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Thread: recommendations for IP camera

  1. #1
    Senior Member grassmanman's Avatar
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    recommendations for IP camera

    Hi I'm looking for an IP camera to go in calving shed and wondering if anyone could recommend one that they have and are pleased with.
    Hoping to plug it into homeplug in shed so doesn't need to be wireless. Pan, tilt, zoom would be nice but not essential.
    Prices range from 40 to 2000 on Amazon but I'd like to be below 200 if possible.

  2. #2
    Senior Member 4wd's Avatar
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    Re: recommendations for IP camera

    Most of the cheaper ones are more or less clones of Foscam e.g.
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Foscam-FI8...-/111013045105
    There isn't much to choose between them, you could expect at least a year or two of life even on continuously with little maintenance beyond brushing off cobwebs.

    An 'external' one like that is probably your best option.
    It's annoying they are a bit vague about the field of view of the lenses
    Given that the Night-time IR only reaches about 20m you don't want to have the camera too far away.
    In general 4 or 6mm will probably be OK but go wider (=smaller number) if anything.
    They are inexpensive enough that 2 or more is reasonable.
    An important thing to be aware is that the lens can almost invariably be turned to get better focus on the main area of interest if you unscrew the front outer glass.
    You may not need to but if it seems soft definitely worth a try.

    Do you have homeplugs outside already?
    It's not unusual for newer buildings to be on a separate circuit and this can make things difficult.
    Best be sure this will work first, using a phone or something to check wifi is working reliably outside
    If it can't be made to work in the shed they might be handy to get better cover in part of the house or something!

    If viewing the camera only over the home network it is only 'moderately' difficult to get them set up.
    The supplied software is adequate but a bit crude, but there are several alternatives will view the cam - though the better ones are not free.
    There is a lot of help available online just search for your camera model.
    Getting it viewable away from home on a mobile phone or computer at another location is more tricky but can usually be got to work with a few head-scratching sessions fiddling with port forwarding in your router settings.

    They certainly are very helpful, avoiding many un-necessary checks and disturbance.





  3. #3
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    Re: recommendations for IP camera

    We've got a Panasonic BB-HCM581 which is very good although the resolution is a little low, it's been in for a few years now though and if you could pick one up with an outdoor dome on ebay or similar you'd have a very capable camera. You tend to get what you pay for with IP cameras with the bottom end being pretty poor, the mid range cameras have improved a lot in the last few years though. I'd recommend an outdoor spec camera if in a shed as the indoor ones only appear to be rated to around 0C and may not cope very well with humidity etc.

    To get the best from a PTZ you really need a high mounting point so mounting towards the ridge is preferable. It's worth considering if a couple of cheaper cameras may do a better job though as you could view the action from 2 directions then. We find blind spots behind rings etc can be very frustrating and a second camera would solve that. I appreciate they are outside your preferred budget but have a look at the cameras on this page, a couple of the cameras at the top could work really well as could any of the others on their own. These guys are a good company to deal with and offer loads of advice, they have a good range of static cameras too which are a lot cheaper. The statics will do digital zoom which with higher resolution cameras can still be very useful.
    Stay in Northamptonshire - meadowviewcottages.co.uk

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    Re: recommendations for IP camera

    Quote Originally Posted by 4wd View Post
    Most of the cheaper ones are more or less clones of Foscam e.g.
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Foscam-FI8...-/111013045105
    There isn't much to choose between them, you could expect at least a year or two of life even on continuously with little maintenance beyond brushing off cobwebs.

    An 'external' one like that is probably your best option.
    It's annoying they are a bit vague about the field of view of the lenses
    Given that the Night-time IR only reaches about 20m you don't want to have the camera too far away.
    In general 4 or 6mm will probably be OK but go wider (=smaller number) if anything.
    They are inexpensive enough that 2 or more is reasonable.
    An important thing to be aware is that the lens can almost invariably be turned to get better focus on the main area of interest if you unscrew the front outer glass.
    You may not need to but if it seems soft definitely worth a try.

    Do you have homeplugs outside already?
    It's not unusual for newer buildings to be on a separate circuit and this can make things difficult.
    Best be sure this will work first, using a phone or something to check wifi is working reliably outside
    If it can't be made to work in the shed they might be handy to get better cover in part of the house or something!

    If viewing the camera only over the home network it is only 'moderately' difficult to get them set up.
    The supplied software is adequate but a bit crude, but there are several alternatives will view the cam - though the better ones are not free.
    There is a lot of help available online just search for your camera model.
    Getting it viewable away from home on a mobile phone or computer at another location is more tricky but can usually be got to work with a few head-scratching sessions fiddling with port forwarding in your router settings.
    4WD do you know if Foscam and others have shut the door on the security breaches that were highlighted a few weeks ago? All down to setting up a non-default password for remote access if I remember correctly but some of the older models (and presumably the cheaper Chinese copies too) don't force you to set up a new password at installation allowing others to access your camera without your knowledge. I think Foscam are able to force firmware updates on some of the later models to cure this but earlier models can't be prompted in this way. Could be way off with this but I haven't got round to chasing down the details yet.
    Stay in Northamptonshire - meadowviewcottages.co.uk

  5. #5
    Senior Member grassmanman's Avatar
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    Re: recommendations for IP camera

    Thanks all.
    Homeplugs are ordered and should be here tomorrow. All sheds are on the same electrical circuit though yard has been added to over the years but farm has not been totally rewired so I'm holding back on the camera until I see them working.
    I'd be happy with the quality of the pics you have 4wd (and of the cattle ) Nighttime vision not really a problem as sheds are well lit up. I don't like the idea of mounting them v high up as the cctv camera I already have needs cleaned almost daily for cobwebs and dust.

  6. #6
    Senior Member 4wd's Avatar
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    Re: recommendations for IP camera

    It's easy enough to change the default password, which is usually 123456.

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    Re: recommendations for IP camera

    Quote Originally Posted by grassmanman View Post
    Hi I'm looking for an IP camera to go in calving shed and wondering if anyone could recommend one that they have and are pleased with.
    Hoping to plug it into homeplug in shed so doesn't need to be wireless. Pan, tilt, zoom would be nice but not essential.
    Prices range from 40 to 2000 on Amazon but I'd like to be below 200 if possible.


    We have a Foscam F19828W Network PTZ camera, cost about 160
    For the money it is very good value, It plugs into the BB router so can be seen on another computer or mobile, handy as son lives 3 miles away on the other farm.

    Image is adequate to see when a cow is calving and is ready for attention. The IR night time image is very good. Our shed is 80 foot wide, the camera is mounted high up about mid point and we can see to both ends in the dark.

    The more expensive cameras will give better quality and more zoom. - Depends what you want

    We got ours from http://www.ipcam-shop.nl/
    Setting it up to work through broadband was challenging ! If you are not happy doing that sort of stuff look for one that says plug and play or I`m told that Sleepy - http://agricamera.co.uk/calving-and-lambing-cameras provides very good cameras with excellent support

  8. #8
    Senior Member grassmanman's Avatar
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    Re: recommendations for IP camera

    So.
    Bought the homeplugs and got them working out in shed, laptop won't do internet down Ethernet cable so plugged modem to homeplug inside and then moved router to shed and able to get wifi out there to work laptop.
    Now trying to get foscam ip camera set up. I'm able to get it to work in the house wirelessly but when I plug into Ethernet cable my broadband drops out and no camera recognized.
    Should I forget cables and keep a router in shed? And will 2 routers work in one system?

  9. #9
    Senior Member 4wd's Avatar
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    Re: recommendations for IP camera

    I'm struggling to understand what you're doing to be honest, you can have a second router acting like a repeater but it's not always simple and will probably further complicate things setting up the camera(s) - with alternative IP addresses being created, and things not being discoverable on the #2 router.

    However not sure why you need that anyway - the camera wants to be plugged into the outside homeplug if you aren't doing the final link wirelessly?
    Then in theory you use the included software to search for it and go from there once you set it's IP address (last part)
    Since you know the plug works outside you can do all the setting up inside where it's warm, and just relocate it afterwards.

    Once you've got it going it will seem gloriously simple but does appear baffling at first.
    You may have to ask a handy 12 year old.

  10. #10
    Senior Member grassmanman's Avatar
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    Re: recommendations for IP camera

    Quote Originally Posted by 4wd View Post
    I'm struggling to understand what you're doing to be honest, you can have a second router acting like a repeater but it's not always simple and will probably further complicate things setting up the camera(s) - with alternative IP addresses being created, and things not being discoverable on the #2 router.


    However not sure why you need that anyway - the camera wants to be plugged into the outside homeplug if you aren't doing the final link wirelessly?
    Then in theory you use the included software to search for it and go from there once you set it's IP address (last part)
    Since you know the plug works outside you can do all the setting up inside where it's warm, and just relocate it afterwards.

    Once you've got it going it will seem gloriously simple but does appear baffling at first.
    You may have to ask a handy 12 year old.
    Thanks that makes 2 of us!!
    I don't really need a router in shed though it may be handy for something,
    Main problem is I can't get camera to work through Ethernet cable in house to laptop/or get internet to go through cable to laptop either therefore it's difficult to replicate this in shed via homeplugs.
    I can get camera to work wirelessly and view on laptop
    All cables are ok
    Homeplugs working ok
    Camera works ok
    Ethernet port on laptop seems to work it lights up when cable is connected and shows LAN cable connected but when wireless turned off i have no internet.
    Also using a switch to divert internet to router, camera, homeplug, as internet comes into a single port modem.

  11. #11
    Senior Member grassmanman's Avatar
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    Re: recommendations for IP camera

    Hi thanks all for the advice.
    Got it running now and well pleased with picture quality. It's wired to homeplug in shed though I may put in a router in shed if I go to more than 1 camera.
    Just need to sort out the remote viewing now.

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    Re: recommendations for IP camera

    Quote Originally Posted by grassmanman View Post
    Hi thanks all for the advice.

    Just need to sort out the remote viewing now.
    That`s the bit that is a challenge.

    I googled - port forwarding for the router I have - to work out how to do it
    Good luck

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    Re: recommendations for IP camera

    Quote Originally Posted by grassmanman View Post
    Hi thanks all for the advice.
    Got it running now and well pleased with picture quality. It's wired to homeplug in shed though I may put in a router in shed if I go to more than 1 camera.
    Just need to sort out the remote viewing now.
    If you are able to post some screen shots at some point along with the camera specs it'd be great, I'd love to see them
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    Re: recommendations for IP camera

    Quote Originally Posted by grassmanman View Post
    Taken looking out towards bright sunshine. Probably not the final position for this camera, just a handy place to get to play with it.
    Foscam 19804w seems good colour and resolution. Stand is fairly flimsy but ok. British phone number and decent help
    Impressive picture! Thanks for it and the PM, the post slipped past me

    Does the camera have sound at all? I've had a quick google and can't see it mentioned.

    Assuming you are on slats on the open side of the shed but does bedding build up much nearer the camera in what is presumably the calving pens? I ask as if it does mounting on the eves beam may be better to give a better angle of view down in to the pen. We are on a deep litter system and so bedding heights here can vary from floor to around +1m, hence extra height helps quite a bit.

    Glad you've managed to set it up, I think I'd better reconsider my view of the cheaper cameras a bit! You'll wonder how you ever managed without one once you get used to it being there, I'm certain our cows prefer us remote viewing as opposed to peeping in doors at them too.
    Stay in Northamptonshire - meadowviewcottages.co.uk

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    Senior Member grassmanman's Avatar
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    Re: recommendations for IP camera

    Hi foxbox
    Camera has a sound facility but needs speakers to plug into it.
    I intend to mount one on reach gable when I get sockets in place but was just trying it here to see if it would work as its the furthest point from my house
    Bedding is no problem as I clean it out every few weeks and is a straight push through with loader.
    This camera is now 57on ebay from foscam direct so will be ordering another couple!!

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    Re: recommendations for IP camera

    Quote Originally Posted by grassmanman View Post
    Hi foxbox
    Camera has a sound facility but needs speakers to plug into it.
    I intend to mount one on reach gable when I get sockets in place but was just trying it here to see if it would work as its the furthest point from my house
    Bedding is no problem as I clean it out every few weeks and is a straight push through with loader.
    This camera is now 57on ebay from foscam direct so will be ordering another couple!!
    Our Panasonic had a microphone and speaker connection too, the kit mic was bloody expensive for what it was so I ended up ordering a karaoke mic off amazon, stuck it in a plastic bag to keep the water out and pinned that to the beam instead. It works really well and it certainly adds something if you can hear what is going on in the shed. Obviously to do that you need a standard jack socket or similar to plug in to but it may be an option for you. It's handy to have on in the evening with the monitor or tablet screen turned off but the sound on, you can usually tell what is going on in the shed from the sounds coming though, probably the farm version of whale music too!

    The only problem with it is that occasionally a dove insists on sitting next to it and all you can hear is the damn thing cooing at you!
    Stay in Northamptonshire - meadowviewcottages.co.uk

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    Re: recommendations for IP camera

    Been watching this thread with interest. Saw a neighbour's 1,000 set up of 4 cameras recently and put us in the mood for a camera (at less cost!) for lambing. Tried a set of homeplugs that I had lying around the house and they work in the yard so we've ordered a Foscam FI9828W from amazon at 165 +vat. Liked the idea of being able to zoom in as well as pan the camera around the sheep house. Had thought of getting 2/3/4 cameras at 60/80 each but if one works it will cover the sheep in the big pens and as a bonus, the lambing pens as well. Buying off amazon means that if it ends up to be rubbish you can send it back fairly easily

    Couple of good videos of the 9828 here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVur5RZXcVw

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENHN7NTdQU4

    We were very impressed with the quality of the pictures, for sheep a higher quality camera is better as they are smaller than cows and harder to see.

    @Grassmanman you might find this gadget useful if you go to buy more cameras - cheaper than buying homeplugs http://www.amazon.co.uk/TP-Link-TL-S...thernet+switch

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    Re: recommendations for IP camera

    Do homeplugs need to be on the same ring circuit? or

    If house and steading were on separate meters might they still work?

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    Re: recommendations for IP camera

    Quote Originally Posted by collies View Post
    Do homeplugs need to be on the same ring circuit? or

    If house and steading were on separate meters might they still work?
    I doubt it won't work on separate meters. The theory behind the homeplugs is that the data is carried through the wiring of your house so it all has to be on the one circuit. Perhaps you may be able to use one of those wifi repeater gadgets that lets you send your wifi signal further, but that would still depend on the dwelling and the shed being reasonably close.

    This type of yoke http://www.amazon.co.uk/Netgear-EX27...=wifi+repeater

  20. #20
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    Re: recommendations for IP camera

    Quote Originally Posted by collies View Post
    Do homeplugs need to be on the same ring circuit? or

    If house and steading were on separate meters might they still work?
    Quote Originally Posted by quattro_tdi View Post
    I doubt it won't work on separate meters. The theory behind the homeplugs is that the data is carried through the wiring of your house so it all has to be on the one circuit. Perhaps you may be able to use one of those wifi repeater gadgets that lets you send your wifi signal further, but that would still depend on the dwelling and the shed being reasonably close.

    This type of yoke http://www.amazon.co.uk/Netgear-EX27...=wifi+repeater

    Depends what you mean by "circuit"?

    Homeplugs need to be all on the same fusebox/meter.
    If the fusebox is modern with a RCD/earth trip they won't work past that.
    I'm told that they won't work past plug-in RCD trips nor if you have an anti-spike lead or plug protecting your PC etc.
    If you have power to a shed,barn,garage etc from fusebox/house then homeplugs should work.
    They usually recommend putting them into the wall socket, if you lack sockets then you can get them where they allow you to plug something directly into them while they are in the socket.
    Be aware that the early 85mbps versions may/will not work with the current 200 & 500mbps that have become the norm now.

    If you run a wired LAN connection between two buildings on separate mains supplies, ie farmhouse and barn/workshop, you will need to protect it in the event that it become live/short out. Usually people get over this by extending it wirelessly, thereby creating a break between the two sources of power.

    Finally if you use wi-fi home plugs to extend your network wirelessly, its best to set them up by connecting to them by cable and setting their username and password to the same as your wi-fi router/modem, then when you move around your device will swap between signals automatically without you noticing. Much easier and less conflicting wireless signals

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    Re: recommendations for IP camera

    Quote Originally Posted by Footsfitter View Post
    I'm told that they won't work past plug-in RCD trips nor if you have an anti-spike lead or plug protecting your PC etc.
    I always understood this to be the case, but I'm just after trying two homeplugs, one plugged into a surge protection adapter lead and the other into the wall socket and they are working...

  22. #22
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    Re: recommendations for IP camera

    Mine are working fine and signal is going through fuse board in house and 2 sets of trips/circuit breakers out in sheds.

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