Security cam blog posts on Tumblr

Room with a View

Article from Issue 158/2014
Author(s):

When the Perlmeister is on the road, he likes to know what's going on at home. Armed with just two scripts, he draws on the Tumblr API to store snapshots cyclically from his home security camera.

When I'm traveling, knowing that my home is threatened neither by fire nor by an invading band of thieves contributes greatly to my sense of well-being. To avoid phoning my neighbors to satisfy my security cravings, I installed a panning camera to keep a watchful eye on the skyline of San Francisco through my living room window (Figure 1). The Foscam FI 8910W [1], which costs about US$  60 and includes a WiFi connection, supports remote control via the Internet and lets me stream the video to my mobile phone  – no matter where I happen to be.

Figure 1: The panning Foscam camera in the Perlmeister's living room watches over downtown San Francisco.

Quirky Camera

Before you indulge in impulse purchases, be warned: The cheap Foscam camera has some annoying quirks. For example, when it's dark, the camera always turns its infrared LED ring on after rebooting, which happens every now and then for some unknown reason. This feature sounds useful at first, but if the camera is set up directly in front of a reflecting window, the whole thing turns into a fiasco, with the camera dazzling itself until someone notices and switches off the infrared ring by hand.

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