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Author Topic: Terribly Excited  (Read 13360 times)

troll334

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Terribly Excited
« on: October 29, 2010, 10:42:23 AM »

Greetings to all,
Truth be told, I've been watching you folks for some time now. Thanks to you all for the most useful info. When I was a kid, I'd visit Radio Shack and dream about the PLC products. Never did much. A guy at work awakened me last year. We were having some 'trouble' in, what used to be, our quiet neighborhood. I broke out the checkbook and started with the CM15, some AM466's, half-dozen MS14A's, a couple TM-751's (didn't know - ouch), some LM15's, one color, and one BW cam. Got all the plug-in's for AHP (now on V3.236 and stable). Sorry, I'm gonna be verbose here. It's my first post and I'm so darn excited I just can't contain myself. Although I've had my troubles (not x10 product problems), I'm a geek and I don't give up. I have not yet installed a single filter in my metro-area 1300 sq ft home and the system's pretty darn stable as it is. Yes, I know, I will be considering filters one day with all the geek-stuff on the line. I found the limitations with MS14's trying to get the tiny RF signal through concrete walls and hurricane-strength garage doors. I gave up using MS14's in areas outside those barriers until...ahhh, more on that later. I've got the two cams mounted on the South side of my home under the soffit. They're both pointing (RF paddles) inward toward my geek-room where the CM15, receiver, and always-on PC are located. Great signals for the most part. I also put a receiver on the TV so I can see the video stream whenever. That rcvr does okay...he's located at about an 80 degree angle from the axis of the two transmitting cams RF signals. AHP is scanning between the two and dumping the video to an external 1TB USB seagate drive. A macro hears an MS14 outside scream then selects the appropriate cam moving to the preset position. Sweet. Oh, it's also configured to send me a snapshot when I sign into MyHouse online. Other macros in AHP constantly annoy the wife and kid but I'm still tweaking. Back to the MS14 RF issues. THANKS TO WARREN (WGL) and his awesome V572RF32, I now have MS14s on the opposite end of the house, in the garage, and outside, to alert me to movement. The 572 has now just increased my RF reliability ten-fold (the wife and kid will be happier). I've got Jeff's product on the way as well. Soon, I'll be able to get rid of the TM751's altogether leaving only RR501's (just because...guaranteed coverage on those HC's). I broke out the checkbook again last week (ouch). Another half-dozen MS14's, AM466's, two more cams, two sets of sender/receiver, chime, sirens, and then some. I'm goin' all out now. Anyone that walks within 20' of my home will certainly get (hear) a surprise. Oh, I also bought Hauppauge's little USB to video cube. Wow! Before I blew up one of the recievers connecting it to the Hauppauge (static, oops), WinTV was recording at seemingly double the res as compared to X10's VA11. Yes the video file is huge but it's better viewing the stream later on if I need to I.D. someone/thing. That's the next gig. I'll get the new rcvr (of the sender/receiver pair) hooked up and be very happy. Only problem is the Hauppauge adapter seems to kill the VA11 and since WinTV doesn't have auto-snaphot capabilities, I'll loose that. Connected from work, real-time, I can hit the <Spacebar> in WinTV to get a single snaphot if needed. I'm sure I can shell out of AHP (which runs fine concurrently with WinTV) and call up some WinTV executable to start snapshots...with luck. I also have dreams of making a narrow bandpass filter for the 2.4Ghz receivers to eliminate the Vtech cordless phone interference (5.8Ghz - not quite a harmonic of 2.4 but physically close in proximity to the x10 rcvrs) and believe it or not, cell phone activity (texting, talking, voting on the nearest cell site, etc.). My cheapee D-Link router, only 4 feet away from the x10 rcvr does NOT seem to interfere!!!! Bizaaaare eh? I'll be employing the rcvr antenna mods seen in other threads though. Would like to get some better video on the rcvrs not quite in the cam's transmit paths. Oh yeah, the X10 video sender/receiver does great picking up the cam's signal. Quite nicely in fact. And it connects right to the Hauppauge device via RG59 + F-type connectors. I really think I should shut up now. Being my first post and not hitting <Enter> much, I don't know how this text will be presented...formatted nicely I hope. If not, sorry. I'll be back - you can count on it. And thanks again to ALL OF YOU who have dedicated a good portion of your lives to this product and this forum. Bravo!!!
mike
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hawk1

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Re: Terribly Excited
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2010, 11:40:28 AM »

Welcome to the  forum!!!  I do believe I have seen your user name or something real close to yours on this forum before.  Welcome again, and thanks for the write up.   :)%
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troll334

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Re: Terribly Excited
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2010, 09:59:30 PM »

Salutations once again,
A quick update:  Two more cams online (with a twist). One XX20A outside and a Sony Camcorder inside. Why you ask?
X10 Cams are pretty good for seeing some action. However, if someone were to break in, I need better video to capture
their ugly faces. I connected an AM466 to both the video sender and the camcorder's external power supply. Created a
macro to kill all three X10 cam power supplies and activate the AM466. The camcorder comes on (full zoom unfortunately)
and starts feeding audio/video to the X10 sender which, in turn, sends to the receiver for recording. It's brilliant video!
When I'm done, a macro kills the AM466 feed and starts X10 camera scanning again. I got the Hauppauge 950Q up and
running. Confirmed, over 2X the res vs. X10's video capturing. Hauppauge's WinTV v7 app does not have cmd line options
hence I do, in fact, loose snapshot capabilities. However, the macro's are still sending me motion emails. Installed the
chime inside to alert us to motion at night. Darned cats! I've got an I.R. driven 25KHz cat fence one the way. I've
received Jeff's XTB-IIR...going in this weekend. Hooray! I've ordered a couple of 15X eye loupes to experiment with the
X10 Cam optics. Hoping to increase range/clarity just a bit. I placed a 3X magnifying glass about 5" away from an XX20A
and whaaaala... almost 3X magnification with great clarity. Here's hoping. Next on tap is the 100+ db screamer fitted
up in the soffit to nicely advise any would-be intruders that there's something a bit outta whack with this house...don't
bother  :)  As well, thanks to many of you again, I'm considering the VCR Commander II for use with the camcorder
zoom issue. The camcorder does have a tiny remote that provides for record/playback functions as well as zoom. Maybe
I'll get lucky and the Commander's IR brain will actually recognize the goofy sony remote signal.
Lastly, I'm almost to the point where I think I can chime in and help some folks on this forum. Well, at least assist the
newbies like me anyway.
Thanks again for taking the time to listen.
mike
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HA Dave

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Re: Terribly Excited
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2010, 11:21:56 PM »

.................  Thanks again for taking the time to listen.

You type... we read. I enjoy the update!
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hillbilly60

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Re: Terribly Excited
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2010, 10:58:24 AM »

I wished I knew about this stuff as much as you guys do. I have been having issues with cameras and software and the "support" at X10 is non-supportive. I have had issues with the wireless cameras, I have wi fi as most do, changed channels, have helped some. Wished I knew how to "reflect" the signals to one corner.I have the receiver on the second floor and the cameras are shooting a signal from about four different angles to the receiver. I also have a number of neighbors around me with wi fi and I am beside a phone building, no tower, but their own wi fi and lots of switching gear in the building. I am trying to run 4 bw and 2 color along with the AHP software with the home security system. I would like to be able to record motion on the cameras, turn on an alert when motion is sensed. When the alarm is triggered, I want all cameras to record with lights on the porch and inside flashing. I live on the main street and this would alert the police if necessary.I have some socket rockets, but have CFL and realize I will have to buy the type that works with thesse I have internet cable phone that I want the alarm system to call through. I also want to be able to use the internet part of the software that allows me to look in at home in case I am on vacation or something. When I turn the AHP on, all come on but the part of the internet part that would allow me to do this.  I wished I knew about a lot of the parts you are talking about. I would appreciate any references to go to and any help in setting up this. I was so excited to get this system, but if I was not past my 30 day return, they would go back. I want this to work!!!!
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Brian H

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Re: Terribly Excited
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2010, 12:36:23 PM »

Gee sounds like you are in a fairly X10 hostile environment.

Only one wireless camera can be on at a time. So simultaneous recording during a alarm maybe a problem.
Have you tried each camera separately to see if its signal can reach the receiver?
You may also went to have one camera powered on and see it it can be turned on and off by a power line signal. If not then more than one maybe on and would cause interference.
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troll334

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Re: Terribly Excited
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2010, 03:39:14 PM »

Howdy Hillbilly,
Start small and very localized.
1) Get the cameras as close to the video receiver as possible; like, right next to it.
2) Plug only one camera in the outlet at a time and address it with the software or remote to turn it on.
3) View the image; make sure it looks great. Record some footage and review it. If you're happy,
4) Take that single camera and start moving it farther away from the video receiver.; Repeat steps 2&3. Make certain you can reliably turn the cam off and back on. If it's intermittend, you've got a powerline noise problem.
5) If the distance, just as the image fades, is not acceptable, turn off your wireless router, cordless phones, etc. Make sure you're pointing the paddles of both the camera and the receiver at one another as per the instructions.
6) Recheck the image; of that single, known-good camera. Move it out to the final position if you can; check the video
By the way, each time you plug the camera's addressable power supply into the wall, you'll need to activate it with the software or the remote.
7) Unplug that camera and repeat steps 2 - 6 for the next camera...and so on...
If, at any point, you loose the ability to see or control one or more cameras after they're all in place, you're likely looking
at powerline problems. If you've got Ninja pan-n-tilt bases and you cannot control them, they're out of range of the transmitter in your X10 controller (e.g., CM15A, etc.). The turn on/off feature for each camera is controlled via powerline signals. The Ninja bases are controlled by R.F. (radio) transmissions. In otherwords, the ability to turn on a camera doesn't mean you'll be able to control a Ninja base at the same distance. I have seen vast differences in Ninja's where RF reception is concerned. For now though, try all this without Ninjas to eliminate that aspect.
8) Your desire to control lighting, recording, etc. require an X10 controller of some kind which I don't think you mentioned. This would be the CM15a, the associated software, and a Windows PC.
9) There are several options for viewing your cameras from remote locations.
I could go on...but, if you're still in the game, search the forum here. You WILL find tons of good information, albeit in seperate threads, to get done what you want to do.
I know it can be frustrating, but if you stick it out and get all the right stuff, you will succeed. Of course, assuming your electrial wiring is in good shape and you're not being completely flooded by RF from neighboring facilities.
good luck,

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