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Hi gtepwisc. I just bought a Expert also and the problem was similar. My package was opened and I paid $150 at The Farm. They told me not to worry, anything wrong with it and Cudde would take care me, as it should be warrantied for a year. YEAH RIGHT!!
It done the same as yours, it took forever to go through the startup on the lcd screen even without a card. Then I soon found out why it was a returned item. The card would not go in all the way. I looked up in the card slot and the wires that go inside all those tiny holes in the card were all bent to hell. Some were making contact with other wires. So check that in yours right away. I thought, GREAT! I don't really want to return it back to FF as it really is a nice camera so I called up Cuddeback. They said it is no longer under warranty because they discontinued that model and also because the card reader is damaged, even though I didn't damage it! Then they told me they would exchange it for their Cheapo Capture model for only $100 plus my camera or repair it for $150. I told them neither of those options are acceptable as this camera should be under warranty. If that is how you treat your customers I will never buy another Cuddeback and let others know.
Then I thought of a good TV Repairman in my area who is good at fixing many electronic products. He looked at it and said it doesn't look promising but would give it his best. He not only straightened out all those prongs so that card goes in nice and smooth. He soldered a couple wires to the positive and negative way inside the camera so I can hook it up to my 6 volt tractor battery and not have to deal with D-Cell batteries in that terrible setup they have for that model. That is real sweet. My tractor battery will last a year before I have to recharge it. Anyhow, that took care of the problem of the slow forever startup and the card has went in perfectly over 20 times so far. Granted, I take my time putting it in and line it up gently before I push it in. That repairman only charged me $40 for all his work. That shows there are still some good, honest people out there. The camera takes some of the nicest colorful pictures I have ever seen and the trigger time is just unreal. Right now I wouldn't trade that camera for any newer camera out there but I had to go through hell. I hope I helped you and gave you some ideas to try. Also, I use a rubber bungee ******** the tree and just put old broken pieces of tree branches behind the top and bottom of the camera to act as shims so it don't wobble all over and stays in place. Good Luck
I had the same problem. Your memory card likely has too much memory. I put in a 4G card and it would not take a photo. Every time the camera went off it said "Error - Card Full".
You have 2 options.
1.) You can remove the memory card and use the internal memory to take photos (it will only hold 20 pics) and transfer them onto the memory card by shutting the camera off, inserting the card, turning the camera on, wait for the menu to clear and then shutting the camera off again and removing the card. This does work, but you are limited in the number and quality of photos that you will get.
2.) Get a smaller capacity memory card. I went out and bought a 2G card. Funny thing is that the camera wouldn't even recognize it at first. When I turned the camera on a message saying "Please wait" kept flashing on the screen. I waited 10 minutes and just shut it off and pulled the card again. I took the card home and formatted it on my PC. When I put it in the camera the next time it worked fine. So to save you some trouble, buy a smaller card and FORMAT it on your computer before trying it in the camera. It will save you a headache. After all of that BS I finally got the stupid thing to work. It takes beautiful pics but I will not be buying another Cuddeback. My next trail cam will be a different brand for sure. Not worth the hassle IMO.
some card readers have a max memory size spec - iRock IR-5300 is 2GB - mine did the same thing when I put a 4GB card into it.
The other issue is that there is no drive letter assigned to the card reader - but that will show up as the "Removeable Drive" not even appearing in WE. For that u have to go to the computer manager and find the device and assign a drive letter to it.