Author Topic: Powering Wireless Cameras  (Read 1536 times)

Mgmny

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Powering Wireless Cameras
« on: January 31, 2020, 12:16:29 PM »
Hey team genius!

I'm planning on running two Wyze cams on the corners of my house pointing out to my backyard so I can monitor my dog (and for security i guess, but not really the end goal) when he's in my back yard.

I'm trying to decide the best way to run power to them. My basement is unfinished, so the closest accessible power supply is between 20 and 40 feet away.

Originally, I was just going to run romex to an outlet that I would place just inside the outside, and then run a USB cable through the wall to the camera housing outside.

I have since learned this is against code once I eventually rock my ceiling (and therefore have an inaccessible outlet).

Here are my new thoughts.

1. Still run romex, but to a weatherproof junction box outside of my house. I'm not thrilled aobut this idea, because then i'd have a weird outlet 11 feet off the ground outside on my house corners. It would look weird.

2. Run a Cat5 cable from a PoE injector the duration of the run and then convert to USB inside the house, and finish the usb line outside. This is probably my favorite idea, except it appears that PoE injectors are sorta expensive ($20 at a minimum for two, whereas my outlet idea would have been like $3 for the outlet - cat5 runs appear to be slightly cheaper (?) but i'd need to buy the crimping tool, etc.).

3. Same as above, but run the cat5 outside to a junction box, then convert to usb. Downsides of this is similar to option 1: I have a box outside. Upsides: I could access the USB/Cat5 converter connection if it fails somehow in the future. Also, I could potentially run the camera higher outside along the siding with Cat5 not having a distance restraint like USB does. Also, a PoE outside in a box is probably more versatile than a powered USB. Who knows what the standards will look like in 5+ years.

4. Be lazy and just run a 20 foot extension cord to the wall, and then plug in a USB to the end and through the wall, and worry about it when i get around to finishing my basement in a few years. This is probably the most expensive and the worst option, but it would be super easy.

5. ????

Any thoughts?

BDWW

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Re: Powering Wireless Cameras
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2020, 01:26:52 PM »
Wire a simple 5v dc transformer (old phone charger /etc) directly into the USB cable power wires?

You could then plug the transformer in inside somewhere, just run the small DC wire all the way to the camera?

Mgmny

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Re: Powering Wireless Cameras
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2020, 01:46:26 PM »
Wire a simple 5v dc transformer (old phone charger /etc) directly into the USB cable power wires?

You could then plug the transformer in inside somewhere, just run the small DC wire all the way to the camera?

I thought about this - or essentially just using really long USB cables (possibly with extensions), but allegedly the max length is 15 feet, and i may lose power occasionally?

Maybe this only applies to data integrity?

BDWW

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Re: Powering Wireless Cameras
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2020, 02:51:56 PM »
I don't know for sure, but I would bet data integrity is the real concern.

Obviously resistance is an issue, but if you have 5v at the camera, I imagine it would work.

The other concern would be if there's any sort of verification of the USB cable. Some screwy manufacturers limit cables and such to vendor lock, e.g. "You're not using a certified X-brand cable", and I imagine they do it through the data connections and small chip in the cable.

If it works with a generic USB cable plugged into a USB wall wart, you're probably good.

edit: And the thing is, you should be able to test all this out before you drill any holes or run any wire. Garage door wire is pretty cheap, and you could wire it up with the length you need and try it out first.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2020, 03:01:56 PM by BDWW »

Mgmny

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Re: Powering Wireless Cameras
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2020, 03:00:40 PM »
I don't know for sure, but I would bet data integrity is the real concern.

Obviously resistance is an issue, but if you have 5v at the camera, I imagine it would work.

The other concern would be if there's any sort of verification of the USB cable. Some screwy manufacturers limit cables and such to vendor lock, e.g. "You're not using a certified X-brand cable", and I imagine they do it through the data connections and small chip in the cable.

If it works with a generic USB cable plugged into a USB wall wart, you're probably good.

Data is a non issue because they function over WiFi, the USB is for electricity only.

BDWW

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Re: Powering Wireless Cameras
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2020, 03:04:01 PM »
I don't know for sure, but I would bet data integrity is the real concern.

Obviously resistance is an issue, but if you have 5v at the camera, I imagine it would work.

The other concern would be if there's any sort of verification of the USB cable. Some screwy manufacturers limit cables and such to vendor lock, e.g. "You're not using a certified X-brand cable", and I imagine they do it through the data connections and small chip in the cable.

If it works with a generic USB cable plugged into a USB wall wart, you're probably good.

Data is a non issue because they function over WiFi, the USB is for electricity only.

Right, but that was in reference to the "limit USB cables to 15ft" remark, not the camera itself. The testing it on generic cable and wall wart is to verify that the camera only cares about voltage, not data or a specific cable.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2020, 03:05:59 PM by BDWW »

Sibley

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Re: Powering Wireless Cameras
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2020, 12:35:29 PM »
Do you already have these cameras? Because my thought is you might be considering the wrong camera type. Something that needs POE or a plug in might actually be easier.

Mgmny

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Re: Powering Wireless Cameras
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2020, 05:47:43 PM »
Do you already have these cameras? Because my thought is you might be considering the wrong camera type. Something that needs POE or a plug in might actually be easier.

No I don't. I just like the wyze cams because they are inexpensive.

norajean

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Re: Powering Wireless Cameras
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2020, 06:20:06 PM »
First question is what you hope to gain from watching your dog on a video camera.  Seems like a lot of hassle just to see the dog on the camera. If you are monitoring the dog's behavior, I'm not sure what you can do remotely.

That said, you could look into solar-powered cameras if you have enough sun.

Mgmny

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Re: Powering Wireless Cameras
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2020, 06:52:36 PM »
First question is what you hope to gain from watching your dog on a video camera.  Seems like a lot of hassle just to see the dog on the camera. If you are monitoring the dog's behavior, I'm not sure what you can do remotely.

That said, you could look into solar-powered cameras if you have enough sun.

Ha I was wondering when this would get bought up.

We have a fenced yard, but if my dog tries hard enough or digs he can (and has) get out. Often, he likes to run around in the back yard for hours at a time. Our backyard is probably 50% unviewable from the main floor windows. It would be incredibly convenient to be able to just open an app and check that he isn't digging in a corner I can't see without putting on winter boots andschlepping around my yard to look for him.


lthenderson

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Re: Powering Wireless Cameras
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2020, 08:07:53 AM »
Any thoughts?

I went with running cat5 cable and buying PoE cameras. The cables all run to a NVR in my basement and from there hooked up to my computer.  The real advantage is that running cat5 cables is fairly easy to fish to where you want it and  you don't have to worry about finding a non-switched circuit to attach too for power. The big disadvantage is that I'm not computer geek enough to set up the system so I can easily view it over my desktop computer. The first system I had was extremely confusing to set up and took hours and hours of watching online videos and such to get all the setting right in my router so that I could see the feeds on my home computer or through their app. It was a chinese made system and I figured that was the reason why everything was so complicated. So when the PoE drivers in the NVR died in a power spike event, I decided to go with an American company thinking it had to be easier to set them up. It wasn't. I'm just not geek enough and again I spent hours online and finally got them to be viewable on my computer. Unfortunately, I found out after the fact that their system doesn't work with any apps to view remotely from a phone. That system has worked reliably over the years but when my router finally died and I went with a new mesh system, I have been unable to get the darn thing to work on my desktop. The only way I can view the feeds is to hook a monitor up directly to the NVR which is in a very inconvenient location that is hidden from view in the basement.  I haven't dedicated the time to figuring out how to fix this.

My thoughts are getting rid of the NVR altogether. Since I still don't want to pay monthly fees to use an online system, I am thinking of using an old computer and turning that into a security system NVR with dedicated software like Blue Iris. I still like the PoE cameras and would reuse them in the new system but they would be hooked directly into a switch that is plugged into the computer and avoid the router and NVR altogether. But I haven't had time to focus on that so for now it is just an idea in my head for someday down the road.

Sibley

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Re: Powering Wireless Cameras
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2020, 09:57:05 AM »
Any thoughts?

I went with running cat5 cable and buying PoE cameras. The cables all run to a NVR in my basement and from there hooked up to my computer.  The real advantage is that running cat5 cables is fairly easy to fish to where you want it and  you don't have to worry about finding a non-switched circuit to attach too for power. The big disadvantage is that I'm not computer geek enough to set up the system so I can easily view it over my desktop computer. The first system I had was extremely confusing to set up and took hours and hours of watching online videos and such to get all the setting right in my router so that I could see the feeds on my home computer or through their app. It was a chinese made system and I figured that was the reason why everything was so complicated. So when the PoE drivers in the NVR died in a power spike event, I decided to go with an American company thinking it had to be easier to set them up. It wasn't. I'm just not geek enough and again I spent hours online and finally got them to be viewable on my computer. Unfortunately, I found out after the fact that their system doesn't work with any apps to view remotely from a phone. That system has worked reliably over the years but when my router finally died and I went with a new mesh system, I have been unable to get the darn thing to work on my desktop. The only way I can view the feeds is to hook a monitor up directly to the NVR which is in a very inconvenient location that is hidden from view in the basement.  I haven't dedicated the time to figuring out how to fix this.

My thoughts are getting rid of the NVR altogether. Since I still don't want to pay monthly fees to use an online system, I am thinking of using an old computer and turning that into a security system NVR with dedicated software like Blue Iris. I still like the PoE cameras and would reuse them in the new system but they would be hooked directly into a switch that is plugged into the computer and avoid the router and NVR altogether. But I haven't had time to focus on that so for now it is just an idea in my head for someday down the road.

I have cameras that are POE with BlueIris. Installation and setup was entertaining, but for my purposes the cameras are invaluable (interesting neighbor situation). The people over at ipcamtalk.com got me through the worst of it, though it was incredibly funny when I ran into a problem and the admin was convinced it was my configuration, then when I posted screenshots of every screen of configuration and he had to admit that it wasn't config.... geek couldn't admit he was wrong.

Turns out it's an hard drive error. Should probably replace the hard drive, but it seems stable so I just run checkdisk every couple months so I can backup the affected video files.

norajean

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Re: Powering Wireless Cameras
« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2020, 10:56:42 AM »
First question is what you hope to gain from watching your dog on a video camera.  Seems like a lot of hassle just to see the dog on the camera. If you are monitoring the dog's behavior, I'm not sure what you can do remotely.

That said, you could look into solar-powered cameras if you have enough sun.

Ha I was wondering when this would get bought up.

We have a fenced yard, but if my dog tries hard enough or digs he can (and has) get out. Often, he likes to run around in the back yard for hours at a time. Our backyard is probably 50% unviewable from the main floor windows. It would be incredibly convenient to be able to just open an app and check that he isn't digging in a corner I can't see without putting on winter boots andschlepping around my yard to look for him.

If that's the case, I would instead walk him twice per day for an hour each time so that he can burn some energy then relax and behave inside the house and not be abandoned outside trying to dig under the fence.

Mgmny

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Re: Powering Wireless Cameras
« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2020, 11:26:33 AM »
First question is what you hope to gain from watching your dog on a video camera.  Seems like a lot of hassle just to see the dog on the camera. If you are monitoring the dog's behavior, I'm not sure what you can do remotely.

That said, you could look into solar-powered cameras if you have enough sun.

Ha I was wondering when this would get bought up.

We have a fenced yard, but if my dog tries hard enough or digs he can (and has) get out. Often, he likes to run around in the back yard for hours at a time. Our backyard is probably 50% unviewable from the main floor windows. It would be incredibly convenient to be able to just open an app and check that he isn't digging in a corner I can't see without putting on winter boots andschlepping around my yard to look for him.

If that's the case, I would instead walk him twice per day for an hour each time so that he can burn some energy then relax and behave inside the house and not be abandoned outside trying to dig under the fence.

Not FIRE'd yet, so i don't have 2 hours a day to walk a dog, sorry.

He seems to enjoy running around the backyard, sniffing, playing in the snow, barking at ducks in the pond. His tail is always wagging, anways. Very rarely is he attempting to escape (and if he is it's because a squirrel or rabbit is taunting him on the other side of the fence).

It's often enough (2-3x a year) that I would prefer to be able to observe my dog while he plays in the yard instead of coming outside to find he's nowhere in sight.

jpdx

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Re: Powering Wireless Cameras
« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2020, 11:58:13 PM »
Go with PoE cameras and a PoE switch. Very streamlined and works great. If this were a security system, you should also put the cameras and your entire network on a UPS.

Mgmny

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Re: Powering Wireless Cameras
« Reply #15 on: February 11, 2020, 07:46:17 AM »
Go with PoE cameras and a PoE switch. Very streamlined and works great. If this were a security system, you should also put the cameras and your entire network on a UPS.

Do you have any recommendations for PoE cams? I mean, the indoor wyze cams would function similar (except i convert ethernet to usb, and data is wireless instead of hardwired).

Again, I just like Wyze cams because they are $20, and they haven't failed me yet for a crib-cam.