Harbor Freight Color CCTV Camera
© Brooke Clarke 2007
I'm not sure if this one is still being
offered. The listings as of Aug 2007 are:
Weatherproof Color Security Camera with Night Vision $50 - they say it
does have LED (I think just fewer than on 95914 and maybe w/o the
Security Camera $60 - with IR LEDs
- Geeks - Generic
Color IR camera $59 - with IR LEDs
It's not clear to me what's different about them. Both come with a
power supply and cable and the cameras both have microphone and IR LEDs
for night vision.
I have mine mounted on the North facing side of the house looking
toward the driveway and street. The problem is that my ATI
All-In-Wonder 9800 Pro video software can not allow me to view the
camera video and do anything else at the same time. I've spent
many days uninstalling and installing software and although it seems to
work when no other application is running, that's no good for a 24/7
monitor. It may just be an ATI software bug, so the next step is
to try other software video video viewing or webcam type
applications. The other option would be to have a LCD TV screen
dedicated to the camera.
The colors seemed washed out and I think that's
because rather than go
for color fidelity they have removed the near IR cut filter to allow
the camera to see better when it's dark. For this application
that's a good thing to do.
26 Sep 2007 - around 8 pm it's too dark so this camera is showing black
with a little noise. But tonight there was a bright white spot
much larger than one pixel right in the center of the screen, then it
started moving down to the left then down to the right. WTF is
this? I opened the front door to see what it was, and there was
my wife watering plants with a lit cigarette in her hand. The hot
cigarette is showing up as a bright source of near IR. I have
seen reviews of astronomical CCTV cameras where a hot soldering iron
was imaged, so this is a similar effect.
Oct 2007 - I notice that when a car leaves and you are seeing the rear
lights the left and right running and brake lights appear bright white
since they are filament bulbs that emit a lot of near IR but the center
brake light appears red because it uses red LEDs that do not emit much
if any near IR. Areas of the image that are illuminated by direct
Sun are mostly white.
22 Oct 2007 - A wasp was starting to
place the mud to make a nest just under the eyebrow of the
camera. Although not in good focus you could see him
working. Spraying the camera with the garden hose washed
off the mud, but then the camera started to degrade and finally the
monitor displayed No Signal. Maybe it will dry out and come back
These Cameras Are Not Waterproof.
Only resistant to some downward rain!
23 Oct 2007 - The camera has improved.
Now there's an image, but out of focus, maybe there's water on the
inside in the optical system?
I would like to setup a web page
displaying this cam. I've been watching it using Fwink on my
computer and the view is quite interesting even though it's mostly
trees. In the future I'd like to hook up a couple of other
cameras to the same web page with the P-38 color camera aimed at the
bird bath - deer & squirrel water bucket and the P164C aimed at the
stars at night. But can't find any free webcam software that
I tried out the free demo version a number of years ago and it did most
of what I want to do, but is no longer being offered.
- is supposed to
be the same, but the description says only server mode on demand which
I don't think will work with my very limited upload capability via
- it finds the WDM video
camera but will not do anything with
it. That may be fair since it's advertised as working with USB
cameras. But it will not work with a USB camera either.
- it will capture a
still image and save it to a specified file at a specified time
interval when a USB camera is connected, but not when using the
composite video input, although it does show what the camera is seeing
in it's window. This does seem to work with USB cameras.
HELP! If you know of a free (with all the problems with the free ones
makes you wonder if the commercial versions will work for me) webcam
software please let me know
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created 16 Aug 2007