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Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Water in the Ltl Acorn 6210 control panel - Review - Part 5

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.

Back to Part 4 of the review
Ltl Acorn control panel
I was about to do a post on this issue when I received a comment from a reader who also had this problem.

Because of its importance, I've slipped it in as part 5 of the review.  Trigger speed and Sensitivity, plus side by side working examples will start in part 6.

Don't do this with wet hands and cover up if it's raining
I've found nothing to suggest that the seal around the bottom panel leaks. What happens is that moisture transferred to the control panel surface will find it's way to the switches on the circuit board; and cause the screen to flicker through all the functions.

In my case, I was checking cameras on a rainy day, and with one camera I had the control panel door open and it started raining. I was in the menu at the time and finished what I was doing with wet hands. I tried drying them by wiping on my shirt but even the small amount of water that was left was enough. The problem is exacerbated by the panel being horizontal with the door closed; and gravity does the rest with water wicking down the control buttons onto the switches below.

The problem is easy enough to avoid. Don't open the door in rain without covering up, and don't press any buttons with wet fingers.

If you have moisture in the control panel, don't try to continue using it. Take the camera to a warm dry environment, open the door and lay the camera on it's back; and if possible, place it on the top of, or near a radiator. Make sure the radiator isn't so hot that it will damage the camera and if you have bags of desiccant, place them over and under the open door. Leave the camera like this for as long as possible up to a week and it should be OK.

If the problem persists, the only thing for it will be to remove the control panel cover so that the water can evaporate more effectively. This is a delicate job and care should be taken to avoid losing any bits, or causing any damage that would invalidate your warranty.

Make sure to remove all the battery cells before you do any of the above.

It's also important to realise that these cameras are an almost sealed box when the bottom door is closed; which means that any moisture trapped inside the case will alternately condense and evaporate with changing external temperatures. 

This will for example, manifest itself by fogging the lens when the ambient temperature rises after a cold night.

When attempting to dry out a camera, always have the bottom door open; and in extreme circumstances the case front may have to be removed to allow moisture to evaporate.
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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.