Camera upgrades

Discussion in 'DIY and Makers Spot' started by Dawg10, Jul 5, 2019.

  1. Dawg10

    Dawg10 Associate

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    [​IMG]

    A small upgrade in order to capture the wildlife walking down my fenceline. The post is 10' tall and the camera arm will hang over the fence, giving me a wide angle (2MP) and a telephoto (4MP) view both north and south. There's a 40A junction box feeding an unused, heated stock waterer at the corral, ~400' from the nearest AP. After adding a 2A in-line fuse, power gets fed to a ZyXel GS1900-8HP fanless PoE switch, which in turn feeds the 4 cams and a EnGenius ECB600 set to client bridge mode with a 16db panel antenna.

    Everything was bench configured, tested and incorporated into the twin iSpy instances, so everything worked as expected upon installation. But I discovered my existing AP is failing... It's an older dual-band EnGenius EOR7550 set as AP on 2.4 and CB on 5GHz. The 5G was acting up a few days ago so I patched the AP into a switch hard wired back to a Brocade ICX6450 until I could diagnose the issue. The issue became apparent once I powered up the new remote cams: -80db signal. After testing, the old EnGenius AP is not broadcasting or receiving on its external antenna, only its internal, which is on the wrong side of the shop...

    So I'm limping along using 2 of 4 cams and trying not to kill the connection while looking at a replacement EOR7550 on ebay: only $15USD, but with shipping/ duty that translates to $90 or more Canuckinan pesos.

    It's time to consider an upgrade... I have several EnGenius wireless devices and really like them; the only failure to date has been the p/s on a 5GHz AP. But they are all old.

    Can anyone comment on the Ruckus or Cisco wireless systems suitable for a 'campus' of 10 acres? (Expandable to encompass our entire 80 acres via solar charged lithium batteries and the same PoE switch/ AP/ cams. They're on the drawing board, although at our latitude I need >200W of charging capacity per site).

    Random criteria: The failed EOR7550 has N-connectors for both 2.4 and 5, and I need to keep these external antennas in place, as they're attached to the yard light atop the shop. License should be not required, free, freely available or dirt cheap. I'd like to step up in class, so UBNT may or may not be an option; they make some good stuff along with the junk.
     
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  2. T_Minus

    T_Minus Moderator

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    I looked into this awhile ago regarding cameras over many acres and concluded it wasn't worth the effort \ time due to ours being heavily wooded, and motion sensor cameras going off with the slightest breeze and limbs moving or pine needles or leafs falling from trees, or a squirrel running up a tree setting them off :/

    For the ~5acres fenced I did a mix of direct burial, conduit+cable inside, and even this with a trenching bucket on the backhoe takes a long time with our soil... and all are POE cameras and I just got the NanoSwitch to try 100% POE for multi camera setup in two locations.

    Looking forward to watching what you come up with :D

    I'm just getting into solar setups here too.... small 800-1200 watt for my barn\animals with 4x6V batteries is what I'm working on now, and 4.4kW for the main house as a starting point... we're clearing a lot more trees for fire\safety and will have much better locations for panels once this is done.

    FWIW buying battery backups cheap and using them at each 'power' location should run a handful of cameras + small switch for 1-2 days based on my experience running my network on battery when power is out. That may allow you to run lower amount of solar\watts and recharge over 24hr+ vs. trying to re-charge daily.
     
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  3. Dawg10

    Dawg10 Associate

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    The remote sites need to be self-sufficient because we have dogs... The homesite is 10 acres fenced & gated so dogs can't get out; opening the gate twice per day to maintain batteries means tying up the dogs twice a day (rescue dogs that like to run, and we're a half mile north of a 4-lane). So a minor pain that's avoidable with better hardware.

    We're 54 degrees north, creating a strain on inadequate solar charging:
    How to Size a Solar Powered Remote Surveillance System - Vorp Energy

    Temperatures range from +35 to -40C. Some cams go offline when it's that cold (Samsung gives the message "Waiting to warm up"), so I'm looking at using an insulated cooler inside a insulated wood box per remote site. Initial budget looks to be $2000/site all in.
     
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  4. T_Minus

    T_Minus Moderator

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    We had planned to do a double-gate setup for that exact reason for our guardian dogs but after a couple months of holding them they stopped trying to make a run for it, I was amazed, and glad as a double gate with side fencing up the driveway was going to be a hassle and cost I didn't want :D

    -40C yikes! Glad our 'coldest' days are in the teens and that's rare :D Mostly lots of snow is what we contend with, and powder dust in summer, which blocks sensors, cameras, etc :/
     
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  5. Dawg10

    Dawg10 Associate

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    40 below is survival mode; shelter in place and concentrate on keeping essential services running; power outages longer than 4 hours are to be avoided. We like Arizona, been there 3 times with the Harleys, but it seems my wife is allergic to dust or snow mold or whatever is in the air, eyes water up and the sinus's give me great pain. Good thing she gets over it once safely housed in a air-conditioned casino. The Colorado Belle is pretty decent for the price...

    These cheap cams only have a 2-part silicon seal around the top that's going to leak, so hillbilly engineering to the rescue.
    https://i.imgur.com/WzdHydP.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/4OpiY4M.jpg
     
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  6. Dawg10

    Dawg10 Associate

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    https://i.imgur.com/K9YTaOM.jpg

    Low resolution snapshot as I was bringing systems back online after a thunderstorm when I noticed this guy.

    Night vision on these cheap cams absolutely sucks, but they have on-board email with motion detection and some other bells, so I'm going to try external IR illuminators and disconnect the onboard.

    /edited link
     
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    Last edited: Jul 14, 2019
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