IP Camera recommendation and solution

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mnkynifefite
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IP Camera recommendation and solution

Postby mnkynifefite » Tue Feb 10, 2009 1:43 pm

I thought I'd recommend and relay my experiences on my new IP camera setup.

I recently acquired a couple TrendNet TV-IP201P (http://www.trendnet.com/products/proddetail.asp?prod=125_TV-IP201P&cat=58) IP cameras. They are about half the price of most Panasonic, Axis, etc...but have several advantages over them as well. First off, the cameras are PoE (Power Over Ethernet) capable. This was huge for me since it's quite simple to run a single Cat5 wherever I need a camera. Since I don't have a PoE switch, I acquired a PoE injector (TRENDnet TPE-111GI) which also supports Gigabit speeds, and runs about $50. An extra benefit is that since the injector is connected to my UPS, if I loose power the cameras still work. Also, the camera uses standard 6mm CCTV lenses, so I picked up a wide-angle for $12.00. Then I acquired an Outdoor Swann housing for $25. The whole setup, ready to be mounted is still cheaper than most single IP cameras. I do use MLIPCamera (the generic plugin). The camera does support RS-485, but I doubt I will use it since I have no need to pan/zoom/etc.

Also, the setup is pretty sweet. I have the built-in FTP server updating the image every second (minimal traffic) to the FTP server I'm running on my MLServer box, the motion sensor, if triggered, records 30fps video to a folder on my MLServer and that folder is monitored by Dropbox. So as soon as a new video starts being created it starts to get synced to Dropbox (offsite storage).

Anyhow, hope this helps someone in some way.

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Postby ronsatter » Tue Feb 10, 2009 2:34 pm

Hi mnkynifefite,

This is a very affordable solution!

Question:

Do you need to purchase a PoE injector (TRENDnet TPE-111GI) for each camera? I'm a bit fuzzy on how the physical setup works. Can you explain your physical setup in more detail ... for "network challenged" folks like me? I have a 4 port video card installed on my ML Server PC. I haven't invested in multi IP camera setup yet ... waiting for good price range like these. So I really need some advice on hardware and ML integration.

Thanks,

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Postby lathanm » Tue Feb 10, 2009 3:19 pm

The injectors are 1 to 1 so if you have the option to run ac power you may be better off. POE switches are dropping in price but most of the cheap ones are only 10/100.
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Postby mnkynifefite » Tue Feb 10, 2009 3:24 pm

Not only is it very affordable, but because of the use of standard lenses and outdoor housings, as well as the need for just a single cable run...I think it's the best solution (even if it cost more).

There is no need for separate video card as the camera has a built in "server" that sends video and pictures via TCP/IP.

Power over Ethernet or PoE technology describes a system to transfer electrical power, along with data, to remote devices over standard twisted-pair cable in an Ethernet network. This can be done either via a PoE switch or an injector. I don't have a PoE switch so I use injectors (each camera will require its own). Most PoE switches have 4-8 ports that support it. The switches can cost quite a bit and unless you are in the market to replace your switch it's probably not the way to go.

You can go the DIY route for PoE injectors. A simple method of homebrew PoE involves wiring the spare pairs 4-5 (positive) and 7-8 (negative) to an appropriate DC power source. Wire resistance and current limits must be taken into account. I wouldn't recommend homebrew solutions for long cable runs, but on ones under 25' it's a good "cheap" solution that can be done for about $15. See here-

http://www.nycwireless.net/projects/poe-power-over-ethernet/
http://www.icalvyn.com/diy-poe-injector/

One note though..if your go the DIY route please understand the risks involved....12v won't kill you but you could seriously damage your equipment if it is done wrong. Be warned.

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Postby kgingerich » Fri May 01, 2009 4:25 pm

mnkynifefite,

I'm curious how your making out with those trendnet cams. I see they aren't rated for outdoors so I was wondering if they are holding up very well even in that outdoor case. What was the model # of the case you purchased?

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Postby mnkynifefite » Sat May 02, 2009 1:55 pm

They are holding up extremely well....honestly, I don't think there is a better option than what I'm running...a huge bonus is that this solution is very affordable (cheap in comparison to others).

The outdoor housing I'm using is a Swann 1020. I picked mine up for $25.00. Can't beat that with a stick.

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Postby kgingerich » Mon May 04, 2009 8:29 am

I think I may pick one up and try it out. I have been leaning towards the megapixel cameras but I'm not sure the added cost/storage needs are worth it.

Do you remember the part number for the wide angle lens by chance?
thanks.

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Postby mcascio » Mon May 04, 2009 8:31 am

The one thing that pushed me away from the IP Cameras I played with was their limited capability during low light times.

Many of them were pretty much useless after dark without some light source near them.

How well does this camera shoot in low light?
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Postby kgingerich » Mon May 04, 2009 8:54 am

I completely agree. but since I bought this wonderful product called mainlobby, not sure you've heard of it... :wink: I'm able to use external motion sensors to trigger lights which allow the cameras to do their job at night.

Sometimes I think it's more of a "cool gadget" then really useful. In reality if someone broke in and stole stuff I doubt i'd be able to use cctv footage off a 640x480 camera from 20 feet away to discern facial detail and get a conviction.

Perhaps I should save the money and put fake cameras up since just having them there is a huge deterrence to crime by themselves.

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Postby mcascio » Mon May 04, 2009 9:06 am

Yeah - in my case, I use analog cameras that produce pretty well in low light. I really need them to help identify vehicles entering the driveway at night. The driveway sensor does turn on the lights outside, but by time the photo snapshot is taken, it's too late. Also at the time, GeoVision didn't support IP cameras, so for any type of full time recording, I needed analog cameras. Unless you are recording your camera footage, it doesn't provide much security after the fact. Analog cameras are typically less expensive than IP. Then I use a cat5 balun for power and video signal. Just offering my two cents.
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Postby kgingerich » Mon May 04, 2009 9:29 am

Why is it that the analog cameras work so well in low light? I'm not against analog cameras at all and I pulled coax with a power wire along side each of my cat5 camera locations.

The big beef with analog cameras are there resolution from what I keep hearing. Do you feel like you get a good enough picture with the analog cameras or would you rather have more resolution?

I have a single panasonic PTZ ip camera now which isn't megapixel and the picture quality is sub par but I'm only using it to see what's going on around the back of the house while i'm at work and not really for security.

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Re: IP Camera recommendation and solution

Postby killervette » Thu Dec 03, 2009 1:13 pm

mnkynifefite wrote:I thought I'd recommend and relay my experiences on my new IP camera setup.

I recently acquired a couple TrendNet TV-IP201P (http://www.trendnet.com/products/proddetail.asp?prod=125_TV-IP201P&cat=58) IP cameras. They are about half the price of most Panasonic, Axis, etc...but have several advantages over them as well. First off, the cameras are PoE (Power Over Ethernet) capable. This was huge for me since it's quite simple to run a single Cat5 wherever I need a camera. Since I don't have a PoE switch, I acquired a PoE injector (TRENDnet TPE-111GI) which also supports Gigabit speeds, and runs about $50. An extra benefit is that since the injector is connected to my UPS, if I loose power the cameras still work. Also, the camera uses standard 6mm CCTV lenses, so I picked up a wide-angle for $12.00. Then I acquired an Outdoor Swann housing for $25. The whole setup, ready to be mounted is still cheaper than most single IP cameras. I do use MLIPCamera (the generic plugin). The camera does support RS-485, but I doubt I will use it since I have no need to pan/zoom/etc.

Also, the setup is pretty sweet. I have the built-in FTP server updating the image every second (minimal traffic) to the FTP server I'm running on my MLServer box, the motion sensor, if triggered, records 30fps video to a folder on my MLServer and that folder is monitored by Dropbox. So as soon as a new video starts being created it starts to get synced to Dropbox (offsite storage).

Anyhow, hope this helps someone in some way.


do you have any stills to show us the quality? i am having a hard time picking a camera

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Re: IP Camera recommendation and solution

Postby kgingerich » Fri Jan 29, 2010 5:06 pm

I bought one of those trendnet cameras and right now it's sitting in my basement in a box. That's what I think of the quality of the picture. I ended up getting a bunch of axis IP megapixel cameras and I love them. You can't compare the trendnet low budget camera to a megapixel of any kind but I really thought the picture quality was poor on the trendnet.

What's the point of having cameras if you can't make out much detail?

Just my two cents.

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Re: IP Camera recommendation and solution

Postby mnkynifefite » Sun Jan 31, 2010 8:27 pm

Cost was an issue for me...as I would have a hard time justifying nearly $3000 for four cameras. For the price of one Axis camera I was able to get four TrendNets working. While I'm sure the Axis cameras provide better picture quality, for my use (and camera placement) they are more than adequate. If I had to shoot "at a distance" then I would probably need to use another option, but I don't. Lighting is handled by a motion sensor turning on my Insteon controlled lights.

One of the best features of IP is that once motion is sensed the images are automatically uploaded offsite as well. So in theory any theft, vandalism, fire, etc. the images and video would always be safe.


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