Introduction: Balcony View Camera

Picture of Balcony View Camera

There isn't much to this Instructable, but it has greatly improved the mood of a bedridden elderly relative. After losing mobility, and spending time mostly in bed the effect of her mood became very apparent. Her biggest complaint that I could easily address was missing her view. In a matter of a few minutes, I had searched and ordered the necessary parts to install a wireless camera to one of the RCA video inputs on her tv. With a click of a button should could see the water/birds/boats in real time. She calls it her window.

The distance from the balcony to the room is pretty significant, and the first camera I ordered (~$40) failed to transmit over that distance well after just a few months. The second one I purchased has been working like a champ for well over a year now. If I had the resources, I would use a wired system for better picture quality, but this one works great. There is no issue with IP configurations or hijacked signals, it is just a plain and simple installation.

And now for a quick rant: Why it is that cable companies transmit empty channel signals? Can't we/they afford to transmit live or recorded video from exotic or not so exotic locals for the same bandwidth? There is a show, and I believe it is on National Geographic that does 1 hour flyovers of exotic places (which is awesome), but even a city view or beach view would be an improvement over the 24 news channels.

Step 1: Gather Materials and Tools

Picture of Gather Materials and Tools

This is similar to the camera I found on Ebay. It is long range, and since in my case it had to transmit through walls, it has worked well. This is the description: High Power Long Range 1000m IR Night Vision CCD 2.4GHz Wireless CCTV Camera 928F

And this is the link:


Wireless Security or CCTV camera and Receiver (package deal)

Open Video Port on TV



Step 2: Mount Camera and Enjoy

Picture of Mount Camera and Enjoy

Mount the camera where it is out of the way. It would likely transmit and weather better if I had installed it inside, but with as many people as we have going through the house all the time, that would not work. I mounted it as high as I could with the power cord provided, the adjusted the view by checking the tv.

The receiver just mounts near the tv and plugs into a video port. I did not connect the audio because the volume of the tv is kept ungodly loud. When a seagull shrieks it is deafening. It is a simple matter of not plugging the audio signal into the tv.

I later added the hummingbird feeder to the railing. The picture is very clear and she can see them feed and fly off all the time. It has been a real help for her mood and well worth the price. Cheap camera systems start at about $40-45. This one was about $150, for which the camera itself it larger and designed to transmit further.

It is a great addition if you have someone in similar circumstances.


sleighbedguy (author)2015-05-06

My grandmother has recently passed away. About six months ago(November/December 2014), I replaced the camera because there was some interference. The new camera had the same issue so I resolved it with a longer component cable.

In any event, I have the old camera that is completely functional sitting in a drawer now. If anyone can you use it, just let me know, I'm happy to send it if you cover the postage to get it there.

It brought her a lot of happiness, for someone in the same situation it may very well do the same.

chistevemac (author)2014-07-16

Absolutely Brilliant idea! It is amazing how something so simple can affect someone's outlook on the day, just being able to see and hear what is going on outside.

A slightly unrelated note—there used to be a series, and I think it was on the Discovery Channel, called Sunrise Earth. Every morning there was one hour of static-positioned video capturing a specific scene and would change camera angles as the sun came up over some exotic location. I was really disappointed when they cancelled it, but you may be able to find them for purchase or download. I had taken the idea for when I go on vacations—just setup a phone or video camera and record a few minutes in different locations and then edit them all together.

sleighbedguy (author)chistevemac2014-07-16

That is a fantastic idea! I think I will add that to my vacation plans for the future! I heard about Sunrise Earth, but never saw it. Thanks!

About This Instructable




More by sleighbedguy:LED Pantry LightsDog Door Installed in a insulated Glass UnitSleigh Toddler Beds
Add instructable to: