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Small Cabin Forum / General Forum / Anyone have luck with wireless outdoor cameras to monitor their cabins?
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Jebediah
Member
# Posted: 27 Mar 2018 10:18
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Quoting: justins7
I wish the images it sends to your phone (and available on the website) were higher resolution

I bought my cameras for the automatic alert features. From viewing other peoples Utube vids I knew resolution could be an issue....especially like you said for vehicle plates. Mine are inside and the pics are very clear, at 25' of peoples faces, but yes viewing on a phone isn't very good....I view mine on a pc and zoom in....You should write the manufacturer and make your suggestion for a software upgrade to take pics when you want....it would be to their benefit and it might be just an easy software update....

toyota_mdt_tech
Member
# Posted: 6 Oct 2018 12:21 - Edited by: toyota_mdt_tech
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OK, I think camera folks were listening to us remote cabin owners. I found Cuddielink system, the cuddie link cameras can be up to 16 cameras and they all send photos to one main unit. They can use each other as a repeater too. There is several main systems, one with no cell, but you collect all pictures from one home unit. It can also be a cell one too and email you pictures. Up to 16 cameras, one cell account. Or the non cell home, no monthly fee, retrieve pictures from one source. Also available is a solar panel which comes with nickel metal battery's and with a solar panel, runs indefinitely with no need to change batteries. There is a long range camera also for jsut a few bucks more, I have only found it on amazon, but its good for pictures up to 100 feet away.

Here is the link to the system
https://www.cuddeback.com/cuddelink

They have nice swivel mounts to point it where you want. Solar panels are not white, so blend in well.
I figure if I get one home unit, and maybe 4 more of these long range cameras, I can keep close tabs on things. One at the driveway entrance, see those entering or leaving, catch plate number, mug shots, see stolen gear in bed of truck etc.

Anyway, I am looking for a external remote antenna for the main base unit and unable to see one. I will ask them.

Feedback on this please.

Jebediah
Member
# Posted: 8 Oct 2018 12:52
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Looks interesting, wireless/cell technology is advancing so fast...I will have to find out if they are compatible with Canadian cell service....Thanks for the info...

justins7
Member
# Posted: 8 Oct 2018 13:16
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I just read the reviews on Amazon and unfortunately they're not great. It seems like a good idea, though.

I've been having good luck with the Spypoint camera, and have since gotten another one. It's flawed, but it works. It's the cheapest way I could find to get still images sent to my phone or computer from far away.

toyota_mdt_tech
Member
# Posted: 10 Oct 2018 15:21
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Don't put too much stock in Amazon reviews, I have found a bumbling fool who cant read or follow instructions gets frustrated, mad, packs it all up, sends it back and leaves a bad review.

justins7
Member
# Posted: 10 Oct 2018 16:39
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toyota_mdt_tech
I know what you mean, but sometimes a reviewer can be insightful and specific, so they seem to know what they were talking about. With this camera, one guy had photos and specifics to back up his one-star review.

toyota_mdt_tech
Member
# Posted: 11 Oct 2018 08:51
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OK, got email back from tech support who was very knowledgeable and answered all my questions. It appears the photos sent to the home unit are small in size, while the high resolution photos are kept in each camera. This allows you to look at and know which camera has the picture you are after. They are each ID'd with a name you give it. I asked him why each camera needed an SD card if photos are sent to home unit. The sent ones are low resolution. So you look at home unit, ID photo you want to collect, go to that camera and offload it.


I wanted to add an external antenna on mine, suspect it uses an SMA connector and he told me the operating frequency is 915Mhz so I may build external antenna. Still researching, but this is the best option so far for my application. I have no power and away for 6 months in winter and need something to last that log. The important thing is the camera mfg are starting to react.

meloj
Member
# Posted: 11 Oct 2018 11:50
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Has anyone looked into the Arlo Go device? https://arlo.com/en-ca/products/arlo-go/default.aspx?cid=ambAroundTown

In Canada it can be set up with Bell on a monthly cell plan.

thanks for the heads up on the SpyPoint, that might be an option I look at.

justins7
Member
# Posted: 11 Oct 2018 12:25
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I think I mentioned Arlo at the beginning of my first post (or maybe a different post). I have been keeping my eye on the Arlo Go since it looks ideal. However, they just came out and are not in stock right now. I'm also waiting for actual user reviews before investing in it. So far it seems promising though.

In the meantime I am using two Spypoint cameras...

Jebediah
Member
# Posted: 11 Oct 2018 12:35
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Quoting: toyota_mdt_tech
I wanted to add an external antenna on mine

There is a place here in Canada...The Cabin Depot, they have an external antenna for ,I think it was 9 bucks...I'm sure you can find something in the in your area though....Spy point has an external antenna, I bought one as a package deal so it was cheap....haven't used it yet. I get great reception once the leaves are off the trees...

meloj
Member
# Posted: 11 Oct 2018 12:56
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For the folks in Canada. When you got the evo-link which version did you buy? I see on Amazon.ca they have a Verizon and a no-Verizon version. There is Rogers & Bell tower within a good range of my cabin, reception should be good.

From the amazon reviews they seem pretty mixed on connection issues.

I see you can order it directly from their site as a Canada version but its also $400 vs $297 on Amazon

Jebediah
Member
# Posted: 12 Oct 2018 09:52 - Edited by: Jebediah
Reply 


Quoting: meloj
For the folks in Canada

I have the LinkDark and the Link 4G...if you have cell service(at least 2 bars) the cameras should work. I'm happy with both, had the 4G for over a year and the LinkDark for 7 months...You can get an external antenna for the LinkDark its pricey. I'm in Nova Scotia and the cell providers piggy back on the towers out here. The LinkDark is on sale right now/Cabelas/Bass pro...I like the LinkDark as it has more set up features than the 4G. People should write to Spypoint and ask for a price reduction in their plans if they own more than one camera....They just might bite if enough people ask....as I think more people would buy 2 cameras if thier plan was cheaper...

justins7
Member
# Posted: 16 Oct 2018 12:49
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One of my only complaints now about the Link EVO (other than bad night shots) is that the lens has a very narrow field of view compared to some of my other non-cell trail cameras.

I'm a photographer, and I've compared it to some of my digital cameras and it's about equivalent to a 45-50mm lens on a 35mm camera — which is pretty narrow. So you need to move it farther back to get specific shots, but then the motion sensor only works up to about 40', so it's tricky. I wish it was much wider so you can get more land in the image.

toyota_mdt_tech
Member
# Posted: 17 Oct 2018 08:40 - Edited by: toyota_mdt_tech
Reply 


Cuddielink LR or long range is good for 100 feet. I just got an additional response to another question I asked and I inquired about getting the cell home unit vs the stand non cell home unit, thinking I may change my mind later, was told the cell home unit can work just like the non cell home unit, you just turn off cell feature.

That way, cell capability is there if I changed my mind later.

Unless I find something better, ie multiple cameras, one or no cell service, I am probably going to get 4 of these cameras, 5 solar panels.

The cameras each act as a repeater too so you can really reach out beyond the 1/4 to 1/2 mile range a single camera will do in wooded terrain.

Solar panel comes with NiHM batteries and run indefinitely with some sunlight.

I will probably set it up in spring, after my thinning project is completed and I will do a follow up and report back to this group.

morock
Member
# Posted: 17 Oct 2018 10:37
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What I plan to try ( in canada) is I have the free ipad Fido offer at $15/month with 3G of data. Set it up as a hot spot with wifi cameras. I purchased and am trying at home first the blink cameras. The night vision is really bad with any other light source around and requires a better setup. I have some other cameras at home, just haven't had any time to set it up. Thought this was relatively cheap setup, just don't know if I can part with my ipad for the winter.

slatecreek
Member
# Posted: 21 Nov 2018 21:21
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I have the spy point link dark, and love it. Bought the sd card and the vandal proof case for under $400 US. 100 free pics per month over verizon, GPS that shows up on google maps. I put it in a tree about 8` up facing the cabin and get pictures on any motion. No tresspassers, except the four legged kind. Very pleased witht the cost and picture quality for the price. No matter what cam you use you probably want it looking north for best lighting. Software app on my phone, no need to check for pictures, app will alert me if motion was detected and sends me three snap shoots. Can be configured for video shots with sound, daily pictures, and other features. What i found appealing was no cellular charges.

toyota_mdt_tech
Member
# Posted: 21 Nov 2018 23:59
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Quoting: DimBulb7
As for me, better option is ONWOTE


OK, no good for off gridders, maybe for your regular residence.
I smell that canned ham stuff too.

slatecreek
Member
# Posted: 22 Nov 2018 07:59
Reply 


Sorry it sounded like a sales pitch, but it really worked for me. Cellular was the only way for me, no internet, runs on AA batteries. I looked at many cameras, this fit the bill.

SCSJeff
Member
# Posted: 12 Mar 2019 12:03 - Edited by: SCSJeff
Reply 


Toyota_mdt_tech,

Did you get the Cuddielink setup yet? I'm now in the market for a replacement solution...

I have what amounts to a $500+ regular old game camera now. It uses 2G and at the time I bought it (with all accessories), I used AT&T. Well, last year AT&T dropped their 2G coverage. So I switched to T-Mobile and now apparently they have also dropped their 2G...

jhp
Member
# Posted: 12 Mar 2019 15:09
Reply 


I'll echo everything slatecreek said. I have the Spypoint Link-S, which is on ATT 4G/LTE, the S designating it has solar. I was skeptical at first but this camera does everything it said it will and at a decent price.

I have it set up as a security camera basically where there is very little false positives from wildlife, or tree movement. The day and night photos are great, I get notifications between 30 seconds and 2 minutes after detection which is excellent considering most days I only show 1 or maybe 2 bars of cell signal. You can even send it remote commands to change settings and the next time it checks in, it will update automatically. So if you want to change the operating mode from pic to video, sensitivity, etc you can do it remotely.

One set of AA's is still at 100% for the past two months, even through a harsh northern winter (-30F) the solar is able to charge up and top off the internal battery without even hitting the AA's every day.

They have free options for less than 100 photos and only 7 days historical tracking on the website, but I pay $15 a month for unlimited pics, unlimited history and that includes as many cameras as I want. I will be buying more for sure.

My chief complaint is that when I tell it to send me picture on the next check-in (regardless of it sensing motion) sometimes it sends me 1 pic, sometimes it sends me 6, sometimes 9. My current setting tells it on motion to take 3 pics, so I suspect its something to do with that option being set.

Not a huge deal, it does what I wanted it to do.

Typically I'm a very cost conscious and vet my tech gadgets thoroughly. This one has some bad reviews on Amazon that IMO are undeserved. This is a decent solution for anyone who has good-to-marginal cell signal and wants a little more security than hoping to catch someone on a traditional trail cam days, weeks, or months after the fact.

jhp
Member
# Posted: 12 Mar 2019 15:19
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You can also get a $50 MIR if you buy this month:

https://www.spypoint.com/download/rebate/SPYPOINT_Promo_Mars_Mail-in_Rebate_EN-US.jpg

deercula
Member
# Posted: 12 Mar 2019 22:52
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Will the spypoint send video?

sha748
Member
# Posted: 12 Mar 2019 22:58 - Edited by: sha748
Reply 


I have a satellite based transmitter at my off grid zero cellular property and it is not cheap but saves me a ton of gas money and time to check on the place. Cellular based cameras aee cheapest option if you can swing it...I have a 50watt panel dedicated to a 12volt battery to run my system...I have it set to send me a daily picture or I can send command to take a pic....expensive but worth it for me...

SCSJeff
Member
# Posted: 13 Mar 2019 08:06
Reply 


Ouch... Those SpyPoints are bit salty. (As are the Cuddielink's).

I think I may give the ReoLink Go a try. $250 on Amazon. Pretty good reviews (YouTube & Amazon). Seems similar to the Arlo Go. (Fewer features than the Arlo. But, the Arlo reviews aren't so hot)

I have a ReoLink outdoor wifi camera at home that has been rock solid and good quality.

https://reolink.com/product/reolink-go/

Plus I can attach this directly on the cabin up high under the eave and point it where needed. I can't really do that with a traditional trail camera.

jhp
Member
# Posted: 13 Mar 2019 08:41 - Edited by: jhp
Reply 


Quoting: deercula
Will the spypoint send video?


It won't send you the video, but you can have it take a picture first and send you the pic. Then it will record video to the SD card.

Mr RoC
Member
# Posted: 13 Mar 2019 17:56 - Edited by: Mr RoC
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x2 on the Spypoint LinkS. Bought it on sale from Sail plus an additional $50 rebate. 30 days free Unlimited plan than sticking with the monthly free plan.

I'm getting 3 sometimes 4 bars out of 5 signal bars.

So far so go and getting pictures sent to my phone.

I'm located in Ontario.

SCSJeff
Member
# Posted: 14 Mar 2019 08:36
Reply 


I keep flip flopping now...

My original camera is a Lt. Acorn. I contacted them and asked about a "trade-up" possibility. They do offer 10% discount for existing customers. But, I wasn't so thrilled with my current camera's performance to be that interested. However, they did offer an open box model for $200 that would be enticing... It's only 3G, but I think I can re-use my existing security box and solar panel...

The Spypoint definitely is enticing because of the free monthly plan. And I see they offer a mount that can be angled, so attaching to the house may work... Just not thrilled with several Amazon reviews that said they set up another trail cam right next to their spypoint and there were a lot of pictures that the Spypoint missed...

Still like the 4G Go camera, but I have to figure out what the monthly data plan is going to cost me... Right now I'm only paying T-Mobile about $8 month for a text only plan.

slatecreek
Member
# Posted: 14 Mar 2019 11:18
Reply 


Quoting: SCSJeff
said they set up another trail cam right next to their spypoint and there were a lot of pictures that the Spypoint missed...


I suspect I miss some pictures, more than likely small game (squirrels, etc) walking near the cabin. I have seen small prints in the snow and never got a shot of the animal. Although I have mine mounted to a large tree, up 10' in a clearing, about 30-40' from the cabin. It always catches anyone walking up to the cabin which was our intent. I dialed back the sensitivity one notch because it was picking up occasion leaf dropping or blowing heavy snow. I have since went with the unlimited package and don't worry about how many pictures I run up on the package. All in all I am pleased with the Spypoint dark link.

justins7
Member
# Posted: 14 Mar 2019 15:04
Reply 


Original poster here. I finally ironed out the problems I’ve had with my 3 cameras and I am now pretty happy with my setup. Now I can see the cabin from afar, and stare longingly at the images. Notes are below:

I have two Spypoint Link Verizon cameras along with Spypoint 9V batteries; one also uses a solar panel as well. This is an ideal setup since the battery just sits under a pile of rocks and dirt at the base of the tree, and it lasts months at a time before needing a recharge. The solar panel feeding one battery boosts it back up to 100% every few days, but it may be unnecessary since the batteries last a long time as-is. Total cost for each setup $350-375.

Spypoint cameras are really quirky, but I’ve gotten used to them. After 1/1/2019 there was a software glitch that caused many of their cameras to stop communicating (maybe it was the date change?). Spypoint said they had to be reset with new firmware, and they worked fine after that. Also, every now and then a camera will suddenly take dozens of shots in succession, for no apparent reason; it’s annoying that it can eat up your free monthly limit, but otherwise doesn’t mean anything.

I bought the above from Trailcampro since they often have sales and they offer two years’ warranty, which came in handy when I had to exchange one camera that was malfunctioning.

Reolink Go. I bought it on sale during Thanksgiving, along with a solar panel. It’s working great — these actually may be better than the Spypoint cameras. The software is awkward, and instructions are not always clear, but it gives you a live video feed! The angle of view is incredibly wide, so you can potentially get a view of your entire camp/ranch/land. I initially had a $25/month T-mobile plan (which was really $40), but have since downgraded my plan to $15 since I didn’t need that much space. I’m averaging about 5-20 seconds of video a few times a week, some weeks nothing, mostly of deer. Plus I do live view every few days for a few seconds. The solar panel mount is absolute junk, and it split when I mounted it on a tree (Reolink sent me a new mount). At first the solar panel didn’t seem to do anything since it’s only a few watts — but now it is keeping the camera up to 100% charged. Now I haven’t needed to charge the camera in 1.5 months with this setup!

Contact me with further questions, since I've put a lot of effort into getting these systems to work and I am now an expert ;)

SCSJeff
Member
# Posted: 14 Mar 2019 15:30
Reply 


justins7,

That's awesome about the Reolink! I appreciate your feedback. That really helps me decide on the Reolink.

Jeff

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