Need recommendation for "Sump-Cam"

Frankenscript

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Hi folks,

After a basement flood I want to have a camera pointed into my sump pit so I can visually verify water level remotely. It would be mounted on the sump cover, pointed down at an angle I suppose. Would need to work in the dark so needs IR.

To be clear, this is to manage my anxiety only. No alarms etc. Just to let me see the level is non threatening. Low res is fine.

I'm on BI for recording and remote viewing.

What cheap camera would work for this? I worry about lens getting wet preventing an image.

Marc

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waverz

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Wyze cam? $27 shipped via prime.
Works with BI using custom firmware.

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Frankenscript

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I like that Wyze is cheap, but something with a smaller than typical size would be good. For example I saw some ad a while ago for a camera that plugs into a phone or computer micro USB port and was at the end of a snakey cable, good for probing drains and such. Something like that that I could just drill a small hole into the sump cover and shove through, then epoxy to hold it in place.

Anything like that which would work with BI?

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aristobrat

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Hopefully the sump cover won't vibrate when the pump runs. I don't know of a reasonable camera that's going to give a useful image if mounted on/through something that's vibrating.
 

Frankenscript

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Sump only runs occasionally, so don't care about stability of image during pump cycle. It's off >99% of the time.

I probably should have just asked "what 'pen format' cameras work with BI?" Basically endoscopes are what are needed for this application, but most are set up to be portable and work with cell phones these days. I need one to work with BI and preferably hardwired Ethernet (PoE is ok but power outlet nearby if needed)



Thanks everyone for your help.

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waverz

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Maybe you should just look for a float switch?

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Frankenscript

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Maybe you should just look for a float switch?

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Yes, I have a float switch to control the pump. Which got hung up on the damned drain tiles dumping water into the sump. I've trimmed back the tiles and adjusted the float, and plan to get a backup water powered pump as well. But my paranoia and anxiety are legion, and being able to peek at BI once in a while when I am remote to reassure myself that the sump is not overflowing will be important to me for a while. I'm also looking into home automation, alarms, and so on.

But I just want to have a simple camera to look at if I get an anxiety spell. It's worth $100 or whatever to add it to my BI system.

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pjones

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I understand the desire to see if there is an issue but if you are remote then you may not be able to do anything about it other than watch the devastation as it happens.

The buildings that I service typically have two pumps and they each operate off their own float switch. If the first pump fails then the water rise and turn on the second pump. If water rises above that then a third float switch activates an audible alarm.

If you were worried about not ever knowing if the first pump fails then you could position the high water alarm float so the audible alarm activates once the water level increases above the first pumps float trigger point but below the second pumps off point so that anytime the water is above the first pump then it sounds.

That of course will cost you more that $100 and would require that you have the room in the pit for that setup. But it would be much more reliable than a single pump setup and a camera. Also, looking at a camera every few hours to make sure it isn't over flowing sounds like a lot of work to me. And if you look at it less than that are you really going to be able to react in time to stop any sort of damage from happening?


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tangent

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I'd install a secondary float and a moisture sensor outside the sump tied to an alarm or automation system of some kind
 

Frankenscript

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Folks, thanks for your thoughts. I'm already pursing the separate backup pump on a separate float switch,discharged via a separate pipe, as well as alarms including push notification to my phone in the event of higher than usual water. The alarms and notification are a bit complicated and will take a while to sort.

But in addition to all of that, I just want to add a simple endoscope style camera to my sump. Once in a while I get anxious and it's worth it to me to be able to pull up a feed. Can somebody recommend one that works with BI?

Thanks

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Frankenscript

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Hey guys, no takers here? Come on, there must be some BI-compatible endoscope / pen-cam style device out there.

Meanwhile, I've got two alarms: one is a moisture detector outside the sump, makes loud buzz. The other has a float switch positioned to detect higher than OK levels in the sump, which has internet connectivity and will send text and email alerts so I know what's going on remotely (Proteus L5 Water Level Sensor). And, the backup sump pump (water powered!) is being installed on Friday. But I still want a sump-cam I can look at visually. If I get an alert, and I'm away from home, I want to be able to determine if it's a false alarm or not, and if not, get a neighbor or someone to give an emergency assist.

So, what small profile cam would work inside a sump?
 

TonyR

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If nothing better comes along try one of these: Top-201-IR H264 1MP Super Mini Network IP Camera Home RTSP TCP/IP Night Vision

Also reviewed on IPCT back in Dec. 2014 here.

I have one for a bluebird house. It's BI-compatible (RTSP), 720p, with IR (but no cut filter), draws 12VDC at 1 amp, no wall wart included (standard 12 volt DC cam connector: 5.5mm outside x 2.1mm inside).

For $26, it's hard to beat.....not a big investment if it winds up at the bottom of the sump! :facepalm:
 

Frankenscript

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Thanks Tony. I agree it's hard to beat at that price. While I was hoping for something I could stick through a small drilled hole, for $26 it seems reasonable even if I have to make a bigger hole, if I can't find an ONVIF endoscope.
 

TonyR

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Thanks Tony. I agree it's hard to beat at that price. While I was hoping for something I could stick through a small drilled hole, for $26 it seems reasonable even if I have to make a bigger hole, if I can't find an ONVIF endoscope.
Here's a 10 meter USB endoscope. The cam/LED end is only 5.42mm in dia.(less than 1/4").
One reviewer says "...works with standard webcam software"...made me think about BI's config for USB webcams...only a $12 gamble!
 

aristobrat

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Maybe that one will be different but the inexpensive USB endoscope I got from Amazon runs hot after a bit. I’m not sure it’d last long running 24x7.

Googling around, there was a write up where a Raspberry Pi converted a USB cam into an ONVIF IP cam. So maybe that’s one approach if you find an endoscope/borescope that you like.
 

Tacoman

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PJones has it right. Redundant pumps and a loud alarm. Keep it simple and proven. The camera idea only works if you are watching it or have it set up to trigger an alarm.
 

Frankenscript

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The camera is only needed to verify an alarm is real, not to actually trigger the alarm.

By end of week I will have redundant pumps using redundant outflows, with one pump electric and other one water driven, an internal water level alarm with remote notification, and an external moisture alarm.

Camera is to be solely for alarm verification.

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VorlonFrog

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The Wyzecam v2 is also about $20 and with third-party firmware, provides an RTSP video stream.
 
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