X10 Community Forum

📸Cameras & Camera Software => Legacy non Wi-Fi X10 Cameras => Camera General Discussion => Wireless Cameras(non IP) => Topic started by: Chris S. on October 08, 2006, 02:00:22 PM

Title: Alternative Camera to replace NightWatch Wireless Low-Light B/W Video Camera
Post by: Chris S. on October 08, 2006, 02:00:22 PM
I bought the Wireless Low-Light B/W camera some time ago to capture small animals
that frequent my backyard at night time. I had also setup video recording which allowed me to observe the animals behavior and times during the evening and the early hours of the morning.
I used a 25w yellow bulb that is mounted on my shed to provide some light, but not enough to deter the animals coming around.
Below is a video that I had taken some time ago of a Possum mulling around.
The quality is not very good, which some of us have already experience.


I really wanted a true IR Night Vision camera that would be compatible with AHP/iWitness. I wanted the ability to leverage the VA11A USB/Video adapter that
I bought from X10, along with the VR36A receiver.
The frequencies that the VR36A supports for the 4 channels are;
A-2.411 GHZ 
B-2.434 
C-2.453 
D-2.473 

The camera that I purchased was the Swann Night Hawk Wireless Outdoor Camera with Night Vision. You can either buy the camera alone for about $70.00, or with the Swann wireless receiver for about $150.00.
The receiver supports 4 channels using the following frequencies;
CH1 = 2414MHz
CH2 = 2450MHz
CH3 = 2432MHz
CH4 = 2468MHz
    
I was initially concerned that the Swann camera would not be compatible with the X10 Video Receiver, so I ended up buying Swann Camera and Receiver package at Circuit City (Online) for $150.00.
As it turns out, the Swann camera is compatible with the X10 video receiver.


Pros:
True Night Vision Camera with IR LEDS that automatically illuminate depending on the amount of natural or artificial light the camera senses. During daylight, the LEDS are off
Compatible with X10 Video Receiver and iWitness.

Cons:
You lose the ability to Pan and Tilt if using the Robotic mount.
You cannot shut off camera, unless you use and X10 Lamp module.

Both videos below were using iWitness and the VA11A USB Video Capture adapter and the VR36A X10 Video reciever.

Video of X10 NightWatch Wireless Low-Light B/W:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3au60amoaQ


Video of SWANN SW-P-WOC 2.4 GHz Outdoor Camera with Day/Night Iris:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNoK6qmRuKQ

So now I have a true night vision wireless camera that is compatible with X10 and
Video recording.  I may at some point modify the X10 B/W camera to be an infrared camera (I’ve seen posts on this mod on the web), but would have to add my own IR light source.

Until then, the Swann camera setup is working great.


PS.
The Swann video that I had recorded of the Possum, still has the 25watt bulb, although it is not needed.
I have viewed the camera image without any light source other than the IR LEDS, and everything is crystal clear.
The 25watt bulb is for me to observe with my own eyes out the back window.


Title: Re: Alternative Camera to replace NightWatch Wireless Low-Light B/W Video Camera
Post by: Chris S. on October 25, 2006, 10:31:56 PM
I thought I would send another update since I first posted my results using the Swann Night Hawk wireless camera.
AHP / iWitness recorded this roof rat at around 8:30pm.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhMH5D2B64M
Title: Re: Alternative Camera to replace NightWatch Wireless Low-Light B/W Video Camera
Post by: Dew on October 30, 2006, 02:10:14 PM
Thanks for sharing this. I'm also not too pleased with the results of the X10 low light cameras and was looking for another alternative. Is it possible to post what it might look like without your 25watt light burning.

Thanks again.

Dew
Title: Re: Alternative Camera to replace NightWatch Wireless Low-Light B/W Video Camera
Post by: Chris S. on November 01, 2006, 11:36:25 AM
Here are 2 iWitness Snapshots that I took using the Swann Night Hawk Wireless Camera.

Snapshot of Coke Can with 25w Light off to the Right
(http://i12.tinypic.com/2h69c9d.jpg)


Snapshot of Coke Can with no light other than the IR light from Camera
(http://i11.tinypic.com/483a1ed.jpg)

When I bought the Swann Camera, I decided to buy the Camera/Receiver package.
I am using X10's Video Receiver with the iWitness setup, but I also have the Swann Video Receiver
on my TV as a monitor.  The resolution on the TV is much better than the resolution on the Snapshots or video
stored on the Computer.

When I get a chance, I'll reposition the camera to record me as I walk across the back yard, which would
probably be a better example of real conditions that someone would use the camera.
Might give a better idea as to the range of the IR LEDS on the Camera.


My camera is approx 4 feet from the Coke Can.
Title: Re: Alternative Camera to replace NightWatch Wireless Low-Light B/W Video Camera
Post by: Dew on November 01, 2006, 01:04:48 PM
This is very helpful Chris. Thankyou.
I would be interested in seeing a pics of you (or someone) walking in front of the camera at night.
Cheers,
Title: Re: Alternative Camera to replace NightWatch Wireless Low-Light B/W Video Camera
Post by: HA Dave on November 08, 2006, 08:12:30 PM
I thought I would send another update since I first posted my results using the Swann Night Hawk wireless camera.
AHP / iWitness recorded this roof rat at around 8:30pm.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhMH5D2B64M


Gee thanks Chris S.  I followed your link... and spent 2 hours on YouTube. By the way... have you seen the X10 here group, or entered the X10 video contest?
Title: Re: Alternative Camera to replace NightWatch Wireless Low-Light B/W Video Camera
Post by: KDR on November 08, 2006, 08:26:58 PM
Another affordable IR camera is http://www.astak.com
Walmart has some of these in the store and I was able to use AHP and iWitness with it as well. They have one that they say is good to 40' that I may try.

Title: Re: Alternative Camera to replace NightWatch Wireless Low-Light B/W Video Camera
Post by: HA Dave on November 08, 2006, 08:56:40 PM
Another affordable IR camera is http://www.astak.com
Walmart has some of these in the store and I was able to use AHP and iWitness with it as well. They have one that they say is good to 40' that I may try.



I use the wired Astak IR Cam (CM-612W). I easily get forty feet of good vision, and I do like the Cam. It's mount has very limited adjustment, so I couldn't place it where I had hoped. I hadn't read anywhere that it uses the (I think) "lower band" of IR ... which means it's IR LED's actually glow RED.
If I was to do it over (and I likely will) I would have used a low light (X10) and seperate IR light source.
Title: Re: Alternative Camera to replace NightWatch Wireless Low-Light B/W Video Camera
Post by: Chris S. on November 11, 2006, 11:49:14 AM
Dave_x10_L
Sorry to hear that you got lost in YouTube land, that's happened to me a few times  ;D

You had mentioned that you might get an IR light source for your X10 B/W lowlight camera.
My understanding is, that this will not work withought modifying the lens on the lowlight camera,
I could be wrong, if you test this and it works, please let us know.
Here is a link for a IR light.
http://shop1.outpost.com/product/3609645#detailed

The following 2 links are for modding a webcam to view objects that are illuminated from an IR light source.
http://www.hoagieshouse.com/IR/
http://www.badacetechshow.com/nvc.htm

As far as entering the X10 video contest, I think X10 would prefer that the video I entered was
created using  100% X10 products.
But I did promise Dew a video recording of myself at night time from a respectable distance from the
IR emitter and camera.

KDR
I was looking at the cameras at Astak, and the cameras look very similar to the Swann cameras.

Glad to here that wireless cameras are becoming mainstream products, enough where Walmart is
carring them.

Glad to see some feedback/comments to this post.

The fact that there are alternative camera devices that provide functionality (true Night Vision) that
an X10 camera does not provide at the same price, but that is compatible with the X10 software,
is really a very encouraging feature of the X10 software.

I realize that X10 provides a true Night Vision device (The Sentinel Camera)
but for my needs, I am hard presses to shell out 5 or 6 hundred dollars.

These alternative IR cameras sell for $80 or less.

Nothing wrong with identifying alternative additions to our X10 setup,
but still able to leverage the X10 software.
Title: Re: Alternative Camera to replace NightWatch Wireless Low-Light B/W Video Camera
Post by: HA Dave on November 11, 2006, 12:21:08 PM
Dave_x10_L
Sorry to hear that you got lost in YouTube land, that's happened to me a few times  ;D

You had mentioned that you might get an IR light source for your X10 B/W lowlight camera.
My understanding is, that this will not work withought modifying the lens on the lowlight camera,
I could be wrong, if you test this and it works, please let us know.


I love YouTube! Those short little videos sure add up to some real time though.

I just checked my wired low light X10 camera! What I did was:  Turned the camera on, and displayed it's image (the garage) on the TV. Then I asked my wife to watch the TV and let me know what she saw. I took my (cable company provided) IR remote with me to the garage.

My wife reported seeing me flash a light at the camera!
Title: Re: Alternative Camera to replace NightWatch Wireless Low-Light B/W Video Camera
Post by: tjdavj on November 11, 2006, 01:19:12 PM
Quote
I realize that X10 provides a true Night Vision device (The Sentinel Camera)

Just an update on the Vanguard/Sentinel cameras.  While they do offer very low light sensitivity (.2 lux stated), they are by NO means "True Night Vision" cameras. I have had both cameras, and they perform identically under the same conditions, and they both require some form of light the see anything when it's truly dark.  This is less of a problem in populated areas, as there is enough ambient light for the camera, But I live in the country, and when it's dark, it's dark, and I'm unable to see anything without a secondary light source. I will be experimenting with a couple of different high power IR sources in the near future and will report back on the outcome of these tests.

Title: Re: Alternative Camera to replace NightWatch Wireless Low-Light B/W Video Camera
Post by: HA Dave on November 11, 2006, 01:49:58 PM
Quote
I will be experimenting with a couple of different high power IR sources in the near future and will report back on the outcome of these tests.

I read somewhere... I think this forum.... of a guy using IR LED floodlights ($128 ea).

And your right tjdavj about the country/city difference!

I am from the country....now live in the city. I do run a few landscape lights all around my house, but with that tiny extra light, I can see my entire yard out the windows when my inside lights are off.
Title: Re: Alternative Camera to replace NightWatch Wireless Low-Light B/W Video Camera
Post by: KDR on November 11, 2006, 03:32:34 PM
Dave... I just got the CM-612W $58 for the kit. I think its a very well made cam. Nice metal body and I like the fact that the 100 foot cable also carries the power wire for the cam. Its rated at 0 Lux and says it has a range of 20 feet. (waiting for night to check it out)

I centered the base on the top of a ninja and drilled 3 small holes to mount it. Works great. I also noticed that you can flip its mount to the top side if you were going to mount it upside down. Plan on getting a few more for the price.
Title: Re: Alternative Camera to replace NightWatch Wireless Low-Light B/W Video Camera
Post by: HA Dave on November 11, 2006, 05:09:50 PM
Dave... I just got the CM-612W $58 for the kit. I think its a very well made cam. Nice metal body and I like the fact that the 100 foot cable also carries the power wire for the cam. Its rated at 0 Lux and says it has a range of 20 feet. (waiting for night to check it out)

Yep thats it. I think you'll like the cam too. I had never thought of mounting it on ninja... great idea. I actually buried the cable, it's been underground for several months now.

Though I REALLY like the X10 cams... it is nice to be able to "look around" the outside from my easy chair... without turning on my floodlight (X10). I really wish I had thought to put it on a ninja.

Please let me know what you think!
Title: Re: Alternative Camera to replace NightWatch Wireless Low-Light B/W Video Camera
Post by: TakeTheActive on November 11, 2006, 06:11:30 PM
For those of you (like me ;) ) who wished that KDR had provided a LINK :o :

Astak CM-612W: Weatherproof Night Vision Color  Security Camera (http://www.astak.com/products/wired-CM-612W.htm)

8)

[Color formatting compliments of Puck via earlier PM.]
Title: Re: Alternative Camera to replace NightWatch Wireless Low-Light B/W Video Camera
Post by: tjdavj on November 11, 2006, 06:12:39 PM
As a side note to this thread, has anyone tried just removing the IR filter then viewing the video? It seems like that way you could get full color video if you have enough light, and still be able to view the IR spectrum when light levels drop.
Title: Re: Alternative Camera to replace NightWatch Wireless Low-Light B/W Video Camera
Post by: KDR on November 11, 2006, 07:35:20 PM
TTA sorry for the no link to that cam. (thanks for adding it) However I did post earlier in the thread the link to their main page. The cam does a good job in total darkness. I will get some pics and post them back to this thread.

Since there are no additional posts I will add my pic onto this one.

(http://www.bdshost.com/X10/porch.jpg)

The camera is about 16 feet from the door. There is no outside light coming in on the porch, only the IR from the camera. The walls are painted white.
Title: Re: Alternative Camera to replace NightWatch Wireless Low-Light B/W Video Camera
Post by: tjdavj on November 11, 2006, 08:14:08 PM
KDR,

That's pretty darn impressive. It even looks like it has more detail [better imaging] than the X10 cameras.

Thanks for the post.
Title: Re: Alternative Camera to replace NightWatch Wireless Low-Light B/W Video Camera
Post by: HA Dave on November 11, 2006, 08:38:54 PM
That's pretty darn impressive. It even looks like it has more detail [better imaging] than the X10 cameras.
Yep thats about what I would expect from my CM-612W also. And yes... they do have a clear image. Though mine always looks a little faded.... if thats the correct term.
Title: Re: Alternative Camera to replace NightWatch Wireless Low-Light B/W Video Camera
Post by: TakeTheActive on November 12, 2006, 02:20:26 PM

TTA sorry for the no link to that cam. (thanks for adding it) However I did post earlier in the thread the link to their main page.

No need to apologize! :)  [I used your earlier LINK to FIND this LINK! ;) ]

The "overzealous" Community Organizer from a few weeks back would have just edited your original post and added the LINK because (from his point of view):


but the current, confused, gun-shy Community Organizer, after being warned by Sysadmin x10javier that he's the subject of more complaint PMs than anyone and if the current situation continues, will be banned from the forums, no longer knows which direction is right. :(

Yeah, I know that I could PM everyone first and ask permission. But then I'd have to wait possibly hours / days for a reply and then re-find the post and re-do my previous efforts. There are a handful of folks here, though, that told me, paraphrasing, "Go ahead! Whatever you think will make it better is fine with me. Thanks in advance." and I sometimes edit theirs or teach them formatting commands.

Most, if not all, of the new ideas I've implemented here have "withered on the vine" without my constant attention / nudging the past few weeks. What does that say about them? Were they good ideas, or just me FORCING other folks to do something that they really didn't want to do?

Not one of my 50 "Unhelpfuls" was ever preceeded by a courtesy PM explaining to me WHAT I did wrong and giving me the opportunity to correct it. Nor have I received a follow-up PM from the public request I made for them ~2 weeks ago here - at the bottom (http://www.x10community.com/forums/index.php?topic=10730.msg61175#msg61175). IMO, I've been pretty "Low-Key" the past 2 weeks (from my previous "self") and I *STILL* got a new DING a few days ago. How does the same person that received 73 "Helpfuls" since 2006-06-23 also manage to earn the distinction of having the 2nd highest "Unhelpful" count? [I haven't had my count reset TWICE. ;D ] Are my actions here THAT ANNOYING to SO MANY people? Or it is just a spiteful few that won't let go...

All of my constant RAH-RAH-RAH, SIS-BOOM-BAH attempts to generate what I like to call "Community Spirit", How It Should Be... (http://www.x10community.com/forums/index.php?topic=10503.msg60593#msg60593), has only 'infected' a handful of the 6000+ Members here. And while I do enjoy the 'give-and-take' kidding around, huge, bold colors, and the resulting, in me at least, laughter with these guys, there's still the overwhelming majority of 'Sterile' Members, who only login to either ask a question (many, IMO, as a shortcut to actually looking it up themselves :-[ ) or reply to a question (sometimes with only a 'quick-n-dirty' reply that only leads to more questions and more 'quick-n-dirty' replies :( ).

Is an impersonal / unemotional ALL-VOLUNTEER 'Customer Help Desk' truely all that the majority of the members want this forum to be?

I didn't want to make this "Soapbox Spiel" of mine a new, separate thread. Yet, I did want to "say it", with the knowledge that my target audience (the "Cheers Gang ") would see it and possibly comment with their suggestions (maybe in another existing thread, or in a new one?).

So, KDR, you can edit your post, add the LINK and I can delete my post. Or, I can do it for you. Or, we can leave everything as-is... 8)

P.S. to KDR *AND* the rest of the camera users:

I tried a wireless X10 Color Camera "years ago", and was very disappointed by the narrow field of view, inability to see ANYTHING at night (with 3 150 watt floodlights), and the CRITICAL alignment needs of the Transmitter/Receiver pair. But, darn it, youse guys are getting me interested again! :D  A WIRED camera (with 100' of cable so that I can put it under the eave over the garage door at one end of the front of the house and see the front porch, some of the driveway, some of the yard *FROM* the basement when the doorbell rings), with AHP/iWitness (is that the right module?) is tempting me. :-\ ::) ;D
Title: Re: Alternative Camera to replace NightWatch Wireless Low-Light B/W Video Camera
Post by: Puck on November 12, 2006, 02:46:23 PM
...there's still the overwhelming majority of 'Sterile' Members

To ALL (Non-Paid By X-10) Members...
Lighten Up!!!!

;D :D ;) :)

TakeTheActive: Please feel FREE to edit any of my posts as you see fit to enhance my post, this Board and/or the Community spirit. Any time that you have, you always left a note in the post stating what you did; to me that's called respect.  ;)



[NOTE: I appologize for any mis-interpretation that my post here may have caused. It was not intended to be directed at KDR, or anyone else... it was intended to show my support in making this board feel more relaxed, fun and like a community.]



Title: Re: Alternative Camera to replace NightWatch Wireless Low-Light B/W Video Camera
Post by: KDR on November 12, 2006, 03:11:11 PM
TTA... I think you are doing a great job and I for one don't want to see the board become a X10 help desk clone. The one bad ding for altering my post may have been a bit quick on my part and I will chalk it up to not knowing you as well as I do now... the wife burnt dinner, the dog bit me, the car had a flat, I stepped in something (whats that smell?) and just an all around bad day that day. As for the above posts we can leave them as is. Maybe someone will read it and because of it add a link to their post someday. ::)

The Astak cam, CM-612W is worth giving a try. Walmart here in my area (Cleveland, Ohio) carries them for $58.95. I think you can also view other cams they carry on there web site. You may want to get a Ninja mount for it so you can pan and tilt to increase your viewing area. I use it with iWitness and have its power supply plugged into an appliance module set to the house code as my other cams are in the same unit group 1-4.  The only thing that doesn't seem to work right with it is when I switch cams, the one you switch to turns on and the other 3 in the group turn off. The appliance module doesn't respond to the off. It responds to the On just not the Off (plugged into the same outlets as the other cams power supply's). I haven't had time to play with it to see why it acts this way yet(noise when on? may try a filter). The X10 cams and Ninja's all have coded power supply's.

"issues tta a good ding"
Title: Re: Alternative Camera to replace NightWatch Wireless Low-Light B/W Video Camera
Post by: tjdavj on November 12, 2006, 03:22:41 PM
Quote
I tried a wireless X10 Color Camera "years ago", and was very disappointed by the narrow field of view, inability to see ANYTHING at night (with 3 150 watt floodlights), and the CRITICAL alignment needs of the Transmitter/Receiver pair. But, darn it, youse guys are getting me interested again! Cheesy  A WIRED camera (with 100' of cable so that I can put it under the eave over the garage door at one end of the front of the house and see the front porch, some of the driveway, some of the yard *FROM* the basement when the doorbell rings), with AHP/iWitness (is that the right module?) is tempting me

I have or had many of the original X10 cameras over the years, and basically came to the same conclusion you did, poor image quality and non-existent low-light capabilities.
My opinion changed when I ordered the Sentinel package about a month ago. Although  I was very impressed with the image quality and operation, I found a specific issue with this package and returned it.
See my post:http://www.x10community.com/forums/index.php?topic=10700.0

I did some more research and found that the camera in the "Vanguard" package and in the "Video Calling" package were the same. Since I didn't need the Vanguard software [I had originally purchased AHP, iWitness, SmartMacros, and MyHouse when I purchased the "Sentinel" system], I ordered the Video Calling system and am very pleased with the results. There are some issues with the system, but the basic functionality is there. It has Excellent image quality, the optical zoom is very good and it does offer usable low light capabilities. If you want to check it out I will create a temp account so you can check out the camera.(you will be able to view the cam as it sweeps, but the controls are disabled). I know it is expensive in contrast to the other cams, but if you want a cam that offers maximum versatility, it can't be beat.

Also checkout my numerous posts regarding my adventures with the PTZ camera.

Side note: Regarding the main subject of your previous post, I would be willing to discuss in in a different thread, as I think it is an important issue for everyone that participates in the forum.
Title: Re: Alternative Camera to replace NightWatch Wireless Low-Light B/W Video Camera
Post by: TakeTheActive on November 12, 2006, 04:18:00 PM
:o :o :o NO! NO!! NO!!! :o :o :o :-[

[The perils of text communication. :(]

My post was in NO WAY directed towards KDR - I was just "borrowing some space" in his thread. ;)


...there's still the overwhelming majority of 'Sterile' Members

To ALL (Non-Paid By X-10) Members...
Lighten Up!!!!

;D :D ;) :)

TTA... I think you are doing a great job and I for one don't want to see the board become a X10 help desk clone. The one bad ding for altering my post may have been a bit quick on my part and I will chalk it up to not knowing you as well as I do now...::)

I never named anyone (besides my #1 Fan who, IMHO, gave me the MAJORITY of my 50 "Unhelpfuls" >:( ) - as far as I'm concerned, it's history and you're one of the "Gang ". That system is here-to-stay, so let's just fuhgeddaboudit (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=fuhgeddaboudit). 8)

Now, let's get past the "TTA is doing a great job..." hooey (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=hooey) ::) and come up with some SUGGESTIONS on getting more folks 'infected' with "Community Spirit", How It Should Be... (http://www.x10community.com/forums/index.php?topic=10503.msg60593#msg60593)! :)
Title: Re: Alternative Camera to replace NightWatch Wireless Low-Light B/W Video Camera
Post by: HA Dave on November 12, 2006, 04:42:38 PM
What a bummer we can't all just play together like kids do! God knows, this home automation is damn serious business!

I am with Puck.... let's just lighten up. (except I don't know how to make it scroll)

Title: Re: Alternative Camera to replace NightWatch Wireless Low-Light B/W Video Camera
Post by: KDR on November 12, 2006, 04:53:03 PM
Dave... You have the Astak cam, do you also have some X10's running with it? If so are you feeding them all into one video input or a switch? If all feed one video input how do you handle the power ON/OFF switching on your Astak?

Scroll for Dave ----> "let's just lighten up"
Title: Re: Alternative Camera to replace NightWatch Wireless Low-Light B/W Video Camera
Post by: TakeTheActive on November 12, 2006, 05:17:43 PM

I am with Puck.... let's just Lighten Up!!!!. (except I don't know how to make it scroll)

:( Youse guys are completely missin' da pernt... :(
Title: Re: Alternative Camera to replace NightWatch Wireless Low-Light B/W Video Camera
Post by: HA Dave on November 12, 2006, 05:22:43 PM
Dave... You have the Astak cam, do you also have some X10's running with it? If so are you feeding them all into one video input or a switch? If all feed one video input how do you handle the power ON/OFF switching on your Astak?

Scroll for Dave ----> "let's just lighten up"

I have several cams... 2 are IR cams, one of which is the Astak. In the set-up with the Astak I have four cams in a hub at one location. There I have used a four device- auto detecting- video modulator. It outputs the video and sound to video ports and well as (TV) channel 3 or 4. It is made by RCA and I picked mine up at Walmart.

Currently I send (or RE-send) camera images via a video sender which (like the NON-X10 cameras) is on and appliance module. The hub is in the basement, and the sender works better (for me) through floors than walls. However... I am thinking of tying the system into my cable.

I use the X10 floodlight which actives:

I could (and may) use a eagle or active eye motion sensor to trigger the cam module (appliance), the video sender (appliance module) as well as the VCR commander.
Title: Re: Alternative Camera to replace NightWatch Wireless Low-Light B/W Video Camera
Post by: Puck on November 12, 2006, 05:52:25 PM
[I use the X10 floodlight which actives:
  • The camera (of choice)
  • The video sender
  • A light inside
  • A chime inside
  • A device I mod-ed to create a RF to start the VCR commander

Dave, do you use AHP? Your list sounds like a Macro, but I'm not sure what software/hardware you are using. Because when you select to turn ON a VCR Command in AHP, the CM15A does send an RF signal to it.
Title: Re: Alternative Camera to replace NightWatch Wireless Low-Light B/W Video Camera
Post by: HA Dave on November 12, 2006, 09:57:37 PM
Dave, do you use AHP? Your list sounds like a Macro, but I'm not sure what software/hardware you are using. Because when you select to turn ON a VCR Command in AHP, the CM15A does send an RF signal to it.

Actually no. I have two X10 floodlights (a great UNDER-rated item). The floodlight activates up to four different codes when motion is detected. Plus it can activate four codes of dusk to dawn.

I had purchased active home (no pro) when I was setting up my home theater (http://davesdomainonline.com/ht/ht.htm) and wasn't impressed. I found a work-around with a higher end remote control that sends IR X10. I hadn't thought of even trying AHP till I read about Bills voice control    (http://www.wgjohns.com)

Now I am ready to jump at AHP.


Title: Re: Alternative Camera to replace NightWatch Wireless Low-Light B/W Video Camera
Post by: nodoze on June 10, 2007, 10:26:11 AM
I originally bought the 4 camera webview/multiview package because it sounded like it could handle dark, let alone, low light conditions. I mainly wanted them for night time use while the kids were sleeping and I also wanted them so my wife could check on the kids without having to actually run all over the house and or back/side yard.

I found it pretty useless in my home as I couldn't see anything in a room that didn't have at least 100W of light. I am currently trying to use them for outside use and have them working adequately except something is causing my computer to BSOD/reboot... If you care to try to help with that please reply in thread:

http://www.x10community.com/forums/index.php?topic=10799.0

I am intrigued by Dave's comment:
Quote
have several cams... 2 are IR cams, one of which is the Astak. In the set-up with the Astak I have four cams in a hub at one location. There I have used a four device- auto detecting- video modulator. It outputs the video and sound to video ports and well as (TV) channel 3 or 4. It is made by RCA and I picked mine up at Walmart.
I currently have our Satellite system running through our whole house via the old cable runs on channel 70. I would like to take the camera feeds and also run them on a designated channel (3,4,77, etc) so that they can be viewed from any TV in the house and use the RF remote to change cameras...

Lastly, just in case anyone is curious, I accomplished my goal of being able to check on the kids while they are sleeping by putting in a Motorola phone system with camera modules. I bought the first ones through a business account with a pretty steep discount and then the rest for about 70% off at a store closing. They are not as flexible as the X10 cameras but my wife can use them with ease in a pinch (click "connect to" on any phone in the house and click a drop down list with the names of the kids). The phone screens are not the best resolution and I don't know if the video can be piped out but it meets our main objective. It is certainly easier at 2am to grab the phone from the night stand and see/hear rather than turning on the PC or TV and the other benefit is that we can talk to the kid(s) over the built in intercom. Lastly, we can answer the phone now from their rooms and or transfer calls to their rooms. Below is a link if you care to check it out:

The cameras: http://www.compusa.com/products/product_info.asp?product_code=340237&pfp=XSELLPRODAUTO
(note: Due to IR LEDs, these do see well in the night. I am not sure but these may be more secure than standard X10 RF broadcasts.)

The phone/viewscreens: http://www.compusa.com/products/product_info.asp?product_code=340239&pfp=XSELLPRODAUTO
(note: the screens are small but OK for limited use)

Lastly, with the phone system we can answer our cell phone calls and/or use our cell phones to make outgoing calls. It is nice to be able to put our cell phones on the charger yet still be able to use them...

http://www.compusa.com/products/product_info.asp?pfp=BROWSE&N=201316&product_code=340231&Pn=C51_Communication_System_Cell_Phone_Bluetooth_Accessory

Title: Re: Alternative Camera to replace NightWatch Wireless Low-Light B/W Video Camera
Post by: HA Dave on June 10, 2007, 10:56:10 PM
I had said the auto-switcher was made buy RCA.... but I was mistaken... its made by Phillips (this is a link) (http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=2181628). I picked it up at Walmart, same place I got the Astak IR cam.
Title: Re: Alternative Camera to replace NightWatch Wireless Low-Light B/W Video Camera
Post by: nodoze on June 11, 2007, 11:22:31 AM
Thanks Dave.  I originally couldn't find the RCA one so did a bunch of googling.  Found lots of neat stuff including a modulators that could take at least 3 inputs and broadcast them on 3 different cable channels but no where near as inexpensive as the one at Walmart.  Still not sure I need that but it was fun research anyway.