Web Cam Suggestion?

Anyone out there using a wireless webcam with their WeatherFlow Station? Seems like it would be a cool accessary. Any particular favorites? Thanks a lot.

There are a few discussions on WXforum.net and ipcamtalk.com is the single best source for information on video cameras.

I personally use Dahua cameras for everything.

Just about all the models of consumer cameras phone home to China (or Texas) and generally provide no way to disable this behavior. Running something like pihole to be able to monitor and block DNS lookups will generate enough logs showing what the cameras are trying to do to make you very very scared of the safety to your network of using commodity network-enabled cameras.

I used to run a HooToo (Foscam knock-off) but switched to a domestic Foscam to get better field of view for my door cam. That phones home too. No way to shut it off. Ugh.

What I wound up doing was setting its gateway and DNS resolver to 127.0.0.1, and then the tens-of-thousands of lookups per day (really) just let the camera hammer itself. I also block all outbound packets from the camera’s static ip on my LAN, just to try to be safer.

A foscam will work. A knockoff foscam will work. A Dahua etc. will work. Just about anything will work technically. FWIW, I use a old Logitech USB camera and a model-B pi running ‘motion’ to shoot timelapse and snapshots. Works great and is much safer than any wifi camera from a security standpoint.

Also, if you use that ipcamtalk.com site wear asbestos and kevlar. Those guys are ‘not’ nice and are ‘very’ opinionated to say the least. Lots of good info there, but super-elitist and just nasty in general.

Short answer - anything will work. ‘motion’ is nice easy software that works great on a pi for doing the software side of things, and it interfaces with zillions of cameras. Lots of help available for setting it up via your old pal Google. Nothing WF-specific in the least.

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Thanks for the info…I had no idea the cameras “phoned home” as you describe…I have several old USB type cameras…Maybe I will just use one of them and run a longish USB cable into the computer…I will look for simple weather resistant DIY shelters for the camera…Thanks again…

Steve 7086

As for hosting/domain/site creation, I am also pathetically ignorant…I was looking at a sort of “one stop” hosting service called “WIX”…It seems to do everything in one place for one price…Can a service like this provide linkage to my weather data, etc.? Thanks again!

All depends what you would like to do.
You could use meteotemplate as site to share your data and much more but you will need a local device to send the data captures locally via udp to the online script (weewx can do that for ex). But there is some knowledge needed to get all the parts setup and linked.

Guess there are other options around and for sure people on this forum will help you but first you need to know what you really want to do with data.

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I have been through several cameras. Most of the low cost units do not survive Minnesota winters. Most are rated for -4F and we hit -30F. I have trailcams that survive -30F with no problem. Currently, I have a couple of Lorex (FLIR) cameras that are pretty nice, but hosted in a Cloud somewhere with no public sharing that I know of. Perhaps for a few $$ more, the video could be shared. They are also rated at -4F, but pretty simple to bring indoors when the weather goes north…

I ended up ordering this one https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32846575056.html . It almost captures a full 180x360 dome. It does has some low light capabilities, so it might even show some bright stars and meteors at night. During daytime it should be able to create some nice timelapse video of the sky. Camera apparently already arrived in my country, so it might arrive soon. It has power-over-ethernet so I need to run only a single cable to it.

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Will that camera take power only over the ethernet cable with out a something to split it out for the power port? I would have expected only an ethernet RJ45 jack.

yes it will get the power through the ethernet connector. The normal power connector on the camera will not be used (you could use it, if you don’t want to use poe).

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you can see here some video shot with it. I love it. amazing how the clouds in different layers move in many different directions. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hr69kSNQP8U

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Sky videos are so amazing to watch. I can just sit there and watch them forever it seems. An interesting one from about a week ago.

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if you are going for this cheap Chinese cam with low light capabilities for an unbeatable price, make sure you give it a fixed ip address and block it in your router from accessing the internet. It arrived today and it turns out it has some severe security problems. Don’t install XMeye either. I used Ispyconnect (opensource) and that just works fine.

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I think I mentioned that in a thread or three here previously. Almost all of the cameras have BIG issues this way. One way to work around it is to set their default gateway to 127.0.0.1 and their DNS servers to 127.0.0.1 and then they’ll just try to connect to themselves crazily, but traffic shouldn’t reach your network. Make sure to block them inbound+outbound on your router just in case.

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That’s a great video - what kind of camera and which direction is it pointing ? What kind of hardware and software are you using etc. etc. etc.

I’ve been running ‘motion’ for 5+ years doing timelapse using a old model-B raspi and a reused Logitech USB camera from a PC. Works fine.

Here’s one I like - https://www.skahan.net/timelapse/000-keepers/2015/spinning/20150405-timelapse-000000.mpg - facing east toward the Cascades, Puget Sound is about a mile or so behind the camera so we get a lot of interesting patterns. Typical wind is SW to NE so toward top-left on the screen.

It’s just a cheap Chinese Foscam knockoff that I got a few years ago. Using Weather Display to capture each minute and create the time lapse. Uploaded each evening to YouTube.

Faces SouthWest towards the Gulf of Mexico. I’m about 10 miles from the Gulf and it’s fun to see how the sea breeze can interact with prevailing easterly winds. Can watch thunderstorms form right overhead within minutes.

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Use a Foscam FI9900P. It’s wireless, sorta. It’s got a WiFi antenna for transmitting its pictures. You need to plug in for power. And you’ve got to plug in Ethernet to do configuration changes.

This is my first weather cam, but I’m pretty impressed with the picture quality. I use Webcam.io to host the stills and stitch them into movies, and then to upload dailies to my Youtube channel.

Here’s a good one from a few days ago:

Camera is on my second-floor balcony in Bellevue facing Southwest over Meydenbauer Bay and Lake Washington, with Mercer Island and the floating I-90 bridge to Seattle on the horizon. But in a few weeks I’m moving to Renton and will have to find a great spot for it there. I’ll miss my water view, but in my new place (my first mortgage!) I am looking West over the Green River valley, so I’m hopeful.

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I had a BloomSky that died and I replaced it with a WeatherFlow. The WeatherFlow is great but I really miss the BloomSky camera. Is the Foscam G4 2K/4MP IP WiFi Camera a good choice? I want to upload my view to Weather Underground and other webcam sites.

wouldn’t you prefer a camera with a 170-180 degree viewing angle?

You are right. BloomSky has a 170 degree camera. Thanks for pointing that out. I will keep looking.