How long do they last ?

gtk

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I have 5 cams made so far.  3 are in the field, 2 are saved for backup's/loaners.  One of my cams has been in the field since later February of this year.  Another newer cam was out two weeks, and I had to replace the relay.  I have still not had to replace a battery yet in any cam.

Who has had a homemade cam out the longest time without any repairs ?

I think Arch??ioulous stated in a previous post he didn't think the relay's would last tooo long  according to his calculations.

Just wondering, as I don't want mine playing out about the time deer season starts.

Later

Greg
 



Richard Webb

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gtk-

From a reliability perspective the only safe thing to do would be to  replace your 5 volt DC relays that have been used with 9 volts AC current.  Jesse suggested we use the speaker wires only if you're having problems with pin #2 of the large IC.  In that case you would have to live with the shortened relay life.  I used pin #2 of the large IC wired to the 5 volt Reed Relay with great success, but my first cam has only been out for one day.  Who knows, the large IC could cave-in under the load of the Reed Relay on pin #2.  
 

Tinhorn

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Old Ponderous is over 3 years old, it uses 2 relays (slave relay configuration) and a Jaguar Car Lock Solonoid

My 1st Owl PF/MS20 was built the 1st few weeks of Jan-2001 and been in the woods almost continuosly since then, still on the 1st 6v lantern battey and still hummin'

I wonder if the life of the Power Flash is any less than a regular flash ? ? ?

Hope my ESP is not kicking in

Tinhorn
 

Archilochus

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Hi gtk,
I have 9 (functional) trail cams of various ages - the oldest getting near to  8 years old.  Not including "acts-of-God" (pocupines, bear crushed housings filling with rain water, and one time some passer-by who took my batteries out and replaced them backwards!!) none of my circuits have failed so far.
You just need to examine the circuit and make sure nothing is operating outside of it's specifications.  As Richard pointed out about the RS 49-425 sensor, driving the relay with the speaker wires is just asking for an early demise of the relay.  I also suspect Richard is right as to the relay being too much load for the "big IC" pin #2 to handle for the long run - only time will tell.  Tinhorn came up with a nice cure for that problem - recently posted in the thread "RS 49-425 sensor"

Archilochus
 

Richard Webb

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Hi Arch-

Would your One Transistor Timer be easier on Pin #2 than:

    1. The Relay & Sound IC together?
    2. The Opto Coupler & Sound IC together?
    3. Disconnect the Sound IC & use Gate 2N7002 (only)?

   
 

Archilochus

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Hi Richard,
To try and answer the above questions:
1) The timer circuit does not present much of a load, so it should not be too stressful for the IC to drive. Certainly a lot less than the relay.

2) Opto-couplers are less power hungry than relays, but are still a considerable load.  The timer circuit would be less load than the opto too.

3) That's really the best idea.  This buffers the big ICs output from the load.  But if you're going to do that, you might as well use Tinhorns idea and swap the big IC pin #2 so it is driving the transistor that is already on the 49-425 board (instead of the sound IC driving the transistor).  The sound IC doesn't use much power itself, so you could just leave it connected.
>>>>
I would not drive a relay or opto directly from the IC.  Though it is working for some, I'm guessing that the relay or optos' load might cause early IC failure given time.  I'd use Tinhorns suggestion and drive the transistor with the pin #2 output of the big IC.

Archilochus
 


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