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Outdoor WiFi camera that is either USB or solar powered


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Outdoor WiFi camera that is either USB or solar powered
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2021-04-24, 19:56

I'm looking for a camera I can mount outside and not have to worry about the camera staying powered. It needs to be wifi but most one of the most critical aspects is that it needs to be able to have a snapshot pulled from a web URL. Like this:
Code:
http://192.168.1.222/snap.jpeg
The idea is that I can wget the image with my time lapse script and make cool videos from that.

I need it to be solar powered so I'm not having to deal with batteries and such, plus where I'm going to put the camera I can't actually run wiring for practical reasons. So the camera can either be solar powered by itself or use a separate solar panel that puts out 5VDC at 1-2A. Those can be found on Amazon for about $30 if needed.

So really I'm looking for a few things:
  • Solar powered or USB with low amperage requirement
  • Anonymous Snapshot support via URL
  • Weatherproof
  • Good night vision is a major plus
  • No third party app requirement, needs to be truly standalone

As a proof of concept I was able to get a Raspberry Pi Zero W working at this remote location with a camera module. A major drawback there is that I would have to add in a waterproof case of some kind for that and nothing seems to exist that I can find. I also got a G3 Instant there and it worked really well too, but it isn't weatherproof in any way.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
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Ebby
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Join Date: May 2004
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2021-04-25, 02:25

Lots of cheap IP cameras have streaming or FTP snapshot features. Won't really need a script for that, just a simple server on that Raspberry Pi. Night vision and solar power only probably won't work without batteries. Therefore, battery pack/solar panel setup are based on power draw, but a IP camera, cheap PoE switch, and wireless bridge could possibly work. I used something similar to bridge a security camera on a far side of a building to the local network that lacked Cat5. Ran about 1.5TB of video data a week, just FYI.

Cheaper yet, an old phone with webcam software may check some boxes, but night vision would probably suck.

^^ One more quality post from the desk of Ebby. ^^
SSBA | SmockBogger | SporkNET
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drewprops
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2021-04-25, 08:29

This may be a really dumb question.

What's the possibility of burying a (low?) power cable to a nearby exterior installation?



...
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Ebby
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2021-04-25, 12:59

If you're running low power cables, might as well just go with PoE with high quality Cat6. Eliminates the solar/battery/wifi requirements at the remote location and is a much simpler setup. Moving the PoE injector inside protects it from the elements too.

^^ One more quality post from the desk of Ebby. ^^
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drewprops
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2021-04-25, 13:12

Okay wow, this is all brand new to me!

PoE injectors provide power and transfer data!

You could stick a camera on a pole in the yard and run a cable back to the house and be dippity dang done??!!


...
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Yontsey
*AD SPACE FOR SALE*
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Cleveland-ish, OH
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2021-04-25, 13:54

Arlo can be powered via solar. They film in 4K and are HomeKit compatible. I have 3 around my house and gonna add another soon.
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2021-04-25, 14:56

Can you connect to the Arlo camera with a web browser directly to see an image? Doesn't Arlo also require a subscription or even their software in order to see the images?

I'm really looking for still images from the camera, not video. Seems odd I know, but I'm building time lapse videos not really trying to security.

As for any wire to the cameras I just cannot connect any wire to the most remote location. Others would be fine, but the one I'm most interested in a solar power wifi one is in a place where any direct wiring is not an option.

Distance alone (~500') would prevent a data connection and I'm not considering a fiber run for some time lapse project.

OpenIPC is something I found last night that might be my ticket. Apparently there is a way to get something like a Wyze camera and give it the features I want without relying on a cloud of any kind. I haven't looked much into this firmware project, though it looks very tempting.

I also need to look at just building one with a Raspberry Pi, but waterproofing is going to be a real concern too.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
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Yontsey
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Join Date: Apr 2005
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2021-04-25, 15:29

You only need a subscription if you are going to do continuous 24/7 recording but it has to be plugged into a direct power source for that, not solar. They are triggered by movement and will record at least 10 second snippets but will go as long as there is movement or an animal or person or whatnot is detected.

You can view the video through the Arlo website, the iOS app, or through HomeKit. You can take photos through the app.

The videos and photos are stored on their cloud but can be downloaded and saved to a memory card that you put into the hub.

Die young and save yourself....
@yontsey
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2021-04-25, 21:03

Reolink looked like it might be a good option... until they limit it with cameras that are battery powered. Seems the ones that are USB powered are really battery powered.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
  quote
drewprops
Bastard
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2021-04-25, 22:45

I will be honest with you, while I respect the freedom of the marketplace, I do wish that there was a big name brand in this mix so I could remain a dumb consumer and pick my Happy Meal from a bullet list menu.

The alphabet soup of small companies doesn't impart any confidence in the products, and I have to assume that many of them are shipped compromised from the factory.

Understanding all the options requires a lot of homework, which I am wont to do as it stands... but it's tough to get motivated to teach myself the ropes here.

This same issue applies to dashcams.

Just an honest observation, not a request for anyone to hold my hand in understanding any of this



...

Steve Jobs ate my cat's watermelon.
Captain Drew on Twitter
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Yontsey
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Join Date: Apr 2005
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2021-04-26, 06:43

I actually just ordered a 4th camera and a doorbell camera from Arlo last night. Have been super happy with their high quality. This camera I'm going to run direct power to so that I can have continuous recording.

Die young and save yourself....
@yontsey
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2021-04-26, 08:16

I would love Arlo if it gave me the URL grabbing option. Reolink does not support what I'm looking for at all. They have cameras that come close, but I would need a 12V 2A solar panel to power it. That is no small panel.

I'm looking at junction boxes with clear covers as options now. Maybe it is the best thing I'm going to get outside of the possibility of flashing the firmware on a Wyze v3 and getting it that way. That would be awesome if it works. Still doing homework on that front.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
  quote
turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2021-05-06, 07:31

I'm still looking for a good option here... although my options have been increased! I don't have to have a model that allows for snapshots. RTSP access will work too, I just need to build a server that will run ffmpeg and grab the snapshots as needed.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
  quote
Ebby
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Join Date: May 2004
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2021-05-09, 03:36

Maybe you have to dig in the specs a little no the latest tech, but my cheap Dahua IP cam has a lot of neat features built in. RTSP/HTTP(S)/FTP (with built-in snapshot timing) and motion detection.




It can work for your setup, but there are easier ways to do what you want without ffmpeg scripting.

^^ One more quality post from the desk of Ebby. ^^
SSBA | SmockBogger | SporkNET
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2021-05-09, 20:56

I'm really after one that has everything built into it like I want. The problem I'm finding is the bulk of the cameras out there when you search are for one that is powered by an app. You have to do everything through that app and their cloud service. I don't want that. I need it to be a standalone IP camera with either http(s) snapshot grab or RTSP. It also needs to be outdoor friendly and be able to be solar powered. This is actually a tough list. If you have a link to a camera that fits that I'm open to check it out! Really, I'm struggling here to find something that will work that isn't be cobbling something together with an rPi.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
  quote
Ebby
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Join Date: May 2004
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2021-05-10, 17:29

A lot have apps because that's the thing. Simple cameras like this https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08K1M34ZQ/ have iOS/Android access too, but the internal software can be configured by a web browser. (usually with a media plugin)

If you go to the product page and read the tech specs or manuals, you'll usually find the info you'll want. Even the one mentioned above has all that RTSP/FTP/PoE stuff. Its kinda a standard since lots of NAS/Security setups use the old fashion tech too. Lots of IP cameras have very similar firmware. It ain't the Apple/Ring experience, but it works for business and nerds.

^^ One more quality post from the desk of Ebby. ^^
SSBA | SmockBogger | SporkNET
  quote
turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2021-05-10, 19:59

See there, the problem with that one is that I need WiFi and outdoor. This is the real challenge I'm running into. A camera like that would be fine if I were able to wire it but where I'm putting these that isn't an option. One specifically MUST be totally wireless, solar powered and all.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
  quote
drewprops
Bastard
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2021-05-10, 21:06

I would like to stick one on a pole in the front yard, and if I can run powered Ethernet to it then I can make it work. I'm not so hep on using a cloud service either, but I'm not going to set up a server. I'm far too overloaded and therefore computer-tinker lazy.


...
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Ebby
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2021-05-10, 21:21

Yeah, I wouldn't use a cloud service either.

In fact, I block my cameras from accessing the internet alltogether. I set up a VLAN (unnecessary) for them and use a NAS to capture/archive footage. It rotates through files based on available storage. I used to use the FTP option, but truth be told I forgot I even had it set up years ago and just cleared gigs of space reading this thread.

^^ One more quality post from the desk of Ebby. ^^
SSBA | SmockBogger | SporkNET
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2021-05-11, 08:45

I too won't do a cloud service for something like my home video. I do run mine through an internal NVR and allow myself remote access to it, but not general internet access.

I had thought about doing the VLAN for my cameras but read it actually causes higher overhead resulting in lower video quality overall. I never did the VLAN for mine because of that.

I have managed to find a few cameras on Amazon that offer RTSP and WiFi but they expect PoE or 12VDC. I'm sure I can figure that part out... but by the time I'm done buying things to make it work I'll end up being better off with a Pi Zero W. I'd far rather have something like this Reolink that is clean and compact.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
  quote
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