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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:49 pm 
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Gotta keep this quick:

I purchased a Cognisys Scout hoping to find an Active IR trigger that fit my needs. I put it out on November 15 and just picked it up last week. It worked. Not perfect, but good enough that I will probably get another.
cheers
J

Cons:
-Expensive: $400'ish, That's fine with me if it will work for the long term. I've wasted $400 easy messing with DIY stuff or triggers that didn't work (Cactus LV5!) or only worked in a really narrow range of conditions
LED lights up during trigger event, can't seem to turn it off, think it was still bleeding through electrical tape I put on it, so it would show up in long exposure high iso shot
-Non-standard waterproof cable that's not waterproof at both ends: There's a waterproof connector to the unit, but on the camera end of the cable it's a stereo or RCA (forget which), so if a rodent chews your cable, you'll have to either figure out what that connector is, or buy a new one from company
-False triggers in snow -- I can't tell how bad this is yet, I had it fire 60 shots during a snowstorm with big wet flakes. I think it does OK in rain and maybe in dry snow. I had my TM 1550 out at a lower elevation and it did not trigger, but I think it had rain instead of snow
- Still designed for strapping to tree: I set where I want to set, not where there is a good tree to put my triggers. The more expensive unit has a 1/4" thread, but it's on the back of the unit rather than the bottom, so a minor pain to use with standard grip gear like a light stand/gorilla pod/etc

Pros:
Power efficient: runs on 6AA I think, I got 3 months fine on NiMh AA's. There's a plug for external power
Reliable: I left mine out in the mountains and it survived, only falsed on me one night (but killed a flash doing so), detected critters OK.
Customizable: you can set the half press time, # shots, etc. day-only night-only. Has some stuff you don't need (directional triggering) and is missing some stuff (a long enough wake-up interval for just recharging flash caps)
Much less bulky than Trailmaster: lighter since no C cells, easier to mount, intuitive interface so you don't need to have the instructions on hand or memorized
Will be part of a product "ecosystem": I think that's the term folks use. There's a flash and wireless triggers coming out. I don't think they'll be at a price point that is appealing for those of us using lots of flashes on many rigs, but it would be appealing to have a system that is actually built for what we do.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:55 pm 
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Nice. Thanks for the short but comprehensive review.

Does it bounce IR off a reflector?

nevermind... I see it on their website. Looks like a pretty sweet sensor.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:07 pm 
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I have the sabre from the same company


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:54 pm 
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The Scout is my go-to system when I don't want false triggers and a system that I can leave out for a couple of months. I've had them out in multiple snow storms (even in the bomb cyclone) and have never had false triggers from snow. I too struggled with the non-waterproof connectors, but once I figured I could stuff them inside the pelican case, I've had no problems with the elements.

I mounted RAM mounting balls to the 1/4-20 posts on the back and can mount these to just about anything quicker than anything else I use. With the RAM mounts I can make quick height adjustments without too much trouble.

The only problem I've had is a coyote that I captured on my Arlo running through the trigger, without tripping the sensor. The sensor was aligned below his body so I'm thinking his legs were moving too fast or he just 'walked' over the beam.

Very easy to align and set up. I'd be interested in seeing how everybody is mounting these in the field. I also use the Sabre, but I'm struggling to find long-term use situations. Great products from a great company. Here's a pic of my Scout rig.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:15 pm 
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I starting using one about a month ago. So far, I've found it a lot easier to get along with than the TrailMasters. The TMs were super reliable, but I can never remember how to use the cryptic menus.

Ditto the LED. I bet they can change that with a firmware upgrade.

It has been out in two big snow dumps so far without false triggers. We've had a third, even bigger snow, since the last time I checked it, so we'll see how it fares. The sensitivity settings are adjustable, which might help.

I brought the tree bracket into the field with me for my first set, but didn't end up using it, instead opting to mount ram balls like stinky mentioned. The brackets look like they'd be pretty sturdy, but all of our trees are crooked here.

I have some big cable glands that will actually accept the camera end of the scout cable through my Pelican case. I think they were made for Cat 5 cable. My preference would be if the cable had the same connector on both ends, and I could install a matching panel mount connector into my Pelican case. I've found a couple of sources for them online, but nowhere they sells them in small quantities.

What I'm really excited for is to see the wireless system in action. I have high hopes!


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:41 am 
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Great to hear that it has worked OK in snow for you folks--that's encouraging, plus I think I messed with the sensitivity setting. They were some big flakes that set mine off, but maybe what's typical on the W slope of Cascades at ~ 3500 ft.

Can you guys link me to the ram mount you are using? Thanks

I had a rodent eat my shutter cable first time out, but luckily between the stereo jack and the shutter plug, right at edge of housing, so I didn't have to replace the main cable. Hopefully one could find the waterproof plug that goes to Scout and fashion their own cables.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:05 am 
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Mine is out in the field, but basically I used the 1/4x20 hole on the back of the scout to mount a ram ball, which I can than attach to various things like lag bolts, clamps, stands, etc. I'll snap a photo next time I'm out.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:58 pm 
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On mine I think I had one on a lag screw/mini ballhead combo going to a branch on a snag, and one on a lighting stud in an umbrella adapter, on a light stand.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 9:13 pm 
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Mine just made it through light snow storm without false triggering and some heavy rain too. In regards to AIR in general, still figuring out how to get critter where I want, there's a small lag with the camera waking up and I'm allowing 100-200ms for focus press to wake up the flash, if a critter is moving and medium to large in frame, that's a lot of margin for error.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2018 2:40 pm 
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Just had one sort of strange result with this trigger. I set a camera in a tricky spot, where there were lots of tiny Douglas Fir trees in the scene. Normally I wouldn't have tried to line up AIR units if there could be blowing vegetation between them, but the Scout seemed to work fine. I tried shaking every sapling that was possible in between the emitter/receiver and didn't get any triggers -- this was at dusk . I checked the camera a week later, and about 12h after I set it, mid morning'ish, the unit began triggering my camera continuously until everything died and one of my SB-28's burned out for good. I can't figure out if it was direct sun hitting the receiver or if having light hitting the vegetation did it, but hoping it doesn't happen again. I adjusted the set and will check again tomorrow; trail cam on the spot got two lions before I set the SLR cam.
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Jonny

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