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Why Does Spartan Camera Offer Real Data And Shared Data Plans?

Spartan Shared Data: Image of a whitetail doe in a food plot

Data has changed a lot over the years. We used to pay for everything separately; text, call, data, roaming, and TAXES. Now we have unlimited phone plans and bundled subscriptions to our favorite streaming services. Working on the same principles as your mobile devices, cellular data is used by the camera to transmit pictures, video, and status reports. All cellular cameras need this data to function, but each trail camera company has a different way of selling you remote access. At Spartan, we want you to be able to choose how your data is used and which carrier works best for you.

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As of July 13th, 2021, Spartan Camera provides Shared Data Plans to help you manage your data consumption. Spartan Shared Data Plans effectively allow you to manage how each camera uses data. Why is data management so important? If you’ve used trail cameras before, you’ll know that not all cameras will consume the same amount of data once they’re put in the field. Differences in the camera models, settings, and activity around the camera are all factors that can affect how fast your data consumption can change.

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Each plan has a set amount of cameras that you can add to it in order to share data. You can select a plan that best fits you and add cameras to that plan. That means if you have 10 cameras, you can add all of them to our largest data plan, which gives you 12GB for a year and lets you split the data usage between 10 cameras. Each camera will have a $5 dollar per month charge and will be attached to the first camera’s data plan. This will help you save money on how you use your cameras. 

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Before we released our new plans, you could get a single-camera plan for as low as $15.99 per month. However, if you had two cameras, you would have had to buy two separate data plans. With the new plans, you can pay $20.99 for 2 cameras on a shared data plan rather than $31.98 for two separate plans. 

All Spartan Data Plans are “real data”. We don’t believe in limiting you to a specific number of photos or videos. “Real data” lets you make the best decisions for your use. Our data plans are prepaid for what you’ll need to use. All of our data plans allow you to request HD pictures and video or Livestream with the Spartan GoLive. If you decided to go with your provider you’ll need to purchase premium credits to access HD picture and video transmission. By purchasing directly from Spartan Camera, you can connect shared data plans for ATT and Verizon. With our new Spartan Shared Data Plans, you’ll be able to factor in your usage per device based on time spent and the type of media captured.

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Spartan Cameras will send you thumbnail photos and allow you to retrieve HD photos or videos upon request. By determining how much one image will cost, we can determine how much content a 500 MB will get you. 1000 Kilobytes (1000KB) is equivalent to 1 Megabyte (1 MB). The GoCam and Ghost will, at minimum, use 50KB of data per normal thumbnail image (640px*480px). The GoLive at a minimum will use 125KB of data per normal thumbnail image (800px*480px). A livestream from a GoLive will use between 200-900 KB per second.

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Below is an example of how a 500 MB data plan may consume data over time for each category: Video & photo estimates are approximate, actual delivered content will vary depending on file size and signal strength. Keep in mind we are not responsible for any data overages. Check out our data calculator

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In general, video data can increase significantly by the movement in the video. For example, a strong wind moving the leaves of the trees, shrubs, or grass could increase the data used. By retrieving normal thumbnail images, you optimize data consumption by choosing which “thumbnails” require a video, HD  photo, or livestream. 

Spartan GoLive Data Breakdown for 500 MB data plan

Setting Up Your Trail Camera For The 2021 Deer Season

Picture of a man walking to the left in front of a Toyota Tundra truck. He is carrying a Spartan Camera's GoLive in his left hand.

Deer season is opening up soon for the majority of the United States and Canada. Hunters and land managers have started preparing for the 2021 deer season by using the best tools available like food plots, game feeders, mineral sites, shooting lanes, watering holes, and trail cameras. With these tools, they are able to monitor their lands without having to be there. Here are some of the ways you can use a Spartan Camera to get the best out of your hunt this season.

Text over an image of a food plot. Text is in a gray box and says
Set-up trail cameras to monitor your food plots:

Your deer herd will use your food plots, providing them with beneficial nutrition and allowing you to observe their development over time. Whitetail populations tend to migrate throughout the year, but setting up food plots will encourage them to stay in the area and on your property for greater periods of time. Set up trail cameras along with key crops and try using the time-lapse feature on the Spartan Ghost or GoLive. This way, you can monitor plot growth and see more area than what the sensor may pick up.  It’s a great way to see which crops are preferred and when deer are coming to forage.

Text over an image of a game feeder with a Spartan GoCam in the background that is attached to a tree. Text is in the gray box and says
Set up trail cameras to monitor game feeders:

Feeders are a great way to provide supplemental nutrition and keep a herd on your property throughout the season. By providing them with their favorite feeds, deer are much more likely to stay within the area during the fall and winter seasons. By using a Spartan Camera to monitor these feeders, you can learn which feed performs best with your herds and see what other animals are active in the area. 

Text over an image of a mineral block surrounded by corn. Text is in the gray box and says
Set up trail cameras to monitor mineral blocks 

Mineral blocks supply nutrients that are essential to herd health. These blocks are made mostly of salt but contain many important trace nutrients. Biologic Biorock is one brand we recommend: it contains important minerals like calcium, potassium, and sulfur. With mineral sites, it’s important to start early within the summer months, as it may take a few weeks for them to attract deer without any additional attractant. Using a trail camera like the Spartan GoLive is a great way to keep an eye on your setups to see if they need any adjustments. If you want to learn more, check out Mossy Oak’s post on how to “Improve Your Herd Health With Mineral Licks.”

Text over an image of a Spartan GoLive. Text is in the gray box and says
Set up trail cameras around hunting areas and shooting lanes:  

Use a trail camera to monitor trails and shooting lanes around your hunting setup. By monitoring the site year-round, you can plan to make adjustments prior to your hunts without the risk of leaving any  “human scent” that might alert deer to your presence. Using a trail camera around your hunting setup also allows you to plan your hunts based on the activity observed in the area. 

Text over an image of a deer rubbing a branch. Text is in the gray box and says
Set up trail cameras around scrape areas:

Scrapes help drive bucks to investigate the area and mark territory. 

While most scrapes can be found on the ground, many scrapes have licking branches above them that whitetails will lick and rub their faces on to leave a scent behind. To establish a successful mock scrape, place the scent 5-5.5 feet above the ground in an area with preexisting scrapes (Delks). Place a trail camera to see if you have successfully set up the mock and to ensure that other odors didn’t contaminate the mock scrape.

Text over an image of a Spartan GoCam in the sand with hoof prints on the right and a stream of water on the left. Text is in the gray box and says
Set up trail cameras around water sources:

Water is essential for any deer. Place a trail camera on trails leading to the water source or on the water source itself. Make sure to place it well above the waterline. Any placement near the waterline is at your own risk, even though most devices are “water-resistant”. 

For placement, check out our support article on other uses and placement for trail cameras. 

Contributors: Ross Baker, John Lockburner Jr., Sanclara Daigle, and Kevin Warstadt

Photos from Spartan HQ, Cody Smith, and Austin Delano from Mossy Oak

Sources: 

Almy, Gerald. “Improve Your Herd Health with Mineral Licks.” Mossy Oak, 2 Jan. 2020, www.mossyoak.com/our-obsession/blogs/deer/improve-your-herd-health-with-mineral-licks.

“BioLogic Biorock- DEER ATTRACTANT Mineral Salt Rock.” BioLogic, www.plantbiologic.com/products/biologic-biorock-deer-attractant-mineral-salt-rock-lick.

Delks, Wes. “Mock Scrapes for Mature Bucks.” Mossy Oak, 23 Apr. 2020, www.mossyoak.com/our-obsession/blogs/deer/mock-scrapes-for-mature-bucks.

Preserving our Hunting Heritage and Celebrating the Fourth of July

A Spartan Camera Cellular Trail Camera on a tree log with blue on the left, red in the center, and white on the right.

 Image of our Spartan GoLive

Independence Day (July 4th, 1776) is best described by David L. Waldstreicher as “... the end of monarchy and tyranny and the rebirth of liberty.” Our declared liberty reaches every part of our lives: from the land we fought for to our personal identity. We celebrate Independence Day to remind us how our country came to be and to express our freedoms with family, friends, and our community. One of the liberties that we enjoy, hunting, has been a part of American culture for generations. 


Hunting, as an aspect of the American experience, has been under threat throughout these past few years. 
Red, white, blue, and gray images of trail camera pictures of animals embedded in a map of the United States of America.

“In 1992, Tom Heberlein, a rural sociologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, made a bold prediction: If sociological trends, like increasing urbanization, smaller family sizes, and growing anti-hunting sentiment continued, the sport of hunting – as Wisconsinites knew it – could be extinct by the year 2050.” (Rott).

By these terms, it seems that the danger for the hunting tradition is imminent. After all, 2050 is not so far away. We need to consider the necessary steps to preserve the hunting tradition. But what are these steps, and how do we spread awareness for this hunting decline? For those that are outside of the hunting community, we need to answer different questions: What makes hunting so important? Why should hunting and its lifestyle be preserved today? 

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An important fact to remember is that hunters provide a direct ecological service to both the environment and the populations they hunt. They do this by helping to manage wildlife populations in suburban areas and on public lands. Despite the perception of some laymen, a hunter’s goal is not to kill whatever moves in the wild, but to evaluate the conditions of the animals within the environment. This includes looking at an animal’s age, gender, and overall health. Without hunters and wildlife management efforts “… a white-tailed deer herd can double in size in only two years, quickly deplete available food supplies and face certain mass die-offs.” (NSSF).

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Sickly herds are a danger to populated areas, both human and animal. Hunters help in reporting disease and identifying herd behavior. If these herds aren’t monitored and culled when needed,  they may do lasting damage to local ecosystems. Typically a hunter scouts and monitors an area for an extended period of time to aim at an older buck. According to the Department of the Interior, “As practiced on refugees, hunting and fishing does not pose a threat to the wildlife populations, and in some instances, are actually necessary for sound wildlife management.” (DOI)

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Grayscale image of a man walking towards with a rifle over the shoulder and a Spartan Trail Camera in hand

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In addition, hunters help to fund wildlife conservation efforts. Hunters must maintain up-to-date tags and licenses, and this cost, along with the payment of excise taxes on gear, channels money directly into the preservation and maintenance of the American wilderness. According to PERC, “Nearly 60 percent of their funding comes from sources related to hunting and fishing...” (Watkins).

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With these funding efforts and fees, not only is it impractical to charge more to the hunter or fisherman, it could end up being harmful to the community as a whole. We could potentially see activities like bird watching, camping, hiking, and other outdoor leisures become more costly.  Therefore, it’s important to ask, “Is the greater public willing to pay more to protect wildlife?” (Rott). Some may argue in favor; however, it is unlikely that the mass public would be willing to pay more to continue enjoying these liberties.

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Would it become more cost-effective to preserve our hunting heritage? 

A possible solution to this problem is to preserve our hunting heritage by educating the next generation. Not only the next generation of hunters but the next generation as a whole. Life skills, like hunting, should be taught in the public and private education system and, according to Samsara Chapman, such programs would help, “young hunters...learn that hunting is a year-round activity, not a two- or three-month hobby.” Providing these kinds of lessons to older generations that have not lived this lifestyle may also be beneficial to preserving hunting as a whole. These hunter education programs would provide an opportunity for young people to gain valuable life skills and contribute to wildlife conservation.

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Overall, hunting is a conservation effort that requires skill, communication, and education. We recommend reading about the many organizations that affect the industry and for you to participate in preserving our hunting heritage.

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Contributors: Kevin Warstadt & Sanclara Daigle

Sources

Chapman, Samsara. “The Importance of the Hunter Education Program to the Development of Ethical Literacy Among the Hunting Community.” The Institute for Applied & Professional Ethics, Ohio University, 27 July 2009, www.ohio.edu/ethics/2001-conferences/the-importance-of-the-hunter-education-program-to-the-development-of-ethical-literacy-among-the-hunting-community/index.html


DOI. “Hunting and Fishing on National Parks and Fish and Wildlife Refuges.” U.S. Department of the Interior, 27 Aug. 2019, www.doi.gov/blog/hunting-and-fishing-national-parks-and-fish-and-wildlife-refuges#:~:text=A%20total%20of%2051%2C097%2C000%20acres,the%20National%20Park%20Service%20system


NSSF. “The Hunter And Conservation.” National Shooting Sports Foundation, Inc., National Shooting Sports Foundation, Inc., 2017, https://www3.nssf.org/share/PDF/safety/Hunter_Cons.pdf.


NSSF. “What They Say About Hunting” National Shooting Sports Foundation, Inc., National Shooting Sports Foundation, Inc., 2017, https://www3.nssf.org/share/PDF/safety/WTSAH.pdf


Rott, Nathan. “Decline In Hunters Threatens How U.S. Pays For Conservation.” NPR, NPR, 20 Mar. 2018, www.npr.org/2018/03/20/593001800/decline-in-hunters-threatens-how-u-s-pays-for-conservation.


Waldstreicher, David L.. "Independence Day". Encyclopedia Britannica, 10 Sep. 2020, https://www.britannica.com/topic/Independence-Day-United-States-holiday. Accessed 23 April 2021.


Watkins, Tate. “How We Pay To Play: Funding Outdoor Recreation On Public Lands In The 21st Century.” Property and Environment Research Center, Property and Environment Research Center, May 2019, www.perc.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/how-we-pay-to-play.pdf.

How to prepare successful food plots for hunting and habitat improvements

Grayscale image of a man on the left setting up a trail camera looking over a food plot.
What does it take to keep big game like whitetail deer thriving on your property?  

Food plots are a major asset for landowners and wildlife managers because they provide increased nutrition and attraction to a property. A well-thought-out food plot program can provide high-quality food throughout the year, increasing herd health and wildlife diversity. While a green thumb might be good to have, proper planning and coordination will give your food plots a great start.

Here are a few things to consider when creating your food plot game plan: 
Text on image saying,
Scout your land.  

> What food resources does your property already have?  

> Is there a lot of competition from hunters nearby?  

> Are neighbors planting food plots that could benefit you or alter how deer travel through your land?  

> Are there other surrounding food resources at certain times such as row crops, orchards, alfalfa/clover hay fields? 

> How does your terrain affect how deer may travel and access your land and food plots? 

> What region are you planting in and what are the ideal planting times for the crop you are looking to use?

Check out Mossy Oak Biologic's Guides and Tips to see what is recommended for your region.

Text on image saying,
Know your soil.

After deciding on where you would like to plant, soil samples should be taken. A soil sample will give you current pH levels as well as the status of your macronutrients such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. Soil sampling takes the guesswork out of what your dirt does or doesn’t need to grow a successful food plot. 

 

Mossy Oak Biologic's Soil Lab offers this testing with quick turn-around times, easy-to-read results, and detailed recommendations. Their results will be geared towards the crop that you plan on growing in the plot with recommendations for optimal growth.

Is your soil sandy, clay, or mixed? You can do a field test with a bit of water and soil. Apply the water to the soil and roll a ball of soil between your hands. The longer you can make it roll, the more clay is holding the soil together. Evaluate soil drainage by digging a 1 by 1-foot hole and refilling it with water. After 12 hours, refill the hole with water and see how much water drains away. Most water should drain between 2 and 3 hours. If the water sits for 10 or more hours or drains in less than 2 hours, it means that you have soil drainage issues that need correction.

Perform a pH test. Our recommendation is to visit your local Department of Agriculture site. In Georgia, we take our soil samples to UGA for the most reliable results.

Here are their guidelines for Georgia residents: 

“Samples should be air-dried overnight. Dry samples on a flat surface lined with clean white paper. Take care to avoid contamination. After drying, transfer the sample to the soil sample bag and bring it to your local extension office.” 

The Soil, Plant and Water Lab, University of Georgia, 2400 College Station Road, Athens, GA 30602-9105 

Text on image saying,
Work your soil right!

Starting with great soil is a solid foundation for your success, but you need to make sure you can maintain it throughout the life of your plot. You should keep up to date with the best agricultural practices for working your soil.

      The National Deer Association suggests No-Till Drilling versus Till and Broadcast method: 

      No-till drill versus till & broadcast - National Deer Association

      > Weed seed reintroduced 

      > Topsoil erosion 

      > Lack of moisture retention 

      > Retaining nutrients with cover crops  

      > Maintenance of beneficial organisms 

      > Earthworms mean good organic soil 

      > Cover Crops to prevent run runoff and maintain moisture/nutrients/microbes

      Text on image saying,
      Providing the best for your deer.

      Whitetail deer consume a wide range of food sources, from white and red oak acorns to clover, cereal grains, brassicas, and corn. Planting and improving the diversity of food sources on your plot can separate your property from others.

      Text on image saying,
      3 contatiners of P2 from biologic on the left and the biologic backpack sparyer on the right.
      Adapt.

      Things can change for almost any reason, but one thing that’s certain is that you should be mindful of these potential issues once your plot gets going. You may need to keep deer from eating your plants too early. Deer repellants can be used to combat early consumption of food plots, a common issue in areas with high deer densities and smaller food plots.

      You should monitor your plot regularly for unwanted species using a trail camera. Keep a log of any changes so that you're not caught off guard.  

       

      And remember, with Spartan Camera, you don't have to be there! 

      Contributors: Austin Delano from Mossy Oak and Kevin Warstadt

      Sources:

      “Easy No-till Food Plots -- Whitetail Weekend Seminar.” Performance by Lindsay Thomas, YouTube, National Deer Association, 1 May 2019, www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XmXiXMjsts.

      “Food Plot Planting Guide and Tips.” BioLogic, www.plantbiologic.com/pages/foodplotplantingtips.

      “P2 - Food Plot Protector Kit - Deer Repellent System (1acre).” BioLogic, www.plantbiologic.com/products/p2-food-plot-protector-kit-deer-repellent-system.

      “Soil Test.” BioLogic, www.plantbiologic.com/pages/soil-test

      Sonon, Leticia S, and David E Kissel. “Turfgrass Fertility: Soil Texture, Organic Matter, Aeration, and PH.” University of Georgia Extension, 6 Oct. 2015,https://extension.uga.edu/publications/detail.html?number=C896&title=Soil%20Testing%20for%20Home%20Lawns,%20Gardens%20and%20Wildlife%20Food%20Plots

      Spartan Camera’s 5 Father’s Day Plans

      Foggy morning with dad on the right and son on the left following him past the spartan trail camera

      Photo Credit: Josh and Tovah Locke

      Pack up your outdoor gear and grab some scouting equipment. The offseason is the perfect time to discover something new and spend time with Dad:
      Number one of five for Spartan Camera's 5 Father's Day Plans. Numbered in an orange box over an image of an open pole barn in the middle of the woods.

      1. Spend the day scouting dad’s hunting property. Be sure to take along a couple of trail cameras to hang in new areas.

      Number two of five for Spartan Camera's 5 Father's Day Plans. Numbered in an orange box over an image of a trail meeting with rays of sunshine.

      2. A hiking trip can be more than just a walk through the woods. Take along a wild plant book to learn about new plants and trees. 

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      Number three of five for Spartan Camera's 5 Father's Day Plans. Numbered in an orange box over an image of a deer tracks in the mud and some green vegetation on the far right.

      3. Have dad teach the kids to identify animal tracks. Young kids will even enjoy making plaster molds of the tracks they find.

      Number four of five for Spartan Camera's 5 Father's Day Plans. Numbered in an orange box over the image. The image has some trees in the background, with low water levels in the lake, and a fishing pier on the right. The sky is also very cloudy but bright.

      4. Go fishing! Every outdoorsy dad will enjoy a fishing trip.

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      Number five of five for Spartan Camera's 5 Father's Day Plans. Numbered in an orange box over the image. An image of the Spartan Ghost Camera next to a log and some blades of grass and leaves.

      5. A camping trip is always a great way to spend time outdoors with loved ones. Have a trail cam handy to hang around camp to see if any critters visit in the night.

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      Several of these can be combined for the ultimate Father’s Day weekend. If you were looking for a great gift idea, check out our father's day promotion ending on June 20th, 2021.

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      A collage of three fathers day pictures from our Spartan Camera Community

      Photo credit: Zach Kaiser and daughter (left), Josh Locke and son (middle), and Steve Kaiser with granddaughter (right).

      Happy Father’s Day!

      Contributors: Daniel Rodriguez, Kevin Warstadt

      Photo submissions from: Steve Kaiser, Zach Kaiser, Josh Locke, and Tovah Locke. 

      What Do You Need To Know About Solar Panels And Trail Cameras?

      Picture of Spartan Camera Solar Panel on a tree

      If you have a Spartan Camera, “You Don’t Have To Be There!” However, if you have a solar panel for your trail camera, then you won't have to be there! 

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          All trail cameras require a battery supply to function and, depending on your settings, you may require more power to keep your camera working. Typically, using a trail camera could require two to five trips per year to replace your batteries. And that is with optimal settings and an energy-efficient trail camera using lithium-ion batteries.

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      Check out TrailCamPro's article on the Spartan GoLive’s battery life. If you don’t plan on going out there for more than 6-12 months, you should consider a solar panel setup. 

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      Picture of Spartan Camera Solar Panel being setup on a tree

      Photo Credit: Cody Smith

      Solar panels are simple to set up:

      1. Use a dedicated mount to secure your panel to a tree

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      2. Plug directly into your camera or battery box if needed

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      3. Manage the cables to prevent snagging.

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      4. Done!

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      Simple, right?

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      The issue with plug-and-play is that you have to use the manufacturer's recommended setup. Solar panels have different outputs measured in wattages that convert solar energy to DC power to a voltage that your trail camera can use. According to BatteryStuff.com, you need a solar panel controller for a panel that outputs over 5 watts. The voltage needed by the camera can vary as well, so it's important to distinguish between 6-12 volts.

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       Be sure to check your trail camera product manual or with a support team to verify that the trail camera can self-regulate the incoming power. The risk of not using a controller and/or inverter can be catastrophic to your equipment.

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      The Spartan Ghost and GoLive have internal controllers that can handle up to 15 watts without an issue (Ghost & GoLive Solar Kit); however our GoCam model does not have this internal regulator. 

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      For the GoCam, we offer the Spartan battery box and solar panel (GoCam Solar Kit). The box has a built-in solar controller and a meter so that you don’t end up shorting the GoCam. The solar panel will charge up the 12-volt battery and then convert it to 6 VDC for the GoCam to use.

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      We don't recommend using a DIY setup, however, you can check out this tool to make sure you’re getting the right equipment. Spartan Camera encourages you to use our tested solar panel kits for the best results with our cameras. Please, let our support team know if you have any questions about our solar panels and equipment. 

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      Enjoy not having to be there with your new solar panel setup! 

      Contributors: Kevin Warstadt, Alexander Geyer, Kyle Wei, and Cody Smith

      Sources: 

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      “Solar Info: The Down Low on Everything Up High.” BatteryStuff.com: We Have The Stuff, www.batterystuff.com/kb/articles/solar-articles/solar-info.html.