Trail Camera problems.
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- This topic has 15 replies, 8 voices, and was last updated 2 years, 8 months ago by Nic.
29th August 2020 at 10:37 am #26915
I have bought a trail camera. It runs off eight 1.5v AA batteries. The problem is that the batteries are expensive and don’t have a very long life.
Is there a better way to power the camera, could it be that I am not settling it up correctly. Has anyone got experience using a trail camera, any help will be welcomed.
I know I have Hedgehogs because they leave their calling cards at the feeder, it would be nice to see them and be able to share.
Barry29th August 2020 at 10:05 pm #26923
The problem is most people are told not to use rechargeable batteries. I was originally, but was getting through a ridiculous amount of ordinary batteries, so tried them. I find that rechargeable batteries are much better. More expensive to start with, but last longer. But you do need to get ones with as high mAh as you can. The ones I use are mostly 2300 mAh or above. The really cheap ones that you get in rechargeable garden lights, etc. have too low mAh and won’t work properly.
I would give rechargeable batteries a try.
Good luck.31st August 2020 at 4:14 pm #26940
I would agree with Nic that rechargeables are probably the way to go. I have used mainstream batteries (Duracell, Energiser etc) but the best ones I now have are called Powerowl and are 2800mAh and really last a lot longer than the others. I think 8 of these cost £10 on Amazon so pretty good value.
Depending where your camera is located another option is to use a DC power supply to the camera. I had an outdoor power cable going to a waterproof box which housed the power adapter and the adapter lead came out the box to the camera. This meant that I had power 24hrs a day and technically, no need to change batteries. In my case I had a couple of issues in that the camera design was faulty and you had to disconnect the power cable to access the SD card, which then meant all the settings were lost. There were work arounds to this, but eventually I went back to rechargeables, especially as I now have 3 cameras around the garden and using power adapters is not practical.31st August 2020 at 6:53 pm #26941
Yes rechargeable batteries are fine. I had several problems with cheaper trail cameras. I ended up getting a Browning, which I should have done in the first place.
You can use the timer function to cut down battery usage so the camera is only on when you need it to be.
Colin1st September 2020 at 9:12 am #26956
I started using rechargeable batteries also after the normal batteries ran out very quickly in around 2 days. I use Energizer 2000 mAh, I normally get around 12-16 one minute captures every night and they last around a week. No problems with using them in my camera for the last 6 months so I don’t know why the manual says not to use them9th September 2020 at 11:22 am #27116
I was just researching this very subject and before making a purchase. I’m finding it difficult to find a full review and test of the drain on different brands of rechargeable batteries.
It seems the main problem with rechargeable batteries (after the power level needed to operate your camera) is the drain of the power of the batteries whilst they are just sitting in your camera not in use and that some don’t even charge back up to anywhere near their full potential (95-100%) again after a period of time.9th September 2020 at 9:47 pm #27121
That’s where the mAh comes in. The ones with low mAh are likely to run out of power much more quickly and aren’t any good in cameras. So you really need batteries with as high mAh as you can find. I have managed to get some with mAh of 2300 and above in a supermarket and those work fine. I tend to have a fair amount of traffic (often more than 100 videos a night), so usually change the batteries on my main camera daily, to make sure they have good charge all night.9th September 2020 at 9:51 pm #27122
They may say not to use rechargeable batteries because some say they will run on 4 batteries. Normal batteries are 1.5v and rechargeable ones only 1.2v. Most cameras seem to need 6v minimum, so that they would need more than 4 rechargeable batteries to work.10th September 2020 at 12:19 am #27124
The trail camera I have takes a whopping 8 AA batteries, but it specifically says in the instructions ‘do not use rechargeable batteries’.
Has anyone here used rechargeable batteries in a trail camera that states they shouldn’t be used.
As at first I was under the impression that the ‘do not use rechargeable batteries’ was a unwritten rule among much of the camera community10th September 2020 at 11:03 am #27127
Hi DrRobotnik if you read the posts above the general consensus is that it is fine to use rechargeable batteries and they last a lot longer than standard batteries. If you don’t have the option of a mains connection then using standard batteries is going to be pretty expensive if you’re getting a lot of video captures and also pretty bad for the environment to be going through a lot of batteries on a regular basis. If they don’t work because of the voltage what have you lost, £15-£20? Not much of a gamble compared to the ongoing cost of regular batteries and I’m sure you could find something else to use them in.10th September 2020 at 5:21 pm #27133
Hi Bushsnuffler. My question was more specific as my particular camera specifically states in the instructions (including a slip left in the battery compartment) not to use rechargeable batteries.
As the company that makes the camera has no financial motive to state this (for example printer/photocopier making companies say you should only use their particular brand of ink when generics work just as well). I can only presume that they think rechargeable batteries will damage the camera in some way.11th September 2020 at 12:30 am #27146
In my case, yes, the camera manufacturer CamPark specifically says don’t use rechargeable batteries but I use them and the camera is fine with no malfunctions or damage whatsoever and I have been using two cameras since April. I believe other people on this forum have been using rechargeable batteries a lot longer than that.
This is a well known issue and has been brought up several times before in other threads because it is a common warning in camera manuals and I have yet to see anyone mention a damaged camera from using them. I understand your point about why would they say it and can only point you to what Nic said about the difference in voltages potentially meaning they may not be powerful enough to power the camera. I think it you want a definitive answer for your specific camera you would have to contact the manufacturer.
To give you some context my Camparks were £45 (and have been great) so weighing up the potential downsides of using rechargeable batteries was a no-brainer for me but I understand if you’ve spent £250 on a camera you may be more hesitant in going against the manufacturers instructions.11th September 2020 at 7:46 am #27147
As previously stated rechareables are 1.2v alkali are 1.5v so it’s like using semi flat alkalis. They should still work but not for as long. I use them in my 2 cameras 1 takes x4 the other x8. One says can use NiMh one not but both do.
Depending upon heggie appearances they will last 1 or 2 nights. So if you don’t mind recharging frequently they work fine. If you want to leave the camera out for a couple of weeks they are not suitable, you need alkali batteries.
Again as previously mentioned get the highest mhA you can find.
In terms of damage to the camera, rechargeables will not damage the camera, a low voltage NiMh is no different to a low voltage alkali.12th September 2020 at 6:47 pm #27166
I am after some advice please. I have a few hedgehogs visiting my garden, there’s one extraordinarily brave or very hungry one… I’ve called him Henderson. He normally visits about 6-7pm, still daylight and eats and drinks a foot away from me (not even scared off by me talking on the phone, moving or putting the flash on my phone to take his photo when it gets dark!!!) I’m sure there has been 3 hedgehogs in my garden at the same time, not actually witnessed but due to the noises I’ve heard.
Anyway this afternoon I have been converting the old rabbit hutch into a ‘Hedgehog Hotel’ I have finished the upstairs and having a break before I finish the downstairs. I have threaded cardboard through the open bars on the doors, so it’s sheltered and dark. It will be the same when I finish the downstairs……
I can wait to see if my efforts will of been worth it. So before I finish and hopefully Henderson moves in, I was thinking of putting a camera, possibly two inside. It will be more or less completely dark and I’m a single Mum living on quite a tight budget.
So basically is there anything anyone can recommend for night vision, activity triggered, cheapish but worth buying for inside the hutch and/or one for the garden.
I have had a brief look but non the wiser! Any recommendations even if not cheap but does the other things and is worth it will be very gratefully appreciated.
Thank you in advance.14th September 2020 at 1:52 pm #27180
Just to add to the trail camera battery conundrum, my main camera has a switch to indicate if I am using lithium or alkali batteries, so I think there must be some obscure technical reason to do with power management in the camera.
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