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Small Cabin Forum / General Forum / Anyone have luck with wireless outdoor cameras to monitor their cabins?
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toyota_mdt_tech
Member
# Posted: 14 Mar 2019 15:50
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OK, I am going to do something, dialing in on a unit. I would like to try cuddielink, but don't want to spend that much to experiment, the Reo link sounds good. I would do large battery with solar. You said itr does video, can it be set to pictures only? I would like an easy way to turn it off. How cool would it be to communicate to it with your phone to turn it off while you are there.

I may have more questions for you later Justin. Thank you.

justins7
Member
# Posted: 14 Mar 2019 16:42
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No problem. I'm glad to share what I've learned, since these things are tricky.

The Reolink doesn't take stills, as far as I can tell.

You control it from the phone app. If you turn off PIR (motion sensor), then the camera is effectively "off." However, in either mode (PIR on or off) you turn on live view through the phone, and within a few seconds you see a live feed.

When I first get to my cabin I invariably forget to turn off PIR, and within minutes I get an alert on my phone saying that the Reolink Camera detected motion. Then I remember to turn PIR off while I'm there, so it doesn't eat up batteries and bandwidth. (And it captures a short video clip of me walking past the camera.)

I haven't yet figured out how to use their cloud storage, since their software is not that user-friendly and I haven't needed it. The phone app keeps any recorded clips for at least a few days (maybe more), so I just download any clips and it goes right to my Photos folder on my iPhone.

I do wish they made a separate, larger battery that you could just nail to a tree or keep under a rock. It seems like manufacturers never get the point that we want long-term power. However, that being said, the included battery is pretty robust. And I've looked into bigger USB solar panels that could feed right into the camera, but I haven't needed this yet. Even in winter light, with the Reolink solar panel mounted at barely an angle (since the mount broke and it’s been too cold to get up there again), the solar panel is keeping the battery at 100% (as indicated on the phone app).

SCSJeff
Member
# Posted: 15 Mar 2019 09:58
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Justins7,

How's the motion detection range on the ReoLink? I think the docs say 30'... I think the range on my current Lt. Acorn is supposed to be like 50-75'. But, during cold weather, it's only about 30' or less...

However, I wouldn't mount the Reolink on the same chest height tree that I have my Lt. Acorn on. I'd mount it up higher (either on my cabin or the shed) aimed down a bit.

Basically, I'm wondering if the ReoLink would pick up an ATV or Truck at a farther distance than 30'?

Regarding still pics... If it acts the same as their WiFi Cameras, I turned off the push notifications for the app and set the camera to send me emails of the still pics on motion (mainly because rain or snow at night causes a lot of false alarms. Assume the Go's PIR sensor isn't subject to that problem?). Therefor, if it uses the same app for the Go, I assume it could be configured the same???

justins7
Member
# Posted: 15 Mar 2019 11:12
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I'm not sure about the ability to take stills. I'd have to look into that.

Mine is mounted on a tree about 10-12' high, tilted down a bit. It seems like 30' is the range, but it's only picked up deer on the periphery and also maybe 20'-30' away, walking into the frame. I don't think there's been any other movement further away (that I know of), so I am not sure about the limits. I haven't gotten any false alarms from rain or snow or extreme sunlight changes (which my Spypoint cameras are constantly picking up).

It's a great setup if you have decent cell reception (I actually only get 1-3 bars on my phone, but the Reolink usually connects remotely most of the time, with an occasional need to try reconnecting several times. So it has a robust ability to connect to cell towers).

Hope this helps.
Cheers, Justin

SCSJeff
Member
# Posted: 15 Mar 2019 11:48
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Thanks Justin!

I'm going to pull the trigger on it then. I'm on top of the mountain and cell coverage is great for both Verizon and AT&T (Usually full bars or close to it). T-Mobile coverage WAS great for 2G. Since that doesn't seem to be existent out there anymore, I'm assuming their 4G is good (if not better).

I'll post with a followup review in a month or two.

SCSJeff
Member
# Posted: 15 Mar 2019 12:34
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FYI: From ReoLinks website:

https://reolink.com/product/reolink-go/

Get email motion snapshots when there are motion events.

Lippy667
Member
# Posted: 20 Mar 2019 16:18
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I have a Bigfoot Camera up on our property. Works decent, which for $200 (amazon) I think was a pretty good deal. It works off a cell signal, our property is pretty out there in northern MI, but I get a signal without buying the larger antenna. I don't know how to post a picture, put just got a bunch of photos today of an eagle landing right in front of the camera eating lunch. Sends the photos to email or texts to my phone.

https://www.bigfootcameras.com/

justins7
Member
# Posted: 21 Mar 2019 11:34
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I looked into the Bigfoot Cameras but I believe they are 3G, which is slated to be eliminated in the next few years.

Everything is moving towards 5G, so even 4G cameras (like the Reolink and Spypoint) will be obsolete eventually (like everything).

Lippy667
Member
# Posted: 21 Mar 2019 21:25
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I asked about that before getting it, I don't remember the specifics, but they are shutting down certain frequencies(?)of 3g but not all. And their signal is supposed to be good for the foreseeable future. There was a section on the web page that talked about it. I may have the terminology wrong, but was told it should work for a long time. They said they we're sticking with the 3g as it worked best in rural areas.

Anyway, has worked well for us, but we set it up before the new remote software was out so haven't tried that new feature yet.

Jebediah
Member
# Posted: 22 Mar 2019 09:30 - Edited by: Jebediah
Reply 


Quoting: justins7
Everything is moving towards 5G, so even 4G cameras

Yes Spypoint is now replacing their Spypoint L4g with the link dark free of charge if its still under warranty....because of the cell service upgrade to 5G...if you are not under warranty and have proof of purchase you can buy the Link Dark at 50% off....They are sending me a new Link Dark replacement and you can keep your l4g as a stand alone......I have both the Link Dark and the Link4g now for a few years...only issue like others have said is multiple pics are taken when its set at 3....I received 20 one time, not a biggy as I'm on a plan....

Jebediah
Member
# Posted: 22 Mar 2019 09:40 - Edited by: Jebediah
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I thought I should mention, they just caught 4 thieves in Nova Scotia....because of cellular trail cameras.........

aktundra
Member
# Posted: 22 Mar 2019 11:47 - Edited by: aktundra
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As winter winds down (Early!), this is just the thread I needed to watch the river thaw.

I ordered the Spypoint Link Dark and Booster antenna.

Thanks for all the feedback, hoping to add my experience soon.

jhp
Member
# Posted: 22 Mar 2019 13:29
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Quoting: aktundra
I ordered the Spypoint Link Dark and Booster antenna.


Just making sure you saw the mail in rebate this month

https://www.spypoint.com/EN/promotions/

aktundra
Member
# Posted: 23 Mar 2019 11:49
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JHP -

Thanks. I only saw the rebate because of this thread! Thanks for everyone willing to share information.

BadgersHollow
Member
# Posted: 26 Mar 2019 04:25
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AKtundra, does the cell coverage work in Alaska for the spypoint? The coverage map does not show it. I'm looking for something to mount on my cabin to send photos to me in Oregon.

Aklogcabin
Member
# Posted: 26 Mar 2019 10:51
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Hello aktundra thanks for checking this out and reporting. I know very little about the technology and terms that are talked about if someone could help out on a basic 101 class . Could a camera with an internal battery like a phone be hooked up to a larger battery like a truck battery and hooked up to a solar battery maintainer? Like a charger that plugs into a cigarette lighter, I have one that has alligator clips on the other end that I hook up to my dc cooler that plugs into a cigarette plug. Then hook that to a solar charger?

justins7
Member
# Posted: 26 Mar 2019 14:20
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I'm not sure about regular cameras or phones, but the Spypoint can be connected to an auto (motorcycle) battery. A solar panel feeds into the battery. This is the setup I have.

Brettny
Member
# Posted: 27 Mar 2019 12:30
Reply 


I looked at a spypoint cam that had a disclaimer. It stated that after XXXX date the camera would be shut off from the service. That really turned me off from all cellular based cameras. I would hate to spend $300 on a camera just to have it shutdown in a few years.

Cellular hot spot with Wifi cameras may be a better option and in the end prob not cost much more if any.

Jebediah
Member
# Posted: 27 Mar 2019 12:43 - Edited by: Jebediah
Reply 


Quoting: Brettny
I looked at a spypoint cam that had a disclaimer.

Don't buy the older model easy peasy....But if you have an older model like I do, they will send you a new Link dark....if you are under warranty...and you can keep your older model as a stand alone...its a win win ....I just received my new camera....you can't go wrong with these cellular cameras I have two of them....they are replacing the older model because of the cell tower upgrades to 5g...I really don't care about the exchange as I get a brand new camera out of the deal....for free, with more options....SPYPOINT stands by their product.

aktundra
Member
# Posted: 27 Mar 2019 17:04 - Edited by: aktundra
Reply 


BadgersHollow -

My camera just got here yesterday. Free 2 day air to Alaska! You know we are usually the asterisk for free shipping does not apply. I would definitely order from trailcampro again!

I got the AT&T version. It's working great but this is day 1, in town. I bought the external antenna which bumps my house cell signal from 2 bars to 4. I am hoping I can get it to the cabin before my 90 day trial runs out to make sure I can get it to work there. Typically we have 1 bar LTE, but on the roof, I can get 2 bars. I'm hoping with the booster, I can get enough to send the pictures.

https://www.trailcampro.com/products/spypoint-link-booster-antenna

I will let you know how it goes. I'm excited to have a more "live" feed of the cabin, especially this time of year when it will be another 4-6 weeks until we can get back out.

Their "referral program" is also kinda a nice deal too... I should have used it... but I'm thinking maybe I need another camera because with the referral you can get $100 off.

mj1angier
Member
# Posted: 27 Mar 2019 20:17 - Edited by: mj1angier
Reply 


Quoting: aktundra
My camera just got here yesterday. Free 2 day air to Alaska! You know we are usually the asterisk for free shipping does not apply. I would definitely order from trailcampro again!


I just got mine in from them today also. 2 day shipping is great.

I set it up here at home and got my first photo ( me walking away, lol) sent to my phone. Photo was very good for size of it. I plan to set up this weekend at my land on the drive way in. Got the security box for it but will put 12 foot up a tree also. I plan to leave my tractor ( - 1 wheel) up there for a few weeks as I do work there. I hope all I get on camera is deer or bear, lol.

Brettny
Member
# Posted: 28 Mar 2019 06:18
Reply 


Wow i didnt realize they were replacing cameras to work with new towers. Thanks for that info. Are the pictures good enough to read license plates at say 30-40ft? Does it also save a high quality pic on the internal card?

Jebediah
Member
# Posted: 28 Mar 2019 08:54 - Edited by: Jebediah
Reply 


Not sure about the 30-40' I use mine more for building security....I do have other trail cameras out and around....The pics inside are very clear 30' you could easily read a license plate but I'm not sure about outside, brightness, sun,cloudy etc...I'm very happy with the product...I was looking at Ridge tech also but they are 5-600 a pop....

Jebediah
Member
# Posted: 1 Apr 2019 10:05 - Edited by: Jebediah
Reply 


Just to let everyone know, Spypoint has just launched a new cell camera...The Link Micro $149.00, they are much smaller...I'm just going to wait for some consumer feed back before I buy one.....
They are also updating their app today supposedly with some great new features....no its not an April fools gig lol...

Brettny
Member
# Posted: 1 Apr 2019 14:35
Reply 


I see there link-evo is also at $199 on amazon now too.

Jebediah
Member
# Posted: 1 Apr 2019 15:20 - Edited by: Jebediah
Reply 


I seen that also. I was talking to a Spypoint rep she had a heavy French accent so it was hard to understand her, but it sounds like the new Link Micro doesn't have very many option when it comes to setting...I was confused with all their new payment plans, I will have to wait until they update their plans on the site...sometime today or she said in the next few weeks...The technology is really moving along....hard to keep up!

Brettny
Member
# Posted: 2 Apr 2019 06:05
Reply 


It looks like the micro has very few IR lights too

Moomps
Member
# Posted: 3 Apr 2019 13:14
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Quoting: Jebediah
Don't buy the older model easy peasy....But if you have an older model like I do, they will send you a new Link dark....if you are under warranty...and you can keep your older model as a stand alone...its a win win ..


Where can I find information about the exchange program? I checked their website and couldn't find anything - but that doesn't mean that I just didn't see it.

toyota_mdt_tech
Member
# Posted: 4 Apr 2019 08:42
Reply 


Ok, I have moved this to "watched mode". I like all the R&D already done. I'd like one central camera that uploads to cell, with remote units TXing to the one transceiver unit like the Cuddie Link system.

Jebediah
Member
# Posted: 4 Apr 2019 20:13
Reply 


Quoting: Moomps
Where can I find information about the exchange program

If you own a camera already the info should have showed up when you logged into your Spypoint app-top of the page...or contact them1-888 779 7646

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