Recently, a friend of mine who regularly installs IP security systems found he had a surplus of cameras and was looking to get rid of them. I had an uninvited guest relieve me of a few things a couple of years ago and had been considering putting in a number of cameras myself. Guess it was fate.
As I was planning the installation I realized that I wanted at least some of the cameras outside where they would be in the weather. Of course my friend only had indoor cameras. I needed camera housings that were..... 1. inexpensive (the regular housings were more than a hundred bucks more than the camera) and 2. the correct shape (take a look at the picture) . I did what anyone who visits this page would do...I went to my junk box an made a square peg fit into a round hole for the betterment of all humanity. (I have been looking for a way to fit that phrase in)
I began tinkering as a way to make something that is no longer useful, useful again. That is the green component. Taking trash and making something relevant. I thought, if I could save a bunch of money as well, so much the better. All said, this project saved me in upwards of 500 euros which is as green as it gets.
I had thought of running everything on solar power, but that requires solar panels which are not free. We are saving money, remember. Perhaps when another friend of mine has a surplus of solar panels and batteries........
Step 1: The Stuff
Necessity being the mother of invention. I helped birth this idea from some yard lamps I found. A neighbor was having some work done in his garden and wanted to change the wall mount lamps to some post lamps he liked. They were still in good shape. I have since located these steel AURIA lamps (because I am a wonderful person and my neighbor told me) at LEROY MERLIN the hardware/decoration store for about 30 euros. The Velleman ip cameras came from a friend but I think they run about 130 euros give or take. I used standard UTP communication cable for the RJ45 IP connections. My install required several hundred meters of cable. (I had to buy the cable) However the lamp itself only needs about a meter plus the distance to your computer or router.
A few other things you will need:
- #1 & #2 Phillips head screwdriver
- a sturdy pair of side wire cutters
- electrical tape
- soldering iron and solder (optional)
- RJ45 crimping tool (only a few bucks at Radio Shack)
- RJ45 connectors (cheap)
The project took me all afternoon for the first one. The next three took me about 20 min. The build is really not that complicated. If you can install a light fixture, this wont be a problem.
I should also mention that neither I nor this website is responsible if you break, burn, electrocute, stab, cut or otherwise mangle yourself or your project.