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Old 11-16-2011, 07:45 AM   #21
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Then what is it (seriously)?
Monitoring?
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Old 11-16-2011, 01:11 PM   #22
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It appears that there are several stand alone PTZ standalone cameras that have built in servers.

  1. Cisco/Linksys (it is a server also but theirs is not a remote PTZ device).. It is relatively low cost
  2. Dlink has one it is a server and hast PTZ. But is a little more expensive. It looks like is is around $180 per device.
  3. Foscam has a device that is a stand alone server with remote PTZ. It is (relatively) lower cost in the $80 range per device.
Foscam FI8918W Wireless IP Camera

http://www.foscam.es/descarga/FI8918W_user_manual.pdf

It appears that this product also enables one to get to all cameras using a unified interface for up to 9 cameras.

Quote:
User Interface:

The camera features an easy to use graphical interface that is accessible from any standard browser anywhere in the world over the internet. It has password protection as well as the ability for multiple users to view and control upto 9 cameras at one time.

Anybody using one of these devices?
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Old 03-25-2013, 08:46 PM   #23
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Sorry for reviving an old thread, but I was hoping someone had run into something new and more useful.

We're going to start snowbirding down to FL. But we'll only be there 2 or 3 months/year (to start with). The rest of the year when it's hot and humid I'd like a little peace of mind that the AC is working and there isn't a couple of feet of mold growing on and in the walls. Security is a distant second concern, since there won't be much to steal there anyway.

The IP cameras here are a good idea, and I'll probably do that in combination with a remote reboot device for my wireless cable modem. I can use a camera to look at a temperature and humidity gauge, as well as checking windows and doors for break-ins.

But this requires active monitoring. What I'd really like is a simple device that can detect if the temp or humidity has gone above a certain level and send an alert via email, text, whatever, especially one that wirelessly connects to the router to send the alert. It would be similar to the one travelover mentioned in the 4th post, but wireless and with the ability to set the temp instead of it being hard coded at 45 degrees.

Anybody seen anything good and affordable that can do this? I've looked at Iris, Nest, Vera type systems. They all seem to allow remote control, but they don't mention the alert system. They all seem to assume the AC system is working. Seems like a niche market someone should have jumped on. Someone should be able to hang a humdistat/thermostat off an IP camera and have the camera software send an alert if certain parameters are exceeded. Any suggestions?
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Old 03-25-2013, 08:59 PM   #24
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Sorry for reviving an old thread, but I was hoping someone had run into something new and more useful.

We're going to start snowbirding down to FL. But we'll only be there 2 or 3 months/year (to start with). The rest of the year when it's hot and humid I'd like a little peace of mind that the AC is working and there isn't a couple of feet of mold growing on and in the walls. Security is a distant second concern, since there won't be much to steal there anyway.

The IP cameras here are a good idea, and I'll probably do that in combination with a remote reboot device for my wireless cable modem. I can use a camera to look at a temperature and humidity gauge, as well as checking windows and doors for break-ins.

But this requires active monitoring. What I'd really like is a simple device that can detect if the temp or humidity has gone above a certain level and send an alert via email, text, whatever, especially one that wirelessly connects to the router to send the alert. It would be similar to the one travelover mentioned in the 4th post, but wireless and with the ability to set the temp instead of it being hard coded at 45 degrees.

Anybody seen anything good and affordable that can do this? I've looked at Iris, Nest, Vera type systems. They all seem to allow remote control, but they don't mention the alert system. They all seem to assume the AC system is working. Seems like a niche market someone should have jumped on. Someone should be able to hang a humdistat/thermostat off an IP camera and have the camera software send an alert if certain parameters are exceeded. Any suggestions?
I'll house sit for you. I'll keep the temp and humidity at the setting you want. Problem solved
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Old 03-25-2013, 09:20 PM   #25
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There's got to be something like that, data centers need that kind of monitoring 24/7, and are usually setup to send pages. Those might be part of a larger system, but that might be a place to start.
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Old 03-25-2013, 09:28 PM   #26
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I just found a device that comes pretty close to perfect - THUM - USB Temperature/Humidity Sensor - Smarthome, but it's USB connected. I don't want to be dependent on a PC. Of course, it's possible that the cable router would have a USB port. Most things do these days. We haven't taken possesion of the house yet, so I'm not sure what the cable situation is going to be. But a wireless IP based version of the above would be perfect.
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:32 PM   #27
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My sister and BIL recently bought a condo in Florida. Several fellow snowbirds told them that they have someone stopping by to check on their condo once a week during the time when they are back at home "up north". This person turns the water main on, flushes the toilets (apparently to keep the seals from going bad), and does a cursory visual check of the condo to make sure all is OK (including A/C and humidistat operational).

From reading the classifieds in the local papers, there's quite a cottage industry down there for people performing this type of service.

I wonder about the need to 'flush toilets to keep the seals from going bad'. Does anyone know if this really necessary if they are unused for 6-9 months at a time?

omni
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:41 PM   #28
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Harley,
We are using a thermostat that provides most of you are looking for. Check out ecobee.com.
Our utility installed ours as part of a pilot of electronic grid being installed in our area. If you have humidity monitors in place you can see current results plus temps as well as daily data for as long as you have it installed.
We can changed temps and check status via web anytime.
Nwsteve
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:46 PM   #29
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Thanks, nwsteve, but that one is similar to the ones I listed. There are plenty that allow you to check and change remotely, but I'm looking for one that will email or text you and tell you if it starts getting too hot or humid. The house has a fairly old HVAC and I don't trust it not to die. We'll replace it eventually, but I'm hoping to get a few more years out of it first. I can obviously check the house remotely every few days, but I'm just looking for that one more piece of laziness where the house lets me know if it's not working.
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Old 03-25-2013, 11:49 PM   #30
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Sorry for reviving an old thread, but I was hoping someone had run into something new and more useful.

We're going to start snowbirding down to FL. But we'll only be there 2 or 3 months/year (to start with). The rest of the year when it's hot and humid I'd like a little peace of mind that the AC is working and there isn't a couple of feet of mold growing on and in the walls. Security is a distant second concern, since there won't be much to steal there anyway.

The IP cameras here are a good idea, and I'll probably do that in combination with a remote reboot device for my wireless cable modem. I can use a camera to look at a temperature and humidity gauge, as well as checking windows and doors for break-ins.

But this requires active monitoring. What I'd really like is a simple device that can detect if the temp or humidity has gone above a certain level and send an alert via email, text, whatever, especially one that wirelessly connects to the router to send the alert. It would be similar to the one travelover mentioned in the 4th post, but wireless and with the ability to set the temp instead of it being hard coded at 45 degrees.

Anybody seen anything good and affordable that can do this? I've looked at Iris, Nest, Vera type systems. They all seem to allow remote control, but they don't mention the alert system. They all seem to assume the AC system is working. Seems like a niche market someone should have jumped on. Someone should be able to hang a humdistat/thermostat off an IP camera and have the camera software send an alert if certain parameters are exceeded. Any suggestions?
To monitor temperature and humidity, I use internet based sensors from LaCrosse Technology. The sensor also has an external probe. I bought 3 of these from Amazon - 1 for upstairs, 1 for downstairs and 1 for outside with the external probe measuring the hottub temperature. They are connected wirelessly through a gateway and I can remotely monitor the readings. You can set it up to give you an alert - its free for the first year.
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Old 03-25-2013, 11:56 PM   #31
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.

I wonder about the need to 'flush toilets to keep the seals from going bad'. Does anyone know if this really necessary if they are unused for 6-9 months at a time?

omni
I am wondering about this too. But not just the toilets but also the faucets. One reason that I know why this is being done is to replenish the water that has evaporated from the u-traps (for the sink and shower drains) to prevent sewer gas from entering the house.
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Old 03-26-2013, 12:41 AM   #32
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There is a thriving economy of housesitters exchanging home care for free rent. Another option.

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Old 03-26-2013, 05:12 AM   #33
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I think they may be referring to the water seal the traps provide that keeps sewer gas from entering the house.
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Old 03-26-2013, 06:02 AM   #34
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I am wondering about this too. But not just the toilets but also the faucets. One reason that I know why this is being done is to replenish the water that has evaporated from the u-traps (for the sink and shower drains) to prevent sewer gas from entering the house.
One solution(other than periodic flushing) is to cover the drains with plastic wrap, including the toilet to prevent water loss due to evaporation. That is what we did in our snow birding days.
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Old 03-26-2013, 07:02 AM   #35
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For those of you who have camera monitoring for security: how unobtrusively do you try to place the camera(s)? I mean, do you hide the camera (either for "try to catch the perp in action" reasons or 'cuz the camera's ugly) or do you make the cameras obvious to scare would-be perps away? I don't have any now, but I'm starting to do some research for our vac home.
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:07 AM   #36
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I have the wi-fi enabled radiothermostat which I bought at Home Depot for $99 and installed myself in one day. It allows me to monitor and control my HVAC system from my smartphone. I snowbird in Florida with my home in Ohio, so every morning in Florida I check on the temperature of the house in Ohio to be sure the temperature is still 55 degrees. I believe you can buy a premium service for a one time fee of about $29 that will send text alerts to you if the temp gets outside a preset range. I do not have that text service. I can check on my smartphone in about 30 seconds. It does not monitor humidity, only temperature.
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:39 AM   #37
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One solution(other than periodic flushing) is to cover the drains with plastic wrap, including the toilet to prevent water loss due to evaporation. That is what we did in our snow birding days.
This is what I do in Az when we leave for the summer. Also add a little cooking oil to the toilet bowl water which slows down evaporation. Put some cooking oil in the dishwasher as well to keep the seals from drying out.
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Old 03-26-2013, 10:40 AM   #38
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I'm looking for one that will email or text you and tell you if it starts getting too hot or humid. The house has a fairly old HVAC and I don't trust it not to die. .
While it may not be evident from the Ecobee home page, their system has embedded "alerts" page for high and low settings for both humidity and temp. You get emails for whenever the range you set is crossed.
You can remotely change AC to Heat and vis a versa.
You can also set reminders including frequency for filter changes, routine system maintenance inspections, etc.
When we travel, we use the setback hold feature to put the heat/cool function way back. About two hours out, we use our smart phone web access to return the system to normal ranges. House is nice and comfortable when we walk in.
Nwsteve
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Old 03-31-2013, 04:01 PM   #39
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La Crosse Alerts by La Crosse Technology
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Old 03-31-2013, 05:50 PM   #40
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Not sure if this is available where you are, but our county sheriff's office will do a daily residence check (for free) when requested. They walked the exterior of our house every day for about 2 months. The neighbors kept an eye out, too, and investigated when Animal Control did the residence check instead of the regular deputies. We just turned off the water and drained all the pipes and lowered the thermostat.
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