I did a post a while back on my Live Streaming Camera that I have located outside my house and I thought it was time to update that a bit. I think I have one of the better PTZ webcams on the net. You may be interested in more of the details about this camera and how I put it all together. You see, I am a hacker. A good hacker, that is. I like to take stuff apart, re-use old stuff that others might throw away, etc. My outside camera is no different. It is an old video conference camera made by Polycom, model PTZ-2N, that has long since been replaced with “better” ones. Some other hackers before me figured out how to connect these cameras to a serial connection on the computer to control them. The camera specs include a 10X optical zoom lens that makes it really nice to use outside.
Of course, the camera was never meant to be outside, so it took some waterproofing. I found a clear ice bucket on the web , and used that as my enclosure. I found another guy doing this with the ice bucket, but I have lost his website address. It cost me $25.00. By the way the camera costs about $25.00 as well on Ebay.
I have it mounted under the overhang. It stays dry so far. I am using BDLCAM software to run the user interface. This software is free from Brian at BDLCAM. Pay his site a visit for more info.
I use Ustream.tv to stream the video. Ustream is very fast and has almost no lag. Lag is very important when controlling a live streaming camera over the web. You will notice that my camera has very little lag from the time you click on a control to the time the camera reacts.
I am working on the focus. The camera is very good with the auto-focus, but the ice bucket enclosure causing some weird distortions that the auto-focus can’t compensate for. This causes the focus to be much less clear than it could be. I am searching for a better, optically clear enclosure, but I don’t wan to pay much for it, so I may be searching for a while. If you have any ideas on a better enclosure, please leave a comment or Email Me!.
The other improvement I want to do is to add sound. I just need to run the wiring for a microphone, but haven’t got to it yet.
Anyway, that’s it. If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them here. Be sure to visit the Live Streaming Camera page and have fun with the cam.