Author Topic: Ok, now for the webcam  (Read 23778 times)

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Offline anchorageweather

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Ok, now for the webcam
« on: October 11, 2006, 06:15:51 AM »
Well everyone in this forum has really helped me get my station and website together, so, I guess my next step is a webcam. I was wondering if anyone might be able to recomend their favorite.  I really liked the one at MeekerWeather.com:

http://www.meekerweather.com/index.php?page=cam

but from looking around - Toshiba might have a replacement now for the IK-WB11A - but its kind of confusing.  Does anyone know about this?

The built in wireless antenna would be nice, but I am wondering if it has to be powered with a plug?

Are there any battery powered or solar powered webcams?

I guess I should look at ones that do well in low light too?!?  And what is the difference between waterproof, and water resistant?!?

Geez, there is so many options, it is hard to figure out :(
South of the Tracks, Anchorage, KY

Offline kray1000

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Re: Ok, now for the webcam
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2006, 06:43:16 AM »
Quote from: "anchorageweather"
The built in wireless antenna would be nice, but I am wondering if it has to be powered with a plug?

Are there any battery powered or solar powered webcams?

I guess I should look at ones that do well in low light too?!?  And what is the difference between waterproof, and water resistant?!?


I'm not aware of any battery-powered or solar-powered webcams... so you'll need a plug to power any camera, although some are powered over ethernet, which can simplify installation.  And if you're looking at spending several hundred dollars, then definitely look at the low-light capabilities.  Water-resistant, I assume, means that it will keep water out, but if it's immersed in water, not so good.  Funny that many of those cameras should be operated in humidities no higher than 85 or 90 percent.  True?

While we're on the subject, here's one I found last night I was wondering about.  Anyone using one of these?

http://www.amazingcameras.com/Toshiba_Color_Weatherproof_145_Mega_Pixel_Wireless_Network_Came_p_28592.html
Kevin Ray
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Offline carterlake

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Ok, now for the webcam
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2006, 08:03:54 AM »
What is your budget?

All answers stem from that.

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Offline anchorageweather

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Ok, now for the webcam
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2006, 08:12:49 AM »
Quote from: "carterlake"
What is your budget?

All answers stem from that.


$600-700 for the whole set up
South of the Tracks, Anchorage, KY

Offline ncpilot

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Ok, now for the webcam
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2006, 11:37:01 AM »
Wow, where do I start? I've been considering for a long time now how best to integrate my desire to have both weather cams and security cams... and have been researching and particularly following this forum:

http://www.cctvforum.com

The biggest drawback in my opinion with a "webcam" is that it is tethered to your PC--or to a PC anyway--via USB, which has distance limitations. There are USB to ethernet converters, but the cheapest I've seen is about $100.

But that's all moot if you plan on locating the camera outdoors. Then you'll be limited to selecting an analog camera with coax type connection--which requires a video input card of some sort for the computer, or a very expensive IP wireless.

As far as water resistant or proof--the camera should have an "IP" rating:
(sorry about all the text, I did a cut and paste from a website)

The IP Rating System
IP stands for Ingress Protection.
The rating’s first digit e.g. IP65 relates to the ingress protection against dust (6 means dust tight, see the table below).

The second digit e.g. IP65 relates to the ingress protection against water (5 means protected against water jets, see the table below)
 
 
Protection against solid objects
 
First Digit Description Definition
0 Non-protected No special protection.
1 Protected against solid objects greater than 50 mm A large surface of the body such as the hand (no protection against deliberate access). Solid objects exceeding 50mm in diameter.
2 Protected against solid objects greater than 12 mm Fingers or other objects not exceeding 80 mm in length. Solid objects exceeding 12 mm in diameter.
3 Protected against solid objects greater than 2.5 mm Tools, wires, etc of diameter or thickness greater than 2.5 mm. Solid objects exceeding 2.5 mm in diameter.
4 Protected against solid objects greater than 1.0 mm Wires or strips of thickness greater than 1.0 mm. Solid objects exceeding 1.0 mm in diameter.
5 Dust protected Ingress of dust is not totally prevented but dust does not enter in sufficient quantity to interfere with satisfactory operation of the equipment.
6 Dust-tight No ingress of dust.
 
 
Protection against liquids
 
Second Digit Description Definition
0 Non-protected No special protection.
1 Protected against dripping water Dripping water (vertically falling drops).
2 Protected against dripping water when tilted up to 15 degrees Vertically dripping water shall have no harmful effect when the enclosure is tilted at any angle up to 15 degrees from its normal position.
3 Protected against spraying water Water falling as spray at an angle up to 60 degrees from the vertical shall have no harmful effect.
4 Protected against splashing water Water splashed against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effect.
5 Protected against water jets Water projected from a nozzle against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effect.
6 Protected against heavy seas Water from heavy seas or water projected in powerful jets shall not enter the enclosure in harmful quantities.
7 Protected against the effects of immersion Ingress of water in a harmful quantity shall not be possible when the enclosure is immersed in water under defined conditions of pressure and time.
8 Protected against submersion The equipment is suitable for continuous submersion in water under conditions, which shall be specified by the manufacturer.
 
Next, low light... How low? Nightime? I don't believe there's any webcam that will be good in low light, they're just not designed for it. Do you need infrared capabiilty at night? Is this just for amusement to see stuff at night? Or is it for low light during the day when overcast?

The color cams that are "day/night" and have built-in IR illuminators must make compromises (and these are the "bullet" type, or at least the analog type if not "bullet" shaped). Best low light viewing will be with a B&W camera, and then probably it would have to be in the 400+ TVL range (TV Lines of resolution).

Are you planning on having more than one camera? Do you want to access images remotely (live, realtime) via a different method than just looking at your weather page?

======================

I've got a ton of related links on my home computer, I'll post again later...

My idea, when I decide to bite the bullet, is to have a "full" CCTV system, get a video card, and build another computer for it (it's best to have a dedicated computer for full CCTV processing), and use analog cameras--a mix of outdoor and indoor.

BUt that's a ways off...
Marc
Wilmington, NC
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Offline talbert1952

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Ok, now for the webcam
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2006, 11:57:01 AM »
Your webcam will be a significant point if interest for your website. My webcam pages are always near the top of the requested pages list for my site. If you are going to publish a webcam get a good one.

Check out the Toshiba IK-WB11A. It is in your price range and it has the features you are looking for. It is wireless but you still need to run power to it. I have been thinking about buying one and putting it at the top of my 60' tower. The biggest downside to this camera is the lack of optical zoom. If you want to see one in action visit http://www.meekerweather.com/

I had a bad experience with StarDot so I no longer recommend them.
Tom
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Offline anchorageweather

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Ok, now for the webcam
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2006, 12:18:45 PM »
Quote from: "talbert1952"

Check out the Toshiba IK-WB11A. It is in your price range and it has the features you are looking for. It is wireless but you still need to run power to it. I have been thinking about buying one and putting it at the top of my 60' tower. The biggest downside to this camera is the lack of optical zoom. If you want to see one in action visit http://www.meekerweather.com/


Here is my question from my previous post (above):

"I really liked the one at MeekerWeather.com:

http://www.meekerweather.com/index.php?page=cam

but from looking around - Toshiba might have a replacement now for the IK-WB11A - but its kind of confusing. Does anyone know about this?"


Also, check out this bad boy:

http://webcam.courier-journal.com/

the live feed as great and the resolution is awesome!
South of the Tracks, Anchorage, KY

Offline anchorageweather

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Ok, now for the webcam
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2006, 12:21:29 PM »
Quote from: "ncpilot"

Are you planning on having more than one camera? Do you want to access images remotely (live, realtime) via a different method than just looking at your weather page?


I think I am only going to set up one camera.  I don't think I will need/want to access it in another way than my weather page.  The live feeds are pretty neat though.
South of the Tracks, Anchorage, KY

Offline kray1000

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Ok, now for the webcam
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2006, 12:38:53 PM »
Quote from: "anchorageweather"
Also, check out this bad boy:

http://webcam.courier-journal.com/

the live feed as great and the resolution is awesome!


The CBS affiliate in Charlotte used to have one similar to this, but I couldn't find it last time I looked.  

Agreed, the zoom is impressive, but a quality outdoor PTZ (pan/tilt/zoom) camera might be out of the $600-$700 price range.

An outdoor camera, if it's mounted on or close to your house, need not be wireless nor analog.  Here's an example of my Stardot...
http://70.188.16.84:18080/canvas03.jpg

Tom, just curious what happened with Stardot, in case I ever have a problem...
Kevin Ray
Roanoke, VA

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Offline kray1000

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Re: Ok, now for the webcam
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2006, 12:49:37 PM »
Quote from: "anchorageweather"
Toshiba might have a replacement now for the IK-WB11A - but its kind of confusing.  Does anyone know about this?


Looks like the IK-WB15A is replacing the now-discontinued IK-WB11A...

http://www.apexsecuritysolutions.com/network_cameras/Toshiba_ik-wb15a.htm

Might be an option if you're willing to live with the 2.6 "zoom", and it's good to -4°F (something else to watch for)...

-----------------------------
EDIT:  Some of the specs listed for this camera...
Operating Temperature: 14 to 122 °F
Operating Humidity: 30% to 90% non-condensing
Weight: 23 ounces
Working Temperature: -4° to 122° F

What's the difference between operating temperature and working temperature?
Kevin Ray
Roanoke, VA

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Offline talbert1952

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Ok, now for the webcam
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2006, 06:23:36 PM »
Quote from: "kray1000"


Tom, just curious what happened with Stardot, in case I ever have a problem...
My Express 6 network video server has a problem with "image hopping". Any time the high resolution mode is used the image intermittently "hops" up and down a few pixels each time the image updates. You can really see it in my time lapse movies. Everything works fine in the medium and low res modes.

StarDot sent a new server which did the same thing. They finally told me it had to be in my camera setup. Everything worked fine on my Spectra8 capture card but I checked everything anyway and didn't find any problems. Finally I hooked the server to a high quality TV waveform generator and problem was still there.

After several months of emails and phone calls they finally admitted there is a firmware bug in the Express 6 that affects about 1% of users. All of the affected users are using the high res mode. They obviously knew this all along as I was not the only user experiencing the problem.

They told me they were sorry but the bug wasn't going to be fixed because there weren't enough people complaining about it to justify the cost. Also, because I bought it from one of their dealers and the return period had long expired, the only thing they would do was send me another broken server. The hassles of getting into a legal battle with them just weren't worth it.

Other than the very annoying "hopping" it works fine. I will keep using it until I can replace all of my analog cameras with netcams.
Tom
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Offline talbert1952

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Ok, now for the webcam
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2006, 06:32:15 PM »
Quote from: "anchorageweather"

Here is my question from my previous post (above):

"I really liked the one at MeekerWeather.com:

http://www.meekerweather.com/index.php?page=cam

but from looking around - Toshiba might have a replacement now for the IK-WB11A - but its kind of confusing. Does anyone know about this?"



Sorry. I guess I was in the middle of composing when you posted your reply. I plan to do some research on the replacement camera. I would like to see a live feed before I take the plunge.
Tom
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Offline kray1000

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« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2006, 07:03:47 PM »
Quote from: talbert1952
Other than the very annoying "hopping" it works fine. I will keep using it until I can replace all of my analog cameras with netcams.

That's a shame, considering how much they charge for their cameras and especially their servers.  Geez...  :evil:   It certainly wouldn't kill them to take your server in on trade.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2009, 05:32:10 PM by kray1000 »
Kevin Ray
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Offline carterlake

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Ok, now for the webcam
« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2006, 07:29:10 PM »
You guys want to play "one up" on good webcams...

Dan in Browns Valley, CA has it:

http://bvwx.com:8080/

Camera is: http://www.webcamstore.com/consumer/product.php?systemid=487 (Yes, I could save money by flying first class, renting a car, and stealing it off the top of his house.  :lol: )

You can watch ants crawling on a rock, 75 yards from his house.

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Offline capeweather

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« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2006, 08:14:49 PM »
So far I have purchased three of the 3com homeconnects on ebay for relatively cheap and am extremely happy with the quality of the image. I don't have them hooked up at the moment but am planning on doing it sometime in the near future. If you want to get an idea of how well the image quality is from a cheap cam take a look at this url. They do very well at night.

http://www.lorickweather.net/lorickam.htm

Chris
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Website: http://www.fortmyersweather.net

Offline kray1000

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« Reply #15 on: October 12, 2006, 01:32:28 AM »
Quote from: "carterlake"
You guys want to play "one up" on good webcams...

Dan in Browns Valley, CA has it:

http://bvwx.com:8080/

Camera is: http://www.webcamstore.com/consumer/product.php?systemid=487 (Yes, I could save money by flying first class, renting a car, and stealing it off the top of his house.  :lol: )

You can watch ants crawling on a rock, 75 yards from his house.


Ok...

Here's one you can use to count the hairs on their legs, but no pan or tilt... just zoom...

http://www.samsung-security.com/Portals/0/GVIProductImages/348/SCC-C4307_Spec_Sheet.pdf
Kevin Ray
Roanoke, VA

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Offline up10ad

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Ok, now for the webcam
« Reply #16 on: October 12, 2006, 09:20:09 AM »
The VCM-091 Toshiba looks exactly like my IK-WB11A and has almost the same feature set.  The resolution is the same, and I can't find any information about it on Toshiba's site that would tell me what is different.  However, this is typical of what I have found with Toshiba's web information as well as documentation.

I really like the Canon VB-C50iR Network Camera, the one used at the Courier-Journal.  It looks like it may also be the one Dan uses at Browns Valley Weather since they have the same interface.

In my area it is extremely important to have a weather-tolerant cam, and the Toshiba is rated to -4.  I don't know the difference between operating temp and working temp, but I can tell you we regularly get temps down to -10 and -20 and the cam never has any noticeable problems.  It may be partially because our humidity levels when it is that cold are usually near 15%, avoiding condensation which might cause a problem.

I'm going to have to look into the Canon VB-C50iR, I really like it!
Rick
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Offline ncpilot

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« Reply #17 on: October 12, 2006, 11:07:06 AM »
I guess the point I was trying to make in my post was that you have a choice between a single weather resistant net cam costing around $500 or more (have you checked prices on the new Toshiba?), versus a video input board for the computer, plus several analog cameras, roughly the same price, but more cameras, more options.

Sure, you have to run cable to each camera, but no matter which type, you still have to run power--so you're always running at least one set of wire to each camera...

Re: Canon VB-C50iR -- you do know that this is at minimum about a $1200 camera (at discount prices)?

You did say you wanted to put this camera outside?

You can get a decent bullet cam in the $100 range that will most likely be way more "weather proof" than any net cam less than $500+.

I don't believe the 3Com Homeconnects are weather proof or resistant?

Plus, you say now you only want one camera, but once you've got one up and running, you may find that it would be either fun or useful to have a few more--easily done with a video input card and analog cams...

All that being said, I have a couple of wireless network cams... had them for a few years...

http://home.earthlink.net/~marcpilot1/livecam/  
 
(don't kill my bandwidth please)

and another one inside my house... they're fun, but if I'm serious about higher quality images, multiple images, outdoor location, and versatility--I'll go with wired analog and video card...
Marc
Wilmington, NC
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Offline racenet

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« Reply #18 on: October 12, 2006, 12:22:54 PM »
I have been using a bullet-cam for the past several years with great success. It is out in the weather 24/7 with temps down in the -30's and it keeps on ticking. Granted, the image quality isn't all that great compared to all the high end stuff out there, but it allows seeing what's going on outside and it didn't break the bank. Just put it on the wall outside, ran the power/video cable to the computer and plugged it in. All for under $150.  :wink:


Bob
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Offline talbert1952

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« Reply #19 on: October 12, 2006, 10:00:36 PM »
I really hate we lost all the excellent discussions about web cams on Gary's old forum. There was some really good stuff there.

If you go analog get a CCD camera that has at least 480 horizontal lines of resolution. With a decent capture card the camera should produce excellent quality 320x240 images. Bullet cams are OK but I prefer cameras with auto iris lenses because they handle bright light much better. My system has both.

My network camera experience is limited to the StarDot video server and the Axis 211 network cam. I prefer the network video server over capture cards for analog cameras.

I am using the Axis 211 for my Sky Cam. So far I am pleased with the performance. The 211 has resolution similar to a 500+ horizontal line analog camera. It has excellent low light performance. It will produce a decent 480x360 image and 640x480 isn't bad. The 211 has Power Over Ethernet (POE) capability which works quite well. Only one CAT5 cable run to the camera is needed. The 211 comes with a decent F1.0 3 to 8mm varifocal lens.

If I could have only one camera I would go with a quality network camera.
Tom
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Offline up10ad

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« Reply #20 on: October 22, 2006, 11:35:38 PM »
Well, I said that I liked the Canon VB-C50i cam that Dan in Browns Valley, CA has mounted on top of his house, and after playing with a handful of them at other locations I just had to get one!

I'm still working on getting it integrated into my site, but it seems to be working pretty well.  It certainly doesn't have the low-light capability of the Toshiba, but during daylight you can zoom in on the deer in the yard and see the ticks!  The link is prominent on my main page if you care to take a peek during daylight hours.  Suggestions and comments are welcome.
Rick
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Offline katlon

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« Reply #21 on: October 23, 2006, 06:26:12 AM »
I didn't know much about web cameras when I started looking for one as a security camera. The below link is the one I bought after a little bit of research.

http://www.dlink.com/products/?sec=0&pid=411

This one hooks up to your wireless router and can be configured to your network and with the supplied software the camera can be controlled from anywhere in the world as long as you can get an internet access.

Offline talbert1952

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« Reply #22 on: October 23, 2006, 08:04:20 AM »
Quote from: "katlon"
I didn't know much about web cameras when I started looking for one as a security camera. The below link is the one I bought after a little bit of research.

http://www.dlink.com/products/?sec=0&pid=411


The specs for the imager used in the camera are not shown on the specification sheet. Do you know what type of imager is used (CCD, CMOS), the imager size and the number of effective pixels?
Tom
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Offline anchorageweather

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« Reply #23 on: October 23, 2006, 08:47:24 AM »
Quote from: "k6dyc"
Well, I said that I liked the Canon VB-C50i cam that Dan in Browns Valley, CA has mounted on top of his house, and after playing with a handful of them at other locations I just had to get one!

I'm still working on getting it integrated into my site, but it seems to be working pretty well.  It certainly doesn't have the low-light capability of the Toshiba, but during daylight you can zoom in on the deer in the yard and see the ticks!  The link is prominent on my main page if you care to take a peek during daylight hours.  Suggestions and comments are welcome.


Wow, I still can't get over how good your Toshiba works at night.  I think thats a great cam for a website.  It always has a picture (even in the middle of the night) - which I think is great for visitiors.  Do you have any problems with sun glare with the Toshiba?
South of the Tracks, Anchorage, KY

Offline up10ad

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« Reply #24 on: October 23, 2006, 11:26:07 AM »
Quote from: "anchorageweather"
Do you have any problems with sun glare with the Toshiba?

The main issues with the Toshiba are the poor pan, tilt and zoom and the lack of optical zoom.  Sun glare isn't a problem as long as it doesn't get pointed too far west (left), I have to watch it to make sure no one leaves it pointed that way.  I may just lock it in one position now that I have the Canon.
Rick
Have you joined USAWeatherFinder.com yet?


 

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