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 PICT0001when 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 PICT0002enclosure, 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.