Replying to Solar and old battery = long life TC!
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Last 10 Posts [ In reverse order ]
Jason Goldring Posted on Mar 27 2012, 06:38 AM
  Thats a shame that the Reconyx only lasts a little while, whereas the Bushnell trumps it, even though the battery capacity is smaller. The manufacturers have really grown in the area of power management & reduction. I wonder what started the trend towards the mini-cameras?

Rechargeables are great, but personally I have not used them in my cams with the exception of a set that failed miserably - the sensitivity of the low voltage circuit cut the camera's life far too short. 1.2 volts is the stock voltage out of a freshly recharged battery, whereas 1.5 volts is from a stock alkaline, I guess it adds up. The camera wanted 6 volts and it's only seeing 4.8. I stuck to using the rechargeables in the flashlight and they do a damn good job.

I tend to put my cameras in places where there might not be as much traffic, perhaps it may only take a few pics a day, sometimes none (short duration trips, guess the animals pickup the scent of a human?)
I'm partially scared that the camera will go missing, but I guess I should know that there is always that possibility, regardless of the cost.

My interest peaked when some of the manufacturers started to come out with MMS cameras. Stick a SIM card in it, subscribe to a text / picture messaging plan and away you go.

Fresh evidence is the best evidence to follow. If I get a text message with a pic of a big hairy beast walking by, I know that I can be hot on it's trail, or at least sound the alarm when the message comes in. The concept is solid and our only boundary is getting reliable cell service in the bush, and, drawing back to my original statement, longevity........


J
m-stu Posted on Mar 26 2012, 03:07 PM
  I've got 2. A Reconyx RC60 and a Bushnell Trophy. The RC60 takes 6 c-cells and went through them pretty quick. I picked up some rechargeable C's and they have lasted much better, but still nowhere close to the Bushnell with it's 8 AA's. The Bushnell is still on it's original set of plain jane duracells and has taken about 10,000 pics in 8 months or so. Currently I am using it to try and identify some illegal dumpers. I like the small size and camo case and of course it was WAY cheaper than the RC60. I know the RC60 won rave reviews when it came out but now I favour the Bushnell.
Jason Goldring Posted on Mar 26 2012, 10:09 AM
  Every so often Canadian Tire offers a solar panel for sale, typically for about $9.99, it's a 1 or 1.8 watt model (There are two, one is slightly larger than the other). A good deal - they mention that it is weatherproof and indeed it is. I have had one screwed into the west-facing side of my shed roof and it has done a fantastic job of keeping a small rechargeable cell loaded with enough power to keep a trail camera going for several months (Wildview EZ-CAM).

Yesterday I put the meter on the battery with the solar disconnected and it was reading 12.8 volts. Pretty good I thought. Connected the solar back to the battery and left it going.

Because this is a low megapixel camera, a 1gb memory card will last for some time. Mostly active during the night, I've captured racoons, skunks, cats, a few dogs and of course, people. I keep forgetting the camera is there, it's become part of the outdoor scenery, camoflaged with camo tape and sticks attached to a stump, looks pretty unobtrusive.

Brings me to my point - camoflage and longevity. I have a real taste for cameras that can stay out for a long period of time without being touched, mainly for one reason - distance. I cannot tell you how many times I have deployed a trail camera, often times in cold weather, by the end of the weekend the low battery indicator is blinking. What gives? Is it crappy batteries? Cold weather? Faulty circuitry?

In most cases the camera still runs but it doesn't give me that warm and fuzzy feeling to leave it for a period of time, especially when you are leaving it and then driving a few hundred km's home. No, I want something that is going to stick around and actually work. So, I begin the testing at home. Batteries go in, camera turned on and just let it sit. Check it every few days - all looks good, it stays out. The WildView was a stray away from the normal setup, using solar instead of alkaline batteries, for it was one of the few cameras that I have with a 12v input jack. Testing for longevity, it seems to be holding up quite well. A slight bit of rust on the door clamps, no big deal; this camera has seen rain and snow and has weathered quite well. In fact, I could see this one going out with a panel and battery for at least 9 or more months.

It's been out since late September (when Tim and I got home from Moose Lake) and it's been running ever since. How's that for a long run? Now that I have built up my confidence in the setup, I might very well be heading up north to replicate the same sort of thing. I picked up these cameras at Canadian Tire, in a 2-pack, on clearance for $49, so at $25 a piece, if I lose one, I won't be too upset smile.gif

Now this new generation of mini and micro cams, using AA batteries, has also perked my interest. As you may already know, I have a Tasco 11-9215C camera - it takes 4 AA batteries and it can sit around for a few months without the batteries needing to be changed, however, the cost point is still relatively considerable, even though they are now coming down. Have you seen the Trophy-Cam? Some places are selling for well over $200. Tio think that I would leave one of these in the bush for an extended period of time? That's a hard pill to swallow. Don't know if I could do that unless I knew for sure that it was a desolate location void of all human contact.

Hoping to start a thread, wondering about your trail cam experiences? Longevity? How it weathers?

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