Home Surveillance overhaul with D-Link DCS-5222L

D-Link DCS-5222L

Got two D-Link DCS-5222L IP Cameras from Lazada to replace my old D-Link DCS-930L (3 of them). I was a fan of cheap IP Cameras and was always telling people how I can monitor my home for under $100. However, as time passes by, I am no longer satisfied with the poor field of view offered by cheap IP Cameras. As an interim solution, I even bought wide angle lenses meant for Smart Phones and mounted them on the D-Link DCS-930L using adhesives or magnetically.

D-Link DCS-930L with self mounted wide angle lens bought separately.

D-Link DCS-930L with self mounted wide angle lens bought separately.

Here’s how one of the 3 look like:

Even with the wide angle lens, I wasn’t satisfied.I did not mount the cameras securely so a slight knock will tip the cameras off the surface and I spent quite a bit of time looking for the fallen lenses.

I decided that enough was enough. I took the plunge and went for the D-Link DCS-5222L which is a PTZ IP Camera with wide angle lens built-in. The IR LEDs were also immensely useful. No more pitch black videos in my NAS at night!

Another feature I look to the D-Link DCS-5222L is the availability of RTSP streams. This allows me to:

  1. Use VLC to easily launch the RTSP stream on any computer for quick viewing or monitoring
  2. Use FFMPEG to record the RTSP stream onto my NAS or local disk. I know VLC can do the same but after much tries, FFMPEG appears to handle errors from the live streams without crashing so easily.

In my next post, I will talk about how I use VLC and FFMPEG to build my own command line IP Camera recording and viewing.

Cheers!

Special SD card turns any digital camera into Wi-Fi enabled one!

toshiba-flashair

This technology isn’t new. It’s has been around for many years under the Eye-Fi brand. However, the cost has been prohibitive. There are many China-made alternatives as well but I just can’t trust them.

Toshiba has come up with a very affordable version. Turn any normal digital camera into a Wi-Fi enabled one by using this special SD Card. Basically, this SD card has a Wi-Fi chip built in. It draws power from your camera’s SD card slot and creates a Wi-Fi hotspot. When you use your smartphone or laptop/PC to connect to that special hotspot, you can download photos off the camera without any cable.

This is great for those who prefer to take holiday photos with a Digital Camera / DSLR but want to upload them without getting to a computer to download the photos.

NRIC Checker Android Application

So I’ve recently started developing Android applications! First application published was my NRIC Checker application for which I have a web version on (http://nric.biz) since 2009!

Many of my friends asked “Why the hell do I need this?”

There are many apps out there which you don’t essentially need.

This is a utility, a tool, to help people who have to deal with data entry.

I’ve got people telling me that they need to key in NRIC numbers into their computer database from handwritten forms and it proved to be a nightmare when they encounter handwriting that is illegible. Admittedly, my web application, though still being used, isn’t the most convenient way to access on the go.

With recent motivations of becoming an app developer, here you go … my NRIC Checker application on Android:

NRIC.biz NRIC Checker

 

iOS version is coming soon .. just need to sort out some limitations I faced with getting my app launched and approved for the App Store 🙁