Looking to build a cheap traffic viewer

rickjames8

n3wb
Joined
Nov 22, 2022
Messages
6
Reaction score
1
Location
France
Hi all - I am trying to piece together a cheap system that would be able to view the traffic on my street and send it to my smartphone. My garage door exits directly on to the street, so I can't see if anyone is coming until I'm actually on the road. What I'd like to do is have two cameras mounted above my garage, one facing each direction, with both feeds visible on an app at the same time. I'd wanted to use some of my old Blink cameras for this project, but can't view two at once. The only requirements I have is that they should be fairly small camera as I live in a historic district. If I have 2 white 'security cam' looking things, they'll ask me to take it down. And obviously they need to be waterproof.

My current plan was to use a couple of cheap wifi backup cameras designed for cars. Like this: I can run 5v or 12 power up, and then get the signal via wifi. But these camera manufacturers seem to want you to download their app to use with the camera. I'm assuming there is a way to use something like IP Cam Viewer Pro?

Open to any other ideas on how to get this to work.
 

The Automation Guy

Getting comfortable
Joined
Feb 7, 2019
Messages
942
Reaction score
1,708
Location
USA
Using something like BlueIris (a computer program that records camera streams with a ton of features and options) it would be easy to set something like this up. BlueIris can stream a multiview screen off any cameras you want to see via a web browser. You could simply view this stream on your phone over your home's wifi network as you exit the garage and try to pull onto the street. Once you pulled out of your driveway, the wifi connection will obviously be lost at some point, but if all you really want to see is traffic as you are pulling out of the driveway, then that shouldn't matter.

Of course you could always set your system up to view while away from your home (over the internet) or if your wifi won't extend far enough into the street. While this is very easy to do with BlueIris, it obviously adds a layer of complexity that you probably don't even need to worry about at first. Of course as you "get bit" with the CCTV bug, you might find yourself wanting to expand your camera selection and might want to view the system while away from home. There is no problem setting that up should you want it.

You want to look for cameras that stream over RTSP. I doubt any "dash cam" style camera is going to offer that. Honestly going down that route is going to be harder to make work IMHO because those dash camera systems are closed systems with a specific use case and they are not going to be easily adapted for other uses.
 

rickjames8

n3wb
Joined
Nov 22, 2022
Messages
6
Reaction score
1
Location
France
I have an old-school mirror, but I can't see it when backing out. The position of the driver is too far forward.
 

rickjames8

n3wb
Joined
Nov 22, 2022
Messages
6
Reaction score
1
Location
France
I doubt any "dash cam" style camera is going to offer that. Honestly going down that route is going to be harder to make work IMHO because those dash camera systems are closed systems with a specific use case and they are not going to be easily adapted for other uses.
This is what I was afraid of.

It does sound like BlueIris would do what I need, but it might be going a bit far down the rabbit hole for this mini-project. Was hoping to keep it simple with the most basic waterproof cameras I could find, combined with an app that I already have. If I do add more cameras at a later point, it's something I could look at. Thanks!
 

rickjames8

n3wb
Joined
Nov 22, 2022
Messages
6
Reaction score
1
Location
France
The delay would result in an accident. You need something that shows in real time.
My Blink cameras seem to have about a 2s delay. Given how long the street is, and how infrequent cars come by, this would work for me. I back out today with no camera at all, just very slowly.

Are there any wireless options that get closer to real-time?
 

sduser

n3wb
Joined
Nov 26, 2021
Messages
16
Reaction score
11
I have an old-school mirror, but I can't see it when backing out. The position of the driver is too far forward.
Can you back into your garage when you arrive home instead of pulling in? Would give better visibility on the way out and a quick exit.
 

looney2ns

IPCT Contributor
Joined
Sep 25, 2016
Messages
14,121
Reaction score
19,374
Location
Evansville, In. USA
My Blink cameras seem to have about a 2s delay. Given how long the street is, and how infrequent cars come by, this would work for me. I back out today with no camera at all, just very slowly.

Are there any wireless options that get closer to real-time?
No, only a wired analog camera would be realtime.
Can you back into the garage when coming home, so your are facing forward when leaving?
 

rickjames8

n3wb
Joined
Nov 22, 2022
Messages
6
Reaction score
1
Location
France
Can you back into your garage when you arrive home instead of pulling in? Would give better visibility on the way out and a quick exit.
This is actually what I do today with my van. It's not always easy if there is someone behind me. They get confused on where I eventually want to go, try to go around, but the street narrows at my driveway and it's not easy to go around. Also, it's a tricky garage to back in to (it sort of bends and becomes Y-shaped). My wifes car is small enough that she can make a 3-point turn in the "Y". But I want to get a bigger van, and it'd be much easier to drive straight in and back out. Hence looking at the camera idea.

I had thought about using a wired camera and finding an old monitor and mounting it to the wall. I just didn't know how I'd easily turn it on and off from the car, but I guess I could figure that out with smart timers.
 

bp2008

Staff member
Joined
Mar 10, 2014
Messages
12,043
Reaction score
12,526
Location
USA
IP cameras are simply a poor way to do this. Yes, they CAN do it, and the latency of a typical setup would be less than 2 seconds. But that is only when everything is working right. Signal interruptions and software bugs can increase the delay without warning, or just as likely freeze the video for a prolonged period of time. You do NOT want to rely on this for navigating a vehicle.

Analog cameras with a dedicated display are much better for this since they typically only digitize the video signal when it reaches the LCD display circuitry, and in the event of signal loss the video feed should cut out very quickly, not remain frozen on the screen.

There are a lot of wired and wireless backup cameras on amazon, designed for mounting to your vehicle. Any of these is likely to be better than an IP camera system for this purpose. However beware that some are digital and you can find reviews where people mention they've seen the video freeze. Giant red flag there.

If it was me I'd probably go with something like this, an analog camera with RCA video connector, view angle 180° or higher so that you can see both directions with one camera:
And I'd find a small LCD monitor with an RCA video input to plug it into. Unless the vehicle has this built in. Although built-in displays on cars often do dumb shit like pop up big opaque bluetooth connectivity messages in front of your backup camera view while you are backing up :facepalm:. A dedicated display will have no bullshit baked in. If you have room for it.

Also a word of warning about wireless analog cameras. They do exist and they will work well enough, but if they use 2.4Ghz or 5Ghz spectrum, they will interfere strongly with wifi in the area. Mounting a camera on a car, you need to run a power wire anyway so you might as well use a wired camera IMHO.
 

DavidW

Getting the hang of it
Joined
Apr 5, 2020
Messages
39
Reaction score
59
Location
Florida
Get long enough cables to connect the analog camera to a screen mounted on your wall outside of the car? Then you can peek before you make the dangerous trek into the world
 

00Buck

Known around here
Joined
Jan 17, 2016
Messages
200
Reaction score
327
Location
Indiana
I have an aftermarket back up camera on the license plate that displays through my Garmin GPS. I has a wide field of view and I can see down the aisles in parking lots even if a van or pickup truck is parked beside me.
Something like that could be an option.
 

rickjames8

n3wb
Joined
Nov 22, 2022
Messages
6
Reaction score
1
Location
France
Wow! Thanks for all the great responses! @bp2008 - I didn't know 210* FOV cameras even existed. Based on some previous comments, I had thought about getting 2 wired cameras, and getting a multiplexer, displaying on the wall. But this 210* degree camera would work perfect! There is a thrift store nearby that regularly has older monitors for a few bucks. Ok - I think I have a plan now. Thank you all. I'll update this thread with pics when I start the build.
 
Top