24 pics of trees

robNhood

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Last January was the first time that I put my cams out. I got numerous great pics of deer, bobcats and a fox. Out of 48 possible pics, only 3 didn't have any animals on them.

I am using a MS20, 12 volt powersonic battery, Owl PF (date).

Now the problem.

I developed 3 rolls of film several weeks ago and more than half didn't have any thing on them. They were not pointed at the sun, however some did have a bright spot on the ground where the suns rays were hitting. Numerous blanks were at night? I am blaming it on the wind, there were T-Storms around that week.

I know that the MS20 has a pretty far range, but with the heavy foliage, I couldn't beleive it was picking up a distant critter.

I just picked up a roll of film today and the entire roll was shot up in 2 hours and contained nothing. All taken around 5 p.m. Some did have the sun rays on the ground but some did not.

One thing that I noticed was, when I do not leave my test light turned on, the relay click is a lot louder. Last January, I left the test light turned on. This year, I shut the test light off.

Does anyone think that the relay / MS20 is not as sensitive when the test light is left turned on and it is not getting as much juice? I know for a fact that the click of the relay is noticably louder when the test light is turned off.

I'm trying to figure this out. Something is tripping the sensor. Could it be just the summer heat? The sun rays heating up the forest floor? A combination of heat and wind?

Give me your thoughts...?

Here are 2 pics from my last roll. They all looked the same. Some with the sun spot, some without. All taken in a matter of 2 hours.

 



Richard Webb

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Hi robNhood - I had the exact same problem with my MS20. That PIR seems to see to much territory. The Radio Shack 49-425 isn't as bad, becasue of having a shorter range with a slow sticky responce. However, the RS did waste a couple of rolls, so I now added a dusk to dawn light sensor. (diagram posted on my website) I am also using the Home Depot 7 Day Timer (posted) with one cam to see how it works out.
 

Tinhorn

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I don't know if you have a cam problem or not:

Since you can hear a diff in the relay, it sounds like a weak or bad battery.  When the batt gets weak, it will toggle the PIR and take an entire roll of film real quick. (this occurs with any PIR)

That test light you spoke of draws a lot of current, I'd not leave it on unless you're testing the cam system.  No need to waste battery juice.

Those storms will also cause false alarms, as well as hot days, especially hot windy days.  50% of nothing in daylight is probably normal under summer time conditions but not a whole roll of film in 2 hours......

It looks like a limb in the lower left hand corner is lit up by the sun, this will fool the PIR too.  Any swinging foliage with sun on it will be bad news.

If you're unit is working properly, you might consider a timer, especially in the summer months, it would probably help with the false triggers too

Tinhorn  
 

robNhood

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Thinking back to the date of the false pics, I remember the following scenario that day.

Sever thuderstorm watch for northern Missouri. I was out and about that day and the southerly winds before the line of t-storms was very high. We didn't get the storms, but where my cams were did.

Now thinking back to that day.

The time of 3 to 5 p.m, it had to have been really windy where my cams were. If any one knows, the gust fronts just ahead of the storms can get very high.

High winds + lots of leaves and branches to sway = probably my problem that day.

I know that you can' see the time stamp on my pics here, but I can on the actual pictures.

(Edited by robNhood at 7:26 am on Aug. 28, 2001)
 

Possum

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I wired a simple timer to the MS20.  I used the 4S delay feature for my walk led.  Then I switch over to the auto setting for my extended timer.  I took out a resistor R25 and replaced it with two wires that run to a DPDT switch.  This switch has resistors on each end.  One end is valued at 27 seconds and the other at 50 seconds.  The timer is retriggerable but it seems to be working pretty good.  I still get pretty good variety of pics. You can make the timer any value you want by changing the resistor value.  This was super easy and allowed use of the existing housing.  This could help with the false pics although it may drain your battery quicker.


I now have a MS20 Mounted to the same tree where the RS PIR cam was.  I never got a false pic from this cam with 22 pictures taken at this tree (2 rolls of film). I will let everyone know how the two compare.  It has been around 95-96 deg here everyday.


(Edited by Possum at 10:15 pm on Aug. 28, 2001)
 


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