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Wednesday 31 July 2013

Ltl Acorn 6210MGX Cellular Camera Function Tests

Fig 1:   Cellular camera test rig measuring the power output
from the GPRS module, the current drawn by the camera and
timing of the triggering and transmission event.
I have recently been assembling a test setup ( see figure 1 ) in preparation for testing the updated Acorn 6210MGX and then doing comparison tests with the ScoutGuard SG550M-8M and SG880MK-8M models.

I received the 6210 last Tuesday and have been working with it all week. This camera is the updated unit using the SIM900 GPRS module which has previously had connection and self triggering issues.

So far this test camera has had no problems other than not having functioning SMS remote control; and today I received word from Acorn that they have got the remote control working and cameras are now  available with this function.

I will be testing the remote control function as soon as possible but meanwhile I will continue putting this camera through the grinder to see if I can

Thursday 18 July 2013

Trees for Life Newsletter - Summer Edition 2013

Trees for Life on FacebookTrees for Life on TwitterTrees for Life on Youtube

Summer Newsletter from Trees for Life

I'm delighted to send you our summer edition of Caledonia Wild! and to let you know about our beautiful new plant-a-tree gift certificates and greetings cards. I would also like to ask for your support with our latest appeal - the expansion of our tree nursery.

Dundreggan Tree Nursery Appeal
We have an exciting opportunity to increase the scale and range of the production at our

Saturday 13 July 2013

DIY Voltmeter for checking SLA Batteries on location

SLA Battery, Power Lead and Voltmeter
Fig 1:  SLA Battery, Power Lead and Voltmeter.
If you are using a Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) battery as a power source for your trail camera this DIY Meter is an easy way to check the battery voltage on site.

SLA batteries are best float charged while they are working as in a vehicle system where the alternator is continuously charging the vehicle battery when the engine is running. If the battery is used for long  periods without charging it is important that it does not drop much below about 50% (6.03 volts) (see the chart below) of its charge state otherwise the battery may be permanently damaged.

This voltmeter provides an easy means for measuring the voltage when visiting cameras in the field.

Figure 4 shows the back of the meter inside the box and to the left is the power socket. The meter is powered by the battery under test so there are just the

Wednesday 3 July 2013

Ltl Acorn 6210MG Cellular Camera update and tests

Ltl Acorn 6210MGX hooked up to a
Cornet ED85EX
for measuring power output and monitoring
network connection attempts.
I expected to be writing this post in mid June but as always things are taking a lot longer than I would have hoped.

A month ago when I last wrote about Acorn's progress to correct network connection problems and repeat triggering, I made the decision to wait until Acorn had got the SMS remote control working before asking for a test camera.

I am beginning to regret that decision because I still have no news about the SMS and have given up on it for the time being. I have now asked for the test camera and hope that I will receive a fully up to date camera (without working SMS remote control) sometime this month.

Meanwhile I am creating a setup to make it easier to carry out tests on trail cameras (cellular and noncellular) generally. Functions that will be possible to test using this rig will include battery power consumption, trigger reaction times, RF power output, network connections, transmission sequences and frequency stability.

At the moment I am validating each part of the setup and when I
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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.