2016 Covert Blackhawk 12.0 Review
*Closeout all sales final*
- The Blackhawk is the Verizon version of the Code Black Wireless. This camera will send photos instantly to your email or cell phone. Programming and setup are stellar, but night pictures are very dark. Make sure you set the "Remote Control" setting to 4 hours so it doesn't kill the battery life prematurely. - TCP Staff
Model # 5120 (Verizon) | Blackhawk Owner's Manual
- Faster recovery than the AT&T Code Black 12.0
- Very easy to setup and maintain
- 2" internal viewer
- Excellent case design
- Great battery life
- Slow trigger speed
- Dark night photos
The Covert Code Black Blackhawk 12.0 is a Verizon based cellular trail camera. Download the Covert app to receive photos, manage the pictures and send real-time commands from your phone. The Covert Blackhawk excels for wildlife scouting, business security, and property surveillance.
There is a monthly cost associated with the subscription plans. Here are the plans:
Photo resolution: 12 mpxl | Flash Type: No Glow Infrared
Pictures transmitted will not be full resolution, they are compressed to 640x480. Along with the smaller size, they will not have maximum picture quality. These images end up being distorted or a bit grainy. If you want the full resolution, higher quality images, get the pictures directly from the SD card.
Day pictures have good color and stop motion well. It would have been nice to have a larger photo option for the transmission because these pictures are particularly distorted. The pictures saved to the SD card are nice, though.
Night pictures lack flash range and make face recognition extremely difficult for security surveillance. Overall, the night pictures are below average.
Resting Power (on): 2.69 mW | Daytime Power Consumption: 32.85 Ws| Nighttime Power Consumption: 23.45 Ws
Covert sets a high bar with this spectacular battery data. The consumption for day and night is unheard of in a cellular trail camera. This is a big deal and propels Covert to the top of the battery life standings for any cellular game camera - regardless of price.
Make sure you set the "Remote Control" setting to 4 hours so it doesn't kill the battery life prematurely. Otherwise it is constantly connected to the network and will burn through batteries in a week or two.
If this camera were to take 15-day pictures and 15-night pictures every 24 hour period, this camera would last 5 months in the field on a set of lithium batteries. Alkaline batteries will not power this camera for long.
Picture Trigger & Recovery Speed: 1.41 s. / 34.0 s. | Detection Range: 80 ft.
Trigger speed is very slow. We were surprised that this wasn't updated for the 2016 model. The 34 second recovery time is very impressive for a cellular camera. Other cellular cameras take about 60 seconds to recover.
Detection range was 80 ft. This camera detected 20 ft. further than the Code Black 12.0. We do not know why they detected differently.
Overall, the trigger speed could use a boost.
Quality of Design
Dimensions: 5.75" x 4.5" x 3" | Battery Type: 12 AA Batteries | External Battery Jack: 6 Volt
Covert absolutely hit a home run with the programming. Gone are the days of complicated cell camera setup, the Code Black sets up in a few minutes with access to the internet.
How to setup a Covert Blackhawk (Verizon)
- Go to Covert-Wireless.com
- Sign up as a new customer (unless you already have an account and are adding a camera
- Enter your account info, billing info and select a plan
- Enter your IMEI number (on the camera) and the ICCID number from the SIM card. This identifies your specific camera with your account.
- Your account will show up with your camera info. You can name the camera, which is especially helpful if you end up with multiple cameras.
That's it for setup. Picture the camera takes will now be sent to your account, which you can access from the website, or you can download the Covert Wireless App to your smartphone (Android or iPhone).
The most common question we get is, "Can I use an old sim card I have for this camera?" Absolutely Not. The camera comes with a specific sim card for this camera (this is the answer to that question regardless of what camera you purchase - they never use old sim cards). The ONLY way to setup this camera is the method described above. Also, if you have 3 of these cameras, you will need to add a line for each of them to your Covert-Wireless.com account.
To view pictures the camera has taken, simply go to Covert-Wireless.com and log in, or access them through the app on your phone. On the app, you can set the app to audibly notify you when a picture is taken (this is handy for security operations).
From either the app or the website, you can change the settings on the camera with the click of your mouse. This "remote control" can be either instant (real-time) or set to specific intervals that the camera changes settings on. This is the last option on the menu below.
Many of you will find the "Real-Time Photo" useful. Click that button, with real-time selected, and within 30-60 seconds you will have a picture from the camera.
The app works identically to this, just on your phone. Covert Scouting Cameras did an outstanding job building this website and making the programming simple.
The only internal setup needed for this camera is the typical stuff. Set the time, date, delay (use 1 minute or greater), resolution, etc. This camera does have start/stop time if you only want it on during certain time periods.
Case design is also a strength. The large, over-sized latch is easy to manipulate and strong. There is a 1/4" x 20 threaded insert on the bottom for a Slate River Mount, along with a built-in python cable lock bracket on the back.
Durability has always been good with the Code Black Blackhawk cameras. Most problems associated with earlier models of the Code Black were programming or sim card issues. With the easier setup the Blackhawk has, those issues should be eliminated.
Covert Blackhawk Conclusion
The night pictures and detection speed are the only items holding this camera back. The programming and setup is a dream come true, though. If the first two things aren't important to you, this is a great cellular game camera.
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