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 end of 2017.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

UK BAP (Biodiversity Action Plans) Mammals Publication

UK BAP Mammals
(Biodiversity Action Plans)
UK BAP (Biodiversity Action Plans) Mammals, recently published by the Mammal Society, is an interim guidance for survey methodologies, impact assessment and mitigation for the following:

Red Squirrel Sciurus vulgaris, Harvest Mouse Micromys minutus, Brown Hare Lepus europaeus, Mountain Hare Lepus timidus, European Hedgehog Erinaceus europaeus, Wildcat Felis silvestris, Pine Marten Martes martes and
Polecat Mustela putorius.

This publication provides guidance on the background biology, habitat requirements, survey methodologies, legal protection, impact assessment and mitigation/compensation measures for UK BAP mammal species for which such guidance has not already been published.

An essential publication for consultants and conservationists.  Available from The Mammal Society 

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.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Ltl Acorn 6210MM trail camera, water resistance test

Acorn 6210 water/condensation problem update 07.07.2012

I'm very happy and relieved to be able to say that the reason for the condensation problem in the Ltl Acorn 6210 Trail Camera has been identified.

After lengthy tests and analysis the cause of water getting into the control panel is, at long last, understood; and some final changes to the case upgrade are now being made.

I don't know exactly how long this will take, but it will be as fast as possible.

I will post a full explanation of the problem and how it was solved at a later date. Users of cameras which have this problem should remove the rubber bung (external power supply input) from the base of the camera.

...................................................................................................................................................................
Fig 1:  6210MM test camera top
Here's an update on the water resistance tests for the Ltl Acorn 6210MMX shown top in figure 1.

The control camera below is an older 6210MC which is known to take in water. These cameras have been in place since last Thursday late afternoon, the weather has been periodically wet and windy, with some heavy overnight rain.
The plan is to continue dowsing the cameras with water until the control camera becomes waterlogged, and then assess the test camera.

The test is whatever the weather conditions throw at them plus a twice daily water hose as shown below. I don't expect either camera to be dry after this sort of treatment, but I expect the test camera to be able to continue operating regardless; and for its control panel to function properly at the end of the test.
The images and videos below show how it's being tested and its reactions so far.

Trail Camera placement and value of video to show animal behaviour.

Fig 1:   Eurasian Jay (Garrulus glandarius) at bait site
feeding on flies and meat.
I've been experimenting with the placement of cameras at bait sites in order to get close up images of visitors combined with more distant stills and videos to show behaviour.

The image of the woodcock posted on the 12th June was one of my first results and this jay proved the value of having video.

The close up trail camera was an Acorn 5210A placed one metre from the bait and the second camera was an Acorn 6210MC about four metres away in the opposite direction.

The 5210 was set to take sequences of

Friday, 22 June 2012

Slow Worm - Anguis fragilis

Fig 1: Slow Worm - Anguis fragilis
At the beginning of this month (June) I was moving some old carpet to line a new compost bin at the bottom of the garden. Suddenly, out wriggled a silvery juvenile slow worm; which was about ten centimetres long and about as thick as a pencil.

I couldn't photograph it at the time, but it reminded me that I had some adult slow worm images on file, so here they are.

Slow worms are legless lizards which prey on slugs, snails, insects and earthworms. Adults grow to between 40 and 50cm in length and figure 3 gives an idea of scale relative to a human hand.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Trail Cameras - New Ltl Acorn 6210 water ingress tests

Acorn 6210 water/condensation problem update 07.07.2012

I'm very happy and relieved to be able to say that the reason for the condensation problem in the Ltl Acorn 6210 Trail Camera has been identified.

After lengthy tests and analysis the cause of water getting into the control panel is, at long last, understood; and some final changes to the case upgrade are now being made.

I don't know exactly how long this will take, but it will be as fast as possible.

I will post a full explanation of the problem and how it was solved at a later date. Users of cameras which have this problem should remove the rubber bung (external power supply input) from the base of the camera.

...................................................................................................................................................................
Fig 1:  The new, modified
Acorn 6210 (MMX version)
Dripping wet after its first
water ingress test.
The long awaited camera has arrived and is pictured on the left, following its first rudimentary water ingress test.

Change to the case design
This camera is rated IP54 which means limited dust ingress protection and protected against water spray from any direction. It is not rated as waterproof; as is no other camera of this type, as far as I'm aware.

To overcome an earlier problem with water getting into the control panel, located in the bottom door, the manufacturers have redesigned the case and door (see figures 3 and 4). These tests are to evaluate the effectiveness of the changes. I'm hoping to complete the tests in about four days.

First test results
During this first test the camera was subjected to a twenty litre shower and then left to stand for 30 minutes; after which it was dried off externally and opened up to check for any water inside.



Saturday, 16 June 2012

MMS Connectivity with Ltl Acorn Trail Cameras


A lot of confusion surrounds the MMS set up of the Acorn trail cameras and although I don't profess to be an expert myself, I've done some research to try and identify why so many people seem to be encountering problems.

Post Update 12.12.2012 : Practical set up instructions for proven SMTP service which works with all Acorn Wireless Trail Cameras. 

A common theme seems to be an inability to get the camera to send to an email address.

Below I've shown all the connection settings for using the various Vodafone services as an example. To send an email from the trail camera make sure you are using the correct APN (Access Point Name) and also using an SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) which allows authentication.

You may be having other problems and as soon as I can I will try and unravel some of the mysteries. My immediate problem is that I don't have reliable network access at my location and don't use these services; but I will very soon be making tests in a good signal area to try and clarify these issues.

In the meantime I hope that the information below is at least helpful.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Wildlife Trail Camera Comparison Chart

Martin has just compiled this full comparison chart for the Ltl Acorn and Bushnell ranges of Wildlife remote infra red trail cameras.

This is an easy reference chart to help you compare the whole range of cameras at a glance; and will help you to decide which is the best camera for your purpose.

Wildlife Trail Camera Technical Specifications comparison chart for Ltl Acorn and Bushnell
'Left click image' to view on screen. If it's too small to read, 'right click' and 'save image as' to view full size
or go here to view on line 
You are welcome to save or republish this chart on the condition that you publicly acknowledge the source of the material and provide a link to either http://www.ronburyswildlife.com/p/trail-camera-sales-and-data.html or http://www.wildlifeservices.co.uk/trailcameras.html as appropriate.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Ltl Acorn 6210 case modifications update

Ltl Acorn 6210
I've just received notification from the manufacturers that they are despatching the test camera, with all the modifications and updates, to me tomorrow.

This should mean that if all goes well I will be able to start tests by the end of next week and the crucial water testing could be completed about ten days from now.

We would estimate that subject to satisfactory tests and the manufacturers stock levels, we may be able to start fulfilling back orders for this camera by around the 5th July 2012

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Eurasian Woodcock - Scolopax rusticola - Acorn 6210MC


Fig 1.   Frame one of set

I was checking cameras today and discovered this Woodcock had rather conveniently worked its way through the frame, while looking for food in the ground litter. These beautiful birds are not often seen during the day, unless disturbed, but this far north we have about twenty hours of daylight at this time of the year; so many creatures more associated with the night will be active, on and off, throughout the day.

Fig 2.   Frame two of set
The camera was set to shoot three stills and a video on each trigger and I decided to use this set to show off the exposure quality and stability that the 6210 is capable of.

Figures 1 and 2 are the first two frames of the set of three stills. Figure 3 is the third frame and I have cropped it to 800 x 600 pixels to show the full size quality. Apart from resizing and cropping, all three files are as they left the camera which was set to the 5MP setting, producing a file size of 1.18MB and an image size of 2560 x 1920 pixels. The incorrect date was operator error but miraculously the time was correct to within a few minutes.

Bottom is the 20 second video.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Acorn 5210A exposure tests (Red Deer Stag reacting to Filter noise) Part 1.

Dense shadow areas is one aspect of the exposure
issues with the Acorn 5210 before the firmware update.
I've recently been testing exposure issues with the Ltl Acorn 5210A and its remedy using a firmware update file supplied by the manufacturers.

During this stage of the test I had two cameras set together, one updated, the other as original. The results further illustrated how unstable the original 5210 is at calculating exposure and how this effects not only the picture quality but also the functional operation of the camera.

The non updated camera (0008) was set to take three still images plus a twenty second video and the updated camera (0009) was set to take three still images and no video, with each trigger event.

The stag was the perfect event for this test as he obligingly made his way along the river gorge to pass the badger sett. He became aware of the cameras due to the clicking of the infra red filter in the non updated unit, which was alternating between day and night setting. This is one of a number of symptoms of the camera hunting for the correct exposure values. The Fig 4 video shows the stag's reaction.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Images of Case Modifications for the Updated Little Acorn 6210


I have just received these pictures of the new case modifications from the manufacturers, who say that assembly of an initial test batch could be early next week.

It is possible I may have a pre-order test unit within two weeks, fingers crossed; and will give you an update as soon as I know.




How to keep the water out of the Acorn 6210

Acorn 6210 water/condensation problem update 07.07.2012


I'm very happy and relieved to be able to say that the reason for the condensation problem in the Ltl Acorn 6210 Trail Camera has been identified.


After lengthy tests and analysis the cause of water getting into the control panel is, at long last, understood; and some final changes to the case upgrade are now being made.

I don't know exactly how long this will take, but it will be as fast as possible.

I will post a full explanation of the problem and how it was solved at a later date. Users of cameras which have this problem should remove the rubber bung (external power supply input) from the base of the camera.
...................................................................................................................................................................

Friday, 8 June 2012

Raven and Pine Marten at bait site using Acorn 6210MC


This Raven (Corvus corax)  visited one of my bait sites last week and made off with all the meat within forty minutes, leaving nothing but the smell of what might have been for the Pine Marten (Martes martes), who arrived later the same day.

Both of these animals are feeding young nearby. I've heard the Raven calling on occasions and recently found the Pine Marten denned up with young in an old Beech tree.


Thursday, 7 June 2012

Infra Red Night Image Quality and Illumination Range

Fig 1. 6210MC - Daylight reference image at ford
River Ford Site.
I chose this site to illustrate image contrast because of the temperature range it represents from very cold water (black) to the badger's body heat.

The tree to the right of the waterfall has retained a fair amount of heat whereas the rock face to the left is much cooler.

Figures 2 to 2b show the difference an equal change less (2a) and more (2b) in contrast makes. Less contrast equals more information within the limits of the technology.

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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.