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.
I have several Panda MMS cams running and my cell service is anywhere from 0-5 bars on our property. I find 2-3+ bars the cams send a high % of pics. With 2 bars or less the cam has issues locking in on a tower and sometimes sends pics other times doesn't without a external antenna. I don't use the factory short antennas I bought the longer HCO antenna which is said to increase cell strength around 40% its like $10-$15 shipped on ebay. I also started building my own Cell extended antennas using Wilson Yagi cell antennas/cables/connectors these really increase the cams overall MMS performance. The cameras lock onto a tower much, much faster which in return saves battery power,increases sent picture %%% and you can run cams in areas which can't send pics using the short factory antenna alone. One thing that has suprised me is when adding the yagi antennas I expected the cell bars to jump up 2-3+ bars but that didn't happen. The camera only showed 1-2 bar gain in poor cell areas, but you can tell the cell is really strong to the camera by the cam start up time. When it searches for cell it locks very fast compared to running 10-20 seconds then locking onto cell. You can buying cheaper extended cell antennas for under $50 complete setup but they dont work anywhere near as well as the $100 HCO Yagi or building one yourself around $70-$90.
Same here, I tried the Covert external moblie style antenna while it did seem to help alittle it is not in the class as the Bigger HCO/Yagi style antenna's. Down in some bottom land we have the only way to get a cell MMS pic out has been using the Wilson Yagi style antenna. We normally get 1 bar down there on the Iphone and sometimes that fades in and out but the Panda MMS cams are sending pics very with that external setup without it camera will no lock on cell or send any pics. I did a search for cell towers in my area finding the closest one and it had the FCC MHZ ##'s for my carrier(AT&T). I matched the Wilson Antenna model to the MHZ for best performance.
One of my T-Mobile SIMs is now in my Panda, and it works pretty well. If the Panda can't send a test pic from a particular location, then I know my Ltl-5210M with a T-Mo SIM probably isn't going to do anything, either.
Just got the CamLockBox for the Panda today, so I can do some experiments with the Custom1 camo sheets that arrived earlier in the week.