Weather Station Hardware > Weather Web Cams

How I setup my webcam

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weatherdoc:
After years of wondering how to setup a webcam I took the dive. Trying to find one set of instructions was elusive, so after reading multiple posts in this topic area, I figured out a solution that worked for me. The key factor that convinced me to use this setup was the Power over Ethernet (PoE) capability in which the Ethernet cable can provide power and comm.

Hardware:

* REOLINK RLC-510A PoE IP Camera $55 (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08F568BH1/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1)

* TRENDnet Gigabit PoE Plus Injector $30 (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BK4W8TQ/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1)

* Cat 6 Ethernet Cable 50 ft White $11 (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00WD017GQ/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1)

Software:

* IPTimelapse PRO $79 (https://iptimelapse.com/)
I started by using the 7-day free trial of IPTimelapse and setup the camera and injector on my desk for a couple of days just to make sure everything worked. I needed the injector because my main switch was not PoE capable. First, I installed the Reolink software to setup the camera. The trickiest part of the setup was getting IPTimelapse to "find" the camera. The IPTimelapse website has a link to the iSpy Camera Connection Database (https://www.ispyconnect.com/cameras) in which you can look up your camera and generate a URL to enter into the IPTimelapse setup for the camera's URL on your home network that looks something like this: http://username:PASSWORD@192.168.1.xxx:80/cgi-bin/api.cgi?cmd=Snap&channel=0&user=username&password=PASSWORD. All I needed to provide in the URL was the username and password I setup in the Reolink software. It was easier than it sounds! Once I was confident that everything worked and I was satisfied with the IPTimelapse features, I purchased IPTimelapse and started the installation. Many thanks to Mike at IPTimelapse for answering several questions I had. I connected the Ethernet cable to the camera and installed the waterproof lid that came with the camera before climbing the ladder. Using the paper template from Reolink, I drilled the mounting holes in the molding on the southwest corner of my house and mounted the camera (camera1.jpg) about 12 feet off the ground. I mounted the camera just above two of my Arlo wireless security cameras (camera2.jpg). I tidied-up the Ethernet cable and the Reolink reset switch cable & optional power port cable with plastic ties and then attached the Ethernet cable to the molding with cable holders that came with the cable (camera3.jpg). I ran the Ethernet cable along the molding and attached it with the cable holders. I drilled a inch hole in the molding by the mechanical/communications room in the basement and fed the cable through the hole after protecting the Ethernet connector with electrical tape. I used exterior Mortite Caulking Cord to plug and waterproof the hole around the Ethernet cable. In the mechanical/communications room, I connected the injector's power cord to an UPS, the Ethernet cable to the main switch, and then plugged-in the camera's Ethernet cable (switch.jpg) to the injector. Finally, using the Reolink app on my phone, I went back outside and climbed the ladder to adjust the camera's position to get the best view facing southwest towards the field behind my house. Done! It wasn't nearly as hard as I imagined. Since my neighborhood homeowner's association has a policy about security cameras not viewing any neighbor's property, I used the crop feature in IPTimelapse to minimize any views of the neighbor's properties.

IPTimelapse takes an image (still picture) every 10 seconds and saves each file in jpg format to a directory on my NAS that runs my weather website. It creates a timelapse of the 10-second images every hour and shows 2-hours' worth of images as a single video. Every hour it saves the video files in mp4 format to a directory on my NAS. At 11:50 PM each night, it creates a 24-hour timelapse from all the image files. All these settings are customizable in IPTimelapse. About 5GB worth of files are created each day. And while my server has about 2.3TB of free space, I wrote a script in Powershell that runs at 11:58 PM each night in Windows Task Scheduler to delete all 8,640 image files and all 24 video files from the previous day and move the 24-hour timelapse video to an archive folder. That way, I'm only storing about 23MB per day for each 24-hour mp4 file.

The live image and hourly timelapse is shown here: https://novawx.dscloud.me/wxcam.php and the archives can be accessed here: https://novawx.dscloud.me/2022-video-archive.php.

I hope someone thinking about adding a webcam to their weather website might find this summary useful.

Otis:
Yep Mike has been great for me too.  [tup]

davidmc36:
I grabbed one of those cameras a while back. Need to get up the tower for install. I also figured the POE was the way to go for something that will be relatively un-accessable.

I will most likely switch over to that one for my Metobridge image. Better view West of approaching weather.

davidmc36:
What do you mean when you say you installed the waterproof lid before taking it outside?

box:

--- Quote from: weatherdoc on February 25, 2022, 05:49:08 PM ---After years of wondering how to setup a webcam I took the dive. Trying to find one set of instructions was elusive, so after reading multiple posts in this topic area, I figured out a solution that worked for me. The key factor that convinced me to use this setup was the Power over Ethernet (PoE) capability in which the Ethernet cable can provide power and comm.

Hardware:

* REOLINK RLC-510A PoE IP Camera $55 (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08F568BH1/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1)

* TRENDnet Gigabit PoE Plus Injector $30 (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BK4W8TQ/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1)

* Cat 6 Ethernet Cable 50 ft White $11 (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00WD017GQ/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1)

Software:

* IPTimelapse PRO $79 (https://iptimelapse.com/)
I started by using the 7-day free trial of IPTimelapse and setup the camera and injector on my desk for a couple of days just to make sure everything worked. I needed the injector because my main switch was not PoE capable. First, I installed the Reolink software to setup the camera. The trickiest part of the setup was getting IPTimelapse to "find" the camera. The IPTimelapse website has a link to the iSpy Camera Connection Database (https://www.ispyconnect.com/cameras) in which you can look up your camera and generate a URL to enter into the IPTimelapse setup for the camera's URL on your home network that looks something like this: http://username:PASSWORD@192.168.1.xxx:80/cgi-bin/api.cgi?cmd=Snap&channel=0&user=username&password=PASSWORD. All I needed to provide in the URL was the username and password I setup in the Reolink software. It was easier than it sounds! Once I was confident that everything worked and I was satisfied with the IPTimelapse features, I purchased IPTimelapse and started the installation. Many thanks to Mike at IPTimelapse for answering several questions I had. I connected the Ethernet cable to the camera and installed the waterproof lid that came with the camera before climbing the ladder. Using the paper template from Reolink, I drilled the mounting holes in the molding on the southwest corner of my house and mounted the camera (camera1.jpg) about 12 feet off the ground. I mounted the camera just above two of my Arlo wireless security cameras (camera2.jpg). I tidied-up the Ethernet cable and the Reolink reset switch cable & optional power port cable with plastic ties and then attached the Ethernet cable to the molding with cable holders that came with the cable (camera3.jpg). I ran the Ethernet cable along the molding and attached it with the cable holders. I drilled a inch hole in the molding by the mechanical/communications room in the basement and fed the cable through the hole after protecting the Ethernet connector with electrical tape. I used exterior Mortite Caulking Cord to plug and waterproof the hole around the Ethernet cable. In the mechanical/communications room, I connected the injector's power cord to an UPS, the Ethernet cable to the main switch, and then plugged-in the camera's Ethernet cable (switch.jpg) to the injector. Finally, using the Reolink app on my phone, I went back outside and climbed the ladder to adjust the camera's position to get the best view facing southwest towards the field behind my house. Done! It wasn't nearly as hard as I imagined. Since my neighborhood homeowner's association has a policy about security cameras not viewing any neighbor's property, I used the crop feature in IPTimelapse to minimize any views of the neighbor's properties.

IPTimelapse takes an image (still picture) every 10 seconds and saves each file in jpg format to a directory on my NAS that runs my weather website. It creates a timelapse of the 10-second images every hour and shows 2-hours' worth of images as a single video. Every hour it saves the video files in mp4 format to a directory on my NAS. At 11:50 PM each night, it creates a 24-hour timelapse from all the image files. All these settings are customizable in IPTimelapse. About 5GB worth of files are created each day. And while my server has about 2.3TB of free space, I wrote a script in Powershell that runs at 11:58 PM each night in Windows Task Scheduler to delete all 8,640 image files and all 24 video files from the previous day and move the 24-hour timelapse video to an archive folder. That way, I'm only storing about 23MB per day for each 24-hour mp4 file.

The live image and hourly timelapse is shown here: https://novawx.dscloud.me/wxcam.php and the archives can be accessed here: https://novawx.dscloud.me/2022-video-archive.php.

I hope someone thinking about adding a webcam to their weather website might find this summary useful.

--- End quote ---
first thanks for your very detailed post

I have been contemplating something similar for a while and have just purchased a NAS which among other things I hope to run a website from

What software are you using on the NAS for your website and are you overlaying weather text with timelapse?

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