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Questions and Answers

** Please let us know if you have any other questions that are not addressed here.

1. What is the difference between the 550 and 550V?

The 550 and 550V are essentially the same camera. Both use a remote to program the camera, however, only the 550V remote can also act as a Picture VIEWER.

2. Do these trail cameras come with the remote programmer?

Both cameras come with the remote programmer

3. How long do the batteries last?

The cameras use 8 AA batteries. An independent review took 5120 pictures and 175 videos on one set of batteries. Typically you can expect 2-3+ months on a set of batteries with average traffic. Regular AA batteries do last longer than rechargeable but you can decide which will work best for you. I use AA Lithium during winter months because the batteries are rated down to -35C.

4. How cold can these game cameras work in?

HCO ScoutGuard trail cameras have been tested in Canadian winters for two consecutive years. Lithium AA batteries are advisable because they function well down to -35 - -40C. Beyond this temperature, the batteries become weak. Although the camera may not take pictures if the temperature drops to -45C over night, it will resume taking pictures when it warms up during the day.

5. How far does the ScoutGuard trail camera detect motion?

These types of cameras detect changes in heat. There are 3 sensitivity settings on the camera (Low, Medium, High). Average 35-65 feet. During cooler weather the cameras trigger to ~65 feet. In warmer weather you are looking at around ~35 feet.

6. Are the ScoutGuard trail cameras waterproof?

You can't take underwater photos of fish, but as for weather, the cameras do not leak. Chasingame.com placed a water hose on a camera and said no water entered the unit. We have not had water enter any of our field units.

7. How far do the IR lights go at night?

The IR flash has a range of 40+ feet where objects are clear and illuminated.

8. Can I view pictures in my digital camera?

This depends on your camera. These trail cameras use a regular SD card and write pictures as .jpg.

9. Is the IR light visible to humans and animals?

During illumination a dim red glow is visible when looking directly eye level to the camera. If you tilt the camera slightly, the lights are not visible. Some animals look at the camera from time to time, but I have yet to see one spook from the IR light.

10. How fast is the trigger time?

Cameras have a 1.2 sec trigger time. You can also set camera to take 3 pics in a burst mode to take 1 pic nearly every second upon being triggered.

11. Does the camera take video?

Yes, the camera can be set to take either video or pictures.

12. A little lens moves around inside my camera, Is it broken?

The moving lens is normal. It is the IR filter. When the camera is Off, the lens moves around freely. When the camera is On, the lens moves up and down depending on lighting conditions.

13. Sequence of Battery, SD Card, Remote, and Power On
1. ALWAYS load battery, insert SD card and plug in the remote BEFORE turn the power on, otherwise, the camera won't recognize the components and will give you a blue screen. MAKE SURE SD CARD IS NOT LOCKED.
2. ALWAYS plug the remote gently, avoid damaging on connector.
3. If the remote does not work, 95% of the possibility is the SD card compatibility issue. Please reformat your card and try again.

14. SD card problem
Please note that not all the SD cards will work on all hunting cameras. When you have the problem like this, try to use a different brand card or format the card when the card is in the cameras (connect the camera to your computer by supplied USB cable and format the card from your computer). MAKE SURE SD CARD IS NOT LOCKED.

15. Camera gives 2 beep error code and will not respond to Menu button on remote
SG550 doesn't have internal memory. The operation requires SD card to be used. Please be noted that not all the SD card will be compatible with SG550 (basically, it happens on almost all the game cameras.). Other than the card issue, low battery power may cause this problem too.

16. Why can't I see the picture time stamp on TV?
You can not see the time stamp on TV because the TV screen 'cut' that part off. The only way you can see the time stamp is on your computer. Indeed the TV screen frame is smaller than the actual picture resolution (it cuts the margins). To allow the TV shows the time stamp, the time stamp has to be lifted up, which is annoying for most of the people using computer. So, we had to make the choice to put it at the very bottom.

17. Daytime pictures are too white
Camera may be pointed at the sun; point away from sun.

18. Only day time pictures, no night pictures.
Camera batteries may be too weak.

19. Camera takes only a few pictures and batteries are dead
When the camera was set up to very small delay time like 0 or 1 seconds, the camera will be in wake mode all the time. This may cause more power consumption.

20. Date time in the way
If your pictures from SG550 have the date/time stamp on the way, please go to date/time stamp relocation update to update your camera so the stamp can be relocate to the bottom corners

21. Camera locks up after taking a certain amount of pictures
Please turn off the camera and change another SD card and try again. This usually happens due to the low quality SD card which has writing problem.

22. Set the camera to 1 second delay but it takes more than 1second between taking two pictures
The interval time means the camera SLEEP time after each picture shot. It's very common for people to misunderstand it as Picture interval time. These are two different concepts from our understanding of SG550.
For example: let's set 3M, 1 photo shot and 1 sec. interval time, the following is the major time sequence after each picture taken:
•  Back to sleep mode,
•  Wake up after 1 second interval time.
•  Triggered instantly if there is a motion (trigger time 1.3 sec., counted as 2 second in picture recording)
•  Take the shot.
•  Digest the image, process the image into jpeg format and output to SD card (this takes 1-2 seconds for 3M and longer for 5M)
•  ‘Shut down', back to sleep mode again.
As you can see this will make the Picture interval time around 5-6 seconds from the previous shot due to the overhead. And our testing on SG550 always give 6-7 seconds for day & night pictures. So, the 0, 1, 2, 3 …seconds Interval setting just specifies the SLEEP time (step 2). Obviously, the overhead is more significant for very short IT settings.

23. No animal in some of the pictures
1 Check to see if the camera is pointing at the rising or setting sun which can trigger the sensor.
2. At night, the Motion Detector may sense animals beyond the range of the IR illumination. Reduce the distance setting.
3. Small animals may be triggering the unit. Reduce the distance setting and/or raise the height of the camera above small animals.
4. The Motion Detector may sense animals through foliage. Reduce the distance setting.
5. If the animal moves quickly, it may have moved out of the view of the camera lens before the picture was taken.
------Move the camera further back.
------Point the camera up or down a trail, not across it.
6. Make sure the mounting post or tree is stable and doesn't move.

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