the PUC is in Uploading Mode - uploading all recorded/stored data on the SD card up to the BirdWeather server

Powering OFF - hold the button until you see the light turn Red.

Firmware Update - if you see a Red/Blue cycling pattern after powering on, this indicates that your PUC is updating it's firmware. It should take about 2min, please let it complete.

You're welcome to use any type of AA battery in your PUC (Alkaline, Lithium, and Lithium-Ion).  With such a wide range of batteries, and operating voltages, we are currently reporting the (3x AA) voltage in the BirdWeather App.

Please note - PUC is not able to charge batteries via the USB-C port - if you're using rechargeable batteries, you'll need to charge them externally.  You can, however, power the PUC from USB-C with batteries installed, that is completely safe.

Typical battery life on current firmware (running as a live station, posting every soundscape for analysis):

  • Amazon Basics Alkaline ... ~26hrs
  • Energizer Lithium ... ~48hrs
  • CZVV Lithium Rechargeable ... ~32hrs

Note - I don't recommend using NiMH batteries (like Energizer Eneloop) as their low operating voltage (1.2V) can quickly get below the PUC's 3.3V operating voltage.

You can power the PUC via the USB-C port - it will work on pretty much any 5V USB-C source - your laptop, USB-C adapter, USB-C chargers, etc.

The PUC's USB-C port is waterproof - but this isn't typical across different USB-A/USB-C adapters - so you'll want to be mindful if your adapter/charger is likely to get wet.

You can use something like this from Amazon - which doesn't have a connector/port on the wall charger, so it's much more weather resistant.

I also highly recommend that you use a relatively new USB-C cable.  Older cables can be loose-fitting in the USB-C port, which can result in poor connection to the PUC, causing intermittend problems.

I've received a number of emails around using a USB-C PowerBank - so thought I would create a FAQ entry.

In theory, the PUC should work with just about any USB-A or USB-C PowerBank out there that can deliver 5V and 1W or greater.  The trick is to make sure that it's waterproof, and that the cables are pretty well sealed (on both ends) from rain/debris.  For the PUC-side, you can use the little rubber o-rings that came with your PUC.

I've had great luck with these from Amazon - ABFOC - ELECOM NESTOUT Portable Charger - in both 10,000 and 15,000mAh

I also can now highly recommend the Voltaic V50 which has an AlwaysOn mode which does exactly what it says!

If you have *any* questions about whether a certain model is good to work with the PUC or not - email me - support@birdweather.com - I'm happy to have a look at the specs and let you know what I think.

There are some out there (like Nitecore) which support much higher voltages (9V/12V via USB-A) which I'm a bit dubious of, as (to the best of my knowledge) that isn't technically supported within the official USB-A spec.  The PUC wants 5V.  I recommend *NOT* using any Nitecore PowerBanks!!!

I also should note, that some PowerBanks will automatically time-out after a certain period - even with the PUC connected and powerd-on due to the PUC consuming (for the PowerBank) very very little power.  I'm experimenting in software to see if there is anything that I can do which would 'fool' the PowerBank into thinking that something is connected, without gobbling up a lot more excess power.

To power the PUC on - simply hold down the button until it turns green.

To power the PUC off - hold down the button until it turns red.

The default name of your PUC will be based on it's Station Number (PUC-1732), but you can change it to something more personal.

Just click on gear icon - then at the top (under General) - you can edit the name.  That's it!

Underneath your PUC is a little bag of rubber bits. If you’re just planning to run your PUC on AA batteries, you can just tuck them away in a safe place.

PUC_Baggie

If you’re planning to power it via the USB-C port then this section is for you!

Your PUC comes with a little USB-C rubber plug installed - and a handful of spares should you lose one. If you don't have a USB-C cable inserted, it's best to keep the port plugged when it's in use outside to keep the port clean. It is waterproof, so don't worry about moisture, but it's not mud-proof!

PUC_USBC_Plug

There are also some little o-rings, which are ideal if you find that your USB-C cable has a little gap when plugged in.

PUC_USBC_Cable

PUC will automatically check on power-on for firmware updates if it is connected to WiFi. You'll know it's performing an update if you see blue/pink LEDs cycling on the button. Please wait for it to complete.

PUC_FW_Update

IMG_2200

IMG_2201

 

General
  • PUC Name (name your PUC, please be nice)
  • Location Privacy (if enabled, this will obscure your PUC's location)
  • Units (Imperial or Metric)
Audio
  • Upload Audio to BirdWeather (this is required for detections, but a quick way to 'mute' your PUC should you desire)
  • Recording Mode (this will be enabled when I am ready to update everyone's PUC firmware)
  • Recording Time (default is 9sec - but you can adjust as desired)
  • Gain (this won't impact the BirdNET AI performance, but can make it easier to hear during playback)
BirdNET
  • Probability - this represents the historical eBird likelyhood of seeing a particular species in your location at this time of year
  • Confidence - this is the 'confidence' from the BirdNET AI - basically how 'confident' the AI is that it's a given species
  • You can adjust these dynamically - they work as 'filters' for the historical detections from your PUC
Forget PUC
  • Use this to remove your/a PUC from your mobile device.  Note, the PUC itself will still remain connected to WiFi.
Add Another PUC
  • This is used to add a 2nd/3rd/etc PUC to your mobile device.  It also works if you are trying to re-provision your PUC on another WiFi.
Upload App Logs
  • This is useful for us if you're having issues with connectivity.

 

If your PUC is in a location where it will be subject to heavy rain, it will tend to do better if it is mounted more vertically than horizontally. This will keep water from pooling in the top of the little microphone ports, which can decrease the sensitivity of the microphones.

Please also check the Extra Bits Bag section above - and make sure that the USB-C connector is plugged, or if you are using a USB-C cable, that there is little/no gap between the cable and the PUC.

If you're powering off the USB-C cable, angling it downwards (I know, then the PUC logo is upsided down!) will help with water draining away from the USB-C port.

With the PUC powered on, you can return it to WiFi Setup/Provisioning mode by double-clicking on the button on top of the PUC.  Note, if you're seeing double-blue or double-green blinks, then you'll need to click a little faster.

We're working on a simpler way for others to 'Follow' your PUC - via a simple link/QR-code - but in the meantime, there is a pretty straightforward workaround if you have access to your PUC.

You can leave the PUC active on the first mobile device - no need to remove it.

Double-click on the PUC's button to return it to WiFi Setup mode.  Then, on the 2nd mobile device, go through the WiFi Setup process again. When completed, the PUC will be visible on both devices, and back online!

If you're planning to record away from home, here's a few things ...

  • Turn off your PUC (hold down the button until it turns red)
  • When you're ready to start your hike, collection, etc - turn the PUC back on (hold button until green) - making sure that the PUC is away from your home WiFi
    • It uses your home WiFi as a way to (automatically) determine your intent of live station vs. recording station
  • When you're done w/ your recordings, turn the PUC back off
  • Now when you're back home within WiFi range, turn your PUC back on, and you'll see a purple double-blink, indicating that it is uploading your data
    • This may take a while, as we're favoring live stations over uploading, but it will finish, given time

If you're seing no detections at all - but your PUC is showing Online - make sure that "Upload Audio to BirdWeather" is enabled.  We're processing the audio in our cloud server, so with this disabled, you'll receive no detections.

If you're missing an (obviously there/heard/seen) bird - try lowering the Probability in the Settings page (click the gear icon) - even down to 0.1%.  We use historical eBird Probabilty, and those numbers for some rarer (location/time-of-year) species can filter out that species.  This is retroactive, so if you heard, say a Carolina Wren, when you lower the Probability, it should now be in your Species/Detections lists!

Your PUC comes with a 32GB micro SD card that is located in the battery compartment.

To remove the SD card, slide down the 'door' - it will then hinge upwards.  (be a bit gentle)

SD-Card-Slide

SD-Card-Hinge

SD-Card-Remove

You can use a micro SD card reader/adapter and examine the contents of the SD card.

If you're recorded while away from WiFi, there will be a fair number of FLAC files - these are the soundscapes that the PUC has recorded.

There will also be a PUC_Data.csv file - with entries that look like this :

Timestamp

Filename

Uploaded

PowerSource

BatteryVoltage

Lat

Lon

Altitude

Satellites

LeftSPL

RightSPL

LeftPSD

RightPSD

Temperature

Humidity

BaroPress

VOC

eCO2

IAQ

MagX

MagY

MagZ

AccelX

AccelY

AccelZ

F1

F2

F3

F4

F5

F6

F7

F8

Clear

NIR

2023-08-04T16:31:27+0000

PUC_20230804_163127.flac

1

AA Battery

4.5240

43.3439

-80.1313

281.50

8

44.5

46.0

0.00

0.00

34.38

52.35

983.230

0.500

600.0000

50.0000

1.1546

44.2707

30.2689

84.0000

-76.0000

1036.0000

1263

1626

2242

2885

3013

4668

5056

5883

10000

9514

2023-08-04T16:31:41+0000

PUC_20230804_163141.flac

1

AA Battery

4.5700

43.3439

-80.1313

284.60

9

44.5

44.5

0.00

0.00

34.49

51.95

983.100

0.500

600.0000

50.0000

1.6223

44.6945

30.4735

87.0000

-78.0000

1036.0000

1323

1662

2294

2927

3148

5040

5440

6328

10000

10000

2023-08-04T16:31:54+0000

PUC_20230804_163154.flac

1

AA Battery

4.5700

43.3439

-80.1313

282.70

9

44.5

44.5

0.00

0.00

34.62

51.56

983.080

0.500

600.0000

50.0000

1.9731

45.3522

30.6197

88.0000

-79.0000

1043.0000

1437

1756

2421

3071

3270

5301

5749

6682

10000

10000


There is nothing 'special' about the SD card - feel free to use a blank SD card in it's place if you're wanting multiple weeks of recordings.  With the default settings, the PUC will average about 2GB a day, so the 32GB card should be good for a couple of weeks.

We're working on integrating this into the mobile app - but in the meantime - if you find instances where the AI has made a misidentification, you can TAG or FLAG it via the web browser - https://app.birdweather.com

Location your PUC on the map, then click on it's PUC icon
You'll then see a list of Top Species for your station, scroll down until you find the misidentified species, click on that, then below select the Spectrogram.
You can then click on the thumbs-up (got it right), thumbs-down (got it wrong), or Flag it (human vocals, etc).

image


We’ve prioritized getting your PUC’s shipped out to you, so that you can start enjoying BirdWeather ASAP

But that doesn’t mean we’ll be slowing down anytime soon - we have a number of updates in the pipeline!

 

Mobile App (Android) - Audio Playback

We ran into some issues on Android with audio playback - we're working on a solution.

Mobile App - Station Following

You’ll soon be able to follow other PUCs within the app!


Mobile App - Detection Notifications

We're working on a couple versions of this - one when your PUC is Live, connected to WiFi, and another when it's off-grid.
We'll be rolling out the Live version first (sometime in Jan), with off-grid notifications coming later.


Web App - GPS Trail Map

Look for this in (Feb) timeframe - but rest assured, all of your data is being captured, so when the visuals are ready, they will be retroactive.

FCC Compliance This device complies with Part 15 of the FCC Rules. Operation is subject to the following conditions:

  1. This device may not cause harmful interference.
  2. This device must accept any interference received, including interference that may cause undesired operation.

CE Compliance This product complies with the essential requirements of the relevant European health, safety, and environmental protection legislation.