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Cuddeback Cuddelink Home Base Plus Question #8494536 01/04/22 03:34 AM
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Phlash Offline OP
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I got a starter pack of J series cameras (non-cellular) for Christmas, that I want to tie back to a PC at the cabin. I understand that this can be done using a Cuddelink Home Base Plus 1385 unit. Has anyone here on THF done this and what software are you using?

Re: Cuddeback Cuddelink Home Base Plus Question [Re: Phlash] #8495114 01/04/22 08:55 PM
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I have a Cudde setup... I think you're confusing the Home Base function when you say "tie back to a PC". It's a consolidation point for other cameras (can be a repeater as well), to then transmit/access those pics via the Cudde cell plan. It's not a WiFi access point. If you have WiFi of some kind with your cabin PC, you could certainly access the Home Base via Cudde's service.

https://www.cuddeback.com/cell-intro

That answer your question?

Charlie


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Re: Cuddeback Cuddelink Home Base Plus Question [Re: Phlash] #8495185 01/04/22 10:34 PM
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Phlash Offline OP
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The cuddeback manual shows that if you use a cuddeback cuddelink Home Base Plus unit model 1385 that doesn't have a camera can be connected to a PC via a USB cable using Cuddeback's Trophy Room software. The manual says to download their software from their website. I can't find it on their website. The Hombase Plus unit can be used as a repeater and as the final collection point in the communication chain without the additional cost of a camera. I am hoping to put this unit in our barn where I don't need a camera, but I do have internet. I'm hoping a forum member has experience with one. I have sent Cuddeback an email, but haven't had a response back yet.

Re: Cuddeback Cuddelink Home Base Plus Question [Re: Phlash] #8495219 01/04/22 11:28 PM
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I have (2) cameras and the 1385 home base in use, so I understand how it all works...

The 1385 can never be a camera it is only a communication device. You can have a camera also act as the communication device.

There is a USB port, I've never used it as you do all your FW updates via SD card and configuration of the camera directly. The 1385 Home Base collects images on a SD card before transmission out.

Trophy Room was their photo organizing SW you used after getting the pic's off of a camera. It doesn't access the 1385.

You cannot access a 1385 via WiFi, it is only done via their cell offering I posted earlier.

If your cameras are able to be picked up by the 1385, then your PC would connect via WiFi to Cudde over the internet, to get your pics. Internet in the barn means nothing in this scenario, it needs cell service.

You will also want solar panels as they are battery chewing pigs even though it's D-cells, camera and Home Base.

Charlie


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M&P-10 + AAC Cyclone
Remy 700 + Leupold VX3 3.5x10x50 CDS
Re: Cuddeback Cuddelink Home Base Plus Question [Re: Phlash] #8495387 01/05/22 02:57 AM
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Charlie, thanks for your response. From the limited info I have been able to accumulate from Cuddeback, I understand that the computer can download the sd card that is in the 1385 via the USB cable. Once you do that, then you can transfer the pics through email, or put them up to a cloud account from your PC. I am fairly computer literate, but I haven't bought a 1385 yet. I was hoping to download their software first and see how it can be configured. I figured someone on the forum might have tried this

Phlash

Re: Cuddeback Cuddelink Home Base Plus Question [Re: Phlash] #8495448 01/05/22 04:39 AM
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Why would you go through the trouble of removing/bringing the 1385 to a computer to retrieve pictures on a SD card, when you can remove the SD card from the 1385 itself? There is zero reason to use the USB port. The SD card is your interface to the device.

There is no software from Cudde to use on any of this, which is why you see nothing to download except firmware.

I’m sorry, but you are not understanding how it all works. Get the latest model of their solar panels.

Good luck my friend,
Charlie


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M&P-10 + AAC Cyclone
Remy 700 + Leupold VX3 3.5x10x50 CDS
Re: Cuddeback Cuddelink Home Base Plus Question [Re: Phlash] #8495743 01/05/22 05:11 PM
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Thanks for your insight. My intention is to mount the 1385 on the barn and have it cabled up to a PC with internet service. Cuddeback says in their literature that you can download the 1385 using their software. I hope to then upload those photos to the cloud for remote viewing without a cellular plan. Our cell service stinks at our place. I ordered a 1385 last night and will try this configuration at home.

Re: Cuddeback Cuddelink Home Base Plus Question [Re: Phlash] #8496987 01/06/22 11:36 PM
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I'd love to hear how this works out. We have basically same situation, we'd have to link a camera system to the camp wirelessly, then could connect the system to the PC/internet; it would beat the cellular costs, and the SD card removal ; best of both worlds if you can make it work.

I'm also looking at adding a weather station and a webcam at camp, end it thru weather underground, and get real time weather and pics from camp.

Re: Cuddeback Cuddelink Home Base Plus Question [Re: Phlash] #8498193 01/08/22 02:51 AM
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I will update this thread as I make various attempts.

I have a Windows based PC to try a few things to automatically transfer pics to it. I ordered and have already received a Cuddelink Home Plus unit. I initially hooked up a USB cable to it. With the Home Plus unit with batteries in it but turn off, the display shows USB, but the PC can never connect when off or armed. I had emailed Cuddeback about how to make this connection work. They responded this afternoon. Here is their response: "We had discussed the ability to connect directly to a PC, but that never came into reality. That is not a function that’s available. We no longer operate or support Trophy Room either so the application is not available/will no longer work properly." You would have thought that they would have proven their software before putting it in the operating manual. I have now ordered a wifi SD card to see if I can push pictures to the PC automatically. This may take a couple of weeks before my wifi card arrives

Re: Cuddeback Cuddelink Home Base Plus Question [Re: Phlash] #8500313 01/10/22 07:04 PM
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Good info.

So the end benefit of the Cuddeback system is the ability to download photos from multiple cameras using just a single cell plan via a central communication device.

Last edited by Texas Dan; 01/10/22 07:05 PM.

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Re: Cuddeback Cuddelink Home Base Plus Question [Re: Texas Dan] #8500692 01/11/22 01:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Texas Dan
So the end benefit of the Cuddeback system is the ability to download photos from multiple cameras using just a single cell plan via a central communication device.


Yes, just not the way the OP is trying to do it.

Charlie


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Re: Cuddeback Cuddelink Home Base Plus Question [Re: Phlash] #8500715 01/11/22 02:20 AM
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Charlie is right. I want to mount the Home Plus unit on my barn where I have internet service, but very poor Cell service. Once I can get the pics on the PC, I can send them to a cloud service. Cuddeback first showed this configuration using the USB port but some time later they changed course and went the cellular route. Attached is a pic of my Cuddeback Operating Manual. They got caught up making money with selling cellular plans instead of moving forward with allowing PC and laptop downloads.

Attached Files 20220110_201323.jpg
Cuddelink Home Base Plus Question - Update [Re: Phlash] #8565400 03/27/22 01:55 AM
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I asked a while back if anyone had been able to connect their Cuddeback Home Plus unit to their computer using the USB port located at the bottom, just next to the SD card.  The literature showed this was a feature of the Cuddeback Cuddelink Home Plus unit.  However, after playing around with their unit, the computer couldn't connect to it.  I emailed them and they responded saying I had an old manual, and they never implemented the USB feature.  I kept playing around with the idea and found on another forum that a fellow hunter used a Toshiba FlashAir wifi sd card and was able to connect it to a Unix computer and sent emails to himself.  Though my programming skills are 30 years in the past and after making several mistakes, I built off his ideas and now have the pictures being automatically loaded to Google Drive.  Instead of using a Unix computer as he does,  I am using a dedicated Windows based tablet with the Toshiba FlashAir wifi SD card in the Home Plus mapped as a network drive, then every 2 minutes copying new pictures to local storage in the Windows tablet. At home I have internet service that the  Google Drive app uses to automatically upload the pictures to their cloud service.  When the pictures are uploaded, you can look at them on any device with the Google Drive app from anywhere you have internet service, (phone, tablet or computer).  From the time a photo is taken in the field until it shows up in Google Drive it normally takes from 4 to 7 minutes.  However, occasionaly it will take 20 minutes. Up to 2 minutes is due to how often I run the copy routine, the rest is due to how quickly Cuddelink moves the pictures from the remote cameras to the Home Plus unit.  You could upload the pictures to Amazon Photos, DropBox or some othe cloud service.  The nice thing about Google Drive and Amazon Photos, you can have unlimited storage for photos at no cost.

I had an old desktop computer that I used to develop the simple batch programs and to map to the FlashAir SD card.  I loaded the Google Drive app on it and let it upload the pictures through our home internet.  Once I had the simple programs the way I wanted and working, I bought a used $50 HP Windows based tablet on Ebay to dedicate to this project, to save the hard drive on my desktop computer and to minimize power consumption.  You could do the same with a Windows laptop.  All-in, I have under $150 in this project, but considerably more time than that.  If I hadn't purchased a second FlashAir card for $65, I would be in under $100, which is less than an annual cellular data plan, plus I have unlimited pictures that everyone I invite can view.  I don't know how reliable this setup will be in the long run since I have the FlashAir SD card continously powered and transmitting, but so far this looks promising.  The card has been running for 2 months.  It looks like the weakest point is our electrical and internet service at our Barndominium.  We have poor cellular service at our location.  I installed a WeBoost cellular booster to get cell phone service several years ago.  Inside our Barndo, we now  have good cell signal strength and use a Verizon Hotspot with unlimited data for internet.  If we lose electricity and the hotspot drops out, the Google Dive app sometimes hangs and the tablet has to be rebooted.  It's not a big deal, and no pictures are lost, but I live 75 miles away.  Once rebooted, Google Drive quickly uploads the pictures you have missed because they still reside in the Home Plus unit. 

So far I have only temporarily tried this configuration on our ranch, as I want to tweak a few more things.  I have 5 Cuddelink cameras scattered on our property and a Home Plus unit mounted inside a closet in our Barndominium. I found the Home Plus unit radio would penatrate the steel walls of the Barndo without having to add an external antenna.  Surprisingly,  the two cameras that will be permanently located within 300yds both have good signal strength from the Home Plus unit.  The rest of my cameras link into those two.  As I deploy the Cuddeback equipment in its final resting places, I am hopeful the reliability of this configuration will be as good as it has been at home.  I am still working through camera mounting improvements, solar panels and backup power for the tablet and hotspot for our Barndo.  

Now for the bad news, the Toshiba FlashAir card is obsolete.  Toshiba quit making them in 2018 and there aren't any other cards being manufactured with the needed functionality.  There are other wifi cards, but none that I found work like the Toshiba FlashAir SD card.  None of these cards are built to transmit continuously, probably to conserve battery usage.  So, as the other hunter did, I bought a SD card extender board, and modified it to continuously supply power to the Flashair card so it will always be powered on and won't consume the batteries in the Home Plus.  Only the $10  extender board was modified, so this won't have any warranty issues or cause any damage to your Cuddeback equipment. The Toshiba FlashAir cards can still be purchased on Amazon and Ebay, some at a high price. Note, only Toshiba's version W-03 and W-04 cards will work for this application. The FlashAir version W-03 and W-04 cards sell from $10 to $400 on Ebay, depending on the seller and how many others are looking for them at the time.  I bought one for $10 and one for $65.  The cheap ones don't last long on Ebay.  The version W-03 cards are usually cheaper than the version W-04 and work just as well for this application.  You have to have patience when trying to buy these FlashAir SD cards on the cheap on Ebay.  Check Ebay several times per day.  You will also need a 3.3vdc power supply to power the SD extender card.  Be sure to check the output voltage of the power supply with a voltmeter.  The voltage must be between 3.0vdc and 3.5vdc.  If it is higher, it will burn up the Toshiba FlashAir card.  If it is less than 3.0vdc, the Toshiba FlasAir wifi SD card will not generate a reliable wifi signal.

In summary, you don't get the same amount of remote access/control of your cameras as you do with the Cuddelink cell cameras, but if you have internet access at your lease and electricity, there is a way to remotely access your Cuddelink pictures. If anyone is interested in more details, I am happy to provide any that I can.



Last edited by Phlash; 03/27/22 02:14 AM.
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