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Thread: IP Cams, Calving cams etc

  1. #1
    Senior Member 4wd's Avatar
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    IP Cams, Calving cams etc

    This topic keeps popping up so maybe we can have a general help/tips thread?

    Something I've been struggling with on mine is getting a sensible outcome from the motion detection.
    The supplied software with the Foscam and their clones is not brilliant.

    This is a good open source monitoring tool which runs at very low memory in the background, but does require a computer to be on.
    http://skjm.com/icam/
    The motion detection seems a good bit more sensible, and will do quickfire snapshots saved to hard drive.

    Then for monitoring by mobile phone.
    I have Android and do like IP Cam viewer Pro, or try the free version here

    Just be careful downloading software for cams as it seems to be an area getting special attention for dodgy 'inclusions'.

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    Re: IP Cams, Calving cams etc

    Good idea! Why not make it a stickey?

    Question from me is as follows.

    Got IP camera set up in my remote shed, where fixed line broadband is not available.
    I'm using a 3G router, and it works pretty good.
    Problem, is that it's damn costly, keeping credit of the SIM card, when I need to look on the camera at busy calving times.

    Now I could get a signal to the shed from my fixed line BB at the house, using access points etc,.

    Trouble is my fixed line BB speed is poor.
    Normally getting 0.8Mbs down load, and 0.1Mbs upload.

    Would that kind of line speed (upload in particular), be adequate for my IP camera??

    Would appreciate and input on this aspect.

    Thanks.

    Martin

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    Re: IP Cams, Calving cams etc

    If you find out the resolution etc the camera is transmitting at when remote viewing, you can determine what upload speed is required. TBH, 0.1Mb upload is awful so glitches would be expected. You could reduce the framerate if the software allows this to help with bandwidth.

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    Senior Member 4wd's Avatar
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    Re: IP Cams, Calving cams etc

    If using an IPcam primarily for surveillance, what software are others using?
    The cams generally seem to come with a very poor but just about usable program.

    I've tried VitaminD http://www.vitamindinc.com/
    This has good points and appears to have a great deal of customisation to the detection area, such as entering/leaving a set area, or crossing a line you 'draw' yourself.
    The interface is relatively simple and uncluttered once set up very easy to use.
    However in practice I found it sends out far too many emails and was often set off by changes in shadows as sun went behind a cloud.

    BlueIris http://blueirissoftware.com/ seems much better in our yard and with minor tweaking is good at only sending one email when someone enters my 'box'.
    There are far more features but many will likely not be needed or little used.
    The screen is more 'busy' in default layout with recent clips down the right side - but you can hide this.

    Prices for the full versions are similar and not outrageous, and you can trial for free with some limitation on functionality.
    They both offer recording clips on detecting movement or full time - overwriting previous days when a set size of space is used.
    You can split full time recording into manageable chunks e.g. 15 minutes, and if motion trigger cuts in it will break the clip at that point so easy to look at any events.

    Both can sound a doorbell or alarm type noise on the computer, on detecting movement - which is useful if expecting deliveries or visitors.

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    Senior Member grassmanman's Avatar
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    Re: IP Cams, Calving cams etc

    What do I need to set up a IP camera to remotely view calving sheds and yard. I have wireless broadband with 5mb/s down and 0.5-0.7mb/s upload speed though not able to get it far from my house the yard is beside the house. I have a calving camera which is cabled through to a tv in the house. I also have a with data contract on my phone though it isn't a smartphone it could be changed.
    Any help appreciated

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    Senior Member 4wd's Avatar
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    Re: IP Cams, Calving cams etc

    The broadband speed will be fine, but how good is the wireless in the yard?
    You may need to boost that a bit, perhaps with homeplugs with wireless access, or if you could locate a cheaper Ethernet only homeplug by the proposed IP Cam try that.
    Frame rate drops away quite quickly as wifi strength diminishes.

    The cheap cams from under 50 (e.g. on ebay) mostly have the ability to stream over internet but you need to set up port forwarding on your router to 'allow' the traffic.
    This may be as simple as ticking a couple of boxes but some seem to try to hide the settings away.
    You'll probably need a smartphone to make the most of it by using one of various viewing apps - either inexpensive or free (with ad bar usually).
    When at home you can view the cam on a smartphone over the wifi without using data.

    There's lots of help available on google related to setting things up, I don't suppose you'd be stuck for long.

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    Senior Member grassmanman's Avatar
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    Re: IP Cams, Calving cams etc

    Thanks for the advice most of that is in another language but i'll get back on here with more questions.
    What is a homeplugs with wireless access, or if you could locate a cheaper Ethernet only homeplug by the proposed IP Cam
    Will I need my computer running all the time or can the router send cam pics by itself??

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    Re: IP Cams, Calving cams etc

    Quote Originally Posted by 4wd View Post
    If using an IPcam primarily for surveillance, what software are others using?
    The cams generally seem to come with a very poor but just about usable program.

    I've tried VitaminD http://www.vitamindinc.com/
    This has good points and appears to have a great deal of customisation to the detection area, such as entering/leaving a set area, or crossing a line you 'draw' yourself.
    The interface is relatively simple and uncluttered once set up very easy to use.
    However in practice I found it sends out far too many emails and was often set off by changes in shadows as sun went behind a cloud.

    BlueIris http://blueirissoftware.com/ seems much better in our yard and with minor tweaking is good at only sending one email when someone enters my 'box'.
    There are far more features but many will likely not be needed or little used.
    The screen is more 'busy' in default layout with recent clips down the right side - but you can hide this.

    Prices for the full versions are similar and not outrageous, and you can trial for free with some limitation on functionality.
    They both offer recording clips on detecting movement or full time - overwriting previous days when a set size of space is used.
    You can split full time recording into manageable chunks e.g. 15 minutes, and if motion trigger cuts in it will break the clip at that point so easy to look at any events.

    Both can sound a doorbell or alarm type noise on the computer, on detecting movement - which is useful if expecting deliveries or visitors.
    Blue Iris looks pretty good, I downloaded it today after our Panasonic monitoring software through a fit and died. As far as I can tell it offers everything the Panasonic stuff did plus a fair bit more, however at the moment I can't pick any sound up through it. I'll have another look at it tomorrow because as you say it is pretty comprehensive so many options to explore. Thanks for the link!
    Stay in Northamptonshire - meadowviewcottages.co.uk

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    Senior Member 4wd's Avatar
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    Re: IP Cams, Calving cams etc

    Quote Originally Posted by grassmanman View Post
    Thanks for the advice most of that is in another language but i'll get back on here with more questions.
    What is a homeplugs with wireless access, or if you could locate a cheaper Ethernet only homeplug by the proposed IP Cam
    Will I need my computer running all the time or can the router send cam pics by itself??
    Here's a TP LInk homeplug set with wireless (or ethernet)
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/TL-WPA281KIT...link+powerline

    Or a cheaper set which you would connect the cam by ethernet cable
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/TP-LINK-POWE...link+powerline

    I'd go for the wireless TBH because then you can access the net easier with a phone out there too?
    There is a small risk that some circuit layouts won't support this means of extending your router range through the mains.
    For best chance, the sending unit needs to be in it's own socket - not an extension of any kind - yet reasonably close to your router as it needs ethernet connection (but you can get longer ethernet cables)
    In practice I'd be surprised if it doesn't work, mine runs a good 150 feet on cables through old buildings to the new sheds.

    Once set up, unless you want continuous recording or movement sensing there's no need to have the computer on. The cam itself acts like a server.

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    Re: IP Cams, Calving cams etc

    4wd, your input into this topic is very useful. Thank you for taking the time and trouble to help us mere mortals. Could you help me with what I hope will be some basic questions please ? I have a Netgear router which has 2 PCs hard wired into it and a laptop that is wirelss. I have circa 6.50 Mbps download and 0.38Mbps upload speeds. I wish to place a camera or two round the parts of my yard which I can't see from my house. Maximum distance could be as little as 100ft.

    Am I correct in thinking the following :

    1. That I can buy cams that will transmit decent images back to my PCs wirelessly with one of the homeplugs which have been mentioned.
    2. That the cams will need an electric supply to them and if so they will need some kind of transformer.
    3. I assume that they would have to be fixed. Ideally I would like them to be PTZ but can't think that this would be possible.
    4. That with a smart 'phone I could access the cams when I am away from the premises.
    5. That I need a special suite of software to enable it all to work.
    6. An idea of cosst and source.

    Hope I haven't asked any really stupid questions and thank you for any guidance that you can give.

  11. #11
    Senior Member 4wd's Avatar
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    Re: IP Cams, Calving cams etc

    1. That I can buy cams that will transmit decent images back to my PCs wirelessly with one of the homeplugs which have been mentioned.
    Yes, look at IP cams on ebay or amazon.
    On a budget you are looking at Foscam or one of several Chinese clones which are all very similar, starting from around 45

    2. That the cams will need an electric supply to them and if so they will need some kind of transformer.
    They come with a mains adapter, usually they run at 5 Volts and use less than 10 watts, perhaps a little more at night with the Infra red LEDs on.

    3. I assume that they would have to be fixed. Ideally I would like them to be PTZ but can't think that this would be possible.
    PTZ models are available for outdoor/hostile conditions, but they are so much more expensive it might be better to consider an additional fixed cam.
    The indoor PTZ types are affordable but would probably not last long in a farm situation even if dry the grime would get to them.
    Smartphone apps or PC software can control PTZ cams if you went that route.

    4. That with a smart 'phone I could access the cams when I am away from the premises.
    Almost certainly, however this is the somewhat tricky part as you need a router which can allow port forwarding.
    I have a feeling some ISP supplied routers might not be suitable, but the commonly used brands - netgear and such - it is not that difficult.
    You can google port forwarding + your router make/model for clues.
    At worst a router upgrade might give better speeds and features anyway.

    5. That I need a special suite of software to enable it all to work.
    The cams come with software to set them up, and a viewer which is a bit clunky but works reasonably well, or once set up you can view the image on a browser, directly within your own LAN it will have an IP address like http://192.168.0.20 - just have it as a bookmark for example.
    You can get a free apps for phones or buy one for no adverts/more features e.g. more than one cam.

    6. An idea of cosst and source.
    Ebay search I have three of the Wansview NCB 543W ones.
    The resolution will allow reading a number plate in decent light at maybe 40 feet but further away you will be guessing.
    At night the IR makes plates glare rather like taken with a flash.
    They are fine for watching calving or similar though, even at night.

    The details given often seem like muddled automatic translations and should be treated with caution by checking with several sellers.
    The viewing angle might be important, for an interior of modest size such as a calving shed wider will likely be better.
    Often they are also available from more mainstream sellers like Amazon - they may be better for back up if you got a dud or had setting up problems.




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    Re: IP Cams, Calving cams etc

    Quote Originally Posted by 4wd View Post
    1. That I can buy cams that will transmit decent images back to my PCs wirelessly with one of the homeplugs which have been mentioned.
    Yes, look at IP cams on ebay or amazon.
    On a budget you are looking at Foscam or one of several Cjinese clones which are all very similar, starting from around 45

    2. That the cams will need an electric supply to them and if so they will need some kind of transformer.
    They come with a mains adapter, usually they run at 5 Volts and use less than 10 watts, perhaps a little more at night with the Infra red LEDs on.

    3. I assume that they would have to be fixed. Ideally I would like them to be PTZ but can't think that this would be possible.
    PTZ models are available but they are so much more expensive it might be better to consider an additional fixed cam.
    The indoor types are affordable but would probably not last long in a farm situation even if dry the grime would get to them.
    Smartphone apps or PC software can control PTZ cams if you wen that route.

    4. That with a smart 'phone I could access the cams when I am away from the premises.
    Almost certainly, however this is the somewhat tricky part as you need a router which can allow port forwarding.
    I have a feeling some ISP supplied routers might not be suitable, but the commonly used brand netgear and such it is not that difficult.
    You can google port forwarding + your router make/model for clues.
    At worst a route update might give better speeds and features anyway.

    5. That I need a special suite of software to enable it all to work.
    The cams come with software which is a bit clunky and crude but has a viewer, or once set up you can view the image on a browser, direcctly within your own LAN it will have an IP address like http://192.168.0.20 - just have it as a bookmark for example.

    6. An idea of cosst and source.
    Ebay search I have three of thee Wansview NCB 543W ones.
    The details given often seem like muddled automatic translations and should be treated with caution by checking with several sellers.
    The viewing angle might be important, for an interior of modest size such as a calving shed wider will likely be better.
    Often they are also available from more mainstream sellers like Amazon - they may be better for back up if you got a dud or had setting up problems.



    Good answer, just to add to question 2 regarding power:

    If you have to link the camera to the computer/router/access point/home plug via a cable it is possible with some cameras to "inject" power into this cable to avoid needing power at the camera. This is called Power over Ethernet (PoE) and can be useful in some circumstances as it reduces the number of cables to run too. Some cameras will support this, others won't but all will need power getting to them in some way.

    Sleepy used to offer a lot of advice on here regarding cameras, he is on the other forum now but operates at a much more expensive end of the market to the kit talked about by 4wd. If you feel that you need a pre-set up kit with lots of backup he is a good guy to deal with, if you fancy having a crack yourself, potentially save a lot of money and learn how the stuff works 4wd seems to have a pretty sound knowledge of setting these up.
    Stay in Northamptonshire - meadowviewcottages.co.uk

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    Re: IP Cams, Calving cams etc

    Wow 4wd and FoxBox, that was really helpful. Thank you both very much indeed. One option that I have is to set up one of the cams looking through a window of my house but maybe there is a glare factor against the window glass which will mess things up. I am reasonably PC-literate and so I am going to have a go at this. Thanks again both of you. Your help is more important than maybe you realise. We all know what is happening re: rural crime and the fact that you are helping others with your knowledge is brilliant.

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    Re: IP Cams, Calving cams etc

    You may find looking through the window works ok actually, when we got our camera (a Panasonic 581 PTZ one) I set it up indoors looking through a double glazed window to test it before we went up to the shed. The image was very good through the glass (after I'd cleaned the window ) until the light failed and we had to turn the room lights on. At that stage we got reflections back in to the camera from the window but shutting the curtains solved that. If our camera had used infra-red LEDs to produce its night image we would have seen these reflected in the window too but our camera doesn't have this, instead tweaking picture settings to produce images in the dark when it is too dark to see. If you want to have night images consider using an outside light with a PIR sensor on it so the yard lights when it detects someone or something there, that way you don't need a night image capable camera at all .
    Stay in Northamptonshire - meadowviewcottages.co.uk

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    Re: IP Cams, Calving cams etc

    More good advice. Thank you.

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