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Customer Review

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars as of 6/2012, the bad reviews seem true, June 17, 2012
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As of 6/2012, many of the bad things you read about this camera here are true: Mine disconnects and reconnects to the wireless LAN at random. Finally the disconnection is bad(?)/long(?)/permanent(?) enough that the camera controller software cannot reconnect.
Also, as other reviewers have pointed out: Yes, the articulation points on the supplied mounting bracket are flimsy and it just flops; Yes, the backside holes aren't weatherproof on the outside so antenna connector and power cable entry may need to be silicone-caulked; Yes the Ethernet/power/reset dongle end is open to the weather and needs its own weatherproof box; Yes, the antenna in order to itself be weatherproof (aside from the connector which isn't) doesn't articulate and the shield blocks it, so it can *only* be attached pointing down. (In other words, the right-angle section of the antenna isn't long enough for it to stick up, the way it's shown in the product photo. Note that this is *not* the cause of the WLAN disconnects in my tests, but pointing it down and half-shielding it with the metal casing can't be a good thing for long-distance connection.) I would gladly work around all these other issues to get an inexpensive outdoor camera, but because it disconnects wireless randomly, it's useless.
Finally, as other reviewers have alleged but got obfuscated here, I measured and can confirm that the 3.6mm (wide angle) lens has a 42 degree angle of view, when mounted to this camera, not the 67 degrees advertised here and by the manufacturer. (The 6mm lens is even narrower, about 30 degrees.) Yes, if you mount the 3.6mm lens on *other* Foscam cameras you'll get 67 degrees, but not this one.
Lest anybody think a firmware update will fix the disconnect problems, let me warn you: The manufacturer's update process is horrific. Instead of simply posting their updates, they insist on mailing you the link, so they demand your e-mail address. Then, instead of mailing you the link, they mail you another link that coerces you into accepting their e-mail spamming, so that they will mail you *yet another* link that actually points to the firmware. And *that* link is a dead link! (You get a Microsoft IIS "404 Not Found" page, except of course it's in Chinese!) Fortunately, you can tell by the name of the link that it's the very same firmware that shipped with the camera (11.25.2.38, as of 6/2012). So nothing lost, but a waste of time, and no hope of improvement!
I also have the Foscam FI8910W, which has none of these problems. Perhaps I'll put it under a large glass bell and use that outside instead!
(Very specific hint: For those of you running Synology's Surveillance Station on their NAS's (e.g. Synology DiskStation 1-Bay DS111) (DSM ver 3.2), the symptom you'll see is lots of very short .AVI files, instead of the single 30-minute files you typically get. Once it stops completely, sometimes you can Disable/Enable (NOT just Refresh) and get the connection back for a few more minutes, but sometimes the *only* way to get it to reconnect is to power cycle the camera *and* reboot the Synology NAS. This indicates a certain inflexibility in the Synology software, but the camera "started the problem." My WLAN happens to be WPA2, and I didn't test totally open or WEP like some reviewers did, because I can't afford that security hole. Somehow the fact that you can directly access the camera's web-server interface directly doesn't mean the Synology can sync up again. Worse, it seems that actually doing so, to see some live video, can *cause* another disconnect with the Synology software? Note that none of these things are issues with the FI8910W, which works perfectly both with Surveillance Station and standalone.)
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 15, 2012 10:17:13 AM PDT
o-namae desu says:
UPDATE: As of 7/2012, the Foscam website now has firmware available for direct download, instead of the double-blind email method described. This is a big improvement, also the new links aren't dead anymore! Caveat: When Foscam updated some camera models without changing model *numbers*, the only way you could tell was by the firmware version. So you *MUST* look at your camera's *existing* version before downloading new firmware, to ensure you get the compatible file. (They could have made their uploader scan the file and reject newer version numbers known to brick the camera, but they chose to make it the customer's problem. Simply read the notes in the firmware table and make sure you select the proper file!)
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