How to Use the Pro/Mini in Offline Mode
The photoSentinel Pro and Mini systems can be configured to capture photos when there is no network available. This may be useful if you have a project in a remote location with no cell signal available, or when the global 3G network has shutdown. Note that this does not apply to the Mach II and Tempo systems which are required to connect to the network via cell signal or LAN (Ethernet/Wi-Fi).
How to configure a Pro/Mini for offline use
- You will need a microSD card in the controller (no faster than a class 4, non-UHS card).
- Format the microSD card from the camera’s menu settings.
- Set the correct time and date on the camera, then turn the camera’s ON/OFF switch to OFF, then back ON again to save the settings on the camera.
- Set the configuration on the Capture Config page to ‘Never connect to the server’ mode, with the desired shooting regime.
- Click the ‘Export Settings to microSD card’ button at the bottom of the Capture Config page.
- Save the default.xml file that is downloaded from the Export process in step 5 to the base (root) directory on the microSD card that will reside in the controller. Ensure that it is named exactly default.xml and doesn't have other characters.
- Insert the microSD card into the controller.
- Ensure that the camera is configured to save jpg images to the card that is in the controller (if the camera has two slots, the SD ribbon that goes to the controller should connect to the slot that jpg images will be saved to). If jpg images aren’t coming through to the microSD card, the controller won’t be able to determine the time (as in this mode it determines the time from the photos on the card) and so most images will not be scheduled.
- Please note that with this configuration, you will not see any status updates.
- Calculate the size of photos with the shooting regime to ensure that you have enough space on the card/s. If the microSD card fills up while in Never Connect mode, it will not delete photos automatically (regardless of the option selected under the ‘Delete photos when the free space value drops below’ entry). Even if you have two slots, this may impact the shooting regime for the other card, as the up-to-date time will not be readable for the controller. You will need to plan for site visits to the unit to periodically copy the images off of the microSD card if it will fill up before the project's end date.
- Also calculate the voltage requirements to determine whether you need to connect to AC or solar power for the duration of the job. A fully-charged Li-ion battery will typically operate for 5 days on a standard regime of 8 hours per day, with one shot every 15 minutes. The battery charge on your job may last longer or shorter depending on environmental factors and the camera settings being used. Since status updates are not possible, we would also recommend planning for site visits to periodically check that the system is functioning correctly and has sufficient voltage.
- Test your regime ahead of the actual project. Ideally capture photos of a clock that is set to the correct time for the project location (which should be the same as the camera's time), so that you can confirm that the images are being captured at the expected times.