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outdoor cam recommendation


 
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azjerry
New Member


Joined: 16 Jul 2008
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 12:57 pm    Post subject: outdoor cam recommendation Reply with quote

I'm thinking of replacing my current weather webcam, a Logitech USB cam. It works OK except our Phoenix summer temps cause noise in the picture and when it gets warm enough it just stops working until it cools off. Not surprising given it's only rated to 104.

Intended use is to capture a jpg snapshot every 5 or 10 seconds and make that available to my weather website. My Weather Display software takes one of these every minute to generate time lapse movies of the day's weather.

I don't need night infrared, pan, tilt or streaming video. No zoom or manual zoom. Since it primarily faces the sky with my street in the foreground, fixed or manual focus is OK as long as distance is in focus. I only have a CAT5 cable out to it (currently using a USB to CAT5 adapter) so POE or a POE adapter is preferred. It faces NNW so direct sun isn't a problem. Location is under the eaves. I can build a weather resistant enough enclosure to save cost. Above all cost is a concern.I'd like to hold it around $200 if possible.

See http://www.azjerry.com/weather/wxwebcam.php

Suggestions?


Last edited by azjerry on Thu Jul 17, 2008 11:32 am; edited 4 times in total
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spymasterflash
Assistant


Joined: 25 May 2007
Posts: 78

PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 1:42 am    Post subject: Re: outdoor cam recommendation Reply with quote

azjerry wrote:
I'm thinking of replacing my current...works OK except our Phoenix summer temps cause noise in the picture and eventually it just stops working until it cools off.

Above all cost is a concern.


You didn't say what cost. You can play around all day and still, if the camera can't take the heat, what's the point?

I've got a Toshiba ikwb-15a that's operationally rated for 122 F (more than 104 for sure, which most are). Already comes with an enclosure. Picture is so-so, and only motion-jpeg. $500+.

It runs 24/7 here, south Texas heat, which is not as bad as Phoenix, but can get close. Well, not really: much of May and ALL of June saw 95+ days, and more than a few over 100. I've got a couple more cams outside. An ACTI ACM 1100 (24/7) and a Trendnet 301. The 301 is usually off; gets way too hot in the garage for my comfort, so I use it for testing night/IR now (not technically "outside" but the garage can be much hotter than outside). The Acti is sort of cheap (maybe $220?, if they still make it). No IR filter so probably not to your liking, though okay for night/shadows, and not fully outdoor rated (it's all sealed except for the back, which is easy to rig). It's got a poor picture, too (not sharp, though compared to a USB probably average picture).

The Toshiba CAN get a good picture at times, but it depends on the lighting. Mine faces south so most of what it sees is in sun. When it's overcast, or with ominous clouds about, it gives a pretty good picture (320x240, 640x480, and 1280x960, which frankly is not THAT much better than a double-sized, scaled-up 640x480). The Toshiba has PTZ, but for $500, it's hard to find any "outdoor ready" camera for that price, even without PTZ. I'm pretty sure the Toshiba is POE. It is a "classy" cam, if a little dated. It uses an Axis processor, but the software is from "Topview" (whoever).

I wish I had a better suggestion for less bucks, but I don't -- I don't know of one, anyway.

P.S. Tohsiba user guide mentions the following:

- AC adapter is only rated to 104 F (pg 13), but the camera is 122F (pg 117, Specs).

- "A PoE power supply device is required for supplying power ot the camera via the LAN cable" (pg 21). Also in the Specs (pg 117).

Works for me. I use a power supply for a computer system (Micro ATX PS, Coolmax or similar) which is hooked up to a UPS, to supply my outside cams (I've actually got a fourth, not-inside cam -- another in the garage, facing out: an Axis 207MW).

If you want a fine outside picture, even in a lot of sun (but forget about night, or anything after sundown), the 207MW (megapixel) is it. The picture of a plain 207/207W is terrible in comparison. It's not an outdoor camera, and it's close to $400. No PTZ. I don't think it does POE via a LAN cable; you'd need to swing your own with a splitter at the camera (which you could with any cam, for that matter).
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azjerry
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Joined: 16 Jul 2008
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Added a bit to my original post.
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