SHCC WYSIWYG Article from January 2023

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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 January 2023 WYSIWYG newsletter.

Light Bulb Camera

by Don VanSyckel

I did pick up an interesting item recently. It is a remote controlled camera that screws into a standard light bulb socket. A surface mount socket is supplied with the unit but the unit doesn't need it. The unit is not water proof so it can't be mounted outside anywhere that is could possibly get wet but if the location is well enough protected you can do it. The unit can be mounted vertically, right side up or upside down, or mounted horizontally.

There is an app to load on your cell phone to control and view. The unit has over 180 degree rotation a round the socket base and then in the dome the camera mount can rotate over 180 degrees. This is one of those time when one picture is worth a thousand words so don't worry if you aren't getting a clear visual from my previous words. Another try, think of half of a round ball with a camera at it's center that can view out through the surface of that half ball. The combination of the two motions allow the camera to traverse the entire hemisphere.

There are LEDs around the camera to enable you to see at night. Day viewing is good.

I haven't deployed this camera assembly yet, I'm still trying to figure out the best use for it Since it screws into a light socket it is powered up from there and there aren't batteries. This is one of the reasons I bought it. If I put up security cameras I don't want to have to replace batteries, ever. Security cameras are not mounted outside where they are easily accessible from the ground so almost any outside camera is going to require a ladder to access it and I'm not getting a ladder out in the snow to change a battery. Then there's a chance a battery will go when your on a trip.

The camera sets up in a manner similar to the Wyze camera I have. You go to the web site, make an account and put in you WiFi name and password. The web site generates a QR code with this information in it which appears on your cell phone, then you hold this up to the camera. The camera reads the QR code, connects to your WiFi, logs in, and connects to the web site.

The unit has a microphone and speaker for you to listen and talk through if you need to.

One though I had was to install this unit in my front porch light fixture. Three issues with that though. The first obvious one is then I don't have a light on the front porch. The second issue is when I examined the light fixture the camera would line up with the frame of the light fixture and the frame would block much of the camera's view. The last issue is it's too accessible to anyone walking up on the front porch.

I'll bring the unit to a club meeting for show and tell.

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