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Old 12-05-2004, 20:33   #1
lomfs24
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Trail cams.

I just got a trail cam from Wally World. I think it cost $60 or so. It takes 8 AA batteries and a role of film. It is programable to shoot up to 9 frames per movement. And you can set the delay between movements from 1 to 60 minutes.

Here's what I want to know. Right now it is pretty chilly here. Probably has not gotten down to zero here yet, but has gotten pretty chilly. I don't ever expect the cam to get much above 30 degrees until March. How long can I expect batteries to last? 3 days? 2 days? A week? I really don't know and there is not battery meter except a light comes on when they are low.

Remember, it takes 8 AA's.
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Old 12-06-2004, 09:00   #2
onemilmhz
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Dang thats a lot of batteries! When I was in the military we used to store our alkaline batteries in freezers supposedly to keep them fresh longer before use. I would think that they are only being used to their peak level when sensing motion or actually taking the picture. You may want to thing about some NiMH rechargables. You can get a pack of four and a rapid charger from Radio Shack for about 25 bucks. I know you would need two and 50 bucks may seem like alot but NiMH's last longer than alkalines and once you start buying replacements the cost adds up quick. Plus you can use them in other devices when your camera is not in the field, assuming you take it down during the off season or after scouting. The quick charger would also minimize down time while you recharge. Just a thought.
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Old 12-06-2004, 11:40   #3
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battery consumption was a big problem when these things first came out. along with exposure rate. if you have high activity, you'll be lucky to get 3 days out of those batteries/film. with the newer technology stuff, they have done a lot better job with efficiency. if you only paid ~$60 for it though, i would bet it's not the most current technology out. (no offense). i would ? how well the film itself will hold up in those temperatures, as well.

i would recommend putting it out for a week. turn on the date stamp feature (it should have one). with moderate activity, you'll be able to tell approximately how long the batteries lasted by the date on the last picture. one thing i wouldn't do, don't go check on it every 3 or 4 days. the more you are in the area, the less likely the deer (or whatever game) will be.

good luck. post some of those pics when you get them back.
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Old 12-06-2004, 17:51   #4
RJ Schuknecht
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If it has a flash. Battery life will be shorter if you get a lot of nighttime pictures as opposed to daytime pictures that don`t use the flash.
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Old 12-06-2004, 19:00   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by shrpshtr
battery consumption was a big problem when these things first came out. along with exposure rate. if you have high activity, you'll be lucky to get 3 days out of those batteries/film. with the newer technology stuff, they have done a lot better job with efficiency. if you only paid ~$60 for it though, i would bet it's not the most current technology out. (no offense). i would ? how well the film itself will hold up in those temperatures, as well.

i would recommend putting it out for a week. turn on the date stamp feature (it should have one). with moderate activity, you'll be able to tell approximately how long the batteries lasted by the date on the last picture. one thing i wouldn't do, don't go check on it every 3 or 4 days. the more you are in the area, the less likely the deer (or whatever game) will be.

good luck. post some of those pics when you get them back.
Thanks for the replies guys. I am not worried about film in those conditions. I have found cameras that were lost in the woods and spent a winter there. After developing them they looked just a good as if they would have been developed right away.
I don't plan on spending a lot of time in the area.
I also realize that a $60 camera from Wally World will not be bleeding edge technology. It is is pretty easy to program and has several features.
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Old 12-08-2004, 09:30   #6
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I've got the same camera from Wallyworld. I've used it quite a bit the last 3 weeks or so, and it hasn't "killed" any batteries yet, but the batteries do lose power in the cold, but get it back when you warm them up. It's been pretty cold too... lows have dropped down to the single digits. I keep a fresh set of 8 batteries in a zip-lock bag, in an inside pocket of my hunting jacket to keep them warm. Whenever I check my camera, I put in the warm ones, and put the cold ones in the pocket. I've been rotating the same 16 batteries for about 3 weeks, and they're still going strong.

The bitter cold does effect the film advance drive of the camera... it runs slow, but it still works. If you'll be checking it every morning & evening, here's a little tip to keep it working in the cold. Get some of those disposable toe warmers. Put one in your boot and walk around a bit to "smash" it flatter than it is when you take from the packaging. Then remove it from your boot, and take it out to your camera, and stick it inside. Your camera (and batteries) will stay nice and warm for about 8 hours. The warmer won't fit right out of the package, but walking on it some flattens it just enough that it fits inside.

P.S. On my other thread about trail cams, that picture I attached of the buck was taken at 1:25 am on Thanksgiving morning. The temperature at that time was about 10F. The camera had been in the woods for about 10 days straight by then... but it still worked perfectly, thanks to the toe warmers I put in it every afternoon at the close of hunting hours.
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Old 12-08-2004, 10:24   #7
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That is good to hear rfb45colt. I hope my cammera is still going strong. I pretty much put it out and left it. It's been out since Sunday. I hope it's still working. I think I will check it today.

Thanks. If it has taken any good pictures I will post them here.
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