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Cuddeback AttackIR Game Camera Review

December 22, 2012
Bill Waugaman , Ohio Valley Outdoors

Four years ago, I wrote a very comprehensive review of the Cuddeback NoFlash. Overall, the NoFlash performed very well. This year, I have Cuddeback's newest game camera, the is definitely different. For starters, it 's not the typical square shape common for game cameras. If it were painted up to resemble wood, it would look like an 8 " section of a 4" diameter tree (actual size is 3.8" wide by 4" deep by 8.5" tall). The weight (without batteries) is slightly over a pound at 18.2 ounces.

The battery compartment is accessed through a hinged panel on the bottom. A specially designed thumbscrew is used to close the battery compartment and also serves a second purpose that is covered later. The AttackIR operates on 4D batteries and can do so for up to a year depending on variables such as temperature, the number of pictures taken, type of batteries, etc.

Another surprise was the camera controls found under the panel on the back that is also secured closed with a special thumbscrew. The main control to access the various functions is a rotary switch. Two buttons marked A & B are used to change various settings that can be seen in an LCD display (approximately .6" tall by 1.5" wide). There is a sliding on/off switch for the video function. That's it. I really like the simplicity of the rotary switch and the A & B button; it makes the set up very intuitive.

Article Video

Images and videos are stored to an SD card up to 32GB that plugs in above the LCD display. If you loose or damage the SD card, the AttackIR is still functional and will save images to the 120MB internal memory. To the left of the SD card slot is a USB port; instead of replacing the SD card with a blank one in the field, you can copy images from the SD card directly to a small form factor flash device. The SD card slot, the USB slot and the on/off video switch have a clear cover to protect the connections.

Cuddeback kept the image and video resolution choices simple. All AttackIR still images are 5MB resolution. By choosing high or low image compression you control the file size for the image and the quality. High compression gives a smaller image size and lower quality; low compression produces larger image size but higher quality. Video resolution is 640x480.

There are 36 IR LEDs for capturing images and video at night. This panel of LEDs has an effective flash range of 50 feet (60 feet under favorable conditions). In the Test mode, a single red LED in the middle of the LED panel is used to determine the detection zone to help mount the AttackIR.

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Cuddeback AttackIR (front)

The AttackIR has two different programs for controlling when pictures are taken at predetermined time intervals. In 'Time Lapse' mode, a picture is taken at each time interval 24 hours a day. There are 8 different intervals ranging from 1 minute to 24 hours, selectable using the rotary control knob. 'Guard Duty' is the second mode for capturing multiple images over time. In Guard Duty mode, the AttackIR will take a 1.3MP image every 12 seconds during daylight hours only; at night, it uses the PIR sensor to trigger images as normal. An SD card of 8MB or larger is recommended when using Guard Duty.

Some of the Other New and Improved Features

* Testing IR Flash this menu selection tests the IR LEDs from 33% to 99% output; batteries without sufficient power to reach 99% will produce a 'fail' message in the LED panel

Fact Box

SpecificationsCuddeback AttackIR
Maximum Pixels5MP
Field of ViewN/A
Maximum IR Flash Range50' to 60'
Memory Card FormatSD or SDHC
Memory Card SizeUp to 32GB
Internal Memory120MB
Picture Resolution5MP
Video Size640x480
Video Speed24 fps
PIR Sensitivity SettingsFactory Set
Trigger Speed **.25 sec
Trigger Interval5 sec - 30 min
Video Length10-20-30 sec. (day or night)
Power Supply4D
User InterfaceLCD Display
Mounting60" Strap, 1/4x20 Mount, Tree bracket
Operating Temperature-30° to 110° F
Image StampingDate, Time, AM/PM
Weight w/o Batteries18.2 oz
Optional Security BoxYes
Warranty18 months

* Firmware Updates if programming enhancements or changes are made, the AttackIR can be updated with the new software using a PC over the internet

* Video Plus Mode when the video mode is on, the AttackIR will take a picture before recording the video for the programmed length of time.

* Advertised Trigger Speed second

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* Centered Subject Technology using fast detection and a fast trigger speed to improve what is captured in an image (i.e. full body versus the back quarter of a running deer)

* Smartcolor Image Technology digital color images are enhanced so colors are more vivid.

A tree mount and a strap are the included accessories with the AttackIR. The tree mount is ingenious. It can be strapped to a tree using the 60" strap, or attached to a tree using 4 screws. Once installed, grooves in the two AttackIR thumbscrews (control and battery cover panel) slide down over a notch in the bracket to mount the game camera. Cuddeback has two optional mounting systems called a Genius Mount, or if you prefer, there is a standard 1/4x20 mount on the back.

When bears, theft or vandalism are a concern, the CuddeSafe is an excellent solution. It is made from 16-gauge steel and is designed specifically for Attack and AttackIR game cameras. The CuddeSafe housing attaches to a tree with lag bolts; the front panel encloses the game camera and locks on the bottom. There are 3 foam pads on the inside to hold the AttackIR firmly in place preventing any movement...a really nice touch.

Free software called Trophy Room can be downloaded to a PC from the Cuddeback website. Trophy Room includes several utility programs to use with the camera images and videos. For example, Fast Guard Duty allows you to quickly view images taken in Guard Duty mode. Another program determines the sun and moon variables for each image. If you are having trouble with the AttackIR, Trophy Room includes camera troubleshooting and support tools. This is a great suite of programs for your PC (not Mac compatible). For additional help, their website is easy to navigate. Their phone support is very good; using some sample photos I submitted to Cuddeback for this review, their staff passed on some tips to further improve nighttime images.

Cuddeback AttackIR features I like the best:

* the easy to understand rotary dial for changing modes

* online firmware updates

* the snug fit inside the bear safe that holds the game camera securely in place

* the mounting bracket system allows the camera to easily be removed from the tree and remounted

The MSRP for the Cuddeback AttackIR is $249.99. If you register the game camera online within 10 days of purchase, the warranty is extended to a total of 18 months. For additional specifications, refer to the Game Camera chart.



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