Hi I just recently joined up and I was hoping to find out some info on my Moultrie Plotstalkers. Well after looking here in the Moutrie section and seeing how lite the posts were on Plotstalkers I thought I would write about what I learned on my own.
I get email flyers from Wing Supply and they on occasion have game cameras on sale for real good prices and I was really interested in these time lapse cameras and when the Moutrie PS’s came up for sale I jumped on it. I have been using them somewhat off and on for last 3 months. They work OK for my needs on what I wanted them for but I have had some issues; storage space for the pictures, pitiful battery life, and some fine tuning on the settings when you program the cameras.
Well I seen there was an issue with the cameras with using the 32MB SD cards here on the website. Well I wasn’t aware of that problem before I read the posts and because of my limited funds I went with the 16MB cards and I hadn’t had a problem right off. I had some 4MB cards and used them till I got around to buying the 16MB cards but the camera would have those 4MB cards full after one day running on the settings on picture every 10 seconds, picture set on extra fine. I tried setting the picture quality down to medium and same problem then I changed the time delay to 30 seconds. Then I was able to get the camera to run for almost two days before the 4MB card was full. I set the picture quality back to extra fine and I’m a guessing the card gets full after a day and a half. Well I got the 16MB cards in the cameras and they will go for 4 days and the camera will shutdown. The shutdown is from the batteries pooping out and the 16 MB cards are about 8 MBs full (@5800 pics) of pictures at the 30 second/extra fine picture quality settings running about 12 hours straight.
My joining the website was my interest if there was any aftermarket or manufacturer external battery packs but I found in some other posts here about making your own. I already had made one for a Wildgame camera that worked so so but I think I can improve on it now and adapt it to work with my Plotstalkers.
My first homemade external battery pack was a Pelican plastic hard case with a foam lining that was fairly small and I can pick up for @ $20.00 dollars at a Battery Station store. I spray painted it camo with spray paint and drill couple holes for wires and inlayed the battery (12volt for $20 at my local Battery station again) in the foam and used auto wire connectors to connect the wires to the battery and then to the camera. After reading some posts on here I will order some power connectors to get the power to the camera from the pack. I was planning using straps to hold it next to the camera if I use it on trees and I may make a small saw horse type stand with uprights out of 2x4s and some type of adjustments for panning the camera up/down and left/right in the future at ground level. I got the idea to make the mini saw horse after seeing the project on the website here about the homemade coming and going stand.
I used my Plotstalkers so far watching couple of feeders mounted on a fence post and trees at ground level. I also used them up three ladder treestands strapped to the tree just about head high overlooking the areas they cover. On those because they were so far up I had to pan them down using pieces of tree limbs propped behind the camera to get them to point down to where they would cover the assigned area. Not very fancy but it works. I have thought about another wood project to make the camera tilt up and down and it could be strapped to a tree but I haven’t built me a prototype up yet. If I get my wood projects built and they work out I will post them later.
The cameras came with a CD with the Time Lapse program that lets you scroll through the pictures. The pictures are small in the program viewer but that is actually a good thing when you are watching the pictures at 8x’s speed. I just sit way back and just stare at the pictures till something just pop’s onto the screen then hit pause and back up and look and write down the picture number so I can go back later and cut and paste the sequence of pictures of the animal/birds into a another folder on the computer. When I have got all the footage with the interesting stuff saved away I delete off the entire session of pictures that was on the SD card and the editing folder on the computer so I don’t fill up the computer’s hard drive.
The next improvements/upgrades I would like to see on the next gen time lapse cameras would be a 15/20 second time delay between pictures, a fix on more memory storage, better internal battery life and Moultrie make a external battery pack with an optional solar panel plug-in option that'll plug and play with thier existing cameras. I know they make a solar panel with built in 12volt battery but that is kind of expensive on my budget and not sure if it'll plug an play on my Plotstalkers or my D5.0 cameras I have.
Well I hoped this was helpful somewhat. I haven’t used the video function but plan too in the future. I so far only had pictures of crows, does and fawns, couple of small bucks, woodpecker, a cruising coyote poking around a field, flock of turkeys, and a hawk on the ground. None of the pictures was real interesting so I wasn’t going to post them but it is entertaining to me.