Posts Tagged ‘Bushnell Trophy Cam’
Custom made protective boxes for my Bushnell Trophy Cams
Finished boxes for my HD Bushnell Trophy Cams.
After using a couple commercial protective boxes with thin steel sheet metal and getting them bashed in by elephants, I thought it was about time to make-up some of my tough aluminum ‘elephant-proof ‘ boxes for my two 2012 HD Bushnell Trophy Cams. These are great little cams and I use mine exclusively on video as the HD clips are quite good but the photos only fair.
Tapping the 10mm threads.
First off, I got my welder to construct two boxes from 3mm thick plate aluminum and had him weld in some 1-1/2″ long aluminum octagon dowels in each corner. These would except 10mm ‘power torque’ machine screws. I machined the boxes flat and drilled and tapped the corners. The 6mm thick faceplate was installed and milled out for the sensor, lens and LEDs, plus a 10mm hole at the bottom for the mic.
Boring out the faceplate for the sensor.
Boring out the faceplate for the LEDs.
Milling out excess.
These boxes use two 3/8″ x 3″ stainless steel lag bolts from the inside for securing the box to the tree before putting the cam in and securing the faceplate. This alone keeps elephants at bay. The back is beefed-up with heavy duty plate and what I call ‘shark teeth’. A ‘Python’ locking cable is also installed for back-up.
Finished box in the raw.
These boxes have stood the test of time….! All my cams use this system. The tremendous power of Asia’s largest land mammal is nothing to sneeze at. They can tear them off the tree if only a cable is used. My close friend and fellow wildlife photographer, Paul Whitehead has lost quite a few cams already over in the East using only cables.
Back-end showing beefed-up holes and ‘shark teeth’.
Needless to say, I’m confident when I leave my cams in ‘elephant country’ using this system. Tomorrow I leave for the forest to set-up these two Bushnell’s in a new location in Huai Kha Khaeng, Thailand’s premier tiger country. I am hopeful that loads of good video footage will be forthcoming. Hope this helps those with elephant or bear problems. A welding and machine shop is of course needed for this job…! Good luck.
Newly finished box next to an older one.
Homebrew video trail camera and commercial back-up:
Early this year, I acquired a Go Pro Hero 2 wanting to build a daytime HD video cam for a certain tree and a long soak at my favorite workplace; Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary in Western Thailand.
I also had a 2011 Bushnell Trophy Cam ‘Bone Collector’ that takes quite decent IR clips, and would set it up next to the Go Pro. The Bushnell could also be used as a security cam set to video watching over the Go Pro from a hidden position.
Visited by tiger and leopard, a huge tree at a mineral deposit deep in the forest is perfect for these cams. A myriad of other species also come down to this waterhole during the daytime like wild cattle, bears and deer, and is a sure bet for some good videos, specially during the dry season coming up.
The first order of business was what case would I use. While shopping at an outdoor supply company, I found a unique Pelican i1015 meant for an iPhone or iPod with a stereo plug inside the case with an external jack. The Go Pro and SSII board fit with room to spare. A 40.5mm UV filter and HPWA lens are attached to the case with ‘Goop’.
I also wanted an external power source and picked up a 12v SLA #UB1208p battery that fits perfectly in an Otter 1000 case. Being modular would allow different external power supplies to be used. I cut the wire in the i1015 and attached it with ‘Goop’ to the battery case. Alternative externals can be 3 18650 4.2v lithiums.
In the meantime, I sent the camera to fellow Camtrapper.com member ‘TRLcam’ to be hacked, and then visited Gary at Snapshotsniper in Oklahoma where I purchased a few of his excellent SSII boards programmed for the Go Pro.
After consultations with TRL, a 12v to 5v USB adapter was used as the easiest way to connect the 12v battery to the Go Pro.
Everything was put together and I made up an ‘elephant proof’ aluminum box with 8mm ‘power torque’ machine screws designed for the Pelican in the horizontal position, and the Otter in the vertical position. Another box was built for the Bushnell.
3D camo is made up using industrial black silicon sealant and painted with several shades of camouflage in khaki, green and brown using bamboo leaves. Simple but effective.
Security will be four 3/8” X 3” stainless lag bolts and two ‘Python’ 3/8″ locking cables for the Go Pro, and two lags and two 5/16″ cables for the Bushnell.
Both cams will be set in a week or so, and ‘setup’ and videos will be forthcoming.
I would like to thank TRLcam for his help and advice, and to Gary for the boards.
Hope this helps those interested in building a Go Pro. I might make-up an IR unit at a later date to work in parallel with this one but will have to study the components and plans first. They certainly are great little cameras…!
The Go Pro attached to the Snapshotsniper SSII board will not work without the following modification:
A PN2222 resistor and a 10K transistor installed as shown is required to control the Go Pro.