Review - TOP-201 Super Mini 720P HD IP-Cam (The Cheapest IP Cam So Far !!)

Discussion in 'IP Cameras' started by lojix, Dec 13, 2014.

Share This Page

  1. raceboy

    raceboy n3wb

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2015
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    1
    ok. thanks a lot. i hope that is possible enable onvif on that camera
     
  2. truxntrax

    truxntrax n3wb

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2015
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    I can confirm that the instructions and upgrade.img file work as directed. My camera is now unbricked and booting as normal. :)

    Thanks Don and others who helped.

    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 18, 2015
  3. raceboy

    raceboy n3wb

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2015
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    1
    hello.

    thanks for support. i tried this firmware with date 2014.11.10 but ONVIF don't work neither. but i found on internet another firmware with firmware date 2014.09.05 (General_HZXM_IPC_HI3518C_50H10L_S38_V4.02.R11.20140905_ALL.bin) and ONVIF works!
     
  4. dui

    dui n3wb

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2015
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi,

    one of my cameras has an identical board to the above, can you recommend a good mic for this please?

    And would the connections be as follows:
    PCB AUDIO GND -> MIC GND
    PCB AUDIO IN -> MIC +VE
    PCB AUDIO OUT -> MIC AUDIO OUT

    many thanks in advance.
     
  5. madmas

    madmas n3wb

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2015
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dear TheUberOverLord,
    Can you tell me which player I need to use for open *.h264 files. I'm trying to use VLC, Windows Media Player and other, but I can't open these files.
     
  6. dui

    dui n3wb

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2015
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    VLC works fine, are you using the correct link?
     
  7. madmas

    madmas n3wb

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2015
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm opened the folder, where CMS is stored a video files and try to open these video files.
     
  8. lojix

    lojix Getting the hang of it

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    94
    Location:
    Melbourne, Victoria. Australia
    You're welcome ;)

    I simply used a mic that I had laying around, left over from another project. I got it from DX a while ago, but it's the same as the one shown below.

    [​IMG]

    Audio pick up MINI CCTV Mic Microphone for CCTV Camera Audio Surveillance/CCTV Audio Cable/Audio Receiver for Security Cameras-in Microphones from Consumer Electronics on Aliexpress.com | Alibaba Group

    The specs say the input voltage is 6V-12V, but the mic will operate sufficiently on the 5V output of the board.

    [​IMG]

    The image above shows how I placed the mic inside the enclosure, connected to the board. The placement of the mic will obviously depend on the enclosure being used and how you can wire it up. If using a tiny enclosure like the Top-201 has, the mic may need to be appended to the exterior of the casing.

    I made a small, discrete hole in the side of the enclosure to allow better pickup for the mic, but these mic's are extremely sensitive and can pick up very low volume noise, as such it can also pickup some unwanted audio noise. But for the purposes of capturing audio within range of the camera, these mics do a much better job than you will find that come pre-built with many cheap IP cameras.

    I also made a connector using a standard 3 pin motherboard/breadboard type connector so it can be easily detached from the board if needed. The wires are shielded by some heat-shrink tubing and a couple dots of hot-glue keep it all in place.

    Once the mic has been connected, be sure to enable audio from the camera configuration UI, as shown below. By default, it will likely not be enabled if the board did not come with a mic attached.

    [​IMG]

    This is a great, inexpensive and simple mod for anybody with a similar IP camera module
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 21, 2015
    dui likes this.
  9. dui

    dui n3wb

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2015
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you for your detailed reply, however I can't see the pictures you have attached.
     
  10. bls

    bls Young grasshopper

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    19
    Location:
    Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada
    I'm a hardware, rather than a software, person however have several of these cameras working just great stand alone and with BI, but have a question as to how one updates the firmware exactely. I saw where this can be done via the TTL serial interface, but it appears it can also be done by logging into the camera using IE, selecting Device config / Advanced settings / Upgrade which to me seems a much easier and safe way. If so, after selecting Upgrade what is the file name that I should Browse for? I tried using "General_HZXM_IPC_HI3518E_50H10L_S38_V4.02.R12.20150116_ALL.bin", which didn't work of course. I'm guessing I need to extract the files inside the .bin first, and select one of them, but have no idea what one or what I actually need to do. Can someone with much more software expertice please give step-by-step instructions how to upgrade the fireware for those of us with much to learn yet.
     
  11. bls

    bls Young grasshopper

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    19
    Location:
    Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada
    I've already confirmed the hardware version etc. and downloaded the most current firmware which was this "General_HZXM_IPC_HI3518E_50H10L_S38_V4.02.R12.201 50116_ALL.bin" file. Now what? Is this the file the browser interface Update page wants me to browse to? I tried that but it said the update failed.
     
  12. bls

    bls Young grasshopper

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    19
    Location:
    Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada
    The 4 digits are 6510. My existing system firmware version is V4.02.R12.00006510.10000, build date of 2014-03-29 12:36:22.
     
  13. bls

    bls Young grasshopper

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    19
    Location:
    Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada
    Yes - I'm using the IP Cameras browser interface to install the firmware and guess what - it worked this time. I've seen sugestions to others to try downloading a freash copy many times, but I've updated and installed countless software and never had a problem before and always figured it was sort of a waste of time, but guess not. Anyway, thanks a lot for the help. These are amazing little cameras, especially for the price. I bought a bunch of POE boards and have been making all my cameras, including these hi3518 board cameras, into POE powered ones. The board camera I just updated has audio so now off to add a mic. It was working fine as it was and I wouldn't have normally bothered to update the firmware, but discovered a problem when adding a photo-resistor to control the IR cut filter and figured it may be a firmware issue. Anyway, will get back to you and others with more about that once I have a chance to check it out using the new firmware.
     
  14. lojix

    lojix Getting the hang of it

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    94
    Location:
    Melbourne, Victoria. Australia
    I am about to do the same on one of my boards as well, keep us posted on how it works out.
     
  15. NetWorker

    NetWorker BIT Beta Team

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2014
    Messages:
    88
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Netsville
    Where did you get your POE boards? I'm interested in doing the same thing. A link for the make/model would be great.
     
  16. lojix

    lojix Getting the hang of it

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    94
    Location:
    Melbourne, Victoria. Australia
  17. NetWorker

    NetWorker BIT Beta Team

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2014
    Messages:
    88
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Netsville
    Thanks lojix! Just what I was looking for. Do you mind sharing some pictures on how you did it?

    I did not see a tear down guide in the previous posts. Checking out your new lens though, good stuff!
     
  18. lojix

    lojix Getting the hang of it

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    94
    Location:
    Melbourne, Victoria. Australia
    No problem ;)

    I am still waiting for mine to arrive, shouldn't be long... but connecting up the boards seems fairly straight forward. Especially with these ones that already have the terminal connectors on the board. As long as you don't get the polarity wrong, everything should be fine.

    [​IMG]

    I will put up some pics when mine comes, I would like to if you get one connected up in the mean time as well!
     

    Attached Files:

    • POE.jpg
      POE.jpg
      File size:
      127.8 KB
      Views:
      592
    NetWorker and dui like this.
  19. bls

    bls Young grasshopper

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    19
    Location:
    Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada
    I used the same as pictured at http://www.ipcamtalk.com/ip-cameras/...html#post24016.
    The 6 wires from the camera cable to the 6 position connector must be rearranged to match what the POE board wants and the connector is then plugged into the matching POE board header (CON4).
    Some camera cables may be different, but mine had 2 sets of Red & Black wires suppling 12 volts, 1 set to a 4 position 1.25mm connector with 2 positions unused which plugged into and supplied power to the camera and a second set to a 2mm PH connector intended to power a IR LED array. Both sets of wires can be simply removed as the camera will be receiving its 12V from the POE board, but I choose to only remove the set to the 4 position 1.25mm connector and plugged the other set with a 2mm PH connector into CON3 on the POE board. The POE board is supplied with no header for CON3 so one must be added. CON3 will now supply 12V to the barrel jack on the far end of the camera cable in case I ever want to use it for an IR LED illiminator or whatever. Now back to the camera and POE boards - You need to make an 8 wire cable assembly with an 8 position FCI 1.25mm WTB connector on one end that plugs into CON5 on the POE board and with 2 connectors on the other end. 1 is a similar 6 position connector that plugs into the camera board where the camera cable used to and a 4 position connector with the 2 wires with 12V for the camera.

    The second batch of POE boards that I bought actually came with such a cable and all that one would have to do is move the wires around in the 10 position connector to make things work properly. My first set of POE boards came without cables, but I'm a bit of a perfectionist and wouldn't have used the ones that came the second time anyway without at least making the wires shorter as they are about 3x longer than needed. In any case, the connector shells and pins are inexpensive and available from Digikey. The pins are very small however and require a decent crimper and some skill to properly crimp onto the wires. Luckily there's a decent crimper available that doesn't cost a fortune. Before I tell you which one - you can download a .pdf with what I did from http://ve6sbs.sbszoo.com/IP_Camera_Module_Mods.pdf.

    Also, while ordering supplies you'll likely want to also order some of those M2 Brass Standoff and Screw Assortment kits found on eBay.

    And if planning to try and add a photocell to control the IR Cut Filter, it's been mentioned in this thread and on the manufactures site that the input voltage range for this input is from 0-5V, but it appears to only be 0-3.3V so I would be very careful trying to drive it any higher than 3.3V. Anyway, I'm working on a simple way/circuit to control the filter and will share what I come up with when I have it working as well as details as to how I added a microphone.

    Dealing with these small cameras is the first time I've worked with connectors with a pitch smaller than 2.5mm and my personal experience with crimpers for 2.5mm and larger pins is that I've bought a lot of different (<$100) crimpers over the years to use with all the different kinds of pins that I've needed to install and have not been happy with any of them until finding the crimper I've been using the past few years which is the slightly larger version of the one needed for these tiny camera connector pins. The smaller crimper is for 1.25mm to 2.5mm pitch pins and is a PA-09 by Engineer Inc. and the larger PA-20 crimper I've been using is for 2.5mm to 5mm pitch pins. Either one can be found on eBay for about $50.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

    NetWorker, alastairstevenson and dui like this.
  20. lojix

    lojix Getting the hang of it

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    94
    Location:
    Melbourne, Victoria. Australia
    Thanks bls ...my "schematic" was shameful :bigsmile:
     
  21. bls

    bls Young grasshopper

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    19
    Location:
    Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada
    Not at all. And I would much rather see something than nothing at all. As for a photocell to control the IR cut filter, the control line goes to about 1V when pulled high using a 10K resistor to +5V, about 2.8V using 1K, about 3.5V using 470 ohms and to 4.2V using 180 ohms, but the current using <1K is over 3 ma. and an input line would normally pull-up much easier to nearly the voltage used (5v is actually 4.9V for the camera being used) so I'm guessing this is actually a 3.3V input. Also, the filter switches to night mode with > about .62V and back to day mode with < about .23V so anything from 1K to 10K should work OK, but something strange is happening. With the input high (>.62V) it takes 3 or 4 seconds for the filter to switch from day to night mode, which is typical, but then it switches back to day mode after about 10 sec's. It then switches to night mode again after another 3 or 4 sec's and keeps cycling like this repeatedly until the input is made low and it returns and stays in day mode. I was hoping this was a firmware problem that would go away when I updated to the latest version, but it didn't. Can someone with a camera having a cut-off filter confirm what I found to rule out that I perhaps have a defective camera? Or does this feature perhapes opperate different than any other camera I've seen?

    Note: One can always use the cameras device configuration, system, camera param. page to switch the IR cut filter from 'IR Synchronous Switch' to 'Automatically Switch' to have it controlled by the cameras AGC, rather than this input line, but I find a photocell often works much better.

    Barry
     
    lojix likes this.
  22. lojix

    lojix Getting the hang of it

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    94
    Location:
    Melbourne, Victoria. Australia
    That is a bit strange, and the current to the switch cycles? A tricky one to isolate... It might actually be relief if it is a fault causing the refreshes. As far as I can understand the filter should simply settle at either one or the other state depending on the line voltage from the photocell. I can see why you were thinking firmware. The easiest method to check whats going on, and the only way I could do it, is by having another one side by side. Best would be any pre-assembled cam/filter module that uses at least the same cam module... that and my trusty multimeter :confused3:
     
  23. bls

    bls Young grasshopper

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    19
    Location:
    Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada
    I've modified the IR function of over a dozen cameras and they all switched the filter in & out based on whether the control line was hi or low. But I just found the following for this camera (which is a translation from Chinese of course).

    From a Q&A page: Q - IR light signal control what works? Voltage range?
    A - A infrared light board is bright or dark through the photoresistor photodiode automatically judged, the module does not know whether the infrared light board lights turn on, so it is necessary
    This signal, which is output from the infrared lamp panel onto the module to enable the module to know the status of infrared light board, such as the signal is at a low level of
    Designate a day, is high time that night, so that the image from color into black and white, or black and white into color and IR-CUT control switch
    b. a high level is low is 0-0.7V 2.5-12V

    And from another page: IRCUT switching mode
    IRCUT switch in two ways, one is synchronized with the infrared, one is adaptive.
    IR synchronization via infrared light switch to control IRCUT switching: IR lights off during the day linkage IRCUT switch to IR-cut filter work, suck
    Receive infrared; at night when lights are switched fulfill IRCUT work through the filter, if installed IRCUT, still cast during the day, you need to confirm whether the wiring under the anti IRCUT
    Sequence can be checked by re-wiring or IRCUT reverse order in the camera parameters set in the camera, be corrected.

    Not the best of translations and, as for the voltage range given, the IR LEDs very likely operate from 12V, but I'm pretty sure the control voltage to the camera shouldn't be more, or at least doesn't need to be more, than 3.3V. Anyway, I'm going to play with the configuration settings some more and see if I can make sense of any of this and would appreciate hearing from anyone that knows anything about the 'DayNTLevel' and 'NightNTLevel' settings.

    Barry
     
    lojix likes this.
  24. Oliver

    Oliver n3wb

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2015
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    2
    Hi all,

    did any of you ever get this cam running on an Android Device with IPCamViewer ? I can´t figure it out. Via Webinterface it runs perfectly and I can configure everything. Put in portforwarding in my router as well. I can get IPCamViewer to connect to the cam but only get a little Icon but no live feed.Got a couple of other different cams running on this software with no problems. Only this little beast is refusing.
    I also downloaded the Android App for this cam "Family center" and get a picture there, too ! Gave it it´s own dyndns account - also no live feed.

    Any suggestions ?

    Thanks a lot in advance.

    Oliver
     
  25. bls

    bls Young grasshopper

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    19
    Location:
    Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada
    I simply use BlueIris to view any of my cameras and saves having to fool around opening router ports and worrying about someone accessing and messing around with them.

    Barry
     
  26. Oliver

    Oliver n3wb

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2015
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    2
    Hi !

    And this BlueIris is accessible from you phone from anywhere ?

    Grets

    Oliver
     
  27. bls

    bls Young grasshopper

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    19
    Location:
    Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada
    For those wanting to use POE and have a camera board that's encased in the metal enclosure they are often sold with, I just finished converting one to POE and following are some photos showing how I did this and here's a link to a PDF with the wiring details. http://ve6sbs.sbszoo.com/Encased_IP_Camera_Module_Mods.pdf

    Update: The PDF has been renamed and moved and there's now a web page regarding this camera at http://ve6sbs.sbszoo.com/projects/ipcam_elp/ip188_mods.htm which has a proper link to the PDF.

    I used 10 mm standoffs and comparing the first 2 images shows an unused 2 pin header on the camera board was removed to make room for the 8 pin connector and associated wiring on the POE board which was moved from the top side to the bottom side of the board as seen in the 3rd image. The 4th image shows how the POE to Camera board wiring was located between the 2 boards. The wire used is some that came with the POE board which I shortened to what was needed, but it was a bit stiff due to the hardness of the insulation which made it a difficult to bend and have it take shape easily as the boards were brought together. I mention this as others may also end up with such a problem and the trick to make the wire soft and very easy to bend and take form when the boards are brought together is to simply heat the wire with a hot air gun which will soften the insultion. The 5th image shows how the POE board ends up partially recessed within the metal enclosure and the 5th image is simply another image from a different angle. One could of course simply use longer standoffs to save having to remove several connectors and reinstalling the POE board connector on the bottom side of the board, but not having the board-to-board wiring leave the enclosure and having the POE board located mostly within the enclosure makes things much smaller and neater. Anyway, hopefully this helps some with encased cameras that weren't quite sure how to proceed or at least provides some with a few new ideas to try.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 15, 2015
    lojix likes this.
  28. bls

    bls Young grasshopper

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    19
    Location:
    Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada
    Yes it is and I couldn't be happier with how well it works. I'm mainly a hardware person and often have problems figuring out how to get various programs (software) to do what they are supposed to, but have found BlueIris fairly easy to set up and do what I want it to. It's used mainly just on my local network to view and record a number of cameras set up around my house and garage, but while on holidays last fall I used it countless times to check on things back home from the other side of the country. Check out Blue Iris - Video Security Software
     
  29. Oliver

    Oliver n3wb

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2015
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    2
    will do :)

    Thanks
     
  30. lojix

    lojix Getting the hang of it

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    94
    Location:
    Melbourne, Victoria. Australia
    I'm using the IOS version, but assume it is very much the same... and I have to second bls's opinion. The BlueIris app works great! I love how easily it pushes notifications to the phone, have not a problem with it. Ken (BlueIris developer) has done great work with his software, IMHO it rivals some of the top names in CCTV capture solutions.