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I would like to put a web cam at the end of my driveway, but don't want to run any new wire (plus it is at least a hundred yards). I know that there are solar powered security cameras, but I don't have any experience with them and my wifi doesn't reliably reach that far.

I was thinking of getting a solar powered wifi router/repeater and connecting through that.

Does anybody have any experience doing this and if so what should I look out for?

Edit: I live in NC, and I can put the wifi router in a space that won't be in the shade until shortly before sundown.

closed as off-topic by ThreePhaseEel, Machavity, Daniel Griscom, Ecnerwal, JPhi1618 Dec 18 '17 at 21:49

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions seeking product or service recommendations are off-topic because they tend to become obsolete quickly. Instead, describe your situation and the specific problem you're trying to solve." – ThreePhaseEel, Machavity, Daniel Griscom, Ecnerwal
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  • This has four close votes as a product recommendation request. It doesn't seem that way to me. It's asking about features and viability. – isherwood Dec 12 '17 at 4:05
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this is about networking equipment and security cameras not home improvement. – JPhi1618 Dec 18 '17 at 21:49
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There are a few issues you will have to overcome here, and most are solved much more easily by running cable.

  • Solar power has limitations. For example, in Scotland I would need a pretty big solar panel to power the camera, wireless router, and charge a battery (for night time) and for many days of the year I wouldn't be able to get any charge (sunshine at 57 degrees north is minimal in winter!) but if you live in California or Arizona etc you may have much better luck with this.
  • Wifi extenders are cheap and convenient these days, and again, you can power them from solar panels, with the same caveat as before.
  • Directional antennas are a much better idea than a wifi extender, however. They will easily increase your wifi range, and have the added benefit of suffering less interference from any signal off the main lobe, and potentially increase security, as an attacker will need to be much closer if they aren't on that lobe direction.

I used to build a lot of setups with directional antennas for anything from a couple of hundred feet to a mile or so. Even at 100mW transmit strength, directional Huber-Suhner patch antennas gave me sufficient signal strength.

I'd still suggest a cable for the job you describe, though, possibly just run PoE (Power over Ethernet) so only one cable set needed.

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Started something similar last summer for watering my garden but not wanting to use anything (except wifi) connected to the house.

Suggest looking at Raspberry pie projects. You probably know what the Raspberry Pi is, but if not, it's a pretty cool and inexpensive CPU board that you can use for amazing things.

But, I'm not recommending the Pi to you for your project, what I am recommending is to look at some of the Pi projects. There are people who have embedded Pis in external boxes, in hot/cold/wet environments, with solar and battery powered solutions. In some cases, they are amazingly ingenious and use things that are not expensive, or tell exactly what to order online, or what part numbers and products they use.

And finally, even if you get this setup working, how are you going to see the camera if you have no wifi? I am interested because I have a security cam system in my house. I use the Linux Zoneminder app, with some dlink-920 cams, and another with PTZ functions (Zonnix I think). The PTZ camera can use a Micro SD card, so perhaps that kind of option will work for you as well.

Have also seen posts in other forums where an external cam can be setup using a Deer camera. Haven't seen one myself, but there are apparently low cost systems intended to be left in the woods with decent battery life and some onboard storage and motion sensors to be able to take pics of anything that walks by.

Anyways, will monitor your post - sounds like a cool project.

W.

  • I don't understand your question about seeing the camera. The camera would be solar powered w/wifi, and the router would be solar powered w/wifi. I connect the router to my existing network and then connect the camera to the router. – jmoreno Dec 12 '17 at 1:34

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