Monday, February 28, 2011

Camera Fail

I was extremely excited to see my camera waiting on my porch as I got home on Friday! I rushed inside to get it set up and had some difficulties due to the "creative" wording on the instruction manual. Saturday morning I finally got it figured out, and I was able to see the barn from the computer in our basement. Unfortunately I found out that Ustream and Livestream, the sites I was planning on using to broadcast the live feed, worked with USB cameras, not wireless IP cameras like mine. I really wanted all of you to be able to watch and monitor Purl with me, but I figured as long as I could log in at work and see the feed from the barn, it would be better than nothing.

Unfortunately, the camera (or our router) isn't strong enough to send a constant signal, so the feed gets interrupted. It's not reliable enough to be worth the money spent. Right now I've got a few options:

1. Return the camera and say heck with it
2. Keep the camera and use it in the house to watch the dogs (might be fun, but do I really need an $80 camera for that?
3. Buy a range extendor antenna (looks like prices start around $35) and hope it works
4. Buy an inexpensive security system that is wired to a tv monitor, then use a regular old USB webcam to monitor the tv (a round about way, but might be my best bet)

So I'm going to think about my options. I wish I had $400 to spend on a really nice barn camera system, but with my few animals there's no way that's worth it. If any of you are technologically inclined, I'd love to hear any other ideas!


Daun said...

I got the same camera and it works well. However, I did have to move my wireless router to be closer to the barn. It is connected via a super long ethernet cable to the cable modem in a different room. Not exactly pretty, but works for kidding/lambing season.

Is this an option for you?

katiegirl said...

That's a great idea, Daun! I'm going to look into it right now!

Mark said...

Katie, Think of it as an old AM radio and you've got to find that 'sweet spot'. The farther the distance, the more walls in the way, and any electrical wiring in between, the worse the signal. Anything you can do to eliminate walls, etc. and get as close to 'line of sight' as you can will help. Test the camera out.. maybe start at your's it doing?, then move it about half way to the barn...still okay?.. till you get it just inside the barn door. Sometimes just moving the camera around (a few feet higher-lower-left-right) will do the trick. Good luck!

Becky said...

I was getting ready to say, "I bet Mark would know". LOL I hope you can figure it out, Kate. I can only imagine how frustrated you are with the whole thing.

katiegirl said...

Thanks for the tips Mark! I'll try fiddling with it tonight. Maybe I can find the right spot! We are looking into moving the router upstairs...a 50' cat 5 cable is $30 at Walmart. I think I've got just enough egg money to get it. It's worth a shot!

Deb said...

I am sure hoping it will work! I am so glad Mark chimed in since he's the font of all knowledge! Aren't I lucky?? Good luck and I hope it all works! Love you, Momma

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