Solar powered Wyze camera - only requires wifi connection

I’ve been working on a simple solar solution for the past few months to get my v2 & v3 cameras working outdoors where there is no 120v power. I found this easy to make solution works great, and has been reliable 7x24 for a few weeks now. Even during winter, low light cloudy weather. Remember, it still requires a Wifi signal, just as if it was plugged indoors to work.

There are only 3 parts you need to setup, its very easy to do and doesn’t need any fancy electronics or soldering. Anyone can do it. You can get it all running in under an hour with basic tools. Total cost is around $100 (plus Wyze camera)

You need to buy (I used Amazon)

12v LifePo4 Battery https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07X7MD2JK/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Renogy Solar Charge Controller https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07NPDWZJ7/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Plastic Ammo Case - search “Sheffield plastic ammo case”

20W Solar panel - search " HQST 20W 12V Monocrystalline"

Then you need some basic insulated copper wire and some simple tools. You need 2 female spade connectors to hook up to the battery, if you dont have any, look for " Insulated Wire Electrical Connectors". A box is around $10

First get it all working outside the case.

You will need a female spade crimp connector and a short piece of wire to connect the battery to the charge controller, it will start working and show you the battery voltage.

Then connect the solar panel to the Renogy, get the polarity right, maybe check which wire is positive with a voltmeter if your not sure.

Then plug the Wyze camera into the USB socket on the Renogy controller, if it doesn’t start, press the ‘Enter’ Button on the Renogy to power up the USB port.

Configure the Wyze camera as you normally would and get it working before you put it outdoors.

Place the battery in the box and put the Renogy charge controller on top of the battery, work out how much cable you need to mount your solar panel and mount the camera. Cut a small hole in the battery case to allow the wires to get out the box. Using a bread knife, I cut a small slot in the top of the box rim, so water could not get in.

Then mount your camera and solar panel outside and test it all works. Make sure the solar panel gets at least a few hours of direct sunlight a day, That has been enough to power my Wyze v3 for 24 hours a day reliably for many weeks.

You may need to adjust the location of the camera if your Wifi signal is very weak.

If you get less sunlight or the battery goes flat before dawn, try using a 40W or 50W panel.

If the battery gets too low, the Renogy controller disconnects the camera USB power until the solar panel recharges the battery, it then turns the camera back on. Very cool. The Renogy also gives you lots of information about the battery and solar charging status.

Overall its been very reliable and requires no maintenance.

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Really interesting ! Do you know if such DIY solar panel could be compatible with the Wyze outdoor cam ? I assume yes as there is an USB port.

It should work with any USB or 12v powered device. I have used it with routers and raspberry Pis as well as Wyze cameras. Have fun!

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This is so cool!
Thanks for sharing.

I especially like the part about using it for routers and Pis. :+1:

Thanks for this post @BarkingSpider .

If I’m unable to source this 12v LifePo4 battery, is it correct that I can go for something with a slightly higher amp say 30 battery be ok? Would going lower than the 16Ah be any issue?

If you wind up using lead acid, even deep cycle, you are better off picking a battery up that works most of the time in the 80 to 100% charged range. Severe depletion of a lead acid battery shortens their lives.

So, pick one big enough that it can carry the load through several rainy days in a row without excessive discharge, and pick a panel array big enough to charge it back up in 3-4 hours on a winter day, where even a strong sun is only about 1/3 of the strength (Watts/SquareMeter)of a summer sun,

The numbers will work out a lot bigger than one thinks at first hand.

For instance, if a camera requires about 3 watts, that is 75 watt hours, or about 7 A-Hrs a day. A 100 A-Hr deep cycle marine battery would probably be a good choice for one camera. To charge it back up quickly on a sunny day, you will want to pump around 10 Amperes into it for as long as the sunlight holds out. With charging efficiencies throw in, that’s a 200 watt requirement. To get 200 watts out of a winter sun, you are going to need around 400-500 watts worth of solar panel.

If you live down in the south someplace, you might get a bit more sun than I do in Massachusetts… so you may be able to scale things back a bit.

Good point about the battery and panel, I live in the Bay Area in California, so the small battery and 20W panel work great for me, but in less sunny areas, you will need more solar. 100W panels are cheap now, and that will allow you to charge up even on cloudy days. You dont need a larger battery when using a 100W panel as it outputs plenty of power for a Wyze camera, even on cloudy short days. The small battery in the original post stores more than a few days use, even with no sun.

Here is my setup on a power pole, the ammo box fit in snuggly behind the panel and helps keep it dry and shaded. The wood is split scraps of 2x4 Douglas fir screwed together.

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Looks like you know your electricity. Can you check out this solar panel ( Solar Panel-QSG5 B-EN-DE-FR-IT-ES-20201228 (reolink.us)) and see if it’s compatible with the Wyze v2 and v3?

Do you think this would work with a hotspot from a cellular company? If it did then you (I/we) could monitor property that doesn’t have power but has cell reception.

All you need is the Wi-Fi name and password.

That mini solar panel only puts out 3w, you need at least 20w and thats if you live somewhere sunny. Your looking at a panel thats at least 2’ square.

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I have setup a remote hotspot at my mountain cabin for the same reason. I use this device and a $20 a month tablet sim from ATT, works great, been up for 3 months solid with no downtime. If your phone has a signal in the same location, it will work.

I have 3 cameras there, and powering the Netgear hotspot and a small wifi router, you will need more panels and a bigger battery to power all that, but its still easy to set up.

Thanks, appreciate the feedback.

I see. I went back to see how the Reolink camera can operate at 3W and it seems it has a rechargeable battery for power and the panel simply recharges that battery.

Question: if that 12V battery powers your camera, can you recharge the battery with a smaller panel?

It appears the Reolink and the Wyze work the same way with the battery power and solar panel recharge, but the Wyze requires much more power, maybe the Reolink has less features or doesnt run fully 24x7?

Be carefull, all panels can be compatible, but you need one that can provide sufficient power to run your camera 24x7. A 20W panel is the absolute minimum, and it must be combined with a battery and a charge controller.
You cannot simply connect a panel to the camera, Sorry.

I’ve so far run a Reolink GO PT 4G (on T-Mobile) for a week and a half and power never dropped below 84% even after consecutive dark cloudy days. It charges back up fairly quickly with the solar panel that was included.

Is must use a whole lot less power, but then again it is 10x the price of a wyze camera. Its not using Wifi, but 3G or 4G. Wifi is a power hog

I understand… very different price point but if someone has a use case where WIFI is nowhere to be found but cell is available definitely a recommended option IMO.

How much do you pay for the cellular connection?