Please do not use "post comments" to ask for camera help and advice. Use phone or Skype IM in the first instance.

Updates and posts to this web site are delayed due to ongoing problems I am having with internet access. This is because of the degradation of the existing phone line infrastructure which it is hoped will be upgraded by the spring of 2017.

Monday, 25 June 2012

MMS Signal strength and External Antennas


Ltl Acorn 6210MMX

The general consensus is that these cameras need three to five bars to operate reliably and a high level signal requirement is stated in the manufacturers manual. In operation they are much like mobile phones in that environmental and atmospheric conditions can cause the signal to disappear erratically; and particularly in the case of these cameras, if this happens at the moment the camera is trying to send, it's lost until the next time.

The location and distance of the cell mast, obstructions in the form of buildings, trees and other vegetation, plus atmospheric changes at night and day interface, will all make a difference.

I operate in a mountainous area from about 5 to 15 km from the cell tower and over all of it, it's mostly impossible to get a workable signal; and at frequencies around a 1000 to 2000 MHz, signals bounce of buildings, rock faces, foliage et.c to further compound the situation.


Over the next few weeks I'm going to be testing a higher gain antenna, plus maybe in line amplification. to see how all of this might be improved; so hopefully I may have some answers in a month or so. In the meantime I would suggest that anyone employing these cameras with MMS, in a less than perfect signal area, should consider using the external antenna (MMX) version. Even if that in itself does not operate successfully, there is then the option to experiment with additional external equipment to boost the cell tower link.



I received the following comment from Keith In Fort Ashby WV USA
"Just ordered one of the Ltl cellular products. Checked yesterday & I have 1 bar of service at the installation site...so I anticipate installing an external antenna (possibly with amplifier) rig.
Stateside, Wilson Electronics is a great retailer for this type of product (already have one of their exterior/interior rigs installed for internet access over an aircard--went from 2 bars to 5).
Thanks for the comparison link on the Ltl/Bushnell product line, as well! "
which sort of sums it up.

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This web site is about the wildlife, particularly the mammals, of the Glen Affric National Nature Reserve area in the north west Highlands of Scotland, UK; and the equipment I use to search for them, which is chiefly trail cameras.

I provide a technical support and parts service for the Ltl Acorn range of cameras and the income from this provides for the upkeep of this site and the purchase of cameras for my own surveying.

I hope you find the site useful and informative; and please contact me if you have any questions that I haven't already covered.