Assess battery life

I have the Moultrie S-50i & I can't seem to find where I can see how much power is left in the current set of batteries. This is really valuable information. I'd hate to lose out on 1 month of camera activity because the batteries died on day 2 & should have been replaced before deployment. How can I best find this information?

Love the camera so far!!

Thank you,
Corey

Comments

  • edited January 2018

    The only way to accurately assess that kind of info is to test each battery with a volt meter. The days left reading on the screen only reads alkaline batteries and is only speculation. If using alkalines I change batteries when they drop down into the 30% to 40% range. When using lithiums I change them when the percentage reading reads in the 90's. Lithiums will die anytime after that. Trailcampro has battery usage info in their review that you might find useful https://www.trailcampro.com/products/moultrie-s-50i

  • As Sodbuster stated, the reading on the camera is really just a guess. There are way too many factors for it to be exact.

    It really depends on how long you anticipate it staying out, how many pics per day, day vs night, flash vs. IR, battery type ect.

    That being said, as a general rule, once alkaline drop below 30% for me, I change them out.

  • @RocklockHunter @Sodbuster @akajackson
    I've had the s50i for about 6 months now and it's a battery hog. I went to a remote 12V battery and solar about 2 months ago and I've been maintaining 100% on battery and modem.
    On a really cold morning with the solar panel covered in snow, and ambient temp around 16 deg F, the modem dropped to 60% and the camera stayed at 100% (I installed fresh energizer lithiums so I think it was pulling from them perhaps)
    But once the sun came up and the temp came up, the afternoon check in showed 100% on both.

    So I strongly recommend using a remote 12V battery for the s50i. Peace of mind and less glitchy.

  • Good to hear @capttris . I have a battery box in my office that I plan to use next year with one of the setups.

    I can't complain, I swapped out batteries in two of our cameras and modems the 10th of October. Both are still running fine. While we don't get a ton of pictures from them, I'm pleased they're still working 3 months later through all that cold weather and the rut.

  • @capttris said:
    @RocklockHunter @Sodbuster @akajackson
    I've had the s50i for about 6 months now and it's a battery hog. I went to a remote 12V battery and solar about 2 months ago and I've been maintaining 100% on battery and modem.
    On a really cold morning with the solar panel covered in snow, and ambient temp around 16 deg F, the modem dropped to 60% and the camera stayed at 100% (I installed fresh energizer lithiums so I think it was pulling from them perhaps)
    But once the sun came up and the temp came up, the afternoon check in showed 100% on both.

    So I strongly recommend using a remote 12V battery for the s50i. Peace of mind and less glitchy.

    What kind of solar panel and external battery are you using ?

  • @TRM_1

    Here's the link to the Battery Box
    https://www.moultriefeeders.com/moultrie-camera-battery-box

    Here's the link to the Solar Panel.
    https://www.moultriefeeders.com/moultrie-game-camera-power-panel

    Of course I'm sure you could comparison shop. I REALLY want one of the solar panels but we have too many bear in our area and they just destroy stuff too easily.

  • edited January 2018

    I can tell you from experience that the Moultrie Power Panel does not do a sufficient job with the s50i or White Flash. It will extend battery life, but the internal batteries will be used as much as the Panel. The battery box with a bigger amp battery is a better choice. I can run other Moultries exclusively on the Power Panel without even having internals in the cam, but any that take 12 AA continually run the Panel down to zero at night.

  • Moultrie have told me that the use of any 12 volt battery other than the one they supply could damage my camera - S-50i - and may void the warranty. I take that with a grain of salt. Is it possible for a battery with higher amp hour rating damage the camera as long as the voltage is correct?

  • Petrel
    No. 12v DC is 12v DC, whether it is derived from AA batteries in series or whether you have a giant 8D truck battery connected to it. The s50i takes qty (12) AA batteries which gives an 18-19V DC input to the camera. This speaks to it's range of acceptance for voltage input. It's bizzare and unfortunate that Moultrie doesn't publish the specs of the camera, including voltage input and temperature range, etc.
    So you should be fine with a 12V DC external battery. The bigger battery (and greater the amp hours) the longer it will last in between charges. Or, as some people have done, you can have a small solar charger (with charge controller) to keep that battery charged, and the camera should stay powered without any worry of battery depletion.

  • Thanks capttris. I bought a 12v 12 amp hour battery and it's doing the job ok, though I don't know how long it will last between charges. The camera doesn't seem to be able to calculate the recording time available when using a 12 volt battery, even when it's fully charged its estimation of the days recording for the available power is always 00. Will post the results once I've given it a good trial run.

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