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Small Cabin Forum / General Forum / Anyone have luck with wireless outdoor cameras to monitor their cabins?
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jhp
Member
# Posted: 26 Jun 2020 10:50
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Couldn't agree more. The latest "micro" cameras all have internal lithium batteries and a small solar charger on them, no battery tray for disposables any more.

I have one of the first gen solars with the internal battery, 18 months later i'm still on my first set of disposables as well. Almost no need for them unless there is no sunlight at all for a week straight.

Brettny
Member
# Posted: 26 Jun 2020 15:34
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The solar on the camera didnt seam like a benefit to me. You really dont want the pannel facing south any way due to the sun on the lense. I'm also in deep woods and sometimes on public land.

After some research I may just use a SLA battery in a ammo can.

jhp
Member
# Posted: 27 Jun 2020 10:50
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Mine faces west-ish and is in heavy wooded cover. It gets direct, but filtered sunlight maybe 45 minutes a day.

Battery in a can would be nice because you could size it yourself so you never have to check it if you don't want.

paulz
Member
# Posted: 30 Dec 2020 08:20 - Edited by: paulz
Reply 


My Moultrie camera works fine, but the phone app...

This morning, as usual, I got a notification that it took a photo. Click on that to pull up the app, blank screen, never loads. I'm back at my city house with desktop PC. I pull up the Moutrie web site, there is the photo right away, so I know it's there.

This has been happening over and over. Sometimes the app loads, sometimes it doesn't. Is it my phone or the app? Phone works fine on all other apps.

I re-installed the app, no help, but I noticed the reviews, ugh..

Then I brought up Chrome on my phone and tried to pull up the Moultrie web site like I do on the desktop. Won't let me sign in, says to use the app..

Is there a way around this, or a way to have the app up on my phone all the time, maybe it would work then.
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SCSJeff
Member
# Posted: 30 Dec 2020 09:09 - Edited by: SCSJeff
Reply 


Paulz,

If you remove the app from your phone, restart your phone and then try using Chrome on your phone, does it still tell you to use the app?

(Just wondering if it recognizes that the app is installed and forces you to use that?)

paulz
Member
# Posted: 30 Dec 2020 09:26 - Edited by: paulz
Reply 


Ah, yes, tried that, forgot to mention it. Yes it still tells me to use the app. Thanks.

I also tried, in Chrome, selecting the 'use desktop version' setting.

jhp
Member
# Posted: 30 Dec 2020 10:38
Reply 


I think they might have updated their product URLs to split out their cameras vs everything else

Make sure you are logging in here:

https://www.moultriemobile.com/login

I see the error you are showing on the "main" Moultrie site here: https://www.moultriefeeders.com/

paulz
Member
# Posted: 30 Dec 2020 22:44
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That works! Thanks jhp! Still no excuse for their crappy app, but at least it's a workaround.

Brettny
Member
# Posted: 31 Dec 2020 07:27
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Quoting: Brettny
The solar on the camera didnt seam like a benefit to me. You really dont want the pannel facing south any way due to the sun on the lense. I'm also in deep woods and sometimes on public land.

After some research I may just use a SLA battery in a ammo can.

A few months later I'm regretting not getting the solar one. I get about 2 months in the fall out of $12 of lithium AA batteries. I'm sure they wont last 2 months in winter. I actualy made a special trip up to the cabin to figure out why this spypoint link micro wasn't working...so now we are $70-85 into saving $50-60.
I would really like to see the snow pack up there so I can judge the earliest the road will be passable. Even 1mi down the rd dosnt get the snow we do.

FishHog
Member
# Posted: 31 Dec 2020 08:53
Reply 


That battery life surprises me. I put mine in in June and they were just starting to drop in charge on cold nights so I changed them while at the cottage

Although I only have mine transmit once a day to save battery life. Transmitting is hard on them

You can get a small solar panel and battery but you could make your own cheaper

Brettny
Member
# Posted: 31 Dec 2020 15:39
Reply 


I turned it up to 12x a day prior/durring hunting season. Maybe that was my issue.

FishHog
Member
# Posted: 31 Dec 2020 17:18
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Well that will sure use a lot more juice.

jhp
Member
# Posted: 31 Dec 2020 18:01
Reply 


Even if they're not transmitting any pictures, it's turning on the radio at the pre-specified time, making contact with the tower, downloading a couple hundred kb config file to see if you made any changes to the firmware and then shutting down.

The fewer times you do that per day the better. I have my cameras set to check in once per day or as soon as they detect motion. I don't get a lot of false positives so most days its just once a day that checks in.

The downside is, if I want to call up a picture on demand or make a change to the config I might have to wait up to 23 hours to get that.

You'll get a lot better performance if you went with the DIY battery box route. Think about it like this, those 8 AA batteries are only giving you 2.8 amp hours and you are never charging it, only drawing it down.

If you draw it down to say about 50% before it dies figure that's a total draw of maybe 1.5 amp hours.

You can get a 10ah battery on Amazon for like $25 and a 20 watt solar kit with charge controller for like $40. Figure another $20 for a nice weatherproof ammo can, wire, connectors, etc. Even on a bad solar day you should be able to put back in like 10-15% of that charge, or something like 1-1.5 amp hours per day.

Basically...unless the equipment fails outright that battery box will pretty much run your camera forever and well outperform even the spypoint solar models which only have a 2ah battery inside.

I bought the solar model out of convenience, but if I had to do it again I'd probably build my own, and integrate it into another system, like running two cameras off the same solar.

Brettny
Member
# Posted: 31 Dec 2020 18:10
Reply 


Quoting: FishHog
That battery life surprises me. I put mine in in June and they were just starting to drop in charge on cold nights so I changed them while at the cottage

Although I only have mine transmit once a day to save battery life. Transmitting is hard on them

You can get a small solar panel and battery but you could make your own cheape

I brought home all 8 of those Energizer lithium AA batteries..I actualy found one cell that reads no voltage. The rest are 1.5v or better. So I'm guessing it was just a bad cell. Either way it cost me $60+ to change them out. We will see what type if life I get out of these.

spencerin
Member
# Posted: 14 Jan 2021 00:13
Reply 


Recently installed a Spypoint solar cellular camera. I have ZERO complaints - works just fine. But, mine was also installed and operates in ideal conditions - lots of sun, strong cell signal, and in the "sweet spot" of its range. I still recommend it.

FishHog
Member
# Posted: 14 Jan 2021 08:39
Reply 


Quoting: Brettny
I brought home all 8 of those Energizer lithium AA batteries..I actualy found one cell that reads no voltage. The rest are 1.5v or better. So I'm guessing it was just a bad cell. Either way it cost me $60+ to change them out. We will see what type if life I get out of these.


When I changed mine out I tested the voltage of the batteries. One cell was very low, the rest still good so just reusing them for other less important things and put new ones in my camera.

Actually the old ones kind of turbo charged my electric tooth brush.

paulz
Member
# Posted: 14 Jan 2021 11:22
Reply 


You guys with the Spypoint cellulars, do you get the photos right when you get the notifications, or do you have to stare at your phone for 5 minutes like I do with the Moultrie?

Brettny
Member
# Posted: 14 Jan 2021 11:33 - Edited by: Brettny
Reply 


Pretty much instant paul. I believe when you get the notification the pic is alreaty downloaded and a thumb nail even shows in your dropdown notifications.

Camera update. 2.5 weeks into new lithium batteries and we are showing 100% and 54 pictures taken.

paulz
Member
# Posted: 14 Jan 2021 12:28
Reply 


Dang, that thumbnail would be all I need to see. I'm using the Moultrie website now, gave up on the app, but still a wait to see the pic. It goes something like this: Get the beep on the phone, figure it's a nothing photo, keep working.. curiosity gets the better, put down saw, wood, pencil, dig out phone. Stare at blank screen for awhile, put phone down, go back to work. Remember about the phone, go back and look, might see a photo.

In their defense I'm using it as a security camera, not a game camera where there is no urgency. And it does take good photos, though I have nothing to compare it to. But if Spypoint can figure out the software..not exactly new science.

jhp
Member
# Posted: 14 Jan 2021 13:17
Reply 


The way the Spypoint app works is it only notifies you when it has new pictures in the app. If the camera has taken pictures but hasn't uploaded them you won't have an alert.

I have clocked the upload speed using a web cam that sends me activity notification within about 30 seconds. Typically I have the images within about 1 minute of the activity occurring.

jsahara24
Member
# Posted: 14 Jan 2021 14:02
Reply 


Another Spypoint user here.....I've had nothing but good luck on mine so far. I got it last Christmas so just over a year, I'm on my second set of batteries, currently sitting at 52%. I have mine setup to send me the pictures immediately, I've been averaging about 50 pictures a month give or take.

Picture quality isn't the best, but definitely good enough for my purposes.....I actually got a picture of a hunter trespassing on my property two weekends ago, I got the picture 2 minutes after he walked by. Plenty of time to go deal with the situation, turns out he had 3 others with him pushing out my woods....Said he had permission from the previous owner 25 years ago! haha...

spencerin
Member
# Posted: 14 Jan 2021 14:04
Reply 


My Spypoint appears to take a minute or 2 to get the pic to me - when it pops up in my app is about 1-2 minutes after the timestamp on it. I'm fine with that. You can also adjust the delivery frequency from each time a pic is taken to once a day (all the pics taken that day will be sent to you at the same time). But, when you get notified, the pic is already in there for viewing.

FishHog
Member
# Posted: 14 Jan 2021 14:44
Reply 


Quoting: jsahara24
Picture quality isn't the best


The picture they transmit is compressed make the sending easier. You can pay to get the high def pic or wait and get the picture off the camera card which is much better.

99% of the time mine are good enough with the transmitted picture. I spent the $5 for 50HD pictures, but so far have only requested that for 4 pictures, so that $5 will last me a long time.

paulz
Member
# Posted: 20 Jan 2021 09:51
Reply 


What model Spypoint cellular camera are you guys using?

FishHog
Member
# Posted: 20 Jan 2021 12:21
Reply 


I have the Link Evo, but for the price of the link micro's I'm thinking of getting another.

People have issues with them, but other than some of the solar cameras leaking and letting water in, it seems like the majority of problems are user error and not carefully following the instructions.

The downside seems to be customer service. Seems that leave a lot to offer which is unfortunate.

jsahara24
Member
# Posted: 20 Jan 2021 12:37
Reply 


link micro here, have been seeing them for 100$ lately....thinking about picking up another one...

and I didn't know I could pay to have higher quality pictures sent, I'll have to look into that....Thanks....

spencerin
Member
# Posted: 20 Jan 2021 13:55
Reply 


Link micro lte s. I've called customer service twice to-date - one time I had to wait a little, one time I didn't.

Brettny
Member
# Posted: 20 Jan 2021 14:25
Reply 


Link micro also. Never had to call customer service. My camera has only been outside for about 6 months. Becids the one lithium cell going bad I haven't had an issue. I have it send me a pic about every week and have got pics sent when a deer crosses it.

Anyone know what the spypoint link evolves does that the micro dosnt do? There about $100 more.

jhp
Member
# Posted: 20 Jan 2021 16:22 - Edited by: jhp
Reply 


The "-S" designates it has a small solar panel attached and a second internal battery. Still takes AAs but the solar battery drains first.

The "EVO" line is the older generation. The "Micro" line is the current generation.

So if you're looking at the Link-S or the Link-EVO-S its a solar model of the older generation, not worth the extra $100.

Edit: I guess there are a few feature differences. # of LEDs, 12 vs 10mp camera, built in screen. I don't see $100 in value there though.

I have a Link-S and it works great, but if I was buying another it woudl be a micro.

https://www.spypoint.com/en/products/compare?i=89%2C2

paulz
Member
# Posted: 20 Jan 2021 16:41
Reply 


Just bought a link micro.

Thanks guys.

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