X10 Community Forum

Reviews => X10 Hardware => Camera Reviews => Topic started by: KennyGolub on July 30, 2008, 07:29:45 AM

Title: Wireless Range
Post by: KennyGolub on July 30, 2008, 07:29:45 AM
Ok....how do I get the wireless portion to work more than 6 or 7 feet ?
I can't get reception unless the camera is in the same room and pointed directly at the receiver !!!
How can you have a security system like that ???????
Not only that, but if I have two cameras, one will always override the weaker signal (even though they are in the same room) and I can't display more than one camera. Hell, even if there is a plastic box between the receiver and camera (and the camera is only 6 feet away), no picture.

I think I know why the prices are so low.......it's not a very good system if everything needs to be in the same room and within 6 or 7 feet of eachother.
Title: Re: Wireless Range
Post by: HA Dave on July 30, 2008, 09:03:46 AM
Ok....how do I get the wireless portion to work more than 6 or 7 feet ?............      Not only that, but if I have two cameras, one will always override the weaker signal .........

I have the wireless cameras (as do thousands of others) and they do work fine. The range I get is slightly short of the 100 foot max... but very good. Having two cameras on at the same time may be your problem. The cameras are designed with the addressable power supply... so as they can turn each other OFF and therefore SHARE the wireless airwaves for video transmission. Check the directions included with the cameras and I think you will see what I mean.

a WiFi network in your home can also create some problems... but those can generally be worked around also (I have Wifi). Changing the "channels" the cameras and receiver use [A-D] is the 1st step. Be sure both the camera AND receiver remain on the SAME letter/channel.

STICK WITH IT! Those tiny little camera are cheap... and GREAT!
Title: Re: Wireless Range
Post by: KennyGolub on July 30, 2008, 10:22:19 AM
Will you send me your cameras    ;D
Title: Re: Wireless Range
Post by: KennyGolub on July 30, 2008, 11:22:24 AM
Forgot to ask in the reply:

So if one can only monitor one camera at a time, are you saying that the five camera view is for wired systems only?

Title: Re: Wireless Range
Post by: HA Dave on July 30, 2008, 02:07:47 PM
.... are you saying that the five camera view is for wird systems only?

No (the normal setup has only ONE input to the PC... so wired or wireless would make NO difference).

The camera views can be "rotated" by turning the cameras on/off. I would guess your planning on displaying the views on your PC.. and maybe viewing remotely. I am not an expert on the softwares... which one do you plan on using.
Title: Re: Wireless Range
Post by: KennyGolub on July 30, 2008, 03:17:47 PM
I'm displaying on the PC. How do I turn cameras off and on via software ?
Title: Re: Wireless Range
Post by: HA Dave on July 30, 2008, 04:13:14 PM
.......... How do I turn cameras off and on via software ?

Generally the camera packages include some sort of device(s) for such things. Like a mouse-like Wireless PC Transceiver (CM19A) that sends and receives RF signals. And a Small Wireless Transceiver (TM751) that receives RF... and then transfers that to PLC (power line commands) that the cameras addressable power supply uses.

Why don't you describe what you have.... and wish to do. I am sure someone with expertise with the PC/Software setups will chime in with help.
Title: Re: Wireless Range
Post by: KennyGolub on July 31, 2008, 12:01:40 PM
I guess what I'm trying to do is basic. IF I can ever get by the range thing (wasted hours last night positioning and trying different channels), all I want to do is use my four cameras to monitor things around the house.
I have the converter to my pc and it's located on the second floor of my residential house. I have the Ninja in the same room (only because I can't receive from cameras anywhere else). I thought that I could simpley set the addressable power supplies (I use K1 thru K4) and use the Sentinel software to monitor or scan all four cameras.
I guess I just don't have any confidence in the system ONLY because the transmit power is so low on these things that if you sneeze, you can loose reception and I've yet to be able to receive from another room.
Title: Re: Wireless Range
Post by: x10challanged on July 31, 2008, 05:50:05 PM
Hi KennyGolub welcome to the forums and thanks for posting your concerns.

I have (8) wireless cameras functioning and all playing nicely together.  I understand your frustration in the initial set-up so if you don't mind tell us which items you have so we can better help you.
For instance I have:
(3) VR36 video recvr (1) for PC (2) for diff TV's
(1) VA11A Video converter USB pluged into PC
(4) Ninja mounts w/xx18A mounted on them
(2) XX16A Instant on camera by themselves
(1) XX11A by itself
(1) XX19A by itself
(1) CM15A controller
I use Home Pro software.
(1) video recv/send kit for extending distance
Win XP Pro

As far as distance and reception these can be interupted by many things i.e. construction of walls, metal studs, florescent lighting, other wireless devices on 2.4 gh. wireless networks, camera antennas set improperly, microwave ovens etc. 

as a an example my farthest camera I have is currently 158ft from my video recvr and reception is fine.   So lets start with exactly what you are working with.  Then we can go on to the set-up  What Dave has posted is all correct and I think he is assuming a couple things such as what equipment you are working with, this will help find conflicts also.

Generally it is best to start with (1) camera get it working (not mounted) then move it to one of the other locations and test. That way you know you are working a good camera. Since you have a 2-story house this may make it a little more difficult to adjust the antennas for proper reception going through floors and walls.  Hopefully you have someone who can watch the monitor while you adjust the antennas.  Hang in there they really do work!
Title: Re: Wireless Range
Post by: theworkingman00 on September 29, 2009, 05:28:34 AM
make sure you set up correct with proper haedware #:)
Title: Re: Wireless Range
Post by: cougaram on May 14, 2010, 10:53:32 PM
Ok....how do I get the wireless portion to work more than 6 or 7 feet ?............      Not only that, but if I have two cameras, one will always override the weaker signal .........

I have the wireless cameras (as do thousands of others) and they do work fine. The range I get is slightly short of the 100 foot max... but very good. Having two cameras on at the same time may be your problem. The cameras are designed with the addressable power supply... so as they can turn each other OFF and therefore SHARE the wireless airwaves for video transmission. Check the directions included with the cameras and I think you will see what I mean.

a WiFi network in your home can also create some problems... but those can generally be worked around also (I have Wifi). Changing the "channels" the cameras and receiver use [A-D] is the 1st step. Be sure both the camera AND receiver remain on the SAME letter/channel.

STICK WITH IT! Those tiny little camera are cheap... and GREAT!

I am trying to use only one camera and I can't get decent camera image at more than 10 feet and through one thin sheet of sheetrock. So far, calls to support and numerous emails have been absolutely no help. (yes, I've tied all 4 channels and different antenna positions) Too bad X10 doesn't make a plugin repeater for their cam systems to increase the range. The security systems have been superb for me but the wireless camera systems much less than adequate. I also use wifi and turning it off for the sake of the camera system completely negates the whole purpose of the camera system.
Title: Re: Wireless Range
Post by: Brian H on May 15, 2010, 06:20:42 AM
Besides wireless networks. Don't forget some 2.4GHz cordless phones. They can also be a problem.
The main problem with the 2.4GHz band is many devices share the same FCC allotted space and can step on each other.
Sometimes picking different channels is enough to get things to share. Sometimes not.
Have you tried different channels on your wifi?
Title: Re: Wireless Range
Post by: cougaram on May 15, 2010, 11:54:39 AM
You obviously did not read every word of what I posted. I said "yes" I did try all channels. Also, there are no 2.4 wireless phones in the place.
Title: Re: Wireless Range
Post by: Brian H on May 15, 2010, 03:53:53 PM
Exactly where did you say. "I tried all my wifi channels"? That is what I said.
 
I know you tried A-D on the cameras.
Title: Re: Wireless Range
Post by: cougaram on May 15, 2010, 05:37:30 PM
I've even gone to wired router now with wifi turned off. (too big security risk anyway). Still, camera picture is still horrible.
Title: Re: Wireless Range
Post by: Brian H on May 15, 2010, 06:23:55 PM
20 feet through one sheetrock wall.
That isn't very good.
Any chance there is metal faced insulation in there.
Did you ever test run the camera and receiver in the same room before their final placement?
Title: Re: Wireless Range
Post by: cougaram on May 15, 2010, 06:46:50 PM
There's three LCD monitors in my control room, 2 pc's, several video recorders, 36 track audio deck and a 36 channel Mackie mixer, various rack mounted effects modules, and two McIntosh audio amps. I have X10 door/window switches for perimeter security but I was really hoping the X10 wireless setup could record visitors as well as any 'after-hours unwanted guests'.  (By the way, thanks for your time.)
Title: Re: Wireless Range
Post by: Brian H on May 16, 2010, 06:39:23 PM
You are welcome.

Sounds like an elaborate setup.
I can see why some eyes maybe a wanted thing.

In my electronics vocation. I have seen some strange things. I wounder if some of the electronics in the room is causing interference. I would not think 2.4Hz would be a factor. Though Murphy has proved me wrong a few times. Especially when I was doing RF work.  ;D
Title: Re: Wireless Range
Post by: HA Dave on May 16, 2010, 06:50:20 PM
..... I wounder if some of the electronics in the room is causing interference. I would not think 2.4Hz would be a factor.

Years ago.. my brother was telling me about his new computer. He said it was "as fast as they would ever be able to make them". I asked him why he didn't think computers would be able to be made faster. He replied... "because they would interfere with FM". He was right... about the FM.. but the interference generated is very short range. Just moving the radio to the other side of the cubical is generally enough (when at the office). I often found the monitor to generate as much or more interference.

I'd bet a 12 foot RCA video cable might help your problem.
Title: Re: Wireless Range
Post by: cougaram on May 16, 2010, 07:03:39 PM
That would negate the ninja mount. It's beginning to look like I'm going to need to bite the bullet and spend some *real money* if I want a camera system that will cohabit peacefully with the rest of my equipment. (something I don't have much of after buying the rest of my setup! LOL)
Title: Re: Wireless Range
Post by: Brian H on May 16, 2010, 07:06:19 PM
FYI. The Ninja mount is turned on and off by a power line signal and the pan and tilt is controlled by the X10 RF frequency of 310MHz. It also is not the most robust mount around.
Title: Re: Wireless Range
Post by: jeffdharlan on May 21, 2010, 09:30:26 AM
I've even gone to wired router now with wifi turned off. (too big security risk anyway). Still, camera picture is still horrible.

How do you figure?  Wifi networks are encrypted with 128 - 256 bit encryption.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wi-Fi_Protected_Access
Title: Re: Wireless Range
Post by: nybuck on May 22, 2010, 08:45:59 AM
There is a way to make an X10 camera repeater.  Basically, you need a wireless video sender and receiver.

You set the receiver on the channel of your camera.  (say, camera=A, repeater receiver=A)
Connect the receiver video output to the sender video input with an RCA cable.
Set the sender on a different channel.  (say, C)
Set your ultimate video receiver at the computer to receive the second channel.  (C in this example)

By careful placement of the 'repeater' setup, you can boost your range.   ;D

I do want to add that once I turned off my WIFI, I had great reception, except when the microwave oven was on, and one time when my receiver fell down and was facing the floor...  I have since wired the cameras for recording, but use the wireless to see who's there on the TV.  I should also add that the 2.4GHz reception was poor near my computer monitor or TV.  A longer RCA cord and separating the receiver may be all that is necessary.

Good Luck!   ;D
Title: Re: Wireless Range
Post by: HA Dave on May 22, 2010, 10:49:51 AM
....  A longer RCA cord and separating the receiver may be all that is necessary.

And don't forget the old trick of using coax for your RCA video connections. At any electronics place (Radio Shack has them) you can purchase F-connector to RCA adapters. Then you can purchase 12 or 25 foot (cheap) coax cable.. and screw on the adapters.. and have really nice video cable.
Title: Re: Wireless Range
Post by: mpvance on May 25, 2010, 10:33:27 AM
Hey Nubuck, I'd like to see a diagram of the repeater setup you describe.  I have 2 different types of receivers.  rca and coax as well as the smaller rca only receiver (no audio)

Thanks
Mark
Title: Re: Wireless Range
Post by: nybuck on May 25, 2010, 07:35:42 PM
MPVance -
I don't really have a diagram - Can anyone else help out?

I guess I could assemble one and take a picture....   :'
Title: Re: Wireless Range
Post by: dave w on May 25, 2010, 09:17:43 PM
Hey Nubuck, I'd like to see a diagram of the repeater setup you describe.  I have 2 different types of receivers.  rca and coax as well as the smaller rca only receiver (no audio)

Thanks
Mark

I don't have any of the video sender /receivers, but it shouldn't be that complex. Audio Out and Video Out from Receiver would connect to Audio In and Video In on the Transmitter. The receiver would be pointed at your camera, and the transmitter would be pointed at your main receiver. It is basically an extension cord for RF.
Title: Re: Wireless Range
Post by: nybuck on August 04, 2010, 07:38:49 PM
Hey Nubuck, I'd like to see a diagram of the repeater setup you describe.  I have 2 different types of receivers.  rca and coax as well as the smaller rca only receiver (no audio)
I know it's been a while, but I found a diagram of the repeater I described in X10 WIKI:
http://kbase.x10.com/wiki/Extending_Wireless_Camera_Range (http://kbase.x10.com/wiki/Extending_Wireless_Camera_Range)
Title: Re: Wireless Range
Post by: oeginc on August 20, 2010, 08:30:00 AM
I've even gone to wired router now with wifi turned off. (too big security risk anyway). Still, camera picture is still horrible.

How do you figure?  Wifi networks are encrypted with 128 - 256 bit encryption.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wi-Fi_Protected_Access

Perhaps you hadn't yet read this article :)
http://www.computerworlduk.com/news/networking/16351/how-to-hack-wpa-wireless-security-in-one-minute/ (http://www.computerworlduk.com/news/networking/16351/how-to-hack-wpa-wireless-security-in-one-minute/)
Title: Re: Wireless Range
Post by: jeffdharlan on August 20, 2010, 01:02:08 PM
Touche!  ;)
Title: Re: Wireless Range
Post by: pomonabill221 on January 24, 2011, 03:10:03 PM
Just another side note...
I found that newer wall wart power supplies MAY have switching supplies in them.  You can tell (possibly) by comparing the output current on the label by how heavy and big it is.  A 5 volt 1 amp TRANSFORMER adaptor (actully about 8-12 volts unregulated) will be rather large and heavy, where a switcher will be small and light.
ALSO... newer computer monitors (the LCD type especially), TV, computer power supplies ALL have switchers in them and the first thing the AC line sees is an LC filter!  -:) -:)
usually about 0.1uF cap across the line, then a choke, then another 0.1uF cap  (a PI filter).
the key component is the first 0.1uF cap!!!!  DOES THIS SOUND FAMILIAR??????  A HUGE X10 SIGNAL SHORT!!!
I have removed these caps myself, and voila, my X10 signals are baaakkkkk!  :)% :)%
I don't recommend you do this, but I proved that these things are what killed my X10 signals.
The right way to do it is to get power line filters, or make your own.
Title: Re: Wireless Range
Post by: ronniekayser on May 15, 2011, 12:19:35 PM
I have read all the posts on everything from (converting the wireless cameras to wired) to all the changes to channels ABCD.
I have turned of my router, my telephone(5.8GHZ) and still can't get my cameras to work at distances of more than ten feet.

On examining the internals of the camera itself (following tutorial posted for converting to wired) I noticed that there are three potentiometers on the bottom of the internal circuit board.  Can someone identify what these "pots" are for?  Will someone please provide schematics and parts layouts for these XCAM wireless cameras.

I have eight cameras and can only get them to work in the same room as the receiver.

Any help with this problem will be greatly appreciated.
Title: Re: Wireless Range
Post by: Brian H on May 15, 2011, 03:08:18 PM
You have tried each camera separately? To verify that more than one camera is not stepping on other one.

If the X10 device has a transmitter in it. The FCC database has the schematics, parts lists, internal and external photos. Many manufacturers opt for confidential. X10 made them public. In the details section after you find it in the data base.
A few of the X10 ones only give the assigned frequency and no added deatils.
I have many of the modules data on my hard drive now.

The generic link lets you search by a partial ID as X10 is B4S Grantee Code.

http://transition.fcc.gov/oet/ea/fccid/

https://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/oetcf/eas/reports/GenericSearch.cfm

One pot is the lowest frequency, one is the highest frequency voltage adjustment to the VCO. The third one is the video level to the modulator.
Title: Re: Wireless Range
Post by: ronniekayser on May 16, 2011, 11:35:37 AM
Thank you very much for your prompt reply.

I have set up all cameras and tested to make sure switching is working properly. No camera is stepping on another.
I set up four cameras in the same room as my computer and they switch and work perfectly well. As soon as I moved
the cameras to a distance greater about ten feet I get vertical rolling bars which destroy the picture.  The picture is
just visible behind the bars. I have tried the fix from X10 using a separate receiver and transmitter and see no change
in the results.  ( http://kbase.x10.com/wiki/Extending_Wireless_Camera_Range )

I tried the extension as noted above and couldn't get the camera in the next room to stop rolling.  I currently have two
cameras in my garage, One camera in my dining room (approx. 30 feet away on the same floor as the receiver) and can't
get the camera to stop rolling.  I have a router and remote phone system that I turned off during the test. I currently have
four cameras set up and working well in my computer room.  I have ninja mounts on all the cameras and the ninjas
work fine.  Some interference is seen when setting the ninjas to extreme positions (changing the direction of the antennas).

I followed your link and found usable information concerning the color cameras.  They are labeled XX10A not 18A but the
pictures are identical to the 18A.  Also found an interesting AV transmitter listed as B4SVT50A. I tried the X10 store and
could not find it listed anywhere. This AV transmitter is a 5.4GHZ device and I was hoping to use it to boost the video
from my garage in the fashion outlined by X10 at ( http://kbase.x10.com/wiki/Extending_Wireless_Camera_Range )
again this setup does not work in my house.  The FCC link indeed included a schematic for the camera but there is
no parts layout to tell me which potentiometer controls what.  If you have a parts layout I would like to try to tune the
cameras to maximum undistorted output. 

Thank you for your time and effort in this matter.

Ronnie Kayser
Title: Re: Wireless Range
Post by: dave w on May 16, 2011, 12:12:06 PM
As soon as I moved
the cameras to a distance greater about ten feet I get vertical rolling bars which destroy the picture.  The picture is
just visible behind the bars.
That sounds like external interference, not simply a weak signal. If you are absolutley positive that the other three cameras are off when one camera is on, then what other 2.4GHz devices do you have? I see you have wireless router, and  2.4GHz cordless phone, which you disabled, but heavy black rolling bars describes other conflicting (hetrodyning) signals. Can you feed the output of the receiver to a video monitor with audio? Do you have loud low freq buzz? and does each camera do it when tested individually?
Title: Re: Wireless Range
Post by: Brian H on May 16, 2011, 12:47:11 PM
Did you also download the internal photos of the camera.
I believe you can see a TP-VP silk screened on the board.

I don't think tuning will do much and could lead to even more problems.
It does sound like some external interference.
Your neighbors aren't running wi-fi hot spot are they?