How Far?

Jaggermax

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I put my camera in the woods this week and got a few decent pictures. I forgot to remove a low bush in front of my camera, so some of the nightime pictures got a lot of flash "Bounce Back" from the bush.   All in all, I was happy with the operation except for one thing.  

I am not real happy with the daytime distance of the PIR. Here in South Mississippi, the temperature lately has been around 90-95 degrees at midday.  I first placed my camera on the edge of a food plot facing north.  I placed it on the plot at 1:00 pm and found the PIR would only detect out about 15 feet.  However, I tested it the night before when the temperature was about 78 degrees and it worked up to about 50 feet.  All of the daytime pictures I got off of the plot were only about 10 to 15 feet out.  No telling what I missed during the day past that distance since the food plot is 100 foot long.  

I am just curious as to how far most of your PIRs work in the summer heat and also in the middle of the day in the sun?  
 



Richard Webb

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Jaggermax - I put a thermostat on my cam, and had great success at 65 degress & below. When I turned it up to 75 degrees I got a lot of day pictures at aobut 14 feet. Visit my albums to see the results.  How is your micro controller working out? Can you set the temperature range that your trail cam will operate? I am just getting started with this trail cam, and after 40 blacktail deer pictures found that brite sun light & high temperatures give bad results. I guess the deer should be in the shade sleeping at that time, so I turn off the camera.
 

jayber

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On a cooler day, 70-80 degrees, I can get the sensor to trigger out to 20-23 yards.  On a hotter day, 85-95 degrees, it will trigger sometimes between 15 and 20 yards, but seems to be consistent to 12-15 yards.  I typically setup in the woods 15 yards or less.  If I happen to catch anything beyond that then that's bonus!  My experience has been that the MS20's have a greater range than the RS sensor.  So you can guess which one I use......
 

Archilochus

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Hi Jaggermax,
Sounds like about the same results I've been getting from the RS 49-425 that I tossed together.
>>>>>>
The changes in sensitivity as temps rise and fall is why the better manufacturers have either automatic temp compensation or manually adjustable sensitivity controls. I prefer the manual controls. An ideal circuit would offer both manual sensitivity control *and* automatic compensation. I've never heard of that in a commercial trail-camera.

Here's a catch... to maintain a constant detection range, sensitivity needs to decrease as temps fall and increase as temps rise. The sensitivity needs reach a peak as subject and ambient temps approach equality, and then start *decreasing* again as the ambient temp rises *above* the subject temp.

ARrrRGgggG!!!!!!??

>>>>>>
Hi Richard... an interesting adaptation of your thermostat idea might be to use it to change sensitivity levels.

Archilochus
 

Richard Webb

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Hi Archilochus .... I have a small electric heater with a remote thermostat, but it's up in Oregon stored in my camper. If I ever get up there again I will bring it home, and try it with one of my cams. Have you started building micro controller yet? That may be my next project?
 

Jaggermax

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Richard, the micro-controller is working like a champ.  I set it up last Sunday and an entire roll was taken up withen 48 hours!  I had it on a cow pea food plot and they are tearing it up.  I had the data logger turned on with it calibrated with the camera time, and it recorded a total of 58 events with time in a four day period.

It was quite interesting, because the deer were showing the same basic pattern every day on the food plot.  The entire roll all had pictures of deer with no false alarms and that was in hot Mississippi weather.  The deer would arrive at 7:30 pm, feed for two hours, leave, come back at 3:00am and feed til 6:00am.  Also, one cowhorn always came in at 12:30 daily.  I have two pictures of him.  

To get around the temperature issue, I used the Dallas 1629 Temp/time chip for my logging.  When the temperature got up around 95 degrees, I simply shut the system down until the temperature dropped back to below 95.  I may miss some deer activity, however, I think it has helped a lot in eliminating the false alarms.  

I have a few changes I want to do on the next controller boards I build.  I am going to go with a handheld programmer which will set all of the parameters of the cam and it will also allow me to download the data in the programmer, bring it back to my computer, and download it into some charting software I am working on.  I am going to leave one cam on a food plot from now until after hunting season just to see how their feeding pattern changes during the year.  Should be interesting.  I also am going with the handheld programmer because I cannot find any LCD displays which I have now inside the cam housing which will handle low temperatures.  

(Edited by Jaggermax at 9:23 pm on July 24, 2001)
 

Tinhorn

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Jaggermax

I hope you can see your way clear to post your Deer Data when you get a trend going over the next few months,  I'd be interested in the results

Thanx

Tinhorn
 

Matt in MO

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The RS PIR I bought tonight doesn't seem to reach out near as far as the one I bought last fall. 30 feet at about 80F - can't complain because 30 feet is all RS claims. But my earlier unit would reach 45+ feet. Do any of you know how to adjust the sensitivity of it? Maybe it will reach 45 feet at 60F and
below and I shouldn't fool with it......
Note the circuit board PN is ES43A-1BA - we can look for revisions... and if we only could figure out whose trademark that is before the PN we could find
the MFG in taiwan.
 

Richard Webb

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Hi Matt - A couple of pages back there us a thread named "Quirkey RS 49-425", and I posted some info about fine tuning the RS PIR.  It looks like 1/16" on the focal length means a lot. Either way, I'm having excellant results with the thing while it's out in the field, so these bench tests probably don't  mean much.  
 

Gun Docc

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Howdy folks,

i seen this post when it was first posted but all my cams were out in the woods...hehehe

today i checked one of them to replace film if needed and decided i would test just how far it would reach.
it is a Lamson Holmes hs3100d unit used with a Canon Owl PF on a 4 second timer inside a 30mm ammo can.
the temp  was around 80 to 85 degrees when i tested it but cloudy and humid outside.
i took along a 100 ft tape measure and hooked it to the cam unit and then pulled it out to the end and lay it on the ground.
i then walked back and forth with the test  L.E.D. on and kept moving out after it picked me up each time, then i would go further out from it and walk by again. i done this untill it would no longer pick me up when i walked past.

this particular setup will easily detect your walking passes out to 70 feet and sometimes out to 75 feet in the 80 degree temps.

when i done some testing earlier in the year before it got hot and the temps were in the 60s this thing would pick you up out to 85 feet and sometimes over 90 feet .
i like these Lamson P.I.R.s a lot better than the RS model as it is already setup to run off of 9 volts and they reach out a lot further too.
all you got to do to them really is mount it in your enclosure and hook your timer setup directly to the telo jack.  i have my relay mounted on the same board as the timer which fires the camera and also utilizes the walk to test light circuit(using the 500mcd super brights) you can see these L.E.D.s even in very bright sunlight.

Later,
 

Jaggermax

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Damn Doc, 75 feet, thats awesome!.  I think you made a believer out of me with the Lamson Homes PIR.  I'm going to pic one up this week.  Thanks for the feedback.  At least I have something of a benchmark to compare other sensors too.  Thanks.  
 

ToledoBend

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Gun Docc,
Do you have to use a timer with the Lamson Holmes or can you use it without one?
 

Gun Docc

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Howdy folks,

you can get the Lamson units at Lowes builder supply as they stock them.

i have also seen a pir put out by GE that is EXACTLY the same unit, just another name to sell them under but i don't recall the part number for the GE unit.

as to using a timer ?
i have not tried to use it without one so i don't really know but from what i understand of this pir is that it only sends out a very short pulse of 9 volts from the telo jack so i utilize the timer setup and run a 5 volt relay from pin 3 of the timer which puts out the right voltage as not to fry the 5 volt relay.

the timer is not too hard to master once you build one.  i build mine on a small pc board with a tlc555 timer and a 5 volt relay and also i utilize the led off of the timer as well, this way the test light comes on and stays on for the duration of your timer which makes it a WHOLE lot easier to see when it stays on which gives you a better chance to see it even in thick foilage.

soon as i get the time i will post some tips and tricks i have found using these pir units. i have solely gone to these as they are simple and work great.
i mount my pir inside the cam unit and mount the fresnal lense flat inside the enclosure.

Later,
 

jayber

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Gun Docc,
Since you mount sensor inside and your lens flat, what kind of hole do you cut in your box; square or round, dimension?  Just curious as to how much of the lens view you cut down.  Also, what do you use to adhere your lens to the box?  I've had some good and bad luck using Silicone.  Looking forward to hearing more about your Lansome Holmes setup!  :)
 

Matt in MO

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How would a photo of a buck turn out at 75 feet? and with the autofocus disabled?
 

Gun Docc

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Howdy folks,

Jayber,
i have tried different sizes of openings in the cam units , square and round.
the square ones seem to keep most of the pir's focal width and is a little too quick to pick something up and fires the cam before the subject is in good camera view if the hole is too big. i have one with a square hole but had to downsize it a bit to make it work better . 1 1/8 h x 1 1/4 w seems to work pretty good if you go square.
most of my cams i use a 1 1/8 inch hole and have had very good results this way.

as to glueing the fresnal lense to the inside of the box the ABSOLUTE best way i have found is to get the hole cut to size and then deburred on the inside of your enclosure, next take some sandpaper and rough it up a bit to get good adhesion.
next take the fresnal lense and place it inside the enclosure as to just mark it as to what is actually going to be exposed, i use a china marker to do this step .writes on just about anything but then wipes off easily.
next take the lense out and get you a piece of rough sandpaper 80 to 100 grit and sand or roughen up all the surface of the lense that will actually recieve glue.

now for the good part...hehehe

use nothing but 3 M super yellow or super black weatherstrip adhesive, which is a super automotive contact glue. black part number for the black glue is 08008 and is found in an automotive  parts stores.

after roughing up the inside of the enclosure plus the fresnal lense(make sure and try and not scratch it where the pir is actually going to look out thru the lense)
with a thin layer of glue applied to both the fresnal lense and the inside of the enclosure, let them both DRY to the touch and simply stick em together but be sure to get it located just right because you will only get one chance at this as the glue is super strong and adheres as soon as they touch.

now you are ready for the next step.

after placing the fresnal lense flat inside the enclosure with 3 M super , next take a good quality silicone , the rtv type. permatex is the brand i use.
apply a good bead all the way around the fresnal lense , be sure not to get any excess rtv on the section of the lense that is looking out of the hole .
cover the edges good overlapping out onto the enclosure to form a good seal.

this is the best way that i have found and have never had one come loose or even think of loosening or leaking.

TIP:
after applying the rtv silicone , place a light that puts out heat such as a small halogen light near the cam unit at about a foot away shinning on the fresnal lense area you just glued together to help speed the drying procces, this works great and ensures a tight weatherproof seal as it dries better.

now you are ready to mount your pir housing in the cam unit after the glue dries good.

to get good range keep the distance about the same as they come factory.
1.200 inch from the sensors opto eye to the lense.

to do this you will have to flatten the front of the plastic housing  to make it hug right up against the fresnal lense mounted flat inside your enclosure.
i mount mine so that it sits flat on the bottom of the inside of a ammo can.
the ammo cans have a section in the bottom that is not flat so i use an old discarded mouse pad and super 3M it to the bottom to level the bottom of the can then super 3M the lower half of the pir housing to the floor of the can, next slide the pir circuit bord into place and attach the upper half of the housing back together.
after all this i then place a camera shelf on top of the pir housing , i use a thin metal plate (3/32) to make the shelf that i have put into a metal brake and bent up the two edges at 90 degrees to form a shelf that touches the front and back of the cam unit to keep it from bulking in . this way you can  attach it to the can by using screws or pop rivets.
i use a screw that is manufactured for metal roofing that has a neoprene washer to make it watertight.

next it gets easier...hehehe
place the timer, batteries switches, camera, and LED  and all, you know the drill from here on....heheheh
fun ain't it.

More to come, seems as i am getting too long winded so if you need more help just drop me a line and i will help out if i can.


Matt,
i have gotten some good pic's of a buck last season out at around 70  to 75 feet and the pic is just as clear as one taken up closer , i will post it later as i do not have it uploaded to a site yet but will soon so you can have a look see....lol
he is a hoss too

Later,
 

gizz

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Nice Explain Gun Docc!
Is this 3M super  any good for glass?
 

jayber

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Gun Docc,
Excellent information & thanks for the details!!!!  I'll be sure to give the 3M stuff a try!
 

Richard Webb

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Hi Gun Docc - My album is right below yours, so Hi neighbor. Good write-up. My 7.62mm Ammo Cans pop in and out with a bong, so I have been holding off putting the PIR inside until I solve that problem.  Do you stiffen your cans with something on the inside?
 


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