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Old 11-15-2021, 09:19 AM   #1
Ten Point
IkemanTX's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Greater DFW
Default Permanent Trail Cam Power

I blew out my ankle this year just before my season started and haven’t been able to swap batteries or pull cards on any cameras.

Most cameras will be dead (or memory cards full) by now, as i run video mode on everything and the batteries have been running since may.

Losing a hunting season sucks, but what is really eating me up is losing an entire year worth of intel from not being able to do my early season battery/card swap…. So since i’ve been stuck at home for weeks I decided to work on fixing the problem.

I found a video on YouTube last year from “The Handy Hunter” where he put together a small diy solar battery. The battery he uses for that build is no longer available, so my son and i soldered one up ourselves out of 3,000mah rechargeable AA batteries.

Then, we assembled the solar panel / battery according to his video (soldering and shrink tubing instead of wire nuts).

Most of my brownings will accept EXTREMELY large SD card sizes, so with these panels / batteries supplying permanent power i should be able to get videos for a full year without fail when paired with a 256 gig card. (Assuming the camera isn’t on a high traffic spot like a feeder) in picture mode with a memory card that big, this thing could probably run continuously for a couple of years before filling the card.

The 12v regulators i picked up are running a little lower than 12v, but the camera still runs just fine off of it. But, i wish i had tested that part before soldering and assembling.

I only run 2 cameras on private land, though, and this setup is definitely not something i want to have on public land. Theres too much money and time invested in it, and i think you would be able to spot it from a mile away regardless of how good a sponge paint job is. So, i plan to do some 12v lithium battery packs that i can charge at home and just hang behind the camera.

For those, i am planning on using 4 lifepo4 32650 cells in series, shrink wrapped with a 12v plug and balance leads protruding from the pack. I would only have about $15 invested in each pack aside from buying a compatible charger, and it would be smaller than the camera in size. The cells i have found are 6,000mah, so that would be about double the life of a full set of lithiums. So, including the set of batteries in the camera, that would be 3 sets of battery worth of life at each camera.

I’ll try to update here when i get the battery only packs built.

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