Setting up my first TC - D380 - Advice Plz!

RtWill78

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I know that a lot has been written about the "best" way to set up the Olympus D380 as a trail camera (not a feeder cam). I would like to know if it would be better to use the Pixcontroller board with the RSS PIC and add an external power source, or to use the RSP4i PIC chip that actually turns the camera on and off before and after every shot? Is the RSP4i too slow for a trail cam? I would like (if I need) to use Jon's Board (where can I buy it, and how much are they?!) with a slave flash too, so is it true that you cannot use a slave with the RSP4i PIC, or am I misunderstanding. I have already ordered the D380 off ebay ($107.50), and will order the Pixcontroller stuff ASAP (it's backordered right now). In the mean time I would just like some rookie, about to spend a chunk of change, advice. What do you all recommend?
Thank you in Advance!
Ryan
 

bat

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As far as the trail setup is you would probably be better off with the RSS chip unless you are going to put the cam facing down the trail somewhat so it will pick up movement as soon as possible or at least keep the deer in the camera zone as much as possible. With the RSS chip it will do good looking straight across the trail.

It really boils down to how long you intend to leave the cam in the woods! If you can check it every week or so, the RSS chip also will do good for you. If you are going to leave it for two weeks or longer you might want to consider the RSP4i. Then again it also depends on how many pictures your card can hold. No need to leave it out a long time if the card fills up. Just some thoughts around this.

I don't remember seeing anything said about the Slave flash wouldn't work off of a RSP4i chip. The slave flash works off of the camera flash itself, has nothing to do with the board chips. When the camera flashes the slave flash detects this flash and flashes in sequence with it.

The power slave board I do recommend but it is still unavailable at this time. Jon will let us know when he is able to begin making his boards again. I talked to him about a week ago on how the family was doing. I am sure he does not mind me posting this, they still have some medical problems with one of the boys so it will be a while before he can get back to making the boards. Please bear with him on this and say a few prayers that his family will soon be healthy. I wouldn't bug him about when he will get back into this, he will let us know as soon as he can I am sure. Thanks, bat
bat
 

RtWill78

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I definantly will pray for Jon and his family, it's good to see that He has his priorities in order.

Is there any other alternative to Jon's Slave Board?

Thanks for your help BAT.
 

SSimmons

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The RSP3i chip will allow you to use a slave flash. It is a little slower, about a 1/4 to 1/2 second to the RSP4i chip. I just set up three cameras using the RSP3i chip with 2250 mah rechargeable batteries in the D380. It will be my experiment to test battery time and time from PIR event to picture versus the RSS chip. I picked up a mountain lion and elk this past week with my two other d380 and a RSS chip. The key to either chip will be placement, trail versus water hole or feed site. I don't think I would have got the cougar with the RSP3i. Good luck.
 

RtWill78

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How are powering your RSS Cams, are you using both internal and external power for them? What are you using externally, and how much Battery life can one expect (I know it depends on # of pics, but roughly) from the different ext. batt. setups?

Also, which uses more power the board, slave flash, or camera?

Thanks again everyone!
 

RtWill78

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Also, I've searched the site looking for info on which RSS PIC that people use, and I can't find if they prefer the RSS-U or RSS_Fast-U PIC chips? I'm sorry to ask such redundant questions, but I appreciate your help.
Thanks!
 

bat

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Reduntant questions are ok if you can't find the help you need. As long as a person trys using the search feature I don't mind answering their questions.

I use the internal and external batteries on my camera only if I am going to leave it for a good long time. I use the RSS chips so far with the older board. If I can check it in a week or so I just use the camera internal batteries. It will depend on how many pictures you are getting like you stated. I use 4AAs as well as 4C's in one unit. Can't give you the best answer for the battery life so I will leave that to some of the members who have a better idea on that.

As far as which uses the most power, I would think it would be the slave flash, camera then the board with the slave being the most power user of the 3. Then again it will depend on how many night pictures you are going to get etc.

Those two chips you have listed are still up in the air, they are fairly new chips as of yet as to how the members are liking them. Only been out now a very short time so the data is not available yet on how they like them.
bat
 

RtWill78

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Thanks Bat, I saw on your webshots that you used a radio shack project box, I saw those there today, what size did you use (for the board and the Slave)?

As far as power is concerned if I am wanting to have a slave in the box as well, and the option of hooking the Camera to an external Power supply, then I am going to need 4 C's (5 if rechargables) to power the board, 4 more C's, D's or a 6V lantern Batter to power the Slave, and an external camera power supply such as 4 C's or another Lantern battery? Is that right? That's alot of batteries (I love stating the obvious)! So we're talking about 12 batteries in the thing plus the cameras internal, if I am going to leave this thing out for 2-3 weeks in a RSS - 2.5 minute refresh mode?

Wow
 

bat

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RtWill78, remember on my webshots you are looking at the old style RSS pixcontroller. The new universal board will be smaller and may not need or can be used with the RS project box with the switches lined up on the edge of the board as they are. You would definitely (I think) have to do a little thinking around how you could get to those switches. I guess you could cut a hole in the side of the project box like you see we do in the front of the box to get to the controls. The RS project box that we just about all used were the part #270-1803. The new universal may can fit into the next smaller box that RS has (with a little creativity). You would have to measure carefully and use something like a sanding disk to cut into the cover mounting post at about the right depth and deep enough on two of the post to allow the board to slip in and also angle a second cut upward toward the screw holes so the board would fit but I think it could be done. This would make sort of a v cut into the screw post. You wouldn't want to cut all the way thru the post but just enough so the board would fit. You might have to put a good bit of glue on the back side of the post just in case you cut thru it, this would hold the post in place I believe if that happen. Then you culd still attach the cover of the project box.

You should be ok with using either a 9 volt or 4AAs on the pix board, it will not draw a lot of juice. I got one digital going on D batteries that I have never changed but then again it will depend on the pictures taken and the refresh. Speaking of refresh, you are going to find the 2.5 minute refresh is going to pull a lot of juice out of the camera batteries. I run mine on the normal refresh which does great. If you run the fast refresh you are going to need the 4Ds for the external for the camera. 4Cs should do well for the Slave flash. With normal refresh you should be ok with C's or D's for the camera and/or the slave flash. The lantern battery or any bigger batteries you will need to add the resistor that comes with jon's power slave to the slave power source, I think now he recommends you use it anyway.

WoW also that is a lot of typing with "one" finger hehe.
bat

edit: opinions above are the sole possession of "bat", others in here may differ but I get to express mine every now and then. Many many others are much better at this then bat so keep that in mine also.
 

RtWill78

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Thanks Bat, I really appreciate your help! One question, how fast can I expect the camera to take a picture in Normal Shutter mode? I've heard that in fast mode it will take one in less than a second with a RSS chip.

And finally, here's my rookie question, is changing the refresh rate the same as changing the shutter mode?
Thanks,
Ryan
 

bat

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Ryan sorry I missed your question the first time around. I think in normal refresh it is something like 2.5-3 seconds but not sure. It does ok with mine with the older boards. I never use the "fast refresh".

On the second question, I am not sure what you mean about changing the shutter mode, on the refresh rate on the older boards you just move the #6 switch to the down postion to go to the "fast refresh". Hope this helps, bat
 

RtWill78

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Thanks Bat.

Does any one use Fast Refresh?

Any one have a clue at to how long can I make it in Fast Refresh with 5- 4000maH NiMh C cell batteries?

Thanks,
Ryan
 

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