Okay, first post and pictures

Jon Bain

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Well, I’ve been around for a long time and never had much to contribute, but have enjoyed everyone else’s comments suggestions and tips.  Because of this I built a really cool camera.  I wanted compact and light and I think I got it.  It is in the RadioShack hobby box that measures 4x6x2.  It was a tight fit but it is clean and works well.  I tested the camera at the house to see what critters were eating my cat’s food.  I got a total of three other cats besides mine.  Well, off to the woods.  First weekend I got two pictures right off the bat and then nothing for the entire week.  Next weekend I moved it and got four more pictures.  The last two were taken just two hours before I took the camera out of the woods.  I’ll post them here.





Link to the ablum with all pictures including the camera:
Jon’s Photos
 



Tinhorn

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Well Jon,

Good Job!

I especially like the super-miniature style you built....

Good Job on Camo too

Tinhorn
 

Tinhorn

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Yes NC Bowhunter

I remember your cam too,  I am envious of it's small size........I made one out of a Nestle Quick Box which is about the same size as yours

Tinhorn
 

Jon Bain

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NC, I too remember seeing your pic post of your camera on this board.  I tried to post a reply then to tell you about my camera, but I wasn't registered.  I decided to wait until I had some photos myself to post.  I did not know RS made a box the size of yours or I would have bought it at least for the second unit, but the two stores I've visited only had the small box I used on my first unit.  Oh well, it worked the first tiime and it will work on the second one.  I must say you have a good looking camera and some good photos too.  I can not use eye bolts because I have no more internal room.  I hot glued the nylon strap to the box exterrior, and may use rivits to secure it real good later.
 

cedar N sandy

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Welcome Jon!
 That is one small trail cam you got there. When I started building my cam I too wanted it to be a small as possible. What are you using for power and is that the RS PIR?
  Keep the pics coming and join in often.
 

Jon Bain

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It is the RS PIR and is powered by the standard 9 volt battery.  That is one of the reasons I went with the RS PIR. I had all the stuff to build the MS 20, but when the info came out about the RS PIR and I saw how small people were getting with it on the TNDEER forum, I decided to spend the extra money on that PIR and make a small camera.

I'll tell you, when I was building it my friend kept saying it wouldn't fit or work.  I had to mentally picture where everthing would go before the first wire was cut or the first switch wired.  The LED almost gave me trouble, but it slips in just right.  The next LED will be on top where there is more room.

I'll continue to post pictures as I get them.  As soon as turkey season ends this May 15th I'll be able to put some corn out to attract the deer.  Right now I am just hoping something walks by.

(Edited by Jon Bain at 9:59 am on May 1, 2001)
 

spectr17

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Great cam Jon. I still want to make a small cam for covert spots. Do you want me to add your pics to the pic webpages?
 

Jon Bain

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Sure Jesse why not.  In about 10 minutes EST I turn 37.  Happy birthday to me.  JB
 

Richard Webb

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Jon,

Happy Birthday...I'm in the process of getting the parts together for an Owl PF/RS PIR Cam. I picked out the small 4 X 6 X 2 RS Box like you have, and now I'm waiting for the Owl PF to arrive.  Thinking & wondering if you have your Owl resting on top of the PIR board capacitors?

Data came up with a way to get one picture every 30 seconds in Alarm Mode by changing the reed relay to a RS relay 275-240.  Archilochus says that the new relay uses 4.5 times more power, so wonder if there is room for stacking 9 Volt batteries when a timer board isn't used?  Maybe an Opto IC is best for small Cams?

Richard

(Edited by Richard Webb at 8:38 pm on May 23, 2001)
 

Archilochus

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Hi Richard,
I use optos on all my cams.  Much cheaper and smaller, lower power too.  Any general purpose opto should be able to do the shutter switching on most any automatic point-and-shoot cam.  Of course you can't use Datas idea with optos.

A great place to scrounge up free optos, relays, various ICs, etc. is from dead answering machines.  They often have IC voice chips too - which make for other interesting projects.

Archilochus
 

Richard Webb

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Arch-

The Owl with 49-425 is getting such good battery life that I hate to add anything.  Both the reed relay & photo transistor draw 20 mA, so I don't see any gain for the batery there?  Unless, of course, you can point me to something down around 5 mA.  I even thought of a timer circuit using the discharging of a capacitor through a photo transistor interrupter, but I always get back to the current draw on the battery.  It looks like I will be using Chime Mode with no timer?
 

Archilochus

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Hi Richard,
Can't be of much help with specifics about the RS 49-425 sensor.  I have one laying about the place somewhere, but I never actually used it in a trail-cam because I wasn't pleased with its performance.  Seemed to behave erratically.  I even returned the first 2 that I had purchased thinking that it was an actual  problem with the sensor - but all 3 acted the same way.

As far as relay Vs opto-coupler power consumption - I'm using some NEC 2502's (often found in old answering machines).  I'm driving the LED inputs at 3mA which works fine for switching the photo-transistors outputs.  The RS 275-232 relay draws around 20 mA.  If your relay is only on for 2 or 3 seconds as the cameras shutter is triggered, power use isn't too much of a concern.   The big advantage is in size - DIP4 package -  and price - 40 cents each.  Reliability is also to be considered - I've been reading some posts relating to dead relays lately.

If using opto-couplers, you'd probably have to use some sort of timer between the 49-425s output (whichever output you choose) and the input LED of the opto.  Otherwise you might get some strange behavior from the camera.

Archilochus
 

Jon Bain

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Richard, in response to your question about batteries and the camera placement in the 4 x 6 x 2 RS box there is no way two nine volts will fit.  The camera does sit on the top of the switch for chime/alarm mode but does not touch anything else on the board.  The battery space is so tight it wedges between the wall of the box and the camera.  I’m currently in the process of building my second unit.  I’m doing it exactly as the first and it is still taking some time to ensure it is done right.  

I too would like the 30 second delay, but have found no problem with the current PIR 5 second delay.  I have yet to set the camera out over any bait however.  Let me know how your camera turns out.  JB
 

gizz

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Jon, Not sure how i missed this post but belated nice job! That sure is one compact design.  I really like seeing the pics of the turkeys too, sure wish I could be around to see their reaction to the flash!
 

Jon Bain

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I thought the same thing.  It must not of matterd much.  This is the sam turkey.  First picture he is walking in on the far left.  Second picture he came right at the camera.  He may have spooked then.  I am currently working on my second camera.  Not as easy I thought it would be.  I still have to think about how things will work, fit together, and so on.  Best not to rushe it and get it wrong.  JB
 

Richard Webb

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Jon,

The 9 Volt Battery will fit under the camera behind Radio Shack's 49-425 PIR Board (in the cut-out section of the board) with existing 9 Volt Battery wire/snap connector.  But first, the small stand-off in the bottom corner of the box must be removed.  It's part of the 4 nipples on the bottom of the box, so I used a tap wrench to hand power a drill to slowly cut it out of there.  For the last little bit I used my knife.  This will make room on the left side of the camera for a second 9 Volt Battery, or more electronics. I have the Owl, PIR, and two 9 V batteries mounted in the 4 X 6 X 2 box without using glue or fasteners. (a perfect fit)   How is your second cam project doing?  Any new ideas?

(Edited by Richard Webb at 2:08 pm on May 31, 2001)
 

Jon Bain

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No new ideas yet, but am glad to hear you could squeeze another battery in there.  I honestly did not believe it was possible.  You know what has halted me on the next camera?  I should not put this in print.  The DPDT switch to eliminate one of the three switches I have.  I just don’t want to have to think about how I am going to wire it.  Simple I know, but if I have to stop and think too much I might not survive.  Just kidding.  Anyway, I am studying for a test at work so I haven’t had a chance to get back to working on it.  I also am a wimp about my camera.  I’ve made it but do not want to put it out in the woods just yet.  That is why I am building the other one.  That way I can have one in the woods and one at home.  If the one at the woods gets stolen, then I still have one at home that I can use as a guide when building a new one.  If the only one I have now gets stolen then I am in deep dodo.  I had a close call last time it was out.  All but one of the pictures were of a tractor or something going back and forth in front of the camera.  Kind of spooked me.  
 

Richard Webb

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Jon

I plan to use one small single switch to turn off the shutter.  The PIR board can be disconnected at the 9 volt battery, and the LED only lights up when the relay is closed. When I was shopping at Home Depot I noticed a metal air conditioner disconnect box that is the same size as your cam.  If we put our plastic cam boxes inside something like that they could be secured with a chain.  Here at home the plastic boxes are better, because of this being a father/son hobby that is inside the house most of the time.


Ammended:  Can't get the kid to stop playing with the thing, so had to change the single switch to a double.  Now he can watch the red LED on top of the box without the flash blinding us.


(Edited by Richard Webb at 2:36 pm on June 2, 2001)
 

Richard Webb

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Jon,

What type of glass did you use?  It must be thin, because my RS enclosure is tight against the Owl PF without using glass.  I plan to get some elk pictures along the northern coast of California, and that area is a real rain forest.    
 

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