It’s only real weakness was a rather cheesy design for securing it with a Python-type cable (but we feel no matter what you do, a thief who really wanted something strapped to a tree is going to get it).
Battery life was good, and we have little doubt that it would have been better had we used the suggested lithium batteries.
The fact that every modem needs it’s own data account with Verizon means that it could get rather costly if you added very many of these units to your field-scouting arsenal, as well. (Just something to keep in mind).
The real question to us is this: would we buy another one of these units? (We aren’t given these units, we buy them with our own cold-hard cash). And the answer is a resounding YES! These units revolutionize the way you scout using trail cameras. And we believe the wireless design is the future of trail cameras. I plan on picking up at least a couple more for next season. They keep you from scaring animals because you don’t have to barge in periodically to pull memory cards. And, perhaps most important, they let you hunt what is currently happening instead of what has happened! This means you can sneak in and hunt stands that are hot right at that very minute! A HUGE advantage for sure and one that we have taken advantage of ourselves.
The Test:The MOULTRIE MOBILE WIRELESS FIELD MODEM MV1 is used to connect to a suitable Moultrie camera so that images from the camera can be transmitted electronically to be viewed on a desktop computer or mobile device.
The camera takes the picture and, presto, the picture is pretty much immediately visible on the device!
But does Moultrie wireless modem work?
That is the question.
Pros:The Moultrie Mobile Wireless Field Modem is small and lightweight at 18 ¾ ounces or 1.17 pounds (with a full set of 8-AA batteries according to my digital kitchen scale) (easy to transport)
The modem measures: 3.5 x 5.5 x 1 ¾ inches (roughly)
A free Application is available for Android and Apple devices. The app. Lets you do everything you can on your desktop computer as far as seeing photos and controlling your camera goes.
The wireless modem appears to be well made and was reliably weatherproof in 12-weeks of field use. (I used the wireless modem in a variety of weather conditions, from 90-degrees Fahrenheit down to -10 zero, along with heavy rains and snowy conditions)
Despite the camera I choose to run with the wireless modem needing a firmware upgrade, it was still a very straightforward and easy setup. Moultrie states that you must make sure the camera you choose to use with the modem has the necessary updates — so this step is critical!
The unit did better than I expected with battery life.
The modem didn’t chew through them that bad at all, despite me not even using the recommended Energizer or lithium batteries.
I used Duracell batteries initially because that is what I had. I replaced the Duracell Quantum batteries when they were only down to about 60% just because I was in the area and didn’t then and didn’t know when I would be in the area again or how fast they would go down from there.
I replaced those batteries with Rayovac High-Energy. Again, because those is what I happened to have with me.
I didn’t expect much from these batteries, to be honest. However, they did very well and accounted for a solid 6-weeks of performance and more than 2,000 photos in some very cold and nasty Iowa winter weather conditions (several days below zero). The Duracell Quantum batteries did well too and lasted 6-7 weeks and accounted for about 1500 photos (the weather during this period was mostly mild and in the 45-90 degree Fahrenheit range).
How much better would this unit have done in a less extreme environment and with the recommended lithium batteries?
The modem was easy to hang on a tree with the included nylon strap. Although the plastic strap-clasp left something to be desired, at least upon first glance, it actually worked well and was easy to use. The strap had plenty of length and according to my trusty tape measure should go around a 23” diameter tree with about 1” inch to spare.
The wireless modem does have holes along the side for which one could use a locking cable in some effort to secure it to a tree from theft. However, the unit, like all units on the market that I am aware of, is made of plastic. Even a stupid and/or lazy thief would not have much problem stealing such a unit, if he/she wanted to.
The Moultrie wireless modem connected fast to the Verizon 3G data network that it must use. (The Moultrie wireless modem must run on Verizon and uses no other carrier at the moment)
In my area, Verizon works pretty well. But, you need to check the coverage map to see if Verizon has good coverage in your area. Moultrie suggests having at least three bars of strength showing on the unit itself for good results with the Moultrie wireless modem.
The Moultrie wireless modem is separate from the camera itself. Although not a feature in any way of product quality or build, this could be a handy and cost-saving feature if you happen to already have at least one Moultrie camera that is 2015 or newer. (Note: “A” series cameras have limited functionality with the Moultrie Mobile system according to company data).
Also, whenever the modem decides to quit working, someday, who knows when, it should be cheaper to replace just the modem than a competitors unit that may have the camera and modem combined as one, such as the Covert Special Ops Code Black or Spartan HD Go Cam (I have zero experience with either of these).
Of course, the camera would quit working some time too. But with a combined unit, one would need to replace the whole thing — meaning both the camera and the modem, if either one would go out.
Cons:I didn’t really find any problems with using the Moultrie wireless modem. Moultrie acknowledged that they did have some problems with their website but they fixed that issue right away.
The holes to run a “Python” or similar cable locking device around the wireless modem are plastic – easy for someone to steal this unit if they really wanted to. (This is not unlike most every other unit I have seen though)
The Moultrie wireless modem is mass produced in China. Is this good or bad?
And every other unit – but those from Buckeye – are as well….