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Author Topic: Need help with Camera setup  (Read 11439 times)

robertk

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Re: Need help with Camera setup
« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2012, 01:33:49 PM »

It is plugged directly into the computer (laptop), which is always on (never in sleep or standby).
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Brian H

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Re: Need help with Camera setup
« Reply #16 on: January 23, 2012, 08:06:53 PM »

Thank you for the update on the USB connection for the VA12A.
I hope someone with more experience with the software can give you more tips.
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robertk

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Re: Need help with Camera setup
« Reply #17 on: January 23, 2012, 08:49:57 PM »

I hope someone with more experience with the software can give you more tips.

Me too. 

Is there any software for monitoring/recording the cameras that understands X10 other than ActiveHome?  I ask because I tried some open source monitoring software called iSpy, and it works fine for viewing the video, and even does motion detection based on changes in the actual video -- but of course it doesn't know anything about X10, or switching between cameras, or the X10 motion detectors, or anything like that.    When I played with iSpy, the video never once flickered.  I went back to ActiveHome, and it went back to flickering, flashing, and sometimes just not showing at all.    :'(
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sunnyluv

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Re: Need help with Camera setup
« Reply #18 on: January 25, 2012, 08:05:03 AM »

I use iCam on my iPhone 4, records pics, motion detection and alerts you on your smartphone...

To use pan/tilt controls, I use ipCamViewer
« Last Edit: January 25, 2012, 09:04:39 AM by sunnyluv »
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robertk

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Re: Need help with Camera setup
« Reply #19 on: January 26, 2012, 10:50:11 AM »

iCam4 looks nice, but does it support multiple X10 cameras (I don't have the IP cameras, just the X10 ones). 

Update:

I had to reboot the computer today because of Microsoft updates, and now the cameras don't work again.  Uninstalling and reinstalling the driver did not help.   B:(
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robertk

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Re: Need help with Camera setup
« Reply #20 on: January 27, 2012, 03:00:49 PM »

Apparently, the X10 camera setup just isn't going to work.  At all.

Here's my tale of woe so far.  If anyone can help, I'm all ears.

After much installation pain, it was working except for flashing video on my laptop (Windows 7, x64).  Then I installed iSpy and a windows update and rebooted.  Camera no longer worked.  Then I uninstalled iSpy and rebooted again, wiped out all traces of ActiveHome and started over.  Cameras still don't work, and now somehow Windows refuses to even install the driver anymore (no matter what I do, it says the driver is not compatible with my architecture, which it certainly is).

So I tried moving everything to an old laptop (really, really old).  I reformatted it and installed 32-bit Windows XP on it.  Installed all the ActiveHome stuff and the camera drivers.  It wouldn't work at all -- everything installed, but it said the camera device could not be started.  I'm guessing that's because it's USB 1.0, but don't know for sure.  I do know it wouldn't work.

So I gave up on that and tried installing on a desktop computer.  This one is Windows 7, 64-bit.  Installed ActiveHome from scratch, made sure the right drivers installed for the camera, etc.  It doesn't work.  I get nothing but a black screen in ActiveHome.  And to make matters worse, I can't check with SimpleVideo because it doesn't work at all -- crashes immediately upon startup.   That computer has an AMD CPU in it -- maybe that's an issue?

Anyway, the point is, I've tried to get these cameras working with ActiveHome on three different hardware architectures, on two different versions of Windows, and *none* of them will work reliably, if they even work at all.

I'm starting to get the feeling these cameras (or at least the software driving them) are just not intended for actual use.
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Noam

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Re: Need help with Camera setup
« Reply #21 on: January 27, 2012, 03:56:42 PM »

After much installation pain, it was working except for flashing video on my laptop (Windows 7, x64).  Then I installed iSpy and a windows update and rebooted.  Camera no longer worked.  Then I uninstalled iSpy and rebooted again, wiped out all traces of ActiveHome and started over.  Cameras still don't work, and now somehow Windows refuses to even install the driver anymore (no matter what I do, it says the driver is not compatible with my architecture, which it certainly is).
Is there another driver installed for it (I know the VA11A used to show up as an Intel camera by default)?

Quote
So I tried moving everything to an old laptop (really, really old).  I reformatted it and installed 32-bit Windows XP on it.  Installed all the ActiveHome stuff and the camera drivers.  It wouldn't work at all -- everything installed, but it said the camera device could not be started.  I'm guessing that's because it's USB 1.0, but don't know for sure.  I do know it wouldn't work.
As far as I know, the VA12A requires a USB 2.0 port.

Quote
So I gave up on that and tried installing on a desktop computer.  This one is Windows 7, 64-bit.  Installed ActiveHome from scratch, made sure the right drivers installed for the camera, etc.  It doesn't work.  I get nothing but a black screen in ActiveHome.  And to make matters worse, I can't check with SimpleVideo because it doesn't work at all -- crashes immediately upon startup.   That computer has an AMD CPU in it -- maybe that's an issue?
It sounds like your VA12A might have gone bad. I seem to remember reports of similar things happening to others. 
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robertk

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Re: Need help with Camera setup
« Reply #22 on: January 27, 2012, 04:11:07 PM »

I don't think there is any other driver installed for it.  When I plug it in, it shows up in Device Manager as a VA12A device with a yellow exclamation point (ie, not as an Intel camera).  When I hit "update driver" and try to install the driver, I get the "driver is not intended for this platform" message, after which it changes from "VA12A" to "Unknown device". 

If it really has gone bad, that sure doesn't make me want to buy a replacement.  I haven't even really used it yet.  (I don't think a return/exchange is very likely -- I bought it several months ago, it has been lying on a shelf waiting for me to install it.)

Do you have to use an X10-supplied video capture device?  Could I get a generic USB video capture device and use that?  Or is ActiveHome hard-coded to use X10 devices?
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Noam

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Re: Need help with Camera setup
« Reply #23 on: January 28, 2012, 07:05:19 PM »

I don't think there is any other driver installed for it.  When I plug it in, it shows up in Device Manager as a VA12A device with a yellow exclamation point (ie, not as an Intel camera).  When I hit "update driver" and try to install the driver, I get the "driver is not intended for this platform" message, after which it changes from "VA12A" to "Unknown device". 

If it really has gone bad, that sure doesn't make me want to buy a replacement.  I haven't even really used it yet.  (I don't think a return/exchange is very likely -- I bought it several months ago, it has been lying on a shelf waiting for me to install it.)

Do you have to use an X10-supplied video capture device?  Could I get a generic USB video capture device and use that?  Or is ActiveHome hard-coded to use X10 devices?
Unfortunately, AHP will only use the X10-branded capture devices.
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m82a1pa

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Re: Need help with Camera setup
« Reply #24 on: January 28, 2012, 07:29:21 PM »

I don't think there is any other driver installed for it.  When I plug it in, it shows up in Device Manager as a VA12A device with a yellow exclamation point (ie, not as an Intel camera).  When I hit "update driver" and try to install the driver, I get the "driver is not intended for this platform" message, after which it changes from "VA12A" to "Unknown device".

When you update the driver, you'll need to manually browse for the Windows 7 version.  It's located at C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\X10\DriverInstall\VA12A Video Capture.

Worked for me
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robertk

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Re: Need help with Camera setup
« Reply #25 on: January 29, 2012, 03:05:11 PM »

When you update the driver, you'll need to manually browse for the Windows 7 version.  It's located at C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\X10\DriverInstall\VA12A Video Capture.

Worked for me

I know -- that worked for me before, but won't work now.  In fact something I did has broken my laptop a bit -- Windows update thinks it has to download a new X10 driver, but that fails with some obscure error code, and none of the "solutions" I can find on Microsoft's site or on Google do anything useful.

So I have given up on the laptop.  I put it back on the desktop.  Everything is installed fine there, as far as I can tell, but there is no video, just a black screen.  SimpleVideo doesn't work at all, so I can't try that.  I may try another tool or two to see if I can get anywhere, but honestly I'm getting so frustrated with it all that I may just put it all back in the closet and forget about it, and maybe look at getting something from some other vendor.  It just shouldn't be this difficult.
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robertk

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Re: Need help with Camera setup
« Reply #26 on: January 30, 2012, 12:26:53 PM »

Update:  I may have found a partial workaround.

I happen to have VMWare Workstation installed on the desktop.  So I set up a Virtual Machine with Windows XP 32-bit.  I then installed all the ActiveHome software in it, and at the time where it said to plug in the USB devices, I told VMWare to take over the appropriate devices from the host machine.

To my surprise, it actually works!  The video still flashes, but it does it a lot less often than it did under Windows 7.  ActiveHome is still a bit wonky (same as it was on Windows 7 -- doesn't have the devices I use in the selection list, doesn't always turn lights on or off when it's supposed to, sometimes turns them on with 0% brightness, etc), but it basically works.

Remember, the VA12A does not work on the host -- shows nothing but a blank screen.  But on the Virtual Machine running on that same host, it works.  I've even been through a few reboots with it, and it still works so far.

Go figure.   

I still say the software needs some serious work, but for the moment, at least, with this workaround, it does seem to be usable.
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Noam

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Re: Need help with Camera setup
« Reply #27 on: January 30, 2012, 02:57:30 PM »

Well, that definitely sound like some sort of driver issue to me.
One thought - do you have an ATI video card in the host machine? I know that there were a number of strange conflicts between the VA11A and some ATI cards. I wonder if there were similar issues with the VA12A.

Which devices are you using that are not listed in your AHP?
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robertk

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Re: Need help with Camera setup
« Reply #28 on: January 31, 2012, 04:07:19 PM »

Well, that definitely sound like some sort of driver issue to me.
One thought - do you have an ATI video card in the host machine? I know that there were a number of strange conflicts between the VA11A and some ATI cards. I wonder if there were similar issues with the VA12A.

The host video adapter is NVidia.

Which devices are you using that are not listed in your AHP?

My cameras are XX30A (color wireless XCam2) and XX32A (B/W wireless XCam2).  Neither of those are listed. 

My newer light switches said XPDS3 (or maybe XPD3S, I threw the boxes out already) on the box and those aren't in there either.  There's an XPD3 but AHP says that's without soft start -- which these switches seem to have, since when you push them they come on and gradually ramp up to full brightness, and when you turn them off, they fade out to full dark*.  The invoice for the switches said WS12A, and that one *is* in the list, but if I select it, AHP doesn't work the lights at all.  In fact, the only thing I can select in AHP to make the new wall switches work is WS467, and even that doesn't work 100% of the time.

*Personally, I don't want the gradual on/off feature, but I see no way to turn it off.  And those were the only switches X10 had to replace a failed WS467 (which is a whole other tale of woe), so that's what I'm using.
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Brian H

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Re: Need help with Camera setup
« Reply #29 on: January 31, 2012, 06:20:23 PM »

The new X10pro XPD3 has soft start and resume dim. Is a decorator type switch.
http://www.x10pro.com/pro/pdf/xpd3.pdf
PLW01 would be the closest to a WS467. It also has soft start and resume dim.
http://www.x10pro.com/pro/pdf/plw01.pdf
Use the X10 equivalent from the Lamps List if the X10Pro ones are not listed.

The cameras are the new 921MHz X10 Pro Line cameras and may not be in the AHP list of modules. I would think another choice would work as well as most choices change the icon representing it on the screen.


« Last Edit: January 31, 2012, 06:23:24 PM by Brian H »
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