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#5912679 - 09/04/15 04:33 AM Cellular Game Cams
titan2232 Online   content
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 12/29/14
Posts: 3018
Loc: Conroe, TX
Where to start...

I've done roughly 3 hours of research last night on all different models and man I gotta say some of the reviews are depressing. I need to know EVERYTHING you know about these cameras. (any brand good and bad) A couple key questions are:

1.) Do these cameras receive a stronger/weaker/same signal than a cell phone? I have a few signal bars on my cell phone at my intended location, but not certain how much signal I need?

2.) Does an added antenna make much of a difference?

3.) Can the delay times be set for 1,2,5 minute intervals as normal game cameras?

4.) I'd rather not get texts/emails every single time this thing takes pictures. Do any brands have the capability to send all the captured pictures for a given period at one specified time?

5.) Can I expect 3-4 month battery life with good rechargeables and a solar panel? (I average 2K pics a month with a 2 minute delay)

Please give me any and all info you may have as one of these cameras would be quite effective being 6 hours from the ranch.

Thanks
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#5912753 - 09/04/15 07:01 AM Re: Cellular Game Cams [Re: titan2232]
Cast Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/14/08
Posts: 14901
Loc: North Texas - God's Country
Originally Posted By: titan2232
Where to start...

I've done roughly 3 hours of research last night on all different models and man I gotta say some of the reviews are depressing. I need to know EVERYTHING you know about these cameras. (any brand good and bad) A couple key questions are:

1.) Do these cameras receive a stronger/weaker/same signal than a cell phone? I have a few signal bars on my cell phone at my intended location, but not certain how much signal I need?

The Covert has an external antenna. It will receive at least as well as your (AT&T) phone.

2.) Does an added antenna make much of a difference?

Yes. Covert offers a external antenna that can be raised a bit. Antenna height can make a difference.

3.) Can the delay times be set for 1,2,5 minute intervals as normal game cameras
Yes

4.) I'd rather not get texts/emails every single time this thing takes pictures. Do any brands have the capability to send all the captured pictures for a given period at one specified time?

The Covert will txt or email every pic or no pics. No schedule exists. Silence your phone for its messages or it'll make you crazy.

5.) Can I expect 3-4 month battery life with good rechargeables and a solar panel? (I average 2K pics a month with a 2 minute delay)

I run external battery pack and solar panel. It will run forever when set up properly. Protect it from cows.

Please give me any and all info you may have as one of these cameras would be quite effective being 6 hours from the ranch.youll end up with more than one. Use an old dumb phone to get it working.

Take phone in get working take out sim put in cam. Done. I

Thanks






Edited by Cast (09/04/15 07:03 AM)
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Cast



I have a short attention spa

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#5912795 - 09/04/15 07:52 AM Re: Cellular Game Cams [Re: titan2232]
Tru2lifetaxidermy Online   happy
Bird Dog

Registered: 01/25/15
Posts: 332
I have the covert 3G and love it.

Covert runs off att so depends on your cell carrier. I have a Verizon phone and camera uses att and no problems.

I have not needed an extended camera

Covert does have different times settings as well as daily updates if you don't want the pics each and every time

I am on my 3rd year with a six volt battery and solar and it is as strong as day one

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#5913381 - 09/04/15 02:07 PM Re: Cellular Game Cams [Re: titan2232]
Zach S Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 08/29/14
Posts: 154
Loc: Mason, Gatesville, Round Rock
I now have 3 of the Spartan cams and I have come to really like them. I was wary at first of any cell cam and all but they do a nice job. I get pics to my email or text or I can view them through the cell app. I can control all the settings from my phone and can program it to be shut off during certain hours of the day to conserve battery. It can run off solar though I haven't done so yet.

The only negative so far for me is the slow shutter speed but even then I like what I have seen and if it matters at all, it gets higher ratings than Coverts. They are more expensive than coverts though i believe.

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#5913386 - 09/04/15 02:12 PM Re: Cellular Game Cams [Re: titan2232]
Cast Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/14/08
Posts: 14901
Loc: North Texas - God's Country
I would like to have more control of my Coverts via text message. I have very limited access via text.
_________________________
Cast



I have a short attention spa

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#5913390 - 09/04/15 02:15 PM Re: Cellular Game Cams [Re: titan2232]
Zach S Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 08/29/14
Posts: 154
Loc: Mason, Gatesville, Round Rock
To answer OP questions specific to the Spartan:

1) you need 2-3 bars of 3G service (doesn't need to be LTE)
2) Spartan comes with a nice antenna but I have never tested a covert so I can't compare.
3) yes, you can set times and a ton of other settings (sensitivity, hours on, strength of flash, etc)
4) you can set up the camera so it sends all pics to your cell phone app, or you can set it up so it does a once a day send to email/phone from what I read on the booklet. The app is nice though as you get thumbnails but can request the HD version of it, as well as delete the pic. My buddy set up a new email though as he wanted all of his pics as they happened and that seemed to work as well. Usually the pic arrived within 45 seconds of being taken.
5) so far batteries for me have last 2 months and still working. My guess is that 3 months will be maximum. I do want to set up solar eventually but have not had the time to do so.

As the other poster said, it does become addictive having them (how I ended up with 3). I live 2 hours from our place and 1 1/2 hours from my dads and it is nice to have the features.

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#5913521 - 09/04/15 03:43 PM Re: Cellular Game Cams [Re: titan2232]
Curtis Online   happy
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 7662
Loc: Gonzales, Texas
With regards to the Covert:
You can get it for Verizon or ATT.

If your cell phone can get a signal, the camera should too. You can get a booster for it, as well as a solar panel, replacement antenna, and other things. Yes the booster does make a little difference to get a reception but that really depends on terrain and location. It an antenna with a 10' cord and you just mount it higher or in a different spot to get a signal.

Yes you can set trigger delay. You can also set a time lapse. You can also set any particular time period of the day or night you want it to run. If you only wanted it to run from 5 am to noon, you could set it to do that. Just an example.

It needs about 1 minute between pictures that are taken to send it to your phone or email. The book says 30 seconds, I had better success with 1 min. It can send to either one, or both, or send one picture of the last one taken in the run time given, along with a report of how many pictures its taken in that last run period.
There is also a setting where you can have it only send you so many pics in a day. Say you wanted only 30 pictures a day. It would still continue to take pics, but only send you the first 30 that it took. The rest are saved on the card.
The camera can also be set to overwrite the card when its full.

I have two on 12 AA batteries each, and over 2800 pics in about two weeks. The batteries are still going strong.
Your battery life will be determined by what your settings are on it. I have not had to change the batteries out yet. The camera can run on less than 12 AA batteries, but running it on 12 makes it last longer. This is with NO solar panel.

The ATT trail cam comes with a sim card that is specific for use with ATT buyasession plan. It's $25 for three months per camera. I looked into getting mine set up on my ATT account, but its actually more expensive and the sim cards they send to you or that you get from the store will not work. Use the sim card that comes with the camera.


I have not recieved any run-away pics. I do get some pictures where something has walked by too fast. It's not the trigger speed more than it is the set up location of the camera. Preferably I like to have them set up facing a direction down the trail to the feeder. So when a deer walks by fast, I get a pic of its butt sometimes. I just learned to position the camera better and I have no problems.

I would recommend keeping the camera on 5mp and no higher. The pics it sends to you are highly compressed down to 60kb. This can be changed with the download tool that you get from off the covert site. I think its up to 400kb. It makes a bit of difference, but keep in mind thats more data its sending and it just uses up more of your data aloted in your plan. I changed mine up to 300kb before I saw a noticeable difference.


There is a burst setting. 1-3. The camera will send only the first one.
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Whitetail-Axis-Blackbuck-Fallow-Barasingha-Scimitar Oryx
Located in Gonzales County.
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#5913775 - 09/04/15 07:33 PM Re: Cellular Game Cams [Re: titan2232]
titan2232 Online   content
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 12/29/14
Posts: 3018
Loc: Conroe, TX
Some really good info guys and sounds a lot more promising compared to what I was reading online. I like the idea of having the app to just go and view pictures instead of scrolling through 1000's of texts or emails.

Just adding a line to my current AT&T plan is what I was planning on since I have unlimited texts, but it sounds like that may not be the best way.

Thanks guys
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#5914337 - 09/05/15 11:32 AM Re: Cellular Game Cams [Re: titan2232]
TXHogger Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 1809
Loc: SW Arlington
Curtis,

where is this?

The ATT trail cam comes with a sim card that is specific for use with ATT buyasession plan. It's $25 for three months per camera. I looked into getting mine set up on my ATT account, but its actually more expensive and the sim cards they send to you or that you get from the store will not work. Use the sim card that comes with the camera.


I have two Covert Black Ops that have been out of commission for 6 months. Went to renew my 10/month - 999 messages and freaking ATT dumped that plan. It is like 30/month now and they throw in crap I don't need. Man I hate ATT. Now only option I can think of is to add these to my existing plan @ 15/month but that is still more than I wanted to do. At least then it is on my unlimited messaging plan.

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#5914714 - 09/05/15 08:08 PM Re: Cellular Game Cams [Re: Curtis]
CharlieCTx Online   content
Tracker

Registered: 05/27/13
Posts: 777
Loc: Flower Mound, TX
Originally Posted By: Curtis
You can get it for Verizon or ATT.


Sorry, but this is not correct. Covert uses GSM which AT&T and T-Mobile use. Sprint and Verizon are CDMA.

Charlie

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#5914726 - 09/05/15 08:25 PM Re: Cellular Game Cams [Re: titan2232]
Tru2lifetaxidermy Online   happy
Bird Dog

Registered: 01/25/15
Posts: 332
Correct. You will have to get an att SIM card but your phone provider does not matter

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#5914734 - 09/05/15 08:30 PM Re: Cellular Game Cams [Re: titan2232]
tlk Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 07/25/13
Posts: 1986
Correct me if wrong. Don't all pics. Come via individual email or text? If so how do you go through thousands of oics that way?
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You can't fix stupid

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#5914876 - 09/05/15 10:45 PM Re: Cellular Game Cams [Re: TXHogger]
Espy Online   content
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 11/08/07
Posts: 2512
Loc: Eddy TX.
Originally Posted By: TXHogger
Curtis,

where is this?

The ATT trail cam comes with a sim card that is specific for use with ATT buyasession plan. It's $25 for three months per camera. I looked into getting mine set up on my ATT account, but its actually more expensive and the sim cards they send to you or that you get from the store will not work. Use the sim card that comes with the camera.


I have two Covert Black Ops that have been out of commission for 6 months. Went to renew my 10/month - 999 messages and freaking ATT dumped that plan. It is like 30/month now and they throw in crap I don't need. Man I hate ATT. Now only option I can think of is to add these to my existing plan @ 15/month but that is still more than I wanted to do. At least then it is on my unlimited messaging plan.


Txhogger I am on the 1000 texts for 10 dollars a month with the go phone plan. they still carry the plan you just have to call them and speak to a human.
very happy with my covert.
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#5914927 - 09/05/15 11:49 PM Re: Cellular Game Cams [Re: Tru2lifetaxidermy]
CharlieCTx Online   content
Tracker

Registered: 05/27/13
Posts: 777
Loc: Flower Mound, TX
Originally Posted By: Tru2lifetaxidermy
Correct. You will have to get an att SIM card but your phone provider does not matter


Sorry, not correct... You can use either AT&T or T-Mobile.

Originally Posted By: tlk
Correct me if wrong. Don't all pics. Come via individual email or text? If so how do you go through thousands of oics that way?


They are sent via text, either individually or timed batch as mentioned before. It's key to set the time difference between pics to something longer than 5 seconds, otherwise your phone never stops vibrating when the feeder goes off. wink

Charlie

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#5914972 - 09/06/15 05:30 AM Re: Cellular Game Cams [Re: titan2232]
TXHogger Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 1809
Loc: SW Arlington
i went up there twice yesterday and was online with another agent. it exists for grandfathered devices but not for new. i wish i was wrong

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