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 LibbyLA
#350300
27jr,

The Note 3 is old technology that was released in fall 2013, so almost 4 years old. Yes, older technology cell cams cost what older technology cell phones do, but my point was that the cutting edge phones cost way more than cellular trail cameras do.
User avatar
By llbts12
#350302
I own both 2016 Covert and a Spartan. Both are ATT. Both currently work well.
Covert customer service is pretty good, although I'm not impressed with their tech support. They never return phone calls.
I'm not familiar with Spartan customer service or tech support. I have never had to call them. The few questions I have had, I have a board of experts here to help assist.
Guess which one I would buy if in the market?
User avatar
By 27jr
#350304
Libts12 - Spartan.

Covert - I'd agree on never getting all backs but rate their customer service great whether by phone or chat. I own both 2015 & 2016. The biggest improvement would be the portal since they were using the customers to test and provide feed back, very tedious but looks like they've made some big improvement with now a user account. The cameras look a like comparing to Spartan. Pictures are good and now you can get HD photos at an add cost, password control. Rebbie on here now recommends Covert which is a big step in the right direction. Since he was part of hounding them on issues of the 2017 which got them to make changes. I thank him for his hard work.

Spartan I don't know yet as I haven't open the package and started getting my AT&T no glow read for deer season. The nice feature for security reasons I like is encryption for photo delivery. Now I don't know how it works yet whether it's just for transmitting or both transmitting and on the server or I emailed. I bought the camera because of the reviews and people on this site who know this camera.

Bushnell Aggressor AT&T (2016 I received) which would be just as good if not a little better than Spartan going by what read only of Spartan.. I've never had to call customer service. Sharp clear images, SIM card not needed, GPS is phenomenal (spot on), great portal setup, built in stubby antenna is a concern especially where cellular service is poor and no password hopefully they change those design features.

All in all they all have pros and con's and those are just a few features.
User avatar
By johnnydeerhunter
#350306
Spartan has a team of tech support if you call during normal business hours and also weekend email support if needed. They also have a support forum that can be very useful.

The app is for both Iphone and android.

If using the premium service (which includes the app) Spartan has the option of sending the larger 1280 sized pics rather than the normal 640's so you don't need to request a full sized image often but when you do it's already included cost wise with the premium service. Actually after you have premium there are no additional charges at all. The app is free and you can share your pics with as many people as you want.
User avatar
By LibbyLA
#350308
Not sure what the big deal is about cameras needing or not needing a SIM. The ones that use them come with them. Spartan AT&T comes with one, Snyper AT&T comes with one, don't know about Covert but I'm guessing so. Spartan Verizon, Sprint, and USCC don't use them.

I think the Spartan AT&T can be used on T-Mobile but I'm not sure. Whether or not a camera uses a SIM would not even be on my list of things to consider when choosing a cell cam.
User avatar
By LibbyLA
#350309
27jr,

The first thing you need to do before you start setting your GoCam up is to do a manual firmware update. Just giving you a heads up.

https://spartancamera.com/download

Scroll all the way down. Wish they'd put the FW downloads at the top of the page. Not sure how many people use the encryption feature.
User avatar
By 27jr
#350313
Libby - Agree about the SIM just stating it but if your one who takes SIMs out of cameras or problem with a SIM in need of another one and need to wait for company A to send one.

Why did Spartan due away with SIMs for Verizon and Sprint?

Jonny - thank you for additional info.

I'll be activating the Spartan next month and place the for cameras on the farm.
User avatar
By LibbyLA
#350314
27jr,

There were never SIMs for Spartan Verizon, Sprint, or USCC so they didn't "do away" with them. Those are different cellular technology than AT&T cameras and they are locked to the carrier, unlike the AT&T cams which can also use T-Mobile (again, I think but I've never tried it). I'm geeky, but not geeky enough to care about why some cameras use SIMs and some don't.

For Spartan AT&T cameras, you don't have to wait for the company to send you a SIM if you need a replacement. They use standard SIMs that you can get off ebay or from any AT&T store. Why would you take a SIM out of a camera (unless it was causing problems)? I have actually had to troubleshoot what turned out to be a SIM problem by swapping SIMs between cameras. I don't see SIMs as good or bad, just something that exists.
User avatar
By LibbyLA
#350315
27jr,

Is there any chance you are confusing SIM with SD card? I'm asking because you asked about taking SIMs out and then you seem surprised that some Spartans don't use SIMs. OTOH, maybe you really do mean SIM since you mention waiting for the company to send you one, which you generally don't have to do with either SIM or SD cards.

On the off chance that you really meant SD card, then all Spartans use SD cards. You can swap them out or not. I generally do whenever I change batteries, which is pretty infrequently since all my cell cams are running on external batteries.
User avatar
By 27jr
#350316
Libby -

Thank you for the info and I did mean SIM card for communication with the cellular modem. Unfortunately Covert I think you need a SIM to connect to their portal.

Would be neat to see an unlocked camera on the market. In that functionality you could use any service AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint but probably cost a lot.
User avatar
By LibbyLA
#350317
27jr,

The SIMs are so that the cameras can communicate via cell signal, has nothing to do with portals or anything like that. For whatever reason, GSM (like AT&T) technology uses SIMs, and CDMA (VZW, Sprint, USCC) doesn't. It may be because GSM is the standard throughout most of the world so using SIM cards means that you can travel with your phone and buy a SIM/plan from a local carrier while you are out of the US. Not sure, though.

https://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2407896,00.asp

I don't know what the current Coverts (AT&T or VZW) do or don't use, but if I had to guess, I'd guess that AT&T uses a SIM and VZW doesn't, unless Covert AT&T has inbuilt communications since Covert is locked in to the portal. With Spartan, you can use GoWireless Auto that transmits to text or email, not to the portal and app.

I have heard that it would be very expensive to develop one communication module that would pass certification tests for all (or the main) carriers. Perhaps that is why "unlocked" phones tend to cost a lot more than "locked" phones. People (in general) are willing to pay more for a phone than for a camera.
User avatar
By LibbyLA
#350318
27jr,

Just so you understand that I am not trying to be a contrarian, I would love to see one camera that could be used on any carrier, and I think camera companies would be happy with that, too. They wouldn't have to stock so many different versions/stock numbers and customers wouldn't have to try to figure out which one they need, and if they discover that a carrier doesn't work so well in their area, they could just change carriers. I hope we see it sooner rather than later but I'm not holding my breath.
User avatar
By 27jr
#350319
Libby - yeah and that's right would be expensive unless you wanted something that only worked 50% of the time. I did see in Target today an unlocked phone from BLU for $49.99 this afternoon. As I look at getting away from T-Mobile which doesn't work that good where we live and driving the back roads through Goldsboro MD on 304 to 301. Figured on buying an unlocked cheap phone for 50 dollars and just try each carrier for a month and see which one is better. The farm in P.A. has a new AT&T tower on the mountain by the house but the signal doesn't do so well in all parts maybe booster antennas from Covert will work on the 2 Covert and 1 Spartan. The Bushnell I'll have to move around and see what works best.

Maybe you or someone might know of an app that I can use that will let me check was cellular company signal looks like and the protocol.
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