Cloud camera project

Next project… just arrived a few days ago. A new sensitive Pan/Tilt/Zoom camera for taking cloud pictures. It is sensitive enough that it can see clouds during the night without any problem.
The idea is to take the wind direction from the tempest and automatically point the camera in the direction the wind is coming from. Of course make the camera move very, very slowly, so the timelapse will still look beautiful.

Did someone already make that and want to share the how-to, or do I “invent” this from scratch?

it will take sometime to complete as before I do this I’m going to build a cocktail machine, which has to be ready before summer starts. Stay tuned. (perhaps I should invent an 'official weatherflow cocktail :wink: )


I do believe the drink already exists:


:smiley: that’s a good one. I should try it.

I prefer a Dark & Stormy… dark rum & ginger beer.

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Make and Model ? Wi-fi or ethernet or coax wired ? Cost ? Link to look into them ?

Sounds like a fun addition…

it has very low lux ratings (it is starlight version) and works even in color at night. Also it has relatively long shutter speeds.
As it operates 24/7 in needs too much power to be working from just a simple solar panel, so it needs a wire. I choose the Power-over-Ethernet version, so I needed only 1 cable, and no wifi. You could opt for a model with wifi, but you would still need to connect it with a cable for the power. But they have wifi versions as well.

Thanks. Careful with your network segmentation on this one. Dauha is on the list of companies banned for use in the US at government sites or contractors/suppliers because they gear tries incessantly to phone home to China. You might want to do a little network sniffing to your LAN and block the cam outbound at a minimum.


it isn’t a big issue, many things phone home, but I blocked it before it had a change to do so.

It would be interesting if you have packet traces confirming it’s indeed trying to do so (or not). I see a zillion DNS lookups from a similar camera which was my first clue.

FWIW, I set the camera’s DNS to so it tried to look itself up :slight_smile:

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I ran wireshark for you. Where do you want to receive the results. I’m curious if you see anything out of the ordinary.

A summary of what you found would be enough but if want to IM me a wireshark trace or stick it someplace I can get it, I can take a look.

Running pihole on your LAN will show what’s happening re: the DNS lookup issue. You might see thousands of attempts per day from one camera. Pretty annoying.

I’d expect you see a lot of DNS lookup attempts that lead back to the vendor in China. Hopefully you don’t see it trying to open any connections to the vendor if you’ve blocked it from accessing the Internet outbound (likely it wouldn’t try until you let the DNS resolve, even if you do that only one time as a test).

My Amcrest and my Foscam knockoff both basically drive themselves crazy trying to do DNS lookups so they can then phone home, presumably for the mobile app remote access to the camera which is the scary stuff. For Amcrest and clones, there is no way to turn that behavior off.

Anything Dahua or HikVision or the like do the same thing. I have not found any model camera that is network capable that does not do this.

The pattern is:

  • the firmware has hardcoded FQDN in it that it tries to reach
  • it will do DNS lookups til it succeeds
  • it will then open connections to the vendor site (presumably) so the mobile app will work

I still run my (US) Amcrest on the LAN as a feed for zoneminder running in a Docker container, but I block it from getting out of the LAN completely, or at least I ‘think’ I still block it. Maybe I need another test too. A power reset on the camera will definitely cause it to start over in whatever it does…

(note - this is similar to what WF does on the Hub looking for time services and connecting to the WF servers, except we trust the WF guys a bit more)


I just send you a link to the data.

I was reading user reviews for an Amcrest NVR with a built-in POE switch a few years ago. Several people were complaining that all of the “smart” features of their cameras stopped working when they were plugged into a POE port on the NVR. My guess is that they are not routing the camera traffic out through the NVR’s ethernet port, which sounds like a win to me… :smiley: