Wireless security camera and interface

MRL

Active Member
Now that my Elk M1 / CADDX is up and running I would like to install 3 outside wireless cameras. I currently own and am experimenting with HomeSeer, Main Lobby and CQC and have not decided as to which combination will be the HTPC/Automation platform. I would like to capture the video from the cameras. It would be next to impossible to run wires from the cameras to where the PC is, so wireless is pretty much a necessity. I know I need some kind of RF receiver for the cameras and a PC capture card. Other than that I am clueless as to what I need and how to interface it all. I did see somewhere there is a motion detector/camera combination that sounds interesting. My house backs to a dense woods and I plan to have 2 cameras in the back. My vegetable garden has been attacked by various animals (I suspect a raccoon or red fox - I do not believe the white-tailed deer can get through the fence) and I would love to see just who the culprits are. Since the back of my house is so hidden, I worry about an intruder coming from the woods. The rear security cameras will give me more peace of mind.
I would appreciate any guidance.
 

IVB

Senior Member
The animals could be coming at night, which means you need IR LEDs to illuminate. Those low-light cameras aren't always the best.

That motion/CCTV is more for covert purposes than anything else; with my recent vast & deep expertise in this arena, I'd think you want something like that original camera I have, which has IR LEDs built-in.

There are wireless transmitters that can take the output from that and send anywhere, so all you'd need is power in that location. Those xmitters typically have a base station, and I think that's what plugs into your PC card. I saw some of those xmitters here, each of them has a details page complete with pics.
 

MRL

Active Member
I'd think you want something like that original camera I have, which has IR LEDs built-in.
I think I can run wires to where the front camera will be installed. What is the model of your camera and what other hardware is necessary? What video capture card and software are you using? I think I'll start with a wired camera and worry about the wireless cameras later.
 

Rupp

Senior Member
MRL,
Just as a point of reference, I use the elcheapo X10 wireless cameras because I too couldn't run wires for my cameras. I then tried expensive wireless cameras ($300 -$400) and they didn't work any better. If the distance to your camera is more than 20-30 feet through walls and exterior materials then you need to figure out a way to run wire. Here is my page for my X10 cameras so you can see how a wireless camera will work out of the box. I use HomeSeer's web server to serve these. I also have a streaming page as well but this is the best view with the least amount of interference. My wireless network and cordless phones both interfere.
http://RuppWorld.com select Home Automation and login as guest/guest then select the Cameras(X10) link. The Front Lawn camera is off line and the deck camera is failing but you can at least get an idea what wireless x10 cameras offer.
 

MRL

Active Member
My wireless network and cordless phones both interfere.
I have both cordless phones and 802.11g WiFi. I guess I need to think about getting wires to the outside. I want to have 3 cameras that I can view simultaneously and that will function in very low light situations. It might take about 100 feet of wire to get from the PC to the 2 rear cameras. What are the recommendations for low light cameras and a PC video display/capture card? I have been looking on SmartHome.com but have absolutely no experience in this area. I do own HomeSeer and have been trying the Elk M1 plugin.
 

MRL

Active Member
Are you wanting to view on camera at a time or multiple?
I would like to have all 3 images displaying simultaneously - unless that reduces the image clarity. What video capture card is recommended?
 

IVB

Senior Member
That's the card I have. Fair warning: The diginet software takes over your machine, i've been unable to get anything else to work. I know others have, i know some others haven't.

For me, that wasn't an issue as I wanted to seperate the CCTV server anyhow, but it may be for you.
 
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