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Compro IP60 IP Cam- Wireless, Digital I/O

Features and some setup information

This page is a "leaf" on a tree with information about remote sensing. It is a leaf of the branch about putting an IP camera (a bit like a webcam, or CCTV) on your LAN, either for local viewing, or, if you want to "open the doors", viewing from afar across the internet.

If you are just getting started with using IP cams, you may want to visit an overview of using IP cams I have provided.

Ad from sponsor, only distantly related to viewing images from afar:

My basic FarWatch system only requires a PC which you are willing to leave running and an internet connection. For about $40 you can add hardware to monitor temperature at the premises. That is just a start. With FarWatch, you can monitor many, many things. And my ArduServer lets you do similar things for even less, if you can "drive" an Arduino.

But! Back to the point of this page: Information about a specific IP cam. (IP cams are like webcams, but they connect to a LAN via TCP as opposed to connecting to a single PC, e.g. via USB). Here you will find information specific to one camera... see the parent of this page for more general points on using IP cams.

Features of Compro IP60- why buy one?

I managed to buy a used one via eBay 2 Jan 13 for $95, including p&p and wireless dongle.

N.B.: The wireless part of the IP60 is accomplished by a thumbdrive shaped dongle which you plug into the back, via a right angle adapter. While it may seem untidy, I like the approach for a variety of reasons. But be careful: If you want the wireless feature, be sure you have a version of the IP60 that has it (if one exists), or the dongle.

Regarding the "digital I/O" in the heading: This camera is supposed accept inputs from, for example, a switch. It is supposed to be able to turn on external electronics, e.g. a "bell".

I don't know about the digital output (yet), but I have to say I am extremely frustrated by the alleged digital input. It all started SO WELL: The camera's supposed provisions were written up in the manual better than any I've seen for a camera in this part of the market.

Little snag: I can't get it to "see" an input. I have spent hours and hours on this. If anyone knows any "gotcha" I may be overlooking, I'd be delighted to hear from you.

I've provided general (not camera specific) notes, if you want them, at my page on digital inputs and outputs on webcams.

One of the reasons I like the Compro IP60 is its excellent manual. There is the best I've seen of its kind. Yes, it was written by someone not working in their first language... but it has INFORMATION in it! Not just the usual "don't use this in the bath" stuff.

I was also extremely impressed by the SUPPORT from the manufacturer. Now then... if you were 19, had never driven a car, went to a dealer, and bought a car, you wouldn't expect the dealer to show you how to drive, would you? IP cam makers can, I think, be forgiven for being a little slow to deal with their email, because so many people ask "how do I drive it?" type questions. Go to the hobbyist forums if you need help with the basics... that's only fair.

But sometimes, you need information specific to a given product. I asked the nice people at Compro something of that nature (AFTER looking in the manual)... and they did a great job of answering.

(Oh... and I like the basic specs, too. Now then... I've been here before. And I have to admit, I haven't actually tried the camera yet (! !).... but everything looks SO PROMISING!!!)

The examples which follow assume that your camera is not using your LAN's DHCP server, but rather has a fixed local address of 192.168.0.254

It assumes that your router has an external, WAN, IP address which is known to the internet generally by means of MyRouter.dyndns.org, by the magic of DDNS, or "dynamic directory name server" services.

If you have only one http server on your LAN, it can be at the standard port, 80, and you do not need to explicitly specify it. For the sake of the examples, we will assume that you camera has been put on port 81, so explicitly specifying a port can be illustrated. Just drop the ":81" which appears in many of the lines below if you are using the default port 80... or use ":80"... it will do no harm, and remind you to put the port in, if you go beyond one server. Which you would do if you added another camera, for example.

Default admin user: "admin". Default password: "admin". Case sensitive.

It might SEEM that to fetch a "snapshot" from the Compro IP60, the "magic code" would be....

http://192.168.0.254:81/cgi-bin/view/ss.cgi

or

http://MyRouter.DynDns.org:81/cgi-bin/view/ss.cgi

... the first being the code you use if you are on the same LAN as the camera, the second being the code to access from afar, over the internet. (The second will also work "across" the LAN, but you will be "going around the houses".) (I won't be repeating the two variations after this, you have to remember they are there, use them as needed. The ":81" can be left out if you are using the standard port 80 for your IP cam, as discussed earlier.

Sadly, while that will work in a browser, for "direct" access to the camera from, say, a CCTV program, the above code doesn't give you a jpg or any other sort of image file... it gives you a scrap of html which, if called from within a browser gives you the image.

If you call...

http://192.168.0.254:81/snapshot.jpg

or

http://MyRouter.DynDns.org:81/snapshot.jpg

... not long after accessing the camera manually via a browser, you will sometimes get the jpg. Not always. And the authentication soon lapses, I think. (This is a work in progress. Hints appreciated!!)

I hope the camera has the ability to SEND images, by FTP, as an alternative to accessing it directly, as I had hoped to do, and do with other cameras. So many challenges, so little time.





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