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Anyone try the CuddeLINK cameras?

Rich MRich M Posts: 1,326 Officer
It seems like a great idea - check your cams from 1 centralized cam and no enter the "zone" and scent it up.

I had a decent buck on a cam the first week I put it out on a scouting mission.  He never showed back up when I went in the 2nd time.  Thinking these things would work great in that situation.  

Anyone got these?  Do they work as advertised?  How is the construction?  The transferred photos?  Etc.?

Thanks!

Replies

  • arrowheadhuntarrowheadhunt Posts: 204 Deckhand
    I first became aware of this camera system over the summer.

    Like you, I'm wondering how it functions in the woods. The idea is great. 
  • GeetchGeetch St. Pete and JasperPosts: 223 Deckhand
    I have 9 cameras running to one cellular home base. I get ~60 pictures a day. I get emails four times per day. Image quality in daytime is better than night but that is to be expected. The image quality on the SD card is better than the emailed version of course. This is on 100 acres of mature planted pines, it is very thick. My cell signal is terrible, so I climbed a pine and put the home base up about 20 feet and that worked. I have the unlimited plan for $40/month. 

    The range is less than they advertise at my place, but I guess that is the "up to" range and is because of the thickness of the underbrush. I still need to tweak the locations or add some repeaters. The signal I'm getting is strong enough to send pictures and I'm getting pictures from all cameras. What I don't know until I pull the cards is if all pictures are coming through. It does queue them, so I'm not sure if all are coming in. You also get a daily email that reports on each camera. Battery life, signal strength, queued images, total images, etc. I'm going on 50 days for the home base and one camera and 30 days on the others. Battery is still reporting as "OK" 

    emailed images:

  • Rich MRich M Posts: 1,326 Officer
    Very nice, Geetch!  Good picture quality too.

    I'm leaning more towards the ones without the cell service - the outlying cams send the photos to a centralized unit that you check in person.

    My thoughts are that I'm public land and never know what permit will pull until it is summer - scout some and hang the cams in lock boxes, see how the deer move in a given area without disturbing them any more than necessary.
  • gottheitch22gottheitch22 fort Meade FLPosts: 4,334 Captain
    HAD 3 BRAND NEW CUDDY BAK FAIL ON ME IN LAST 3 MONTHS . NEVER WILL I OWN ONE AGAIN
    living life as i like
  • Rich MRich M Posts: 1,326 Officer
    That's something else I've seen in the reviews - lack of weatherproofness, weathering plastics, squirrels eat em up, high battery usage.

    BUT- if they communicate well, the metal security box may help with some of the other issues. 

    MAYBE a better name such as Browning will do something like this?
  • ibhuntngibhuntng Posts: 90 Deckhand
    I've got a snyper trail camera that sends pictures to my phone. It's 10.00 a month. So far it is working good
  • Florida BullfrogFlorida Bullfrog Posts: 2,908 Captain
    edited October 2018 #8
    I seriously looked into the Cudde-link cameras for my farm, where I could easily set them up and have them transmit to my house. I ended up going with cheap $28 Walmart Tasco cams. I simply make the rounds every few days from my ATV and download all the pics onto my iPhone via a memory card reader. The deer seem to interpret my excursions as farming activity. 

    I used to treat trail cameras like a hobby. I was always trying new models and I generally knew most of what there was to know about what was on the market. Back in the early days of trail cameras Cuddebacks were some of the best. Then they became some of the worst for the price. Now my understanding is that some of their models are good again, with the Cuddelink cameras being some of their better models. 

    But at the end of the day, I haven't found a more reliable camera for the money that the current cheapo Tasco cams. Picture quality isn't great but they trigger fast and don't seem to miss anything that walks in front of them. And they also seem to have good battery life. 

    The big issue with trail cameras is nearly all of them are made in China and the same model's quality can vary from production year to year because of changes to factories or parts available. What was good 5 years ago may be bad now, and what's bad now may be an awesome camera next year. 
  • jordinejordine flPosts: 52 Greenhorn
    I would spend a little more and get the Reconyx camera.

  • Florida BullfrogFlorida Bullfrog Posts: 2,908 Captain
    edited October 2018 #10
    jordine said:
    I would spend a little more and get the Reconyx camera.

    Here’s the thing with those. I used to own a Buckeye, which was the first wireless camera and of similar high quality. About a $550 camera like a Reconyx. It gave me nearly a decade of good service. But when it finally died, it died. Neither the Reconyx or the Buckeye give long warranties for their very expensive products. I wouldn’t pay $500 again for a product that isn’t protected for life. 
  • Rich MRich M Posts: 1,326 Officer
    From what I've seen, any trail cam is gonna last about 2-5 yrs. 

    I have 4 Brownings and they are 5 yrs old but I only set them a few weeks/months a year.  So should last a while.  I also have 3 Tascos and don't get as many pics with these.

    $10/month is $120/yr.  That's more than I want to spend for 1 to 2 months worth of pictures.  Public land hunting... It is more about are the deer coming thru during shooting hours as opposed to monitoring a specific buck or health of the herd. 

    If I went with Cuddelink - dropping $700 for 4 cams seems pricey but 3 are gonna be in areas that will only get disturbed 2x - when I set it and a month later when I hunt it.  The 4th will be set up a tree somewhere nearby and serve only as a check station.  I could get away with 3 cams but the bulk price is the same as 3 cams.

    The concept is excellent for my personal style and would "pay for itself" in 2 years ($10/month per cam x 3 x 2 yrs = $720).   My other argument on the cell cams is most areas I hunt I don;t have reception (Verizon).
  • gottheitch22gottheitch22 fort Meade FLPosts: 4,334 Captain
    ibhuntng said:
    I've got a snyper trail camera that sends pictures to my phone. It's 10.00 a month. So far it is working good
    My sniper just got stolen from triple n ranch with my climber
    living life as i like
  • gottheitch22gottheitch22 fort Meade FLPosts: 4,334 Captain
    I have 30 game cams between here and Indiana and the best pictures hands down are from my sniper cams
    living life as i like
  • Walker DogWalker Dog Posts: 2,155 Captain
    ibhuntng said:
    I've got a snyper trail camera that sends pictures to my phone. It's 10.00 a month. So far it is working good
    My sniper just got stolen from triple n ranch with my climber
    That sucks. Sorry to hear it. 
  • gottheitch22gottheitch22 fort Meade FLPosts: 4,334 Captain
    ibhuntng said:
    I've got a snyper trail camera that sends pictures to my phone. It's 10.00 a month. So far it is working good
    My sniper just got stolen from triple n ranch with my climber
    That sucks. Sorry to hear it. 
    Thanks . It really is sad . Funny part is all the guys I seen with E Bikes out there seem to have plenty of money . 2k to 3k for the bikes I seen . Just wish I did not pull the other 6 cameras I had in that area .
    living life as i like
  • gottheitch22gottheitch22 fort Meade FLPosts: 4,334 Captain
    ibhuntng said:
    I've got a snyper trail camera that sends pictures to my phone. It's 10.00 a month. So far it is working good
    My sniper just got stolen from triple n ranch with my climber
    That sucks. Sorry to hear it. J
    Just makes me want to get on a lease , Think im done with public land . Just not worth the hassle .
    living life as i like
  • Rich MRich M Posts: 1,326 Officer
    Leases really aren't much different - depending on the lease, you typically get guys hunting on top of each other, stuff goes missing, etc.
  • Walker DogWalker Dog Posts: 2,155 Captain
    Did u get off the one you were on S of 80?
  • ibhuntngibhuntng Posts: 90 Deckhand
    ibhuntng said:
    I've got a snyper trail camera that sends pictures to my phone. It's 10.00 a month. So far it is working good
    My sniper just got stolen from triple n ranch with my climber
    I hate to hear that! Maybe you will get a picture of who took it

  • ibhuntngibhuntng Posts: 90 Deckhand
    I've got mine in a lock box. Maybe it will slow them down
  • gottheitch22gottheitch22 fort Meade FLPosts: 4,334 Captain
    Did u get off the one you were on S of 80?
    YES
    living life as i like
  • bowhunter4lifebowhunter4life Posts: 1,438 Officer
    ibhuntng said:
    I've got a snyper trail camera that sends pictures to my phone. It's 10.00 a month. So far it is working good
    My sniper just got stolen from triple n ranch with my climber
    That sucks!... I bought some tasco $29 cameras from Walmart online for public land. Not the best quality, but they let you know what’s there. I hate thieves!
  • spanglerspangler daBurgPosts: 2,214 Captain
    edited October 2018 #23
    So, my technical background is actually in radios.  Something I can speak to intelligently on here about finally!!
    However, the website doesn't have specs for the radios.. only mention that they 'mesh'. 
    I can tell you with certainty, the radio performance of these cameras will not leave one impressed.  Their are inherent problems with 'mesh' radio technologies.  I won't get into it here but let me just say this.. they don't work well.  Also, unless they are using 900mhz or lower bands, you are not going to cut through florida brush at any great distance.  But if they are then, you are severely limited in bandwidth...  and I can tell you, to push high quality images or video, you need lots of bandwith.
    Being someone who has provided wireless solutions for 15 years, I've thought about developing several products inline with this.  They're so close to how this could be a GREAT system.  The application is just a bit off.
    I'm waiting for a response from the manufacturer on radio details and will provide more info then.  My guess.. the mesh radios are using wifi.  Looks like 8dbi 2.4ghz rubber duckies on them units.
  • Florida BullfrogFlorida Bullfrog Posts: 2,908 Captain
    Spangler, also check out the Buckeye systems. They were the first cameras to offer radio transmission cameras a decade ago. You might want to see what their current tech is. 
  • Rich MRich M Posts: 1,326 Officer
    Does anyone know if other manufacturers are gonna offer these interconnected but not cell-phone connected products?
  • Florida BullfrogFlorida Bullfrog Posts: 2,908 Captain
    Buckeye is the only other manufacturer I’m aware of that does non-cellular wireless. 

    I’ve superficially looked into wi-fi survellience systems. But I live on my hunting property and have internet there. I can drop some repeaters in the woods and cover the whole farm. That wouldn’t be practical for most people. 
  • Rich MRich M Posts: 1,326 Officer
    Thanks, Frog.

    I'm just wanting to use them for a couple of months each year - scouting and not touching the area if the deer are in there.
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