First Camera Project

skipnoid

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My hunting buddy emailed me the link to the site last week. He's got two manufactured cameras he bought to the tune of $700. They are great, but out of my price range. The home brews are right up my alley. I printed the directions on friday, and had a fully working unit on sunday. I'm building two cameras. The housings are $9 Brinks petty cash boxes I bought from the ofice supply section in Wal Mart. The size is perfect and has a lock built into the box.

Here's my problem: As you're all aware, the PF's are scarce. I was able to find three at a local camera shop. I bought two. In my haste, and a little overwhelmed by the building instructions, I did not realize or notice that these do not have the date function until after I butchered both of them! The good news is, they both work. It seems like such a no-brainer in hindsite.

My question therfore is: Is there an easy way to modify these to add an event timer? If so, I can just reference against the pics after developing and write the date/time on the backs. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated!
 



Brian

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I am working on that very thing but it is down on my to do list.

It is hard to get an accurate clock over the whole temperature range.

I have the solution but it is expensive.  So for now I don't have a great solution but I am working on it.  I have it working on the bread board but it has sit idle for some time while I work on the day/night/24hr and the video camera stuff.

Just a matter of time and I will have something but it may not be cost effective.
 

skipnoid

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Looking at the directions, there are two different part #'s for the DPDT switch. The one I bought only has two positions. I beleive that (the diagram indicates) there should also be a center position which would be OFF. the way I understand this, it will allow you to switch between LED-only and camera-only so the LED will not illuminate during the shot. Is the center/off position really necessary then? I was confused, but otherwise making good progress so I left it out completely.

My working unit now takes a picture immediately upon set up. If I turn on the camera first, close the lid and then turn on the sensor, the warm up period fires the shot (RS 49-425). If I turn the sensor on first and wait for it to warm up, I can't get the lid closed without activating the sensor (which fires the shot). So ... will adding either one of these DPDT switches allow me to switch from test to camera (camera already turned on inside the housing) without wasting a picture? Is ther some other way around this mini-problem?

As of now I figgure it's no big deal to waste the first picture, but why not improve it a little? Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
 

davered1

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You don't need the center-off position. Both  switches will work just as well as the other. Then when you turn sensor on just be sure it is in LED mode while unit warms up.

This way you can "waste" a pic with camera ready and you do a "walk-by" to ensure camera was working when you left.
 

arlow

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Skipnoid,
   You are correct that the dpdt switch will allow you to choose between test light function only and camera function only.  If you have the switch set on test light when you connect to your power source it should not take a pic when closing the lid.  It should not take a pic until you flip the switch to camera and the sensor is activated. I kind of like the three position switch you talk about.  The middle position is kind of an off, but I believe that it is not a true off.  In the middle position niether the camera nor the led are in circut but I believe that the pir is still active and using power.  If you use the rs pir though the amount of power is probably negligable. Correct me if I am wrong guys.
Hope I have helped:shades-smoke:
 

Passthru

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 Arlow your right,I use and on off toggle for powering up the sensor,i use the DPDT or center off toggle to seperate the LED and camera,but in the center position the sensor is active and will trip the relay,just wont take a pic or light the LED.
 it is really such a cheap little toggle that there is no sense in not having it,it makes things easier.
 

JoelM

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skipnoid

Maybe I am misunderstood the question. Why are you putting the cover on after you turn the camera on? Is the switch on the inside of your box? I have the switches sticking out the side of my box. Once I strap it on the tree. I turn the switch on to test the PIR direction. Once I am satisfied with the lineup. I turn the second switch on for the camera and walk away.
 

chili

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Skipnoid,
    Welcome to the Forum.  Here's my .02 .  It sounds like you have a pretty good handle on the homebrew.  I would finish those cam units and try to find a buyer for them. Then go get the PF Date.  I would rather be without color than be without time/date.
 

Archilochus

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There's always the expensive - but easyily built - option.... add on a "HOBO" data logger.
I used one of these in a project a while back... works great.

Archilochus
 

skipnoid

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The only switch for the camera is the one on the camera itself (beside the lense). The only new switch I added is the power on/off to the PIR (which is external to the box). I think your answering my question ... I need the second switch!

Thanks,

Skipnoid
 

skipnoid

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To Chili:  Good solution. I'll field test them for a while and should be able to find buyers at my local bow shop I'm in all the time. I'm sure I could get at least $150 each.

To Arch... :  I'm very interested in hearing more about the HOBO thing. If it cost less than $40 (for a new camera), it might be worth it.

PS:  It seems clear from browsing this forum that one can never have too many game cams anyway !!

Thanks to everyone for the help.

Skipnoid
 

skipnoid

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Arlow,

That's a fine deer you got there. Where abouts are you in W.MA? I'm in Milford (S. of Worc.).

How did you get your Photo on there? I'd like to include one myself.

Skipnoid
 

JoelM

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skipnoid I think you will be fine if you just add another spst switch between your PIR and the camera.

Hope this helped.  looking forward to seeing your pics soon.
 

Hill Hopper

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I agree with Joel. Th only time I didn't use a camera switch on the exterior was with a Brinks Home Security Box. The reason for that was that the fire insulation was too thick to accomidate the switch. In that case I pull the jack on my camera, have my timer set, set off the PIR, rehook up the camera, which won't go off for the period of the delay, close up the box, and leave. Its a real pain in the --uh neck. I do not recommend that box.

Butch
 

Hill Hopper

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My test led is routed thru my timer & doesn't stay on. I agree with you on a standard setup.

Butch
 

MBullism

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Hi skipnoid, welcome aboard!  I'll be looking for your cams on the board at jerry's, LOL (or do you frequent the newer shop uptown?)  If it comes to buying pf dates, I've had excellent success locating them at the new Target store in Milford, off the 85/495 interchange.

M
 

skipnoid

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MBullism,

You've got me pegged! Do we know each other? Any chance you shoot in the winter archery league at Jerry's?

Nice bird in the photo. I wacked a good one in Mendon last week and helped a buddy take a beauty in Holliston as well.

I drive a light green expedition ('97) with camo seat covers. If you see it at Jerry's, introduce yourself!

Skipnoid
 

Archilochus

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Hi ******, skipnoid,
Nope, they ain't under 40$$  They're available from Radio Shack (special order), Digi-key, and all sorts of electronics suppliers.  They store year/month/day & hours/minutes/seconds - up to 8,000 events.
Price ranges from US$70 - 90 (weatherproff model). They are really over-kill for trail-cam use - I just mentioned it as a possible option.  They are fun little gadgets if you ever have a need for some serious data logging!
Same company  (Onset computer) does weather logging modules too.

Archilochus
 

MBullism

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SN-

Everyone knows that jerry's is the center of the universe for this area, LOL.  If I'm out that way and see your truck I'll surely say hello... Now, lets see some pics!

M
 


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