Building a Bear Cam

ToddP

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Yes, I said "bear" cam not "beer" can.

I have been going to a camp in Maine for bears the past couple years, got to know the owner fairly well.  I took my camera up last year and took some bear pics.  He was really impressed with the setup.  The problem he has is that he is 30 miles from the closest film developer.  Now that digital cameras have been solved he has asked if I would build him one.  The idea being to take pictures of the bears that are coming into his baits.  

Which camera would meets his needs best?  (Olympus or Canon)  The only electicity he has is from a generator he runs during the day.  It's a powerful generator.  Not one of these camping types.  So recharging batteries might be an issue.  I'm not sure.

Which housing?  Ammo Can?? Metal First aid box??

In the past I have used the RS PIR and just cut out a spot to put the whole RS PIR to look out.  I would like to narrow that down to a small circle like some of you have been doing.  Any instructions or links to instructions would be helpful.

Anything else??

Brian,
I'll be in touch sometime to get a board from you for this.

Thanks,
ToddP
 



Brian

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OK  I have several built up right now.

As far as which camera.  Looks like the D-370 is the cost effective solution and it wakes from sleep to take a pic quicker than the S100 can.

I haven't used the D-370 yet so  I am going off what has been said.

Generators can be harmful to electronic equipment if the phasing of the voltage and current is out from the standard 60 hz.

He might consider this when buying a charger.  They make line conditioners for this but they can be expensive.
 

gizz

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Just curious, but how is he gonna view the pics? Does he have a computer in camp?
As for the enclosure, i haven't built any digitals but i have had many cams attacked by bears. From what I can tell they like to get them off the tree and then lay there chewing on a corner. They haven't hurt the PVC electrical boxes yet but ANYTHING protruding from the enclosure is fair play. This would include switches, lense covers, and PIRS. Maybe push button switches would be good idea and mount your pir flush and inside the lid? If you use metal make sure it is rigid otherwise i'm afraid they'll just collapse it/chew on it eventually damaging the contents with their crushing jaw force.

(Edited by gizz at 5:26 pm on June 6, 2002)
 

ToddP

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Gizz,

Yes, he has a computer in camp.  I email him.  He has a satelite ISP.  Does not need a phone line.  That's a good thing because his phone is a radio phone.  A two-way radio system that's hooked up to a phone at a "local" house.  It's like talking on a two way radio with him on the phone.  Only one person at a time.

Brian,
If he runs a computer alright would he still need the extra equipment for the recharger??

I know when I talked to you the other week you explained that with the Canon's you are able to turn them on, take the pic, then turn them off.  Is the D370 able to do this?  Does it matter??

Thanks,
Todd

(Edited by ToddP at 7:21 am on June 7, 2002)
 

Brian

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Todd,

If the generator is not damaging his computer then it will not damage the charger either.  He must have a good generator.

ON the D-370.  I don't have one but if I remember correctly they leave it on all the time and just wire into the shutter/focus button.  The focus button is the refresh and that keeps the camera from totally shutting down.  They do not turn it on and off like I do the Canon.  I think it has the slide open on/off and DBworld did not want to hack into that.
 

Dbworld

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It's really quite good on batteries.  It goes into sleep mode after 3 minutes then shuts off at 4 hours...which is why you need the long refresh.  Not having to turn it on and off is the beauty of this camera.  This makes it a little faster on the trail and easier to modify.  If you want a camera to shut off and on.  I'd go with a  Canon Sxxx.  While the Olympus takes really nice pics, I think the Canon probably would take better.  This is based on the fact that I've owned several Canons (35mm slr, and point and shoot) over the years.  Also based on some Brians pics I think the flash is a better on the canon digital too.
 

ToddP

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There's a time stamp on the pictures properties with the Olympus cameras, right??  

Todd
 

ToddP

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Scratch the Olympus cameras for this project.  He already has a Canon A20 and compact flash cards for it so it makes sense for him to use a Canon instead.  

I guess it's time to do some shopping.

ToddP
 


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