20210418 – VanCam Project – Phase 2 done


Saturday (21/04/17) : All five cameras physically located in the van and secured using Velcro. Of course, I had to “unsecure” them to do the firmware upgrades as the upgrades require insertion of a microSDHC Card in each camera.

Sunday (2021/04/18):

07:00: Woke up, did daily chores
09:00: Attended online church
10: 00: Continued firmware updates on cameras. Downloaded both the Dafang and official Wyze camera firmware updates to enable RTSP.

I struggled a little with these since the tiny SET up button must remain depressed when power is applied to the camera after insertion of the new firmware image on the microSD card. This is what happens when a tiny switch meets a fat finger. It took up to three tries per camera to get the firmware to load, but once loaded, it did not need to be reinstalled each time the camera powers up. Had that been the case, this camera solution would have been rendered useless. I certainly could not be running around resetting five cameras every time I started the van. That would just be intolerable.

1130: Had lunch with friends. After yesterday‘s surf and turf lunch, I went with something simpler: bourbon-glazed salmon.

14:00: Returned home to do a couple quick errands, then took the 20-minute drive over to a local ham radio gathering. Some of the people there were friends I had not seen in several years, so it was good to get reacquainted. I enjoyed exchanging information about our latest projects. Everybody seemed very interested in the van camera project (“Operation VanCam“).

15:30: Headed home from the ham radio operator gathering.
16:00: Unplugged from ongoing tech projects. Caught up on some television viewing. #CouchPotatoTime
21:00: Grabbed a cup of hot peppermint tea to wash down my evening medications. Took those meds and did my insulin injection. Time to get some well earn rest after a busy weekend.

It was great to enjoy the warmer weather, with temperatures in the mid 60s at a light breeze.

This is the kind of spring day I appreciate here in Chicago land. I am not looking forward to Tuesday’s predicted snowfall, Just passed the middle of April. While not unprecedented, the event is unwelcome.

VanCam Project summary:

  • Phase 1: Purchase cameras and USB extension cables. Do rough install of these in the van to determine best placement. Native WyzeCam firmware running with no RTSP (realtime streaming protocol, for the uninitiated) available initially.
  • Phase 2: Upgrade to the latest WyzeCam , Then move to the RTSP-compatible firmware. Test the cameras with the new firmware, using iSpyConnect via the onboard laptop.
  • Phase 3: Testing and tuning. Determine the best combination of parameters (such as disabling security detection) to get the best real time video experience. Experiment with video recording under iSpyConnect; Recording should be written to Dropbox space, so space on the laptop is not exhausted and video is safely backed up in near real-time.

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