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doorframe

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Hi all.

Is it possible to have surveillance cameras connected to a PC and be able to watch and switch between them on another PC on the same network?

Swmbo has 2 aviaries at the end of the garden, next to my workshop. I have a networked PC in the workshop, purely for internet radio and multi speakers. She wants to be able to see her birds through the coming breeding season. I've tried wireless cameras in the past but the distance and the brick walls was a problem. Hard wiring back to Swmbo's 'den' is a no-no, so I wondered if it was possible to use the existing network.

The cheapest 'thought' in my head was simply 4 usb webcams from the workshop PC. Is that possible?

Thanks,

Roy
 

MickCheese

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My wife has a birdbox camera linked to her computer via the USB port. Once the feed is on the network then it is the software that would allow you to view it on other computers. I do know there are some programs that allow viewing over the internet so on another computer on the network should be simple.

Mick
 

doorframe

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Hi Chaps, cheers.

I think my biggest problem is that I'm blown away by all the jargon. My son is the computer bod but he's busy with Uni so I don't want to get him involved.

I've been looking at this....

http://www.maplin.co.uk/500gb-4-cha...ork-dvr--4x-ccd-cameras-and-iphone-app-477048

...and I thought it connected directly to a PC, but it looks like it uses it's own dedicated monitor, which is no good at the end of the garden!! But, it's got ethernet connectivity, so easy to connect to our network. The network route to get to SWMBO's PC would be through 2 Network switches and then through the router's hub. If I'm reading it correctly she can control and view from her PC. Wonder how much quality might be lost en-route.

Maybe not the cheapest solution but maybe the easiest. Anyone got something similar?

Roy
 

nev

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I would guess the simplest solution is a simple webcam with a long usb cable to the workshop pc.
or you could look at an IP camera. which is effectively a webcam with its own website, so you can view on any pc anywhere in the world. Maplin have one http://www.maplin.co.uk/pan-tilt-wirele ... era-508703
you will probably need a network cable and power from your workshop. lots of info on the maplin page.
 

Dibs-h

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Roy

What you want is a pair of the lower end IP cameras,

http://www.google.co.uk/webhp?hl=en#q=i ... 80&bih=939

gives you an idea. You need a Wireless repeater to repeat the signal from the house to the shed and then hardwire the IP cameras to the repeater\switch.

Assuming you did the port forwards correctly you could view the cameras from anywhere in the world, with a web browser & possibly a smartphone. If you only wanted to view from PC's in the house - ignore this last sentence.

Stay away from the DVR that you linked to. They are aimed at CCTV specifically & that one is rubbish as are the cameras that come with it.

Panasonic do good budget stuff - http://www.isec-solutions.co.uk/P/Panas ... -Camera(59).htm sort of thing.

HIH

Dibs
 

doorframe

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Thanks for all the info and links chaps. I do like the idea of pan & tilt.

I'm guessing that I can add as many of those IP cameras as I like, as long as my network can cope.

Roy
 

monkeybiter

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Obviously the number of wired network cameras would be limited by the number of available ports you have available. If you have a WiFi router and camera you could probably connect up to a theoretical 255 devices [including any computers or phones etc]
 

Hudson Carpentry

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You don't have to have them connected to your PC. I have a dedicated HDD purpose CCTV recorder which connects to the network. I can access the cameras on any PC without having to leave a PC on and use that PC's resources, I even had them on my windows phone. There connected to a TV as well. If I turn the feature on I can also watch the CCTV from any computer connected to the internet. Im not a bird watcher though there for security only, although watching the dog chase a cat around the garden one night was funny, as its infra red all you saw was eyes flying around the garden.
 

doorframe

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Well, this is what I'm trying..


It's a £40 cheapie from Amazon. Same looking as paul-c camera above. Got pan and tilt and IR. From the reviews it's a Foscam clone, but the reviews are better than the actual Foscams :? There's loads to choose from so went for the cheapest. We'll start with just 1 and take it from there.

I'll add a wireless access point to the network point in my workshop and if this camera works I'll add as many more as I need or want.

Cheers,

Roy
 

paul-c

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hi roy
hope all goes well
i wouldn't mind betting all these cameras are made by the same company and just badged and sold by different companys.
i found it best to assign a static ip address for my camera - hope this helps
best of luck
cheers
paul-c
 

doorframe

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Cheers Paul.

All the networking will be sorted by my son.

We've already got wired and wifi in the house, but it won't reach the end of the garden. It's an old wifi router that's just running as a switch (it's had DHCP turned off). I've bought another wifi router to do the same job for the camera(s), connected to the ethernet in my workshop.

The bit I'm not sure about is how the cameras can connect to the encrypted wifi. Actually I'm not sure about most of it but the lad reckons it'll all be fine.


I think your right that these cameras are all the same inside, which is why I went for the cheapest.

I'll let you know how it performs.

Roy
 

llangatwgnedd

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I have the Foscam clone called the Wanscam, we can view on our smart phone through the internet, they have a motion detector which sends a email picture to a gmail address also pan and tilt function is available from a smart phone.

Aldi's have a Foscam clone on offer at the moment.

http://www.aldi.co.uk/uk/html/offers/sp ... _29539.htm

The software is the biggest difference in all the clones.
 

llangatwgnedd

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The bit I'm not sure about is how the cameras can connect to the encrypted wifi. Actually I'm not sure about most of it but the lad reckons it'll all be fine.
My son set it up for me, but it is possible.

Just leave them to it and supply the coffee :D .
 

RogerS

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Roy

I don't want to disillusion you but I had one of these and returned it. This is the review I wrote on the Amazon website.....

Even a team of monkeys given an infinite amount of time and enough typewriters will produce a better manual than with this camera. However, I managed to get most of it set-up without too much bother and after discovering that the FosCam is the same device and has a better manual online I was able to finish setting it up. I wish I hadn't bothered. The alarm sensitivity and settings are a joke. I can wander outside, jump up and down in front of the camera and do a moonwalk for all the good that the rubbish monitoring software of this camera is concerned. It ignores me. However, ask it to generate a false alarm after false alarm and it has no problem in doing that. I have tried setting after setting but to no avail.

Oh yes...every time you change anything on the bloody thing it reboots and then goes into autoscan. You then spend ages trying to get it to stop scanning as the response to you clicking on the control panel to get it to stop scanning is also very hit and miss.

Rubbish. Avoid. If I could award a zero star then I would.


Maybe I had a duff one !! :D
 

doorframe

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Well, we've got 5 of these now. The limiting factors are definitely the very poor software they are supplied with, the cheapness of the actual cameras, and the speed/power of the PC they are connected to.

The software is next to useless. I tried trial versions of at least 10 different programs, but all had their limitations. The one that produced a notably better picture quality while using notably less PC resource was limited to only one camera and no pan/tilt. We eventually settled on Blue Iris, which was the most user friendly, had pan/tilt/zoom(digital), audio, motion activated capture/recording, average video quality, and supported multiple cameras (and was not the most expensive).

We also found we needed a dedicated (reasonably powerful) PC. The network coped with no problems, but the wireless was unusable, as the cameras are all in wire mesh aviaries, which act like a screen to signals (our home wireless phones wont work in there either) so they are all hard wired.

They've been running about a year now. Now and then we have to reboot a camera to get it working but overall I think they are just about worth the price tag.
 

Robbo3

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I use 2 of the Storage Options IP cameras as posted by paul-c & you are correct, the software is terrible.

Mine are hard wired (ethernet) to a router & viewed on my everyday PC, an Acer Inspire Revo with an Intel Atom PCU running at 1.8Ghz. They use approx 15-25% of the CPU resources depending on whether they are minimised or being viewed but that leaves plenty for everyday tasks.

They may tilt as you would expect, straight up & down, but the pan movement is actually a circular rotation (looking at the front) rather than side to side. There is no zoom capability & the resolution is either 320x240 or 640x480.

One benefit is that the indicator light can be turned off in the software so that no one can see whether they are active or not. Word has obviously got round as this has resulted in fewer drive bys by the traveller community looking for scrap.

There are a number of freeware Programmes available eg

IP Camera Viewer - http://www.deskshare.com/ip-camera-viewer.aspx

My cameras weren't listed in the programme but I picked two at random from quite a large list & the settings worked.


Thanks for the feedback.

Edit : Motion sensor turned off because even a slight breeze on any greenery was enough to activate the camera.
 

devonwoody

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Who is the supplier to the councils and government security areas, surely they have cracked these problems?
 
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