Personal Television Network

FTLComm - Tisdale - Tuesday, September 10, 2002

In the spring of 2000 I bought my first little wireless television camera and receiver set and since then it has busily monitored the front of our house allowing me to see outside from my basement office on a coloured television monitor.

The system is remarkably simple and inexpensive. The best part is that it works virtually trouble free the only problem is the occassional interference from a neighbour's microwave oven but hardly impossible to live with.

This is the camera which consists of its antenna a base with electronics and the little camera which does not give broadcast quality but good enough to recognise people and identify the sky's cloud conditions. It is plugged into an electrical outlet and on the plug in unit is a setting for which identifying camera it is.

Plugged into the VCR or right into the television is the little black module shown here. This is the cheap one without sound but the one I use has sound as well as video. The little white box is a transceiver and with it you can switch on a light or small appliance without it plugged in the camera does not operate.

Ever since I
bought the system ($129 Canadian for the one camera and its equipment, it is now $79) I thought it would be cool to have more than one camera. So last week I bought two more cameras which came with the additional equipment shown here. Plus a nifty little remote control pad.

I have one camera pointed into the back yard, another looking at ground level on the driveway and the one looking out the living room window. With the little keypad I simple click from one camera to the other.

You will find similar units in Radio Shack and there are some business versions that are pretty expensive and required hard wiring.

I purchased the last two cameras and the receiver and transceiver for $139 so it works out to about a hundred dollars a camera but I have the extra transceiver and receiver which will go to work in another place.

You might find this a handy set up for your own location and the equipment requires absolutely no technical know how just plug stuff in and it works, no fiddling around. The range appears to be about the size of our lot and you have to get the antennas sort of pointed at one another otherwise you will get some ghosting.

The picture at the top of this page shows you what I see from where I work, the three monitors are part of my Macintosh computer system then above a portable television sitting atop a VCR and file cabinet about eight feet away. By the way the monitors are showing system 9.2 even though I normally am working in system Mac OSX but the newest version Jaguar is incompatible with my Compact Flash card reader used to download images from the digital camera so I have to shut down and restart in 9.2 to get my pictures. The maker of the card reader assured me this morning that the new driver will be available to make it work in Jaguar by the end of the week.

Below are screen shots of the monitor with each camera clicked on. I caught the scan bar on the first image and the one on the right shows some window glass reflection from the morning's bright sunlight.


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Editor : Timothy W. Shire
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