Receiving photo’s in near real-time from your trial camera can save time, money and resources. The problem is that until recently very few GSM enabled trail cameras have been able to do this reliably. Either the functionality of the camera has been poor or the image management system, which is often overlooked when purchasing GSM cameras, has been difficult to use, or worse, non-existent. For this reason, PERDIX has not offered its clients a GSM enabled trail camera until now.
After thoroughly field-testing the BolyGuard MG984 GSM camera we found it to be reliable, easy to use and, for the price, loaded with features for both wildlife and security applications. This compact camera is able to capture 1080 FHD video with audio for up to 3 minutes per trigger during the day and night. It also has three picture resolution options, 14, 25 or 36 megapixels and uses powerful 940Nm LED’s to provide a flash range of up to 27m (90ft). Combined, these options allow the user to capture high quality covert videos and photo’s of both humans and wildlife 24 hours a day.
The BolyGuard MG984 has three image-capture options; PIR trigger, Time Lapse or Both. The PIR has a detection range of 30m (100ft) and can be adjusted for sensitivity depending on how the camera is being used. Time Lapse mode allows either a picture or video to be captured at preset time intervals, irrespective of movement detection by the PIR. Unlike many cameras in this price range, the time interval options are wide ranging (5 minutes to 8 hours) and operates 24 hours a day. When both the PIR and Time Lapse mode are on, the camera will take images using both methods. A very useful surveillance option.
Again, unlike many remote cameras in this price range, the BolyGuard MG984 GSM camera also has scheduling so that the camera can be set to only take images on certain days or times of the day. This is a very useful feature for security applications. For instance, the camera can be set to only capture and send images outside of office hours during the week and for 24 hours over the weekend.
To make setup and viewing of videos and photo’s extremely easy in the field, the MG984 comes with a 2.3″ colour LCD screen. Importantly, the set up menus have also been intuitively designed for very easy operation.
In addition to sending images via the GSM network, the MG984 GSM camera also stores the original images on an SD card. Consequently, the camera can also be used as standard trail camera by turning off the GSM functionality. This is simply done in the send options.
The BolyGuard MG984 is powered by 8 x AA batteries that provide up to 6 months standby time. To further increase deployment time, the MG984 has an external 6V power port that can be used to connect either a battery or Boly solar panel and power bank unit.
The overall size and shape of the camera is compact and that gives a low profile when mounted. Mounting can be via the adjustable strap (included) or via the standard threaded mount. A threaded tree mount is also included.
The BolyGuard MG984 can be used on any GSM network and you are free to purchase this separately. The type of SIM you require, depends on how you plan to send the images over the network. We recommend using data rather than MMS due to much lower costs. We will be introducing a range of GSM plans to suit both wildlife and security applications soon.
PERDIXpro (coming soon). Photo’s and videos can be uploaded to the PERDIXpro portal using this camera via Email GPRS. This powerful cloud-based system allows users to easily and securely manage all of their cameras (and other GSM devices) in one convenient place, while at their desk or in the field. PERDIXpro allows users to securely view, manage, store and download their images, check the health of their deployed camera/s (including network signal strength, SD card space available and battery level), set up and control notifications via email & SMS, and view the location of deployed cameras on a map. Other features are being added continually. For further information please visit our PERDIXpro web page here. We offer a one month’s free trial of PERDIXpro with the purchase of this camera.
Molnus. Molnus is a cloud based service that allows images taken by the camera to be viewed from compatible devices. To use Molnus an account must be created at www.molnus.com. If you would like to use Molnus on your smartphone, then please download the App on Google Play or Apple’s App Store.
Email GPRS. Photo’s and videos are sent via email as attachments. Setup can be directly on camera or via a simple downloadable application. Settings vary between network providers.
MMS. Photo’s and videos are sent via MMS to a mobile phone number or email. Setup can be directly on camera or via a simple downloadable application. Settings vary between network providers.
SMS control. Camera settings can be remotely changed via SMS commands. A near real-time photo / video can also be requested. SMS commands can be sent via the Boly App or Molnus. PERDIXpro will also incorporate this feature soon.
The camera can send photo’s in three sizes; Low, Normal and High. When sent using Low and Normal, photo’s are compressed to approximately 50 and 140 kilobytes (KB) respectively. Photo’s sent using the High setting are sent as taken, approximately 2 MB. All video’s are sent as taken. Therefore, when using the camera to send videos, the video size should be set to 640 x 480 (VGA) to reduce file size. For example, a 5 second VGA video is approximately 2 MB whereas a 5 second 1080 FHD file is over 9 MB! We have had no problems sending VGA videos up to 30 seconds (9 MB). Please note that the data figures given above are file sizes, not network data used to send them – this is usually slightly higher.
The camera has 3 send modes; Instant, Daily and Off. When the send mode is set to Instant the camera will send a photo or video immediately after capture. The number of messages sent can be set at 0 – 99 or unlimited. If images are being sent Daily, the camera will send the last image taken and a count of images taken during the day.
Off. Disables all GSM functions. Images are only stored on the SD card.
To give an idea of the different applications the Bolyguard MG984 GSM camera can be used for, particularly when used in conjunction with PERDIXpro, a few examples are described below.
Unfortunately, crime in the countryside is on the rise. Although CCTV around rural houses, business premises and other power-accessible locations is now commonplace, those areas without mains-powered cameras remain vulnerable. While we are increasingly being asked for standard trail cameras to fill this security gap, these cameras are unable to notify the user when a crime is actually being committed. By using the MG984 GSM camera, users can receive near real-time photo’s and videos with audio directly to their smart phone or computer whenever the camera is triggered. When using the camera through PERDIXpro, the user is notified via email and/ or SMS when a camera is triggered. All images can then be viewed and stored on the secure cloud-based portal. In addition, if you have multiple cameras deployed around your farm buildings, access points, agricultural equipment etc, all cameras and images are managed in one place.
Trail cameras have long been used to try and catch perpetrators of environmental crimes. Fly-tipping, poaching and wildlife persecution are probably the most common crimes that often tackled with remote cameras. While standard trail cameras are still used to combat these crimes, the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has reduced the ability of them to be used in non-secure locations. The problem is that standard trail cameras, however well protected with locks and security cases, hold unsure data on their SD cards. To overcome this issue, when the MG984 camera is used in via PERDIXpro, users have the option to automatically delete the saved images on the SD card once they are received. With this unique feature, no data is left unsure on the SD card.
Wildlife Monitoring & Research:
Camera traps have now become a widely used tool for wildlife research. While the vast majority of projects don’t require images or video to be sent immediately to the biologist, there are occasions when this would extremely useful. For example, it would allow the user to know instantly when a nest has hatched, fledged or been predated. It could also be used to monitor traps during tagging operations. In addition to giving near real-time information, the images can be automatically catalogued when using PERDIXpro, saving time and resources during the field season.
Going back to nest monitoring, the MG984 camera allows real-time monitoring of nests without disturbance. By not visiting the camera to check or change the SD card, it will also reduce the risk of nest-abandonment and being located by a predator.
The MG984 is ideal for monitoring traps remotely. While standard trap monitoring systems use simple reed switch activation to detect trapped animals, cameras have the advantage of both confirming a capture and showing the user what has been caught. When the camera is linked up to the PERDIXpro system, all trapping records are stored securely for future reference if required.
The camera offers three options for this application, motion detection photo’s / videos (PIR), time specific photo’s/ videos (Time lapse) or both. Using the PIR, the camera will take a photo whenever an animal is detected close or in a trap. This method will provide the user with an instant notification of a capture and, importantly, an image of what has been caught. This method is best used when the camera is setup close to a single trap.
If the trap only needs to be checked periodically i.e a capture doesn’t require immediate action, Time Lapse mode will send the user an image at a predetermined time intervals. The user can choose to receive a photo or video as regularly as once every five minutes or a little as three times per day. Because Time Lapse mode is not reliant on animal movement to trigger the camera, this setup allows the user to monitor multiple traps at a greater distance.
The third option for trappers would be to use the camera with both PIR and Time Lapse modes turned on. With this set up, the user will receive photo’s or videos when motion is detected in or near a trap as well as at the preset time intervals. In addition to this being the ‘belt and braces’ option to ensure a trapped animal is detected quickly, it also helps the user detect animals that are visiting the trapping area but are not entering the traps.
Remote camera traps also provide an excellent way for pest control operatives to conduct surveillance for pests 24/7/365 prior to any control programme. While standard trail cameras will do this very well (and we have a large selection of these available), the ability of the MG984 GSM camera to send back images to the pest controllers smart phone and /or desktop computer in near real-time can save considerable time and resources by not having to visit deployed cameras to check their SD cards for images of rats, mice or whatever species is being controlled. It also allows a control programme to be put in place as soon as a pest is detected.
Because the camera will detect and send in images of all birds and mammals that pass by, remote cameras are also an important tool for ensuring the targeted use of rodenticide. If it is found during the surveillance period that non-target species visit an area, the control programme can be specifically designed to prevent injury to those species. For further information on planning targeted control programmes to reduce the risk of harm to wildlife from rodenticide use, please consult the Best Practice Guidelines of the Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use (CRRU) (www.thinkwildlife.org).