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.

Monday, 30 July 2012

Acorn 5210A exposure tests - Firmware Upgrade - Part 2.

Fig 1: Still image sequence time lines, pre and post upgrade.
Click on image to view full size
Following on from my last post on this subject, the image on the left shows an analysis of the issue, before and after the firmware upgrade.

This post refers specifically to the upgrade for the 5210A; but a bin file is also available for the 5210M, which will increase the size of the file sent by MMS from 320 x 240 pixels up to 640 x 480 pixels, as well as correcting the exposure issue.

These files are not available to download directly because both bin files are named 5210A. If you use the wrong file it will disable the camera; so I

Phantom Red Squirrel, Pine Marten and Red Deer.

Fast moving Red Squirrel travelling right to left.
Shutter speed was 1/25sec which was too slow to catch
anything other than the squirrels tail.
Notice the blond tail which is a fairly common feature of
red squirrels in this area of Scotland.
End of last week I collected several camera traps that had been set on forest deer trails. Red Deer are regularly culled to help forest regeneration in this area, which makes them nervous and elusive.

I was hoping to get an idea of how many animals were regularly in this section of forest and the video clips below follow on from my post a month ago.

Co-incidentally I discovered two obscure but identifiable reasons for apparent false triggering.

The image on the left is of a passing squirrel, which I nearly missed and the following video shows three frames taken with an Acorn 5210A camera trap, which captured a moving stick in the ground vegetation. Each frame is a centre crop of the

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

CHARITY LAUNCHES PROJECT FOR A MILLION MORE TREES IN NEXT FIVE YEARS

A remnant of Scotland's old Caledonian Forest
Scots Pine forest in the Glen Affric
National Nature Reserve
Reforestation could benefit Scotland’s economy by boosting wildlife tourism.

Conservation charity Trees for Life has announced an ambitious new goal to double its current rate of restoration work in Scotland’s Caledonian Forest, with the establishment of one million more trees by planting and natural regeneration within five years.

The charity’s new Million More Trees campaign is a response to environmental problems including deforestation, climate change and biodiversity loss, but could also bring significant benefits to

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Can Scotland's wildcats be saved from extinction?

Scottish Wildcat

Very few people have ever had the thrill of observing the Scottish wildcat in its natural habitat, but the cats themselves are experts in surveillance.

On a blazing hot day at Highland Wildlife Park, the trees sheltering the wildcat enclosure provide a haven of cool, zesty air. This is the cheat's way to see wildcats but it provides an unbeatable front-row view, and this morning's visitors are in for an appearance by today's celebrity guests, the wildcat kittens. All that's visible of them is a squirming ball of fawn and grey fur that suddenly.....Read more of this article by Rebecca McQuillan in the Scottish Herald

Friday, 13 July 2012

Ltl Acorn 6210 HD Series trail camera re-design cures water problem.

Fig 1:   Ltl Acorn 6210MMX


Most of you reading this will be aware of the huge disappointment felt, when the recent modifications to this camera failed to completely eliminate the water ingress. There was a reduction, but the basic problem persisted.

I had been testing the new unit for a week and although there was less water entering the camera, and non was actually getting into the control panel, condensation was still occurring. I was determined to find the reason for this.

The factory re-design of the control panel housing was certainly working, because although, during tests, there was water in the camera, it was not affecting this area. It was however, collecting at the back above the hinge assembly, and was saturating the inside of the case. I decided to go back to basics and re-analyse the whole process.

The strangest thing about this issue, was that the manufacturers had told me, I was the only person reporting this problem to them; and yet many, many people in the UK were having this problem. It occurred to me that if this were true, then maybe the cause related to particular environmental or climatic conditions.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

FORRES TAXI FIRM HELPS RESTORE CALEDONIAN FOREST


David Macpherson
with his state of the art hybrid Honda Civic taxi

Forres taxi operator David Macpherson is helping to bring Scotland’s Caledonian Forest back from the brink by supporting Findhorn-based conservation charity Trees for Life.

David’s firm, Mac’s Eco Taxi, donates 20 pence to the award-winning charity for every journey that picks up or drops off at the Findhorn Ecovillage in Findhorn Bay, Moray.

The scheme has already notched up more than

Monday, 9 July 2012

Forest Wildlife in June

No Red Squirrels and still no signs of Wildcat, which I don't expect in this area at this time of year. I've been monitoring trails for deer, which are infrequent because of culling to aid forest regeneration.

Images are all straight from the cameras (Ltl Acorn 5210A and 6210MC) and resized down.

Red deer hind with young calf (Cervus elaphus) still with its spotted coat

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Ltl Acorn 6210 water ingress problem solved

Ltl Acorn 6210 HD Series Trail Camera
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.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Ltl Acorn 6210 water resistance tests update

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:   Ltl Acorn 6210 HD Series trail camera
Left: Modified version  Right: Old version
I'm a little disconcerted to find retailers offering the updated version of this camera for sale when I'm still conducting water resistance tests on the modification.

This is a little premature as the unit I'm testing is still taking in water; so if you are offered an updated - waterproof - camera at this stage, think  before buying.

Acorn have made a lot of improvements to the existing design as illustrated in figures 1 and 2; but then they send me a unit to test with damage to the sealing lip (figure 3 arrow 1) and more damage caused by tooling marks (figure 3 arrow 2)
(figure 4 arrow 1)

In theory the design changes should prevent water

Sunday, 1 July 2012

UK National Ecosystem Assessment (NEA)

NEA report - page 20
I was a little disappointed to read a BBC News article entitled The great myth of urban Britain by their Home Editor Mark Easton, where he seems to be suggesting (to me anyway) that because figures published in the UK National Ecosystem Assessment (NEA) seem to show that only about 2% of the country is built over, we've nothing to worry about and should go out and enjoy.

This leaves me feeling a little bit uneasy because the reality is, and the report shows this, that we are steadily destroying our environment by over population and exploitation; and have been doing so for centurys.

This assessment is well worth reading and understanding, for its implications for the future.

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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.