Details on how I setup the IP Camera and WIFI network at
11624 King Edward Ct.
(All specific settings will be withheld in this document for security purposes on the camera)
The tricky part about setting up the network was not having a static IP address. A dynamic address with Time
Warner’s cable modem service is around $40/month (average). If you want a static IP, it’s $130.00/month.
(Think of a “static ip” as the public home address of your camera). If I lose power at the construction site, when
my cable modem rebooted I would lose my IP therefore I wouldn’t be able to access my camera. However,
with something called Dynamic DNS and www.dyndns.org I was able to overcome this.
I signed up for a free account at www.dyndns.org and setup two services; a Dynamic DNS account and a
Webhop. In the configuration of the Linksys box I configured the DDNS settings to match those that I setup at
Dyndns. Each time the IP address changes or the Linksys box reboots, it sends the IP address to Dyndns and
sends me an email to let me know the equipment rebooted for some reason. The Webhop setup is so that I don’t
have to disclose the port number that I opened up for my camera to run on.
The camera is actually connected directly to the Linksys switch and so it has its own internal IP address that is
given by the Linksys box (192.168…). Since someone accessing the camera is coming to the camera via a
public IP address from my ISP (24.242…) I had to setup port forwarding on the camera. I changed the default
port the camera ran on “80” to “8080” just to avoid any issues of ISP port blocking. In short, I setup port
forwarding on the Linksys box for anything coming in via port 8080 to the internal IP mentioned earlier in this
paragraph. The Dynamic DNS account I setup above is setup to work on port 8080 and the Webhop address is
the DDNS address and the port number.
I didn’t want people going directly to the camera via the IP or Webhop address because the GUI interface for
the camera allows any user to change the settings on the camera directly. The only way to disable this was to
enable a username/password, but I didn’t want to restrict the camera to one person at a time, so that wasn’t an
option. I knew that I was going to build a website for updates on the project, so I decided to find a way to post a
view to the camera via our website instead.
I found some HTML code (see the end of this document) on the internet that would enable this functionality to
work. I had to put in my specific pixel size of the camera and the address of the camera, but everything else
worked just fine; for the most part. (I chose to use the Webhop address as described above instead of a direct IP
address for the same security reasons already mentioned.) There was one problem though; each time a new
user would try and access the camera a piece of software has to be installed on the PC (winwebpush.cab).
Through a lot of research and playing around a bit, I found if I placed the winwebpush.cab file in my htdocs
folder of my website and modified the HTML code a bit, I could trigger this installation automatically as long
as the user changed their ActiveX download settings. So… I created a “first time” users webpage on my
website detailing how to change the Active X settings and that fixed that problem.
Next, I needed to figure out how to get an accurate time displayed on the camera window each time a user went
to the website. I searched the net for NTP servers in Houston and was able to get the address for the Gazette
newspaper server here in Houston. Now, each time a user accesses the camera it checks time against the NTP
server in Houston and displays that on the camera window.
I also configured the camera to take a picture on motion or every 10 minutes (whichever is greater). I put in my
FTP settings and setup a specific folder on my FTP site called “IPCameraPictures”. The camera automatically
delivers a picture every ten minutes and date/time stamps them. (This will provide a nice photo history of the
project when we are done.)
The equipment itself is mounted in an outdoor weatherproof box. Inside the box there is a WRT54GS Linksys
4-port wireless switch, cable modem, networking cables and a power strip to plug everything in. I found that
once I finally got everything setup inside the box, turned it on and close it up there was too much heat! I went
over to Home Depot and found a plastic dryer vent. I drilled out a large 4” hole on the front of the box and
secured the dryer vent to the box with screws and caulking. This cured my overheating problems.
Since I had a Linksys WIFI box inside my outdoor weatherproof box, I decided to amplify the wireless signal. I
decided to use a TRENDnet 8dBi amplified antenna that sends a signal about 3 acres in radius. This enabled
me to verify the camera was working and manage the network settings from the ground once everything was
mounted up in the tree without a dedicated network management cable. Of course, since I had such a large
unprotected WIFI network and limited bandwidth for my camera I enabled Wireless Encryption Protection
(WEP) on the Linksys box so that only those with the key can use the internet on the property.
Camera: Sony NC1600
Wireless & Switch: TRENDnet 8dbi Outdoor Amplifier & Linksys WRT54gs
Outdoor Weather Proof box
Motorola Cable Modem
100 Ft. Extension Cord
150 Coax Cable
HTML Code I used on the OneLightHouse website for camera view:
// Replace this url with your own ip camera url...
o.URL = "INSERT WEBHOP ADDRESS HERE";
// Set your camera window's width here
o.CamWidth = 640;
<OBJECT onreadystatechange="showCamera(this);" CODEBASE="http://INSERT WEBHOP ADDRESS