Frequently Asked Questions

Last updated January 2024

Camera Specs & Instructions

How do the cameras work?

Barn Owl's cameras transmit photos or videos using a nearby cellular network. The cameras transmit the photos or videos immediately after they are captured, and are usually received in less than 15 seconds.

The cameras can be motion triggered, set to take photos/videos on a recurring basis (time-lapse), or both. You can also command near real-time photos/videos from our web-app.

Camera settings can be updated remotely at any time from the web-app, without having to go manually change them on the camera itself.

Do I have to configure the camera myself?

No, the camera is ready to send photos/videos as soon as you turn it on. The camera comes pre-configured for motion-activated photos with no delay between triggers. You can personalize settings and set up email/text alerts in the Barn Owl web-app after camera activation.

Are the cameras easy to move?

Yes, you simply turn the camera off, move it to a new location, and turn it back on.

Can camera settings be changed remotely?

Yes, you can update settings anytime from the Barn Owl web-app, and the camera will receive the updates immediately.

Barn Owl Service & App

What comes in the box?

Camera bundles include a solar panel + mount, camera mounting strap, and pre-activated SIM card for cellular connectivity. Accessories and additional mounts are available through our shop:

What are Barn Owl's guarantees?

We offer a 45-day refund policy on all purchases. You can return the cameras within 45 days, for any reason, and receive a full hardware refund.

We also offer a 2-year hardware warranty for manufacturing defects:

For additional info, please email our support team here:

Do you give discounts for buying multiple cameras?

Yes, we provide automatic discounts for buying 2, 3, 5, or 10 cameras. We also pool data across all of your cameras, and the higher your total data count gets, the cheaper your data costs per MB. More info here: Barn Owl Billing

How does the web app work?

The web-app can be accessed from any phone or computer with an internet browser by visiting the URL: and entering your account login info.

You do not need to download anything from the app store, and the web-app looks and operates exactly the same across all devices.

For registration information, please see our Registration Guide.

Do I need a smart phone to use the web app?

No, the web-app may be accessed at from any device with an internet browser (phone/tablet/computer), and there is no download required. You can also have the photos/videos forwarded to any device as a text message or email.

Camera Features

Can the camera transmit video?

Barn Owl cameras can transmit 5-10 second video clips, triggered by motion, on-demand, or at scheduled times.

Can the camera stream live video?

No, but you can request a 5-10 second video on-demand at any time, which will reach your phone roughly 30 seconds after it's requested. Cellular-based cameras (compared to WiFi-based cameras) typically don't support live-streaming due to the large amount of data being transmitted and the costs associated with transmitting that amount of data over a cellular network.

How long does it take to receive a photo after it is taken?

Usually less than 15 seconds. With poor cellular strength (2 bars or less), it may take slightly longer. If you're commanding a photo from the web app, it takes about 30 seconds to receive the photo after pressing the "Command Trigger" button.

If the camera is in burst mode, will it transmit all of the photos?

Barn Owl cameras can send any combination of the burst shot images (up to 5 images per trigger).

Can I have photos sent to my phone or email?

Yes, you can set up text and/or email alerts in the Barn Owl web-app. The alert contains the image, the camera ID, and the camera's configurable custom location. You can send a camera's alerts to as many phone numbers or email addresses as you need.

What happens when the SD card fills up?

The camera's "SD Cycle" feature will automatically delete the oldest files on the SD card to make room for new ones, ensuring your camera never stops functioning. This setting is turned on by default, and can be turned off if needed.

Cellular Service

What cell networks do the cameras use?

The RangeCam connects to AT&T, T-Mobile, and other regional 3G/4G/LTE networks, such as Viaero. We ship the cameras with a SIM card that works with the best carrier in your area. You do not need to be signed up with these carriers or communicate with them for any reason to use our cameras.

We handle billing and cell connectivity separately from your phone bill, so it doesn't matter which cell carrier you use for your cell phone. Photos and videos can be forwarded to any device via text message or email, regardless of that device's carrier.

The cameras cannot connect to Verizon towers, but this will only affect you if Verizon is absolutely the only signal available in your area.

Does this apply to my current cell phone bill?

No, we provide the SIM card for cellular connectivity and bill separately from your cell phone bill. You do not need to change your current cell provider or negotiate with any carriers.

Can I combine multiple cameras under one data plan?

Yes, data is combined across all cameras at the end of each monthly billing cycle, and a charge is generated for the combined data used by all cameras on your account.

How does billing work?

Your monthly bill consists of a connection fee, data fee, and SMS charges. Most customers average $10-15 per camera, per month, but you can turn cameras OFF in the web-app anytime and pay $0 until you need them.

We only charge for the data you actually use, so you don't have to commit to a data plan up front. You will get one bill each month, no matter how many cameras you have.

If you aren't using your cameras for a period of time, you can turn them OFF in the Barn Owl web-app, and you won't be charged anything while it remains OFF. There is no additional charge for turning the data connection ON or OFF.

View billing details here:

Can I use my own cell service?

No, the Barn Owl platform can only communicate with cameras using SIM cards provided by Barn Owl.

How good of cell service does the camera need?

We recommend at least 2 bars of service for reliable transmissions. While the cameras will transmit photos with 1-bar of service, transmissions will likely be unreliable.

The camera's large, external antennas usually get 2-3 more bars of signal than most cell phones, so you may have better results than you expect in areas with marginal cell service.

Can I use a larger antenna?

Yes. A larger antenna can make a significant difference in areas with marginal or spotty cell signal. Please contact us if you need to improve your cellular reception.

Batteries and Solar Power

What kind of batteries should I use?

We highly recommend the solar panel. If you can't use the solar panel or an external power source, we recommend The camera stops transmitting photos at 8.6V, and Alkaline batteries will fall below 8.6V much faster than ithium.

If you do use Lithium, please note the battery level indicted on the photos can be deceptive. Lithium batteries hold their voltage until they are almost dead, so the battery level indicator will show full right up until the lithium batteries die.

How long do batteries last?

Battery life depends on numerous factors, including day vs night photos, cellular signal strength, temperature, and more. The ranges below are only general guides and should not be taken as specification.

 - 12 x Alkaline batteries ~ 500 - 1,500 transmitted photos
 - 12 x Lithium batteries ~ 1,000 - 3,000 transmitted photos

Please be aware that setting SMS Control to "Instant" uses significant battery power. We only recommend using "Instant" if you have a solar panel or another external power source.

Cold weather will reduce battery life by up to 50%, especially for Alkaline. Lithium will perform much better in cold weather. See ourBattery Saving Tipsto help extend battery life.

How effective is the solar panel?

The solar panel will power the camera 24/7 if it gets 3-4 hours of direct sunlight per day. If the solar panel does not get direct sunlight for 3-4 hours, the solar panel's internal lithium battery will drain over time, causing the camera to fall back to the AA batteries inside the camera when the solar panel's battery is insufficiently charged.

Does the solar panel recharge the AA batteries in the camera?

No, the solar panel will not recharge any kind of AA batteries inside the camera. The solar panel has its own lithium battery, and the camera will run solely on the solar panel's battery while it has charge, and will only use the AAs as a fallback when the solar panel's battery dies or the solar panel comes disconnected.


Can the camera be locked?

Yes, you can find lock boxes on our shop page:shop.barnowl.techIf you are worried about theft or damage, consider ourInsurance Planto keep your camera covered.

How does Barn Owl Care work?

Barn Owl Care can be activated when you register cameras in the Barn Owl App. The insurance covers camera damage, theft or loss.

View full details here: