Solar Rocks, What?

Solar rocks are, well pretty much what it sounds like. They are rocks that charge our systems.
Essentially they are custom manufactured resin based solar cells that look and feel like rocks.
These rocks are manufactured by Kingston Kustoms, specifically for our systems. They are plug in play with all BuckEye Cam devices and will not void the warranty.

They all have rodent shielding to keep rodents from destroying the power cables. Extremely covert panels and a perfect way to charge….. Very effective.

Solar Rocks

They also offer solar stumps as well….

The outputs range from 5 watts up to 10 watts and come in 2 different colors (desert and gray).

I’m sure Kingston Kustoms would make special panels for your application too. Just reach out to them at Kingston Kustoms

“Non-Approved BuckEye Cam Products”

We continuously have other manufacturers contacting us wanting to manufacture some sort of add on device to our wireless system. We try and work with them as long as there is not a conflict of interest.

Whether they are wanting get on our network, add their own product to our line or just get a testing approval from us to insure that the product they are selling doesn’t void the Factory BuckEye Cam warranty. Because at the end of the day if their product is causing or has the potential to cause damage to our product, that would obviously void the warranty and the consumer should know this prior to purchasing the product. This is what this post is about. Notifying the public.

There is a company producing a product that does just that. This product bypasses the built in control and security circuit of the BuckEye Cam system which creates a potentially hazardous situation at worst and just shuts the camera down periodically at best. So to use this particular panel is jeopardizing your entire system.
Without giving out our proprietary information I can just say that the camera is expecting certain very specific results from the battery box and any deviations from those expected results the camera will shut down.

In essence if add-on product is not officially approved to work with our BuckEye Cam system the system will detect it and just shutdown periodically as a safety precaution. It is the fail safe mode of the system to protect everyone.

Here is a link to such a device that is not approved to work with our system and VOIDS the factory warranty.

BuckEye Cam AI Available

We have officially released the new version of X-Series Network Manager software that has support for object detection.

The software version is 3.2.4.
Those that have automatic updates enabled will get a notification in the software.

For now, AI is only available for users running Windows software.

We are currently working on the demo video. Hopefully, we will have the video on our website soon.

Not all computers are compatible with AI. It has to do with the processor in the computer.
You can check compatibility by going to the About panel.
There, they will see one of the three messages:
AI Engine is installed.
AI Engine is supported.
AI Engine is not supported.

If AI Engine is not supported, you can still use the software like before.

When you install the software the AI features will not be available yet.
AI requires a separate installation of AI Object Detection.

When the new software is started it will check for updates and if the computer is compatible, you will get an update notification as green arrow down on the toolbar. The notification bubble will say “AI Object Detection is available for your software” with Download button next to it.
Click on Download. Once downloaded, click Install.

Like any AI object detection, AI is not 100% accurate.
It is possible for it to misidentify an object or miss an object. Often time it is related to the quality of the picture and how clearly the object is visible. Night images are more susceptible, especially fast-moving vehicles without clear illumination of the outlines.

= Using AI : Profiles =

Go to Menu->Notifications. If AI is successfully installed, you should see AI Object Detection category with Edit button next to it. Click Edit to configure the software to react to AI messages.

Object Detection is configured through Detection Profiles. The profiles tell the software how to react to objects detected in a picture.

In each profile you can:
Select which cameras are processed using this profile.
Add detection targets and define actions for those targets.

If the you want to detect a vehicle, Add new target and select “Vehicle”. Once the target is selected. Then you can choose what actions the software should perform when a vehicle is detected. “Otherwise” category at the bottom of the screen provides a way to specify actions when none of the created above targets are recognized.

If a particular target is added twice, actions selected under both targets will be performed. By adding the same target multiple times and selecting “Limit to time of day” the user can perform different actions for the same target depending on the time of day.

= Using AI: Detection Zones =

If a camera selected on one of the AI profiles, the control panel (side panel with check status, and other buttons) for that camera will have a new button “Detection Zones” located right above Settings button.

Detection zones allow you to specify where an object should be to be recognized by the software. It is controlled by “Zones of Interest” and “Zones of Suppression”. If no zones are defined, an object detected anywhere in the image will be recognized.
If you place a Zone of Suppression onto the image and an object overlaps the zone, the object will be ignored (suppressed) and the software will not react to its presence. If you add a “Zone of Interest”, the object will have to overlap the zone to be recognized by the software.

“Suppressed Targets” suppress specific target of specific size in at a specific location in the image. For example, you your mailbox or your garden gnome is frequently recognized as a “person”, you can click on “suppress” button (red arrow down) to have it suppressed.

Zones do not control where motion in the camera is detected but rather how the software will react to the pictures. The camera will still take pictures the same way it did before regardless of AI zone configuration. Once the picture is received from the camera, only then the software will use the zones to determine if an object (provided one is present) should be recognized or ignored.

X Series Network Manager Software

What Happens Now?

It is going to be interesting to see how this all plays out.

It is going to be interesting to see how this all plays out. I am not aware of any other camera manufacturer that actually designs, develops and MANUFACTURES their product in the United States.  Seriously, some camera companies brag about how their cameras are made in China to save you money….. *cough* c u d d e b a c k *cough* Seriously what kind of backward BS is that? Claiming they are designed in the US – More like copied in the US…. But I digress… smart people know what I am talking about….


Moving forward, given the entirely new landscape and what is seemingly becoming a distaste for products being made in China. I wonder how that is going to affect all those companies having all their products manufactured in China.
Aside from the fact that the consumers are now seeking out and demanding products be made entirely in the US, I wonder how the supply chain is going to handle the transition? I wonder how those companies that are solely reliant on China for their everything are going to fare?
There are already tariffs plus limited shipping sizes and delays on cargo shipping. So one is going to assume that will cause a mass panic within the manufacturers attempting to retool and bring their manufacturing back in to the US to avoid the inevitable seen on the horizon.. The trade war already started a pause within the manufacturing sector and re-evaluate their positions in 2019


Fast forward to 1st quarter in 2020, add more tariffs, major shipping delays and then……. BAM! The Wuhan Virus comes in to play and sets everything on fire. We could debate the virus was a purpose set in motion to disrupt the economies in hopes that China would prevail on top…. But there is really no point at this point to…..
It’s obvious that going forward the trade between China and the US is going to see a dramatic change.
For the first time in 23 years, we have been contacted by several large companies to see if we would be interested in contract manufacturing for them. I would have taken in the work except what they are needing is not in our wheelhouse. We are however seeing more and more interest in having printed circuit boards actually manufactured in the US – We recently installed our first surface mount SMT Juki system in January to bring all our board production in house and also in hopes to be able to offer contract engineering and production services to other companies wanting to stay in the US for their everything. It was good timing on our part to walk out on the edge to better see what was coming……

All in all 2020 may be the year that America finally comes home. Finally pays up for true American made products.

Maybe this will be the year…..


Made In America


Made In The USA

When we first started manufacturing our BuckEye Cams in early 2003 – we didn’t have a choice but to make them in house. Going overseas just wasn’t an option for us as we were just too small (and honestly didn’t know how). We had always designed and manufactured all of our equipment in house so it was not a really big deal for us to apply the same principals to the new “BuckEye Cam” product line. You have to remember we had designed and built the very first wireless camera system well before the iphone – Black Berry was a “new” thing and the entire concept of sending images wireless had to be explained. I’m serious, people would ask us all the time, “Why would I ever want to have pictures sent wirelessly?”…. I guess we were way ahead of our time then (and now) but we had created something that we knew was a hit.

So at a time when everything was beginning to be sent overseas to be manufactured we just stayed with what we knew. We knew how to design and manufacture products. So that is what we did. It wasn’t easy and on top of having to explain why someone needed a wireless system, I also took a tremendous amount of heat for our “price”. At the time our retail price for a camera was not cheap, so it was a bit of sticker shock for everyone back in the day. But what we had designed had never been done before. This was when trail cameras weren’t really a “thing”, infrared was unheard of, as was something that actually functioned in the field for longer than a couple of days. And Wireless? usually at the point of trying to explain the wireless function it became information overload… People tuned out.   Trail cameras where hacked film cameras, there was such a thing called a trail timer out that was basically a roll of dental floss connected to a little digital timer – you would string the floss across the trail like a trip wire. Then when the unsuspecting target broke through the floss, the digital timer would stop thus recording the time the target passed through the floss trap. The trail timer always perplexed me – why? Not sure… Any way….

So we cut our teeth – heard plenty of laughs at our product line, too expensive, no one would want it, why wireless, etc. etc. But we stayed true to a couple of beliefs: We knew what we had was a hit, we knew we had to keep it current and we were going to make them in Athens, OH

Keeping it current meant that we could not just have them made in huge batches because we had so many great ideas and concepts to incorporate into the product. If we built them in huge batches, we would limit ourselves so we just kept building them 1 at time right in our Athens, OH facility. At that time I think we may have had 8 employees total and almost half of them were engineers.


Outside of our highly engineered and cutting edge design, I always felt since our systems were made in Athens, OH that would mean something to people. People would certainly see the value in a technical product really manufactured in the US right? Not so much. I guess I can understand but it did really aggravate me to discover that our society had forgotten what it meant to be made in America. It seemed to have lost it’s value to the consumer. Price was king and we were becoming a throw away society when it came to anything electronic. I mean no one serviced anything electronic. They just didn’t. You could send it in for a refund or replacement but not a repair. That was mainly because electronics were largely being made overseas and no one in the states COULD repair them.  That is something however, we really took pride in offering. We built our products and knew how to service and repair them.  We designed our systems to last for decades not days. We designed our systems to operate in some of the harshest environments and we EXPECTED them to last for decades. And if the time ever came that you needed to service or get your BuckEye Cam system repaired you could count on us.  We took pride in our ability to service and repair our systems. We took pride in knowing that we were the resident experts and could solve any issue regrading our systems. This came directly from our dedication to keep our engineering and manufacturing in house.

It was mostly a hard sell. People wanted cheap first, quality second and made in America just didn’t seem to matter. Either that or half the people were so used to being lied to about being made in America they really didn’t believe anything was made in America. You know, Made in America or Manufactured In America, Assembled In America etc. Just seem to have lost its value.

You can literally see other camera “manufactures” boast about their product being made in China because “almost all cameras are made in China and we know how important price it to our customers” – Wait, What? You got it – They have gone from Made in America to Made in China because “they know you want it cheap”.  They are basically saying you are “darn right we are made in China”. How mess up is that?

Well in light of the recent pandemic and more and more people release how reliant our country once was on foreign countries, maybe now it will become a value to do business with US companies.. Real US manufacturing, made in America company. Our company shut down but didn’t lay anyone off – we ran a skeleton crew and everyone else just worked from home. It is how American companies operate.  We aren’t the cheapest but we are here for the long haul and still making them, 1 at a time in Athens OH…

COVID-19 Spam attack

Apparently since the pandemic outbreak, it is ok for every single company on the universe to spam the crap out of everyone.

Every single company out there has taken the liberty to circumvent the Can-Spam Act in order to remind us that they will now supply hand sanitizer to their customers that visit their location. Which is great, except you are an online company!
Or “we have implemented a hand washing policy and wanted to let you know”… Adding buzz words like committed or diligent…

I mean seriously everyone can do without the soft spamming that is going on right now. I think it’s great that every corporation out there is stepping up and taking this seriously. However, I do not think it is great that their marketing department has also stepped up their email game so as not to be left out.

This is just in from our ONLINE Bank…. that we have never visited, ever and have zero plans on ever visiting….. It’s just a way for them to send me a marketing script and remind me that I may want to use their online services and oh don’t forget to wash your hands….

“We have long had contingency plans in place that will ensure that your banking experience remains as normal as possible during this emergency. We plan to do this in a way that protects the health and safety of you and your community bankers.

The other side of this is why are companies feeling it is necessary to tell me (or admit rather) something they should have been doing all along. But now they make it sound like science break through that they are going to start cleaning things commonly touched by large groups of customers?

We have asked employees who are exhibiting symptoms to stay home, and our employees who can work from home are doing so. Our sick time procedures provide compensation and support for our employees to do so.

I mean was it your policy to have sick employees come to work before the outbreak?? Seems odd to send this to me in an email….

Probably even worse is that most of these read like – “We never really cleaned ANYTHING before the outbreak but now we want you to know we are absolutely committed to washing our hands and, you know, cleaning the office every now and then…..”  I mean for Pete’s sake, what the heck were you doing before????

Seriously, I am going to start posting every one of these I get if they don’t stop…. (Just kidding I wouldn’t do that to you)… But it is bad….

I have to go wash my hands now and sing happy birthday 2 times….

Stay clean everyone….. Stay clean…..

Strange times for sure…..

Just finished up a conference meeting with the entire company in light of the recent events.  We wanted to come up with a plan in order to try and reduce the exposure risks to all the employees without having it affect their income.

What we came up with is for the next two weeks is a fluid plan focusing on reducing and in some cases eliminating exposure as much as possible. Some of our employees will be working remotely 4 to 5 days a week for the next couple of weeks. Others may be working every other day or even skip 1 week and work the next. Trying to be most considerate of those who at higher risks but in the end the key is trying to keep everyone safe.

Financially, we have it set that everyone will still get their normal pay regardless if they work completely from home, have nothing to do or those who will alternate days as needed.
As with most things we do at ATSI our focus is keeping our employees successful. Some will get paid to stay at home and others may have to work remotely and still other may come in a couple days a week. But even those can choose to not come in at all if they so desire.

In a nut shell, everyone is going to get paid for the next two weeks – regardless of the time they actually work. They won’t have to use vacation time or miss out on hours worked. They will just get paid.

In a couple of weeks this may be over with and we can go back to normal as we know it. But until that time we are committed to backing our employees through this uncertain time. We have their back…


Can’t Force Creativity

Constantly hearing about the things that need to change, made easier or even made fair for “everyone”.
We are suppose to buy in that we should look down on those who have made fortunes and guilt them in to giving it all to those that haven’t.

You know the viscous 1%ers, the Satan’s of the world, that apparently hold all answers, power and money.
Some are so busy trying to bring down others, they don’t notice how high their own soap box has become. Isn’t it from their own wealth and success that they now have the platform? That’s a bone to be chewed for sure but not today.

All these new proposed (and mandatory in some cases) changes are just not how we operate in this country. Expecting someone to be forced to do anything just isn’t productive. You can’t pick winners and losers in our society. The salt of our country is based on the unlimited possibilities, not the entrenchment of single sided views.

You know why most “renewable energy products” aren’t strong enough to stand on their own without the government funding. It isn’t because of anything other than the fact that it’s a forced concept. You can’t force creativity. You can’t force an ideology.

In a capitalistic market, you have to have something that the market wants and can actually compete with the existing markets -WITHOUT the government prop up strategy.. It has to make sense (or cents if you will). Think about it, why would anyone want to spend massive amounts of money on solar or wind for a 30 year break even stance? Plus the irony of this is only the very wealthy can afford that type of program and yet at the same time they are being attacked by those who are forcing the renewable’s – you know those awful 1%ers again…. interesting..

I’m not against renewable’s in the least bit – I just believe it should come to market organically. That is how we come up with our greatest inventions and technology gains!

Like I said you can’t force creativity. The greatness comes from the blood, sweat, tears and fears. It’s an organic process and to try and force it only insures it will fail. Solyndra anyone?
Some of the greatest advancements in technology started in a garage and they weren’t doing it because they were being paid or anything other than the desire and limitless potential.
It was all for the “potential and possibility”…Passion and greatness comes when most everyone else is sleeping.
Being told a product will fail or can’t be done will fuel the fire of creativity 100 times more than making it a “mandatory success”. The potential is what keeps creators creative. The challenges that all products have to surpass in order to become successful must not be bypassed if you want long term success.
As my engineers remind me daily, great products have to stand up to arguments, if they cannot stand up to the arguments they will never make it in the market.

Coming full circle on this post, if we keep those creators down with threats of limiting their potential and possibilities we are as a society limiting our creativity.
If society is told that the 1%er’s are Satan and should give up everything, then where are you going to get the next great invention?
Who is going to be willing to sacrifice everything to gain mediocrity?
I guess my point is, if you really want results, stop threatening those who are the 1%er’s because for some, that potential is what stokes their fire. The endless possibilities is what sometimes stokes their fire.. Being able to change their world can be what keeps them up every night working.

Here’s an idea, stop telling people what they have to, but rather tell them it can’t be done and watch them prove you wrong.
You can’t force creativity…..

Border Security

Drug Mules

Border Security seems to be on everyone’s mind recently so I figured I would cover this topic slightly…….Since we have been assisting countries secure and monitor their borders all over the world for over a decade now, we are asked about what is really going on at the US border. .

“Is it as bad as some say or not?”
Short answer – it has been bad for quite some time and it’s only getting worse. Over the years the dynamics have drastically changed at the border. No longer is it only an issue of just illegal immigration – its drug trafficking, firearm trafficking, human smuggling, money trafficking and the list goes on.
If you have spent any time on the border – one thing becomes crystal clear….It’s no place to spend time and the border agents have their work cut out.
The agents we deal with daily are great people, they are very committed to doing what they can with the tools they have. They are forced to deal with a very diverse and complex problem, every shift. Maybe they are going to apprehend drug cartel or MS13 members, have a high speed chase or respond to a rescue beacon, they just never know.

Rescue Beacon in the middle of the AZ desert

How have we helped?
Our wireless systems have brought an entirely new level of monitoring and response for border agents and border police worldwide.
Different countries do have specific goals/directives but regardless, we have been able to assist them in meeting and exceeding those goals. One of the biggest advantages to our systems is we can be extremely fluid with software/hardware to meet certain requirements that may only apply to a single country. I can’t go into detail for security reasons, but lets just say we assist them in ways that only we can and only our system can perform in ways they require..

Stop Responding Blind

The BuckEye Cam Tactical site’s the moto is “Don’t Respond Blind”.

We actually came up with that tag after we heard what agents were saying. As countries switched to our wireless cameras and sensors for their border monitoring, the first thing we heard was they no longer respond blindly. At first we were a little perplexed as to what they meant but quickly understood as we discussed it in detail.

Prior to implementing our systems, agents would get a notification from a field sensor that something “triggered it”. Think of being an agent and getting a text saying sensor 341 was triggered – that’s all you get…. Say the sensor was 45 miles from your current location and now you have to respond without knowing what triggered the sensor. So you drive for an hour and half, arrive and see if you can figure out what triggered the sensor. Was it an animal, false trigger or was it a “bad guy”?
Since you didn’t receive any other information other than that you had to figure it out on your own by searching for clues at location.
It was a very archaic and the agents were becoming very complacent with sensor “triggers” as more times than not it was an animal or a false trigger (rain/weather for example).
So once agents started using our BuckEye Cam wireless system, they were no longer responding blind. They knew the instant they received the notification from their BuckEye Cams how they would respond because they had a picture or video included. The system took all the guesswork out of what was triggering their sensors. Many agents have told us our systems have put the excitement and drive back into their jobs.
As you can imagine, it’s very difficult to remain excited about responding to “another unknown sensor trigger” when you don’t know what set it off. So after a while you just lose interest in the sensors because they were always crying wolf.
Once they first started using the BuckEye Cam System and began actually SEEING what was triggering sensors they told us it was a paradigm shift. All of the sudden they were “back in the game”. They were excited to know what they were responding to and were prepared when they arrived.
The other side of this was they were now able to weed out all the “no response needed” triggers which ended up saving them countless hours and hundreds of miles traveled every week.
I can’t tell you how many agents have told us this same scenario over and over and over with great excitement. They were extremely motivated to be back in the game.

They also explained to us the advantage of our systems over their fixed tower systems they currently used. Basically, the fixed tower systems are just that, fixed.. The cameras on those towers can pan tilt and zoom and see for miles, but they can’t be moved. They typically had operators on the other end monitoring them 24/7 constantly viewing them waiting for something to happen.
As we have been told on numerous occasions to defeat the camera towers, you need 1 guy with a radio and decent set of binoculars. He waits for the camera to “look away” and then they call in the crossing.
The difference with our portable systems is they can be constantly moved around or they can sit in an area you just never know where they are. They can sit undisturbed, patiently waiting for months with no activity, then when the activity starts, agents get notified immediately. This ability gives the agents a huge advantage of the unknown…. Maybe there are cameras hidden on the obscure trail in the middle of the mountains or maybe not. The more cameras the agents have deployed, the more advantage they have – they can see travel direction, speed, number of people in the group – are they armed, carrying drugs, etc. you get the picture – literally.

BuckEye Cam Wireless Systems