Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Brinno TLC 100

On 11 Jan 2012, USPS delivered to my home, one Brinno TLC 100.  I received the camera with the batteries and flash drive included.  I plugged the flash drive into the proper socket and properly installed the four AA batteries.  I wanted to change the interval between image capture to 7 seconds.  I could not.  The camera is programmed in Windows.  I do not have a Windows machine.  I settled on using the factory settings (7) to record time lapse images on the flash drive at 5 second intervals.
Today, all video formats are recognized by my iMac.  So I was not worried about being able to view the recorded time lapse file.  After one day of recording, I removed the flash drive from the TLC 100 and plugged it into my iMac.  QuicktimePlayer.app  opened and played the video fine.  It had captured several images of a squirrel poaching from the feeder.  Not what I had in mind when I put out a bird feeder but not unexpected, either.
I still wanted control of the camera time lapse.  In order to do that I would need access to Windows.  Ever since Apple began installing Intel processors in Macs, Windows can run natively on a Mac.  So I had several options to gain control of the camera program.
  1. Purchase an inexpensive computer that runs Windows
  2. Configure my iMac as a dual boot computer:Windows and Mac operating systems
  3. Install a virtual application to run Windows and OSX simultaneously 
Not wanting to spend an excessive amount of money and still get access to the Windows world, I opted for an app at the Apple app store, WinOnX.
I installed the app on my iMac.  I connected the flash drive to my iMac.  I double clicked the self extracting file and the window you see above opened.  
I then opened the TimeLapse Camera app.  The date and time signature were already changed when the app window opened.  I changed the time interval.  I was satisfied I was able to make the changes without making my computer a dual boot system and buying Windows 7.

I ejected the flash drive from my iMac, disconnected it and plugged it into the waiting TLC 100.  I took the camera outdoors and mounted it onto the external side of one of the windows in the breakfast room, so that the camera was about 20" from the bird feeder.  I then held the power button until the green light lit.  I backed away from the camera, out of its field of view, and waited to hear the double beep signal warning me the camera was energized and capturing images.  I returned to the house to let the camera do what it does, capture still images every seven seconds.

I returned the next morning to find the power light off.  I pressed and held the power button to turn off the unit.  Instead the light turned on and the signal beeped twice.  That meant the camera was already off when I arrived.  I held the power button again until it beeped three times signaling the power was off.

I removed the flash drive and connected it to my iMac.  There was no recorded .avi file.  None!  I figured something was wrong.  So I opened the Disk Utility. app on my iMac.

I seems that my dragging the recorded .avi file into the trash didn't erase the file and the drive was close to full.  Not having a way to format the drive in the camera, I decided to erase and reformat it using my iMac.

In the Disk Utility.app I pressed Erase after choosing the MS-DOS (FAT) format.  Once that was finished, I dragged and dropped the two files from the Brinno website for the TLC 100 into the reformatted flash drive.  Now the flash drive was mounted and there was 3.4 MB of data on the drive as seen below.

I ejected the flash drive and removed it from the iMac.  I plugged it into the TLC 100, installed fresh AA batteries, mounted the TLC 100 outdoors, pressed the power button until the green light lit and stepped out of its field of view and waited for the two beeps.  Once it beeped I returned to the house and let the camera do its thing until the morning.

In the morning I turn off the camera, pulled the flash drive and connected it to my iMac.  The camera again didn't capture any images.

I emailed the manufacturer in Taiwan explaining my problem.  I emailed the manufacturer twice and as of today I have still not received a reply.  So I emailed the company in California that sold me the camera.  The very next day I received a phone call from the California company.

It was explained to me the TLC 100 is not Mac compatible.  I figured that out on my own.  The person on the phone had no experience with Macs and could not help me.  He did inform me their new TLC 200 is Mac compatible and a raincoat is available to make it weather resistant.

So I have this new Brinno TLC 100 that will not record images on either of the two flash drives I have.  I have two flash drives I am unable to reformat.  I am contemplating purchasing a TLC 200 that has all of the controls in the camera.  Then I won't need to use Windows at all.

I wonder how long it would take for delivery?

©Damyon T. Verbo

1 comment:

  1. Your blog blinked, turned black and errased my erudite comments. Thanks for posting this Blog on Brinno. I might not have known they are not Mac OS X compatible. I won't buy them now.


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