Homemade Deer Cameras

Discussion in 'Deer Hunting' started by VerotiK, Sep 6, 2005.

  1. VerotiK

    VerotiK New Member

    Messages:
    230
    State:
    Harrison, Arkansas
    Has anyone taken on the task of making thier own homemade deer camera? My first deer camera was a Stealthcam 35mm. I had it for about 2 months and it sucked. I then bought a Moultrie Digital Game Spy, and while it was great at getting lots of pictures, the night pictures were horrible and had lines through them, so i decided to bite the bullet and make my own the way i wanted it. There are alot of resources for those who wish to make thier own. I found it very gratifying to put together my own, piece by piece. And in the end, it was cheaper than most of the high end digital cameras and takes great pictures. My setup is the following:

    Sony DSC-P41 4.1 megapixel digital camera
    Pixcontroller Universal control board
    Pelican 1060 Case
    Poor-mans realtree camo

    My setup runs 2 AA rechargeable batteries, while the control board runs on 4 AA alkaline batteries. I have two 256mb Sony memory sticks so it only takes one trip into the woods to replace the memory stick. I set the camera to run at 400 ISO, Highest flash setting, and infinite focus. I dont miss anything with the camera, it has great sensitivity. I have pictures of everything including dogs, coons, squirrels, turkey, bear, deer and even skunks. If anyone is interested in building thier own, i'd be glad to help with anything i can, because there is nothing quite like the feeling of seeing whats there when you aren't. Here are some pictures of my setup too.

    Here it is hanging on the tree:

    http://img379.imageshack.us/my.php?image=p41deercam9oe.jpg


    Here it is from 20 yards away:

    http://img379.imageshack.us/my.php?image=camontree0po.jpg
     
  2. VerotiK

    VerotiK New Member

    Messages:
    230
    State:
    Harrison, Arkansas

  3. SSG Johnson

    SSG Johnson New Member

    Messages:
    638
    State:
    Saint Robert Missouri
    Nice pics brother what did it cost you to build that camera and how long does it take to put together.
     
  4. VerotiK

    VerotiK New Member

    Messages:
    230
    State:
    Harrison, Arkansas
    Lets see....

    The camera i got on ebay for $150. The case i got on ebay for $20. The control boardkit i got from www.pixcontroller.com for $56.00. So, for all the parts to put it together, it cost around $230. I'd say after i bought misc supplies like glue and solder, it was around $240 tops.

    As far as putting it together, it took me about 4 hours. Now that i know how to do it, im pretty confident that i could get one together in less than 2 hours if everything was all laid out and ready. The hardest part is taking apart the camera and wiring in a control cable. After thats done, its just a matter of drilling some holes and lining the holes for the sensor with a plum bob. On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the hardest, i'd say for the average person it would be a 7. I've done 2 so far, and its alot easier the 2nd time around. If you do decide to do it, dont let the wiring scare you. The part inside the camera is actually the easiest part. Soldering the thin wires together on the outside for the plug is the hardest part, but its still not very hard.

    The way the camera setup works is like this:

    1. Motion detector on motion board detects heat & motion and triggers the PIR (passive infared sensor).
    2. Camera control board sends signal to camera. By wiring into the camera, you basicly 3 wires. Power On/Off, Ground, and Shutter. On the sony, the camera control board makes a connection between the ground and the power on/off to power up the camera. The advantage of the Sony P41 is the startup time. The camera can be powered up and ready to take a picture in about 3/4 of a second, which is blazing fast compared to most digital cams.

    3. Camera sends signal to take picture, but creating a connection between the ground and the shutter connection.

    4. Camera powers off. Control board has built in dip switches to control delay between pictures, anywhere from 10 seconds to around an hour.

    The beauty of it all is the camera will power up, take a picture, and power down in around 3 seconds, meaning you will almost always get what triggered the sensor in the picture, and since its only on for a few seconds, the battery life is awesome.

    My cam will run on 2 AA nicad's for several days to weeks, depending on how much action is taking place. If im only getting 5 pictures a day, it would probably last 2 weeks. During the late winter when alot of deer are moving by my feeder, like last year, i got over 150 pictures a day.

    If cost is the only thing holding you back from switching from a 35mm film camera to a digital, consider this: A 24 exposure roll of 400 film is gonna cost you are $2.00 for decent stuff. Batteries for that camera are gonna cost you $1.00 for each roll of film appx. Developing 1hr photo, which was a must for me because im impatient, was around $7.00. You are paying around $10 for each roll of film. It doesnt take long for that to add up. And if you've ever had a film game cam, you know that some, if not half, of the pictures are false triggers or missed shots. I'd say out of every 100 pictures on my homebrew setup, i have maybe 5 that have nothing in the picture.
     
  5. roofermike

    roofermike New Member

    Messages:
    92
    State:
    Jefferson City, Missouri
    Could a less expensive camera be utilized?

    This is some great stuff thanks for sharing and those are some nice pictures!!!
     
  6. SSG Johnson

    SSG Johnson New Member

    Messages:
    638
    State:
    Saint Robert Missouri
    Thats really inexpensive mike compared to the digital game camera's out there. I should be building one in the next month or two Ill keep in touch to make sure i do it right.
     
  7. VerotiK

    VerotiK New Member

    Messages:
    230
    State:
    Harrison, Arkansas
    Yes, there are a few less expensive options. You can use an Olympus D-360, which you can pick up for about $50 cheaper. There are drawbacks to it though, you can one have up to 128mb of memory, they eat batteries like crazy, and there is around 4 seconds of delay before the cam takes a picture, from motion detection to shutter.

    What i like most about using the Sony P-41, and most other homebrew cam makes that have built one will agree, is that you get as good, if not better pictures than the commercial built camera's will give you. You can also use a Sony P-32 cam, it is a little cheaper and its still fast, but is only 3.2 megapixels.
     
  8. coalminer78

    coalminer78 New Member

    Messages:
    102
    State:
    Lincoln, IL
    It kind of funny, my dad made a homemade trail cam two years before you could buy them (wish he would of got a patent). Thanks I use film I will Surf ebay and build one like yours. Happy hunting to all.
     
  9. FishMan

    FishMan New Member

    Messages:
    2,293
    State:
    Tennessee
    I enjoyed the pictures, good job on the camera
     
  10. Big Country01

    Big Country01 New Member

    Messages:
    964
    State:
    brandon,florida
    nice pics,but where are the bucks??
     
  11. blackwaterkatz

    blackwaterkatz Active Member

    Messages:
    3,659
    State:
    Andrews, SC
    Great job, VerotiK! Good pictures and information.
     
  12. jbird711

    jbird711 New Member

    Messages:
    18
    State:
    ohio
    great job on the camera thanks for sharing
     
  13. VerotiK

    VerotiK New Member

    Messages:
    230
    State:
    Harrison, Arkansas
  14. Big Country01

    Big Country01 New Member

    Messages:
    964
    State:
    brandon,florida
    o.k thanx i feel better..lol... that's not a bad looking young buck, are you gonna take this year or let him mature a year more or so?? :thumbsup:
     
  15. VerotiK

    VerotiK New Member

    Messages:
    230
    State:
    Harrison, Arkansas
    I probably wont kill him this year. I've got a doe tag, so i should be able to get plenty of meat. The neighbors might kill him though...
     
  16. Big Country01

    Big Country01 New Member

    Messages:
    964
    State:
    brandon,florida
    yeah that would suck to feed him all yeah and practice quality management just for your neighbors take glory....and the meat....
     
  17. VerotiK

    VerotiK New Member

    Messages:
    230
    State:
    Harrison, Arkansas
    Well, they aren't my deer or his deer really. He feeds them and puts out minerals too. This is his 13 year old sons first year. It wouldn't bother me if he killed it for his first year.
     
  18. mudcat_xpress

    mudcat_xpress New Member

    Messages:
    87
    State:
    Beckley, WV
    Thanks for sharing that with us. That is a great camera...and nearly impossible on the tree.
     
  19. VerotiK

    VerotiK New Member

    Messages:
    230
    State:
    Harrison, Arkansas
    I ordered my stuff for my second cam this week. It will be a little more extensive, and i'll try to make a tutorial out of it and post it on here so you guys can get a general idea of how to do one yourself. Its very rewarding.
     
  20. SSG Johnson

    SSG Johnson New Member

    Messages:
    638
    State:
    Saint Robert Missouri
    Hey brother what do you think of the Moltrie digitals they have at Wallyworld. My buddie got one and it was only 100.00 I have seen pics from it and they are awsome. Just wondering what your thoughts where on this camera. Im torn between making one or buying that one.