A few people have been asking what trail camera equipment we are using in our research project. In this blog post, I will run through this equipment and where to get it from.
Overall, this setup should cost you about £230. As we bought in bulk, we lowered this setup cost to under £200.
Starting with the camera. We are using Spypoint Force Dark cameras. We selected these cameras as they have the shortest trigger time on the market. They also have ‘no-glow’ LEDs, which reduces potential disturbance to the bats. We have not trialed other makes/models but I am sure others would perform just as well.
At the time of writing, the cheapest retailer is Camera Centre UK (£145).
To power the camera you will need a power source. Both AA batteries and the lithium ion battery packs did not last long enough for our needs. Instead we reached for an external battery. We are using 18650 batteries in a battery pack. This requires a bit of soldering but is well worth it, as it allows the camera to be powered for several months (instead of a couple of weeks).
We are using LG MJ1 – 18650 Battery – 3500mAh – 10A batteries. When buying your 18650 batteries, do not use Amazon or eBay – there are too many people selling rubbish batteries on there. Instead buy them from a UK store. We used NuBattery who sell them for about £7 per battery. We bought in bulk and were given retailer prices, which was about £4 per battery.
You will need three batteries in series. You can double this to six batteries with 2x three batteries wired in parallel. There are plenty of retailers selling the boxes on Amazon such as this one (£7.99 for six boxes). If you are lucky, you might find some with the jack connectors already attached. Depending on the camera you are using, you may need a different connector. The Spypoint Force Dark cameras take standard 2.1mm x 5.5mm jacks – see here (£3 for three jacks).
On top of the mount we are using flash brackets (£10). These allow the final adjustment to allow you to get the camera in the sweet spot!
If you try this trail camera equipment, do let us know how you get on. 🦇🙂