Lots of hunters, new and experienced, ask questions about the best way to set up their cellular trail cameras. Basic trail camera best practices apply, but the cellular aspect adds other important factors that need to be considered as well. For those using the new SPYPOINT FLEX, getting your camera going in the woods has gotten just a little bit easier. Here’s how to take advantage of the easy-to-setup features of your new SPYPOINT FLEX.
How to Find a Reliable Signal
Finding a signal that can be trusted to let your camera communicate and transmit photos and videos is the crucial first step in cellular camera setup. Without achieving this, nothing else is going to matter much. Luckily, the dual-sim configuration will connect to whichever network provides the best coverage in the area, without you having to do anything, including selecting a carrier model. That’s a big help.
Secondly, the optimized antenna on the FLEX isn’t just a cosmetic change. It is doing the real heavy lifting when it comes to staying connected to the network. The LED display on the FLEX makes it easier than ever to see your signal quality so you know you have your camera positioned such that it is getting reliable access to the cellular network. As always, we recommend the display read at least three bars to be truly happy with camera placement. If you can’t do that where you start, try moving just a tree or two over. You’ll be surprised how much signal strength can vary in that small of an area.
Formatting your MicroSD Card
We’ve all had it happen. We’re so excited to get a new camera to the woods, we forget to bring an SD card at all. Maybe we lucked out and brought a card, but we forgot to format it before we got to the woods. Unless you brought a laptop with you, you might be out of luck, or at least playing a game of chance that the SD card will be working properly.
Not a problem with the FLEX, though. The new format button on the FLEX can be used to format the MicroSD card right in the camera, with no other equipment needed. Now, you do need to understand that you can’t push that button any time. The last thing we wanted was for people to accidentally format their MicroSD and lose all their photos.
For the format button to actually format the card, the format button has to be pressed and held for five seconds right after the power has been turned on, and while the status LED is blinking green. Once the green delay light begins to flash, it’s too late. If you need to format your card you need to do it as soon as you turn the camera on.
An added bonus of formatting the card in the camera, by doing so you will unlock another great feature of the FLEX. Most cellular trail cameras can’t take photos while they are transmitting. So, if a deer triggers the camera during your scheduled transmission time, or if you have it set on each detection, the camera won’t take a photo until the transmission is completed. But, when you format directly in the SPYPOINT FLEX, it establishes a protocol in the card that lets the camera add new photos to the card, while photos from other parts of the card are being transmitted.
Formatting can also be done remotely, via the SPYPOINT app. Just know, that when you do that, all photos and videos will be erased, so if there is anything on that card that you want to get and save, you will want to recover that card before it is formatted.
Testing Your Camera
Ideally, you tested the camera from home as soon as you activated it to make sure it was working. Once you get to the woods, it’s always a good idea to hang around in front of your camera for a few minutes to verify that you are triggering the camera and it is transmitting photos to the app. With the FLEX, it’s literally as easy as the push of a button.
The addition of the test button to the camera user interface means you can press the button and the camera will take a photo and send it right away. You can simply open the app and make sure that it shows up in your gallery to know that your camera and the transmission function are working as they should.
It doesn’t get much easier than a push of a button!
Anyone that has used a cellular trail camera has had to work through updating the firmware. Just like your phone needs to update to stay performing at its best, so does your cellular trail camera. Of course, it’s a step that we too often forget, or remember at inopportune times.
The SPYPOINT FLEX will allow you to update firmware from the app, over the air, so you don’t have to visit the camera or load firmware on to an SD card to make the upgrade. When new firmware is available for your FLEX camera you will see that an update is ready in the app. Given that your camera has enough battery life and the signal in the area you have installed your camera is strong enough, you will be able to authorize the firmware update to take place.
Again, as easy as pushing a button.
The goal with the SPYPOINT FLEX was simple. We wanted to build a cellular trail camera that was easier to deploy, manage, and use than any other cellular trail camera hunters have ever seen. With features like easy-to-use format and test buttons, an incredibly powerful SIM and antenna combination, and easy camera updates, we think we’ve done exactly that.