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Webcam Protection & Operation
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Selahgal
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March 1, 2010 - 2:05 pm
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Hi again guys.

We have a wireless webcam outside to monitor our animals [goats, ducks, chickens] from our computer. We don't broadcast online, could never get THAT to work! We just monitor from our computer.

During the winter months it stopped working many times, but usually began working again without our doing anything. By not working, I mean we'd get a black screen or a gray 'static' screen OR the rotating device holding the camera wouldn't move. I think it may have frozen or perhaps gotten wet, I'm not sure. But the Indiana winters are brutal ... sub freezing temps, ice, snow, wind, sleet, etc.

Hubby rigged a plastic liter soda bottle to put over the camera which worked ok, but blurred the focus a bit. The camera/rotation device sits outside on a high post. We've racked our brains trying to think of some kind of contraption that we could put over and around the entire camera setup which would not block or blur the camera image, but would keep it from the weather.

Any ideas????

We would also like to set up another webcam in our big chicken house. Is there any brand or type of cam you recommend over others? It doesn't have to be color and it doesn't have to have a mic, although that would be nice. The one inside the chicken house would not be in the weather. Security cams seem good but they are pricey, too.

Speaking of mics, the webcam I have on top of my computer is supposed to have a mic but I can't get any sound recording. I've checked everything I know of ... driver, sound, etc. When I open the software for it and click RECORD in audio OR video mode and play it back, I hear nothing. The video portion works fine. Yes, my sound IS turned on! LOL

Ok, these problems should keep you busy awhile ... LOL.

Thanks a bunch!

Marci

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David Hartsock
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March 2, 2010 - 5:49 am
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Marci,

Hey, I didn't know you were in Indiana. Heck, we're practically neighbors!

Well you are probably right about the current camera wonkyness being weather related. Outside conditions can play havoc on the electronics and camera lens. I imaging you could take your husbands idea a step further and attach the plastic to the rotating part of the PTZ(pan tilt zoom) head and cut an opening for the lens. If you need more protection you could use some of the bottle plastic to make a bill over and to the sides of the lens. That should give decent protection.

Now, about the new camera. If you are happy with your current camera an identical one would be more reliable in the sheltered location you describe. I don't know the distances between each camera location and your computer, but there are many security type solutions that would be much more reliable than any wireless setup.

My quesitons would be: What are the distances between each camera and the computer? How do you feel about burying cable? What is your budget? Would you be willing to spend more money for a more reliable solution?

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Selahgal
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March 2, 2010 - 9:20 am
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Hi Dave! Yes we are about two hours north of Indy!! Small world.

Our wireless 'animal' cam is about 100 feet from our house. The other cam we'd like to set up would be a big farther, maybe 200 feet. Yes, most of the security cam set ups are pricey, at least from what I've seen. Hubby has suggested wired, so it's not out of the possibility as long as we don't have to take out a loan for it! LOL

The cam and tilting base work fine when they aren't frozen. LOL The site I got them from is a bit cheesy, X10.com, but the prices were good. Since their cam is already installed with the software, I might go ahead and just 'add' to that since the software can handle six cams. I just thought there was a super duper awesome cam out there that I should know about! LOL

As far as weather proofing the other one, I was thinking something like a very large GLASS jar, but finding a jar opening big enough to put the cam and base in is the problem. I think the whole thing should be weather protected ... cam, base, wires, electrical cord/outlet, etc. Hopefully the worst of the freezing weather is behind us now and we can prepare for the stormy weather now!

Thanks!!

Marci

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Chad Johnson
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March 6, 2010 - 3:50 pm
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um, i know little about cameras but wanted to point out that I'm 2 hours north of indy! small world!!

ok, go back to your lives now.

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Selahgal
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March 7, 2010 - 9:29 am
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Oh my gosh, are you my neighbor?????

Do any of these towns sound familiar? Winamac, Knox, North Judson, Monticello, Logansport?

Marci

P.S. I REALLY need my computer webcam mic working. We went ahead and put the outdoor cam back up with the plastic liter bottle for now.

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Jim Hillier
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March 7, 2010 - 5:05 pm
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Hey Marci - Could you please let us know how the sound is being handled on your computer?

Go to[b:2eq6trh5] StartControl PanelAdministrative ToolsComputer ManagementDevice Manager[/b:2eq6trh5] (or go to[b:2eq6trh5] Start[/b:2eq6trh5], right click [b:2eq6trh5]My Computer[/b:2eq6trh5] and select [b:2eq6trh5]Manage[/b:2eq6trh5]. Then select [b:2eq6trh5]Device Manager[/b:2eq6trh5]). In Device Manager, expand the entry for [b:2eq6trh5]Sound [/b:2eq6trh5]and tell us what is listed there?

Cheers....JIM

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Chad Johnson
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March 8, 2010 - 9:04 am
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Oh my gosh, are you my neighbor?????

Do any of these towns sound familiar? Winamac, Knox, North Judson, Monticello, Logansport?

Marci

P.S. I REALLY need my computer webcam mic working. We went ahead and put the outdoor cam back up with the plastic liter bottle for now.[/quote:31tp3pj2]

I could be your neighbor, but unlikely. I'm familiar with all those towns actually, but I'm across the state near the Ohio / Michigan borders in NE Indiana.

And...that's as specific as I get on a public forum.
(if you're desperately curious, feel free to PM me)

As for your webcam, are all the cables that protrude from the back of the webcam plugged in (yes, the obvious question).
Are there any ports on the back of your webcam that are open / do not have a cord?
Is this a USB webcam?

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Selahgal
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March 9, 2010 - 9:12 am
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Hey Marci - Could you please let us know how the sound is being handled on your computer?

Go to[b:26fpyqi5] StartControl PanelAdministrative ToolsComputer ManagementDevice Manager[/b:26fpyqi5] (or go to[b:26fpyqi5] Start[/b:26fpyqi5], right click [b:26fpyqi5]My Computer[/b:26fpyqi5] and select [b:26fpyqi5]Manage[/b:26fpyqi5]. Then select [b:26fpyqi5]Device Manager[/b:26fpyqi5]). In Device Manager, expand the entry for [b:26fpyqi5]Sound [/b:26fpyqi5]and tell us what is listed there?

Cheers....JIM[/quote:26fpyqi5]

Took a pix for you....

[img:26fpyqi5]http://i667.photobucket.com/albums/vv37/Shalom627/fordave.jpg[/img:26fpyqi5]

See the Microsoft Lifecam VX 3000 Microphone?

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Selahgal
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March 9, 2010 - 9:17 am
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Oh my gosh, are you my neighbor?????

Do any of these towns sound familiar? Winamac, Knox, North Judson, Monticello, Logansport?

Marci

P.S. I REALLY need my computer webcam mic working. We went ahead and put the outdoor cam back up with the plastic liter bottle for now.[/quote:26b2v8qx]

I could be your neighbor, but unlikely. I'm familiar with all those towns actually, but I'm across the state near the Ohio / Michigan borders in NE Indiana.

And...that's as specific as I get on a public forum.
(if you're desperately curious, feel free to PM me)

As for your webcam, are all the cables that protrude from the back of the webcam plugged in (yes, the obvious question).
Are there any ports on the back of your webcam that are open / do not have a cord?
Is this a USB webcam?[/quote:26b2v8qx]

That's ok I totally understand about privacy!

The webcam only has one cable coming from it and it is plugged in. The video works fine, the software opens fine, just no audio. Is it possible the audio and video cables split at the end like TV cables and the audio has come loose?

I'll go check the cords to be sure. I even downloaded the manual for the webcam. Yes, it is a USB webcam.

Marci

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David Hartsock
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March 16, 2010 - 4:42 am
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I came across this deal on Newegg for [url=http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16881381072&Tpk=N82E16881381072:q6buel8t]4 cameras plus DVR and web server for $230[/url:q6buel8t]. Probably less than another wireless cam or two!

Might be another option for you.

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Selahgal
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March 18, 2010 - 3:25 pm
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Thanks Dave! We really only need ONE more webcam so that wouldn't be a good option for us. And they're sold out anyhow. Guess I'll go back to X10's cheesy site and try to find an add-on cam.

Finally got the webcam by my computer working too! Don't ask me what I did. I don't know. LOL

You guys know anything about fixing a roof leak???? HAHAHAHA

Thanks again!

Marci

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Chad Johnson
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March 24, 2010 - 9:33 pm
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You guys know anything about fixing a roof leak???? HAHAHAHA
[/quote:141zo4aw]

Duct Tape.

Glad you got your webcam working!

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Selahgal
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October 5, 2010 - 1:06 pm
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We moved our webcam to another position at the east/south corner of the house and it has a LOT of flicker!!! Any idea how to get a clear pix??

Marci

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David Hartsock
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October 6, 2010 - 4:32 am
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If it is in the morning/evening it is probably due to the way the sun, or its' reflection, hits the lens. Otherwise it is probably a wireless issue and your only options would be to:
1. More your router to a location closer to the cam.
2. Replace your antennas on the router with high gain antennas.

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Selahgal
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December 18, 2010 - 8:56 am
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If it is in the morning/evening it is probably due to the way the sun, or its' reflection, hits the lens. Otherwise it is probably a wireless issue and your only options would be to:
1. More your router to a location closer to the cam.
2. Replace your antennas on the router with high gain antennas.[/quote:231kovgd]

Ok, we got two outside webcams up outside but could only get ONE to come into the computer. We bought an additional black and white low light cam which is the one with the 'flicker' all the time that we can't seem to fix.

DH is clueless on this so you all are our only hope to fix this! [No pressure ... lol].

Ok, in reference to #2 above, please expand in more detail about that?

This is a pix of what came with our webcam [stupid camera wouldn't focus for me!]:

[img:231kovgd]http://i667.photobucket.com/albums/vv37/Shalom627/webcamanttenah.jpg[/img:231kovgd]

The thing on top twists around so it can face the webcam outside. Since we have THREE webcams now, two of them mounted outside, I thought it would be more cost effective to try and 'rig' and fix these rather than buy all new stuff. So how to we fix this? If this is beyond your level of expertise, can you suggest other websites that might help? I do appreciate all your efforts!

Thanks so much.

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