Use this forum for the discussion of all things related to the use of cellular trail cameras. The discussion of different models/manufacturers, service providers, problems, tips & hints for ease of use are all welcome here.
By vzretiree
#224545
Hello from Southern Ohio. Long time trail camera guy who is just now trying mms with a new um562. Living in remote hill country with borderline cell signal. Being retired VZ engineer, it hurt a little to have to go AT&T, but not interested in a $1000 camera. ( already have Buckeye cam ). I was wondering if someone could help me with the um562 cell reception before I start thrashing with a first time setup and not knowing what the problem is. One idea I was considering since I am vz cell phone user, is to take an old cell and put my new go phone sim card in it at the camera site to test for AT&T signal. Any suggestions on signal would be appreciated.
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By RR_Security
#224550
Welcome to CG.
The make and model of the phone will help one or more of our Mad Scientists here tell you how to get the phone into field test mode, so you can see what the actual dBm is. (Excuse me if I mix up the terminology, but I'm not an engineer. I have worked as a conductor, but that's another story. :lol: )

I think you'll find all kinds of good (better) answers here.
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By hogdeer79
#224588
To be honest I think it is one of those things where a phone and the camera might get different signal strength. My buddy got good signal with his ATT Iphone where I wanted to put the cam but the cam would never pick up enough signal to work. Had to move my cam to a different area about a mile and a half away for it to work. Looking at the maps of the cell service doesn't really mean everything either. On the ATT map it shows that I should of got cell service in the area I wanted to put the cam but it wouldn't even work there. The area that the map showed no cell service was where my cam worked. So the maps aren't always right either. My best advice is to just use the cam to see if it gets the signal, if it doesn't move on to a different area where it will work. I was kind of bummed that my UM562 would not work where I really wanted it but I just put it in a different area where it would.
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By C.A.M.O.
#224589
Welcome vzretiree to the forum, Enjoy!

hogdeer79 just gave you very good information here, it's just one of those things for right now.
But the technology is moving very fast with Game cameras.

Rick! :D
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By Ol Arky
#224595
I set my MMS camera at a different location because of lack of signal too... I may move it this fall after deer season since there is a new tower in the neighborhood.... :D :D
By vzretiree
#224880
This thing works well in my house where I have 3 bars. Received text in about one minute. Email came thru about a minute later. Had it set on 3 burst mode......Which from my texts, I gather that only one gets transmitted, while 3 go on the sd card. I would prefer to get sent them all when in a true trail camera setup, not a baited site. This sure looks like a bushnell trophy cam, right down to the moronic battery plug where you can't shut the door. At least with this one you don't lose your time stamp unplugging the batt to close it up. Oh. And att can ONLY text you the account password to your new go phone number. Uh? It never occurred to them that someone would buy a go phone card and not have a phone. I may pick up a cheap att phone as a backup if Verizon goes down. So far the snafus have been minimal. Time will tell how she works out in the boonies.
By vzretiree
#224883
On the external battery. Is it safe to plug in the batt with the camera in the on position, which is required given the plug location?
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By RR_Security
#224886
I'm not an AT&T or T-Mobile customer except for the SIMs for my cams. Either company will probably give you a password on the spot, if you buy the SIM at the phone store. I think at least once the person assisting me at the AT&T store asked me what numbers I wanted for the PIN, and set it up right then and there. (I knew to ask about that because of those CG members who bought MMS cams before I did, and mentioned such things here.) If the phone store person just gets a random PIN texted to a spare phone that they have handy, write it on your register receipt and change it when you get home and log in.

My T-Mobile passwords have always been a letter/number combination, set up by the guy at the store. I messed the first one up a few months ago, and had to get a new one. (The T-Mo guy wrote it down for me, but I thought I had already changed it to something of my own. After I messed with it for awhile, the account got locked. My duh.) Once I get logged in, I could change it, but the one he came up with is quite secure and easy for me to remember. When I bought the second T-Mo SIM, it got the same password. 8)

Re the external battery question, I'd have to say yes, it's safe, or that would be a major design flaw. Image Image
I've been running mine on a 6V external with 12 AA's as backup for awhile, and it hasn't seemed to hurt it. I switch it on, stuff it in the case, plug it in, and hope it doesn't send too many pics of me trying to get the case locked up. I'm assuming it's another one of the cams that have parallel, isolated circuits for the internal and external sources, and the cam just selects whichever is the strongest source.
By vzretiree
#224892
I asked the clerk to put my card in one of their phones and retrieve the password. "no can do, switching phones can lock up the card".
She was quite blond.
By vzretiree
#225024
Okay, I lied about the time being saved when unplugging external battery. It lingered for a while then was gone. So to be safe you need internal batteries with an external. Did some testing and found no voltage on the internal battery tray with an external battery plugged in. So it would be okay to use any type of internal battery with an external.
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By RR_Security
#225051
Okay, I lied about the time being saved when unplugging external battery. It lingered for a while then was gone. So to be safe you need internal batteries with an external.
Now I'm wondering if that's how the time setting got messed up on my UM562. I had a hard time plugging the battery cable back in one time, and maybe that caused a "blip," even with the internal batteries in place.

Did some testing and found no voltage on the internal battery tray with an external battery plugged in. So it would be okay to use any type of internal battery with an external.
There are some cams that can't have internal and external going at the same time, and it's probably mentioned in their user manual. I think the parallel circuits are the best way.

Something I noticed more with the Code Black, but I think could happen with the UM562 as well, is how the lower row of AA's can get knocked out of contact. It seems to be just the middle pair that pop loose, so there's probably still some power remaining, but not as much. If the door can be closed with it in place, I'm tempted to put a strip of Velcro loop across between adhesive hook pieces on the sides. Maybe something as thin as the Velcro, but more rigid.
It's annoyin' when the batteries fly all over.
By vzretiree
#225120
Okay, I lied about the time being saved when unplugging external battery. It lingered for a while then was gone. So to be safe you need internal batteries with an external.
Now I'm wondering if that's how the time setting got messed up on my UM562. I had a hard time plugging the battery cable back in one time, and maybe that caused a "blip," even with the internal batteries in place.

Did some testing and found no voltage on the internal battery tray with an external battery plugged in. So it would be okay to use any type of internal battery with an external.
There are some cams that can't have internal and external going at the same time, and it's probably mentioned in their user manual. I think the parallel circuits are the best way.

Something I noticed more with the Code Black, but I think could happen with the UM562 as well, is how the lower row of AA's can get knocked out of contact. It seems to be just the middle pair that pop loose, so there's probably still some power remaining, but not as much. If the door can be closed with it in place, I'm tempted to put a strip of Velcro loop across between adhesive hook pieces on the sides. Maybe something as thin as the Velcro, but more rigid.
It's annoyin' when the batteries fly all over.


Same as the trophy cam. Needs a door to keep the batteries in place.
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By RR_Security
#225133
Same as the trophy cam. Needs a door to keep the batteries in place.
Yeah, that's another one. After I'd had my first BTC for awhile, I learned to roll my fingers over the batteries before closing the door, and make sure all eight were right where they should be.
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By RR_Security
#225191
Do you mean it actually sends pics on one bar? :o

I need to put a different SIM in mine and go out and try it in various places. It still appears to be connecting, often with three or more bars, but always gives me that "Network busy" story when I try to transmit a pic. Covert CS offered to exchange it, but I want to rule out any "outside problems" first.
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Very Nice!