Wyze Solar Story

Hey Everyone! First off, I LOVE WYZE. I’ve helped people to purchase a confirmed more than 80 Wyze cameras, and I’m not stopping. Wyze is an incredible company with incredible support and an incredible community.
Thats why I’m posting this story. Rather than keeping this information to myself, I decided to share with everyone so anyone can replicate my success.

Wyze currently doesn’t have an “official” outdoor camera or enclosure, but I have had 50+ cameras outside for nearly a year using the “Chinese Amazon Special”. The enclosures have worked great even when we had -50 degree temperatures, snow, and ice. If you need an outdoor enclosure for the v2, just search wyze on amazon, or wyze enclosure and you’ll find them.
I have a need for cameras to be outside where there is no power. I use Ubiquiti products everyday, so I just “beam” 2.4Ghz wireless to the cameras that can’t connect to my home/office WiFi already.
Next I procured parts to create a solar system for the Wyze Cameras based on their electrical requirements. Based on what one camera uses 24/7 I decided on these parts off of Amazon. I would post the direct links, but I don’t know if I am allowed to.

Eco-Worthy 12v 25w Panel
10A Solar Charge controller 12v/24v Dual USB
LeMotech ABS Plastic IP65 Junction 7.9"x 6.1"x 3.1"
Expert Power EXP1245 12v 4.5Ah
Angle Iron for attaching everything together and mounting.
Some small guage wire to run between the battery, panel, and the controller.

I have found that even with a 10w panel the camera is powered 90% of the time in summer, and 50% of the time in our grey winters (with the panel facing south). Upgrading to a 25w panel increases the size of the panel a lot, but it charges the battery up MUCH more letting the camera stay on longer and gives the battery much longer life.

I run a USB cable out of the junction box to the attached Wyze Camera. I find that keeping the camera out of the box allows for the panel to be placed in an optimum location with the sun, while still putting the camera in an optimum location/angle for its viewing.

The problem with this solution is that it comes out to about $90. Which is much higher than I had hoped, and makes it a difficult solution to implement frequently. However, the solution does work great. If you wanted to it should be easy to upgrade the battery and panel to accommodate a small hotspot that can be powered off of USB. I would be very selective though on the power requirements of the hotspot. With a hotspot though comes data fees and overages, so you would have to be careful about what plan you are on and how much data you use.

Attached are some pictures of the project for your enjoyment and or replication. This isn’t pretty, and I’m sure many of you could build something much better! Please do, and post it back here. I’d love to see what other ideas people have!

Cam


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do think there could be a way to daisy chain a few remote cameras with this setup? I’m thinking 3 remote cams on property w/solar & battery pushing to a cam setup w/a hotspot to upload to the web.
I’m not tech. enough to know how to “push” the data. Maybe someone has thoughts?

Depends on your setup. You could have multiple solar “stations” or one big one. But for 3 cams, you would at least need double the solar and batteries. A hotspot would work great, but you would have to determine its power draw and add that to the solar and batteries.

Why not use a 25Ah weatherproof powerbank w/ build in solar panels $40 Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07SZD62NX

According to your specs and experience shared above it should power 3-5 cameras easily.

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Good point! I would have to test it. The biggest problem I see is the 5W solar charger. I struggle with the single 25W panel to get the battery charged up. If I’m doing my electrical math correct, you would need 25 hours of solid sun to charge the battery, but with the cameras discharging the battery at 1-2 amps, it would never catch up.
Honestly I have tested several devices like this and they all lie. They say they charge at a certain rate, or have a certain discharge capacity, and they never match up. Thats why I build these out of better hardwire materials that I have tested. You always want a solar panel array that is of much higher Wattage than what your devices are using, so that you can charge up the battery WHILE still powering the device.

But if you try one of these and they work, by all means please report back, I’m sure lots of people would prefer a plug and play $40 solution with no extra work involved.

your weakest link is the type of battery. upgrade it with Life4PO and a 30w flex solar… u will be good in winter… and given the setup is so small, u just need even cheaper charge controller. I have it out in the woods for a year now… it is my god eyes in the burb… lol

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I just did this because just experimented with those device charger power banks and they could never charge and provide power at the same time.

I bought the same set up you have on amazon for cheap.

Upgraded Batteries and Panels can also support more devices. Like adding sense for motion.

There are solar panel controller modules that allows the solar panel and the load (camera) to be connected to the battery at the same time. The controller charge the battery up to 14.1V and go into a trickle charge mode.

Battery must be sized to handle a full 24 hours of discharge by the load. The solar panel must be sized to be able to restore the battery to full charge in the 6-8 hours of sun light within the 24 hour cycle, while still under the load of the camera.

That, is assuming you have the required sunlight EVERYDAY. So, we need to design in some reserve. If the reserve requirement is 3 days of heavy overcast, that means your battery has to be 3X the original 1 day reserve.

Next, the solar panel has to bring the 3X sized battery back to full charge, so that it is ready for another 3 days of overcast. It don’t have to be done all at once on the 4th day when the sun comes back. We can size it to “catch up” over the course of the next 3 days. In that case, the solar panel has to be 2X of the original requirement.

With this design, every one day of full sun allows 2 days of run. 3 full days of sun gives us 3 days of run. 4th day of sun will only run the load for that day because the battery is already full. If want longer reserve, increase the size of the battery. If you faster recovery to the full reserve, increase the solar panel. It is a matter of how fast we deplete the battery vs. how fast we can recharge. I can see the price and the physical size of all the hardware is getting big.

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