The Cabin Webcam – Reloaded

In a previous blog entry from December 2008, I described how I made an outdoor enclosure for an indoor Panasonic webcam at my mountain cabin. Since the camera was rated for operation down to 40F and exposure down to 32F, I added insulation inside the enclosure to keep the camera warm. This worked well in the winter, but during the summer the webcam overheated and messed up the optics, as can be seen from the blurring in this image.

In retrospect, I should have unplugged the camera for the summer or at least removed the insulation. Lesson learned, but now I needed a new webcam. I picked up a D-Link DCS-920 wireless webcam online for under $70 shipped (after rebates. First the webcam had to be turned upside down to fit in the enclosure. Luckily the D-Link webcam configuration allows the image to be flipped, avoiding the need to flip the image with software post-capture.

Then the insulation went back in.

And finally the plexiglass cover went back on.

Setup of the D-Link webcam on the wireless network was much easier than the Panasonic – although that’s not saying much if you’ve ever tried to setup a Panasonic!  However, the D-Link built-in webcam software is not as flexible as the Panasonic’s. For example, the Panasonic supports mulitple FTP profiles, while the D-Link only supports one.  Still, that was good enough for me, because all I really need to do is upload a still image to my cabin rental website every half hour. 

Here is an image from the new webcam:

All in all, the D-Link DCS-920 has been a great buy and has worked out perfectly so far!  But I’ll be sure to remember to unplug it or remove the insulation this summer!