discussion / Camera Traps  / 5 August 2020

Camera trap repairs

Hi all,

thank you for the fascinating camera trap workshop, I found it super helpful in my battle against camera trap repairs. I am currently at a research station in the rainforest and unable to leave due to COVID measures (Lucky me) but I am sitting on a few cameras which I want to deploy in the field and start collecting data. However, they have varying issues of which I can't find the answers. If there is a more appropriate place to start a thread please let me know. 

And I hope it is okay that I can list some faults and if anyone has any ideas on how I can go about fixing them, I do have alcohol and swabs for rust, and a digital multimeter for testing. And all my cams are bushnell HD.

  • Camera 1 just flashes purple as soon as I put the batteries in (in off mode, setup mode and on mode).
  • Camera 2, screen won't turn on but flashes for 10 seconds when in on mode (assume it is working just not the screen).
  • Camera 3, doesn't turn on, no led lights in any option, or screen loading up.
  • Camera 4, with four batteries no led light or screen turning on, with eight batteries led light flashes red on ON but screen still doesn't work.

All my cameras that aren't working fit into these categories, the DMM I am not familiar with but I do have someone here who is. The cams aren't by any way new and have been in the forest for a while, on and off over the last few years. 

But if there's any guidance on fixes / things to check I'd be very appreciated (And so would the tapirs first chance at being on camera).  

Many thanks,


Hi Mark. 

I recommend you open up the cameras and unplug and plug back in the connectors a bit. In general, fiddling with the connectors like unplugging and plugging them back in can remove oxidation which prevents a good connection from being made. For Bushnell cameras like the Trophycam, they're using ribbon connectors for the display, but it's also possible that the battery connector could be oxidized. This is especially common in places that may be humid. 
The Bushnell cameras can easily be opened up with a screwdriver. I also recommend taking pictures of the system as you go so you can refer back in case you forget where a screw, connector, or cable goes. 

Good luck!


Hi Mark,

Akiba's given some great advice there. It might also be worth trying out the DC power jack instead of using AA batteries, if that's possible, as some of those issues sound power related (potentially)? Usually (I think) it takes a 2.1mm DC plug that looks like this: https://www.altronics.com.au/p/p0634a-2.1mm-female-line-strain-relief-dc-power-plug-9.5mm/ and needs 6V (e.g. 4 x AA batteries connected in series, or a 6V SLA like this: https://www.altronics.com.au/p/s5064d-6v-4.5ah-sealed-lead-acid-sla-battery/). 

It'd also be worth trying to clean all the AA battery contacts with some sandpaper if you have it, or a file. The person who knows the DMM could help you work out if all the batteries are making good contact (or our little tute has some details on this). Definitely be on the look out for any rust/corrosion as it's a dead giveaway. Swab the inside of the SD card holder with alcohol too if you can. 

Also, try a brand new SD card formatted in a camera that works (or double check any used SD cards this way too just to make sure they are working and are formatted properly). Bushnells can be funny about SD cards and formatting. 

Finally, sometimes throwing the camera trap really hard against a tree can help (mostly you feel a bit better afterwards)...just kidding, hopefully we can help and get some of these working for you. 



Oops, I just re-read the manual and I am wrong I think, the DC plug needed is actually 1.7mm (not 2.1mm), so like this: https://www.radioshack.com/products/radioshack-4-0x1-7mm-coaxial-dc-power-plug-2-pack

and it sounds like they don't supply one, which is a real bummer. Are you able to get packages where you are? These plugs require soldering, which could be another useful tech tutorial perhaps...anyhow, let me know about the packages when you get a chance.





Can get pre-made cables (e.g. https://tinyurl.com/y6z9ltl8) if that helps...but double check that you need 1.7mm before committing.