SHCC WYSIWYG Article from March 2022

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This article was written by Don VanSyckel, the club president, as a part of "The President's Pen".  This article appeared in the March 2022 WYSIWYG newsletter.

Wyze Cameras

by Don VanSyckel

I don't have any computer news this month so I'll focus on some goodies I use. I have several devices from Wyze. The products are a Wyze Cam v2, a Wyze Cam Pan, and a Wyze Plug Outdoor.

First about the Plug Outdoor. This is a small playing card size but thicker box with an eight inch pig tail AC plug, two AC sockets in the box, three indicator lights, and two push buttons. It's meant to be weather resistant when hanging from the cord the sockets are on the bottom. The two sockets are only on/off, no dimming, that support most devices (no large motors). The plugs are individually controllable via a smart phone app; downside not available on the PC. There are several interesting features. The app can report electrical power usage for each plug and show a graph of this. A timer function is available for cycling each plug on a schedule. There also is a vacation mode that will cycle the plugs somewhat randomly for that lived in look. The three indicators on the box are for power and one for the status of each plug. The box connects via WiFi and I have no issues with the box outside. If you lose connectivity or you're by the box you can use the push buttons to cycle power to the plugs. I have a heat tape for one one gutter plugged into this device. I used to go out to plug and unplug the heat tape; now I just click in the app. Very handy for the heat tape; I don't even have to be home to control it. Other applications could be Christmas lights, patio lights, and other small electrical appliances.

The Wyze Cam Pan is in the upstairs hall and needs AC power and WiFi. This camera has two degrees of motion, left and right and up and down. In my case I don't adjust it often but from time to time I do adjust where it's viewing. Any camera that is not firmly fastened to the building must be aligned from time to time because life happens and this camera is sitting on a hall table. I am amazed at the ability to "see" in low light conditions thou the image is not the best. In good light the image is fine. The camera view includes down the steps and the front door. The window in the door and the two adjacent sidelights glow from the light outside but this is to be expected when viewing any light source. The camera will accept a SD memory card for recording and has some motion sensing features. I have not use these features.

The Wyze Cam v2 stands or mounts via a small adjustable stand and is manually aimed by you when placed. I have the camera in a front window and it views most of the front yard. This camera needs AC power. and WiFi. This unit also accepts a SD memory card for recording. I am amazed at the sharpness and quality of the image. This unit is not weather proof although some people have mounted them under eaves and such. My house is the third house off a cross street and I can see traffic go by on that street but admittedly it's small and barely recognizable that far away. I can see color and if its a car or a pickup. Things in the yard are great.

All the above features are no charge. Wyze does offer some subscription services for advanced features such as cloud recording and such but I'm not signed up for any pay for services.

All these products have worked as advertised and I'm happy with all of them. Wyze offers quite a few other products from a scale, to an electronic door lock, to a lawn sprinkler system controller, to home security. From what I've seen their products seem to be simpler, but include the features you need although some advanced features are via pay subscriptions. This seems to be the new technique for companies to get their hand in your pocket for $5, $10, $15 a month.

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