Just got a new IR pan-tilt-zoom camera for the backyard that looks something
I'd like to mount it on the corner of the house (brick) so that it can "see"
along the rear wall and the side wall. With a standard wall mount placed on
the center of a wall you only get to see along a 180 degree arc but by
locating at the corner, you can see 270 degrees.
The problem is that the only mounts I can find are preposterously expensive
and consist of only a bent and pre-drilled sheet of stainless (I hope)
Anyway, I thought I would consult the home repair "brain trust" to see if
anyone had any cheaper ideas 'cause I ain't spending more than half of what
I paid for the camera (under $200 from Hong Kong via Ebay) for no stinkin'
bent piece of SS. I will be going to Home Depot later today to see if they
have any outdoor lamp brackets I can repurpose.
I've been thinking I can make something serviceable out of plywood and some
angle iron I have in the scrap bin and paint it a brick color so it wouldn't
stand out too much. But I thought I'd check with youse guys first. :-)
Have you tried it out indoor first? If you got a generic no name camera,
be aware tech support on it is near none. Try it first B4 you
mount it. I have some experience with these cameras running 3 of them
7/24 wireless connected to surveillance station on my Synology NAS.
Sadly I don't have the wide mouthed vise I'd need to do that sort of work
and make it look passable enough to hang on the wall. That Amazon Prime
1-click shopping is seductive. If I needed more than one, I'd get the
equipment from Harbor Freight but for a one-off, I am quite happy with what
CRNG found for me.
Although I have been frugal all my life, my ingrate kids will be surprised
to find I am now quite willing to leave them all my old socks and nothing
more. I figure if you die with money in the bank, you did something wrong.
:-) $35 for a bracket? No sweat!
Thanks again, CRNG, it will be here on Wednesday and the camera should be
fully tested and ready to mount by the weekend. There were a number of
other likely candidates, but the reviewers complained that the unit you
found was way too big and robust - but that's exactly what I wanted!!! The
camera weighs in at 15 to 20 pounds. I am afraid it might even pull away
from the bricks so I am going to drill two more mounting holes on the side
just to be sure. Six of those blue plastic coated anchors whose name I
always forget ought to do it.
This will help keep the neighbor's kids where they belong and not climbing
my fence and into my trees to retrieve their lost soccer balls. What was it
that Dufas used to joke about? "Hey you kids, GET OFF MY LAWN!!!!"
But seriously, a neighbor had a local no-goodnik kid climb into their yard
and up a tree, fall, banged his head on a small rock and broke his arm and
the kids parent's SUED HIM!!!!! The fallout has being going on for almost
two years now and even involved the county inspectors screwing with him.
IMHO, the kid should have been sent to juvie for trespassing!!!!! It looks
like his sue-happy parents will be getting a nice fat check from my bud's
home insurance company instead. What a world.
I found a PTZ control program for my PC that alleges it will follow a
person's motion if you zoom in on them. Since this camera's lens is exposed
(not in a mirrored dome like most non-IR cams) they'll know they're being
watched and might even think I am at the controls. Hopefully they'll be
freaked enough to play on the other side of the yard and screw with THOSE
neighbors. The documents say the IR is good to 60M. I am betting that they
really mean 20M. :-)
P.S. Speaking of the Daring Dufas, anyone got any updates on his
whereabouts? I've been away for (a glorious) summer vacation in the Finger
Lakes of NY (no global warming there) so I might have missed any recent
posts about DD.
I learned a lesson from the Hubble. Test it out on the ground BEFORE you
This is my second, direct from China no-name PTZ camera. The first cost
about $200 and compared in specs to cameras retailing here for $600. The
risk paid off in that case and its been running - fairly light duty, no
continuous panning, for almost five years. This one is a little different
since the camera is not under a mirrored dome (IR capability makes that very
hard to do in an enclosed dome) so more parts are exposed to the weather.
At under $200 its again worth the risk since I've worked with other PTZ
cameras (Panasonics that have an INCREDIBLE amount of electronics and servos
squeezed into a soup can sized enclosure). Those units, although they have
impressive specs (360 degree pans in under 1 sec as opposed to 20 degrees
per second on the no names) were always failing (too many electronics and
heat in too small an enclosure.
These "straight from China" PTZ cams are large and easily worked on if they
fail but it will probably be stolen before then. Task for today is to set
it up in the basement on a test stand where I can make it dark enough to
test the IR function.
Somehow, I feel more comfortable not expecting good tech support and not
getting it than I do EXPECTING good tech support (and paying for it in the
price of the item) and STILL not getting it.
????? kamsahamnida, Tony
Ko map sup nida, SH. I am fan of Vivotek cameras. Cost about 2-3 times
than consumer models but image quality and stability is superb for the
price. My NAS is on 7/24 so alarm triggered recording is on going real
time. I watch many wild life coming by like deer, bear, porcupine,
rabbits, birds, squirrels in the yard. PTZ speed can be adjusted often
and if you program patrol mode the camera will scan horizontally
vertically as programmed and when alarm triggers zoom will wake up.
You can program it to follow the moving object as well.
Good camera with optical zoom is worthwhile. I never tried RS(serial)
connected ones, always wireless IP ones I use. I don't want to run POE
cables. There is open source program called iSPY, I wonder if you can
try it with your set up.
One's on order from Amazon thanks to CRNG (including a great clamp to the
table-top LCD monitor arm that appeared in the search results, too). That
CRNG knows how to spend my money almost as well as my wife!!!
I scoped out the angle of view. My last camera bit me because I installed
it mid-winter. By the end of spring, a lot of trees had leafed out and
blocked a lot of the view. This time we're doing it the other way around.
Install when it's fully leafed out and be pleasantly surprised in the
They'd have to climb to the second story and dismount it from the brickwork.
I was considered grinding the screw heads (philips) after installing, but I
know who that's most likely to screw - ME!
Every year when my wife goes to visit her sister I keep myself locked up
inside the house for a few days with my Mossberg within easy reach and let
the mail and the newspaper pile up on the porch. Haven't caught me a
stinking lowlife yet, but I did get a coupla lookie-lous one year that I
really thought were going to come back to rip something off. I think the
cameras (and the alarm stickers and lights) make them look for easier
targets. I consider it a form of a hunting vacation without the black
flies, sleeping bags, MREs and mosquitoes.
This year I am adding some new bait. The empty box of my new 50" LED TV
filled with bricks. That's GOT to attract me some theiving bastards. I can
hear them sqealing now after they hear the first pump: "We were just going
to take it inside our house for you to protect it from rain and theives."
Then I'll say "You have ten seconds to run . . . one, two, three TEN!"
The UPS guy says that nine times out of ten, its low life neighbors that
I am the one getting the benefit! If I hadn't asked here I'd be hanging off
a ladder with a heavy drill wondering why the drill wasn't getting anywhere
in 75 year old brick! I am hoping that I will eventually be able to post
some interesting videos of the all the nocturnal critters that I know live
in the backyard or cross through it at some point. And maybe even my
neighbor's distraught faces as the camera tracks them around. I asked them
nice, several times, not to go fence hopping and tree climbing. Now they
get the perpetual staring eye of the robot head as their reward.
The only reason I got approval to hang yet another camera on the house is
the ongoing lawsuit with the juvenile deliquent that broke his arm and
banged his head TRESPASSING in a neighbor's yard. I learned something very
interesting from that incident. Your homeowners insurance can decide to
settle with someone making a claim even if you are 100% opposed to settling.
Another reason I got approval is that its in the backyard where few people
will see it. The other PTZ is embedded in the front porch roof (that was an
excuse to by a Rotozip!) so that only the dome shows. Much less obtrusive
but the side porch is on the wrong side from the bad neighbors. So it goes.
I thought about strapping it to a big tree in the yard, but was afraid I'd
get reported to the tree hugging police for tree enslavement or some other
I assume he meant just to "light it up" and test it out to make sure it
functions inside. I just began that process and so far the self-test
process was performed correctly. Now to drag a monitor downstairs to see if
it actually puts out an image and is controllable through the RS-485
Some interesting points. This is the first time I ever saw a PC-type "D"
style cord with three pins opposite the wall plug end that was wired with
only a two prong - ungrounded - line cord. I guess they save .2 cents doing
that. I don't think it's an issue because only DC power goes to the unit
outside but still, I have never seen anything like it.
Then I thought the IR LEDS were not working until I realized that the unit
is equipped with a small photocell that shuts off the IR LEDS during
daytime. That's good because I learned with a sealed IR bullet cam that the
LEDS have a long life but when sealed up and running 24 by 7 they do fail.
The bulletcam I had went dark when just one of the LEDS burned out. I
opened it up, replaced the burned out one and apparently destroyed the
moisture sealed because it fogged up soon afterward and never unfogged
despite many attempts to fix it.
The pan and tilt motors are wisper quiet but like my other El-cheapo PTZ
camera, the panning speed is about 20 degrees a second. Oddly enough I
bought a small, cheap Zmodo pan and tilt only camera (no zoom) for the side
of the house (very small and inconspicous) and it does a complete circuit in
less than 2 seconds. Once you get used to having a zoom, a P and T only
camera seems inadequate.
Now to find the joystick PTZ controller and a long BNC to RCA cable so I can
track the cat in the basement in the dark. What fun.
FWIW, I normally use an IR handheld remote to controller an IR PTZ
controller. I bought several and two have crapped out over the years so I
went to get a replacement. They have a newer model out for $45 with lots of
bells an whistles but a search of the net revealed a place in Hong Kong
selling the old style for $14.25 each with free shipping. So with a little
patience I get three of what I really want - units compatible with the
existing remotes (they didn't fail) for the price of a single newer one with
a different remote key layout. If anyone is interested its:
RS 485 Wireless Remote Controller for PTZ Camera
Lots of features and functions - very happy with the ones I have other than
the two control units failing but for $14.25 that's acceptable since I also
get new remotes with each replacement. I have a huge joystick controller
that I bought before I knew what I was doing that's great for testing but
only useful if you're sitting in front of a bank of CCTV cameras all day.
The other nice thing about the wireless (IR, not through walls, alas)
controller is that I taught the PTZ codes to my learning remote so I can
switch the TV to HDMI 3 (where the CCTV recorder is routed - a Swann 8
channel unit with 1TB internal disk) and then control the PTZ cams from the
universal remote. Very slick!
Interestingly enough, I looked at some cameras with similar specs from
places like Supercircuits and I am fairly sure they are the same cameras
only marked up 400% to 600%!!!! My experience with Supercircuits tech
support on a 4ch DVR I bought from them was clearly not worth that sort of
mark up premium.
Also, I have been quite surprised at how well some merchants from China and
Hong Kong understand and write English and have been able to make my
technical issues understood and get solved. Much better than my Chinese!!!
FWIW, the camera is sitting in the basement, plugged in and running and will
keep running (burning in) until I mount it this weekend. Building PC's
taught me a lot about electronics - especially letting brand new stuff run
before you seal it up and shit er ship it out <g> or in this case mount it
on the second story outside wall. I have it set on endless pan for
tonight - tomorrow I will program a "tour" to see if it can continually hit
it's marks without drifting - a well-known issue with cheaper servo
Still, I am sure you have been burned like me in that everything works UNTIL
you put the case on!!!! Lets hope it still works when its launched into
space and doesn't do a Hubble on me. >< (fingers crossed) I am worried
about weather issues since this unit is not under a porch and the
mechanicals are not enclosed in a dome because of the IR LEDS. Lordy I do
love me some new toys!!!!
I am running 3 cameras outside, 7/24 hooked up to surveillance station
on Synology NAS. I have Vivotek ones two fixed focus, one is PTZ. Never
had any trouble in hot summer or cold winter days(like -35C) Image
quality is excellent. I record alarm triggered images and store it for a
week and dump it. I can watch my cameras any where if there is a 'net
SWMBO - the authority from which there is no appeal! (I suppose if I had
been dumb enough to buy a house controlled by an HOA they would be giving me
trouble but I learned a long time ago that tyranny is alive and well in
HOA's across the nation and to NEVER buy a house where my fascist neighbors
get to tell me what I can and cannot do).
Nice setup, particulary the remote viewing. I am finally going to get an
iPhone for Christmas (so I am told) which is supposed to be able to do the
same anywhere there is cell phone access.
The older PTZ has both a fan and a heater controlled thermostatically. The
new seems not to, though I haven't yet looked, although the documentation I
received wasn't real specific to the camera I bought, so who knows?
I *still* haven't hooked it up completely but I noticed only two IR LEDS are
lighting up. That could be due to a lot of things and I have delayed
installation by a week (or more) until I figure it out. I suspect that the
IR output is modulated by the brightness of the image on the CCD sensor.
Will take hooking up a monitor and controller to find out.
Ironically the two LEDs that light up REALLY make it look like an angry
robot head staring at you. Just what I want for the impolite neighbors.
For now, I am just plugging and unplugging it so that it resets and runs
through the intial lock-to-lock pan and tilt. I just haven't had the time to
do it right.
I looked at the mortar where I want to hang it and danged if Vic wasn't
right. I really should redo it at that particular location because the
mortar "washout" is pretty bad (right near the gutter that occasionally
overflows in really severe rainstorms). I am worried that the corner of the
house will really expose the unit to a lot of wind-driven rain. I am
thinking of testing it with a spray from a garden hose before mounting it
(and while it's still under warranty - of sorts).
I say "of sorts" because shipping things BACK to Hong Kong or China is close
to prohibitively expensive. Fedex economy service is about the cheapest
because they idle shipments at their wharehouse until one of their planes
isn't filled with items that have been shipped at normal cost.
Having to return something to China/Hong Kong is a far more troubling risk
than not getting good technical support and I've had to eat more than one
DOA item that would have cost more to return than it was worth.
I prefer motion detect cameras because they will help be when there is
anything in backyard. And you can easily get alert when somebody try to
get in you yard from rare wall.
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