Cuddelink Systems – The New Power of Trail Camera Technology
In the early 2000s, I had my first experience with a digital trail camera. At that time, trail cameras were much larger, stored fewer images and had poor photo quality. However, when I got
my first Cuddeback camera, I was excited to capture digital images on our bear baits and game trails for deer and elk. Over the years, I’ve used many game cameras from different companies, some good and some bad. But I’ve noticed that trail cameras are constantly improving on past models.
For the past few years, cellular cameras have been popular, but I have not purchased any due to two reasons. Firstly, I did not want to buy multiple cellular plans for my trail cameras. Secondly, many of the areas out west where I want to use trail cameras do not have a cell signal.
Last summer, I discovered a location with cell service where I wanted to install cameras. After researching, I decided to purchase the Cuddeback Cuddelink cameras due to their impressive features. I placed an order and began experimenting with the cell game.
The Cuddelink Trail Camera System – What Is It?
This camera has a unique feature where it functions as a regular cellular trail camera and also receives images via a proprietary wireless mesh network. This means that remote cameras can send images to the home camera without using a cellular signal.
The home camera sends images from all cameras to your phone/email. Cameras can be daisy chained up to 4 miles away, depending on topography and vegetation. Up to 23 cameras can be used with one cellular plan.
Users have the option to purchase either Verizon or AT&T models currently. The cell plans are available in three different options. These options include 750 images monthly for $15, 2,000 images monthly for $20, and unlimited monthly images for $40. If users opt for annual packages, the monthly fees are lower.
- CuddeLink is a wireless mesh network that enables communication between cameras. It is not reliant on cell service or Wi-Fi. Rather, it is a proprietary system that operates independently.
- Cuddelink Systems is a system that allows for the transmission of images from remote cameras to a central home image collection camera. This system is ideal for those who need to monitor remote areas, such as hunters or wildlife enthusiasts. The remote cameras can be placed in strategic locations and the images can be transmitted wirelessly to the home collection camera. This allows for easy access to all the images in one central location. The system is easy to set up and use, making it a popular choice for those who need to monitor remote areas.
- CuddeLink networks can accommodate up to 15 remote cameras. Users can start with a small number of cameras and add more as needed.
- The transmission range in a dense forest typically ranges from ¼ to ½ mile. However, in open spaces, CuddeLink has camera-to-camera range to over 1 mile. It’s important to note that the transmission range of all wireless systems will vary depending on the terrain and conditions.
- CuddeLink is a camera system that can automatically daisy-chain cameras to extend range to over 4 miles. This feature makes CuddeLink ideal for deployment on properties of hundreds to thousands of acres, providing extensive coverage for monitoring and surveillance purposes.
- The Home camera does not require a monthly fee for collecting images.
Setting Up Your Cuddelink System
Upon receiving the Cuddelink Systems cameras, I initially felt intimidated. However, my wife was able to read the directions and guide us through the setup process. We set up our cellular plan before leaving the house, which involved creating an email solely for Cuddeback. This ensured that we only received images and device reports from the cameras. With the setup complete, we were able to confidently head out and put the cameras to use.
During our field work, our home cameras failed to communicate with our three remote cameras due to a firmware mismatch. However, we were able to quickly resolve the issue by contacting the company’s customer service. The representative we spoke to was helpful and efficient, providing us with the correct firmware via email and guiding us through the installation process. While we don’t expect to encounter this problem frequently, it was reassuring to know that the company’s customer service is reliable and easy to work with.
Trail Camera Field Use
It’s important to keep your instruction booklet and take notes while setting up your equipment. In areas with spotty cell signal, finding a good location for your Home camera is crucial. We made sure to choose a spot that provided both good image capture and reliable cell signal. When we moved on to our next trail, which was only a few hundred yards away, we had no
trouble finding another location with strong enough signal for our camera.
We set up the next camera between a quarter and half-mile from the last one. Despite the dense foliage and trees, the signal was strong and we were able to proceed. Camera number 4 was then set up another quarter mile away, and we were ready to go.
Cuddelink Trail Camera Battery Life
Putting batteries in the cameras can be costly as the home camera requires six D cell batteries and each remote camera needs four D cells. However, the cameras have been in use since early June and were only replaced in early December after enduring various weather conditions and temperatures. However, the use of the Sun & Shade Solar Panel will greatly extend your battery life and will more than pay for themselves. I have heard stories of users going on three years and not replacing batteries using this solar panel.
Storage of Pictures
The camera setup allows for customization of the number of pictures taken before they are sent or at a specific time. The images are sent to your email and stored there, unless deleted. Viewing images is possible on camp.cuddeback.com through your account. On my plan, up to 2500 images are stored for 14 days before deletion. All images are also stored on the SD cards within each camera.
Quality of Images
During the setup process, there is an option to choose between 5- and 20-megapixel images. We went with the 5-megapixel option to avoid quickly filling up memory cards. While the resulting images were good, they were not as high-quality as they would have been at 20 megapixels. In the future, we plan on using 20-megapixel images unless we are in a busy area.
Camera Trigger Speed
Cuddeback’s trail cameras are designed to capture every animal, not just those that are stationary. This is made possible through the use of state-of-the-art electronics that ensure an industry-leading 1/4 second trigger speed. Slow-triggering cameras may capture standing deer or those feeding on bait, but they miss out on deer walking on trails, through food plots, or those that walk past the bait. With Cuddelink Systems trail cameras, you can expect images of all animals, whether they are standing, walking, or running.
The Cuddelink Systems cameras have left a great impression on me and I have thoroughly enjoyed using them. This system is a great option for those who want to set cameras once and avoid disturbing the areas when checking cards. Cuddeback also offers a version without the cell plan option, which I plan on getting for use in areas with no cell signals. Although I am new to cell cameras, I am experienced in trail cam usage and must say that I am very impressed with the Cuddeback Cuddelink system. I am excited to experiment with this setup once the snow melts.
Cuddeback Cudde Back CuddeLink Wireless Trail Camera 3rd Gen Sensor, Low-Glow IR LED Camera with Antenna Bundle Solar Power Bank Sun & Shade pw-003, 32 GB Memory Card, and Card Reader (10-Pack)
Cuddeback Cudde Back CuddeLink Wireless Trail Camera 3rd Gen Sensor, Low-Glow IR LED Camera with Antenna Bundle Solar Power Bank, 32 GB Memory Card, and Card Reader (10-Pack)
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Cuddeback Cudde Back CuddeLink Wireless Trail Camera 3rd Gen Sensor, Low-Glow IR LED Camera with Antenna Bundle Solar Sun & Shade Power Bank, 32 GB Memory Card, and Card Reader (1-Pack)
Cuddeback Cudde Back CuddeLink Wireless Trail Camera 3rd Gen Sensor, Low-Glow IR LED Camera with Antenna Bundle Solar Sun & Shade Power Bank, 32 GB Memory Card, and Card Reader (4-Pack)
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