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.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Ltl Acorn 5210A Scrambled Menu Corrected by Firmware Upgrade

5210A Menu Page 1
I recently dealt with two 5210A cameras which had a menu problem as illustrated by the images in this post.

If you have a similar problem go to the manufacturers website, download the latest firmware for your model and do a firmware upgrade; which should correct the problem.

This is the link to the download page:
http://www.ltlacorn.cn/about/downloaden.html

Go to my download page for information about how to discover your camera's firmware version and how to do a firmware upgrade.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Filmmaker backs bid to transform derelict bothy into wilderness base

Athnamulloch Bothy in Glen Affric

A leading wildlife filmmaker is backing a bid by Trees for Life to transform an iconic but derelict mountain bothy into an eco-friendly weather-tight base that will be used to launch a quarter century of forest restoration in one of Scotland’s great wildlife wildernesses.

Glasgow-based cameraman and filmmaker Gordon Buchanan – well known from television programmes such as Big Cat Diary and Springwatch – is supporting the conservation charity’s appeal to raise £30,000 to renovate Athnamulloch Bothy in Glen Affric on the Forestry Commission Scotland managed

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Iain MacDiarmid's landscape photographs of the Scottish Highlands

Loch Affric - copyright Iain MacDiarmid

I recently had the pleasure of meeting local photographer Iain MacDiarmid who specialises in landscapes around the Scottish Highlands.

In this post are some of Iain's images from the local area, which he has very kindly given me permission to use to illustrate other pages on this website in the future. I admire his work very much and look forward to seeing how his techniques develop over time.

I hope you enjoy viewing his work and at the bottom of this post you'll find a link to his website where you can browse his whole collection.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

I have had a computer problem

The sketch on the left perfectly sums up the way I was feeling around the middle of last month. I'd had a PC problem for several months. Nothing dramatic, just occasional twitches when I was working but last month it developed into full blown aggravation with programs not installing/loading properly or at all, to the point where I was forced to do something about it.

To cut a long story short the reason was corrupted system files and with the help of Microsoft Support (I can't praise them enough) who carried out a remote Windows repair installation, I'm finally up and running again with no loss of data.

I've now taken measures to significantly reduce the possibility of this happening again and if it does it won't break my flow the way it has this time.

Problem now is that I'm way behind with answering emails, writing posts and camera tests. I'll try and catch up in the next week or two but if you are waiting for a response from me you can short circuit the delay by calling me on +44 (0) 1456 415726 or making a contact request to ron.bury on Skype.

If I don't answer when you call, please leave a message and contact details so I can get back to you a.s.a.p

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Rewilding Scotland and return of lynx and wolf in spotlight in Edinburgh

Eurasian lynx © Peter Cairns www.northshots.com

Visions of a rewilded Scotland – from restored forests to the return of predators such as the lynx and wolf – was in the spotlight on Monday 6th October at a topical lecture featuring acclaimed writer George Monbiot and award-winning conservationist Alan Watson Featherstone of Trees for Life, at the University of Edinburgh’s George Square Lecture Theatre.

With enthusiasm for rewilding – the large-scale restoration of damaged natural ecosystems – spreading quickly in the UK, the Rewilding the World event highlighted the significant benefits that this could bring to Scotland, together with a discussion on its global and ethical implications.
George Monbiot said: “Rewilding offers us a big chance to reverse destruction of the natural world. Letting trees return to bare and barren uplands, allowing the seabed to recover from trawling, and bringing back missing species would help hundreds of species that might otherwise struggle to survive – while rekindling wonder and enchantment that often seems missing in modern-day Britain.”

Alan Watson Featherstone, Trees for Life’s Executive Director, said: “Rewilding offers an exciting vision of hope, through the positive and practical work of renewing and revitalising ecosystems. In the Highlands we

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

How Trigger Interval Settings affect image transmission in Ltl Acorn 2G Cellular Cameras

Fig 1: 6210 Wireless PCB and SIM900 Modem
This post is an explanation of how the interval time setting in the cameras menu affects the transmission of image data over a 2G cellular network.

This does not apply to the 6310 cameras with 3G modems when working over a 3G network, which were introduced at the end of 2016.

Acorn cellular cameras use the SIM900 GPRS 2G modem which can connect with either the GSM or the GPRS service. It is a class B device which means it can only use one or the other at a given time. During GSM service ( voice call, SMS and MMS ) the GPRS service is suspended, and then resumed automatically after the GSM service has concluded. 


Acorn cellular cameras utilise the SIM900 wireless modem to provide GSM ( SMS and MMS ) and GPRS ( internet access for sending an image in an email using SMTP ) functionality. 

In Acorn cellular cameras the SIM900 prioritises the GSM service when programmed by the user to periodically listen for SMS remote control messages. The SIM900 also prioritises the GSM service in response to a trigger

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Funding hope for conservation of iconic Scottish glen and rare wildlife

Loch Affric
Loch Affric - TFL
Hopes of protecting and restoring a magnificent Highland glen and its rare wildlife – including golden eagles, red squirrels and Scottish wildcats – have received a major boost after conservation charity Trees for Life was named as finalist for a major European funding project, with the winner to be chosen after an online public vote.

The charity’s Glen Affric Landscape Project is in the running to secure almost £20,000 in the European Outdoor Conservation Association’s ‘Outdoor’ funding scheme, with online voting taking place over two weeks until Monday 6 October. Trees for Life can be supported via www.treesforlife.org.uk/voteTFL.

The Trees for Life project will also create

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Acorn Cellular Trail Camera Testing

Fig 1:  Acorn 5210MG and 6210MG
Cellular Trail |Cameras

I often get asked about how I test trail cameras and in particular the cellular versions so here is a brief overview of my test bench setup.

Figure 2 shows the complete assembly of test card, timer, meters and screen monitor.

The test card enables  a basic evaluation of the camera's lens performance and focusing.

The laptop screen shows a timer and clock, the former of which is used to test the camera's trigger time and also time longer events such as image/video sequences, network transmissions and time lapse functions et.c

The timer is triggered by a manual slider and paddle ( figure 3 ) which also triggers the camera at exactly the same time. The resulting photograph taken by the camera captures the timer and shows how long in tenths of a second, it took the camera to wake up and fire its shutter. This is the camera's trigger

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Scotland’s first full humpback whale post mortem for Mull’s first stranding of iconic species

Recovering dead Humpback Whale
Recovering dead Humpback Whale
Scotland’s first full post mortem of a humpback whale – found dead at Fishnish on the Isle of Mull this week – was carried out yesterday by veterinary pathologists with the assistance of conservation charity Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust.
 
The seven-metre, eight-ton animal – believed to be the first humpback whale ever to strand on Mull – was discovered floating close to shore on Wednesday 25 June, and was craned out of the sea the following evening. The male calf had not recently been feeding and was probably still dependent on its mother.
 
Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust’s Science and Strandings Officer Dr Conor Ryan, who is an expert on humpback whales, assisted with a post mortem examination with veterinary pathologist Andrew Brownlow of Scottish Rural University College to establish the cause of death. Preliminary results from the examination were consistent with drowning, although the cause is unclear.
 
“This highly unusual and sad discovery is a reminder that Scotland’s west coast waters are extremely special and host a great variety of

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Ltl Acorn 850nm, 940nm, 24 and 44 Infra Red (IR) LED arrays compared.

Fig 1:  5210A with 24 IR LED Array
Following on from my previous post which compared the FOV of the new Ltl Acorn 5310 standard and wide angle lens models, this post illustrates the differences in appearance and performance between the old and new infra-red (IR) LED arrays.

Up to now all the Ltl Acorn camera models have used a 24 LED IR light source as shown in figures 1, 2 and 3. Figure 1 shows the 5210A with 24 blue LEDs which emit light in the 940nm wavelength. These LEDs are covert and do not glow when operating.

Figures 2 and 3 show the 24 LED 850nm and 940nm versions. The white LEDs emit light in the 850nm ( nanometer ) wavelength and can be seen to glow red when viewed straight on during operation. They are visible up to 10 plus meters distance and although the IR light emission has double the range of the 940nm version they are not suitable for use in situations where the camera may be vulnerable if observed, such as security applications.

Acorn have now released their 5310 series cameras using their newly developed 44 LED array which doubles the night time light

Monday, 2 June 2014

First whale week festival spotlights western Scotland’s internationally important marine life

Minke whale in Hebridean waters / HWDT
A new annual week-long festival boosting the profile of The Hebrides as an internationally-important hotspot for whale spotting and conservation action will be launched on World Oceans Day on 8 June, in what is believed to be the first event of its kind in Scotland.
 
Humpback whales, orcas and bottlenose dolphins will take over Tobermory on the Isle of Mull between 8-15 June 2014, as conservation charity Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust (HWDT) celebrates its 20th anniversary with its

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

25 years of conservation action celebrated at ‘lost world’ estate near Loch Ness

L-R Drew Hendry, Leader of Highland Council;  Trees for Life volunteer Tristran Dougan;
Vanessa Collingridge, Trees for Life Patron; Trees for Life volunteer Diana Sinclair;
Richard Lochhead MSP; Alan Watson Featherstone, Trees for Life’s Executive Director;
London cyclist Tim Judge.
A quarter century of pioneering conservation action was marked by Trees for Life on Sunday 25 May 2014, with a celebration open day held at the award-winning charity’s Dundreggan Conservation Estate in Glenmoriston, Inverness-shire.
 
Dozens of local people and Trees for Life supporters gathered at the acclaimed biodiversity hotspot near Loch Ness for a day of activities and to celebrate Trees for Life’s first 25 years of restoring the ancient but endangered Caledonian Forest in the Scottish Highlands.
 
Moray MSP Richard Lochhead, the Scottish Government’s Cabinet

Sunday, 25 May 2014

New Ltl Acorn 5310 series cameras - Standard and wide angle lenses compared

Fig 1: Ltl Acorn 5310A with standard lense

My apologies for the lack of technical posts and reviews over the last few months but I'm just emerging from what I think of as the lost winter. Late last year a nine year old hernia suddenly became much worse and prevented me from doing any more than essential tasks. Restricted walking and no heavy carrying meant I couldn't do winter camera surveying which was a great disappointment and sitting at a computer or workbench for any length of time was not possible.

I eventually had an operation in early February following which I am only now becoming properly active; and still catching up on camera repairs.

Anyway, enough of all that and on to the subject of this post which is a comparison of the standard and wide angle lenses in the new Acorn 5310 trail cameras.

The 5310 also has a larger 940nm IR LED array which doubles the night range to over 60 feet (20 metres) when compared to the 5210 and 6210 cameras at 30 feet.

Figure 1 shows the 5310A with the standard lense and Figure 2 shows the 5310WA with the wide angle lense. Apart from the

Friday, 23 May 2014

Unique community purchase go-ahead for Highlands pinewood restoration project

Loch Arkaig
Plans for a major new pinewood restoration project in the Scottish Highlands have been given the go-ahead after Forestry Commission Scotland agreed to sell 1,086 hectares of woodland at Glen Mallie and South Loch Arkaig in Lochaber to a Highland community group in partnership with conservation charity Trees for Life – marking a major milestone in efforts to restore the ecologically important but rare native Caledonian Pinewood habitat.
 
The Achnacarry, Bunarkaig and Clunes (ABC) Group and Trees for Life now have 18 months to raise £500,000 to buy the land, following which they will begin a process of native woodland restoration and of restoring the links between the local community and the wild and remote country on the south side of Loch Arkaig in the West Highlands.
 
This is believed to be the first time that a conservation charity has partnered with a community group to purchase surplus Forestry Commission land under the National Forest Land Scheme. The scheme – administered by Forestry Commission Scotland – gives communities and non-governmental organisations the opportunity to acquire state-owned forest land which has

‘Lost world’ open day near Loch Ness to celebrate 25 years of conservation action

Wild boar at Dundreggan. Photo: Alan Watson Featherstone

Moray-based conservation charity Trees for Life is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a special celebration open day at its acclaimed Dundreggan Conservation Estate in Glenmoriston to the west of Loch Ness, Inverness-shire on Sunday 25 May 2014, from 10.30 am - 5.00 pm.
 
Members of the public are warmly invited to attend the free event and to join BBC presenter and Trees for Life Patron Vanessa Collingridge for a day of activities at this renowned biodiversity hotspot, as the award-winning charity marks a quarter

Hebridean expeditions to study killer whales at risk of extinction

The ‘West Coast Community’ of killer whales
– at risk of extinction
With the United Kingdom’s only known resident population of killer whales at risk of imminent extinction, securing new information about this endangered group is one of the ambitions of a new season of marine research expeditions launched by Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust (HWDT) this month.
 
In its 20th anniversary year, HWDT is recruiting volunteers to work alongside marine scientists in surveys running from May to October, to gather crucial data on

Friday, 25 April 2014

Tim’s 5,000-mile cycle challenge for Trees for Life’s 25th Anniversary

Tim Judge with his bike ‘Issy’
Tim Judge with his bike ‘Issy’
London cyclist Timothy Judge has set himself the arduous challenge of cycling 5,000 miles in 2014 to raise funds for conservation charity Trees for Life and its restoration of the ancient Caledonian Forest in the Scottish Highlands.
As part of Tim’s epic bid, on Tuesday 20 May he will set out to cycle from London to Dundreggan Conservation Estate in Glenmoriston near Loch Ness. He aims to complete the 600-mile journey in six days – arriving at Dundreggan for Trees for Life’s 25th anniversary celebration open day on Sunday 25 May.
The event at Dundreggan – Trees for Life’s flagship project and a 10,000-acre biodiversity hotspot – will include guided walks to explore ancient woodlands and spot wildlife, opportunities to meet and feed wild boar and learn about their role in restoring the forest, the exclusive launch of Trees for Life’s 'Forests of the

Monday, 13 January 2014

Surveys show need to conserve western Scotland’s healthy seas

Volunteers onboard Silurian
Copyright G.Leaper
Research surveys conducted by the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust (HWDT) during 2013 have identified a remarkably wide range of whale, dolphin and porpoise species – highlighting the need to conserve the rich biodiversity and globally-important marine habitats in western Scotland’s seas.

The latest research is part of HWDT’s unique and long-term monitoring project of cetaceans – whales, dolphins and porpoises – in the Hebrides. With growing concerns over the state of the UK’s seas, and threats to wildlife and ecosystems from human activity, HWDT is calling for volunteers to help continue the pioneering research in 2014.

In total during 2013, HWDT recorded more than 400 encounters with cetaceans and basking sharks, and made almost 1,000 underwater detections of cetaceans using specialist listening equipment.

Kerry Froud, HWDT Biodiversity Officer, said: “The impressive range of species of cetaceans and basking sharks that we have documented this year highlights the wealth of marine life in Scotland’s west coast ocean environment – and the importance of ensuring the continued

Friday, 10 January 2014

Planting Scotland’s wee trees!

Trees for Life volunteers plant Scotland’s wee trees in Glen Affric
News from Trees for Life which I should have posted in December.

A group of hardy volunteers braved the cold and ventured to Coire Sneachdta in Glen Affric National Nature Reserve to take part in conservation charity Trees for Life’s ‘wee trees’ planting day on 27 November.
 
This project – part of Trees for Life’s award-winning restoration of the Caledonian Forest in the Highlands to the west of Loch Ness and Inverness – was made possible thanks to a grant through the CSV Action Earth scheme, which supports volunteers across Scotland in making a positive difference to their local
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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.