Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

LNT – Slightly weird lucky coincidence

Quite by accident, I managed a lucky coincidence.

I needed a remote camera (or two, or three) and noticed some assorted IP cams on sale in a local emporium. Second hand (of course), specs were available, but sparse.

I eventually decided to take a chance on one, offering both wired and wireless IP connectivity, automatic infra-red illumination, and remote pan/tilt.

None had zoom. Well, one did, but I suspect it was just digital trickery (not optical), as it was actually a baby monitoring cam.

Surprisingly, I seem to have picked the best of the bunch, as revealed when I collected all the part numbers and checked their specs.

1 turned out to be an outdoor camera, but was actually analogue (not IP, and used coax), and needed an external controller to provide signals to operate it down that coax cable. That controller wouldn’t be cheap.

2 turned out to be an extra ‘add-on’ cam for a wireless baby monitor, and seemed to need the matching base unit to control it, or show images, not useable on a network.

3 turned out to be a fairly decent IP cam, also wired/wireless and pan/tilt, but when I looked closer it was not supported, and it seemed nobody that had one could find software to control or connect it.

4 this one disappeared from the shelf before I could get details, but it seemed only operated using a mobile phone as its controller, not a PC, which means it would have been no use to me. It said ‘zoom’ on the label too, but I suspect this would have been digital, not optical. It had a card slot, and seems could be left alone to record for a week. Nice, but not needed.

So, that left the fifth one, the one I grabbed.

Sadly, the company behind it has also evaporated over time, but the good news was that its operating system was onboard, in firmware.

Provided you can sniff it out on your network, you can browse to its IP (DCHP or preset) and it will respond, provided you know the user name and password.

I was a bit confused by the IR control. Although it has manual control on the browser screen, it only works automatically, switching the illuminators on when it gets dark, and off when it gets light.

Further confusion followed – the pan and tilt seems to run autonomously for a few minutes after power has been applied, and it ignores manual pan/tilt commands, but is fine after that initial period has passed.

It’s surprisingly versatile, as the manual focus (which I’d thought was a problem at first) means it can be set up to remotely things that are inches (sorry, cm) from its nose) all the way to a whole room or garden area.

With my luck (usually not good), I’m still surprised that I picked the only decent, instantly useable one of the five on offer first time, and didn’t end up going back and forth and having to try them all.

(Sorry, no more details – I simply don’t give out any details of anything online.)

However, this was the manual, analogue item I rejected.

It has no pan/tilt, and is set up to point the right way manually, before the dome is secured, to keep it ‘safe’ outdoors.

I found this on the BabyCam.

What you CAN’T see in any of the pics is that the cam doesn’t have a LAN socket, and that the aerial is just a bit of wire – so you’re not going to be doing anything ‘clever’ with it.

That said, the whole thing might not be that bad for some jobs (bought second hand) and I could use it for some setups where I need to see what something is doing in another room. It even measures the room temp – handy when the kit you are setting up is bursting into flames as you work elsewhere 🙂

Cute BabyCam

Cute BabyCam

24/07/2019 - Posted by | Civilian, Surveillance | ,

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