The Treebark Sony camera units are power up style digital trail cameras. The cameras are off at rest, and upon sensor trip, the camera wakes up, takes a picture and powers off until triggered again. The trip-until-shutter-time is approximately 2.5 seconds. If setting up across a trail, set the unit on a tree 3 – 5 yards from the trail. Kick a dirt spot on the trail (mock scrape), as animals will always stop and check out a scrape. The cameras internal Nimh “AA”s will last for 150 to 200 pictures between charges. A 512 mb memory card will hold 220 pictures each at 4 megapixel resolution, but the resolution can be set lower so the camera's memory card can hold more than 400 pictures. See camera manual for this.
The camera has a flash range of 8 to 10-yards, possibly 12-yards on a lighter-coloured animal. We have preset the camera for the best settings for response time and flash range. These settings will only have to be reset if the batteries are dead for many days. The dip switch settings come set with no delay. Any changes to dip switches need to be made with the power to the board off. Then wait 30 seconds and power the board on again so the new settings can take affect. To review pictures, you will need to turn the camera on and select review mode to review the pictures. This is done by pushing the small button on the camera top. Then switch to review mode. But remember, after viewing pictures, return the camera back to picture mode and turn off the rear LCD screen. Finally, turn the camera off again (top button) before you set it back into the trail camera case.
After changing camera batteries remember to turn the camera on once to set the LCD screen off, as the LCD screen defaults back to “ON” after a battery change. The main sensor battery (9 V) pack will not need to be checked for 2 or more months. To check the main sensor battery, simply touch the digital multi meter leads to the battery leads– the battery voltage needs to be better than 8.5 volts total for a 9 volt supply, and 6 volts for a 6 V pack. A 6 V pack will measure 6.4 volts fresh and will last for 4 to 6 months. The Nimh AA rechargeables are used for the cameras. The Nimh wall charger is an 8 to 12 hour charger– don’t charge the AA’s for any longer. Some chargers idle back, some do not. Energizer Lithiums AA's are excellent batteries too, getting 800 pictures and/or 8 weeks in the field, however, these Lithium AA’s are not rechargeable and fairly costly.
The dip switch settings on the motion board are pretty simple. See the label inside the trail cam unit. When you turn on the motion sensor unit with the button on the battery pack, it starts with a blink and a 30 second warm up, then a 1 to 3 minute blink/walk test where the red light will blink upon motion sensed. This lasts 1 to 3 minutes, depending on which board model you have. The camera will be armed when no motion is sensed for 1 to 3 minutes. It is suggested to put a tape patch on the sensor hole. Some folks do this when they are mounting the camera on the tree and when putting on the Python lock to prevent false pictures when mounting the unit, as the on/off switch is inside the case. Without the patch, you have 1 to 3 minutes before the camera arms itself. Remember to remove the tape patch, if you use it, before you leave the area.
Python locks are great, it makes these units about as theft proof and as bear proof as they can be.