I’ve always gotten enquires like “what can be used as CCTV for home automation”. As far as I know, Vera or Fibaro Home Center 2 does not integrate with the conventional CCTV. However, if you want some form of surveillance camera to work with your home automation system, you can try integrating Foscam IP cameras to your Vera or Home Center 2.
Today, I’m going to show you how to integrate a Foscam IP camera namely FI8910W with a Vera running firmware 1.5.762.
The Foscam FI8910W has PTZ IP camera a VGA lens with night vision and 2-way audio. I will not be covering much on how to setup the camera for normal (non integrated) use but I would say it does require you to be a little tech savvy (as the documentations are not very well written) to setup this camera compared to brands link D’Link etc. However, the image quality is good and the features suits most basic. Furthermore, with a price tag of SGD119, it is definitely value for money.
You can refer to this article on how to setup from scratch but I’d jump straight into setting it up with your Vera. Once you have setup the camera in your home network, before you can include the camera in Vera, you’ll need to install this plugin (Foscam IP Camera) from the Vera store. Please make sure you do not the plugin (VistaCam SD, PT & HD for UI5) installed. If so, you will have to uninstall it to continue.
Once you have installed the plugin, go to Devices>Add Devices>”I want to add an IP Camera”.
Then click on “Manually Add” and you will be brought to a screen with a list of devices on your network.
Select the line with the IP Camera’s IP address and you will be brought to the following page. In this page, select Foscam Camera, key in the URL in this format:
http://<your camera ip address>/snapshot.cgi?user=<your userid>&pwd=<yourpassword> (you should test the URL in your web browser first. It should show a snapshot from your camera)
and also key in the userid and password in the 2 fields as well. Yes, you are having your userid and password all over the place but this is the only way to make it work.
Click on “Next” and if you don’t see the image in the page as shown below, it is fine. Just click on “Add”
Save, Reload and Refresh your Vera page. Your Foscam IP Camera should appear on your Vera UI.
You may see “Camera Not Responding” as the image. Don’t fret, just click on the spanner and click on Settings. Make sure the URL is populated with /snapshot.cgi?user=<your userid>&pwd=<yourpassword> , the userid , password, ip address (without http) and MAC address filled up. You might have extra “/” before the /snapshot.cgi. Remove it.
Click on Advanced and you should see the values as shown below. Similarly, make sure you do not have extra “/” in the URL as it tends to for some weird reason.
Once every thing is rectified as shown, Save and Reload your Vera UI. You should be able to see the Foscam IP camera properly added with image. You will also be able to do pan and tilt from the Vera UI.
With this, even when you are using common Vera apps on Google Play Store such as AuthomationHD/Imperihome, the camera image will be also displayed on the app. Once again you have everything shown in 1 single app instead of having to use an app for home control and another to view your camera. You can even configure the camera to work with your door or motion sensor with scenes from now on.
Now the Foscam IP camera plugin only works with camera with MPEG stream. So what if you want to us a better resolution camera with 720p video? There is a way to make it work with Foscam model that stream in H.264 which will be covered in the next article. So stay tuned. 🙂