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Cam use in extreme cold

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Cam use in extreme cold

Old 12-04-2012, 10:03 PM
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Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 5
Default Cam use in extreme cold

I live in Alberta, Canada where it gets pretty darn cold for most of the winter. Sometimes my Bushnell Trophy Cam shuts down when the temperature gets around -20c (-4f) or lower.

This camera is overlooking my yard. I'm wondering if using a DC adapter instead of the batteries would allow it to keep functioning in a deep freeze. This because there wouldn't be the voltage drop you get with cold batteries.

I guess it would then only be limited by what cold the cameras internal components can handle?

Last edited by Supernaut; 12-04-2012 at 10:28 PM.
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Old 12-05-2012, 06:22 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 1,592

Supernaut: Greetings neighbor, not that far from you. Yes, going to the external port would make a big difference. This is like installing a larger battery in a vehicle as compared to using a smaller one. I did this when I had my WildView EZ Cam trail cameras. The barrel plug which fits in the external camera port can be purchased at The Source (formerly Radio Shack), an electronics store or Princess Auto. This part may have a transformer (the part that plugs into the wall). Just cut off that section. You may even have this part from a rechargeable tool, Attari or some other rechargeable device that no longer works. These can also be found a Pawn Shops or Garage Sales. The centre of the barrel plug is positive and the wire coming from it will have either: 1)a white tracer or 2) a grey tracer or 3)a dotted line. This wire will connect to your positive battery terminal. I marked this wire with a white tape with a (+) on it for quick reference. Hooking the wire up to the wrong battery post will fry a component in the camera which prevents the external port from working. The internal battery section will still work.
Another idea that will work in cold weather is install Lithium Ultimate batteries. These are high voltage, testing 1.79 to 1.83 volt fresh out of the package. Other forum members have recommended them for cold weather use as well. Any battery testing 1.0 to 1.2 volt, the camera will not function properly, or not at all. In my case, the WildView had a 12 volt external port. I did not let the battery get down below 5 to 6 volt, where it would be changed out, the removed one would be taken in to warm up over nite, then recharged. I purchased the 300 series Energizer from WalMart. This series is more expensive but has higher cranking amps. Lifting this battery, then lift the 100 series, you will find the 300 considerably heavier due to more plates in it. I don't have a manual at home, but I believe Bushnell external port is for 6 volt. Good luck.
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Old 12-08-2012, 02:45 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Indiana
Posts: 3,372

I would go with the Ultimate Lithiums. The first time I laid out $18 bucks for a set, I cringed a little but I have found they are well worth it.

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Old 12-08-2012, 04:55 AM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 45

I have several clients in Canada running my homebrew units and they use Lithium's as well. No reported problems from them in temps at -20 below. The PIR actually works better the colder it is outside.
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Old 12-08-2012, 07:13 AM
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: The Pas, MB
Posts: 46

Greetings from Manitoba, Supernaut!! What I do for my cameras is that I use an alarm panel battery (or sometimes emergency light battery), put it at the base of the tree, and then just run a wire up to the camera battery port. best part is they are fully rechargeable and you should be able to find them for under $20 each. They are available in 6V or 12V depending on what you need. They will run the camera for a LONG time in the summer and do pretty good in the winter too.

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Old 01-04-2013, 02:10 PM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Allenton Wis.
Posts: 186

I've used lithiums down to -12F. No problems at all. They last a long time. So long that it might be almost as cheap to buy lithiums.
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