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Thread: Solar Panel for J cameras

  1. #1

    Solar Panel for J cameras

    I deployed a camera with the solar power kit, after being sure all the batteries were fully charged, and it's only lasted a little over a month! Put camera out, with solar panel and rechargeable batteries on July 3, and the batteries were DEAD August 7th! Not sure what happened, but apparently the solar charger isn't charging up the batteries. I had to bring the camera back & recharge batteries in a charger. I've just gotten the camera back out today, and hoping for better results.
    Is there someone here that has the solar kit going on their camera? How long has it lasted?
    Entirely too much to spend to continue having battery problems in a month! Wrote Cuddeback support - the only thing written back was to recharge the batteries in a charger! I have written a reply back to that totally non-supportive message!
    Might as well just buy rechargeable AA batteries and not their kit if you have to recharge them!

  2. #2
    I have 3 of the solar panels and probably put them out about the same time you did. Friday I had 1 camera with dead batteries and the other 2 are still ok. Without thinking I threw away the wall plug to charge the batteries in the camera but had 3 chargers that hold 4 batteries each that just plugs in so I used those to charge all 12 batteries. 2 of the 12 batteries would not take a charge and were no good and I'm guessing that's why the camera wasn't charging. I replaced the 2 bad batteries with NIMH Rayovac and charged all 12 and put them back in the camera Sunday morning. We'll see how it goes with this one as well as the other 2 that are still working. It looks like the batteries it comes with are some off brand and maybe they shipped a bad batch.

  3. #3
    I've got mine back out, for about 12-14 days now. All of my batteries did charge back up with my AC charger, but a couple were very low compared to the others. I did try to get more sun on the solar panel by turning it slightly. Hoping this helps, but may have to check on different batteries if it won't last.
    If charger and batteries are working, this setup should last for a LONG time. I've had solar panels and 12v batteries on other cameras (that were 12v) that are out all year.

  4. #4
    I'm hoping my issue was just bad batteries. I tried them in 3 different chargers and all of them came up with a red X indicating bad batteries.

  5. #5
    How are yours holding up? Other than the one camera with bad batteries my other 3 are holding up fine and none are in direct sunlight.

  6. #6
    I've been working long hours, so just got to check them today...DEAD! Camera had been off apparently about 5 days, which means it didn't last very long....guess I'll have to try some other batteries. Think Cuddeback should replace them actually since they're included in kit price.

  7. #7
    Same here, my 2nd camera started showing LOW BATTERY yesterday after being in the woods for 62 days and it's only taken about 600 pictures. That's less than I was getting out of alkaline batteries. Talking to Cuddeback about it is a joke. First response was "if the batteries are going bad then battery life will be decreased. This is a downfall of rechargeable batteries that they don't hold power for very long". Then they told me "batteries are not covered under warranty and if they're going bad it could be for multiple variables that are out of their control." They then told me "if the rechargeable batteries are going dead to bring them in and recharge them and put them back in the field."
    What a joke. I have solar panels that are supposed to charge the batteries in ambient light and they obviously don't. They say they tested these for months. I highly doubt that. I'm going to test them under full sunlight with a multimeter and see what the output is and I'm guessing it's not much. I have 3 Spypoint Solar-W cams that have been out a year without issue and before that I had 3 ********** G45 running off HME 12v solar chargers that worked flawlessly. You might as well just toss these in the trash and buy lithium and get twice the life as these "rechargeable" batteries. I have one of my J series running lithium and no solar panels. We'll see how much longer they outlast Cuddeback's solar solution.

  8. #8
    Think they need to just sell the solar charger separately so we can get some good batteries, if that's the problem. Think I'm going to get some others to try, but for now will have to get it put back out with these since I only have today to get it out due to work.
    Support is basically non-existent for this! They should have some better solutions than 'charge them and put them back in the field'. I can do that without the solar charger! I must say the D battery pack has worked well for me, and those batteries last a good while before changing.

  9. #9
    I bought 12 Rayovac rechargeables today ($20 that Cuddeback should refund me) and I'm going to put them in my now dead camera. At the same time I'm going to pull the batteries from another and run it off my HME 12V solar charger and see which last's longer (like I don't know that answer already). I have 3 and took out the 12v regulator and soldered in 9V and put on a plug adapter to work with Cuddeback cameras.

  10. #10
    Well here's a real shocker. My 3rd camera's status is LOW BATTERY this morning. 58 days and plenty of sunshine on the solar panel.
    These are batteries from my last 2 cameras to go dead. My first one to go dead had 2 junk batteries and these 2 cameras had 2 batteries each. A red X indicates a bad battery. I tested the solar panels in direct sunlight and was getting about 9.2 volts and under cloud cover about 8.8v which is more than enough to keep these cameras charged if they didn't have junk batteries in them.
    Last edited by joe7039; 09-10-2018 at 08:42 AM.

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