281 of 298 people found the following review helpful
on July 19, 2008
I picked this unit after much research, for a home-made robot (class project). Here's the scoop:
For the price, it's fantastic!
Performance: Our best results, with a fresh battery, camera unit transmitted ~200' of open parking lot AND ~75' of industrial building w/ lots of flouro/wifi etc. with minimal interference. However, signal strength fell off with batt pwr. Unfortunately, we used a variety of 9Vs at various stages of use or I'd have a lifespan for you. Best guesstimate is minimum 30 minutes full strength from fresh batt.
We also played around with it indoors, with the AC adapters on both units.
Either way, you'll occasionally have to tweak the RX tuner for best reception if the camera is mobile, or the environment changes (body blocking the antenna of the Tx etc.) See that little knob by the Rx unit's antenna? That's the tuning knob.
How does it work?
Camera unit powered by AC adapter, or 9V battery (short life as expected) sends audio & video to receiver unit.
Receiver unit->RCA cables->TV/VCR/whatever (I used an old portable TV/VCR combo from a junk sale). No "Wifi" here.
If this thing had night-vision AND digital tuning it'd have 6 out of 5 stars. Speaking of IR, this camera will detect IR like most digi-cameras. The only test I managed to do before it's demise* was to point a TV remote at it in a sealed darkroom, and it did register the IR LED.
*The TX unit was smoke-checked by an idiot miswiring an improvised AC adapter after we lost the first one, but I'm definitely getting another.
154 of 166 people found the following review helpful
on May 23, 2009
I bought this setup for birding. Installation was a breeze. One bit of confusion was the manual which stated the power adapters for the camera and transmitter should not be interchanged and could damage the equipment if hooked up wrong; however, the adapters were identical. I installed everything and had it working in less than 10 minutes. There is some interference as others have pointed out, i.e., occasional lines and jitters, but all in all a very good color picture for the price. I do not see a problem with low light conditions - I have a robin who built a nest under my deck, and was hoping to watch the babies hatch. Today they did within half an hour of my installation of the camera. The camera is tucked up underneath the joists and there is no direct sunlight, yet the picture is clear and bright. This may not hold true for dusk, but for use in normal daylight, I'd highly recommend this system if you're on a tight budget. I couldn't ask for more considering cost/performance ratio.
91 of 97 people found the following review helpful
on September 2, 2011
This is an overall great value once you understand a few things.
This device is susceptible to RF noise. Its either gonna work, or you have to much RF noise and it will not work.
The camera has a series 2 dip switches which give you which give you 4 frequency ranges to play with. The base has a tuning knob to fine tune each setting of the dip switch.
When you initially plug this thing in IT PROBALY WILL NOT WORK. Play with the dip switches on the back of the camera in all positions and fine tune on the receiver dip switch each position.
My intial setup all I did was plug and hope to play. It didnt work, and I felt like I belonged in the 1 star camp. I through it aside and said fegetaboutit...
Fast forward a few weeks later I dug it back out noticed the dip switches on the camera and adjusted them. Fine tuned on the receiver side for each position until I found the one that worked best. BAM, perfect picture! Added it to my Kguard DVR setup and set to record.
Then a week later bad horizontal lines rolling up and down while in live view. AARRGHH, whats going on? Then I tried to think what changed in the last week with my RF enviornment. I happened to add and XBOX 360 slim to my entertainment setup. So I went over to the XBOX, unplugged it and BAM, perfect picture again. Plugged it in , boom lines are back.
So be aware that once you dial it in and you still have scrolling lines, its probaly the RF noise in your home. Try unplugging items that generate RF noise one at a time (cordless phones, XBOX, wifi routers, microwaves while in use, etc.) to see whats killing your image, Its probaly not the camera. For me I live with the lines. They're not that bad. Plus I love the fact I can add a camera anywhere by simply plugging it in.
PS: The lens on the camera can be turned to focus.
Great resolution and color for price
Easy to hide
Easily added to a Cheap Chinese CCTV DVR for a low cost additional camera
No IR lights
Very susceptible to RF noise in the 2.4GHZ range
XBOX 360 Slim interferes
68 of 74 people found the following review helpful
on January 7, 2010
We got this rather than spend $140+ on a baby monitor for our child. We always swore we'd never get a video monitor as it seemed like an invasion of our child's privacy. However, she is now 2 years and 3 months and we are in the process of transitioning from a crib to a bed, and we have quickly learned that we need to see what she's doing during nap times. We thought we'd try this out. Granted, it only broadcasts to one TV, but we mostly sit downstairs and fold laundry while the kiddo sleeps, so we just set the TV up (Picture in Picture) in our living room.
- We were impressed with the small size of the camera.
- Field of View - For the most part, it captures most of our child's room. We have vaulted ceilings and placed the camera at the highest place (14 ft). From here, we can point it down and capture most of the room (room measures 16 X 14). If we had shorter ceilings, we probably wouldn't get a good areal shot.
- It was easy to set up. We had to buy a RF modulator since our TV has already used up all of the RCA inputs in the back.
- The picture is mostly clear as is the audio. There are a few interference issues (see the Cons section). Our daughter's room is upstairs and the TV we attached the receiver to is directly downstairs. In all, I'd say there's about 30 ft from transmitter to receiver. It seems to do ok transmitting through the floor/ceiling. I didn't test it to see how far I could go before the picture got bad.
- Doesn't affect our home phone (5.4 GHz) nor our Wireless Internet (ATT Uverse - whatever band they use). Cell phones didn't bother it either - even in WiFi mode.
- This device does not like our microwave. I'm unsure if they are on the same circuit, but when the microwave runs we get lots of interference. This is a minor inconvenience though since we don't usually run the microwave for more than a few minutes. We could probably try an AC interference adapter, but we don't want to spend the money on something that isn't that big of a deal for us.
- The camera only tilts up and down. The arm the camera sits on does allow you to twist the camera, but the picture twists with it. What this means is that you can easily tilt up and down, but you can't go left to right when you're trying to set it up. In order to get the camera to look slightly left, I had to twist the camera mount. This means our picture isn't exactly level, but again, it doesn't bother us too much.
- Battery life is pitiful. I decided to try a 9 volt to see how long it would last. It was a matter of hours before our picture started degrading. Once I attached the AC adapter the fuzziness went away and the picture got much better. Don't get this for it's battery operation option; be prepared to always use the AD adapter.
In all, I'd recommend this. At least try it before you spend $140 on video baby monitors. Worst case scenario you return it and are out only the shipping.
65 of 72 people found the following review helpful
on May 15, 2009
This little camera works great for keeping an eye on things. A word of advice, be sure to set the channel on the camera so as to not interfere with any wifi network you are running. The switches are on the camera. two tiny white switches on the side of the camera, then adjust the reciever to that channel with the adjustment knob on the top. Once that was don, all of my wireless stuff was happy and working well.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on May 14, 2011
Some people are in love with this camera, some hate it. It all depends on what you're expecting from this toy.
Let me outline it's main parameters:
Image quality: Quite nice, sure this is not a HD, but it has comparable image quality to my Panasonic VHS-C camcorder, made in 1995.
Low light sensitivity: Not the night vision device, but low light sensitivity is OK. For example, way better than average webcam, or Kodak Zi8
Immunity to interference: This is the weakest point of this system. Any wifi router or device will be your worst enemy. Interference is annoying - large bar moving along the screen, with clicking interference on sound. If you plan to place receiver at fixed position, it is easy to shield out from wifi interference - just place a half arc cut from beer can at side of antenna. Align it's position and distance for best results.
You should note another thing - the transmitter circuitry is frequency dependent on antenna capacitance. In simple terms this means that, any new object near the transmitter antenna will cause it's frequency to shift a bit. So, place camera in such position, than no moving subjects will appear at 30cm or closer distance to antenna.
Overall, our family likes this camera quite much. We've installed it at our patio, which is next to artifical pond, where we have ducks. So, now kids can see, what their ducks are doing, and are they hungry or not.
Remember, this camera is NOT designed to be mounted outdoors. So you'll need some sealed enclosure, if you'll decide to mount it outdoors.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on February 12, 2010
This little thing does a great job for anything you can think of. The range is decent as long as not many walls are in the way. Its very portable (strap it to your dog and see where he goes!). The nine volt battery will die fairly quickly if it is not a good one. If you are keeping it stationary, the adapter works great. The quality is good in good lighting and the audio is great too, you can tape it to your shirt and use it as a wireless mic if you want. Not the best out there but for the price, it can't be beat!
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on January 27, 2010
Excellent camera (sound mic too!) Great value. Uses those little red, white & yellow "RCA" cables compatable with most TVs, DVD players & home entertainment ctrs.
The camera itself is TEENY TINY. If you ever played dice ("craps") - imagine a camera as small as one single die!
I use it on my front porch because we don't have a peep-hole on our front door.
PROBLEMS: (though not deal-breakers)
1. The first model I received didn't work. I returned it, and the merchant exchanged it for better one which did work! Problem solved.
2. Can it really be powered by either plugging it into a wall, OR by using a 9-volt battery. Well, "NO". Regrettably, the battery doesn't work (I tried 3 different batteries; none worked). So I just used an extention cord - problem solved.
This is the least expensive wireless camera I could find and it works great!
I live in Palm Springs, California (extreme desert temps range from 35'f (winter pre-dawn mornings), all the way upto 119'f (summer days about 5:pm)) and despite its "INDOOR" Label - this little dynamo has been on my OUTDOOR porch, and working reliably & fine for over 2 years/ no problems!)
I'm extremely pleased with this wireless camera!
31 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on November 11, 2011
I bought this camera to be used with a robotics project, so I really wasn't looking for anything with great audio and visual. I just wanted something that was okay.
First, I immediately noticed the product was not the same as that pictured on Amazon. There was no camera stand for the pinhole camera. But I would be okay with that if the camera worked.
Also, the instructions say that there is a 9V 500mA AC adapter for the receiver and a 9V 200mA AC adapter for the camera. Instead there were 2 identical 500mA adapters. When I plugged one into the camera, both the camera and the adapter plug got very hot to the touch. Again I'd probably be okay with this if the camera worked.
Finally, the camera just didn't work properly. There is a tuner knob for tuning in the camera on the TV. Just as I started to get a very weak picture, the tuner hit its limit and you couldn't turn the knob any further. The resulting picture was all scrambled and jumpy with very crackly audio. And that was only when the camera and receiver were in the same room. Move the camera 10 feet away to another room in the house and there is no signal at all.
The best thing about this purchase is how easy it is to return to Amazon.
26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Technically it works very well (much better than I expected), but video quality is poor.
I needed a inconspicuous video camera with the ability to record, that is easy to setup, inexpensive, and little or no maintenance. I don't need the ability for real-time monitoring. I don't need to watch anything over the Internet. All I need is the ability to go back and see what happened at a certain time.
How I have setup this product:
1. I have placed the camera in a place and position to capture the maximum activity. Camera clamp can be rotated in two axes, but the third axis is rigid. I think they should redesign the clamp/fixture such that there is complete freedom to adjust the camera.
2. I have placed the receiver about 10' away such that both antennae are in line.
3. Connected the receiver via Dazzle video converter to a computer.
4. Computer is kept always on constantly recording the video.
Issues with the above setup: (1) I have to change the video file about once a day and delete old files periodically (2) only I know how to manage the whole setup - too much technology for the family (3) captured digital video size (width and height) is small and quality is poor.
Alternative setup: Instead of connecting the receiver to a computer, I tried connecting it to an old VCR. Much simple to operate. I have used 6-hour VHS tapes. With this setup, picture size is as big as the TV, picture quality is abysmal. Low tech and family can manage the setup. More maintenance in that the tape should be changed every 6 hours.
I am currently satisfied with the setup. Happy with the product - it does what I need and I didn't have to pay a lot. However, I am still looking for a product similar to this, but has better camera.