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Contact Info

David Robbins, K1TTT

K1TTT@arrl.net



Admin

2012 Trail Camera

I finally broke down and bought a trail camera to see what kind of wildlife is roaming around when I'm not watching. It is a Leupold RCX-2 camera. I have been moving it around trying to find the real active spots. Below I will post the small version of some of the interesting pictures, click on the image for a full resolution version.

You can also browse the raw archive at: Trailcam Archive. The directories are dated for when I downloaded from the camera. The files with "(Small)" in the name are the low resolution versions, the others are the full files from the camera. I started out on the 3 megapixel resolution then changed it to 10 megapixel so the file sizes changed. I have it set to take 3 pictures per trigger, so pictures should be in groups of 3. The date and time plus temperature and barometer reading should be at the bottom of each picture after 8/24/2012 when I turned on more features. If you find something interesting that I didn't put below let me know, sometimes I don't look real close if I'm busy.

Interesting Pictures: (Most Recent)

The first night I put it out I caught these two.

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Then nothing but me and Pablo for a while...

Shooting bench. I must have been walking just too far away so it triggered as I left the field of view on the right.

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Me and Pablo action picture:

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Caught a John Deere a couple times:

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A 'helper' who was tagging along with Pablo while I moved the camera. Notice in the pond you can see a rock breaking the surface in the gap in the weeds, this only happens on VERY dry summers. This was about the low point for the pond for the year so far.:

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Pablo on the N/S Beverage trail while moving the camera again. He knows who has been on the trail, maybe now I'll find out:

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Guess who also uses the Beverage trail?

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and

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Moved it again, this time those two seem to be in a hurry:

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And heading back the other way at a slower pace:

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Neighbors:

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This time there are 3 of them, smile you're on candid camera:

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Latest location was kind of a bust, nothing but me and Pablo and some blowing leaves, and all crooked at that:

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Setting up in new location, this is what happens when you try to move the camera without turning it off. As long as the USB cable is plugged in on both ends it won't save pictures, but I ran out of hands and put the controller in my pocket and the mini-USB plug came out. Hopefully this place will be better and this won't be the best picture:

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This just isn't being very productive... a couple more pics of me and Pablo. Moved to another spot on 10/16. Tried it at night on 10/16, went out and walked past it, the flash was triggering so I figured it was working. (The infra-red flash has a visible red component to it, not sure if that is just the diodes themselves or a separate red one to make it visible to humans for testing). When I went to download the pics on 10/17 there was nothing there. So I tried to reset the settings, cycled power, etc... then went for a walk. While I was walking I looked back at the history of pictures in the controller and the only night pictures were the first night. So I thought that maybe something I did to the settings broke it for night time pics. So I tried resetting to some of their canned settings and forcing it to take night pics, still nothing. So I brought it back into the house and tried again, still nothing. Ok, so new batteries, reformat the SD card, and reset the settings again, and it starts working. Try a few combinations of resolutions and they all seem ok... look at the directories for 2012_10_17 if you want to see lots of pics of my face and the ceiling of the radio shack and radios in infra-red. Then put it back out and tried it at a few different distances, see the 2012_10_17g directory... this is one of the last, the camera is on the 15m tower and we are walking under the NW/SE Beverage antenna which should be about as far away as it should trigger. I KNOW there are deer in this area, Pablo flushed one out while I was putting the camera back on the tower.

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Memo to self... Turn off camera before mowing in it's field of view! 66 pictures of me and the DR Mower is a bit much.

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Hmmm, brought camera in since it wasn't taking pictures again Monday morning. The IR flash was triggering once a second and doing a triple flash... but it wasn't saving any pictures. That night I tried it again inside and couldn't get it to work until I plugged in a new 12v UPS battery to it's 12v input jack. Then it seemed to come to life and take good pics. It was still working Tuesday morning, so maybe it is just a battery selection problem. I put the downloads in the folders but there isn't anything besides me and Pablo yet.

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Well, it seemed to keep working on the UPS battery. I got two packages of the Ultimate Lithium AA cells they recommend, will try it on those now. If they don't last a LONG time I'll probably go back to the UPS battery, the lithium cells are $22 for the 8 cells. It is interesting to compare them to the alkaline ones, they read 1.5v and will source about 4a, the lithium cells read 1.6v and sources about 6a.

Well, I guess its still working, got a deer last night anyway.

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Ok, camera has been back where it started for the last couple days... I had thought that would be an interesting spot, and sure enough now that the camera is working properly it produced 78 pictures in 3 days... Some highlights:

A nice little fox:

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Followed within minutes by the first of many deer:

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And more during the day, the first buck I have seen:

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A cat? Looks smaller than the fox with no nose sticking out and moves like cat in the multiple exposures:

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A buck at night, the same one or is this one bigger?:

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Remember, if you want to see more you can go to the Trailcam Archive and look for the other pictures on those days. The camera is set to take 3 exposures for each trigger, so there should be at least 2 more for each of the ones I posted within seconds of each other. The file names are stamped on the top right of the pictures. I don't download every day, but most days you should be able to look for the directory dated the same day or just after the date stamp on the bottom of the picture. And please look at the (Small) ones first until you really want the full detail to spare my outgoing bandwidth.

Plenty more the night of 11/15 (see 2012_11_16 directory), a buck, the fox a couple times, and several doe... so it seems the super ultimate lithium batteries are the key to keeping this camera working. Now to see how long they last.

Just noticed the time on the controller didn't change for the end of daylight savings time, so up to 11/22 the times on the pictures are off an hour.

Hmmm, no night pictures for a week or more, and no pictures last night (11/30), though I did see eyes down there and there seem to be new tracks on the bridge. Maybe time to try a different battery again and see if the expensive ones have died already.

Replaced ultimate lithium battery pack with UPS battery, now the cells still read about 1.6v but only source 2.5-3a each. One month for $22 worth of batteries seems a bit much so I think I'll leave it on the rechargeable UPS battery.

Lots of nothing for a while. In the directories from 12/3 and 12/6 there are a bunch of me and Pablo while looking at a tree that fell down and then testing the night capability to see if it was still working.

Then some wildlife starts showing up again first with a whole parade of deer:

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Then with the fox:

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Then something with longer legs, maybe coyote?? With another one following it?

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Then we dispose of the tree:

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Hmmm, Pablo and I go for a walk and a half hour later a red fox comes through:

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Three deer, probably watching out for Pablo on his evening constitutional, then they come back a few hours later.

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Then our first real snow... Pablo waiting for me to catch up on skis.

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