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Thread: Solar Panel for J cameras

  1. #11
    I've been working 12 hour days, so just getting back here...Is there any way you could tell me exactly what to buy and do to do the 9v conversion to the 12v solar charger/battery setup? I'd like to look into this too as I'm sure that's the best setup to having them last longer.

  2. #12
    Looks like those batteries had no quality control since apparently every batch has some bad ones! I had a few eneloops, so this time I used 6 of those. Hasn't been out long enough to see how many days. I'll be buying more batteries too, and changing out these junk batteries, but Cuddeback should be reimbursing for these expenses!

  3. #13
    I had another camera make it 17 days, a new record low. Pulled the batteries today and 2 of them were bad and would not take a charge in any of my 3 chargers. I use HME Solar 12 volt chargers. They have to be modified to step them down to the 9 volts Cuddeback uses. These HME units have a circuit board with a 3 prong 12 volt regulator. If you're good at soldering you can remove it and solder in a new 3 prong 9 volt regulator. I suck at it so I use pre wired regulators. Both kinds can be found on Amazon doing a search for 9 volt regulator. I'm going to do another one tomorrow and I'll take a couple pictures of the wiring. If you search The Handy Hunter on YouTube he has some good solar trailcam videos. Here are the regulators you can use for the 9 volt step down.
    unnamed.jpg

  4. #14
    Thanks for the info, and will appreciate photos if you can get some in process. Will be trying this since it seems Cuddeback solar chargers are a waste of money since you have to buy the bad batteries with it.

  5. #15
    It looks more complicated than it really is. The first thing I did was cut the wires from the solar panel and the output wires to the trailcam off the circuit board and pitched it. (but like I said earlier if you can solder you can take the 3 prong regulator off and put in a new 9 volt and skip all of this)
    The black wires in the top right are coming from the solar panel.The hot side gets crimped to a diode with the grey circle on it facing the battery (if you don't use it your battery will drain back out of the solar panel). The other side gets crimped and runs to the + side of the battery. Run another line from the +side to the 9 volt regulator input and the output side runs to the wire going to your trailcam.
    The - wire coming out of the solar panel runs the same route except it doesn't go to the diode, it goes straight to the battery, from the battery to the input of the regulator and then the wire to your camera.
    unnamed (1).jpg
    Checking voltage just out of the solar panel it is putting out over 12 volts in the shade. Under sunlight it was over 20 volts. More than enough to keep the battery charged.
    unnamed (2).jpg
    Just over 9 volts out going to your Cuddeback cams.
    unnamed (3).jpg
    I used these chargers with my 12 volt Stealthcams through the winter with several days below 0 and they never failed.

  6. #16
    Thanks for the additional info. I'm getting things together for this now and going to set one up.
    Meanwhile, I did get a new set of Rayovac rechargeable batteries and got them into my camera with Cuddeback solar charger on it. How have your chargers been doing with these batteries? Hopefully longer than with the Tenergy batteries.

  7. #17
    I've only had the Rayovac rechargeables in since 9/7 but so far that camera is still running. I have another J series I'm running lithium in and it's going on day 80 which is longer than any of my cameras with the Cuddeback solar panels. Hopefully the whole issue was the Tenergy batteries but I have 3 of the HME solar chargers finished just waiting to go in the woods. I'll probably put one on my G series as it has no solar option available yet and only lasted 46 days with Duracell D batteries. I bought everything needed to make my own solar chargers with 12 volt batteries as it's cheaper to buy everything than buy the HME units. (plastic ammo box, battery, cables, voltage regulator and solar panel)

  8. #18
    Bad news on my RayOVac batteries & Cuddeback solar charger. DEAD on 9/22/18! I have now put a 12v battery & solar charger setup on it (with 9v converter), so hopefully this will end those problems. Will be getting some more 12v setups done. The Cuddeback solar kit was a complete waste of money!

  9. #19
    How many days did the Rayovac batteries last? I was really hoping the whole problem was with the Tenergy batteries because the Cuddeback solar panels were putting out over 9volts in the sun which should be plenty to charge the batteries. I'm really surprised they didn't go with a 12 volt battery box when they brought out the solar panels instead of AA rechargeables. Oh well, I have enough solar chargers with 12 volt batteries to run all my cameras.
    Capture1.jpg
    Last edited by joe7039; 09-25-2018 at 08:17 AM.

  10. #20
    They only lasted about 4 days! My solar panel is also putting out 9v so that shouldn't be the problem, unless it just needs more power to replace the charge the camera is pulling. The panels just do not charge the batteries for some reason, apparently. It seems as soon as the power goes down in batteries, camera is dead.
    I'm working on the 12v setups for mine, and 6v for the G models. Already have one done, and out on the camera I pulled the Cuddeback solar kit from. The 6v setup is sure making me consider G cameras for any other new cameras I get.

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