The Chipmunk Surveillance Camera
We went to Home Depot yesterday to get some mushroom compost and propane (though I will have to apply the compost wisely after the creation of the Morning Glory Monster, which is still growing.) And there, in the Rigid Tool Display area, was the same camera that we looked at in Costco, but for 20.00 less. So after 15 minutes of playing with the display model (though it says that it is NOT A MEDICAL DEVICE of course we looked in J's ear almost right away,) and then we put in in the cart. It is the bomb. The first thing I did when I got home was to open up the vent in the kitchen and look for my lost Benmore Limited Eye, but alas there is no sign of it--I think it is down at the heater end, or even in the heater. When the guy comes out inspect the heater for the winter, I'll have him pry open the duct on the kitchen side and see if he can spot it.
The next thing I did was look for a hole under the pergola decking to see where the chipmunks are getting in; and the results were inconclusive--too many leaves. I did get a closeup of a startled and annoyed spider in the vent that comes out under the kitchen extension, but I discovered that the vent does connect with a tube, and it probably goes all the way back to the heater. I still have to look from the other side of the basement to see. And then I found a dead mouse in an inaccessible place-- on top of the false ceiling of the fireplace/circuit box cubby (yes, the fireplace is in front of the circuit box. The mouse is yet another reason to tear all that out.). The camera works very well--it has two limitations--it's a macro camera, so if you want a long/wide view it is a little nearsighted, and if you get too close to something the LED lights wash out the image, so you have to wiggle around to get the perfect distance. Also, it is surprisingly hard to figure out which way is up. The screen could use a little floating directional display to show that, which would keep the user from spending a lot of time wondering how the birdseed is sticking to the top of the vent. Here is the actual picture of the working display:
Pretty cool, huh? I think realtors should just hand these out to new homeowners as a "gift with purchase".