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Old 07-27-2019, 06:12 AM   #41
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I haven't found anything mobile offered on their site, but (a) as a vendor, it gives me a new line of inquiry (they might be able to offer some advice on other vendors), and (b) some of what they offer seems to be unique among these systems.

The optics are impressive, and - this is huge - the systems can be programmed to detect only within a defined perimeter. So for instance if a camera is aimed at a scene stretching to the horizon and there's a fence in the middle of the field of view, apparently the system can be programmed to only detect movement in front of the fence, and ignore the background.

We are probably a long ways off from having any of that capability in fleet-based systems. But it's interesting to see where this is headed. Imagine a van-based set of cameras that would only alert when someone came within 10 feet of the vehicle. That would be a game-changer.

Our house system knows to snip and collate its retained segments only when movement is detected, and it's pretty good at ignoring vegetation blowing in the wind. But there's no way to set depth of field, so I get retained segments which show nothing more than miscellaneous cars moving off in the distance.
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Old 07-29-2019, 12:53 PM   #42
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How about 4 Ring stick up cams https://shop.ring.com/pages/stick-up-cam
A bit larger I know. Maybe decouple the components?
Anyway, I would like to see that kind of functionality.

Add a 4G internet connection that acts like a wifi hotspot. Probably a lot of data though. Would be nice to store local first.
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Old 07-29-2019, 02:40 PM   #43
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Hi

I would suggest that trying to estimate power use by looking at battery voltage is *not* the best way to do it. If you are really going to get into this, power drain is going to be a very big limiter on what you will be able to do. That *assumes* you don't run the van every day for a while to re-charge everything .... Coming back to a vehicle with zero power is *not* what you want to do ...

A cheap multimeter will allow you to measure what your device(s) are pulling. From that and the (known) capacity of your batteries you can stay in "safe" territory. Indeed upgrading the battery system may be part of this ....

Bob
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Old 07-30-2019, 05:49 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by itsmeok View Post
How about 4 Ring stick up cams https://shop.ring.com/pages/stick-up-cam
A bit larger I know. Maybe decouple the components?
Anyway, I would like to see that kind of functionality.

Add a 4G internet connection that acts like a wifi hotspot. Probably a lot of data though. Would be nice to store local first.
The cameras have to be able to withstand 65 mph for prolonged periods of time. I don't think that the Ring product was designed with that application in mind.

But yes, that is the idea. Store locally except for the 0.1% of most important stuff. The OwlCam is really getting to the heart of the data management matter in allowing 20 second extractions. It stores locally as it must, with that much data. But then if it thinks something is REALLY wrong, it prioritizes just that portion of data and allows for easy transfer to the cloud.
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Old 07-30-2019, 12:25 PM   #45
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The cameras have to be able to withstand 65 mph for prolonged periods of time. I don't think that the Ring product was designed with that application in mind.

But yes, that is the idea. Store locally except for the 0.1% of most important stuff. The OwlCam is really getting to the heart of the data management matter in allowing 20 second extractions. It stores locally as it must, with that much data. But then if it thinks something is REALLY wrong, it prioritizes just that portion of data and allows for easy transfer to the cloud.
Oh, I was talking about putting it inside behind the windows.
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Old 10-05-2019, 12:58 PM   #46
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This is the main thread in which the Owlcam was discussed as a security option. We are in the middle of troubleshooting yet another stone cold dead chassis battery, with the Owlcam being on a short list of suspects.

--> Sixty-six flaming one-star reviews of the Owlcam on Amazon, encompassing every possible complaint known to mankind -- and only one referencing a possible dead battery, but not even a complete sentence rendered - not enough to convince me that the poster's Owlcam was the source of his trouble.

--> The Owlcam contains a circuit that shuts it down completely in the event that it senses low chassis voltage through the OBD port. We are currently bench-testing this aspect:

* Sure enough, consistent with manufacturer representations, when supplied with 12.7 volts, it totally powers off to zero draw within four minutes of being hooked up.

* In contrast to that, at 13.5 volts, it happily continues blinking away with its annoying green light.

Bench testing continues to see if we can ID any possible failure mode. No answers yet.
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Old 10-05-2019, 09:07 PM   #47
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This thread reminds me that an Orwellian Dystopia is a possible future reality.
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Old 10-07-2019, 05:04 AM   #48
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This thread reminds me that an Orwellian Dystopia is a possible future reality.
As I've said many times previously, threads are all a matter of personal taste and perception. There are plenty of threads that talk about driving around and sightseeing aimlessly, with no discernible deeper meaning to life, until one drops dead either predictably due to age or unpredictably due to unaddressed health issues. I find THOSE threads to represent an internal form of existential dystopia - one for which there is an attempted but unconvincing camouflage using shiny aluminum cladding.

For those of us who are trying to push the technical performance envelopes of our rigs in various ways (including security) so that those rigs can help us achieve specific goals, at least there's a Frankl-style meaning that we are trying to access in the process. I would not expect everyone to perceive that meaning, or to agree with it if they are able to perceive it, but at least it's there.
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Old 10-12-2019, 07:24 AM   #49
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We've been unable to find a conclusive fatal flaw in the Owlcam. It does not operate as I've seen it advertised - it will not necessarily shut off after 72 hours. It'll power down but then if stimulated (for instance via a physical touch that would simulate a car break-in), it will boot back up. Presumably, this was a firmware mod designed to extend its functional realm.

Lying in wait, it is parasitic, drawing an amount of power that would kill an Interstate battery in about a month, if no additional draws were upon that battery.

However, once the input voltage reduces to about 12.0, our Owlcam essentially self-destructs to cease its own parasitism. It completely shuts down, drawing 0.00 amps from that point forward, and no amount of external stimulation will power it back up.

These are bench test results, not real world results. I don't know if there are any additional factors that might influence its behavior while actually installed in a vehicle. But thus far, I cannot ID any behaviors that might produce the result of a destroyed chassis battery that reads 5.0 volts.
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Old 10-14-2019, 10:04 AM   #50
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<< bangs head on desk >>

<< bangs head on desk a second time, just for emphasis >>

Apparently the parasitic battery drain issue is originating with the Carista Bluetooth OBD monitor that has been plugged in continually for ABOUT THREE YEARS NOW.

WHY did this problem not manifest prior to now? I have no earthly idea.

BUT I can confirm two usage changes that have occurred within the past five months:

(1) We began using the Carista much more intently following our engine's self destruction in May of 2019. Whereas previously we might go for months without ever summoning its readouts, now it is almost always under active connection while the van is in motion. Correspondingly, ...

(2) We Bluetooth'd an 8-year-old iPad to the Carista, as a dedicated device. The iPad, in turn, has access to the outside world via a wireless connection to my iPhone.

Might there have been a firmware issue at work here? Don't know, although it's possible given the Carista's indirect link to the outside world.

All I know for sure is that the voltmeter does not tell lies (typically). The Carista is drawing too much power when it should be in shut-down mode. And unlike it's OBD-powered buddy the Owlcam, it apparently has no safety circuit that prompts it to self-destruct when the input voltage falls too low.
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Old 10-14-2019, 11:58 AM   #51
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Technomadia got broken into - of course they did, because this kind of thing happens frequently. They were using a system similar in functionality to the Canary that we have, except theirs is a 3-camera system that I might be inspecting more closely because it has indoor/outdoor capability, whereas our Canary singleton is indoor-only. I am also not sure yet how that system is powered. The intruder tore down 2 cameras, but not before those cameras managed to upload some imagery to the cloud (that's extremely important), and Chris was able to shout at the guy over the 2-way audio, to drive him off before the situation escalated.

It's worth reading their blog post on the event. Even better, the mobile security issue is now much higher on their radar. Maybe they'll dive into deeper technical evaluation of security enhancements with a level of enthusiasm that more typically characterizes their connectivity investigations. One can only hope, because the rest of us could use the help in that regard.
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Old 10-18-2019, 09:57 AM   #52
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Interesting Monitor

This popped up in my emails. It looks like a possible way to remotely monitor a lot of what is going on in your RV, including fridge temp and door openings.

I didn't look at it very deeply.
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Old 10-30-2019, 05:28 AM   #53
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Ah, food trucks. Ding ding, the lightbulb goes on in my head. Food trucks are not like long-haul big rigs. They operate similarly to off-grid vans. Just like us, they need their camera systems optimized for STOPPED conditions, not geared toward monitoring over-the-road behaviors and activities.

Really nice high-def footage in this 30-second armed robbery clip released by Houston police. Good angle, good illumination, good camera specs. Stamp says it's camera 1. I wonder where the truck's other cameras are installed, and how many?

And obviously the perps did not spot this camera and disable it during the heist. This probably involved local storage of the security video, which means it had to have an onboard power supply.

Nice job of the technical installation. I'm going to contact the truck owner and find out where (s)he got this work done.

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Old 10-30-2019, 07:37 AM   #54
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I'm surprized no one has mentioned the Ubiquity UniFi products. I'm currently installing a system in my Classic now and will write it up when I'm done.

https://unifi-network.ui.com/

It does everything you guys want and more. I've been using this system (or a variant/predecessor) for years. It's very reliable and easy to use. I've had to make some modifications for mobile use (such as change out the hard drive for an SSD) but it is the bomb. My current config for the AS is:

Unifi Cloud Key Plus (gen 2)
Unifi G3 flex Camera (five total)
Unifi Switch 8-150W

In addition, I purchased a 12V to 48V converter off of Amazon to power the system. It is wired so it is reliable. The white plastic cameras can be painted to match the trailer and become almost invisible. They also have an android/ios app so you can view and control it remotely if you have the Internet.

The cameras can be fenced like you want so only things close to the trailer will trigger motion alarms. The night vision is excellent in the G3 cameras.

The only tricky part is mounting cameras external to the trailer and routing the Cat5e wire to them. I'll post pictures when I'm done.

The cameras have about 90-degree visibility so I have two cameras facing front on the trailer that covers 180-degrees seeing the truck and hitch. Then a camera that looks down the trailer on each side and one in the back. I have better than 360-degree outside coverage.

Where I have these cameras installed on tower sites, there is often wind/rain in excess of 60 mph (gusty) and they have held up fine so I'm expecting it to work just fine while towing.
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Old 10-30-2019, 12:03 PM   #55
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.......... I'll post pictures when I'm done.

.....
Welcome to this thread, with a full-on standing ovation.



Yes please do post as much detail as you can.

This is a rapidly-evolving area, and the research results obtained depend heavily on the starting location.

In part, I started with big rigs and the security systems they use, but they have a different modus operandi, and a different sets of outcomes that they are hoping to achieve.

That plus various other barriers have left me without a self-evident path forward. Hopefully that'll soon change.
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Old 12-04-2019, 06:40 PM   #56
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Well, here’s a bit of a plot twist on the urban security front.

We are on the road again, urban deployment, but we haven’t been boondocking exactly as usual, because <story omitted for brevity>.

Instead, we’ve been driving into the urban core very early each morning, before business hours, to secure an appropriate parking spot before the crowds make the scarce surface parking non-navigable for our 23-foot rig.

Come to find out that the city has apparently timed the visual assist system for blind people in crosswalks to go off continually, after business hours. Typically, those screaming alarms would only actuate if a visually impaired person needs to cross the street and actuated the system to give them audible cues that could be heard over the roar of traffic. But now they are going off when nobody should be remaining in those areas.

It really IS a screaming alarm system. It’s purpose seems obvious - to drive the homeless out of the city core so that they won’t be slumbering and setting up tents there on prime real estate (a bit like bird scare noise-making equipment at an airport). As soon as it gets toward 8 a.m., it gets shut off again so that the business people showing up for work are not driven clear out of their minds with the racket of it.

At least that’s what SEEMS to be happening. I haven’t been here long enough term to really suss this thing out.

Anyway, that might reduce the odds of an overnight break-in simply by driving a lot of people out who would otherwise congregate, but it also moots the whole issue of how to achieve good security in the urban core, because nobody could boondock and sleep through the likes of it.
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Old 02-15-2020, 05:56 AM   #57
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Wwwwwowww... someone's Owlcam hit a home run about 2 miles from me yesterday, at our local high school. The car thief disconnected it, but not before it beamed off some wonderful evidence which promptly got shared to thousands of eyes on social media. It gives new meaning to the phrase, "Smile, you're on candid camera!"

Owlcam is not a perfect device, as discussed in this thread. But it's not the worst option either.

This is a screenshot from the appeal posted on the open internet, so no confidentiality issues.

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Old 05-21-2020, 06:00 AM   #58
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Hat tip to username Fenix for noticing on another thread that OwlCam's assets have been acquired by another company.

OwlCam always struck me as a too-thinly-run venture that wasn't able to land the best VC support despite having a product that arguably warranted it (certainly there was no comparable product in that same niche).

The timing is unfortunate because every product that has anything to do with security, prepping, etc. has sold like gangbusters due to the pandemic. Crime is on the upswing, society is up-ended, 35 million Americans are unemployed which is sure to bring accelerating hardship... the companies that were positioned to meet a need related to this pandemic are absolutely off the charts in their sales (I have one such client, not related to OwlCam or the security field, for whom March and April were their best revenue months in a multi-decade history).

Anyway, we'll see what the future brings for this security device, but until it sorts itself out, if I were a customer, I would not buy an OwlCam right now (if they are even still for sale anywhere).

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