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 was under the impression that the external battery would be primary until it’s weaker than the internal batteries then the internal batteries would take over.

There is a circuit board in the Battery compartment and it may switch back and forth but the affects would be the same. I would guess they didn't get that complicated with the circuitry. I know the internal battery compartment is setup with three banks, the cam can run on 4,8 or12 Batteries. you can put batteries in the first, second, or third bank with the other banks empty and the cam will run. You can run with no internal batteries and just the external battery and the cam will run. I'm guessing the cam sees the external battery as just another Bank. Also you can't charge the internal batteries in the cam, my guess is there is a blocking diode in the circuitry to Guard against feed back and allow the current to flow only one way.
i would guess because alkaline battery have the undesirable effect of corroding when discharged or over time. The external Battery would extend the time one checks on their cams. Sometimes I have went 6 months before changing out the internals to my great regret, I have 2 cams lost to corrosion, that's the reason I only run the cams on external batteries now.
I run 6v 36ah batteries inside of ammo cans.
my cams don't get thousands of pics a month. i'd have to do a count the next time i check a busy one.
but...i've found here in WIsconsin, with the temps swinging all over... these batteries will last me more than a year on a charge.

i do need to seal them up better... as ants are common problem (don't affect the battery, just fun to clean out). Also... remembering to leave everything set in such a way that the power cord basically doesn't act as a funnel or guide for rain water to stream into the box.

honestly with battery boxes, i'm more concerned about either making power cords super cheap so when they get wrecked, they are quick and cheap to replace.... or they have to be bulletproof armored... so when a bear swipes on them, deer or squirrel nibble, they're not shot.
Why do they state only rechargeable inside when utilizing external battery?

I use only rechargeables internally with external setup because rechargeables are lower voltage, which means the camera pulls from the external first. When I start seeing P3, I know it's time to think about changing the batteries, which I do the next time I can get to the cameras. Since I'm using rechargeables internally and externally, I don't have to eke every last little bit of power out of them. I change them the next opportunity I have, which is usually before they die.

I have heard of people using lithiums internally with an external and it working fine, but I've also heard of the lithiums dying but the external not being used. Plus, lithiums are expensive. The reason for not using alkalines has already been posted.
On the Ridgetec Lookout, the circuits will select and drain both internal and external when connected. The external does NOT charge the internal. Like was said, we don't want fires or melt downs. the good news is that the internal batteries will combine with the external overall and run the camera until both are dead. it automatically selects the input with the higher voltage.

The external port is 12V on Lookout.
I talked to Covert customer service today. The person stated that having rechargeable AA internal and having an external battery would change those rechargeable batteries. Did have a chance to talk to Spartan. Also having lithium AA with an external battery would ruin the camera. I know that isn’t true. I had that combination and disconnect the external and replaced the lithium batteries with new ones and camera works great and so does the Spartan.
Anthony is that also for CovertWireless and Spartan?

I can't speak for those cameras. please have Johnny answer this one for Spartan. I am not sure who will answer on behalf of Covert.
Anthony is that also for CovertWireless and Spartan?

The way Anthony describes how the batteries work is the same for Spartan. Camera switches between internal and external (whichever is higher voltage), internals are NOT charged no matter what type of internals are used.
Thank you all for the clarification. Libby Johnny and others, what’s the reasoning behind putting lithium AA with external battery?

Is there any reason to put internal batteries if you’re going to an external 6v/12ah/20hr battery.

I was happy today when a camera started sending photos today. The reason is my sister wanted to replace batteries in one of the cameras either Spartan or Covert. She said in setup mode the AT&T symbol showed up with one bar but never said connecting to portal. She the put it on run and I didn’t receive any photos till this afternoon and evening. I guess one the cellular signal got strong enough the camera logged in.

Very nice and earlier software version never did that before. You have to manually reset the camera.
Thank you all for the clarification. Libby Johnny and others, what’s the reasoning behind putting lithium AA with external battery?

Is there any reason to put internal batteries if you’re going to an external 6v/12ah/20hr battery.

If you don't have any batteries in the camera and it gets unplugged then the camera won't work at all, it's a nice safety back up. Also with having batteries in the camera (at least 4) you can turn the camera to setup and take and send a manual picture, after that sends you turn the camera to on and plug in the external.

A few people are running lithium in the camera with an external and having success but I don't do that. I have seen where the higher voltage of the lithium batteries keeps the camera from using the external, the lithium can be dead where most batteries voltage wise still have power so the external is never used because the dead lithium still have a higher voltage then the external SLA
The good news is you can run the Spartan without internal batteries, simply unhook the old discharge external battery and hook up a new charged external battery and the cam will reboot and start taking pictures again, you don't even have to mess with the cam.

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