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Thread: IP camera woes

  1. #1
    amateur expert dugimodo's Avatar
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    Angry IP camera woes

    I'm feeling cursed lately and hoping there's someone with experience setting up cameras around this forum. After my bike was stolen from my garage I decided to get some security cameras.

    First I installed a video doorbell I had received as a gift some time ago and not got around to installing. It was a cheap imitation of a ring video doorbell and an absolute pain to set up.
    It worked ok for a week or so and hasn't worked since, I've given up on that one after every test I can think of. The last image it recorded was early february. I don't care about this one, it was almost useless even when it did work.

    Next I bought an Edimax 720P outdoor wifi bullet camera. It actually is working but the software is horrible, the picture quality is mediocre, and the colours are all messed up, grass and trees are pink.
    It also is too low res to read a number plate in the driveway where cars normally stop.

    Frustrated with that I bought a Xiaomi Mi 360 indoor camera with pan and tilt, got it friday, set it up, worked great. Sunday I tried a few locations before deciding where I wanted it and mounted it properly. Since then it only works for a few minutes after a power reset at best. I hard reset it and started over, worked for about an hour then stopped again. I can connect to the camera, move it around with pan and tilt, playback video files stored on the micro SD card on it, but the live feed just sits there "preparing to play" forever. I reset the router, the camera, my phone, changed the wifi channels, checked the signal strength, nothing works.

    Looks like I'm going to have to return this camera but I'm looking for suggestions. Are there any router settings that might block a video stream?
    Tonight I plan to turn off every wifi device I own and test it with just the camera and the phone. Not hopeful but worth a crack (signal strength reported form the camera is 94%).
    I'm also getting paranoid that someone is hijacking my camera feed so I'm going to test with the ont disconnected and see if it works like that - but I don't know how these cameras work remotely so I'm not sure if an internet connection is needed?
    Ryzen 2700X, 16Gb DDR4RAM, 512GB M.2 NVME SSD, MSI GTX1070

  2. #2
    Senior Member 1101's Avatar
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    Default Re: IP camera woes

    Quote Originally Posted by dugimodo View Post
    I'm also getting paranoid that someone is hijacking my camera feed ......
    Cheap IP Cameras are well known security risks when you open ports for them (or they upnp to open ports themselves)

  3. #3
    amateur expert dugimodo's Avatar
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    Default Re: IP camera woes

    Quote Originally Posted by 1101 View Post
    Cheap IP Cameras are well known security risks when you open ports for them (or they upnp to open ports themselves)
    Yeah I've heard that, but even so it should still work locally yeah? Not opening a port would kill half the usefulness of these devices but I have not done any manual settings so it would have to be upnp.
    The bandwidth needed by a single stream is only 80-150 KB/s so no big deal.
    Ryzen 2700X, 16Gb DDR4RAM, 512GB M.2 NVME SSD, MSI GTX1070

  4. #4
    Senior Member baabits's Avatar
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    Default Re: IP camera woes

    Quote Originally Posted by dugimodo View Post
    Yeah I've heard that, but even so it should still work locally yeah? Not opening a port would kill half the usefulness of these devices but I have not done any manual settings so it would have to be upnp.
    The bandwidth needed by a single stream is only 80-150 KB/s so no big deal.
    At my house I have a full Ubiquiti set up (smart plugs, router, switches, APs, cameras and lights); I bought mostly pros coz it gets cold here in the winter, but I have a few of the flex model and they work great too. They are a bit more expensive but you can firewall them off to Ubiquiti's servers for cloud access. You can either buy a cloudkey Gen 2 plus which can act as an NVR, or use their Unifi Video software on a PC. The interface is really simple, the motion detection works perfectly, the picture quality is good enough and the Cloud access is secure because Ubiquiti act as the middle man between- no need to open any ports.

    100% recommend them, attached a couple of screenshots below:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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  5. #5
    amateur expert dugimodo's Avatar
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    Default Re: IP camera woes

    Thanks I might consider doing something like that next year, for now I was just trying to get somehting cheap and easy going and have utterly failed.
    I had a look at some ubiquity cameras and it's a bit of a step up price wise as well.

    Part of my issue is my house has no ceiling and my walls have no cavities and are made from solid triboard so there is no easy way to wire up POE cameras.
    Because of this I was looking at wifi cameras and easy installation. The Edimax camera is mounted on the Garage and connected via powerline adapters, just because the shed is easy to run cables through.
    Tonight I might upload a picture to show why I'm unhappy with that one.
    Ryzen 2700X, 16Gb DDR4RAM, 512GB M.2 NVME SSD, MSI GTX1070

  6. #6
    amateur expert dugimodo's Avatar
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    Default Re: IP camera woes

    Well I turned off everything on my network and a few things that weren't, just left the router and the camera. No joy. But I did get a 103 Mbps speedtest on 5ghz wifi though which is a personal best so that's something. I guess.
    2.4 ghz however tested at 40 Mbps right next to the camera, still more than enough. I guess I have to start on returning it.

    Here's the one camera I bought that does work at it's best quality setting. Very disappointing Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #7
    Senior Member Paul.Cov's Avatar
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    Default Re: IP camera woes

    Personally, I think any camera operating on batteries or WiFi is a total waste of time. Go wired, or don't bother, but even then, my own system still makes reading number plates a challenge. Odd that the human brain can easily decifer faces from these images, but can't interpret a number plate.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Paul.Cov's Avatar
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    Default Re: IP camera woes

    Another thought re camera positioning... when the sun is at a low angle it can bleach out all the colours, and leave you with nothing more than a black and white silhouette. Give some thought to the seasonal movement of the sun before you settle on a location and start drilling holes.

    Similarly, moving shadows (pedestrians / trees) from a low sun angle can set the motion detection off. Capturing the perimeter of buildings is more important, and less troublesome than capturing open outdoor areas with fences, trees and lawn.

  9. #9
    amateur expert dugimodo's Avatar
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    Default Re: IP camera woes

    As I explained wired is not really an option at the moment or I would. My house presents some real challenges with any kind of wiring.
    To get the shed camera working I used a power over ethernet connection to an old router repurposed as a switch/access point, then ran an ethernet cable to the camera from that.
    Also gives me wifi in the shed.

    Took both cameras back to PBtech last night, got the new one replaced and the other one sent back under warranty and I'm awaiting an outcome.
    So far the replacement is working flawlessly but it needs to go another day to beat the performance of the first one.

    I do find myself wondering what's the point.
    Ryzen 2700X, 16Gb DDR4RAM, 512GB M.2 NVME SSD, MSI GTX1070

  10. #10
    Senior Member 1101's Avatar
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    Default Re: IP camera woes

    Quote Originally Posted by dugimodo View Post
    .

    I do find myself wondering what's the point.
    Deterrent value . Thats all they are good for.

    Or watching the recorded vids of crims wander off with your stuff .
    Too late by then. Nothing really happens when they are caught , I know that from once having car theives as neighbors : cops did bugger all

    Put them somewhere that theives will easily see them.

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