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Motion sensing cameras and other devices

Posted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 12:53 pm
by burger2227
I recently purchased a motion sensing camera built into a talking alarm clock with a remote control:
The unit would not work with a 32G micro memory card, but it works OK with a 16G one. It may need re-seated over time.

I'm having problems setting the time on the pictures and movies. It even dates the files to 2011!
I tried several different ways to reset the record time, as the software on the included CD couldn't even find the device.
Many suggested creating a "time.txt" text file on the root of the micro memory card, but none seemed to work at all.
Got any ideas? This alarm clock camera could be used to record your hotel room while you are away.

For a spy camera, it is pretty well lit. The blue and red LED's even shine through the case. They even shine around black tape.
I decided to see what was inside so I took out two tiny screws in the top of the back panel and pried it apart:
When the top is pried apart, the end caps will fall off as will the side slide switch cover (top left). Don't put too much strain on the battery wires.
The LED board has a tiny black screw above the memory card and a slightly larger silver screw near the slide switch.
The blue battery is on the left with a foam standoff cushion to hold it in place. It can record for about 12 hours before it needs charged.
I happened to have some chrome silver model paint, so I am painting the inside near the LED's to try to reduce the light emissions so that it
doesn't stick out like a sore thumb. I have to be careful as the remote sensor lens is also located there. Funny how the camera ads
never show the lights on. The accents around the camera opening doesn't help much either.

The main board has the camera in the center with the 3 legged remote - motion sensor near the top of the picture:
The bright red and blue LED's are those small yellow squares to the right of the sensor. The red one only comes on when
plugged into the USB cable from a computer or a 5 volt USB power source. It is supposed to go out when the battery is
charged, but it seldom does. The red and black wires go to the microphone that picks up sound through the bottom
camera accent on the alarm clock face.

To use it as a security monitor, I need to plug it into a computer to email me when a motion is detected by software.
I found free Web Cam software that can detect motion and Email me. It is called YawCam which stands for
"Yet another Web Cam". Once it is set up, the clock camera can record events to file, a streaming link and send an email too.
The camera must appear as a USB device, not another drive, in My Computer. This can be accomplished with the
clock remote control . Just turn the camera off or on with the remote until it appears as a USB video device.
Then run the web cam software. The clocks's hidden power slide switch can also be off, but the LED's stay on with the USB.

Re: Motion sensing devices and circuits

Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 8:27 am
by burger2227
After painting the inside surface, the LED lights are limited to the 2 holes behind the red lense:
Unfortunately both LED's are always on with the computer USB. The camera itself cannot record anything while connected
to a computer either! It will work with just the blue light when plugged into a USB charger. The red LED designates a data line.
Now all I have to do is cover them with black tape when software is used for surveillance while I am away.

The clock camera can be used to record with the side slide switch in the up position and remote power button:
Red remote button: is for power on/off. Blue LED on when slide switch on side is in up record position only.
Motion detection:[walking figure] Blue LED blinks and then turns off when motion is detected. Blue may blink when no motion detected.
Movie: [movie camera] Blue blinks 3 times and goes off while recording. Press again to stop and turn blue light on.
Picture: [camera] Blue light goes off, then on to indicate that a picture was taken.
Sound: [upside-down !] Records sounds only with blue light blinking slowly. Press again to stop.

Now that the blue LED only shines through the hole, it is much less noticeable when recording motion.
It only blinks on and off when no motion is detected once motion recording is set. Cover LED with tape after it is set if you wish.

The micro-memory card, USB plug and record on/off switch are hidden under the cover on the side:
The power switch can be on or off and the camera can still be used with the Yawcam software as a USB device.

The clock camera is listed in Windows Computer as USB Video Device #2:
The Yawcam console is in the foreground set to email pictures to Gmail and upload a live stream.

The Yawcam preview displays the actual camera view. The program can be set to hide at startup.
The Help menu can give you the stream link and help on the web. The camera takes pretty good pictures during the day.
As the light gets darker, the video degrades. The motion sensor activates at night with the changes in TV brightness.

The Email settings are listed on the Motion Sensing Window in Actions. Another action would be to load JPG picture files to a Temp folder.
Emails are sent from my Verizon email account to Gmail. That way it gets through the wireless router. Email password required.
Custom titles and messages can also be created and you can limit the number of pictures and emails sent per motion detection.

Here is one of the pictures emailed to me:
I seriously doubt that I will ever use the camera for anything but surveillance when I am out of town.
I may get another one for travel as I know people who have had their hotel rooms robbed during the day.

I never did fix the camera date and time issue. I won't buy a second one from the same Ebay seller.

Re: Motion sensing devices and circuits

Posted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 8:53 am
by burger2227
I found the best thing to do was paint the LED's directly. Light still shows through, but it blocks the side light:

This is the blue and red LED's in a dark room. It no longer shines through the case or clock readout:
While it is more difficult to see during the day, it is a lot less obvious at night in software surveillance mode. Now tape can cover them completely.

Surveillance mode:
1) The clock camera side switch can be off, but the blue and red LED should be on with USB connected from computer.
2) Press the remote power button until camera shows up on the computer as a USB device, not a drive letter.
3) Run the Web Cam software and set it to email and/or save video files to the computer.

A micro memory card must be inserted to do anything with the camera, even when internal recording is not needed!

Here's a QB64 program to find a removable drive:

Yawcam preview:

Emailed picture:
Emailed file has date and time: Yawcam_motion_2013-07-20_100600_518.jpg which is July 20th, 2013 at 10:06:00 am
Yes it even senses TV motions.

Re: Motion sensing devices and circuits

Posted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 9:47 am
by burger2227
I decided to get a Web Camera with night vision on sale for $40, twice the price of the alarm clock:
The camera comes with a DC power supply, mounting bracket with screws, manual, CD and antenna.

The first thing to do is install the Web Cam Wizard software on a computer using your wireless network. The camera must
then be connected directly to the wireless router with an ethernet cable. That way the camera can get the local IP settings.
Run the software and hopefully it will find the camera and supply the URL necessary to view what the camera sees.
I did not have to connect the computer to the router directly as indicated in manual. Just the camera.
Don't forget to connect the power supply to the camera too! It is not battery operated.

Red arrows should point to buttons to a web address. When Open or Next is clicked on a password box will pop up.
If a password box pops up, the default user is admin with no password.

To set up the wireless network select your network name from a list and enter the security code:
The default user is admin with no password. Click Next and a red arrow button will take you to the camera's URL.
You can disconnect the camera from the router cable when the countdown starts during setup

Choose the browser to use and streaming video should then be seen with buttons to control the camera:
The camera is controlled and set in the remote web controller. The camera positions, motions and other settings can be made there.
The gear at the bottom right allows the owner to set a password, set email settings, and turn off the green power LED.
You can also allow other users to view the streaming video with preset user names and passwords.

The night vision LED's actually look dim red at night, but my camera shows them brighter:

This is one of the pictures sent to my email address at night when movement was detected:
The camera sees quite well though the red LED's give its position away. This was easier to setup than the alarm clock!

The web cam has the advantage of allowing it to be controlled and viewed from any remote location
using the camera's web address! I wonder who pays for that?

Re: Motion sensing devices and circuits

Posted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 1:58 pm
by burger2227
Update: The camera motion sensing reports activity during the day due to changes in light. Even with the blinds closed,
enough ambient sunlight changes the brightness and sets it off even on the lowest setting.

In the Chrome browser I get cutoff video that has to be refreshed:

I still haven't got any sound. I think that may only be available in IE. IE requires an active X download.

I sent the Ebay seller an email, but they have not responded yet.

Re: Motion sensing devices and circuits

Posted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 12:10 pm
by burger2227
I've decided to schedule email notifications so that I don't get a lot of false alarms on partly cloudy days:
The scheduling involves clicking on 4 boxes for every hour you want reports. Like 15 minutes is critical?

Watch out for the Select All and Clear buttons! They could have been placed a little lower!
Clicking OK tells you if the settings are saved. You might have to do that more than once.

Internet Explorer offers the most options with Alert Recording and sound:

Re: Motion sensing devices and circuits

Posted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:17 am
by burger2227
Internet Explorer presents more options like recording and sound. The settings button is up top now too.
The blue button on the lower right enables the sound and the record command button is on far right.

The sound seems sensitive, but it has background noise.

Set a path on the computer to copy the video with or without sound. Set sound on front panel.
Also set video recording in the Alarm Settings so it will stream record anything when activated.

This record option is not available in other web browsers. IE requires an active X installation too!

Re: Motion sensing cameras and other devices

Posted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 2:03 pm
by burger2227
Update on Veevocam camera:

1) Sound gets feedback and noise when central air conditioning blower is running. Can get very loud with some noises sounding
like an actual break in!

2) Time on internet streaming video changes daily. I have to sync the time at least one time daily!

3) Chrome can display the IE camera web link using IE Tab to display the link (link below has been changed to protect the innocent):

To sync the time, go into System Settings, NTP Settings and click Sync with Host:

Seller has offered to refund $6 on price.

Re: Motion sensing cameras and other devices

Posted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 4:10 pm
by burger2227
I bought a MiniCam online for $20 that comes with 60 feet of cable:
I'm going to use the camera to monitor the front door when packages are delivered. The Postal Service doesn't have
to knock believe it or not and once I had 2 packages stolen at the door.

The camera comes with a tripod and magnifying lens for distances:
For this camera I decided to mount it with velcro tape so that it can be moved different places when needed.

There is 50 feet of cable is in addition to 10 feet of cable on the camera so I can run the cable clear around the room to
my computer. It has a 12 volt connector and RCA connectors for video and sound:
I will wire it temporarily on the door and use it later for indoor security. A twisty holds the cable on the door corner.

To connect the camera to a PC I decided to use an Easy Cap USB device that costs about $9:
On the left is the 50 foot reel of camera cable. The Easy Cap is a tight fit on my Dell USB cluster.

The Easy Cap device and software also allows you to record videos from other devices such as VCR's:
Red and white female connectors are for stereo sound and yellow is for the video. It also has an S-video jack.

Using the YawCam program mentioned above in the alarm clock camera, it Emailed me this picture of my camera taking the
first picture of the mini camera above:

This is the view from the YawCam video preview window:
YawCam also allows me to monitor the camera on the web. I'm going to use it for surveillance indoors when I am away.

Here's both cameras:

I put out some bait to see what happens! The box is empty. It had the PIR switch in it.

I may have to improve the lighting using Infrared LED's that I have also purchased. The minicam does not work well
at night when things get darker. I plan to make up an LED panel to see if I can improve the view.

Re: Motion sensing cameras and other devices

Posted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 10:21 pm
by burger2227
Update on the Easy Cap camera. Microsoft decided to send an update and restart my PC. That killed the camera, so turn off automatic updates if the camera will be used for a while.

Oddly the PC was stuck at "Windows is shutting down" when I came home from a 2 week adventure.

Re: Motion sensing cameras and other devices

Posted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 2:38 pm
by burger2227
The YawCam program can also be set to make a sound when motion is detected in the Motion Detection Window settings:
Check the box after selecting a sound file if one is not listed. The default YawCam snap sound is selected above.

Adjust the Motion Detector setting if it triggers too easily. 85% seems to work pretty well for me.
You can also set the motion detection area as shown above by the blue box area.

Whaddaya know, he knocked! Maybe he noticed the camera?
I've been fighting with the Post Office about deliveries. They supposedly left a package that I never got. They said they don't have to knock!

Re: Motion sensing cameras and other devices

Posted: Tue Dec 09, 2014 1:50 pm
by burger2227
I'm now having a battle with Verizon over SPAM being sent by my two cameras!
Will Verizon notify me if an email I’ve sent is identified as spam?
Yes. If you send an email that matches the digital signature of a known spam message, Verizon will block the message from being delivered and send you the following notice:
"The message you attempted to send was determined to be spam. Please visit" target="_blank for more information."
Yawcam gives me this notice in Console so I know Verizon is blocking it!
I NEVER got any messages from Verizon in either email account. Even after contacting them several times! ... 123706.htm" target="_blank
What should I do if I receive such a notice from Verizon?
If you believe we erred in identifying one of your outgoing emails as spam, you can send the original message to us at (Please be sure that the above email address is the sole recipient. Do not add other recipients in the "To", "CC" or "BCC" fields, or we will not receive your message. Do not alter the original message by adding or removing comments, text, or attachments.) Within an hour of receiving your report, we will reevaluate the digital signature and, if the message is believed to be legitimate, adjust our spam filters as appropriate. Please note that Verizon won’t notify you about the outcome of our review. Rather, you should try resending the message 30 – 60 minutes after submitting your report to Verizon.
I even tried to use an extra email address I had on Verizon:
The Image and Flooding settings try to prevent the actions from appearing as spam.

An email is sent with the title "Motion detected" with a text notice that "Yawcam has detected motion in front of your camera!/Yawcam".

So I sent an email with the above subject and topic and 4 pictures that Yawcam left in my Temp folder.

STILL NO LUCK! Things may get nasty now!

Re: Motion sensing cameras and other devices

Posted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 8:24 pm
by burger2227
Finally after TWO WEEKS of waiting they allowed the program to send the emails to me!

Guess I won't have to switch to Cox after all! I pay Verizon enough every month!

Re: Motion sensing cameras and other devices

Posted: Mon Dec 14, 2015 6:29 pm
by burger2227
I had to reinstall my IP camera on the Win 10 64 desktop and could not change settings in Chrome so I had
to use IE as Administrator. IE Tab Chrome extension works with add on, but not Recording path settings:
No matter what, I kept getting the non-IE version of the IP camera web site on Internet Explorer w/o add on.

Found that Administrator with IE Compatibility View listing the site was what it needed:
After adding the IP address to the settings list, it downloaded the Active X add on I needed and ran the better
web page with the full settings up top instead of down below.

To run IE as Administrator, right click the IE icon in the task bar and
Right click the IE Explorer icon in list again! I could not find a way in the Start Menu!

Then go to Settings gear on top right side. Compatibility View settings is listed.
Add the numerical IP address for the camera and click Add.

If the camera's web page still does not come up and the Active X add on does not ask to download,
ONLY THEN mess with the Active X settings!
1) Click on the Settings gear and then on Internet Options.
2) In the Security Tab, click the Custom Level... button to change Active X settings ONLY.
3) Change all Active X settings that have Prompt as a choice to use the prompt. You SHOULD KNOW
when you are installing any!
4) CHECK TO SEE IF THAT FIXES THE PROBLEM before changing any from Disable to Enable!
Note I kept Scriptlets disabled! I recommend trying every setting moved from Disabled to
Enabled to see which one fixes the problem!

USE the RESET button on that setting tab if you run into problems later!

So after I got the full IP camera Settings working, I ran into a problem having it send picture emails
when motion is detected.
My IP email provider uses SSL, which is not listed as a choice. Only no setting, TLS which worked or
STARTTLS for Gmail when sending as noted.

Also the Veevocam Recording folder setup requires the Administrator run the web browser and must go
immediately to the Alarm setting to Save! Typing the folder path for videos did not seem to work either
so I had to use Browse...Oddly there is no Save button on that setting itself.

Took me hours to figure this stuff out! Now the camera emails pictures to my email, but not the videos.
They are saved into the Recording folder set earlier. It was sending them to my DVD drive D:\ as default.
Had to do the same thing with IE on my 32 bit laptop. But it only works in my WIFI range so I need to
keep the desktop PC running. That will require the home PC to not be updated while on trips.
Gonna test this before I go to see if it really doesn't shutdown. Can't trust M$ enough...

Someday I will figure out DNS so I can see them in real time when out of town...probably will take hours too!

Re: Motion sensing cameras and other devices

Posted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 4:23 pm
by burger2227
USB Waterproof Endoscope Borescope Snake Inspection Camera

Lengths from 6 foot for $5 to $16 for 15 meters. I chose the shortest to test:
It took 20 days for delivery from overseas, which was not too bad.

This is the 6 UV LED view with YawCam camera software on my laptop:

The 45 degree mirror screws onto the end, but the view is terrible:

Even after I removed the mirror's clear covering, the brightness of the LED's killed the view.

I wanted to use the mirror to see inside of a furnace to look for cracks or obstructions.