Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Inaccurate Meter Readings

Article shares by Mr F.

In this article, there is a photo of two meters set side by side giving different readings of the temperature and the humidity; while the discrepancies in the temperatures is acceptable, yet the differences in the reading of the humidity is quite wide.

Swiftlet farmers having various equipments that provide readings of variable data such as temperature and humidity tend to find that the readings varies and therefore made them doubt the accuracies of the readings which are important to understand the state of a farm in whether its suitable for swiftlets to stay.

Some types of digital hygrostats are also not very accurate as I had also did an experiment in which I placed two of them side by side and found them to give different readings. However, the placement of such meters or the sensors of hygrostats must be correct; we must place them at the plank area at an area that is not directly atop a humidifier which should skew its readings.

In any case, there are alternatives to the common digital meters. For example, there is a German made mechanical meter that do not require battery to operate and is said to provide accurate data. The downside is that it cannot provide historical data as in a digital meter that tells us the lowest and highest temperature and humidity recorded over a period. A possible solution to this problem is the use of a data logger that is use to gather temperature and humidity inside a farm over an extended period.

As to the generally inaccurate hygrostat, there is an alternative German made mechanical hygrostat that is said to provide accurate result so as to off or on the humidifiers at the right time. Having said that, even not so accurate meters and hygrostats can still be useful to serve as a rough guide to farmers who already own such equipments and is in no mood to replace them.

However, if the birds are just visiting and not staying to make their nests; then they should try to find out whether the design of their farm or the microclimate is far from ideal. And the way to remedy the microclimate of their farm is to get hold of reliable meters and hygrostat devices that can help them to turn around their farms.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Upgrade 4

As promised, I will let you know what I consider as most important upgrade for my BH but has been long overdue. My good friend has been advised me to open the opening (highlighted in Red) few months ago. But because the number of nest was growing at that time, so I put on hold first.

Why he advised me to open?
1) If I don't open, birds cannot see the inner opening hole from outside. So, it will take longer time for new birds to explore my BH.

2) Birds need to fly 180 deg to go into my BH. Not a very smooth flying path.

3) Although this entrance hole help to reduce the light go into BH (180deg turn), but it only favour for CCW flying birds and only allow bird fly in one direction (2 o'clock).

Remember if given a choose between 1) darkness and 2) easy entrance, always choose the easy entrance as more important factor. Although the bigger entrance hole will cause more light into BH and more difficult to control the micro, you can always make some hanging partitions to block the light later on.

The Opening Ceremony start on 26-Sept-2009 with the help from my uncle. FOC.

You may notice that there is a beam between the new and old entrance hole. Actually I wanted to hack away, but most of my friends advice not to hack away as it violet the safety issue. If official come and check, I will have problem to fix back.

I used mosquito nest to cover the hole between ceiling and roof instead of brick. This is to allow air free to circulate between the roof and ceiling.

Actually later on, I also use orchid nest to cover another layer just to make sure the heat going in is reduced (not shown in pic).

Actually I seed a lot of my friends advice including well know sifu. With the help of friends, you too can be your own BH consultant.

I hope to hear your comments on my latest upgrade.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Swiftlet Farming Products and Services Review Update

I have updated some products, sound, blogs for all of you to write your review. Again, if you have anything you want to share with all the reader, let me know. It is FREE to put your products in my Review Website. The objective of this website is to let more people aware what is good or bad products in the market.

You can also use this website to advertise your new products or let me know any recommendation in the Guess book.

BH after 11 months

Last weekend visited my farm. Found there are 5 new nests and a lot of baby birds in the nest. There are total 30 nests now, including those 4 nests that I removed last month but the birds have not start building yet. If next month there is still no nest at these site, I will remove the nest count from my list.

Look like some of the upgrades that I did last month do show some good results. In my next blog, I will share with you all some of the upgrade that I did during this visit. I believe this is a key to my success which should have done long ago but I have drug until last weekend to complete.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Swiftlet Farming Products and Services Review Website

After 2 days the new website has been published, response is quite good. The number of people write down the review have been increased from 1 review in first day to > 10 reviews on the 2nd days.

LOVE POTION still the most interested item for review. Only 3 person write down their comment about this product. If you think this aroma is good for your BH, please write down good comments too.

Some people asked me whether their name or email will be displayed in the review. If you enter the title/name, it will be displayed whatever you write down there. For email, it will never display in the review. So, don't worry, only I know your email and I will not disclose to other people.
Remember please write down the review if you have tried out the product or service. You are helping other people to make a good decision and who know, one day it might help you to make a good judgement before you buy any new products.

If you have any new products that you would like to put inside my website for sell, you can send me your product photo and description.

If you interested to buy any product, you can email to me.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Surprise Info on Swiftlet Products Review Web

After I officially posted the website that can let people to write and read the review on products or services that they are interested, there are > 100 hits now. Not bad for the start. But I find out that a lot of people are interested to find out or read the review only but lazy to write down their own review if they happen to use the product before. Please spend sometime to write down the review for the benefit of most people in this swiftlet industrial. If you think the product is good, then recommend to people in the review.

Back to the today tittle, "Surprise". So what is the surprise??

Are you interested to know which products that most people interested to know??? See the summary table below.

The Champion go to LOVE POTION and BLACKCLOUD. Maybe I cannot say surprise as these 2 products have been advertise a lot of times by their owner.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

New Website - Swiftlet Farming Product and Services Review

After close to a year involve in swiftlet farming, I realize that there is a little information about the reviews of good products like Tweeter, Amplifier, aroma, plank, humidifier and etc. There is also no much information about how good is the consultant.

So I decided to create another web-site to let people write or read the review or certain products or services. Hopefully, when more and more people participate, we will have enough data base to make comparison before purchase or engage certain consultant.

Please visit this web-site and email to me if you want certain product to be included for review.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Safe Guarding Farm Keys

Thanks for Mr F again for his useful tips on how to Safe Guard Farm Keys. I always have this concern when I open my BH inner locker. What happen if the keys accidentally drop!! Can you imagine I have to go back to my house to get the spare keys. That will waste a lot of time. A simple and useful method suggested my Mr F is worth trying.

From Mr F.

Most swiftlet farms would have iron doors for security and there is often a design of a small “door” that enable a farmer to open or close the lock(s) inside the door so as to make it difficult for thieves to cut it. If the owner simply try to open the inside lock without any precaution; he or she might fumble and let the key fall inside the farm. Unless there is a ready spare key, the unfortunate owner will have to go back to his home or office to get a spare key; if there is no spare key, then there would be very troublesome to solve this problem. And imagine that if the farmer live over a hundred kilometers from his farm, even if he or she has a spare key at home, it would meant a wasted long distance trip.

Therefore, we should take precaution when trying to open the inside lock(s). We can tie a strong rubber band or just a string to the key, and tie the other end to either our hand or we can hold it with our other hand; meaning that if we are right handed and hold the key with our right hand, we can then hold the string or rubber band with our left hand. Another thing is that for those of us who have many farms, we should label all the keys carefully and be sure to have a spare sets of key in a safe place in case the keys we use often are lost.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Infared Camera

I have 4 infrared camera in BH. Initially the images quality were very good. See the pic below.

After sometimes the images getting blur and blur (see picture below for frame 1,3 and 4). I tired to clean the len but the images only improved a bit. I thought because the camera are lousy then I bought a better quality IR Camera to try (see frame 2). The quality of the image is proven better than the original camera when it is new.

Below is the spec of new camera that I am using. It is a water proof camera with resolution 420 TVL. Another important spec is the Min Illumination = 0 LUX (W/ IR LED). I have seen some camera require 0.xx amount of light to work properly.

After I installed the new IR camera, I took a close look on my old camera. I found out that the dirt or dust that make the camera image blur are actually from the inner side of the len. I opened the len and use dry tissue to clean the len surface. The images are much better now although still not as good as when it is new. But is usable.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009



  • 古蹟區燕屋這次難逃法網?(圖:星洲日報)





















Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Another Bad New For Melaka Swiftlet Farming


  • 馬六甲成為世界文化遺產一年之後,古蹟區燕屋的問題再次浮上台面。(圖:星洲日報)

1 of 2

















  • 古蹟區一些燕屋的外貌令人不敢恭維。(圖:星洲日報)














Monday, September 14, 2009

Bad New For Swiftlet Farmer in Melaka

Majlis Perbadaran Melaka has issued letters to a lot of swiftlet farmers even their BH is not in the Historical Place. Those received the letters include Melaka Bird Nest Association Vice President, Treasurer and those existing BH with licence. The authority want them to revert the Shop lot to their initial condition within 30 days. Failure to do so can face maximum RM50K fine + 3 years jail.













Sunday, September 13, 2009

Successful BH

My friend sent me some photos of his successful BH. About 1K nests now. His location is good and not many competitor. According to him, he found more nests at the toilet and area where the distance between Beam and wall about 1 meter width. You may try to make some hanging partition 2 feets from the ceiling to try out.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Unreliable Digital Timers

My friend Mr F first hand experience on Digital Timers. So happen that I am using the same digital timers. Need to watch out.

Many swiftlet farmers use the type of digital timers as depicted in the photo. They use them to control when to switch on various equipments such as hygrostats, humidifiers, amplifiers, lights outside the entrance hole to deter owls and so on. It had been my experiences to find that at least the model of digital timer as depicted in the photo is somewhat unreliable as I had came across several such digital timers that I used to control different functions malfunctioned.

It is not a big problem if a farmer has frequent access to the sites of the farms as he or she can replace the faulty items but what if the farmer is far away from the farm and can only visit it periodically due to distance and work commitment? This problem is especially crucial to stand alone farms in plantations or a farm in town hundreds of miles away from where the owners live and work. Imagine if a timer failed to switch on a crucial equipment like the humidifiers for not just a day or two but for weeks or even months especially when the weather is hot and there is no rain during the period?

For the smooth functioning of a system, critical components must be absolutely reliable. Remember the American space shuttle that exploded back in 1987 due to the faulty O-ring? Many of us think of essential electrical equipments in a swiftlet farm in terms of the amplifiers, tweeters, humidifiers or other big or obvious items; perhaps we should also pay attention to smaller items such as digital timers; for as the saying goes, the devil is often in the details.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Upgrade 3

Upgrade 3

My BH uses chicken farm type of humidifier to control the humidity and a ventilator to blow the air at low level to circulate the air in BH as I closed all my vent holes. The result is the humidity fluctuate a lot.

On 16th Aug, I OFF my humidifier and placed 2 baby tubs right below the ventilator hope that the air will blow directly to the water and produce enough humidity. But you can see from the graph, the humidity drop immediately and temperature also increase to 31degC for the first time. Maybe the water is not enough. The good thing is the humidity less fluctuate. Another observation is that at the end of the graph, the temp drop to 27 and humidity increase because those few days a lot of raining.

I tried to turn on the humidifier again and added additional data logger at the entrance hole between nesting area and roving area (see graph 30-Aug-09). With the humidifier + baby tubs with water in front of ventilator, the temperature and humidity are quite stable. The graph for data logger at the middle of the BH (Gee_30Aug09) are very close to graph at the BH entrance hole.
Base on the results, I can say that my micro condition now are OK and the distribution are quite uniform across the BH. Maybe these few days are raining season. So, I need to collect more data. I would not stop here. I have something in my mind to implement in my BH such that the micro condition more stable even at hot weather. Will update once I have the results.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Upgrade 2

Upgrade 2

I bought a ultrasonic Humidifier from Carrefour Singapore for about S$50. It is a "Home" brand from Carrefour itself. I guess should be more reliable. The humidifier is 4.5 litter with max 300ml/hour flow rate.

I add in a little bit of aroma together with water in the humidifier. I then used timer to ON the humidifier from 5pm to 7pm. Hopefully the smell of aroma can extract more birds come in.

The next thing I will do is try to modify the humidifier such that the water can be auto refilled into the humidifier.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

BH after 10 months

After 10 months, only 25 nests in the BH. The slow growth is within my expectation as I did not do any major changes after my last visit. I was attending Pak Hen Seminar at Jakarta and back to Sgp after that. I only managed to visit my BH last week. That is the problem of staying too far from your BH. I cannot go back immediately if I want to change somethings.

During the seminar, I have learnt a lot and started planning what I am going to do for my next visit.

The first thing I did is to rearrange my tweeters position such that it create more surround sound effect. I have included 2 more amplifiers to make it 3 Amps in total for internal. So I will use them to run 3 different types of internal sounds.

I also removed the internal tweeters that used to play external sound at the end of my BH. I try not to mix the internal and external sound inside my BH. Advice from Sifu........must listen.

With the help of my 2 brothers, we only managed to complete 50% of the sound system change. It take more work to rearrange the tweeter and wiring. It is a paint and good experience.

I will let you know what other improvement I have made to UPGRADE my BH in my next articles.