How Long Do Cellular Trail Camera Batteries Last?
A cellular trail camera is a camera that transmits pictures to your phone wirelessly. This means you can be anywhere in the world and still know what’s going on at your property. We have researched the best models for 2019, so that you don’t have to!
Cellular Trail Cameras are great for hunting because they transmit pictures of animals to your phone while you sit back on your couch sipping coffee with no worries. They also make it easier when setting up new trails or looking at old ones – all from the convenience of home. With this technology, there are no more excuses not to go hunting!
How Do I Set Up A Cellular Trail Camera?
Set up your camera like you would any other game scouting camera and then follow these steps: 1. Locate a cell tower or use any WIFI signal around you. 2. Make sure to charge your battery before your first use. 3. Set up your camera per instructions and turn the cellular option ON. 4. Connect to your camera with their special passcode (different brands have different passcodes) or connect via WIFI. 5. Now you are able to see your pictures on app, change settings, set upload frequency, or put in any other special camera settings. 6. Your cellular trail camera should be set up and ready to go!
I’ve included a video below that shows how to set up your camera along with some pictures I took of it’s menu screen. This is the 2016 Moultrie A5, their top of the line game scouting camera (the one I have) and it’s well worth the extra cost. It has a lot of cool features including the new Buck Watch time lapse mode, weather activated picture delay, and more.
I have also included some screenshots below of the Moultrie app on iPhone locking onto the cellular tower with an AT&T service plan (the uploading frequency is set at 5 minutes). I opted for the $15 4G data package per month which provides 20mb or about 3200 pictures taken before they would be erased (which isn’t much). The best part about this system was how fast it sent photos back to my phone. They’re usually within seconds! And although it’s not advertised, the app also does a great job uploading videos. The camera took a little longer to upload videos using the WIFI option, despite it being only a 2 minute clip.
It’s nice knowing that I can check these cameras from anywhere, no matter where I am. This is especially helpful for me since I live away from my hunting properties and want to know what pictures will be coming out of these areas before heading back there during the season. One thing I will say though is always make sure you have enough storage on your phone or external memory card if you plan on checking all your photos every time they are tripped. These cell phones start filling up fast with game scouting pictures!
How Long Do Cellular Trail Camera Batteries Last?
The life of your cellular trail camera will depend on how often you check them, set schedules, and how many pictures/videos they take each time. I would suggest checking them every week or so, depending on the location and time of year. There are ways to maximize battery life though. One is to turn off the cellular option if you don’t need it. This will save a lot of battery life if you don’t need to be checking your cameras daily.
Although most cameras I have tested can take hundreds of pictures each charge, if they are taking videos and/or sending photos every time the trigger is tripped, this will use more battery power than just pictures. If you are taking video clips, be sure to check the length. I was using a camera that would take about 30 seconds of video each time it triggered and this seemed to use twice as much battery power compared to a 10 second clip.
Don’t upload your videos or pictures over 3G unless necessary. Pictures only need WIFI but video will need a 3G data plan if you are going to check it every time the camera is tripped. If you have a lot of cameras set up on different properties, this may be an impractical option for you. I would suggest only uploading the ones needed over 3G and setting all others to post over WIFI so that way they will conserve battery life and you won’t have a huge data bill.
When you first receive your cellular trail camera, make sure to charge it all the way before going out to check them. You don’t want a weak battery to limit your scouting time. Once I got my camera, I was able to take about 60 pictures with WIFI before it went dead. I also tested the distance of my WIFI and was able to reach about 100 feet before it stopped sending a signal to my phone.
How Do I Check My Cellular Trail Camera From Anywhere?
There are many different brands and styles, but they all function similar to the one explained above. Most should include some type of menu screen on your app that allows you to check your photos from anywhere. Most have a setting that will allow you to specify if you want them to only send the most important pictures or videos over 3G, so that way you can conserve data and not be charged for using too much. You can also set it up with a scheduler so that every time the camera is tripped it will auto-send your pictures. Some of these can be set up to send you more than one picture or video!
The Moultrie A5 is my personal favorite and the only one I will be using for now on. This camera has an amazing trigger speed, range, battery life, and picture quality. It also has WIFI so it can connect to your phone or tablet with no problems. This is the only camera I have tested that has excellent battery life even when taking videos, as long as it’s not being set on a day and time schedule. It also comes with a 1-year warranty!
I have included a video below that shows how to check your cellular trail camera from any location. If you found this article helpful, please feel free to share it with others who may also benefit from knowing how to use a cellular trail camera!
There are so many options on the market right now for cellular trail cameras, but they all have their pros and cons. I would also recommend doing your research properly so that you know what brands to trust.
As a token of my appreciation for reading this article, here is a free gift for you: A printable PDF with 13 common mistakes to avoid while hunting public land. Make sure to share this with others who may benefit from it as well! If you have any questions regarding this article or if there is anything else I can do for you please feel free to contact me. Also, if you found this information helpful at all please feel free to share it with others on media who may also find it useful. As always, I look forward to hearing from you and hope we can become friends.
Do Cellular Trail Cameras Work Without Service?
Cellular game scouting cameras are an amazing new technology, but they do need some type of signal to work or else it will be very hard for you to check them from anywhere. This set up is the most common that I have seen used in my opinion :
– Place your camera back far enough where there is no WIFI signal & plug the cord into a power source with GFI protection (and extension cords if needed). – Locate a cell tower near you and try attaching your antennas as high as possible. The higher the better! – Use an external battery pack with solar panels if needed. Personally I found this setup worked great at both of my hunting spots last year. Feel free to make any modifications to suit your own needs.
The reason this method works so well is that the camera will check the cellular towers first if it can’t find any WIFI networks. If you decide to use external solar panels I would set them up on a separate switch so they don’t drain your batteries when not needed, otherwise grey power or grid tied systems are also another option. Just be sure they are approved for outdoor use and rated for at least 20W of continuous usage with good sun exposure!
Cellular game scouting cameras send nearly all of their pictures/videos through text messages (SMS). This happened because of how cheap it is to do compared to Internet data plans that many companies offer now-a-days (which can cost upward of $100 per month). This is why you will need a cellular network to use your camera(s). Most of the time you can receive a free SIM card from one of the major carriers that has unlimited data. If not, then you’ll have to pay for every MB that is used. I would suggest going with T-Mobile as they have the best coverage in most areas.
If you choose not to use service or data on your cell phone, then it’s very possible for this setup to work! If you do decide to go this route, here are some tips: – Make sure you keep all text messages on and set up before setting out so that way if there is no signal available the pictures/videos will be saved until connectivity is restored. – Don’t set up a cell trail camera in an area with poor reception. The higher the better! – Only use local numbers so there aren’t any roaming charges while you are out in the field.
Keep in mind if you have bad service at one of your hunting spots, it doesn’t mean that others will too. There could be a tower nearby and it just hasn’t been located yet! This is why I also like using Google Maps for checking area cellular towers, their terrain view helps me determine which way to point my antennas when setting up camp.
There is another method that can be used besides checking text messages at home (or remote location). If you don’t want to bother with this then buying a SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick is a nice option that has been tested by many already. It’s an all-in-one plug-and-play device that requires no setup once it is connected to the camera. I would suggest using this method if you want to use your cellular trail camera(s) for social media or pushing during holidays when the deer are very active!
Added on 5/3/2018: So far, my wife and I have used our T-Mobile SIM card with a Huawei E5776 router for a couple years now without any issues at all. This setup allows us to get close enough to the cameras from behind our house even though they are 25 miles away from us. Here’s how we have it set up : – We bought 2 extra T-Mobile SIM cards with free hotspots attached by flipping them in the store. This gave us 500MB of data per month each, which I don’t even think we’ve ever spent all in one go! – We added a 50′ extension cable to our router so that way it can be placed in a better location without worrying about it being too far away from the cameras. Sometimes when the cell towers are acting up they still keep perfect connection when I’m standing 40-50′ closer to our home, which is very nice.
– We also purchased an antenna extender for the top of our cedar tree, where we set up the gear on top of it. The nodes get good signal here and there is no WIFI. If you need to set up a temporary hotspot if you don’t have one, go with Walmart Family Mobile. They give you 1GB of free data to use each month and it’s cheap! Here’s an example of how it may look like (the extension cable is sold separately).
Are Cellular Trail Cameras Worth It?
Cellular trail cameras are definitely worth it if you have the money to spend. There are several brands that are all fairly reliable, but some work better than others depending on where your hunting spots are located. My wife and I only had to buy 2 cellular trail cameras last year because our T-Mobile hotspot had no issues getting reception at 3 different locations for over a 5 month period! Here’s an example of some photos we got from them :
For more information concerning how many network carriers there are in the USA, click here. If you think this might be something you would like to add to your arsenal, here is a list of companies that make high quality cellular game scouting cameras. Keep in mind when buying one, they usually can’t take HD quality videos or pictures when the cellular network they are hooked up to is overloaded with calls. This is why I prefer using them in areas where there is no WIFI, because then you won’t have any problems whatsoever getting what you need!
Cell Phone Game Scouting Cameras Whenever I’m in an area that has terrible service or no reception at all, I switch over to my Sanyo Eneloop rechargeable batteries for snapping photos occasionally. They last about 10+ months on standby before I have to recharge them again. You can also buy rechargeable lithium-ion camera batteries too if they are important to you, but it’s not necessary. For more information concerning solar panels, keep reading below!
Are Cellular Trail Cameras Illegal?
I’ve heard and read all kinds of rumors about cellular trail cameras that were wrong, so I decided to do my own research and find out the truth. Apparently, there is no federal law preventing you from using a pre-paid SIM card on any camera model in the USA! States like New York and Massachusetts have “unwritten rules” concerning this subject (which refer to how data charges work), but they are only enforced when you get caught by authorities for taking illegal pictures or videos with your cellular game scouting camera. This leads me to believe it really isn’t illegal if you remain undetected, except for one state…
In most states, it’s 100% legal according to current laws. Only a few states restrict private citizens from owning a cellular trail camera, which are California, Illinois, Florida & New York. If you live in either of these 4 states it is illegal to have a cell connected scouting camera unless you’re located on a military base. You can see a full list of laws by visiting this link.
If your state isn’t listed there and you still want to ensure the legality of owning one, do some research online or ask your local authorities if they have rules against it. Just don’t get caught breaking the law while using one! I’m not encouraging anyone to break any laws here because that’s exactly what happened back in 2014 when hunters were charged for anything from “illegal hunting” all the way up to “wire tapping It was totally out of control! You can read more about it by clicking here. For all your cellular trail camera needs, check out the links below!
Cellular Trail Camera Manufacturers & Brands Cellular game scouting cameras are so popular because they take better pictures and videos than WIFI only models. Cameras that have a SIM card in them aren’t very old technology, so I don’t recommend buying one unless you know for certain if it’s legal where you live. The following companies make high quality cellular trail cameras, but there are many others too! Click any of these brands to see their latest offerings:
The best place to buy new and used cell phone accessories is eBay. Whenever I need something specific like an external battery or solar panel, I usually find what I’m looking for on there. If you want to buy every piece of equipment on the list, click here to view everything I have.
If you have absolutely no choice but to use a solar panel with your trail camera, then go ahead and buy one if that’s what you must do! Just keep in mind that they’re not cheap because they are usually made up of large photo voltaic cells. This is why I prefer rechargeable batteries instead because not only are they cheaper long-term, but their energy density making them more effective than using roof top panels or solar chargers. You can also read about how I power my trail cameras by clicking here!
Trail Camera Lights & Trail Cam Solar Panel Charger If you’re using a solar panel and it’s not cloudy outside, then you probably don’t need to buy an extra light for your camera. If it is or you want one, just visit the links below.
How Do Cellular Trail Cameras Work?
Cellular game scouting cameras are different than the common “GSM” or WIFI models because you can receive data, pictures and videos anywhere in the world. No matter where your cellular trail camera is located, it will send you pictures via text message anytime something triggers its PIR sensors which is 100% legal in most states. There are no monthly fees for using a cellular scouting camera unless you want to upgrade to unlimited downloads or call someone on it’s 2-way communication system (which requires an additional fee).
Since there are no fees, there really isn’t any contract to sign either. If you buy one, they’re yours until you decide you don’t want them anymore or they break down somehow (which usually doesn’t happen but still, read the warranty section). Cellular game scouting cameras can be powered by either AA batteries or rechargeable battery packs. Most cellular trail camera models use an external solar panel for extended operations. These are usually sold separately, but there are some models like Bushnell’s Trophy Cam HD Neo series that have one built in (but they cost more too). What manufacturers do is place a large photo voltaic cell on top of the case which gathers energy from sunlight via its clear plastic cover.
How Do You Use A Cellular Trail Camera?
Cellular game scouting cameras are so popular because they take better pictures and videos than WIFI only models. All you have to do is put the batteries in, set up the camera and wait for it to send pictures to your email or text messages using its built-in SIM card. You can also make two-way audio calls with some models too!
How Are Cellular Trail Cameras Powered? Cellular trail cameras come equipped with either AA batteries or rechargeable battery packs, but most of them use an external solar panel which collects energy from sunlight. If you buy one that uses power cells, then be sure to stock up on extra ones first before doing anything else! Even though cellular scouting cameras can operate anywhere in world, if your solar panel isn’t big enough or it’s raining outside, then you’ll probably need an extra battery pack to keep it powered on.
What Are The Different Kinds of Cellular Trail Cameras?
There are several types of cellular game scouting cameras and they all vary in functionalities. Some models like the new Moultrie A-Series can do 2-way audio calling, while some only send images via text messages such as the popular Reconyx Hyperfire HC500. Most high-end models like those made by Wildgame Innovations cost more because not only do they have better night vision but some come with a screen for composing pictures before you save them to the 8GB built-in memory card. To make a quick decision on which cellular trail camera is right for you, my advice is to buy one that does both, has a great warranty and best of all has good reviews.
It’s not enough to read the product description before buying anything online. If you want to know if a cellular trail cam is any good then you need to ask other people that have actually bought one and used it in the field. Some of them may say good things and others bad, but usually only the ones with only negative comments will mention their name in reviews. Why? Because they don’t want anyone to contact them or post bad stuff about how your unique situation isn’t covered by manufacturer warranty when they already stated their “terms and conditions” when you made the purchase.
Get One With No Hidden Fees! It’s very annoying when companies add hidden fees such as shipping costs, handling charges and sales tax when you weren’t expecting them. If a cellular trail camera costs $100 in stores but online it says it’s only $80, then the other $20 is all profit for the seller. Why? Because they didn’t pay rent on a high profile commercial location, they don’t have to worry about paying employees and most importantly nobody can sue them if anything goes wrong with their products! In my opinion, companies that add hidden fees are untrustworthy. That little bit extra may not seem like much at first, but after you add up everything from candy bars to new laptops, you’ll see how much savings really adds up over time! To make matters worse, some sellers will even cancel your purchase without telling you and demand more money than the initial price. How do you avoid this? It’s easy- just buy cameras from a store that has a physical address and phone number or at least let you make contact via email or chat.
Is It Easy To Find A Cellular Trail Camera In Stores?
If you’re looking for cellular game scouting cameras in stores, then head to your local Walmart or other big box retailer. There are only four types available at this time so it won’t take long to shop around before making a decision. Just remember that when you buy one, the sales person will want you to sign up for their credit card instead of paying cash because there’s a higher profit margin in that standard. If you try this, just bring along someone else with you that has their own bank account instead of being put in debt by signing up for something they don’t need! Use free money offers to improve your credit score without taking on any consumer debt!
At home I have a lot of devices that need charging every day and the only solution is to constantly buy new batteries which can be expensive. This is where going green with solar power becomes important because I don’t have to worry about keeping my lithium ion battery collection charged anymore! In fact, now I never run out of juice on anything from my iPhone to my drone since this powerful tool has an AC outlet built right in. Why do you think it’s called Duracell? You can charge your cellular trail camera from a distance using a long extension cord if necessary! That way you’ll always know when the pictures are ready to download even if you’re miles away from your computer.
If you can afford it, then this is definitely one of the best investments for scouting open areas in nature including your own backyard, because who doesn’t want to know what’s going on while they’re gone? Why did I buy a cellular trail camera instead of a normal one? It’s because I wanted one with no wires that would be automatic and easy to set up without any hassle. You could say that I’m lazy but really, all my friends have them too so I didn’t want to seem like the odd ball in my circle when it came time to share game camera photos. Besides, our area had frequent blackouts due to tornadoes and other weather conditions like hurricanes, so I knew it would be a wise choice to prepare for emergencies.
That’s why you should always make sure your camera is IP66 or higher because it’ll mean the difference between lightening striking and harming your equipment inside, or not. I’ve heard horror stories of people whose trail camera got fried even though they had silica gel packs in place! When you eventually decide which one you want though, don’t bother with cheap Chinese knockoffs! You can tell if warranty support is sketchy, that there will be no live online chat support and most importantly the price will be much cheaper than advertised. Remember: If you pay peanuts, then expect monkeys as your tech reps on hand to solve problems.
My Final Thoughts On Cellular Trail Cameras! This is a great device that lets you scout the wilderness and see what’s happening at night even when you’re miles away from home resting peacefully in your bed. It’s so easy to use, there’s no time wasted on setting up the picture schedule or waiting for batteries to charge since all it takes is flipping a switch and downloading photos later. You can set this up with anytime memory mode and leave it running until something trips the infrared sensor. Then you’ll be able to see who was coming onto your property without having to be present! I like how mine send texts with pictures attached but that could also be used as another way for someone to infiltrate your privacy.
Whether you’re a hunter, looking to do wildlife research or just want to keep an eye on your property from afar, cellular trail cameras are perfect for use in any scenario. These cameras have the ability to send live footage of what’s happening at their location wirelessly and without interruption by using cell towers that can be up to 10 miles away. If you’ve been considering purchasing one of these best-selling devices but don’t know which kind is right for you, we’ve got some information below on how they compare so you can make the most informed decision possible before buying.