Rob Kraft's Software Development Blog

Software Development Insights

In home wireless cameras for less than $100 part 2

Posted by robkraft on August 27, 2011

My wife and I liked this camera so much that we bought a second camera.  Configuring the router to allow a second
camera is a little more complicated, so I thought I’d share my experience here.

  1. I discovered  a camera feature I did not know about once I bought my second camera.  The camera has a physical focusing lens on the front of the camera, you can spin the camera cover to improve the focus; so make sure you take a moment to do that to improve the image quality.
  2. With two cameras taking images based on motion detectors I decided I wanted to put the images from the second camera in a different folder on my FTP site.  This was easy to do, but I discovered that the path to my FTP site is limited to just 32 characters.  This is probably sufficient for most people.
  3. By default, your camera uses Port 80 to connect to the Internet, but if you are viewing two cameras from the Internet, they both cannot use Port 80.  You also cannot use a DMZ feature in your router that passes all traffic from the Internet to a single device.  Instead, you need to configure filters to tell your router to pass traffic coming in on one port (80) to one camera; and tell your router to pass traffic coming in on another port (I used 81) to the other camera.  Internally, I statically assigned 192.168.0.30 to one of my cameras, and 192.168.0.31 to the other.  Therefore, I configured Port 80 on my router/firewall to send traffic to 192.168.0.30; and I configured Port 81 on my router/firewall to send traffic to 192.168.0.31.  When we use the Internet to connect most any device, the Internet uses Port 80 by default; which means that we don’t need to type in the port number when we go to a web site like http://www.yahoo.com:80.  The same is true for your camera.  But since the second camera is listening on a different port (81 in my case), I need to enter the Port number on my URL when trying to view the camera from a web page or configuring it for viewing from my phone.  I simply enter http://xx.xx.xx.xx:81 and when the request from the Internet hits my home address of xx.xx.xx.xx, my home router will direct the request on Port 81 to the device at 192.168.0.31 as I configured it above.
  4. In my original blog post I had created an “Event config – schedule profile” that I used on my motion detector.  This is unnecessary for me because there is an “always” option you can choose in the “Event config – Motion Detect” configuration; which is what I desired anyway.
  5. If you do create an “Event config – schedule profile”, you must give it a name first, and then you must click on it to select it before the options for configuring your profile will appear.
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