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.
User avatar
By mattpatt
#343189
Wanted to build a new one for my 2016 Covert Code Black 12.0. Here's a few pics..

Solar panel is a 6V Wildgame solar panel you can get from pretty much any outdoor store such as Cabelas, Bass Pro, Academy, etc. Purchased battery off of ebay. It is a 6v 7Ah SLA. I usually use at least 12Ah batteries in all my external packs but decided to see if a 7Ah battery would work just as good. With all my other solar panel packs I can run the cams indefinitely on the externals and not have to worry about batteries.. ever. The plug that goes into the camera is a 4.0x1.7mm straight dc cable that I picked up on ebay. I do like the new design of the 2016 Code Black's case as you can now open the cam door without having to unplug the external battery cable. Box is a plastic Plano ammo can I picked up for $4 at my local farm and ranch store. They run these on sale from time to time and I always pick up a couple if I notice they're on sale. The wire running from the battery is a indoor\outdoor rated 6' extension cord with the ends cut off that I picked up from the Dollar Store.

In the final pic you'll see the rechargeable batteries in the cam. In fact, this was one of the more expensive things I had to buy for this project. Never run a external battery pack without rechargeables in the cam. Apparently there is no blocking diode present inside the cam to prevent current feedback into the AA batteries inside. If you put regular batteries in there they will eventually heat up and could explode. In the old 2014s and earlier you could run regular AAs but not in the 2015s and 2016s.

Also another nice feature I noticed on the 2016 is that just to the right of the sticker at the bottom of the batteries inside the cam is a small pin hole. There is a tiny LED in there that will light up when the externals are plugged in. Look at the last pic in my post and you'll see it.

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Matt
Last edited by mattpatt on Mon Apr 25, 2016 9:57 am, edited 4 times in total.
#343210
Nice Matt. I personally like the way the internals aren't protected from the external power source since that's the way we run the homebrews but I can see major problems with the casual user.
User avatar
By mattpatt
#343406
Finished my last battery pack. Did this one a little differently. Purchased a 6v 333ma fully encapsulated solar cell off of eBay. Made a mounting plate and bracket on my 3D printer. There was no blocking diode on solar cell so I installed one myself. I had a 1N5817 laying around so I used that. It's rated at 1A so should be good. The blocking diode keeps the solar panel from drawing current off of the battery at night. Also used a 6v 12aH SLA this time.

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Matt
#343414
I think as long as you use the 333mah panel you would be ok using the small 4.5ah battery. Each full day of sun will put many days of camera use back in the battery. Which is why I am playing with the 866mah panel and figuring out charge controllers.
User avatar
By mattpatt
#343474
I may try one of the smaller batteries if I ever build another one.
User avatar
By Kane
#343493
Nice work. I was tossing around the idea of making an external pack for an old Stealth Cam I have, it has a 12v external port. Instead of using an SLA I am going to try using a lithium polymer 3S pack, I have several of these packs that I use because I fly R/C airplanes. The li-po packs are quite small and easy to carry, and they can be recharged much faster than an SLA, I charge them right off the main battery of my truck with the correct charger...charge time varies from 10-45 mins.
User avatar
By meyerske
#344216
Guys, I'm not an electrical guru, so please help me out here. If I want a simple setup for my 2015 Code Black, what AA batteries (specs) should I buy, what SLA (specs) battery should I buy and what solar panel should I buy? I'm just going to buy the Covert cable for this and avoid making my own. Thanks!!!
User avatar
By 27jr
#344481
Wanted to build a new one for my 2016 Covert Code Black 12.0. Here's a few pics..

Solar panel is a 6V Wildgame solar panel you can get from pretty much any outdoor store such as Cabelas, Bass Pro, Academy, etc. Purchased battery off of ebay. It is a 6v 7Ah SLA. I usually use at least 12Ah batteries in all my external packs but decided to see if a 7Ah battery would work just as good. With all my other solar panel packs I can run the cams indefinitely on the externals and not have to worry about batteries.. ever. The plug that goes into the camera is a 4.0x1.7mm straight dc cable that I picked up on ebay. I do like the new design of the 2016 Code Black's case as you can now open the cam door without having to unplug the external battery cable. Box is a plastic Plano ammo can I picked up for $4 at my local farm and ranch store. They run these on sale from time to time and I always pick up a couple if I notice they're on sale. The wire running from the battery is a indoor\outdoor rated 6' extension cord with the ends cut off that I picked up from the Dollar Store.

In the final pic you'll see the rechargeable batteries in the cam. In fact, this was one of the more expensive things I had to buy for this project. Never run a external battery pack without rechargeables in the cam. Apparently there is no blocking diode present inside the cam to prevent current feedback into the AA batteries inside. If you put regular batteries in there they will eventually heat up and could explode. In the old 2014s and earlier you could run regular AAs but not in the 2015s and 2016s.

Also another nice feature I noticed on the 2016 is that just to the right of the sticker at the bottom of the batteries inside the cam is a small pin hole. There is a tiny LED in there that will light up when the externals are plugged in. Look at the last pic in my post and you'll see it.

Image

Image

Image

Matt


That's a 2016, what a difference from 2015 with that big plastic latch vice the 2 small ones, battery compartment is fully open vice the plastic tubes.

I updated one of my 2015's and use only the covert solar panel and everything has been operating O.K. will look into putting into the woods soon. The other 2015 I'll leave it on MMS for now but I have received the SIM to upgrade. The solar panel worked great for the 2015's but never saw the internal rechargeable batteries being charged as they would die but the camera continue to operate for months until pulled after deer season.
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