Posts Tagged ‘Nikon camera trap’

Nikon D90 DSLR camera trap: Almost a year in the making

Wednesday, June 26, 2013 posted by Bruce 10:16 PM

A new DSLR camera trap

A Nikon D90 and battery pack with a 50mm ƒ 1.8, SB400 flash and a Yeticam board in a Plano 1460.

Last year in September, I made a post about a Nikon D90 with a 50mm ƒ1.8 lens and a SB-400 flash in conjunction with a Yeticam board in a Plano #1460 clear case.

It was in pieces at the time and sat on my bench until last month when I decided to finish it off. I have two sets but will test this one first to see the results. The SB-400 has four AA externals plus two in the flash for (six). I use either Lithiums or Enelopes.

D90 and an ‘Achiever’ slave flash in a Plano 1499.

The D90, battery pack and SB-400 sits nicely in the case but a relief hole was needed on the side to allow a little more room for the shutter cable. I found some ‘Meike N3’ electronic shutter release for Nikon (90 degree plug) and just cut the button off and attached the wires to a Yeti board. I used a piece of  ‘plastic tubing’ and a 10 Baht coin and ‘gooped’ it all in sealing the tube.

D90 in an aluminum ‘elephant proof’ box.

A 3” X 2.8” X 1/8” aluminum tube is used for the snorkel and a 77mm filter is gooped on. No other modifications are made to the case and everything fits perfectly. The Yeticam board is set in the vertical position and an EOS chip was installed.

Achiever slave flash and ‘AA’ externals.

A huge ‘elephant proof’ aluminum box was made up to protect the cam. As this one is really large, I had my welder attach a plate on top at a 45-degree angle to keep the jumbos at bay by not allowing them to get a grip on the top.

Nikon SB-26s with ‘C’ and ‘AA’ externals.

Four 3” X 3/8 stainless lag bolts set the cam tightly on a large tree and I can use two 10mm (3/8”) Python locking cables for extra security.

SB-26s and externals in ‘elephant proof’ boxes.

In the meantime, I added two Nikon SB-26s with 6-volt externals in ‘elephant proof’ aluminum boxes run as slaves. The flashes were modified to take straight 6-volt packs and plugged into the pos. and neg. pins as shown. Real Nikon battery packs cost a fortune. This is an alternative that works very well.

The ‘elephant proof’ boxes were made for the SB-26s that have flash diffusers gooped on the front and 40.5mm UV filters on the back in line with the light sensor.

SB-26s slaves showing diffuser and 40.5mm UV filter.

I also built a small ‘Achiever’ slave flash with 4-AA externals in a clear Plano 1499 case. An old 1020 ‘elephant proof’ box was recycled for this flash. This will be used depending on some locations.

D90 in an ‘elephant proof’ box ready for the field.

I look forward to setting this cam and slaves. I probably will put it close to where I was charged by that bull gaur.

Comments Off on Nikon D90 DSLR camera trap: Almost a year in the making

Nikon SB-600/SB-800-900/SB-28 DSLR slave flash

Tuesday, May 28, 2013 posted by Bruce 9:57 PM

Nikon remote flashes

Nikon SB-600 (middle), SB-800 (left) and SB-28 (right) remote flashes.

After installing and testing my D700 trail cam with several remote SB-28 flashes in the forest, it was apparent I needed another flash closer to the cam on the right side of the fallen tree to eliminate the shadow.

I had an old SB-600 that has been one of my mainstay flashes for some time and since I don’t shoot much flash now, thought I would regulate this one to camera trap duty.

SB-600 and SB-28 with Yongnuo Wireless flash triggers and ‘D’ cell externals.

I will be setting this flash with four brand-new ‘Enelope’ rechargeable batteries to see how long they will last on standby.

A Yongnue 602n wireless flash trigger and two ‘D’ cell externals is used and the assembly is housed in one of my ‘elephant proof’ aluminum boxes. I have now tested the ‘D’ cells and getting more than a month on stand-by…!

‘D’ cells in place.

On this box, I beefed-up the ends and drilled and tapped for 10mm machine screws and set with epoxy to act as pivots, and a ‘L’ bracket on the bottom and a 1” x ¼” x 14” aluminum strap across the top of the log. I can aim the flash straight at the trail and lock it in place. A generic flash diffuser is shortened to about 1/4″ and then ‘Goop’ is applied after camouflage painting.

By using two or three 3” x 3/8” stainless lag bolts, the flash will be tight, and elephants or bears would have hard time breaking these flashes. However, a bear-tooth through the diffuser could be a problem. Of course the proof is in the pudding and we shall see because the big elephant herd will come through one day, and they will surely have a go at destroying the whole set…!

SB-800 with an extra AA battery pack (5 AA cells).

In this box, I can also use a Nikon SB-28 flash that has a great stand-by feature, and is fairly cheap and readily available on the second hand camera market. A SB-800/900 can also be used.

I’m also working on a couple of SB-800s that will have extra Nikon battery packs (5-AAs) set to remote plus the 6-pack. During testing, they work extremely well but are still not TTL. Still working on that. Hope this helps those who need some tough slave flashes for your DSLR trail cam.

SB-800 with Nikon 6-AA battery pack.


Comments Off on Nikon SB-600/SB-800-900/SB-28 DSLR slave flash

Nikon D700 and Canon 350D trail cams on location

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 posted by Bruce 10:35 PM

Nikon and Canon DSLR trail cams

Nikon D700 camera trap installed on a fallen tree trunk.

Set-up my Nikon D700 and Canon 350D at two locations in Huai Kha Khaeng that are frequented by tigers and leopards, plus many other Asian animals like elephant, gaur, banteng and more. Both cams trigger in continuous mode (three to four shots per actuation).


Nikon D700 camera trap with moss and old leaf camouflage.

The D700 was attached to a fallen tree with six legs bolted down with 3” x 3/8” stainless lag bolts. The transmitter was installed on an aluminum pole pounded into the ground and hidden in the tree roots.

Nikon ML-3 active infrared transmitter in aluminum box.

The Canon 350D was bolted to a standing tree with four lag bolts. Python cables secure both cams and the transmitter to the tree. They are both solid and if an elephant can move the tree, they can move the cams.

Canon 350D and flash installed on a tree next to a wildlife trail.

The Nikon has three flashes set off by ‘YongNuo’ wireless flash triggers with ‘D’ cell externals and three Nikon SB28s. The flashes trigger on the second shot.

Canon 350D beefed-up snorkel.

The Canon has only two flashes (Canon 270EXs) at the moment and this cam triggers them with the ‘YongNuo’ on the second shot too. A third Canon flash is in for repair after some ‘D’ cells leaked and left some residue in the box. I have beefed-up the snorkel as shown here and this should keep the elephants at bay.

Canon 350D beefed-up snorkel – close up.

I’m using four AA ‘Energizer’ Lithium batteries as power in the flashes and we’ll see how long they can last. The next job would be to add externals or ‘flash battery packs’ if the Lithium batteries are not enough for a month’s soak. I’ll be checking the Nikon and the Canon on May 17th and post something after that.

Comments Off on Nikon D700 and Canon 350D trail cams on location