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Greg_M
02-29-2012, 04:50 PM
I'm going to be erecting a couple of bat boxes and had the thought it'd be neat to spy on the tenants a bit. Ideally I'd like to put one or two small cameras in place before lifting the (heavy) boxed into position. Power/data wires coming down to a more accessible height would seem reasonable. Battery operation. Storage media? If it didn't add too much to the complexity or cost real time viewing on a remote computer could be fun.

What do you suggest?

Thanks, Greg

PixMan
02-29-2012, 06:24 PM
Hardwire a webcam to the box, interface it with your computer and record it or just view it live. I really think battery power would wear thin on you pretty quickly.

dp
02-29-2012, 07:01 PM
I put up a "batitat" about 25 years ago and its never had a single visitor though we have plenty of bats here. But to the question - there are a lot of low cost security cameras for sale on line and in some of the consumer electronics stores like Frys.

I've been wanting to get a couple that are wi-fi enabled so I can avoid cabling between them and my computer. No luck yet so I'm interested in what the group offers.

Greg_M
02-29-2012, 07:35 PM
Hardwire a webcam to the box, interface it with your computer and record it or just view it live. I really think battery power would wear thin on you pretty quickly.

But... it'll be up a tree 100m from the house so a wireless web cam perhaps (but that'd have a battery I assume). And I think infrared might be the way to go for night viewing.

macona
02-29-2012, 08:37 PM
There are a lot of cameras available with IR leds for night illumination. Got one with power over ethernet and then you have only one cable to deal with. Battery is just not going to last, especially if you have to run a bank of IR leds off it.

I suppose you could install a solar panel and battery pack and then run an WIFI camera. They make those with leds too.

co_farmer
02-29-2012, 09:26 PM
I'm going to be erecting a couple of bat boxes and had the thought it'd be neat to spy on the tenants a bit. Ideally I'd like to put one or two small cameras in place before lifting the (heavy) boxed into position. Power/data wires coming down to a more accessible height would seem reasonable. Battery operation. Storage media? If it didn't add too much to the complexity or cost real time viewing on a remote computer could be fun.

What do you suggest?

Thanks, Greg
Any digital camera will take IR photos just fine. You need a source of IR light. That is why burglars case a potential hit using a digital camera. They can spot hidden IR security cameras that way.

I recently bought 4 used security cameras on the Goodwill auction site, then 50 ft of combination power and video coax on Ebay. The cameras use 24 volt AC power. I used an old wall wallwart for power.

Paul

tumutbound
02-29-2012, 11:08 PM
There are any number or cheap, wi-fi webcams on eBay but none (that I've found) are solar powered. Can't see any power over ethernet either.

I've been looking at one of the IP cameras with tilt/pan that you connect to with a browser/mobile phone and they list the power supply (wall wart) as 5V 2amp!

macona
02-29-2012, 11:38 PM
There are any number or cheap, wi-fi webcams on eBay but none (that I've found) are solar powered. Can't see any power over ethernet either.

I've been looking at one of the IP cameras with tilt/pan that you connect to with a browser/mobile phone and they list the power supply (wall wart) as 5V 2amp!

Good video cameras will not see IR very well. For example my Canon 60D does not see any, even with a strong source. My little sony is so-so. Cheap web cams are not bad. The less you spend the cheaper the IR cut filter.

Don't search for "power over ethernet" Search for POE.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Brand-Apexis-24IR-IP-POE-Camera-Cam-Outdoor-Waterproof-/140624275282?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item20bddc2752#ht_6727wt_1165

Tony Wells
03-01-2012, 12:17 AM
PoE is a piece of cake. You use a balun on both ends of CAT5 or 6, and you get a video signal put out on a standard BNC that you drive a monitor with. Can record, or watch live. There are a lot of security systems that use this exact approach.

Many years ago, my brother set up an IR system in the local zoo's monkey abode so they could record birth. Used a dozen IR LED's and it illuminated it inside as good daylight. not color, of course, but was very useful. Running with baluns and CAT6, 1000 feet is common. There are some wireless security cameras out there, but wired would be my choice.

Check out www.supercircuits.com for some equipment and ideas.

dp
03-01-2012, 12:45 AM
POE is not so useful for me as I want to stream the video to one of my servers for broadcast live on the internet. Since I'm using a spare laptop for the data acquisition and upload feed, and because it has no video ports or any hope of having any, tcp/ip is the better solution.

So we're trying to solve the same optics problem (IR) but have different transport problems.

macona
03-01-2012, 01:00 AM
POE cameras are IP cameras so it's all digital. Stream it wherever you want. Thats why you can get these cameras with resolutions over 1 megapixel. Cant really do that with analog to well. (You can, but no one does)

Putting Baluns on a cat 5 cable is not POE. You do need a POE router to connect them too but they are not hard to find. POE just puts 48v DC over the line after the router and filtered back out at the device.

For example this one does HD (1280x720) and has built in h.264 compression. This is good, especially if you want to stream since it takes the load off the computer to compress it for streaming. On my mac it take a good chunk of CPU to real time compress even a standard definition signal (640x480) for streaming. And this is with a dual core machine.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/H-264-Megapixel-Network-Outdoor-Waterproof-IP-Camera-POE-Night-Vision-Free-DDNS-/140709886853?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item20c2f67b85#ht_6377wt_1398

tumutbound
03-01-2012, 02:32 AM
That one looks pretty good and affordable - until you add $70 for shipping to Australia!

macona
03-01-2012, 03:36 AM
Try this one, its out of HK so shipping should be a lot cheaper.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Outdoor-Waterproof-2Way-Audio-POE-Viedo-IR-Wired-IP-Camera-Night-Vision-Network-/230750431069?pt=AU_Security_Equipment&hash=item35b9cc275d

Edit, forget that one. Only 640x480 and mjpeg

tumutbound
03-01-2012, 04:34 AM
This one looks OK. Bit of room in the case for any electronics I might want to add. I've asked for more details and a size - can't really tell from the images.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1-3-Mega-Pixel-HD-Waterproof-Outdoor-IP-Camera-H-264-16-Areas-Motion-Detection-/130653372762?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1e6b8c415a