terrymcfall.com

 

Porch Camera12 NOV 2017 - I bought a security camera, the Reolink Argus, for the front porch. This is an image it captured of our cleaning service arriving yesterday. No, I'm not interested in spying on cleaning people - I just want to be notified when a package has been delivered. Here's my review of the camera on Amazon:

I bought this camera for a reason with a single purpose in mind.

The purpose was to notify us when a package was left on the porch - sometimes the person delivering would ring the doorbell and sometimes they would not. We've had a problem with package thieves, so I wanted something that would send us a message in case the delivery person just left one there. The camera works very well in this case - once setup properly we get immediate phone and email notifications along with a photo of the activity. A video clip is also available to review, but for the most part I'm happy with the notifications.

NOTE: If you have a lot of activity where the camera is setup, you will receive a lot of notifications and email messages. This could range from shrubbery blowing in the wind, or animals wandering by, or even normal foot traffic. You might be able to configure an email filter to manage this, but that also runs the risk of missing something important. It's a good/bad 2-edged sword kind of thing... we're lucky to have minimal activity on our front porch - most of the time we use the garage to come and go.

The camera attaches magnetically to a hemispheric ball, allowing you to rotate about a wide range of angles - this too can be used to isolate on what you want to view instead of capturing too much activity.Reolink Argus There's also a way to mount using screws instead of the magnet, since an outdoor setting will run the risk of a thief simply snatching the camera from the magnet base. But ours is mounted about 12' off the ground in a very inconspicuous place - minimal risk in my opinion.

The reason I bought this particular camera is because it could be setup without cables. No need for power or data cables since it runs on batteries and is wireless. It's connected to our wifi network and we can view activity on our phones - there's supposed to be a way to view on a PC also and I'm sure it can be done, but cell phones work best for us. Now that I think about it, it wouldn't be too hard to keep an old phone or tablet near the front door dedicated to viewing front door activity... gonna have to play with that idea.

Setup was a little tricky and it took a bit to figure out... if it doesn't work on the first few attempts, my best advice is to factory reset and start over using the things learned on your first try.

Batteries are not your standard sizes - it uses (qty 4) CR123A batteries, which are between an AA and C size battery. I was concerned about how long they would last. But it's been 2 weeks since installation with both warm (90 deg) and cool (40 deg) weather, and the battery indicator hasn't budged from 100%. And camera software has a utility that displays battery usage each day over the previous 4 weeks, along with tips for extending the life of the batteries. So far, the biggest drain happened during setup and testing of various functions. Other than that, it's been pretty minimal.

Amazon lists these batteries, both standard and rechargeable, for about $8 a set. Worst case, if I spend $30 a year on batteries it will be worthwhile considering I can mount the camera anywhere inside or outside, as long as my wifi signal will reach.

After dark images were pretty good. We don't have a need for that because the porch light is always on at night, but here's an image taken without the light on - like I said, not bad.

Overall I'm going to consider a few other places to use these. We live on a corner lot and there's quite a bit of street activity next to the house that is totally obscured from view. Until now.

 

11 NOV 2017 - I liked this one... explains why taxing the rich will only go so far. Eventually you need to take a look at what the money is being spent on.

 

04 NOV 2017 - This is for the geeks out there... I've been hearing for a long time that Adobe Flash should not be used, that it has major security flaws, and should be uninstalled from your computer.

But at the same time if you want to access content on major websites like mlb.com or nba.com, you're out of luck because they use Flash - what the heck? Here's the scoop... I found good explanations of not only why this is happening, but also how to manage the risks involved. Check out my Adobe Flash explanation.

 

 

 ©  Copyright 2017                    Permanent Link