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Sunday 27 May 2012

Firmware Upgrades - Little Acorn 5210 and 6210

Fig: 1  Windows Explorer screen shot showing saved
location of firmware upgrade file.
A number of people have asked me recently about the availability of upgrades to the Acorn range of cameras and I'm combining this with an upgrade to correct an exposure problem with the 5210A. There will also be more about this issue in my next post.

At the time of writing I'm not aware of any general firmware upgrades for these cameras. Upgrades that are available are for specific issues such as the one detailed below; and as far as I know, the upgrade procedure is always the same for 5210s and (6210s see the post update 29/05 below).

Also read:  Firmware Updates, Upgrades and Software - Little Acorn Trail Cameras

Ltl Acorn 6210 Water Resistance - Final Analysis

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 6210MC
Since its launch at the end of 2011 the Acorn 6210 has had a problem with water entering the case. At first faulty sealing around the PIR detector windows was thought to be the reason; but it rapidly became apparent that water was entering around the bottom door seal.

Figure 1 shows a gap in the case rib which runs around the front and sides of the bottom of the case. This rib buts against the seal in the door and for some reason it was not continued along the back edge in front of the hinge. This has since been identified as the reason for water ingress of the control panel.

Figures 2 and 3 show the effect of water collecting in the bottom door and soaking into the screen layers. Water also gets into the control panel switches, causing random signals to the control electronics and making the camera unusable until it has been thoroughly dried out.

Figure 4 illustrates the secondary issue of condensation. Fogging of the camera lens is caused when the body of the camera heats up in the sun and evaporates water from the control panel into the

Wednesday 23 May 2012


A symbolically important moment in the restoration of one of the “world’s greatest woodland habitats” was celebrated on Sunday 20 May 2012 when acclaimed wildlife cameraman and filmmaker Gordon Buchanan planted Trees for Life’s Millionth Tree in Scotland’s Caledonian Forest.

The event took place at a celebration event held at the award-winning conservation charity’s Dundreggan Estate near Loch Ness, in Glen Moriston, Inverness-shire.

"Magnificent and magical, the Caledonian Forest is a wild place at its most wonderful. Every single tree planted helps to restore one of the world's greatest woodland habitats. One tree will be used by a thousand species in a forest that will stand for 10,000 years, which in that time can be enjoyed by a million people. Great forests are established one tree at a time. I am honoured to plant the millionth tree on behalf of Trees for Life," said Gordon Buchanan.

Alan Watson Featherstone, Trees for Life’s founder and executive director, said:

Wednesday 9 May 2012

Trigger Speed Tests - Bushnell/Acorn Review - Part 6

Test Cameras
Trail Camera users have varying attribute preferences when selecting the right camera for the work they are carrying out; but the one thing that every one agrees on is the need for a fast trigger speed.

The trigger speed is the time it takes for a given camera to wake up and take a shot after something has triggered its IR sensor.

Animals can be moving fast when they pass a camera and blank images and tips of tails are a common result when the camera is set at 90 degrees to the trail. For this test the cameras shown left were set vertically to ensure each one was looking at exactly the same trigger and all were tested at the same time. The extra 6210 was present for a different test. Who says men can't multi-task?

The Bushnell has a single sensor window while the Ltl Acorn cameras have additional twin side sensors (unique among trail cameras, I believe) which are intended to speed up it's response time. This is actually a single sensor detecting through both side windows at the same time.

The combined field of view (FOV) of the Acorns two side sensors and the main sensor is a 100 to 120° angle of detection. When a heat source first crosses the PIR area of the side sensor, the camera is activated and ready to shoot after 1 second. If the heat source continues into the PIR area of the main sensor, the camera takes pictures immediately, therefore catching the whole body of an animal (in theory). This split-second process could be as short as 0.2 second.

The tests were conducted by me walking across the front of the cameras at 90 degrees to them and at a distance of 5 metres. All the cameras were set on their high sensitivity setting and programmed to take a single image on each trigger event.

I conducted many tests and these four results are consistently representative. With a faster trigger the figure is walking into the picture and the slower the trigger, the further the figure has progressed across the image.
In test #3 the 6210 was so fast that I almost didn't appear whereas the 5210 caught me about midway, and the Bushnell only just caught me.

I don't know why the 5210 had slower trigger times in tests 3 and 4. I intend to repeat this test when I have the new 6210 upgrade with the faster 0.8 second trigger time.

Click on this image to view full size or to save to your computer. You are free to use this image on a web page or
other media; but please 
clearly acknowledge its source and author.

Battery Performance in Trail Cameras

Sorry I've been a bit quiet recently but I've been busy behind the scenes, so to speak.

I've just completed an extensive test to determine how different battery types perform in and affect the performance of the IR Remote Cameras that I've been reviewing. This is in response to various questions and comments I've received about issues such as the shortening of video length and battery longevity in trail cameras.

The chart below is a summary of my analysis but please note that operational conditions and individual camera performances vary considerably; and this is intended as a guide only.

Click on this chart to open to full size or copy to your computer. You are free to use this on a web page
or other media but please clearly acknowledge its source and author.

Battery Data Sheets:

Duracell 2450 mAh       Vapex 2900 mAh      Energizer Lithium     Energizer Industrial Alkaline
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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.