Help with first trailcam

Southbow

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With some encouragement from Bat I have my first trailcam built. It's an Olympus D370, Universal board with the RSS chip. Everything works fine when I first turn it on. Good walk test. Takes pictures daytime or nightime.

My problem is when I leave it out overnight. The next day the camera won't take a picture (PIR sensors are kicking on with movement). I can pull the camera out and try to manually press the shutter button, still nothing. Can't view the pictures on the display either. It looks like the batteries are dead basically. But then I close the door on the camera and open it again and the camera comes on, batteries show full charge, it will take pics, display pics, everything.

What's causing my camera to go to sleep and not wake up? I've tried two sets of NIMH with full charge on both so I'm convinced it's not a low battery issue. My board has the dip switches set to default, all up except last one.

any ideas,
thanks,
chris
 

thehunter

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Did you check your camera wiring to make sure it is setup correctly. Did you wire the camera up with the new low power wire to the door setup??? Something might be loose or shorting out.
 

Southbow

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I used the three wire setup, refresh, shutter, common. I've checked continuity on all my connections. They look fine.

chris
 

KANSASBUCKHUNTER

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Sounds like your refresh is not getting through form the board to the camera. When you say you checked continuity, di dyou plug everything in and then test it from the board plug all the way through to the solder joint in the camera? I had this problem with my first 380, and found it to be that I had two wires switched around. What connection to the board are you using? Phone jack, direct solder, or 2.5mm plug?
 

bat

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Southbow let's start with the connection to the pix board... which connector are you using there.... phone, stereo, solder or what?

It's either not getting a refresh or the timing for the refresh signal is too long for your D-370. Might try it on the "fast" refresh just to see if it will stay awake using it that way. Just do this for maybe 4-5 hours to check, no need to run your batteries down any more then you have to testing it. Only block the sensor at the start of the test and after the 4-5 hours have went by. Anything during that time will just reset the camera. If it is still awake at that time that will give you a little data to use. If it is sleeping you then know the refresh signal is not getting to the camera.
bat
 

Southbow

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Sorry to leave you guys hanging.

Bat,
I originally soldered the phone jack wires to the camera, but I followed the color codes to wire it. It took me about 3 hours to figure out two of the colors were swapped. I saw another post about that today so at least I know I'm not the only one that made that mistake!

I ended up soldering another phone jack straight to the board so I didn't have to resolder the camera connections. Then I just used a RJ45 to RJ45 connection to plug both phone jacks into. I've tested the wiring on these and everything looks OK.

Here's the kicker, I checked it this morning and the camera wouldn't do anything, just like I described above. I closed the camera door, reopened it, fired a few pics, and left it going today. When I came home tonight, I walk in front of it and it fires a picture. I thought maybe my dog going in and out kept it awake today. I checked the pictures and he was on it every hour or two this afternoon, but from 8:14 to 12:08 it didn't take any pictures. I would think that would be long enough for it to go to sleep and stay asleep if the refresh wasn't working.

Here's another thing I've noticed. The first picture it takes after sitting for a while, it seems to take about 2-1/2 seconds, if I trigger it again a few minutes later it takes a picture in just over 1 second. Is that normal?

I left it going and I'll check it in the morning to see what's up. I'll post a message on what happens.

thanks for the help,
chris
 

OhioBowHunter

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There are modes of sleep this camera will enter. and time durations programmed into these pic chips to allow for these modes of sleep.

at approx 3 hours the camera will turn off completely. so most maximum refreshes are set at 2.5 hours, this will give you the best battery life and slowest response from Pir to shutter times. this puts the camera into deep sleep mode and needs to be awakened and make ready to fire off a picture, hence the slower response time.

on a 2.5 Minute refresh, the camera is always awake and ready to fire a picture very quickly this will shutter a pic in less than 1 second. and will only let batterys last about 7 days or so.

a 7 minute refresh the camera goes into light Idle sleep mode and awakens very quickly and still shutters a pic in about 1.5 seconds

Your dog likely did keep your camera awake today by the sounds of it., But the time duration you specified from 8ish to 12 ish. is just outside of that window and sounds like it should have shutdown. But each cam is slightly differant and that will vary some.

Your problem as you know is your not getting the refresh pulse.

next to the cams viewfinder is a small green led that will flicker on when a refresh pulse is sent.

I would disconnect the baord and take the wires from the camera and jumper common to refresh... this will Light this Green Led.. If not something wrong with the wiring to the camera. If it does then your ok. Then jump common to shutter it will fire a picture then. still ok..

Now hook it up to your board... place it in fast shutter mode 2.5 minute refresh and time it. see if it lights the Green led will be for about 1 second. if not problems in board. But ensure your wiring is good to the board and you ruled out all jacks or connectors between the two.


That green led is your key to prove your wiring.. Its a quick easy test. to see if the wirings correct..

check that stuff and let us know

Dan
 

bat

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Originally posted by Southbow@Aug 11 2004, 09:41 PM
but from 8:14 to 12:08 it didn't take any pictures. I would think that would be long enough for it to go to sleep and stay asleep if the refresh wasn't working.
Sounds like you have it going Chris. I think I would still get the wiring straight on the original plug. You might could get another phone plug that you can install on the wire itself and redo the end so the wires would be in the right place. They make those crimp on plug ends that you can use.
bat
 

Southbow

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Well it looks like it's a rookie mistake.

I checked the camera this morning and it was dead. Closed the door, opened it and checked the pictures from last night. There were not any after my dog went by about midnight. When I went to put the camera and wires back in place I saw one wire pop off my solder joint on the board. It looks like I was stressing the solder joint each time I moved the camera in and out of the box.

I really liked the phone jack connection to the board but I couldn't find a jack as small as the one that came from pix when I checked at Home Depot and Lowes. Anyone know where I might find one that size locally? Maybe radio shack? I think I read that these jacks are for telephone headsets. The typical 4 wire phone jack wont' fit into the universal board.

If I can't find a jack I'll resolder to the board, then find a way to stabilize those wires so they are not stressed by movement.

Thanks for the troubleshooting information. I had tried a jumper from common to shutter to test the camera, but I didn't think about a jumper from common to refresh to test it too. That would have told me immediately what was wrong, instead I was waiting hours to get results.

chris
 

bat

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Don't know where you might could find the size you need but you could splice the wires to the one you have. Just be careful and trace the wire path from the plug you have already to the correct soldering points. There will/might be changes in the colors of wire from the plug to the soldering spots this is why you have to be careful doing this. With a little careful matching it should work ok for you.
bat
 

Southbow

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Hey Bat,
This would be one of those lessons learned the hard way. I cut the wires just behind the jack. Didn't think I would need to reuse it. My wife says that's how I always get myself into trouble, by thinking.

I'll probably have to just solder to the board again and somehow secure the wires so they don't get pulled. Maybe I can use hot glue or a tie wrap to secure it to the board somehow.

chris
 

bat

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Just solder it for now and send Bill a email to see if he will send you another plug. My bet he will, he is very good at supporting us with his parts. He may even have them for sale on his website. Temporary spot them at the soldering spots but I would leave off the hotmelt glue. Some of that stuff has been known to be conductive and you may short out the wiring or the soldering spots.
bat
 

texastrophy

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The phone plug is smaller than a standard telephone plug because it's a headset plug. If you can find a supplier that carries replacement parts for telephone headsets, they might carry a similar plug. Just a thought.
 

Southbow

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I mounted my RJ11 coupler to the door just above the pix board. I resoldered to the board and I think I have it pretty stable now. I'll get some pics of my setup to post on here.

thanks for all the help guys. I'm going to put it out this weekend and see what's roaming the woods. I'm already wanting to make up a P32, just got to come up with some cash!

chris
 

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