A new manufacturer has arrived on the scene
this year. This is the company Uway. Uway has announced
a new line of cameras for 2009/2010 and keeps on surprising us with
new and innovative technology. We just received photos of the new
unit called the XtendIR-B which will function as an Invisible
(black flash) InfraRed
Flash Extender and conversion for all IR cameras. Distribution will be
through HuntingCamOnline (HCO) that brought us the Scoutguard SG550
and their network of retailers.
"Black Flash" has been adopted by the industry to describe an
infrared flash unit that does not emit any visible light, thus it is
accepted that it does not spook game or animals, nor does it alert
human intruders should the camera be in use for a security purpose.
Works with ALL IR Cameras. Zero Sync
*Size: 6.1 x 3.7 x 2.4 inches
*Total number of High Output IR LED Bulbs in 3 Switchable
Banks = 110
*Bank 1 (Enhanced Bank) Total LED Bulbs = 60
*Bank 2 (Wide-Angle Bank) Total LED Bulbs = 20
*Bank 3 (Distance Bank) Total LED Bulbs = 30
*Stand Alone Illumination Range = 40-60 feet
*Coverts ALL IR Cameras into Black Flash
*Internal Power Supply = 4D Batteries (Not Included)
*Sensor Cable Port, 6V External Power Supply Port
*Anti Theft Curved Rear for Python Cable Lock and Mounting
*Kit Includes: External Sensor Cable and Mounting Strap
1 Year Manufacturer Limited Warranty
In all aspects, the function, look and feel of
this unit is the same as the XtendIR-I with one main exception.
This is the completely black array area. On most red flash
cameras and the XtendIR-I, you can see the leds through a clear
glass/acrylic cover. In this case, all you see is a completely
The first test we did with this unit was to
see if it indeed was completely "black". We armed it, hooked
it to a red flash camera first and verified the function (it is
invisible now) by using our handheld point and shoot camera.
We just turn on the handheld and look into the view screen while
moving around in front of our scouting camera. When the camera
array fires we can then see that the XtendIR-B is also firing.
We then moved into a closet with out any light. Using all 3
banks we could not see the illumination even at close distances.
We are confident in this aspect that it does live up to its
marketing literature as being truly black flash.
There are two ways that this unit can
function. One is to hook it up to an existing black flash
camera using the sensor to extend the flash range on the camera.
In this case we are not blocking any of the camera's leds but using
both to illuminate our night shots. Below are the results of
this test or click here to jump there
comparison Tests (preliminary unit)
The second way to use this device is to block
your existing cameras array, except one led and place the sensor
over this led which will then trigger the XtendIR-B. This
would be called a black flash conversion. Click
here to jump to the SG550
Our testing thus far is promising but we see
varying levels of results in the black flash conversion due to
differing sensors used in the cameras. Now that we have the
production version, our goal will be to start converting popular
cameras to black flash and using our flash range as the "view" for
the black flash photos and comparisons. We will also place the
conversions over a corn pile for our resident deer herd's approval.
Note: The unit does accept D cells but the
user manual strongly suggests that the owner use high amp hour
rechargable NiMH D cells or the External SLA battery. Our
testing will be using NiMH 10AH rechargeable D cells unless
otherwise noted. Alkaline batteries are likely to provide
poorer results on this unit. We were told that because of the
high output LEDS a high amperage is required and that the NiMH
batteries do a better job at this than the alkaline batteries.
Also, make sure to read the review on the
XtendIR-I (red flash
IR-7ss Black Flash conversion
comparison Tests (preliminary unit)
gets a new sensor cable with new mounting options
03/12/2010 update (mounting examples using the new sensor)
Spypoint FL-A Conversion Tests
2010 Bushnell TrophyCam XLT Tests
Spypoint IR-C Tests
08/03/2010: This device has an exceptional run and once a
couple of bugs were worked out both the red and black flash versions
have worked very good with certain cameras. We are closing this
review except we will still on occasion show another new camera that
will work well when coupled with these ground breaking devices. The
black flash conversion has certainly surprised a lot of people as to
how good it has worked, even when hooked to existing black flash
01/22/2010 Update: I have had one of
these XtendIR-B for about a week now performing some requested
preliminary testing on a pre-release model. The first thing I can
report is that the black flash technology is invisible. I can not
see it, which is very good news. Preliminary flash range tests on
several models of cameras show flash range out to 50 feet with a usable
range between 30 and 40. Engineers are working on improvements
right now to increase the range on this device when used as a red flash
conversion to black flash. As soon as I receive the shipping model
from the factory, I will perform all the normal testing which should be
soon. There is a new sensor cable design in production to replace
the current shipping sensor cables.
01/22/2010 Leaf River
Black Flash Conversion:
couple weeks have been busy for a couple of the main companies. A
red flash XtendIR was acquired by the good people at Leaf river to
perform tests using their new IR-7ss that has the slide switch to
turn off the main flash. They even adapted a special cable (no word
on availability) from their external port for their own extension
flash to act as an interconnect to the XtendIR which means no
messing around with the sensor cable on the face of the camera.
ATA show both Uway and Leaf River got together and discussed
performance of the XtendIR. At that time Uway presented Leaf River
with the black flash version of their XtendIR and it was taken to
the field by the management that night for testing. The results are
pretty impressive. (see pictures below - tests performed with
appears to be a good friendship growing here and we will wait and
see just how this new relationship develops. Both are quality
companies and their joint effort may produce ideas that will be
adapted by many. It certainly cannot hurt Leaf River by effectively
showing that their 7ss cam is easily adapted and functions quite
well with the black flash Extender. Leaf River reports show the
black flash to be undetectable, which is exactly our own findings on
the units that we are presently testing. New Extender sensor cables
are also in the works and will be available very soon. The world of
black flash is now being extended to another company through the
adaptation of the Uway XtendIR. Now let's see if competition causes
a downward trend in unit price.
The following pics were
taken using the Leaf River IR-7ss with its internal array switched
off. The only illumination is coming from the Uway XtendIR-B.
This setup is completely invisible:
02-19-2010 Update: RC60HO comparison Tests:
We are still waiting on the
final production version of this unit. It has shipped as of
today. When we receive this production unit we will begin
our comparative testing with the unit. In order to satisfy
the requests of a few people I performed a test tonight using
the RC60 with the XtendIR-B. Here is the results.
One pic is RC60 alone and the other is RC60 plus Xtendir-B.
The XtendIR does increase what is already good illumination.
Because of the forest on our flash range we do not really have
an ideal way to test 80 to 100 feet effectively. I stood
in the photos and waved my arms at 40 foot in order to see if
there was a difference in motion blur. All 3 banks are
turned on with the XtendIR-B. I am also using Tynergy 10AH
NiMH D cells in the Xtendir-b as is reccomended in the manual
for optimal performance.
The first set is using the
MAX Range setting on the RC60 which produces better illumination
at the cost of more motion blur.
RC60HO Stand Alone Picture
(click for larger version)
RC60HO plus XtendIR-B (click
for larger version)
This second set of comparisons is using the
Default setting for range
RC60 Stand Alone:
RC60 plus XtendIR-B:
02-24-2010 Update: HCO ScoutGuard
SG550 Black Flash conversion Tests
I now have the production version of the
XtendIR-B and started with tests using the Scoutguard SG550
tonight. Below are Flash range tests and video samples
using all 3 banks on the XtendIR-B. I have the array on
the SG550 completely blocked. I am using the new sensor
cable design as well. This is a completely invisible set
up. Tests show that there is usable flash range out to 60
feet. I have not altered this photo but a quick click of
the old "Im feelin lucky" button in Picasa should clean this
picture up nicely by adding more contrast. The flash range
with the XtendIR-B is better than the original scoutguard on its
own (see our flash
range test page).
We have received the new sensor cable and tested it. It
works and should provide more reliability and mounting options
than the original cable. This new cable is no longer
sensitive to white light and will only be triggered by IR light.
This makes false triggers due to ambient light nearly impossible
as there is also a day/night sensor on top of the XtendIR.
Here are some photos of the new sensor cable and some mounting
techniques for it as well: