My Story & Setup

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AAron nAAs

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Jan 2, 2020, 11:03:27 PM1/2/20
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What's YOUR story of how you setup your Camect?

Camect is clearly aimed at automatic setup of cameras, but allows setup in a variety of technical details. A customer’s background is likely to affect their perception and setup as well.


I'll tell my story, including personal profile, setup and experience with Camect. I’d love to see others’ experiences, and I want to help the Camect team too. Reply with your story.


Overall

I’m detail oriented, and didn’t do the plug-and-play path. I’m also likely to provide a longer story here than most, but I want to help you and the developers. I’m impressed with Camect’s great start on this product (creating commercial-grade software & hardware isn’t trivial), and I look forward to it steadily improving over time!


Technical Aptitude: High (I'm a software architect & mentor, and dabble in TiVo hacking and IoT)

Home Automation: Home alarm subscription (like ADT), Alexa/SmartThings (lights, motion detection, alerts)

Video Surveillance: First experience. Don't trust my recommendations.

Camect: I started my set up on 2019-Dec-30. I saw that cameras can be auto-setup by Camect, but I like to fiddle with the security & features, so I setup the cameras and then added them to Camect.


Setup:

1) Network prep

    a) Dedicated fast network switch. Bought Linksys LGS116P https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GECC11O (16-port Gigabit PoE+ switch). Connected to my home network/internet. Put cameras in switch’s PoE+ ports. All raw camera network traffic stays in that gigabit switch.

2) Camera config and security setup

    a) Did all of this before turning Camect on (I could have turned it on, with cameras off, and set it to NOT “set passwords on net cameras” and NOT “optimize settings on new cameras”).

    b) Amcrest IP8M-2396E https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07C7W91YR (4K, 112deg viewing angle). Setup via its web interface (Amcrest IP Config Tool for Windows didn’t really add anything other than discover camera’s network addresses). Updated firmware. Customized IP address, ports, set longish passwords. Password accepted 14 characters (15?) upper/lower/digits. Any more or other chars caused it to silently fail/break setup (painful to diagnose/fix). Camect auto-setup uses fewer characters (probably for similar reasons). Set up a separate viewuser camera user with "view only" permissions. Set main feed to resolution 2304x1296, encoding H.264H, FPS 15, frame interval 30. I like the camera’s quality, features and wide aspect ratio (seems like 16:9). Note: To factory-reset, hold the button (beside the microsd port) for 30 seconds.

        Tested feed: "C:\Program Files (x86)\VideoLAN\VLC\vlc.exe" "rtsp://viewuser:mypas...@10.10.10.201/cam/realmonitor?channel=1&subtype=0"

    c) Reolink RLC-410-5MP https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07X53BXPM (5MP, 80deg viewing angle). Setup via its web interface. Set main feed to resolution 2304x1296, encoding H.264 High, FPS 15. Set up a separate camera viewuser user as guest for “view only” permissions. I like the camera’s quality, but the aspect ratio feels like 4:3 (narrow).

        Tested feed: "C:\Program Files (x86)\VideoLAN\VLC\vlc.exe" "rtsp://viewuser:mypas...@10.10.10.202:12345//h264Preview_01_main"

4) Camect setup

    a) Unchecked: “Set passwords on new cameras” and “Optimize settings on new cameras”

    b) Added cameras. In Home Settings -> Devices. Added all cameras as “Stream URL” type. See rtsp addresses above for the viewuser accounts.

    c) Set to backup my configuration in the cloud.

5) Camect initial use

    a) Web access to Camect is good, but seems slow. From home wired PC and phone Wifi everything works, but playback speed seems slow/choppy or slightlyfast/choppy (smoother when windows smaller). Can access home.camect.com from work, but not camera views. Work network must be blocking video streams, since I can access everything over phone mobile data, and PC from a non-home network.

    b) Emails from Camect. I’m getting lots of emails from Camect about object detections. Good, but a lot.

    c) Refining alert detections. Lots of alerts/ratings to look at in the first few days. Lots of clicking from email into Camect alert segments. Tried to carefully define “don’t care” alert areas/regions, trying to create one useful region for each object type. Became a game of “remember what types I’ve configured so far.”

    d) Submitted some videos to help object detection.


Lessons/Questions:

I wonder what exactly “optimize settings on new cameras” actually sets the cameras to.

I’m assuming capacity of 24-megapixels allows 8 cameras at 2304x1296.

I wonder if the 15 frames per second is a good idea, and what I should set the bitrates to.

I’m curious about audio setup, but not enough to pursue it.

What is Camect’s “Home Settings -> Users -> Local Admin: admin” ? I never asked me to set that. Should/can I change it?

When I was looking for a way to magnify the small video feed boxes, and kept using the magnifying glass icons (+) and (-) on the timeline. It took a few sessions to realize they were changing the scale on the timeline.

Would be useful to consolidate the alert areas/regions at times. For instance: car, truck and fedex truck all have the same area drawn to ignore (the street)… while for person, bike and unknown animal, I ignore the street AND the sidewalk. I assume when I get to other trucks and delivery people, I’ll be drawing the same ignore areas again and again. This “detection ignore” is a key and frequently used feature, yet it’s an inconvenient click-path.

Interesting: Camect didn’t notice the quadcopter/drone that I flew in the camera’s view. Would be easy to detect it, but not worth my asking for the feature. The small ones are blurry things with 4 circles, the bigger ones are mostly X shaped.

ZzyzxOh

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Jan 20, 2020, 1:51:31 AM1/20/20
to Camect User Forum
Interesting story, thank you.

My Camect arrived 15-Jan-2020 and the first day or two was a blast. It is probably the most impressive Beta Software that I've experienced in my life. Yes, I asked a thousand questions from Support before they mentioned there was a Forum. And, I overcame the challenge of using Google for logon. Yes, I feel a little safer by using it, but sometimes I feel that -I- am the one they are keeping out..

I am starting with a testbed of a dozen consumer-grade cameras: Amcrest, Bosch, NEST, TP-Link and anything else that accepts power. The entire idea of the product was ownership of your own video, freedom to select a camera that didn't require a bank loan and removing the quirky differences between brands and giving you a calm and cool experience. As I went through each camera to disable local recording and removed the US$25 microSD from the accessible units, I really started to feel this sense of relief. (I do assume I have to do back in to do firmware upgrade - drat.) But never fighting with some camera plug-in or running some long-abandoned browser that's "supported" by a given vendor, this is living the dream.

I'm so far on the "upside surprise" end it feels almost irrational. Within 48-hours I had pulled the previous box that was acting as my FTP Video collector and pushed the Camect on the shelf to its permanent location. I have a bag full of $25 microSD cards, some of which will likely be reimaged to look at https://www.home-assistant.io/ opportunities (and my Lutron RadioRa2). I have no idea this little crowdfunded project would be run in such an excellent and exciting fashion.

I wish: Chrome wouldn't take a vacation when the Camect Home tab lost focus, There were "if(day)" and "if(night)" conditions to add to the "At Home" monitoring triggers (I don't care about the 200th car at 2PM, but a 2AM, maybe that's different. People walk their dogs all day. Maybe at night they could use my spotlight.) There are more things, so many more. The move from eMail to Telegram was AWESOME in spite of the hoops I had to go through to <drum roll> log in to my own account through Google. But once I have it accomplished, I do that the feeling that it's only me going to be able to get through that.

So, almost five days in and the sophomoric phase. No buyer's remorse. No "should not have bid this auction". My big wish is they stay independent and continue to do the high quality, well-thought-out work they are doing now in Beta.

Cheers. Have a fantastic day.


CamectChao

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Jan 29, 2020, 2:39:07 PM1/29/20
to Camect User Forum
Sorry. This thread fell off our radar somehow early..


On Thursday, January 2, 2020 at 8:03:27 PM UTC-8, AAron nAAs wrote:

What's YOUR story of how you setup your Camect?

Camect is clearly aimed at automatic setup of cameras, but allows setup in a variety of technical details. A customer’s background is likely to affect their perception and setup as well.


I'll tell my story, including personal profile, setup and experience with Camect. I’d love to see others’ experiences, and I want to help the Camect team too. Reply with your story.


Overall

I’m detail oriented, and didn’t do the plug-and-play path. I’m also likely to provide a longer story here than most, but I want to help you and the developers. I’m impressed with Camect’s great start on this product (creating commercial-grade software & hardware isn’t trivial), and I look forward to it steadily improving over time!


Technical Aptitude: High (I'm a software architect & mentor, and dabble in TiVo hacking and IoT)

Home Automation: Home alarm subscription (like ADT), Alexa/SmartThings (lights, motion detection, alerts)

Video Surveillance: First experience. Don't trust my recommendations.

Camect: I started my set up on 2019-Dec-30. I saw that cameras can be auto-setup by Camect, but I like to fiddle with the security & features, so I setup the cameras and then added them to Camect.


Setup:

1) Network prep

    a) Dedicated fast network switch. Bought Linksys LGS116P https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GECC11O (16-port Gigabit PoE+ switch). Connected to my home network/internet. Put cameras in switch’s PoE+ ports. All raw camera network traffic stays in that gigabit switch.

2) Camera config and security setup

    a) Did all of this before turning Camect on (I could have turned it on, with cameras off, and set it to NOT “set passwords on net cameras” and NOT “optimize settings on new cameras”).

    b) Amcrest IP8M-2396E https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07C7W91YR (4K, 112deg viewing angle). Setup via its web interface (Amcrest IP Config Tool for Windows didn’t really add anything other than discover camera’s network addresses). Updated firmware. Customized IP address, ports, set longish passwords. Password accepted 14 characters (15?) upper/lower/digits. Any more or other chars caused it to silently fail/break setup (painful to diagnose/fix). Camect auto-setup uses fewer characters (probably for similar reasons). Set up a separate viewuser camera user with "view only" permissions. Set main feed to resolution 2304x1296, encoding H.264H, FPS 15, frame interval 30. I like the camera’s quality, features and wide aspect ratio (seems like 16:9). Note: To factory-reset, hold the button (beside the microsd port) for 30 seconds.

        Tested feed: "C:\Program Files (x86)\VideoLAN\VLC\vlc.exe" "rtsp://viewuser:mypassword@10.10.10.201/cam/realmonitor?channel=1&subtype=0"

    c) Reolink RLC-410-5MP https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07X53BXPM (5MP, 80deg viewing angle). Setup via its web interface. Set main feed to resolution 2304x1296, encoding H.264 High, FPS 15. Set up a separate camera viewuser user as guest for “view only” permissions. I like the camera’s quality, but the aspect ratio feels like 4:3 (narrow).

        Tested feed: "C:\Program Files (x86)\VideoLAN\VLC\vlc.exe" "rtsp://viewuser:mypassword@10.10.10.202:12345//h264Preview_01_main"

4) Camect setup

    a) Unchecked: “Set passwords on new cameras” and “Optimize settings on new cameras”

    b) Added cameras. In Home Settings -> Devices. Added all cameras as “Stream URL” type. See rtsp addresses above for the viewuser accounts.

    c) Set to backup my configuration in the cloud.

5) Camect initial use

    a) Web access to Camect is good, but seems slow. From home wired PC and phone Wifi everything works, but playback speed seems slow/choppy or slightlyfast/choppy (smoother when windows smaller). Can access home.camect.com from work, but not camera views. Work network must be blocking video streams, since I can access everything over phone mobile data, and PC from a non-home network.

If this is still happening, please fire a bug report. It's usually caused by the network blocks WebRTC traffic. 

    b) Emails from Camect. I’m getting lots of emails from Camect about object detections. Good, but a lot.

    c) Refining alert detections. Lots of alerts/ratings to look at in the first few days. Lots of clicking from email into Camect alert segments. Tried to carefully define “don’t care” alert areas/regions, trying to create one useful region for each object type. Became a game of “remember what types I’ve configured so far.”

    d) Submitted some videos to help object detection.


Lessons/Questions:

I wonder what exactly “optimize settings on new cameras” actually sets the cameras to.

It depends on cameras. Most time it just disables the timestamp/logo on the video. 

I’m assuming capacity of 24-megapixels allows 8 cameras at 2304x1296.

Right. It also depends on the scenes. If your cameras point at busy street, it might do less. If most of the time there is no motion on the cameras, it could do more.

I wonder if the 15 frames per second is a good idea, and what I should set the bitrates to.

15 FPS is fine. To have good AI results, we do require >5FPS.
As long as the video quality is OK, we don't care bitrate. Of course, the lower the less resources needed to process the streams.

I’m curious about audio setup, but not enough to pursue it.

What is Camect’s “Home Settings -> Users -> Local Admin: admin” ? I never asked me to set that. Should/can I change it?

It's used to access the device locally. You can reach it by either https://local.home.camect.com or https://camect.local (The latter doesn't work on Android)
The default password is the owner's email w/o the "@DOMAIN" part.

When I was looking for a way to magnify the small video feed boxes, and kept using the magnifying glass icons (+) and (-) on the timeline. It took a few sessions to realize they were changing the scale on the timeline.

Would be useful to consolidate the alert areas/regions at times. For instance: car, truck and fedex truck all have the same area drawn to ignore (the street)… while for person, bike and unknown animal, I ignore the street AND the sidewalk. I assume when I get to other trucks and delivery people, I’ll be drawing the same ignore areas again and again. This “detection ignore” is a key and frequently used feature, yet it’s an inconvenient click-path.

You can actually merge them into one: one area and a list of objects that are not interesting. I attached what I did for one of my cameras.
NOTE: You cannot merge positive ratings like this because the merged ratings means an alert is interesting if it has ALL the objects.

Interesting: Camect didn’t notice the quadcopter/drone that I flew in the camera’s view. Would be easy to detect it, but not worth my asking for the feature. The small ones are blurry things with 4 circles, the bigger ones are mostly X shaped.

We don't detect planes for now, since it's uncommon for normal users :) 
ratings.jpeg
ratings_objs.jpeg

CamectChao

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Jan 29, 2020, 2:46:05 PM1/29/20
to Camect User Forum


On Sunday, January 19, 2020 at 10:51:31 PM UTC-8, ZzyzxOh wrote:
Interesting story, thank you.

My Camect arrived 15-Jan-2020 and the first day or two was a blast. It is probably the most impressive Beta Software that I've experienced in my life. Yes, I asked a thousand questions from Support before they mentioned there was a Forum. And, I overcame the challenge of using Google for logon. Yes, I feel a little safer by using it, but sometimes I feel that -I- am the one they are keeping out..

I am starting with a testbed of a dozen consumer-grade cameras: Amcrest, Bosch, NEST, TP-Link and anything else that accepts power. The entire idea of the product was ownership of your own video, freedom to select a camera that didn't require a bank loan and removing the quirky differences between brands and giving you a calm and cool experience. As I went through each camera to disable local recording and removed the US$25 microSD from the accessible units, I really started to feel this sense of relief. (I do assume I have to do back in to do firmware upgrade - drat.) But never fighting with some camera plug-in or running some long-abandoned browser that's "supported" by a given vendor, this is living the dream.

I'm so far on the "upside surprise" end it feels almost irrational. Within 48-hours I had pulled the previous box that was acting as my FTP Video collector and pushed the Camect on the shelf to its permanent location. I have a bag full of $25 microSD cards, some of which will likely be reimaged to look at https://www.home-assistant.io/ opportunities (and my Lutron RadioRa2). I have no idea this little crowdfunded project would be run in such an excellent and exciting fashion.

I wish: Chrome wouldn't take a vacation when the Camect Home tab lost focus, There were "if(day)" and "if(night)" conditions to add to the "At Home" monitoring triggers (I don't care about the 200th car at 2PM, but a 2AM, maybe that's different. People walk their dogs all day. Maybe at night they could use my spotlight.)
We'll let users add time constraints to alert ratings. So you can say "I am not interested in cars/trucks on the road from 5am to 11pm" or "I am interested in person on my side walk from 11pm to 2am".
Sleep time will be supported for "At Home" mode too.
These features will be launched soon.
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