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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.

Fig 2:  Second test
Following this initial test I was reasonably optimistic as I couldn't find evidence of moisture inside the seals.

The next test was carried out with the camera standing upright on a concrete slab and subjected to another twenty litre shower followed by a one hour rest period. For this test a 3 gram silica gel bag was placed inside the control panel door and a humidity indicator card was placed in the back battery compartment.

After the test, the camera was dried off externally and opened up. There were again no visible signs of water inside the seals and the humidity indicator card showed no increase of internal case humidity. However about 0.7 grams of the desiccant showed signs of water absorption. This was inconclusive as I may have accidentally transferred moisture from the inside lip of the door, outside the seal, to the desiccant bag when I opened the door. I would term this test as severe because the camera was made to stand in a pool of collected water and is not rated immersion proof.

The test camera along with a pre-modified version are now hanging on a tree in poor weather conditions (see figure 5) for the next four days, so that I can make a comparison between the two.

Fig 3:  New camera left. Old camera right.
Showing the extra slots to let water drain away from the hinge assembly.

Fig 4:    New camera left. Old camera right.
Showing the increased depth of the control panel door and new run off channels each side.

Fig 5:  Location for third test over four days.

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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.