By Peter Adams. Eventually it happens to all of us, the lab gets cluttered with equipment, space becomes a premium and inevitably you have no other option but to face facts, it’s time for the dreaded lab clean up. I discovered boxes of old cameras that have sparked off a trip down memory lane.
These two cameras were home-made version created by staff at the Department of Environment and Conservation (now Parks and Wildlife).
Mark I includes 4 C cell batteries. Every time you wanted to replace the batteries, you needed to remove the circuit board, making sure that all the connections went back in the right place. The cover has four butterfly nuts on the back for attachment to two dropper pegs (make sure you get them level and the right distance apart). To remove the cover you needed a phillips screwdriver which needed to be removed each time you needed to check the camera. Note the 16MB (yes, 16!) memory card.
Mark II was for long-term use, where the external lead acid battery supply (black plug) enabled long term deployment. That would make the camera run for TWO WEEKS!
The cameras were not only large and difficult to set up, but they were probably also noisy and scared off more animals than they photographed. Taking them into the field to set up a grid required a bit of effort. A lot of effort for few results!