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Friday 13 April 2012

Crying Wolf. The Canadian Tar Sands disaster.

I'm disgusted by the Canadian Government and other interested parties involved with the Tar Sands Industry in Alberta.

Caribou and Wolves have co-existed for generations and now the Caribou populations are being reduced by habitat destruction due to oil extraction. Suddenly the wolf is the reason, presumably by over predation, when the bulk of its diet is Deer.

They are conveniently ignoring the real reasons for the problem and using it as an excuse to cull wolf populations by shooting, poisoning and trapping; not to mention all the other issues like pollution and the effects on local human populations.

Then they have the cheek to call the oil industry ethical and saturate the public with misinformation.
Do they think we are all stupid!

Ltl Acorn upgrades and improvements for the 6210

Acorn 6210 water/condensation problem update 07.07.2012

I'm very happy and relieved to be able to say that the reason for the condensation problem in the Ltl Acorn 6210 Trail Camera has been identified.

After lengthy tests and analysis the cause of water getting into the control panel is, at long last, understood; and some final changes to the case upgrade are now being made.

I don't know exactly how long this will take, but it will be as fast as possible.

I will post a full explanation of the problem and how it was solved at a later date. Users of cameras which have this problem should remove the rubber bung (external power supply input) from the base of the camera.

Ltl Acorn 6210 series camera
Here's some news I've been eagerly awaiting. 
The manufactures of the Ltl Acorn Trail Cameras have released an upgraded version of the 6210 series.
The list of upgrades and improvements are listed below.

The really good news is that they say they've fixed the water ingress issue ( This did not completely cure the problem and water still enters around the control panel door seal - the skirt modification is intended to correct this issue )  and I quote:
 We found that the water infiltrated from the PIR lens, and now has improved sealing materials.

We are also modifying the mold, adding skirtboard seals, so you can more effectively prevent water flow into when open the bottom cover, it takes about 20 days.(we have also considered to make the LCD can be taken out)
Any stock ordered from now onwards will have all the upgrades apart from the modified skirtboard seals. This modification will be available with stock ordered after the end of April 2012.

Update 21.05.2012

The release of the complete upgrade, including the modified case, has been delayed until the beginning of June. The factory has had some complications with implementing the changes to the mould although I haven't been informed about the detail.

1.  Language Options added;
2.  GPRS function added and tests well;
3.  Trigger time is shortened from 1.5s to 0.8s;
4.  When set to time lapse can also be triggered by movement like Bushnell;
5.  Make improvements to the performance of night vision (increased contrast);
6.  Fixed the problem of the water infiltration from the PIR, improved sealing materials.
7.  Adding skirtboard seals 
(this modification will be available for stock ordered after approx 1st May)
I'm personally, really impressed with the way this company listens to what their customers have to say; also their eagerness to rectify problems and apply improvements to their products.

Tuesday 10 April 2012

Osprey at nest with Acorn 6210MM

Osprey are returning to Scotland for the 2012 nesting season; and I've been lucky to have contact with Photographer Val Gall who is using a Ltl Acorn 6210MM to monitor a pair at the nest for this season.

The camera is set to periodically transmit images to her cell phone, and she has very kindly given me permission to publish the two images below; which are of the first bird to put in an appearance just this last couple of days.

First Osprey at the nest for 2012.      Camera Ltl Acorn 6210MM

She hasn't been able to confirm the identity of the Osprey yet, but hopes it is the first of the breeding pair (usually the female arrives first) that has used this nest in previous years.

If you would like to see how things progress during the year, and to see some of her first class photography, please visit Val's web site.

First night shot, apparently taken in heavy rain.        Camera Ltl Acorn 6210MM 

Just edited this post to add this sunlit early morning shot.      Camera Ltl Acorn 6210MM

Monday 9 April 2012

Remote Camera results for March 2012

Badger at the test site - Camera Ltl Acorn 5210A

Roe Deer female moving along the trail just before she
stopped to groom. See video clip below.
Camera Ltl Acorn 5210A
I'm still trying to play catchup after a long job in March; which excluded just about everything else and was followed by more time spent on the water issue with the 6210 cameras.

I sent a lot of information to the manufacturers and I'm expecting to hear news about solutions to the problem, sometime this week. There's also an upgrade imminent for the 6210, so hopefully I'll have more to report in a few days time.

I have a number of favourite camera locations around the area such as river crossings and heavily used animal trails which I monitor periodically.

Some I like to keep a camera on almost permanently, and one which has a high Red Squirrel density with a main trail through it, is the site I used to start testing the 6210 and the Bushnell.

Squirrels, Badgers, Pine Marten, Roe Deer, Brown Hare and Foxes can all be seen fairly regularly. The two images on the left and the first two clips in the video below are some of the activity at this location, from this last month.

Clips are from a 5210A, the Bushnell black flash, another 5210A and a 6210MC in that order.

Red Squirrel collecting a Sitka Spruce cone from the forest floor, female Roe Deer that stopped for a groom centre stage, a yearling Red Deer nervously testing the air after crossing a river and a Pine Marten at the ford.

The ford site from the first camera location
Camera Ltl Acorn 6210MC

Pine Marten about to cross the river. Taken from the
second camera location - Camera LtlAcorn 6210MC
The clip of the Red Deer is one of a number of river crossings used by deer which I monitor occasionally; and further down the same river is the location where the Pine Marten crossed, which I refer to as the ford.
One of the entrance holes at the Badger sett by the river
Camera Ltl Acorn 5210A

The images on the left show the ford from two angles. The first camera location looks across the trail and up the river. The second camera location, with the Pine Marten just about to cross, is looking across the river and up the trail.

Badger, Fox and Marten use the ford fairly regularly and sites like this, where trails converge, are a good choke point to monitor.

I'm also hopeful that if Otter are using this river as a highway during the summer, I might capture one on this camera.

This river feeds into a larger river further down and earlier in March, a few hundred metres down river from the confluence, I discovered a new Badger Sett with fresh digging.

The last image shows one of the two holes, both of which are freshly excavated. Cameras indicate that only one Badger is present and I'm hoping it's a sow with young.

This sett is right by the river and one of the Badger's main trails crosses the river, climbs a steep sided gorge into the forest and follows an old fence line which eventually takes her to old pasture and worm heaven.

I have two cameras over the sett, another camera covering the river and another at a latrine on the fence line.

So far the Badger seems to rotate her activity about every two to three days around the different trails radiating out from the sett. I'm due to check the cameras today so more later in the week.

Sunday 8 April 2012

Ltl Acorn 5210 and 6210 Video File Formats

The images below illustrate the relative file sizes and data for video files produced by the Ltl Acorn Models in the 5210 and 6210 series of IR trail cameras. See below for video editing software.

When I first started using the 6210 series models I had problems with opening the video files in my existing editing software.

I looked around on the web for free or low cost video editors which were relatively straightforward to use, and found
Video Pad Video Editor from NCH Software.

It seems to support just about everything, is easy to use and is inexpensive to buy.

It can be used free but with irritating reminders to buy the full version.

I hope this helps anyone who is having problems with opening and editing the video files from these cameras.

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This web site is about the wildlife, particularly the mammals, of the Glen Affric National Nature Reserve area in the north west Highlands of Scotland, UK; and the equipment I use to search for them, which is chiefly trail cameras.

I provide a technical support and parts service for the Ltl Acorn range of cameras and the income from this provides for the upkeep of this site and the purchase of cameras for my own surveying.

I hope you find the site useful and informative; and please contact me if you have any questions that I haven't already covered.