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I know that wireless cameras are becoming more and more popular. I wouldn't spend the money on one until recently when I moved over an hour away from my hunting spot. Driving 2 hours roundtrip and the use of gas would be too much. So I looked into a wireless trail camera. Apparently at first they were hard to set up but now in 2015 they are much easier. I talked to a guy at an archery store who's got 3 Covert Black Ops and loves them. He's used them for 3 years.

I went started researching them and looked at www.trailcamerapro.com and found that the Covert Black Ops and HCO Spartan cameras basically scored the same and both scored very well. Trail Camera Pro has great customer service and helped me choose which camera to get.

The reason I went with the HCO Spartan was because it had a premium service that allows you to get larger pictures in HD (1280 x 960 vs. 640 x 480) and they also have a cloud type feature to store your photos. You can also change the settings on the camera from your computer or cellphone which is nice. It also comes with a 2 year warranty.





I ordered the camera from Trail Cam pro for $399 and it came with a free security box, free AT&T card, free 8GB SD card, and free premium service for 90 days. The camera arrived quickly and they recommended using 12 Energizer Ultimate Lithium batteries which should last all hunting season.


Setting up the camera was extremely easy only taking about 3 minutes and setting up the wireless AT&T service with the sim card to get phone service was also just as easy taking only about 3 minutes. You basically just put your info and address and two numbers from the camera and you're set. It couldn't be easier. I actually did it out in the field.

I am so happy with HCO Spartan. I've had some questions and their customer service has answered quickly the 7 times I've called them and helped me out. They also quickly responded to my emails. It takes great pictures and works flawlessly so far. We'll see how the long term tests goes.


You can have this camera send pics to your email, premium service, or text message to phone (any carrier). I have mine sent to my phone via text so I get it right away. I have my email on fetch so I use less battery power on my phone and if I had the pics sent to my email I would only get the pics when I manually checked my email. To get the pics sent via text message you just take your phone number and add mms.att.net (Verizon is similar) and don't add the 1 to your number. So your number would be like [email protected]


This is the AT&T sim card choices. I think it's the same for the Verizon service. I chose the $25 for 3 months. Not bad. Cheaper than gas, that's for sure.


250 MB of data for 24 hours - $5.00
250 MB of data for 30 days - $14.99
1 GB of data for 3 months - $25.00 (in our opinion this is the best value)
3 GB of data for 30 days - $30.00
5 GB of data for 30 days - $50.00


I have this camera on 3 pic burst. It can only send one of them immediately via text and the rest get put on the SD card. The one that was sent via text is also put on the cloud service. They come in regular quality but you can just click HD on them and it will change them to HD better quality.


If you're looking for a great wireless camera I think this is the best bet out there besides the $1,200 Reconyx wireless camera. I don't have a lot of experience with wireless cameras but so far this one has been great.

Next year I may not pay for the $4 a month premium cloud service because the pics are so good in regular I may not see a point. We'll see, either way, $4 a month isn't too bad.


http://www.trailcampro.com/hcospartangocamnoglowattreview.aspx

http://www.hcooutdoors.com/camera-spartan-gocam-at-t-version-3g-wireless-blackout-ir-hd.html




Day pics: Note, in HD (1280 x 960)












Night pics: Note, not in HD and regular size (640 x 480) .









Almost no blur in any of the pics!


I secured the camera in it's security box with a trail camera lock and python cable. I attached it to a treated 4X4 post with metal straps installed on all sides so it's hard to cut through and two 50lbs. bags of concrete so it's heavy. A thief can steal anything but they'd have to work for this one. At least I can deter them a bit.


I can't tell you how cool it is to get a text and it's a pic from my trail cam. It's immediate and fun. Also, if someone tries to tamper with the camera I'll at least have a pic and I can also have the landowner check it out immediately if that happens too.
 

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If I only had cell service in the areas I hunt I might consider one. Good write up though.
 

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I'm looking at the Spypoint with Verizon service. Any opinions?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'm looking at the Spypoint with Verizon service. Any opinions?



I don't have any experience with that cam. I'd check www.trailcamerapro.com . However, I don't see it reviewed on there. Don't know why. Although other Spypoints are reviewed. The Spypoint is also $100 more than the HCO Spartan Gocam and didn't get the best reviews on Cabelas website.


I have had a lot of other cams, Cabelas, Browning, Bushnell, and Stealthcam and I've had problems with them all after the first year. So one thing about buying them from trailcamerapro is that you have a 2 year warranty. I guess it's easy to get service from them then sending in a camera to the manufacturer. I've heard horror stories about some. If you buy from Cabelas though they have good return policy if you have problems.
 

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im liking my Spartan. works as advertised, just aggravating to set up. we went through 3 people at hco before we finally got it all straightened out. they told us they don't even have set instructions for this camera. setting up was the biggest hurdle so far.
im looking forward to putting it on scrapes and especially turkey season!!!
 

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im liking my Spartan. works as advertised, just aggravating to set up. we went through 3 people at hco before we finally got it all straightened out. they told us they don't even have set instructions for this camera. setting up was the biggest hurdle so far.
im looking forward to putting it on scrapes and especially turkey season!!!


What did you have a hard time setting up, the cam, the cellular sim card, or your Gowireless account?



On the Gowirelesss webpage under quickstart they have videos showing you how to set stuff up.


https://www.spartancamera.com/quickstart




Setting up the cam is like any other camera: date, time, interval, sensitivity, pic size, and what not. Then you put the cellular SIM card in and activate it and choose your phone plan, that takes about 3 minutes, and then you create a Gowireless plan (if you pay for the $4 monthly premium service) and that's the same as setting up any thing, email address and what not. It should all take about 15 minutes in total to set up all 3.


Great you like it! I'm really happy with mine too.
 

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Do you have any idea how many pictures it would take to use up that 1 GB of data?


It looks like a 1GB SD card would hold a little over 1,000 3MP pics, so if that's the same as the transfer rate over cellular (not sure if it is) that'd be about 333 pics a month or 11 pics a day. Mine is currently sending about 6 pics a day/night of turkeys and deer.



I'm not sure that 1GB of transfer is 1,000 pics though.




With this cam, even on 3 pic burst, it will only text/email the first pic of the 3 and the rest will be stored on the SD card. It won't send all 3 pics. So that should keep the number down a bit.
 

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You mentioned theft. If it is stolen, can the camera be reprogrammed so the thief can use it? Or, is there some way to track it or "lock" the camera so it can't be used?
 

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Any false triggers?

I've had a few pics where I think an animal walked left to right too quickly for the cam to take a pic. The cam is a little slow on the trigger speed, but I guess that is common with cellular cams. A few pics I thought there wasn't anything in the pic but once I looked hard I'd see that there was a little grey squirrel in the pic.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Dont mind a few. I dont like the ones that take pics non stop of shadows in the heat of the day.


My land is now far away. In the winter it's not a problem bc the grass is all dead but my 2 other cams (non-cellular) are taking like 500 pics a day of the windblown grass. I need to get down there and cut the grass down. The HCO Spartan hasn't had this problem. I think it's false pics are pics of game that it was just too slow to capture.



On that note, the cam comes with a sheet with tips on setting up your cam. It said:



1.) Don't set under 24" inches because you will get pics of squirrels and raccoons which are most likely undesirable. (I had to because I'm taping up a hill.)


2.) It also said don't point you camera right down a trail because many cameras can't take a pic of oncoming game. (I did not know that.). It said set up 45' degrees down a trail. Good to know.
 

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I have the Verizon version and put it at my lease 14 hours away. I couldn't be happier with it after coming from 2 Coverts. The app makes things super easy to change settings. Also I can give guest permissions to my lease buddies so they can see pics in realtime as well.
 

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I have the Verizon version and put it at my lease 14 hours away. I couldn't be happier with it after coming from 2 Coverts. The app makes things super easy to change settings. Also I can give guest permissions to my lease buddies so they can see pics in realtime as well.



Problems with Coverts?
 

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It looks like a 1GB SD card would hold a little over 1,000 3MP pics, so if that's the same as the transfer rate over cellular (not sure if it is) that'd be about 333 pics a month or 11 pics a day. Mine is currently sending about 6 pics a day/night of turkeys and deer.



I'm not sure that 1GB of transfer is 1,000 pics though.




With this cam, even on 3 pic burst, it will only text/email the first pic of the 3 and the rest will be stored on the SD card. It won't send all 3 pics. So that should keep the number down a bit.
No sim.card in the Verizon camera. Setting up the wireless account and getting it to work was the toughest I think.
Now we are having to do updates some. That's getting a little aggravating too..the camera is in the woods..luckily it's local..but I have to go get it to do this update. It hasn't sent a pic or anything in the last 3 days now. This part would suck if it were out of state.
I still like the concept, but it's almost a little too technical for the woods
 

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Any updates with the spartan cameras? Mine just quit for a spell with a new update out and available. It was taking pics, but not sending them. I did the update and it worked like normal last night and now I don't believe it's working. Not sure what to do with this thing. May have to call HCO again tomorrow and see if it needs a different update.

What would you do if this camera werror out of state and it constantly needs updating?
 
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