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Using a Trail Camera indoors

I have a ProStalk PC2000 Trail Camera thanks to the kindness of my children.  I'm supposed to use this outdoors to 'trap' wildlife and photograph them but the weather's been too bad since Christmas to really concentrate on that.  However, we've been seeing evidence that we have mice in the house, so I thought I'd try to use this camera indoors to find the culprit...

The first efforts I made were not good: Many photographs taken were useless (they were mainly whiteouts), because the camera is too sensitive and the night lights too bright for the close work needed indoors.
So thinking this through, I worked out that to get sensible pictures I needed to adjust the camera to reduce its sensitivity to get the results I wanted.  Now as this unit is essentially a 'sealed unit' (it's protected against the elements) it does not have many controls you can access like a normal camera.  Therefore, I couldn't actually alter the camera settings.  What next?  Well, the only thing left is to reduce the light emitted by the nightlight (the 15x IR LED's fitted to the camera shown here on the lower half of the camera)
This turned out to be easier than you might think.  All you need to do is to fix a filter to the front of the camera covering the IR LED's and that's it; Job done.  Well, almost.  You need to find the right filter.  I estimated that I needed to reduce the amount of IR light to about 10% of its original value and to achieve this I had to choose a good filter.  As I am an engineer with computing tendencies, I have a number of anti-static bags around that are used to protect sensitive electronic components such as memory chips and hard drives.  These are made of silvered plastic and are almost opaque.
I tried one of these on the front of the camera held in place with an elastic band ...
... and the results were just what I wanted. Now all I need to do is make the mouse stand still long enough for a clear picture.

6 comments:

  1. What do you mean "all I need to do is get the blighter to stand still"? What you really need to do is connect up the camera to also trigger a Nerf gun to dissuade the mice from returning...

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  2. Perhaps not a Nerf gun. Too much energy required... Better a Little Nipper, primed with a peanut. Shan't leave the camera up though. Or shall I???

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  3. If you're going to try this outdoors day and night you'll probably need to cut a hole in the diffuser, directly over the daylight sensor, otherwise the camera will shoot IR all the time.
    See also my comment about battery charge state http://www.ronburyswildlife.com/2011/04/making-net-work-using-trail-camera.html

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  4. Good call, Ron and thanks. Outside would be a different matter, I agree. This was solely for use indoors at night with the lights out, so nothing lost there.

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  5. I dont think its good having a trail camera indoor.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Natasha.

      Can I ask why you don't think it is a good idea?

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