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Small Cabin Forum / General Forum / Anyone have luck with wireless outdoor cameras to monitor their cabins?
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paulz
Member
# Posted: 27 Feb 2020 20:45
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Well I just bit the bullet and bought a new Moultrie xv7000i.

And coincidentally, last night at the cabin I got a phone call from my next door neighbor back in the ghetto, her house was broken into while she was at work, lost some jewelry and small stuff. My house didn't appear broken into. Pretty worrisome since I'm at the cabin half the time.

Got back today, all good but now I'm wondering if I need something here. There is a camera system called Ring and another Avila or something that are popular around here. I'm not sure how they work, wifi sends you texts or something. Anyone know about them? Better than getting another game camera?

jhp
Member
# Posted: 27 Feb 2020 23:13
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Ring is ok for what they offer - they're a bit on the expensive side. $200 for a doorbell, $60 for an indoor camera. $10 per month or $100 a year for cloud access last time I checked.

I found out about this company Wyze a few months back. They got started as a kickstarter and they have a pretty decent product lineup. The company seems like they have their head screwed on right and they are focused on what users want which is a simple camera system that is inexpensive.

They don't have any outdoor cameras (yet) but their 1080p indoor cameras are $25. They do motion detection and upload 12 second clips to their cloud for free. Unlimited motion detection and full upload access is $1.99 per camera per month. You can get alerts pushed to your phone through the app.

They all run off USB for power and your wireless 802.11 network to send their data. Super simple to set up. You can choose to record 24x7, only on detection, set up detection zones, record audio and video, and more. You really get a lot for the money.

I have six now - they're cheap enough to just put them where you wan them - like I have one in the garage to make sure the door is down and one just to watch the sump pump to make sure that its working.

The three I have outside have been holding up well this winter, temps down to -30. To be fair I don't have them out in the open, they are under the soffits and out of direct rain but I'm impressed so far.

Their wifi light bulbs are pretty good too.

Check em out:
https://wyze.com/

toyota_mdt_tech
Member
# Posted: 28 Feb 2020 08:17
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I have a buddy with a ring set up, he has no monthly charge, cameras are battery powered, send to base unit, hooked to internet via PC and will text you pictures anytime one is taken. He loves it.

Brettny
Member
# Posted: 28 Feb 2020 08:41
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If you have grid power get a real IP based system with 4k cameras. There are already break ins in your area so now is the time.

No matter what kind of camera system you have try to place a camera in an area that you can get a pic of a vehicle or a license plate. This can lead the police right to the person's home. A picture of the person can't do this.

paulz
Member
# Posted: 28 Feb 2020 10:38
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What does IP based mean exactly, compared to Ring? Good idea on the license plate reading. I've seen some videos and photos others have posted, shows guys with masks and hoods, not much good.

I was looking at this setup at Harbor Freight (which is right near me). I don't see where this type notifies your phone like the Ring. Other advantages/disadvantages?

https://www.harborfreight.com/8-channel-surveillance-dvr-with-4-hd-cameras-and-mobile -monitoring-capabilities-63890.html

The Wyze looks good, still reading the link. By USB power that means they have a battery that you recharge via USB?

I've been very fortunate over the years to avoid crimes, and it's a shame to have to spend efforts dealing with countermeasures. Way of the world I guess.

jhp
Member
# Posted: 28 Feb 2020 10:45
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Quoting: paulz
What does IP based mean exactly, compared to Ring?

Ring uses your wireless home network to transmit the data, from the doorbell or camera through your home router, to the Internet and then to their cloud. From there you can access it via your phone. A system Brettny describes is using a hardwired CAT5 or CAT6 Ethernet network to move the data - some new systems can even use power-over-ethernet (PoE) to deliver power to the camera and data transmission on the same cable.

Quoting: paulz
By USB power that means they have a battery that you recharge via USB?


I should clarify by "USB" i mean you can power the camera via any powered USB port or typical 5v cell phone charger. Each camera comes with a power adapter and USB cable. I bought some 25' USB cables on Amazon to make the outdoor cameras get their power from inside my structures and they work fine.

The devices do not have a battery, they need power at all times.

paulz
Member
# Posted: 28 Feb 2020 15:06
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Thanks JHP. So many options. The Cat5 thing, what is the advantage, your router doesn't have to be working?

My other neighbor, on the other side of the lady that got ripped off, just order cameras from Blink. No wiring at all apparently. Sounds a bit like the cell phone game cameras?

https://blinkforhome.com/

jhp
Member
# Posted: 28 Feb 2020 15:17 - Edited by: jhp
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The big advantage with ethernet based solutions is it's a very proven technology and its very stable. You can get cable runs out farther than you can wireless signals, and you can push a much higher quality video stream across it. You can also have a relatively secure video channel without encryption overhead because the medium (wires) is more secure than wireless and less susceptible to intercept.

The other benefit is most of these environments are paired with a large local DVR solution that can hold weeks worth of data locally without any cloud uplink at all.

The technology here is proven. The bang for the buck is high but it's running wires everywhere. These systems are typically built with more longevity in mind and you see that they run for years instead of being relatively disposable like a $30 dropcam. These are a good fit where you need a lot of cameras that are very high quality in a relatively small space - think convience store. Here's a few popular solutions:

https://www.lorextechnology.com/4k-ip-camera-system/N-1wxipb0


Blink's functionality is a lot like Ring and others. They are battery powered and use wifi to transmit to your local network, then uplink to Blink's cloud to deliver the video to your phone.

Really the determining factor for a lot of people between choosing the solutions like this is twofold - what is the initial cost of the camera, and what is the ongoing charge to use that vendor's cloud data storage?

Several of these manufacturers are now in a "race to the bottom" as they offer similar features at similar price points and to stay competitive they are having to get cheaper. It's the same story as game cameras - it's good for the consumer to have options.

jhp
Member
# Posted: 28 Feb 2020 15:21
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I think when trying to narrow the field the questions to ask are really like this:

1. Do I want or need local recordings accessible right from the cameras?

2. Do I want or need to have those recording sent to the cloud where I can access them anywhere?

3. Do i have a wired or wireless Internet connection that I can use - or do I need a cellular connection directly from the camera?

4. What is my budget now for the device and ongoing per month for features?


Question #3 narrows the field quite a bit. If that's a yes, then your options are down to a few like:

Arlo https://www.arlo.com/en-us/products/arlo-go/default.aspx

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

and the various game cameras also in this thread.

If you don't need that type of connectivity, you have a lot more options.

Brettny
Member
# Posted: 28 Feb 2020 15:50
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The IP/cat5 cameras can do roughly 300ft with power over Ethernet I believe. This type of cable is capable of very high data rates making your video more useful. A grainy security cam isn't really worth much. The analog systems that use BNC connectors are not worth much, this is prob the harbor freight system. I had one and could hardly figure out what kind of cars where 60ft from the camera.

IP systems are not cheap but very high quality. I paid $699 for a 8ch NVR with 4 4k cameras.

I put a Wi-Fi based Dvr/nvr in my in-laws 2 level 2,000sqft house. One camera on the opposite corner of the house had bad reception. You won't have these issues with an IP.

paulz
Member
# Posted: 28 Feb 2020 16:46
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Quoting: jhp
Question #3 narrows the field quite a bit. If that's a yes, then your options are down to a few like:


Yes I think it does narrow the field for me. My internet is a bit backwards. At the cabin I have a high zoot fiber optic line right up into the cabin (I posted a thread on that last year when I dug the trench). At my house I get free wifi from the elementary school that shares my back fence. But they shut it down sometimes on the weekend so probably not the best situation.

So cell phone is what I need for notifications I think.

The harbor freight uses those red yellow white connectors, probably analog. Here is the two page quick set up guide.

https://manuals.harborfreight.com/manuals/63000-63999/Q63890.pdf
It does have very good reviews, fwiw.

Can any of the dvr systems do cell phone notifications?

justins7
Member
# Posted: 28 Feb 2020 17:33
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Original poster here. I have to say my Reolink has been amazing. If you have good cell reception I really recommend them. I have two and I love being able to view the property any time. And the detail is amazing. It's quite something.

They're both hooked up to solar panels, so they last months without charging in the cabin. Even when one solar panel didn't function it still only dropped about 10% charge per week, so I got several weeks out of the charge. Plus Reolink is now selling camo skins so they blend in well.

jhp
Member
# Posted: 28 Feb 2020 17:53
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I had seriously looked at a couple Lorex systems, both wired and wireless. Most of them do have the ability to do push notifications to your phone, but not directly from the DVR.

So the camera senses motion, records the full event to the DVR, the DVR uploads either a clip or the full event to the Lorex cloud via your home network, then the cloud host sends the push notification to the app on your phone.

I would guess some of the other major players in this market like Swann offer similar features.

toyota_mdt_tech
Member
# Posted: 29 Feb 2020 20:55 - Edited by: toyota_mdt_tech
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OK, I have a brand new Reo Link Go + Reo Link solar panel. This is a self contained system, mount camera, plug in solar panel, internal batteries keep charged. Its an AT&T unit.

Reo Link Go + Solar panel

This is not spam, I am a long time member, I did buy this but opted for the Moultrie camera.
If anyone is interested in this system I will sell mine for $150, plus shipping (UPS). It will require you get an AT&T SIMS card, plug it in and its up and running. Brand new, in box, never used or activated. Email me at toyota_mdt_tech at yahoo dot com. I check that email once a week or sooner.

paulz
Member
# Posted: 7 Mar 2020 11:18 - Edited by: paulz
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My new Moultrie xv7000 arrived in the mail. Had the rebate sticker on the outside but no form inside. Oh well, guess that's over. Besides, you guys haven't gotten yours.

So now I need an SD card. I have a micro and the adapter but it says not to use those. So I went to two local places, neither has anything smaller than 16gb, the instructions say 8gb max. Then I looked at the Moultrie accessory flyer, it shows them up to 32gb. Hmm.

Then there's batteries. How long could I expect standard AA batteries to last? What's the next step, lithium and buy a charger for those? On the old Spycam I have been playing with I just hook it to a car battery with the external jack, I see this has one too.

Haven't even gone online to set up the cell service yet.

jhp
Member
# Posted: 8 Mar 2020 10:34 - Edited by: jhp
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On the SD card just get a 32GB and format it, and see if it works. Chances are it will be fine, worst case scenario the camera only recognizes the first 8GB of storage and thinks its full after that.

I run the Energizer Lithium Ultimate in all my trail cams. I they cost more but I feel like they last about 3x longer than the random store brands. They hold up well in the cold as well, down to -20's and still working.

I get about a year out of the ones that only take a couple pictures a week.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00EAKP8S0

paulz
Member
# Posted: 8 Mar 2020 15:23
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Thanks jhp, I didn't know you could get lithium batteries like that now, and not that expensive.

I bought a 32gb SD card last night (actually 2 for 20 bucks at Staples) and it's working. Took overnight but the camera has sent test images to the Moultrie web site on my home computer. Nothing has come to my phone yet though and I don't see where you are supposed to get an app.

toyota_mdt_tech
Member
# Posted: 8 Mar 2020 20:41
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Quoting: paulz
Nothing has come to my phone yet though and I don't see where you are supposed to get an app.


Paul, get the Moultrie Mobile APP. This is to turn it off and on and view the control panel. You have to set it up in control panel if you want sent to phone, email, both or neither.

You dont need the mobile APP to run it. But it makes it easier.

paulz
Member
# Posted: 8 Mar 2020 22:01
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Quoting: toyota_mdt_tech
Paul, get the Moultrie Mobile APP. This is to turn it off and on and view the control panel. You have to set it up in control panel if you want sent to phone, email, both or neither.


Thanks, got the APP, got the pictures on the phone. I don't see in the APP where you can turn the camera off and on? Have you made any other changes to the options or just leaving as is?

toyota_mdt_tech
Member
# Posted: 8 Mar 2020 23:15
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Quoting: paulz
I don't see in the APP where you can turn the camera off and on?


Well, you can do it directly from your phone via blue tooth if your close, you can do it from your control panel either home PC or phone hooked to internet. You suspend service.

I just looked and cant find the exact shut off. I will look at Moultrie videos, they had it in there. Thats be the place to look, I saw it once, but cant find it now looking for it.

paulz
Member
# Posted: 9 Mar 2020 10:51
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I thought I saw that suspend service too but can't find it now, on home computer or phone. Not a biggie anyway, just tired of pictures of my rump.

But it's good to get to know it at home first. I get a text about 30 seconds after I walk by, the picture takes a minute or two more.

Lots to explore and try in the menus, delays, sensitivity, resolution...but it seems to work just fine.

toyota_mdt_tech
Member
# Posted: 9 Mar 2020 21:40
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I found the suspend service. You just stop the billing. But do not remove the camera. I would take a picture of the sticker on the inside of the camera in case you accidentally clear it, you will have all the info you need to reactivate it. There is no cost to stop or start. I will go look how to shut it off.

paulz
Member
# Posted: 10 Mar 2020 09:45 - Edited by: paulz
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The only reason I see to suspend service is if you know someone or something is going to be triggering it a bunch and you don't want the pics. But I wonder when you restart how long it takes to get it going again. With the manual on/off switch it has I can't see how the camera could be turned off remotely. Anyway not a big deal for me once I get it all tuned up.

Going to take mine out to the cabin gate today and give it a go. The mounting hole in the bottom is 1/4-20, think I'll screw a lag bolt in a tree with an angle plate and bolt it to that.

toyota_mdt_tech
Member
# Posted: 12 Mar 2020 21:04
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Paul, suspending it, it runs till the end of the billing cycle. So if you suspend service, I suspect it comes back pretty quick. I know when I activated mine, it was withing minutes. I wonder if you can change plan? I'm going to contact support. I wonder if you can change camera motion sensor, ie turn it off. I know from my control panel, I can make camera adjustments.

Keep us posted.

paulz
Member
# Posted: 12 Mar 2020 21:38 - Edited by: paulz
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I haven't played with suspending it...yet. Thought I had a pretty good spot for placing it, near my gate, as shown in the photo. I was able to get the license plate of a friend's truck as he drove by. Pointed the other way, towards the gate, it gets the cars passing by on the road.

But now everyday around 3pm when the sun hits I get 3-6 empty photos. Might just be that branch (it's in both photos, one in the shade).

I'm not seeing a suspend option on the web site, just 'cancel plan' under device management.
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Brettny
Member
# Posted: 13 Mar 2020 05:45
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I get a lot of pics like that paulz on normal trail cameras. I have tried not facing then into the sun but it will still pickup shadows of tree branches and other things. I'm not sure there's a way around them.

jhp
Member
# Posted: 13 Mar 2020 08:46
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On my Spypoint, I found setting the sensitivity from medium to low will cut out a lot of false positives from brush movement in the wind and shadows from trees and clouds.

It still quite a bit of wildlife, even small things like squirrels from a few yards out. Big stuff - deer, people, cars, works exactly the same.

toyota_mdt_tech
Member
# Posted: 13 Mar 2020 08:48 - Edited by: toyota_mdt_tech
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OK, I send a email to tech support, I got a generic canned response at first, but it may have my answer.

This is for the Moultrie XA and XV7000i cell cameras.


This is the reply:
When in Motion + TL, 2013-2015 cameras will alternate between Motion Detect Mode and Timelapse Mode. 2016-2018 will be in Motion Detect Mode 24/7 and Timelapse during the set times.



-Set Time-lapse for the time you don’t want motion. When Time-lapse turns off motion will activate.


So it looks like I can set the block of time when I am there to time lapse mode and the end date the day after I leave. So it will go back on automatically.

paulz
Member
# Posted: 13 Mar 2020 10:19
Reply 


Quoting: jhp
On my Spypoint, I found setting the sensitivity from medium to low will cut out a lot of false positives from brush movement in the wind and shadows from trees and clouds.


Would that be 'PIR sensitivity? I can go from Hi to Low right here from home.

Quoting: toyota_mdt_tech
So it looks like I can set the block of time when I am there to time lapse mode and the end date the day after I leave. So it will go back on automatically.


Thanks TMT, will check that out. Still a bunch of options I have to understand.

toyota_mdt_tech
Member
# Posted: 13 Mar 2020 15:00 - Edited by: toyota_mdt_tech
Reply 


OK, a direct response vs the canned reply, another option to disable uploads. This is from a living person, replied directly to me. So it appears there is several ways of doing it.

Thank you for contacting Moultrie Mobile. There is not a way to turn the unit on and off remotely. You could put the unit in video and then it will not upload. Then when you want it to start back uploading put the unit back in photo mode.

I have read this that the unit will not upload video, so this makes sense. Of course, camera still runs, so maybe adjust video length etc to keep battery drain to a minimum. The video can be downloaded via the SD card too. So even if its not sending, you stim have the videos.

I also installed AA lithium batteries cost is about $15 to fill a camera up wit Li batteries. I bought a pak from Amazon, enough for my 2 cameras.

I'm building nice houses for mine, to protect them from elements, will house the camera, aux 12V battery I got from Moultrie and the solar panel also from Moultrie will be attached to the tree. I will paint solar panel frame black to hide it. I will put it on the sunny side of the tree. It should be enough to run it indefinitely

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