(newbee alert) How to Power source Wyze Cameras outside the house

wyze-cam

#1

Did an early order, and have been nothing but impressed with the cameras. Will certainly be ordering a few more. Using mostly for security/monitoring purpose and thinking of installing a few around the house, outside, under the roof in eave/rake where it should be protected from rain.

My question is how do people do the power source when installing it outside the house? Before coming across Wyze, I had made up my mind on PoE cameras, and for that, I would have had to run ethernet cables in the attic.

These, I think need a 110V or a 5v DC. Plus, for security, I guess it should not be easy to yank the power cable and disable the camera. Any ideas will be much appreciated.


#2

If you already have a WyzeCam, then you know they are powered by 5VDC provided through a micro-USB cable. Security cannot really be improved because one could always just unplug the cable at the camera (or just rip the camera off it’s mount and take it).

If running power to the camera, it is better to run 120VAC closer to the camera and then a shorter USB cable from there, relatively speaking. The reason is, if you run a very long USB cable with thin gauge wire, you could end up with a large voltage drop which could damage the camera’s electronics.

These cables from Monoprice are inexpensive and of sufficient gauge for an up to 15’ run:

https://www.monoprice.com/product

If you are going to run longer than that, be sure that the power wires of the cable are of sufficient gauge. You can use a calculator such as this:

Voltage Drop Calculator

Alternatively, you could power from a USB power brick recharged by a solar panel. There are devices that combine the battery and solar panel into one unit. The problem is finding one that will recharge and provide power at the same time; most don’t.


#3

Good question! If I was going to do this I would run ethernet still and power with a POE adapter. I imagine they will eventually try to release an outdoor camera. So either running Ethernet or Mains power would be beneficial for when that happens I imagine.


#4

I just hooked up 4 Wyze Gen 2 Cameras outside using a Outdoor Wyzecam enclosure and a POE 5V micro USB adapter… I already had the POE Cat 6 cable so all I needed was the Adapters…It works flawlessly!

Outdoor enclosure:

POE 5V Micro USB adapter

-M

 


#5

Has anyone considered or tried using a solar power bank such as this one to power their outside cameras?

 

 


#6

A 20,000 mAH battery should power the camera for over 24 hours if fully charged.

But given that the info says “But please do not take solar as main power source as it mainly for topping off. It’s subject to sunlight intensity and panel conversion rate, which may take long time to charge.”, I would doubt that it would keep up. It says it takes 10 hours to charge from the wall, and I would expect the solar charging to be much slower than that.

The info also says “Do not make charge while charging itself.” I interpret that broken English to mean that it won’t provide power and charge at the same time. Most battery packs won’t.


#7

Maybe a dumb question, but…on the other end of the ethernet cable (the end closest to the power outlet), how do you hook that to a power source? Another adapter?


#8

I posted the real-world power usage in another thread, and calculated that a 15k battery should run it for about 4.5 days (but NOT counting night illumination, which I have yet to test). See that thread, and hopefully I can get some night tests done soon.

 


#9

Brilliant! I have an existing system outside powered by ethernet that I can use to power the Wyze cams, thanks for the idea!


#10

TY for the info.

So, this adapter goes on the camera end of the Ethernet cable yes?

What did you use for the injector to supply the voltage?


#11

The PoE to USB power adapters do connect to a regular ethernet cable wherever you need power. On the other end I have regular PoE switches. These are true 802.3af devices so they work with standard PoE switches and midspans, or a generic injector.

 


#12

This is a simple hack but it works. Buy one of those light socket adapters and replace an outdoor light bulb with this. You then plug the Wyze camera adapter into this socket adapter. To fit you may need the real simple ones with just the electrical socket and not the ones that come with two electrical sockets and a light socket. It cost me $2 at Lowes but it depends on the exterior light. Then run the USB cable to where you want to mount your Wyze camera. You need to keep the light switch on and you do lose the light.


#13

Hello there!

 

How did you get the micro USB connector on the PoE to USB adapter to plug in to the Wyzecam? I purchased two of the PoE adapters and have found the plastic shroud around the micro USB connector on it is too large to fit in the cavity on the Wyzecam.

 

Thanks!


#14

I just used a utility knife to shave the plastic connector down enough to allow a snug fit.

Matt<!–more–>


#15

i am a serious newbee but a handy man, any way you can post exactly what you bought to to hook up 1 camera, me and my wife are stumped. I googled the cables and i didn’t even know those existed. So essentially all you do is buy 1 adapter and one long Ethernet cable and connect it to your modem?


#16

On my current outdoor cams I have 2 that run solely on solar, the outdoor cams use between 400ma (day) and 550ma (night) each camera.

So between the 2 cameras on average 23,000-25,000 mAh is consumed by the 2 camera per day I originally had one 120 watt panel which fell short at times so I added another 120 watt panel to system.

Solar panel system consists of two 120 Watt panels, 72 Ah deep-cycle battery and charge controller, so there was significant costs involved but far easier than running power 400+ feet to driveway entrance. If I ever add an electric gate I bet I will need to add at least one more panel…

On Winter days/nights even with 2 panels I have a few days where I don’t get enough sunlight and the cameras go down when charge controller low voltage disconnects. But it’s only maybe 3-5 days a year.

So if you plan on running on Solar Power only there will be a significant investment in the solar system compared to camera cost!

$350 dollars in the solar system costs.


#17

I’m not sure where you live, but I think you may be losing some efficiency with your setup. On a decent 120 watt panel you should be pushing an average of 6 Amps to the controller and 5-6 to the battery. With a 4- 5 peak solar hours a day, that should be enough to charge that battery at close to the optimal rate. Once again, if you live where it’s cloudy often, you have to go big I suppose. A few things I’d consider which you may be doing but I can’t tell from your details. Of course, if it’s working for you just ignore this :slight_smile: Only trying to help…

Go with Mono PV Panels as they are more efficient in low light conditions

Mount your panels so you can tilt them at least three times per year. Google solar panel orientation via zip code. It’s pretty easy to make adjustment holes in angle iron mounts (or some other clever contraption). The hard part is remembering to change it. I put the adjust times in my online calendar as a reminder.

USE an MPPT charge controller to squeeze out every last drop of energy produced. Wasting available power makes us sad…

Watch your voltage drop/wire sizing. DCV drops very quickly across distances. Place all of your components as close together as possible and use the proper wire size. This is probably the biggest mistake I see people make. Oh, it’s only 10 feet from my panels to my charge controller and I have this 16 AWG wire in my garage from a home improvement project last summer… Not good, that size wire will produce twice the recommended amount of voltage drop.

Bonus tip… NEVER run your battery down to low voltage disconnect unless it’s a zombie apocalypse. Your battery will die a little bit inside each time. Size everything so it never dips below 50% or 30% in an extreme lapse of judgement (like a week long bender in Vegas).

Put all these together and it will cost a bit more initially, but you should be good for 3-5 years until battery replacement and everything else should be good for 10-20… except maybe the camera but at $25 who cares, get another one

 


#18

Please don’t waste your money. A solar setup to power one of these 24/7 and provide 2 or so days of backup consistently (years) is going to run you about $150. These solar power banks are not efficient enough to fill themselves up in a reasonable amount of time, let alone replenish their power AND power a camera. I have a NestCam outdoor solar setup right now, and am replacing them with several of these cameras I just purchased. I’d be happy to help you if you are serious about this. Just let me know…


#19

Where I live summer is fine and only the winter is the issue in needing an extra panel. Lots of very tall trees most 80 feet or taller, do not get a full day of sun in my location in the El Dorado National Forest, Too lazy to adjust the tilt for the panels 3 times a year…LOL

I have a quality MPPT charge controller with Low Voltage Disconnect, Current outdoor cameras are not WyzeCams (Waiting for WyzeCam Outdoor though!)

The one panel actually worked 95% of the year and only had “Low Voltage Disconnect” happen 4-5 times a year but being the nerd I am I wanted 100% so I added the additional 120 watt panel…

Could be the battery too as it is a very old battery but charge controller still shows it’s health in the green…

The solar system for the 2 outdoor cams was just a “Science Experiment” for me I was bored…LOL

 


#20

Cool man! Keep experimenting. I am currently using Nest Outdoor cameras and they are quite power hungry so anywhere I can make my system more efficient, I do.

Are you using lead acid or sealed batteries? I’m currently using sealed, but am going with golf cart batteries on my next setup. I’ve never maintained batteries myself so I’ll be learning something. They provide a lot more bang for your buck, but I’ll have to test and fill them myself. Being they are larger capacity, I’ll scale up my system to include cameras, landscape lights, etc.

Fun Stuff!