IP Cam Talk

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IP Cam in a car -- It works better than you think.

gmaster1

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I've been able to do some pretty miraculous things with 3G/4G cellular links over the past decade. Things people said were impossible at the time. Obviously the largest challenge with such a volatile network is reliability/consistency which, if you don't ace that part, it's not really worth doing. At least in my opinion.

So I've seen a number of people try this and results have been "meh". A lot of challenges with it for sure.


Very basic idea. Car starts--> Turns camera and router on --> Establishes VPN link to home --> Camera server starts up recording process.


I'm using a BMW X3 for this test so I had to be REALLY picky about what type of components to choose. Mostly because this car is junk and a cell phone charger will keep the internal computer spinning despite a 15 minute auto-off and some other garbage..

TOP-308 chosen for size and low amp pull off of 12V


Tucked away hidden behind the visor I left this part out because it's an easy thing to check. If the LAN link is blinking rapidly it means all is well. Otherwise all hidden away.


Here's the view of the mirror for reference. Yes, I could have done a better job hiding the Ethernet cable but I don't care. The standard local recording dash cam is to the right.


Front view. 5 cameras total in this car now. What an age we live in.


The yellow brick is the router. It has USB 3G/4G capability but I'm using a hotspot that it tethers with wirelessly. It stays with me 24/7 and has a battery life of like 5 days so it's just something that works amazingly well for my use. As soon as I approach the car the fob signals the aux to turn on and the router makes its connection with my messenger bag and away we go.

Quick first run test. No edits to RTSP/Encoder yet. Fine tuning will be necessary, but not by much if I'm being honest. 25fps/1700-2500/2 seems like this system can breeze through it.

Unlimited/uncapped data on SIM which obviously is necessary for this, and the car continues to stream for that 15 minutes after the last button or door is touched. Unlocking car or pressing any button on fob will spin the system up for 15 minutes if the engine is off.

Can this be run in a "set it and forget it" fashion? It is in this example so where I used to say no way, I'm thinking that's now a big 10-4.

-G
 

pal251

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Be awesome to implement this for police dash cameras
 

Mike

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Wow that is awesome, thanks for sharing. Are you streaming the camera back to BI anywhere? I too am interested in this, could you possibly provide a part list or something?

Thanks for sharing!
 

gmaster1

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Thanks all.

Yellow brick router is a GL-MT300N and then just the TOP-308 IP Cam but feel free to substitute for something better or different depending on application. This was the only one I could use before my car started throwing error logs. This probably isn't an issue in most other cars, but all I have are BMWs with the same attribute.

@Mike Yep I'm streaming back to BI -- Watchdog set to 10 seconds, no restart to cam (unchecked).

Cam has been rock solid every day. Working on some real-time GPS logging additions now. If I can get that down to 100-200mA I'm golden.
 

gmaster1

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What is the mobile hot-spot you are using?

Sent from my TF300T using Tapatalk
For this instance, I can use a USB 4G modem plugged right into the router (it worked well) but the SIM card I'm using for this I like to use for a few things when not in the car so I keep it in a Unite Explore. 5 days of battery life. I keep it on me at all times anyways so whenever I hop in the car or get near it, everything works. If I was concerned about keeping a dedicated SIM in the car then, again, I'd simply keep it plugged into the router.
 

gmaster1

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I don't understand what you mean when you ask for a full parts list? There's an IP camera, a router, and whatever you prefer or have access to as far as 4G connectivity. That's literally it as far as the car goes. If you're looking for a parts list that includes setup, detailed documentation, how to set up Blue Iris and OVPN, etc that's something different then I suppose.

**I can't spec out the 4G LTE / cellular part of this as each carrier and requirement is different.
 

nbstl68

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What's the typical monthly cost for an Unlimited/uncapped data plan for a phone or additional SIM these days?

Where I'm at I can hardly keep a phone call from disconnecting every few miles when driving.. If the signal is lost\disconnected how does it let you know \ how do you reconnect?
 

gmaster1

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Rates are all situational where you are wanting service and who is available etc etc -- Me personally this is being powered by $35/mo. Again, all situational.

I live in a populated metro where it's impossible to not find 4G LTE, but to answer your question, what happens in Blue Iris (or any NVR/DVR) when a camera reboots or goes offline momentarily? ;-)

*As I mentioned below one of my photos, I do have a primary 1080p dash cam that records locally.
 

FoxCR

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This is great for a dashcam, but how about if there was a way to do this while the car was parked outside my house. Connected to my wifi. The car would be an additional camera.

Im sorry if I missed this, how are you powering you camera and in car router? I ask because at least the router is 120v here in the us.
 

ldasilva

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a lot of routers are 12 volts its just converted from 120v to 12v

This is great for a dashcam, but how about if there was a way to do this while the car was parked outside my house. Connected to my wifi. The car would be an additional camera.

Im sorry if I missed this, how are you powering you camera and in car router? I ask because at least the router is 120v here in the us.
 

FoxCR

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I will have to investigate.
Maybe for my scenario its just a wireless camera.
 

gmaster1

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This is great for a dashcam, but how about if there was a way to do this while the car was parked outside my house. Connected to my wifi. The car would be an additional camera.

Im sorry if I missed this, how are you powering you camera and in car router? I ask because at least the router is 120v here in the us.
Completely possible (...sorta)

I did exactly this years ago to prove a point then and it actually ended up working quite well. Back then, cars had less fickle 12v systems so I doubt I'd want to try this nowadays but maybe it all depends on make/model.

This was from a project back in 2012 using a wifi bridge 5 stories up between a lot of concrete. I used a TP-Link outdoor bridge in AP mode and pointed it at my theoretical spot below inside the parking garage. As soon as I parked, the wifi would connect and begin recording 24/7.




The black tape was to hide the camera a little better... I was lazy... clearly.

I actually set up a similar system with a 4G LTE hotspot + NVR + 2 5v IP cameras in a car for three nights during a sort of surveillance sting type ordeal. The car we installed the kit in was an older 2004...thing... and the battery was a champ.
 

area651

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Be awesome to implement this for police dash cameras
I have to agree. There have numerous instances, especially in the smaller towns where the body cams & the car cams "somehow were turned off and then back on after something happened" that it should have been recording.
 

area651

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What's the typical monthly cost for an Unlimited/uncapped data plan for a phone or additional SIM these days?

Where I'm at I can hardly keep a phone call from disconnecting every few miles when driving.. If the signal is lost\disconnected how does it let you know \ how do you reconnect?
I pay about $25 a month for unlimited cellular data. SUPPOSEDLY they will throttle the data after 20gb is reached but I've been over many times (just using data while traveling) and havent encountered any throttling yet. I think the unlimited data part often comes from package deals. Like if you have DirecTV as well then you might get unlimited data w/ you ATT cell. Just an example. I have so many plans, tv, home internet, this phone & that phone, that it all runs together.

Hope that helps
 
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