Wireless technology in use for Outdoor Cam

I’m thinking this info is somewhere but I can’t seem to find it. I’m trying to find out what wireless technology is in use for the Outdoor Cam. I understand that the base station must be connected to your network via ethernet, but:

What frequencies are used to communicate to the cameras?
Is all traffic going from the camera to the base station or is the base station for management only, with actual data going over your Wi-Fi network?
Are the channels outside of normal 2.4 and 5 Ghz ranges?

I ask all of this because I have a fear. I’m hoping that the base station doesn’t “parrot” your home WiFi channels, similar to the way the enhanced remotes from Roku communicate back to those devices. In the case of Roku, that feature can wreak havoc on a home wifi setup. I disabled them to go all IR and many others have as well because it created so many problems. I have a nice, clean UniFi network and I’d like to keep it that way. :wink:

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I do know that all communication is from the cam to base station, the cam will not use your home WIFi.

According to the specs it is using 802.11 b/g/n which means it’s single channel over 2.4 Ghz and by FCC rules in the US, that would provide the typical channels options of 1-11.

On the AMA it was noted they decided to implement a base station to take the variables related to different wireless router implementations out of the mix. Which considering the lack of consistency in wi-fi “standard” implementations from one manufacturer to another (TP-Link, D-Link, etc, etc), was a very wyze and necessary design choice.

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Kinda strange still if they use standard 11bgn but force you to use their base station, like what kind of problems they’ve faced on their existing devices and various hope wifis? I work on wifis myself, and I don’t see any good reason to use separate/extra base station unless it’s some low-power RF link to help battery life. I have big house so if I want cameras on both sides, do I now need to buy 2 base stations then? I already have 3 wifis for that reason.

Wifi standard is pretty good anyway, way better than BT which is wild west.

That is exactly the reason for it

So it’s modified stack/protocol using .11 hw or what you mean? If it’s standard wifi traffic why wouldn’t it connect to normal wifi?

Also I’d much rather use current wifi and take battery life hit, than use the base station. Would be nice if they’d have that as an option. If I change SSID to same as the hotspot, would it connect to that?

I read elsewhere on this forum that the cameras can connect via standard 2.5 GHz WiFi but because of both connectivity issues due to the complexities inherent with the diverse array of available routers and types, as well as for reasons of battery life they decided to go with the base station approach. That they may allow direct WiFi connectivity in the future is implied.

Interesting, would be fun to know more details on that. And also to learn what they did with the base station to help battery life on the camera end.

I can think few items, especially if they modified the stack.
-use high gain antennas on the base station to ensure higher modulation and shorter transmission
-maybe use 80MHz BW on 2.4GHz (which is super rare on normal APs) to further reduce transmission time
-Reduce all overhead packaging from the standard, SGI and stuff, although this would be probably very minimal especially if the video is on UDP
-add BLE as the control (and voice) layer, basically same what they did on BT3.0+HS standard (although this might add on the bom-cost, depending which chipset they are using)
-use zigbee or other low-power signal for the control layer (although with BLE the impact is not worth the complexity, imho)

Now after thinking this for couple minutes, probably that high gain antenna combined with tx power control is the biggest impact on battery life.

Still I’d like to have option to connect to normal wifi, I don’t mind if it gives pop-up “yes I understand using my wifi instead of base station will impact battery life”

Was their office around Seattle? Should go say hi and ask for more details :smiley:

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All the info regarding the whys and wherefores was in the video of the launch and the thread it was contained in.

I believe they are not far from Seattle so you may well be close enough to visit! Definitely sounds like a fun group to go see.

Checked the launch video and the AMA. On AMA (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muIzT2tRjv0 ) at about 51m they mention about that. Sounds like big reason was to make sure the keep-alive heartbeat can be optimized for slow enough beat for battery life but still able to connect fast-ish to live view.

Looks like they really did lot of work to optimize everything. Would be fun to meet up the wireless design team for sure to learn what all they did there.

Agreed, I think they did a great deal of work. But in the end I wonder if it is too many compromises?

Yea, I still feel it’d be good to give option to connect to normal wifi too. Maybe that’ll be future update.

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outdoor cam arrived in the mail today.
i don’t see anything special about the wifi network from the base unit other than it can drop down to slower speeds.
it’s a 2.4Ghz TKIP AES with a pre-shared key

Is there an option to change the channel so it does not interfere with other WiFi?

i don’t see any way to manage the wyze AP at all.

there are 4 ports open, but none respond to basic requests.
Nmap scan report for 10.x.x.x
Host is up (0.00070s latency).
Not shown: 96 closed ports
PORT STATE SERVICE VERSION
22/tcp filtered ssh
23/tcp filtered telnet
53/tcp open domain dnsmasq 2.72
8888/tcp open sun-answerbook?
MAC Address: 2C:AA:8E::: (Wyze Labs)
Device type: general purpose
Running: Linux 2.6.X|3.X
OS CPE: cpe:/o:linux:linux_kernel:2.6 cpe:/o:linux:linux_kernel:3
OS details: Linux 2.6.32 - 3.10

might be fun at some point to figure out the pre-shared key they are using so i can join the cameras to regular wifi. I REALLY don’t like having another wifi network in my home … it’s tripping rogue access point alarms and causing RF interferece on the regular network. This will reduce the number of outdoor cams i buy.

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I would love to have it connect to normal house wifi, even with the expense of less battery life.

the other features that would be lost are travel mode and backup to base station.

but i’m with you - I’d prefer to not have an additional wifi AP.

I don’t understand, why they would be lost?

To my understanding travel mode uses soft-AP so it could still be easily included, same way as currently.

Base-station backup could be also still done, just leave the BS connected on your local network (and tell it to turn off wifi). Maybe that’s how the utilizing home wifi could be done anyway, the BS would still act as the router, but the actual connect path is through the existing network.

you are probably right that travel mode would likely still work … i was thinking that enabling it was through an option on the Wyze base.

For the backup to base station the Outdoor cam would need a way to find the IP address of the base so that it knows where to stream the data to. I’m guessing that is accomplished by the dnsmasq running on the base. So you could get it to work, but you’d likely have to configure a dns record on your internal network (or simulate whatever other system is in use if it’s not dnsmasq).