WebCam Wireless

Tags:
Networking
Wireless
I am wondering if it is at all possible to get a webcam, hooked up to a laptop, and then if posible to get the picture delievered to another computer about a mile away. We have annual dog sled races, and this winter we are wondering if it is possible to do this, running network cable doesnt seem feasable for a one time a year event, and we dont know how well it will stand up to the elements. if anyone has ideas or if they know if it is even possible and how.. thank you.. Craig

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Off the top of my head there is two ways you can do this a more permanent solution and a temporary solution

Temporary: Speak to your phone company about obtaining a CDMA wireless network card and using that in your laptop to connect to the internet and stream/ftp the video using software such as Webcam-XP…perhaps use dyndns to register a dynamic ip against a free dyndns hostname.

Prices:
CDMA Nic Card: ?
Webcam: $70
WebcamXP Software: $60
Dyndns – free

Permanent: Buy two wireless access points and connect big antennas to replace the little ones take them a mile apart and point them at each other….(line of sight)
Probably best to have someone who deals with service and support for radio communications help you hook these up.

And make sure you’re going to have the right equipment signal strenght etc…

Price
2x Wireless Access Points – $200+
Antennas – ???
Radio Guys to make the coax lenghts etc unless you have the know how – ???

I’m guessing a CDMA wireless nic card would be the go to stream the capture up to the net…not sure on what the speed will be like but it should be ok?

Good Luck

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  • ITDefensePatrol
    assuming that your mile is through some wilderness-like area (no telecom wiring or cellular, no buildings, etc.) 1 mile is probably too long for 802.11a/b/g wifi. 1: There have been some (extraordinary) claims of being able to do that, but your (pardon the pun) mileage may vary.... Tricks include "pringles can" and mounting on weather balloons. No, I'm not joking. Bend the laws of physics to your hearts delight. 2: Simple steps - max the AP's power, use a directional antenna and hope for the best. Otherwise, its a matter of wifi repeaters to hop from end to end.... can be messy, expensive. but if you get a bunch of people to let you borrow them for the event, then this is do-able and within the laws of physics. 3: As previous stated, get a card from telecom (EVDO or EDGE). One telecom seems to be bigger at present is Verizon. coverage is metro, rather than campus. But you will need cell towers close enough. if you are in the wilderness, you might not. If in wilderness, where is power from? generators. Do you have checkpoints along course? how far apart? cell towers? do you want video from checkpoints sent to finish line? If we see what your physical environment (distances, power, lines, cell) might have a better guess.
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  • Bourae
    I presume this means you don't have any form of Internet access from the laptop with the webcam, correct? If so, then unless there is a means to connect to the laptop (wirelessly - using focused directional antennas and access point) you would be stuck. If you can connect to the laptop wirelessly and the webcam you are using has it's own webserver (most do) you can connect direcly to the webcam...all you need is its IP address - assuming your remote computer is on the same network. You would connect using your browser (http://192.168.x.x) assuming .you are not using a certificate - if you are then you'd enter https://etc. Hope this helps
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  • J88tru
    The best way I can think of to do this is to put a stand-alone web cam attached to a wireless client adapter inside a heated camera enclosure. Taking things one at a time, there are a number of true "webcams" on the market, including ones from Axis, DLink, and Panasonic. (an old contact address for Axis is, info@axisinc.com, and Panasonic and Dlink you can figure out for yourself pretty easily.) Before the marketing wogs got ahold of the word, webcam meant a camera with a built-in web server. This type of webcam has its own IP address and an Ethernet port. DLink has one with built-in WiFi. No PC needed, except to look at the pictures. Next step, unless you use the built-in WiFi (if you do, get one with a detachable antenna), is an AP operated in Bridge Mode, or a client that can connect to an AP at the other end. Get a booster amp, like the one Hawking has, and an external high-gain directional antenna. A dish would be ideal, but you may find that an enclosed Yagi is more resistant to the snow load. You MUST have line-of-sight with no trees, snow, rocks, buildings in the way. There are some Yagi's with very high gains, and you can even find 4-antenna arrays. Be very careful to use the same antenna polarization at each end. Of course, a dish might work, too, if it doesn't catch too much snow. The water content of snow will cut your signal. Use a booster amp, if you can. Most of these are worth about 10 - 17 dB, both ways, which can really drive a high-gain antenna well. 2.4 can work. I have shot 10 miles on towers above the average terrain with 25 dB dish antennas and no amps. (Professional gear; no dime-store AP's or antennas.) The biggest problem with 2.4 is that all the cute little Bluetooth earpieces jam WiFi at 2.4, and microwave ovens can too. Not to mention that almost every laptop shipped today has a WiFi noise maker trying to connect to the nearest hacker. There are also non-WiFi cameras that tear up a real WiFi signal. You might be able to do this at 5.8, but there is not as much equipment available. 900 MHz is also very good, and does not require as much line of sight, as you know from your cell phone experience at 850. Remember that cables have large losses at these frequencies, and go for the big $, low-loss cable, pre-assembled and tested, unless you are a wizard at microwave. You can find professional camera enclosures that are intended for harsh environments. You can get them with built-in heaters, pan/tilt controls, and even little windshield wipers to keep the front glass clean. You will also need a good source of power for each webcam/AP/enclosure. Low-temp Batteries might do for the webcam and AP for a limited time, but the heater takes a lot of power, and this equipment is probably not spec'd to operate below 32 degrees. Finally, the true webcam usually sends to a server that can handle multiple connections, if you plan on making the video generally available. Be sure to set up an access control list and WPA on the AP and your clients. Force the link to "b", so you get the greatest range, and pay attention to the amount of data throughput you need to support your frame rate. Good luck, and let us know how it works out. JTru
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  • Smorilla
    Have a look at http://www.axis.com/products/cam_207w/index.htm It's a wireless indoor camera, but I think you can manage to improve the housing to widstand the elements. Regards Sergio
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