The Bird Buddy app is the gateway to your feathery friends, making it possible for you to receive photo postcards of your bird visitors. Once you download it and create an account, it will guide you through the crucial first steps that have to be taken in order to make the Bird Buddy experience work.
If the module is in charging mode (plugged in) that can potentially result in failed pairing attempts. Therefore the module should be disconnected from charging while pairing (but it's still important to ensure it is fully charged before you initiate the pairing process: it takes about 4 hours for the battery to get there).
Before you actually set up your feeder and mounts in their new outdoor home, you’ll need to perform the following steps:
- Pair your mobile device with Bird Buddy’s camera module via Bluetooth in the app. This will take up to 3 minutes.
- Establish a Wi-Fi connection on your camera module via the app. This process will take about 5-10 minutes.
- If this is your first time pairing Bird Buddy, the module will also have to go through the firmware update once the first two steps are completed (the update will take about 30 minutes). If necessary, you can resume charging the module's battery before initiating this step, as the battery has to be at least 40% charged for a successful update.
After those two (or three, if this is your first time using Bird Buddy) crucial steps are completed, you can take Bird Buddy to its outdoor setup and the in-app pairing flow will continue with the following section:
4. Wi-Fi strength test that will make sure your Bird Buddy works in its new environment.
If at any point in the process Bird Buddy doesn’t pair properly in a few tries, please take a look at our troubleshooting articles.
All sections of the in-app pairing flow process are described in more detail below:
- At the beginning of the pairing process, you have to set the name and location of your feeder.
- Then you will be asked to enable Location Services (Android) and Bluetooth (iOS&Android). If your device runs on iOS, you don't have to enable location services.
Once you click “Enable” within the app, you’ll receive a default iOS/Android notification. If you're an Android user, make sure location services are really enabled, sometimes it still needs to be turned on manually from the toolbar after giving it permission in the app.
- When shown the default iOS/Android notification asking you whether you want to enable Bluetooth/location on your device, tap “Allow/Allow when using the app.” After the pairing process is completed, you won’t need to turn them on again.
- Next, turn on the feeder's camera module as per the instructions on the app screen. Press the button for one second to turn it on.
- If the module does not turn on, make sure your module is fully charged. If it's not, charge it and unplug it before continuing. If the device is ready for Bluetooth pairing, you should see a blinking blue LED light on the module, though it's a bit faint (enclose the area with the light with your hand to see it better.)
- Once these steps are completed, a loading screen is shown while your device searches for the camera module. This can take up to 30 seconds. If the device is not found, make sure that you have Bluetooth (iOS & Android) and Location services (Android only) turned on (they could be switched off even if you gave permission in the pop-up).
- Once the app finds your feeder, your mobile device shows the pop-for the Bluetooth pairing request, make sure to click "Pair".
- Success! You’ve now paired your Bird Buddy’s camera module with your mobile device. You can now turn off Location Services and your Bluetooth (in case you ever have to re-pair the device, make sure to turn them on again). The next step is to select a Wi-Fi network that your camera module will connect to (which is covered in the next section).
Connecting the module to your Wi-Fi network
During the second part of the pairing flow, you will have to select your desired Wi-Fi network from the list of available networks. Make sure that the network meets Bird Buddy's connectivity requirements.
- Once you select an available network, enter your Wi-Fi password.
- You’re ready to connect! The process can take up to 5 minutes (do not exit the screen while this takes place). If there is a problem with the connection, you’ll be asked to try again. If issues persist, take a look at the troubleshooting article.
- Success! Your module is now connected to the internet.
- If this is your first time pairing Bird Buddy, you’ll have to update the firmware at this point. The process usually takes between 20 and 30 minutes.
→Please note: While the update is in progress, do not touch or move the module, as it needs to remain still for best results. However, you can move your phone freely or minimize the app until the update is completed (or you can enjoy the cool bird facts we included on the progress screen while you wait).
→ Read more about the OTA firmware updates here
- Once the firmware is updated, you can place the module into the housing and take it to your outdoor setup to complete the Wi-Fi strength test.
Testing the strength of your Wi-Fi connection
For the optimal bird-watching experience, we recommend you set up your Bird Buddy in a place where your Wi-Fi signal is strong enough, so you never miss a visitor. To make sure the signal is sufficient, the app will guide you through a special flow:
- Take the feeder to your outdoor setup and walk around a bit and try to find a spot where the Wi-Fi signal is the strongest. Once you’ve found a good spot, click "Check again". If the app shows you a full green bar, that's the best possible spot for your Bird Buddy!
- If you’re having trouble passing the test, make sure you’re within your Wi-Fi signal range. If this doesn’t help, please look at the troubleshooting article.
That’s it! Your account and module are now connected and Bird Buddy can access the internet in its new home. All you have to do now is wait for that first postcard to show up in the feed section of the app so you can collect photos can share them with your family and friends.