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Leupold RCX Trail Camera System User Manual

Made by: Leupold
Type: User Manual
Category: Camera Accessories
Pages: 17
Size: 2.47 MB


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The RCX Trail Camera System is
designed to support the use of many
cameras and a single controller. The
camera system is simple, high quality, 
and durable so you can place many 
cameras in the field, and quickly and 
easily access them to change setups, 
use Real Time Video Alignment



to download images. The system works 
by the camera capturing images and 
storing them on an SD card that you 
install. The controller also takes an SD 
card up to 32 GB.

When you connect the controller to the
camera with the USB cable, you can
download images from the camera to
the controller with just a couple of quick

menu selections. You are then able to
view the images right there in the field
and make any changes to the setup you
want. The controller also allows you to
view photos from other brand trail 
cameras when the SD cards are 
inserted. The camera can be aligned 
using Real Time Video Alignment™ that 
permits you to see what the camera 
sees. Settings can also be changed to 
get more or less images by selecting one 
of 4 preset modes, or you may access 
the powerful custom menu for settings 
such as multipicture, event delay, time 
lapse, etc. See “Custom Camera Setup” 
on page 18 for more information.



Introduction ..........................................................................................................3
Things you need to get started ............................................................................4
Controller Setup ...................................................................................................5
Camera Setup ..................................................................................................... 10
Battery Guideline ............................................................................................... 11
Camera Operation Setup .................................................................................... 12
Camera Setup with Preset Modes ...................................................................... 13
DST (Dual Sensor Technology) ........................................................................... 14
Camera Mounting .............................................................................................. 15
Custom Camera Setup ........................................................................................ 18
Using an External Power Source ........................................................................21
Downloading Images .........................................................................................22
Troubleshooting ................................................................................................. 24


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Things you need to get started

1.  Camera
2.  Controller 

(included in RCX Kit.  Li-Ion 

battery included)

3.  8 AA Batteries 

(Leupold strongly 

recommends Energizer


 Ultimate Lithium 

AA batteries, especially for use in below 
freezing temperatures.)*

4.  2 SD or SDHC cards: one for the 

controller, one for the camera, up to 
32GB capacity.   


5.  Mounting  strap 

(comes with camera 

or kit)

6.  USB Cable 

(included with kits and with 


7.  Stand offs 

(Included with cameras and 

kits.  These are used to solidly position 
the camera on uneven surfaces)


RCX Lockdown Security Plate 

(Comes installed on RCX-2 only; for use with 
Master Lock® Python™ cable or for mounting 
with a single nail. Available separately for 

*Alkaline batteries can leak and damage 
the camera if left unattended for extended 
periods, especially during below freezing 
temperatures. The RCX Trail Camera Warranty 
does not cover damage from battery leakage.

Controller Set-Up

Lanyard Hole

Battery Door

Battery Door

Mini USB Port Cover

Power Button

SD Card Slot Door

3” TFT 

(Thin Film Transistor)



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A controller must only be set once, but 
is necessary to set the date and time, 
and to access the features of your RCX 
Camera. Every time a new camera is 
set up, the time synchronizes with the 
controller as soon as it is plugged in 
with the USB cable.

The first time the controller is powered 
up, the first screen presented is the 
“Time/Date” screen. To access this 
screen again later, you will find this 
selection in the “Setup Controller” 
menu. This screen will again be the first 
screen presented any time you allow 
the battery to go dead for more than 
24 hours.

The Lithium Ion battery is already 
installed in the controller. The 
controller battery should be charged 
for a minimum of 2 hours before use; 
however, it is preferable to charge it at 
least 16 hours to ensure long hours of 
use and to prevent short battery life.

To charge the RCX Controller Battery, 
plug the appropriate end of the USB 
cable into the controller, then plug the 
other end into a computer, the wall 
charger or the car charger provided. 
Before going into the field, verify that 
the controller is properly charged.

Navigate through the controller 
menus by arrowing to the desired 
On menu items with       to the right 
of the text, press the right arrow to 
access the next level down in the 
menu .


to select a menu choice.

Delete       and zoom     


 are used 

only when viewing images on the 
SD card.


to back out one menu level.


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The display brightness of 

the controller can be adjusted. This is 
recommended when lighting conditions 
change dramatically.


Time is in 24-hour time 

only. The default date format is YYYY/
DD/MM but can be changed to other 

Temp Unit:

 Switch between °F or °C.


 Set the appropriate hemisphere. The United States and Canada are 

in the Northern Hemisphere. Australia, New Zealand and South Africa are in the 
Southern Hemisphere.. This makes the orientation of the moon phase images correct 
for your location.


 The controller menus can be displayed in any of the following 

languages: English, German, Finnish, French, Italian, Russian, Spanish or Swedish.











USB Port Cover

1/4-20 Tripod  
Stud Mount



USB Port

SD Card Slot

Battery Pack 

Cover Retaining  

Battery Pack

12V Jack Cover

12V Jack

Power Switch


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1.  Install an SD card. An SD card from 

another device may already contain 
files that will reduce the number of 
photos you can take. To optimize the 
operation of the camera’s SD card, 
format it using the controller. This 
can be done in the controller setup 
menu and by selecting “Format SD 
Card” from the bottom of the menu. 
This will erase all SD Card contents. 
Once the SD card is formatted, 
insert it into the camera.

2.  Open the access door and remove 

the AA battery cartridge.

3.  Insert 8 batteries with the negative 

(flat) end against the contact spring. 

4.  Insert the loaded battery cartridge 

into the camera with the contact 
side going in first until the catch 
snaps into place. Be sure to close 
the bottom door securely after all 
setup is complete to ensure good 
contact pressure.

5.  Turn power on (“I” position). The 

camera won’t take pictures for 30 
seconds after powered on or with 
the USB cable still connected to 
both the controller and the camera.

6.  Connect the controller to the 

camera with the USB cable. Allow 
several seconds for the controller 
to recognize the camera. When 
properly connected, the controller 
will show a camera status box at the 
bottom of the screen.


Ideally, use only Energizer



Lithium AA batteries or the RCX 
Rechargeable Battery Pack, 
especially for cold weather use and 
night time photos & video. Alkaline 
batteries are adversely affected by 

freezing temperatures, and high 
power drain applications, regardless 
of what device they are used in.


Never mix battery types (Alkaline, 
Ni-MH, Lithium) or mAh rating.


Never try to recharge a battery that 
is not labeled as rechargeable.


Use only the recommended charger 
for rechargeable batteries.


Always replace all batteries at the 
same time.


Do not attempt to use only 4 
batteries. 8 batteries are required 
for the RCX cameras to function.


Follow the battery manufacturer’s 
recommendations for storage, 
handling and disposal.

Camera Setup






Camera Status

Battery Guideline


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If you are using multiple RCX Cameras, 
it is recommended to give each camera 
a unique name the first time it is set 
up. This will name the folder where the 
images are stored (which includes the 
camera name) for easy sorting after 
downloading from multiple cameras.

Naming camera

1.  With the camera powered on, 

connect the controller to the camera 
with the USB cable. 

2.  Select “Setup Camera”from the 

main menu. Press 

3.  Press       until “Custom  Setting” is 

highlighted. Press      . 

4.  Press      twice to move to “Page 2”, 

then  Press      to move to the menu. 

Press      to select “Camera Name”, 
then press      .

5.  Select characters from the keyboard 

by using                      , and use     
to input the character.  The 
name must be between 3 and 
10 characters long.  

(Be sure the 

first 3 characters are unique between 
cameras to ensure all folders are easy to 

6.  Select “Save”and press      .
7.  Press      . As you exit the custom 

settings, an

“Update camera?” 

alert window appears. Press      to 
upload the changes you made. This 
will be confirmed with the message 
“Camera Setup Complete”.

Camera Operation Setup

Camera Setup with Preset Modes

Selected Settings
with Preset Modes

*DST only available

with RCX-2



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Best Picture Mode

RCX- 1:  8MP  
RCX-2: 10MP




48 LED


Most Picture Mode


3 photos 



48 LED

Super High

Power Saver Mode 



5 min


36 LED


Normal Video Mode


30fps, 5 sec


5 min


36 LED


1.  Go to Camera Setup
2.  Press      .  

3.  Select from the 4 preset modes the 

setting that is closest to what you 
want.  Press      .

For custom camera settings, see “Custom Camera Setup” on page 18


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DST (Dual Sensor Technology)




54° Camera  


  Lens Angle



Dual Sensor Technology (DST

delivers a more complete picture 
of game activity in your area. 
Select the wider 45° sensor from 
“Custom Menu” with a range of 
45 feet (ideal for larger areas) or 
select the narrower 10° sensor 
with a range of 90 feet (for 
use with a specific landmark or 
feeder). Both sensors can also 
be active at the same time by 
selecting DST. Only the RCX-2 
features this ground-breaking 

Select a place to hang the camera.
(usually a tree).  Avoid or remove any 
1.  Locate the camera where sun does 

not shine straight into the camera 
for best exposure results.

2.  Mount the camera at a distance 

above the ground at a height similar 
to that of the target and with the 
camera view parallel to the ground. 
This is especially important when 
using the 10° sensor alone. The 
sensor zone is a cone so if you angle 
it toward the ground, the sensor 
range may end on the ground short 
of where your targets will pass. 

3.  It is best to set the camera up where 

the most likely target movement 

is not coming straight toward the 
camera, since the PIR sensors 
work by comparing changes in 
temperature between 2 side-by-side 

The Lock-Down Security Plate attached to 
the RCX-2 is for use with a Master Lock



Python™ cable to prevent theft.  
A Lock-Down Security Plate for  
the RCX-1 is available and is sold 
separately from the unit.

4.  Run the strap through the slots.
5.  Separate the buckle and thread the 

loose end of the strap through the 
loose buckle half.

6.  Preadjust to a little larger than the 

selected tree. 

Camera Mounting


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7.  If the surface against the camera 

is very uneven, use the included 
standoffs to adjust the contact 
points on the back of the camera as 
needed. Three points of contact are 
best for stability and adjustment. 
Stack them for more height and 
fine-tune the final angle with the 
adjusting screw at the top of the 
camera after mounting.

8.  Wrap the strap around the tree, 

and connect the buckle. Pull the 
straps just snug enough to keep the 
camera in place but to still allow the 
camera position to be adjusted.

9.  Connect the controller to the camera 

with the USB cable.

10. Select the “Preview Camera” 

Icon (the red deer) from the main 

menu to activate Real Time Video 
Alignment. You can now check the 
framing of your picture through the 
controller by seeing exactly where 
the camera is pointed. Think about 
how tall antlers might be and make 
sure to not cut them off at the top of 
the frame. Avoid framing too much 
sky in the picture as the exposure of 
the camera will compensate for this 
brightness and foreground images 
will be dark. This will also set the 
night time IR filter to the proper 
position to start taking photos. 

11. Unplug the USB cable from the 

camera. You can verify that the 
camera is working properly by 
covering the light sensor, which is 
in the small hole above the Leupold 
medallion on the front left side the 

camera. Wave your hand in front 
of the camera and you’ll see the 
IR LEDs illuminate. A click of the 
IR filter moving into position for 
night pictures may also be heard. 
This movement typically occurs only 
twice per day: once in the morning 
and once at night. 

The camera will not start taking photos 
until the USB cable is unplugged from the 

NOTE: The camera has to have been
powered up for 30 seconds before it
will take pictures. This does include
time during set up, so after alignment,
it is usually ready to go. If you want to
avoid taking pictures of yourself leaving
the area, power the camera off and on

before securing the door and walking
away. This uses the 30 second power
buffer to allow time to get out of the
camera’s sensor reach.


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Use the custom mode to refine settings. 
Night & day settings are modified 
seperately, so be sure to set them both.

Automatic Camera Type Detection:


The controller will automatically detect 
the type of camera and will only offer 
settings that are available with that 
model. If there is no camera connected, 
RCX-1 or RCX-2 can be chosen on the 
opening screen.


 Select whether the 

camera will take video or still images.


.3 MP* to 10 MP for RCX-2,  
.3 MP* to 8 MP for RCX-1.


 320x240* or 640x480


Video settings

Video FPS: 

15* or 30 Video frames 

per second determines how smoothly 
the video runs. The higher the number, 
the better the video, but the greater the 
file size.

Video Length:

 5* to 60 seconds

*Lower values are recommended for smaller 
SD cards and for quick field downloads.

Dual Sensor Technology (DST)


Only the RCX-2 has DST, which uses 
both a 45° sensor and a 10° sensor. 
The 10° sensor provides the longest 45° 

Custom Camera Setup

range and the 45° sensor provides a
more forgiving wide sensor angle that
nearly covers the 54° field of view of
the camera. The camera can be setup
to use either of the sensors or both
in combination. Activate both when
you want to maximize the number of

The RCX-1 is equipped with only a 45 degree 



Adjusts to higher sensitivity 

in hot weather when the air temp 
is closer to that of a deer’s body.  It 
automatically sets to lower sensitivity 
when it is cooler to avoid small target 
triggers, like birds and squirrels. 



 Super high, high, medium 

and low.  


Set to super high sensitivity for 
maximum image count. 32 GB 
SD cards and efficient power 
consumption can take more than 
10,000 10 MP images. While taking 
many pictures is possible, it will 
make field downloading slower. 
In instances where the SD card is 
nearly full, it may make more sense 
to change cards rather than to 


Set to a lower setting if you are 
getting false triggers or pictures of 
animals farther away than you want.

Operation Hours

The camera can be set to run for a
specific period of time to save batteries


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and to avoid triggers during periods 
where there is a lot of activity that you 
don’t want to capture. For example, 
people and pets in your yard during 
the day when you are trying to capture 
night activity. The camera can be set to 
run during only daylight hours to avoid 
the power consumption of night pictures 
that require the IR LED flash.

Night Pictures

The camera automatically activates 
night mode when the light sensor tells 
it that there is not enough light for 
pictures without the IR flash. It will then 
activate the IR LEDs and take black and 
white night images. Set different night 
settings for your camera by selecting 
the night tab in the custom menu, and 
selecting settings to be applied during 

these night shots only. For ease of 
operation, some settings cannot be 
customized separately for night shots.

Time Lapse

The Time Lapse feature allows the 
camera to automatically take a picture 
at intervals you select in the “input” 
menu. This allows movement to be 
captured beyond the trigger range. In 
addition, the very long intervals can 
be used for documenting changes 
like a plant growing, or the change of 
seasons. Time Lapse is great for food 
plots where there is constant activity 
and you don’t want to miss far targets 
or take multiple pictures of the same 


Event Delay

The Event Delay feature sets the camera
to ignore triggers for a time after a
picture is triggered. This is to avoid
taking too many pictures of one animal. 

Tip: use with multi-picture mode to snap a
couple of pictures to make sure you get a
good one, then wait for the next animal. Time
Lapse and Event Delay cannot be used at the
same time.

Camera Name

Enter a unique name for each camera.
Your image folder names will
incorporate a part of the camera name.
This will make organizing your image
files easier when you get home. (See
“Downloading images” section on 
page 22.)

Picture Stamp

Set each piece of information to stamp 
on your picture individually:
1.  Camera Name
2.  Moon Phase
3.  Date/Time
4.  Barometric Pressure (RCX-2 only)
5.  Temperature
6.  File Name

Using an External Power Source

A cable for connecting an external 12V
battery to a camera is included in the
kits. A car or motorcycle battery can be
used, provided that it produces 12V and
has external terminals that can be safely
connected with the provided clamps.
Insert the plug into the bottom of the


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camera by opening the rubber sealed 
12V jack cover. Be sure to connect the 
red clamp to the positive (+) terminal 
and the black clamp to the negative (-)

Downloading Images

From the Camera to the Controller

Connect the controller to the camera 
with the USB cable. Select the 
“Download Images from Camera” 
icon and press     . The next menu will 
show you two options: “Download” 
which downloads the photos and leaves 
them on the camera, or “Download 
and Delete” which downloads the 
photos and deletes them from the 
camera. Once one of the options is 
selected, press     . The controller will 
begin downloading and will show a 

count of how many images there are to 
download and the percent complete. If 
it appears downloading is going to take 
longer than you want to wait, open the 
bottom door and remove the SD card. 
Insert it into the controller for viewing 
and sorting the images, or change SD 
cards and wait until you get home to 
view the images. Select the “View SD” 
icon to view images stored on the SD 
card installed in the controller.

Downloading Images from the 
Controller to the Computer


Plug the USB into a computer and view 
the images taken on a computer screen. 
The controller acts as an external drive 
and allows you to move files from the 
controller to a computer in the same 

Viewing Images on a TV

Plug the USB cable into a TV or any
other device with a USB port that
supports mass storage devices and use
the TV controls to navigate through
the images to view them on the TV.

Viewing Images on SD Cards from 
Other Cameras.

The controller can be used to view any
images in the field that are stored on
an SD card using the industry standard
DCIM file storage format. Simply
insert the SD Card from another brand
camera, and select the “View
SD” icon.


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The camera is not taking pictures or is only taking pictures some of the 

1.  Connect the controller to the camera and and look at the camera status window. 

This shows the camera’s battery status and SD capacity remaining. Replace 
batteries if needed. Empty, format, or replace SD card if needed.

2.  If the custom mode was used to set up the camera, make sure both day and 

night settings have been set for the menu items that allow this.

3.  Ensure the hours of operation are set to 24hr.
4.  Try a different SD card. A faulty SD card will cause either the controller or the 

camera to not function properly. See our web site for a list of approved SD card 
models. It is possible for an approved SD card model to fail. Try reformatting the 
SD card as well, using the controller setup menu. Format SD card is at the bottom 
of this menu.

5.  Try new batteries. It is possible (though unlikely) for new batteries to be faulty. 



The controller does not recognize the camera when the USB cable is 
plugged in.

1.  Verify that the camera is powered on. “I” is the “On” position of the switch.
2.  If the batteries are not fresh, replace the batteries.
3.  Verify that all batteries are installed in the correct orientation. The flat, 

negative end of the batteries should all be placed against the coil spring side in

4.  the battery cartridge.
5.  Verify that all batteries are of the same type.
6.  Be sure the battery cartridge is completely installed and the latch is snapped 

into place. The bottom door should be securely closed to ensure good contact. 

My pictures are foggy.

1.  Check to make sure the sun is not shining directly into the camera lens. Realign 

as needed.

2.  At about the same time of day when the foggy pictures are occurring, connect 

the controller to the camera and select the “View Camera” icon to activate 
Real Time Video Alignment. 


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3.  Check the camera lens window to see if it is dirty. Clean if needed with a soft 

cloth or a cotton swab with alcohol or lens cleaning fluid applied. DO NOT USE 

My pictures are black & white and overexposed.

1.  Check the light sensor to and make sure it is unobstructed. The light sensor 

is located on the front of the camera, on the left side, just above the Leupold 
medallion. If it is obstructed, the camera will set itself to always take night 

My camera is taking the correct type of images in day or night only but 
not both?

1.  Verify that you entered both day and night settings for the menu items that 

allow this.  

My flash range is getting shorter over time. 

1.  The RCX Camera System is designed to reduce IR LED power when the batteries 

get low in order to extend the life of the batteries. To restore a longer flash 
range, install fresh batteries.

My camera is not taking night pictures or videos. 

1.  Use Energizer Ultimate Lithium batteries or an external power source when 

taking night video or when using the 48 LED setting in the RCX-2.

2.  When batteries get very low, The RCX Trail Camera is designed to take only day 

pictures in order to extend the useful life of the batteries. Replace the batteries 
to restore full functionality. 


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One Year Limited Warranty

Leupold RCX Trail Camera is warranted by the Leupold Electronics Warranty, and 
are protected from defects in materials and workmanship for ONE YEAR from the 
date of purchase. The warranty is void if damage results from unauthorized repair, 
alteration, misuse, or battery leakage. The warranty is given solely to the original 
owner and is not transferable.

Leupold & Stevens, Inc. requires that after 30 days of purchase, any customer
returns of RCX Trail Cameras or Camera Components (other than those still in sealed 
factory packaging) be sent directly to Leupold & Stevens, Inc. for warranty inspection 
and evaluation.

For warranty service please contact Technical Services first at 1-800 LEUPOLD.

When instructed to do so, send your product to:
Leupold & Stevens, Inc.
ATTN: Product Service
14400 NW Greenbrier Parkway
Beaverton, OR 97006


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Leupold & Stevens, Inc.


1-800-LEUPOLD  »  503-526-1400  »  www.leupold.com 

PO Box 688, Beaverton, OR 97075-0688   

14400 NW Greenbrier Parkway, Beaverton, OR 97006-5790 USA

Part# 112161   Artwork#112163B