Friday, June 15, 2012

Cool Technology of the Week

Generally I write about a cool technology that I have personally tried. This week, I'm looking for advice.

With 12 chickens and 24 guinea hens in our coop, we're looking for a hen cam to keep an eye on our flock.

At they use high end Toshiba IK-WB15A network cameras hardwired to an ethernet connection and uploaded to a web server.

Our coop has power but is about 100 feet away from our WiFi hotspot (and a hardwired connection would be challenging). A wireless IP camera that is web accessible would be ideal.

Does anyone have experience with products from Foscam or Lorex?

A simple, outdoor wireless camera with reasonable resolution and remote web accessibility will do the trick!

I look forward to your comments about the cool wireless cameras you've implemented.


Anonymous said...

I have a friend who monitors dogs with a Panasonic network camera... this is his model:

He had just barely WiFi signal in the detached building, so getting this to work right required: 1) a wifi network extender like the Mac AirPort Express; and, 2) figuring out how to forward a port on his router (essentially poke a hole through the firewall so that he could control the camera from work).

If you can stomach the price ($350!) and these technical steps, this seems like a good, robust setup.

LD said...

I don't have a particular camera suggestion but I can suggest using an Apple Airport Express as a wired Ethernet to wireless bridge. I've found that many wireless cameras have quite terrible range and performance, though they perform fine when wired. So with our son I used the Airport to bridge a wired camera.

I've seen outdoor housings for the previous generation and generic ones exist also.

Goatman42 said...

Greetings Dr. Halamka,
I have a foscam FI8904W that I've been very happy with, although I have had some trouble with reception through heavy barn timbers. I've been able to address this by adding a strategically placed Range extender from Netgear (I believe it's a "wn200rpt"), although I have yet to get the feed live on the website, although the constraint there is a time management issue rather than a technical problem. Hope you and the family are enjoying the new homestead!
Best regards from Vermont!

Anonymous said...

I use Foscam cameras, both wireless and wired, in our house as a mix of security, nanny-cam, and infant baby monitor. Due to some sporadic research in Europe about WiFi and brain development, we hard-wire the kids rooms.

The cameras have a wide range of flexibility, night vision, alert set up, etc., and are very easily connected together to provide web-enabled views of all or some cameras at the same time.

The only catch is setting up the network to ensure Port Forwarding as well as setting up a static domain in which to port the data so it can be viewed outside of the network. Once the system is set up (and adding additional cameras is a breeze, thankfully), our entire house and property is able to be viewed remotely, from any internet-connected device.

Knowing that we have a 2 week adventure coming up, having a camera on my garden so I can remotely control the watering is cool, especially since I can pan and tilt and view each vegetable. As well, as soon as anyone approaches our front door, our camera will text me with a message, which will alert me to check on the house, and (if I so choose) I can talk through the camera to let the delivery/mail person to deliver to a neighbor.

Unknown said...

Chicken Surveillance: Avoiding hen diversion by foxes and raccoons is no less challenging than drug diversion in hospitals. The secret is not just watching it happen, but avoiding it. I recommend a combination of two simple, organic solutions. First, a solar powered motion sensitive spotlight. Second, an alpaca. Your chickens, and you, will rest easy.

Good luck in the hen house.

Anonymous said...

Have a Foscam. Not the most "fancy" webcam... the interface is a little quirky, but it has been reliable and you can't beat the price!

Unknown said...

How about a wired IP camera using a solution such as PowerLine?

Anonymous said...

I have the foscam camera to monitor a second home. it works. not the best interface but very good value for the money....

Anonymous said...

Dr. Halamka,

I was also going to suggest that perhaps a wireless repeater or range extender could benefit your setup.


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