Trail Cam - Why not refreshing?

General Discussions: ASK John: Trail Cam - Why not refreshing?

By snowgirl on Monday, December 29, 2008 - 03:07 pm: Edit Post

Why is the trail cam so pixelated this year? No one will be posting any pics "Caught on Trailcam" because you cannot see who is there, you can't even read the sign. Why does it only update a couple of times a day? It used to update every few minutes. What do we need to do to make it like it was last year? I see people standing out in front of the sign, calling their loved ones to look at them, and it now only updates once or twice a day. Why? How do we fix? Right now, Monday 3:10, the webcam is still showing a pic from Sunday at 8:30 a.m. More than 24 hours ago. Please advise.

By admin on Monday, December 29, 2008 - 05:13 pm: Edit Post


I had to put a new cam in out there because the old one died over the summer. They do not make the one I was previously using any more and I do not feel comfortable putting a really expensive camera out there when it could be stolen. The cam I replaced it with is suppose to have the same resolution as the one it replaced and to me it looks about the same. I think the sign is futher away this season than last, at least it looks that way to me when I look at the pics from last season. Note that the archived images from last season from "Michael O" are ones that they took with their own digital cam and not one from the trail cam. The image from Ken R is from the trail cam and shows the sign a lot closer than it is this year, with all other objects looking about the same clarity.

As for the updating, several things can cause a problem. First, the computer it is on will just crash and needs a rebooting. I think that is what the current problem is and with your Dad being sick I did not want to bother your mom with the cam issues. I wish I could get down there to reboot it when this happens, but live 45 minutes (in good weather) away and just cannot get down there at the drop of a hat. This is not a new issue or something that is happening more frequently, it was just addressed quicker last season when you mom and dad had more time to get to it.

Another issue is I am now using the wireless network they have at the cabins and we still need to move the hub closer to the front window to get a stronger signal to the cam. Something I was going to do when I came down to help with the other cam they wanted to put up.

The other issue is just a software hang up that happens. It is a simple fix now that I have remote control software out there and do fix the cam that way several times a week. However, when the computer is not available over the net (like it is now), I cannot control it.

So right now it just needs a simple restart or reboot. The key for the box housing the computer is sitting behind the front desk at the cabins, feel free to reboot now and any other time you see it down for more than 24 hours.

As for the clarity, other than popping for a more expensive camera and risking having it stolen, I really do not know what can be done.


By snowgirl on Wednesday, December 31, 2008 - 09:21 am: Edit Post

I will have my mom show me where to reboot the system and I can go to do it when I see it is down also.
Once the bugs are out, will it keep taking pics every 5 minutes or so like it did last year? About how many minutes? Please advise so that we can let the people know who are trying to have their family see them on the webcam.

Thanks again.

By admin on Wednesday, December 31, 2008 - 09:34 am: Edit Post

Once the bugs have been taken care of, then I think I have it set to take a pic every 5 minutes. Just like last year.

As soon as my leg heals more and I can walk around in the snow. I will get down there to swap out the buggy computer with a good one and get things dialed in!


By toadster920 on Wednesday, December 31, 2008 - 05:37 pm: Edit Post

The Operating System may need to be re-installed to prevent the frequent system crashes instead of replacing the entire unit. At least if it is running on a Windows box anyway. Try looking into a Linux distribution for the OS. I'm not bashing Windows by any means. Bill Gates is one of my Idols. I just know Linux is a more stable platform for items that only run one or two applications constantly. Where I work we have a few Linux boxes that run one application and they haven't been rebooted since I have worked there, over a year now.


By admin on Wednesday, December 31, 2008 - 06:23 pm: Edit Post

Thanks Todd.

Problem is I know nothing about Linux, never even seen it! It could be the OS or perhaps just a worn out machine. Either way, I picked up a new box with XP on it and nothing else (except the drivers) and plan to get the software loaded to run the cam and swap things out as soon as my leg allows me to do that much walking through the snow.

Dave and Lori are also planning on setting up a nice cam of their own, so there should be two cams at the Wildlife Refuge Cabins!


By toadster920 on Thursday, January 01, 2009 - 02:26 am: Edit Post

No problem John. Can't wait to see the new cam. Tell you the truth, I can't wait until I can get back up by you guys and play in the snow. I have a new baby coming in March so I doubt it will be this year but I'm hoping to be able to get away next to play in the snow. Until then I have to live vicariously through your journals and all the wonderful pics you and everyone else on this site leave me.


By snowgirl on Friday, January 02, 2009 - 10:27 am: Edit Post

I talked to my parents, they said you are working on things now. Thank you for your quick action. I know that people enjoy seeing themselves on the cam and watching the snow fall. Thank you.

By admin on Friday, January 02, 2009 - 10:32 am: Edit Post

Hopefully by tomorrow at about this time all will be dandy!


By umdivx on Tuesday, January 06, 2009 - 04:02 pm: Edit Post

I see the cam is stuck again. Are you still having issues with wifi signal? If so, wifi is what I do for a living. I have plenty of old hardware, higher gain antenna's and the such that might help get you a better signal depending on how far the main access point is from where the trail cam PC is located.

hit me up with an email if that might be the case.

- Josh

By admin on Wednesday, January 07, 2009 - 10:17 am: Edit Post

Thanks Josh.

I have a USB antenna that worked with the old setup I am going to try. If that does not work, then I will get in touch with you.

On Monday we had a range extender looking like it was configured, but we just could not pass any data through it. We had IP addresses at the extender and even at the computer for the trail cam, but could still not browse, ping or anything. I really hate networking!


By umdivx on Wednesday, January 07, 2009 - 10:34 am: Edit Post

What brand name, model, type (B, B/G, N) is the access point/router in the main building?

Also same goes for the range extender?

What wireless channel are they running their network on? I've found that the range extenders generally only work well on the default channel 6.

Are they running any sort of wireless security? WEP, WPA(2)?

- Josh

By admin on Wednesday, January 07, 2009 - 10:53 am: Edit Post


E mail coming your way shortly.


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