Scout is a rugged, weatherproof, long term camera trapping sensor. It will last 100 days on 6 AA batteries. The Scout transmitter and receiver use a modulated IR beam to detect subjects while filtering out nuisance triggers from changes in ambient light and rain. Scout features a 4-line display for extremely easy set up - everything can be configured though the menu driven 4 button interface. No guessing and no DIP switches. The alignment feature makes for quick sensor alignment.
Scout - The Long Term Camera Trapping Solution
The Scout Trail Monitoring Sensor is a completely weatherproof, very rugged camera trapping trigger designed to be left in the field for weeks or even months at a time. The transmitter and receiver of this sensor form an IR beam that when interrupted triggers your DSLR or video camera. It can fire the camera directly with the included camera harness and shutter interface cable or it can be used with our Scout Cam-Box - when used with the Scout Cam-Box the system offers wireless triggering. The trigger is incredibly easy to use and has all of the configurable features you will need for your next camera trapping project. The Scout includes directional triggering, active and sleep time windows and it is all powered from six AA batteries. The system is available with two different transmitters, a base transmitter for lower cost, or the standard transmitter for the most flexibility.
Scout Highlights and Features
- Creates a beam that when interrupted fires your camera.
- Very Rugged UV resistant polycarbonate housing.
- Can be set up for directional triggering in order to avoid the infamous "butt" shot. (requires the standard transmitter)
- Will not trigger due to temperature changes or rain.
- Both Transmitter and Receiver powered by 6AA Batteries
- Battery life on one set of Eneloop rechargeable batteries is at least 100 Days (25C)
- Includes an external power jack for longer term assignments.
- Easy to read OLED display.
- Camera control is completely customizable - including periodic 1/2 press for keep-alive.
- Start and Stop Video recording with Sony cameras using this optional cable.
- Wired flash control.
- Real Time Clock
- Two active time windows - Program the times of day you want the system to be active
- Included aluminum 1/4-20 tripod mount
- Housing is weather proof - designed to be left in the weather.
- Features all weather proof connectors.
- Can be locked up by optional Python cable for security.
- Equipped with USB to facilitate firmware updates.
- PIN based lockout system to prevent the mischievous from changing your settings.
- Use this Scout Sensor and the Scout Scout Cam-Box for a complete wireless camera triggering solution.
Most often when camera trapping you will use Scout to control the camera and the camera to control the flashes. This is the use case shown in the diagram above. Scout interfaces with your camera using the same port where you would connect a remote shutter switch. The unconnected RCA connector in the diagram above is the Flash-Sync-Input and is not used in this connection scheme. The default timing will assert the camera shutter and 1/2 press simultaneously so for most cases no additional configuration is required. If you need more control over your the shutter or 1/2 press controls of your camera no worries the Scout can be configured for any timing you need. You can also use Scout to stop and start video recording on your Sony camera with this optional cable.
Shown to the left is the Scout transmitter strapped to a tree with our optional tree bracket - both are then locked to the tree with a Master Lock Python Cable (5/16") Lock. Scout will accept cables up to 10 mm in diameter
Scout can be configured so that a 4 digit PIN is required to make any settings changes. Once the PIN Lockout is enabled Scout can not even be turned off without the PIN. Cognisys must be contacted to unlock the sensor if the PIN is forgotten.
Long Range and Timing Windows
Of course the best security is keeping the system hidden. Scout has long enough range that it is not necessary to place the transmitter or receiver right on the trails edge. Put them off the path to keep them hidden. Then the timing windows can be set so the system is active only when humans are less likely to be around.
See Who's Visiting - (The Flexibility of Scout)
One of the best things about camera trapping is that you never know who will show up. This camera trap was set up near a small spring where all sorts of critters would come by for a drink. A hearty thank you to the Transition Habitat Conservancy for giving Roy permission to set up his Scout and camera here. The images below were all captured in the same location.
If you click on the thumbnails and have a look at the larger images you can see bees and wasps flying around several of the images (they are very obvious in the Turkey Vulture image). With the Scout set to the fastest transmit rate and the highest sensitivity Scout was triggering on these insects as well as on the birds and mammals that were visiting. A quick change to the settings to reduce the sensitivity and transmit rate to medium eliminates these nuisance triggers without sacrificing any triggers from birds or mammals. Another change to the settings for this shoot was to add a time window for when Scout was active. Scout was set up to trigger only during the night time hours when the bigger critters come out. This cut way down on the number of small birds and squirrels triggering the system during the day. All of the squirrel images were eating up the flash and camera batteries. This gives you a feel for the flexibility of Scout for camera trapping. If you have done any camera trapping you already know you need as much flexibility as you can get.