Introduction: Setting Up the ELP-IP1881 Camera
This camera is about 25USD off Amazon and at a resolution of 720p, 25FPS it is a great little network camera. It runs off 12 volt and most folks have issues configuring it. Here is how I did this without using the manufacturer's software CD.
Take note that this camera is for indoor use only and should not even be exposes to dusty areas since it relies on its metal case to disperse heat.
Step 1: Creating a Wireless LAN.
I bought a Netgear Wi-Fi router with 2 of the cameras. All 3 devices run off 12volt and only pull 0.35Amp. This is very convenient since I powered all 3 from a single 12volt adapter. I used my handy netbook to access the router.
Each camera is plugged in via a patch cable to the router (not into the yellow internet socket).
Step 2: Initial Access to the Camera.
This camera works best in IE but at first you will need to go to security settings and allow ActiveX free reign just to get the camera's ActiveX component installed. Don't worry, its not any spyware or virus. Once it is installed, just let IE fix the security settings and the camera will stream its video to your the browser or any surveillance software. The default address is 192.168.1.10.
The Wi-Fi router or LAN must allow the subnet 192.168.1.xx. If not then just change it but keep in mind the other IP devices that may exist on your network. For me it's only these two cameras so I'm good.
There is no password for this camera as the default. For my project I have no use for passwords on my cameras or even the Wi-Fi router.
Step 3: The Camera Page.
Click the play button to get the a live feed streaming. I previously renamed my camera as "front". You can change the settings for the look of the video stream but these changes appear to be temporary. The more important part is the camera configuration on the top as DeviceCfg.
Step 4: The Configuration.
Here is the configuration tool for the camera. Anything from onscreen text to remote access can be done here.
Step 5: Getting the Video As Clean As Can Be.
Selecting the BEST quality as shown makes a huge difference from the default setting at the minor penalty of lower framerate.
Step 6: Setting a New Static Address.
For multiple cameras on the same LAN, the address must be changed as shown.
Step 7: Video Capture Behaviour.
You can fiddle with these settings to suit your application. The biggest changes will be for night preference usage. I plan to use these cameras in an outdoor lighting scenario with iSpy. The camera model is already listed in iSpy and just remember the default video channel is 1. When you select the relevant IP address, iSpy will list 2 urls for the camera: choose the second one in bold text.
So that's it! This is how this neat little IP camera can be configured using only the IE browser.