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  • huntingfanatic
    replied
    Originally posted by Throwin Darts View Post
    I buy these for $59 off Amazon. Solar with a built in battery. Battery never comes off 100%. Plug and play


    I use these on all my reveals. Always shows 100% power. Haven’t ever failed me. Like you said plug and play

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  • IkemanTX
    replied
    Originally posted by Throwin Darts View Post
    I buy these for $59 off Amazon. Solar with a built in battery. Battery never comes off 100%. Plug and play


    Way too large and easy to see on public land, my cameras would be seen from a hundred yards away. If I was on private, though, I would pick something like that up in a heartbeat.


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  • Throwin Darts
    replied
    I buy these for $59 off Amazon. Solar with a built in battery. Battery never comes off 100%. Plug and play

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  • IkemanTX
    replied
    I finally deployed my battery only packs in the field with a couple cameras this past week. I never did get around to sponge painting them, so hopefully being over a mile from the parking lot, and being mounted high, will keep them from being found.

    The BMS board drained a surprising amount of power in the 6 months since I built the packs, so I will most likely re-design the packs to not include the BMS. I can run a BMS at home while charging and avoid the constant draw. All I would need is to run a balance lead connector in addition to the 12v cord.



    One of the solar packs failed on me, but the other is going strong. I found 2 of the cells in the failed one were dead, I don’t know if that is damage from my soldering or what. I will have to order another set of NIMH batteries and assemble that one again. I think I will skip the buck converter on that one, to pull its power draw out of the equation. Im pretty sure the camera can handle the higher voltage from the raw solar panel connection, because some guys run solar panels straight into their cameras anyways. Besides, the panel only runs 1.5 watts anyways.


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  • IkemanTX
    replied
    Permanent Trail Cam Power

    Well, I have left the camera on max settings in the back yard for 72 hours. We have 2 dogs that are constantly back there, and one of them is a GSP that runs continuous laps around the yard. That has run the camera harder than any public land camera setup I could ever dream to set up. Over 800 videos recorded in ultra mode in just 72 hours with zero internal batteries.

    My goal with this test was to see how long it would take of intense usage for the battery in the box to be depleted… assuming the solar panel wouldn’t keep up with demand like this. I was proven wrong…. The panel is more than capable of keeping up with the toughest of demands in full sun. With the excellent low light performance of this panel, I could be in dense canopy forest and still trickle charge the normal draw of one of my typical public land cameras.

    72 hours, 800+ videos, and the nominal voltage of the battery pack (with solar panel covered so as not to cheat) was 12.7v….. almost 100% charged for a 10S NiMh pack.

    Honestly, I am blown away with the performance of these units. I honestly thought I would be down around 10 volts by now with how hard the camera is running.


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    Last edited by IkemanTX; 04-02-2022, 02:13 PM.

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  • Pedernal
    replied
    Your battery-solar box looks great!

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  • IkemanTX
    replied
    Originally posted by JES View Post
    If it was me, I would place the box higher up on the tree so that any reflection from the solar panel isn't at, or below, eye level.

    My typical set up is with the camera at about 12 feet up, and I will be placing the solar panel about 3 feet above that. This is just set up in the back yard to see how hard I can push the battery pack and the solar panel still keep it charged. Being in the back yard, a few hundred videos a day will push the solar pack MUCH harder than any spot I might set it.

    If it can come even close to maintaining function through a week or two of these conditions, it won’t have ANY problem on some random trail, white oak, scrape, rub line, or pear tree.


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  • JES
    replied
    If it was me, I would place the box higher up on the tree so that any reflection from the solar panel isn't at, or below, eye level.

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  • IkemanTX
    replied
    Well. I couldn’t wait until clear skies. The storm moved mostly past, so I put one up. I have a couple cords on order specifically for these 2 solar boxes that will be sponge painted to match, so ignore the jet black extra thick cord.










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  • IkemanTX
    replied
    Permanent Trail Cam Power

    Originally posted by PROD49 View Post
    This is what I did and has been running great for 2 years.

    These smaller boxes are for public land where the size of a normal SLA battery isn’t conducive to concealment…


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  • PROD49
    replied
    Originally posted by Aggies96 View Post
    Just curious why a conventional rechargeable 12V battery with a solar panel wouldn't work? I've packaged that up in a small plastic ammo case and attached to my camera post off the ground with good success in the past. I just use rechargeable AA batteries in them now since I'm able to check cameras every 2-3 weeks. I definitely like the size of your arrangement better.
    This is what I did and has been running great for 2 years.

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  • IkemanTX
    replied
    Permanent Trail Cam Power

    Originally posted by JES View Post
    Nice work, a lot of time and detail has gone into this.

    Question, how do you connect the two parts of the box? The lid to the box part?

    They are going to be sealed with a silicon based adhesive. I had originally thought of doing a small screw in each corner, but they would have to be so small, I doubt they would have added any structural integrity.

    Here she is all drying up.

    video, sharing, camera phone, video phone, free, upload



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  • JES
    replied
    Nice work, a lot of time and detail has gone into this.

    Question, how do you connect the two parts of the box? The lid to the box part?

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  • IkemanTX
    replied
    I have been flying 5 days a week for work, so progress is CRAWLING on this project. But, after this paint job all I have left is assembly!









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  • IkemanTX
    replied
    The 3D prints came in, with 2 minor issues that were entirely my fault. I hadn’t noticed that 2 of my design components weren’t touching the main box when I merged the objects during exporting. The extra support for the mounting screw hex head, and the 12V lettering on the outside were each slightly separate, causing the printing of those components to fail.
    The Hex head support was 0.2mm off and the 12V lettering was 0.1mm, so neither component adhered to the box. Minor imperfections, to be honest, and not required for it to function.

    This is the failed hex head component. And the 12V lettering didn’t fall off until I unwrapped it. So close to adhering!!!



    I am only home in Texas for 16 hours tonight between work trips, so I won’t be soldering and assembling parts until next week at the earliest. But, here is a rough dry fit.

    10 AA’s (NiMh) soldered into a 12V pack fit perfectly with room for wiring.


    The 1.5w solar panel fit perfectly with enough room around the edges to protect the edges of the panel.


    Size comparison vs a Browning Dark Ops camera. These should be east to conceal after a camo paint job.


    The holes for the waterproof female DC plugs were absolutely perfect, and the hole for the solar panel aligned precisely. Looks like all the time taking notes with calipers paid off.



    I can’t wait to get these things finished now… I am so stoked!!!


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