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External battery solutions - what are the best options

Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:24 am
by Anthony
Cellular cameras need a lot of power. On this we can agree. I have some questions for everyone:

What are the best external battery power options for cellular cameras in the field?

What do you use?

What would you like to have?

What options if available would you likely purchase?

(ie. design the best solution for you here. give us your thoughts.

What type of battery technology would you prefer? Does it have to be rechargeable? Sealed Lead Acid? NiMH? AA ?

What type of battery life do you need before having to visit your cellular camera?
*my testing shows approx 1200 photos uploaded on 12AA batteries on your typical 3G camera. That's 40 pics/day for 30 days. That's 25 pics/day for 48 days. so, if you typically get 4 to 6 weeks battery life, what is more acceptable? 90 days? 180 days?

In another thread we discussed building a lock box to support an SLA in a bottom compartment. I am looking for alternatives here which could be cheaper from a cost and shipping standpoint.

Re: External battery solutions - what are the best options

Posted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 12:51 pm
by bowhtr1
I had some cheap battery boxes that I bought for 4.99 at Harbor Freight. I had a small solar panel bolted to them. Most of the time they were in the shade and I was not getting the benefit from the solar panel.

I have now changed all that with Pelican 1120 cases and no solar panel. I use 12v8ah/20hr batteries for my Reconyx and 6v12ah/20hr batteries for my Spartan Cams. These are the best I could get and fit inside the 1120 case. This is a small case and waterproof.

They have lasted 3 months so far and are still showing full charge. I know I should be going to change out the batteries soon because with the solar panel they lasted about 3.5 months. That was during the heat of the summer, its cooler now. Not sure how much that matters. 3 months on a full charge is what I want to have and so far so good.

The cords I ordered for my Covert cams have worked fine on my Spartans with no rodent issue yet. Keep them off trees with squirrel nest in them. If I start having issues I will be looking for something with a metal jacket on it.

Re: External battery solutions - what are the best options

Posted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 2:20 pm
by Anthony
What if your battery box was the same size, would you rather have a handful of AA rechargeable in it or a single SLA?

Re: External battery solutions - what are the best options

Posted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 5:51 pm
by bowhtr1
Single rechargeable. I'm done with the aa rechargeable batteries. They don't last long enough. Maybe it's just my tenergy batteries but these cheap 12 buck batteries can't be beat for the price. I have two for each cam.

Re: External battery solutions - what are the best options

Posted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 6:43 pm
by Anthony
I have to admit. My Tenergy batteries did not last.

Re: External battery solutions - what are the best options

Posted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 11:20 pm
by Leed1315
Are you using the rechargeable 6v similar to what work on must feeders? Are you using the solar panel with these or just bringing them home and recharging? Do you have to use aa batteries in the camera when using the 6v or just the 6v? I just picked up some Spartan cams and trying to decide on which way to go with batteries.

Re: External battery solutions - what are the best options

Posted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 3:54 pm
by chrishunts
Because my leases are in GA and TX, which equates to a 300 or 1000 mile jaunt, I am looking at a single SLA, with a solar panel to keep the battery from dying.

Re: External battery solutions - what are the best options

Posted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 4:14 pm
by johnnydeerhunter
If you go to the Spartan camera facebook page you can see the video from the ATA show where they talk about the new battery box. You can use a 6v or 12v SLA battery and it regulates it down to a 6v output and has a connection for a solar panel.

Re: External battery solutions - what are the best options

Posted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:53 pm
by rebbie
If you go to the Spartan camera facebook page you can see the video from the ATA show where they talk about the new battery box. You can use a 6v or 12v SLA battery and it regulates it down to a 6v output and has a connection for a solar panel.


That thing looks amazing! A 12V battery with a solar panel could last a really long time!

Re: External battery solutions - what are the best options

Posted: Sat Oct 13, 2018 1:11 pm
by 27jr
I have 6v/12ah/20hr and 12AA energizer lithium batteries inside. The camera died roughly just over 3 months. Both the internal and 6v were dead. Why would that be? Maybe the 6v didn’t hold the charge since last used a year ago. The signal was 40% . I can’t use solar because there is no sun light in the woods where it’s at.

Re: External battery solutions - what are the best options

Posted: Sat Oct 13, 2018 1:25 pm
by johnnydeerhunter
I have 6v/12ah/20hr and 12AA energizer lithium batteries inside. The camera died roughly just over 3 months. Both the internal and 6v were dead. Why would that be? Maybe the 6v didn’t hold the charge since last used a year ago. The signal was 40% . I can’t use solar because there is no sun light in the woods where it’s at.

What camera and how many pictures did it transmit?

Re: External battery solutions - what are the best options

Posted: Sat Oct 13, 2018 2:36 pm
by 27jr
Spartan and covert AT&T 3g. Not even past a 200 photos. Don’t know if the signal strength is the problem or not. My Bushnell cellular 500 photos 3 month showing full power.

BTW it wa just about 2 months and the cameras stopped working. Installed July last photo dated beginning of October.


Disconnected the external battery and installed 12 new AA lithium energizer batteries and back up operating. Will be heading back up to the farm 4.5hrs. from where I live. Will take new 6v rechargeable batteries as backup.

Any idea on why the above happened, would greatly appreciate.

Re: External battery solutions - what are the best options

Posted: Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:37 pm
by Gforce
You won't get any longer run time from a 12v battery with the same Amp hours as you will a 6v battery. Most voltage regulators cut off at 9 votes and have an overhead power requirement to operate. My Spartan AT&T 3g cams usually run about a month taking about 1000 pictures or more pictures a month each, this is with real time on using a 12amp 6v battery, no solar and no internal batteries inside the cam. I just swap out Batteries each month.

Re: External battery solutions - what are the best options

Posted: Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:58 pm
by 27jr
GForce,

Can Spartan and Covert 3G with real-time on work with both lithium AA and 6v/12ah/20hr for longer run time or do you have to have AA rechargeable with external battery? I could of sworn someone used both lithium and external together.

Re: External battery solutions - what are the best options

Posted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 3:05 am
by Gforce
GForce,

Can Spartan and Covert 3G with real-time on work with both lithium AA and 6v/12ah/20hr for longer run time or do you have to have AA rechargeable with external battery? I could of sworn someone used both lithium and external together.


Shouldn't be a problem, 6v is 6v, it's my understanding that the cam will use the internal and the external as one bank and deplete them equally. That has also been my experience, when the external run down the internals are also depleted to the same voltage.