Need purchase advice for specific installation - help!

Discussion in 'IP Cameras' started by BiigRich, Jan 12, 2019.

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  1. BiigRich

    BiigRich n3wb

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    I am technical but new to IP cameras and this forum.
    I have several machines in the crawlspace under my home and I need to monitor them randomly, NOT continuously. It is a pain for me to get under my house because I am an older person and I am 6'8" making it difficult to get into the crawlspace and out.
    So, I need a remotely controlled camera (wifi, IP?) which MUST be A/C so I don't have to go down there to recharge the camera's battery.
    I do not want to leave a light on, so it must have good night vision capabilities.
    I certainly don't need it to be operating all the time but I need to turn the camera on when I need to see if the equipment down there is faulted or if anything is leaking, etc. It's OK if the camera is on all the time but it is a waste since I only need to check it occasionally.
    For example, I have a crawlspace dehumidifier to monitor along with the HVAC unit, a whole house humidifier and a condensate pump. They have LED fault lights and other indicators that I could read with a camera.
    Of course, this is not high priority surveillance so I'd like to keep the cost to a minimum.
    I have a wireless network, a smartphone and desktop and laptop computers to connect to so I really only need an A/C camera. If I like it and the price, I will consider expanding to security surveillance, etc.

    (A/C. Night-vision, remote on/off, cheap {but functionally reliable})

    Any ideas who might make such a camera?
     
  2. looney2ns

    looney2ns IPCT Contributor

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  3. BiigRich

    BiigRich n3wb

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    Thanks looney2ns,
    Do you own this one? How good is the Night Vision?
    Sadly, I really need the wifi, it would be a little difficult to run RJ45 direct.
     
  4. mat200

    mat200 IPCT Contributor

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  5. BiigRich

    BiigRich n3wb

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    Thanks mat200. looney2ns suggested a slightly cheaper model but going from 720P to 1080P for five bucks looks good.
    Since you're both talking Amecrest it sounds like it must be reliable too.
     
  6. TonyR

    TonyR IPCT Contributor

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    I have installed 5 of the 720p IPM-721's and they're great little cams (rebranded Dahua). The 1080 p version is likely a suitable upgrade.
    The 721's have wireless and Ethernet, alarm in/out, built-in speaker and mike, are pan/tilt/digital zoom, with IR and are ONVIF and Blue-Iris compatible.

    You can stream its RTSP to VLC like a champ.
     
  7. StevenP

    StevenP n3wb

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    I just ordered two of the IP2M-841s to put in my barn to watch our animals at night. Its a good price point for the application and its does everything i need it to do.
     
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  8. TonyR

    TonyR IPCT Contributor

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    FWIW, you can use the following RTSP URL's to stream from the Amcrest cams to 1 or more instances of VLC , the authentication is included in it:

    Code:
    rtsp://user:password@Camera-IP:554/cam/realmonitor?channel=1&subtype=0
    and

    Code:
    rtsp://user:password@Camera-IP:554/cam/realmonitor?channel=1&subtype=1 
    Note that "subtype" is "0" for main stream and "1" for extra stream 1, "2" for extra stream 2 (if available).
    Subtype = 0 should provide the highest resolution stream.

    I ran an Amcrest IP2M-842W all night last night on VLC, was still running this morning. And on the IPM-721 with built-in mike, VLC can play the audio with the RTSP video stream if so desired.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019
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  9. BiigRich

    BiigRich n3wb

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    Thanks to TonyR and StevenP, (and everyone who responded)
    I missed out on the Newegg sale of the IP2M-841B's for $55.00. I didn't realize the sale ended at midnight but I found the same units at another site for $54.00 and will buy it today.

    TonyR: What is RTSP to VLC? I'm technical but this field is new to me.
     
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  10. TonyR

    TonyR IPCT Contributor

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    I was writing post #8 above when your question came in.

    RTSP is "Real Time Streaming Protocol" and is the live video stream that comes directly from the camera.

    VLC is a free media player that you can run on a PC to stream your camera's video without having to open a browser or install an active-X plug-in. It's considered to be one of the best out there, don't let the price (free!) fool you.

    That would be a great way to monitor the cameras at home on your LAN if you did not have Internet, didn't care about remote viewing, etc. I use Blue Iris software on a PC to monitor and record my cams. It provides push notifications to the BI app on my iPhone and wife's Android phone. IMO. the best value in VMS software there is.
     
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  11. StevenP

    StevenP n3wb

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  12. TonyR

    TonyR IPCT Contributor

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    Good point, some don't care for refurbs.

    FWIW, I have found that 3/4 of the people that send stuff back to amazon complaining of defects or malfunctions don't know how to set it up. If you read the reviews some are given 1 star because "....it was white in color and I wanted a black one" or "....it said it was wireless and I had to plug it in for power" and so on. So with a little "buyer beware" under my belt I sometimes buy refurbs from amazon because I have Prime AND they have a fantastic return policy if I don't like it or have an issue. I've had some great luck and have saved a few bucks, too. YMMV
     
  13. StevenP

    StevenP n3wb

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    Fair Enough
     
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  14. BiigRich

    BiigRich n3wb

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    TontR:
    I got it, and I sure like the price of the VLC software .
    I ordered the camera. I will download the software too. I already have a wireless router and Internet as well as a 32 GB SD Card so I should be ready to go when it arrives (8 to 10 days because the shipping is free).
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019
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  15. BiigRich

    BiigRich n3wb

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    I just bought it using "Groupon" and the item description says "Condition: New". I don't buy refurbs either.
    After tax and free shipping I paid $57.77 for one IP2M-841B.
     
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  16. VorlonFrog

    VorlonFrog Known around here

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    I've purchased refurb motherboards, routers, and other electronics from both Amazon and Newegg over the years, precisely because it's a good bet the original purchaser simply didn't know what they were buying or installing. Ya takes yer chances, and ya saves a good bit of $$$.
     
  17. BiigRich

    BiigRich n3wb

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    I agree so it depends on whether you want to take a chance or not to save more money.

    I'm always worried about the highly intermittent problems or the previous buyer who may have connected the item incorrectly and weakened the components. Like handling a motherboard without static straps. The motherboard still works but some components are probably weakened.

    I worked with service people who did this all the time and they just don't get it. Ordinary customers are worse, I'm sure.
     
  18. TonyR

    TonyR IPCT Contributor

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    One must use some use some discretion when purchasing so-called "refurbished" items. I have a few boxes that must be checked off and there are some deal breakers for me as well. Caveat emptor!
     
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  19. StevenP

    StevenP n3wb

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    BTW, not only did i get the $54.99 last night but when i put it in cart it gave me a $5 New Egg Gift Card. Adding 2 didn't change the amount of the gift card, so i placed two separate orders and got a second gift card with the second camera, so i will save $10 off the hard drive i am about to buy. :)

    upload_2019-1-13_10-47-22.png
     
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  20. BiigRich

    BiigRich n3wb

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    I will be checking back with Newegg and Groupon, etc. after I receive the camera I ordered. Maybe I'll start putting them up around my house. It does sound like a nice device.
    Caveat... the price drop going to just under $60.00 for a camera that used to be ~$100.00 surely indicates something new is in the pipe, but such is the world of technology.