Small Woodland Owners' Group

wildlife cameras

A place to discuss or review of tools and equipment, how to look after them, handy hints for using them.

Re: wildlife cameras

Postby smojo » Sun Nov 09, 2014 8:47 am

I'm a bit puzzled by all this talk of the battery voltage possibly causing so many problems. I could understand it if you were using rechargeable ones as someone mentioned earlier, the lower output of those when combined between 4 or 6 cells would make a difference but unless you put in some old duffers, the duracells should be absolutely fine and if the camera is so sensitive to such minor voltage variations, it's not worth having. Do you know of any other electronic device that acts so erratically - I don't. So as Paws says, it looks like you got a duffer mate. But good on you for persisting and trying different things. Does the device have a power socket that allows it to be run from an external source like a transformer? If so it would be worth trying it that way because that voltage would be consistent.

Wished I'd had one set up last week. As I arrived, I spotted a buzzard on the ground which flew up into one of my tree branches. Magnificent creature. There was a breeding pair somewhere in our woods this year. Later in the day I spotted three of them hovering just above my sycamore stand. I wonder if there's some way to entice them down to a place where a camera could be left to capture them. Hope they have an appetite for grey squirrel!
smojo
 
Posts: 412
Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2014 7:47 pm

Re: wildlife cameras

Postby Wendelspanswick » Sun Nov 09, 2014 12:27 pm

Buzzards are like Labradors, they will eat anything! The local farmer ploughed the field behind our house and I counted 16 buzzards sat in the field, picking the worms out I guess.
One of my great passions is paragliding and I was soaring the coast with a pal and a buzzard took offence to my pals paraglider. It spent a couple of minutes divebombing the wing and then got tangled up in his lines, it slowly slid down the lines towards my pal who was cowering in his harness and ended up thrashing about on his head before struggling free and flying off.
Wendelspanswick
 
Posts: 351
Joined: Tue Oct 22, 2013 10:03 am
Location: Somerset

Re: wildlife cameras

Postby boxerman » Sun Nov 09, 2014 6:29 pm

Well, for those that are still interested in this here are my findings and conclusions...

I am now fairly satisfied that the camera is a genuine Acorn. I'm also pretty convinced that there is an internal component/wiring creating high resistance and causing an unexpected voltage drop when under load (don't see what else it can be).

Last nights change from Duracells to Energisers did, indeed, make some difference. When installed everything appeared to work well, missing items on the menu magically appeared and through the night the camera triggered as it should with the exceptions of the infra red flash being too weak and photos/video being grainy (typical results of low voltage). I brought the cam home and set it up here to play - both daytime and early evening stills and video were remarkably good compared to what they have been when the flash wasn't draining power. First night shots were fine until the temperature dropped a few degrees (this would reduce battery voltage) when all became rubbish again....

It HAS to be a voltage issue caused by high resistance somewhere.

The two attached photos are an hour apart and both in the dark - notice the difference in temperature and quality....

Tomorrow I'm going to attempt to return it.....
Attachments
Acorn 2.JPG
Acorn 1.JPG
Phil

https://twitter.com/boxermanphil for my Badger videos
boxerman
 
Posts: 189
Joined: Sat May 17, 2014 8:44 am
Location: Leicester

Re: wildlife cameras

Postby smojo » Mon Nov 10, 2014 10:40 am

It spent a couple of minutes divebombing the wing and then got tangled up in his lines, it slowly slid down the lines towards my pal who was cowering in his harness and ended up thrashing about on his head before struggling free and flying off.


Wow - scary and exciting at the same time. Great story.

It HAS to be a voltage issue caused by high resistance somewhere.


No not really. LOW resistance is what drains your battery. The lower the load resistance, the more current it will draw and therefor drain your batteries quicker - basic ohms law. If you have a basic multimeter you can test the voltage under load and also the current draw (with a bit of fiddling around) but unless you have another good one to compare it with, it won't mean anything. Maybe you should look at what features are in use when you use it. For example with smartphones - you can keep your battery going longer by turning off certain features that you aren't using eg wifi, gps etc as the phone will be using power to constantly to monitor these services. So maybe there are some features on the camera that are not required but still using power. Not sure what though.
smojo
 
Posts: 412
Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2014 7:47 pm

Re: wildlife cameras

Postby oldclaypaws » Mon Nov 10, 2014 1:21 pm

Buzzards are indeed impressive beasts. I knew a jeweller who had a pet one called Barny that used to sit on his shoulder during craft shows. At the end of one event he let it do a couple of circuits round the field, but unfortunately when it landed on the branch of a tall pine it got its dangly leather straps (whatever they are called) wrapped round the branch, and ended up dangling upside down, wriggling and squawking pathetically. A conference ensued as to how to best get it down, with suggestions like 'ring the fire brigade'. Somehow, I heard a voice saying 'I'll climb up and get it', and then a feeling of terror as I realised it was me that had said it. Having an audience of some 50 assembled souls, I couldn't change my mind and had to prove I was as brave as my stupid mouth claimed. I'm not at all good with heights, infact I'm pretty terrified.

I set up the tree trying to only look up, and as the branches got thinner i realised it was actually quite a rotten pine, with various bits breaking off as I slowly progressed up. There were oohs and gasps from the audience as bits of tree rained down on them. A true performer would have done it blindfold or cooked an omelette halfway up, but I was too busy clinging for life to the trunk. I think the adrenaline kept me going, and eventually I got to within about 8 feet of the dangling raptor. There was then the problem of how to transverse thin brittle old pine to get to the creature. Fortunately my presence made it thrash around furiously and it managed to disentangle itself, swooping down to the arm of its master. I descended in a cold sweat and kissed the ground.

If one of my many buzzards gets stuck 100 feet up one of my oaks, tough. Never again ! :?
oldclaypaws
 
Posts: 1132
Joined: Mon Sep 02, 2013 5:13 pm

Re: wildlife cameras

Postby boxerman » Mon Nov 10, 2014 10:54 pm

I'm not at all good with heights, infact I'm pretty terrified.


You and me both - bugger pride I wouldn't get more than 10feet before I froze.... :D

No, Smojo, there's little that could be turned off. Just for interest I set it up in the garden last night with new batteries about 10pm and turned it off about 9am - two rubbish shots of me and nothing else but batteries were about a 1/3 down - there has to be a problem somewhere. Still awaiting a response from the seller - if I get no joy there then I'll open it up and see if there's anything obvious.
Phil

https://twitter.com/boxermanphil for my Badger videos
boxerman
 
Posts: 189
Joined: Sat May 17, 2014 8:44 am
Location: Leicester

Re: wildlife cameras

Postby oldclaypaws » Tue Nov 11, 2014 1:06 pm

Checked the camera this morning and another 20 clips of wildlife from the last 3 days. Never seen one of these visitors before, but shouldn't be surprised that we have them. Very colourful characters, they look quite exotic with the flash of blue. Hope he spends the rest of the time planting Hazelnuts for us !

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUZsn4hOg-U&feature=youtu.be
oldclaypaws
 
Posts: 1132
Joined: Mon Sep 02, 2013 5:13 pm

Re: wildlife cameras

Postby Dexter's Shed » Tue Nov 11, 2014 5:46 pm

great bit of footage there Paws, have to say, it amazes me why this one is on the pest species list, as it's such a striking looking bird, fly tiers tend to want their feathers, it's safe in my woods though.
Dexter's Shed
 
Posts: 748
Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2013 5:29 pm
Location: essex and kent

Re: wildlife cameras

Postby smojo » Wed Nov 12, 2014 8:27 am

Didn't know they were on the pest species - why? We have quite a few pairs around our local woods and riverside and they are stunning to see.
smojo
 
Posts: 412
Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2014 7:47 pm

Re: wildlife cameras

Postby boxerman » Wed Nov 12, 2014 9:19 am

Haven't seen one of those in years.... They are one of the crow family tho and that would probably account for the pest designation.

Finally got the OK to return my Little Acorn this morning so if it doesn't go astray in the post I may end up with it as a second camera..
Phil

https://twitter.com/boxermanphil for my Badger videos
boxerman
 
Posts: 189
Joined: Sat May 17, 2014 8:44 am
Location: Leicester

PreviousNext

Return to Tools & Equipment - reviews, use and maintenance

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron