Off Grid Security Cameras???

K4KMGK4KMG Solar Expert Posts: 50 ✭✭
My camp is located about an hour from home and I'm only there on weekends. Need IP cameras at the camp to monitor while I'm away. My eyes are 'bleeding' from all the reading on cameras. Wondering if anyone has any experience on the subject?
24v solar sys is the only power available. Probably going to have to get a small inverter to run security sys as it's probably more efficient than leaving the big Outback on 24/7

Camp pics can be seen here:

Need to monitor front door of my camper and the shed in the rear. Wifi hotspot will be available next weekend.




  • oil pan 4oil pan 4 Solar Expert Posts: 766 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Off Grid Security Cameras???

    I use battery powered game trail cameras.

    Solar hybrid gasoline generator, 7kw gas, 180 watts of solar, Morningstar 15 amp MPPT, group 31 AGM, 900 watt kisae inverter.

    Solar roof top GMC suburban, a normal 3/4 ton suburban with 180 watts of panels on the roof and 10 amp genasun MPPT, 2000w samlex pure sine wave inverter, 12v gast and ARB air compressors.

  • SurfpathSurfpath Solar Expert Posts: 439 ✭✭✭
    Re: Off Grid Security Cameras???

    I can see why your eyes are bleeding, there are many options.

    I dont know about you but I would want more than just video images. I'd want to know if there was a break in the moment it happens. So I recommend getting a GSM (basically cell phone) video/camera. It will document the break in as well as alert you and allow you to potentially arrange intervention as it occurs.

    Of course you can get something like this Dakota Unit that allows you to passively record, but for me it's too "after the fact"

    The company that has really evolved this GSM concept seems to be Jablo, link here But their units are not cheap (and I am not sure how much current they draw...). OK, I looked it up for you online

    AC power adaptor: 100 - 240 V AC, 50 to 60 Hz, 6 V / 1.67 (2) ADC.
    Input power (range): 5.0 - 6.7 V / 1 A DC

    And here is a much cheaper product (the amusingly named "BollyGuard 30L") that essentially does the same thing. It comes with TERRIBLE directions (the worst kind), that's why it gets such bad reviews, but if you patiently research and youtube around you can get it to work. Here's what I do know, it will work in 'search' on your outback so you only have to worry about a 6watt draw as opposed to a 25 watt inverter load. It pretty much has to be plugged in the whole time, the battery is only good for just short 2 hr power interruptions.

    Hope that's helpful. SP

    ps. Sweet camp!, love the set up, well done.

    pss. Carp, just saw now that the Jablo Eye2 Camera is sold closest in Canada (maybe too inconvenient for you to get?), Anyway here is the link. They are the best in this class, fo sure.
    Outback Flexpower 1 (FM80, VFX3048E-230v, Mate, FlexNetDC) 2,730watts of "Grid-type" PV, 370 AmpHrs Trojan RE-B's, Honda 2000 watt genny, 100% off grid.
  • jcheiljcheil Solar Expert Posts: 722 ✭✭✭
    Re: Off Grid Security Cameras???

    I have a lot of experience with these, and have a 16 camera system myself in my off-grid place.

    Remember, you will need power to run the DVR and the cameras. Although they run on 12v (thru a wall adapter) I would not recommend running them directly off a 12v battery die to the voltage variations when charging. SO you will need a small inverter. I run 16 cameras and all together they consume on average about 30ish watts in the day and 70ish watts in the night (24/7) so that in itself is a lot of power. One or 2 cameras would draw less, but it is still a 24/7 draw and more at night because the IR lights come on.

    Next you need whatever internet service you can get. Because saving the images locally is great unless they steal your dvr also :) So plan for the power consumption of that unit. Usually small, like 15w or so, but again 24/7 - it adds up.

    Be very careful of the GAME CAMS that use GSM (SMS) service. AT&T is the only provider still offering PICTURE MESSAGING over SMS (not MMS that is normally required for picture messaging which requires a data plan for much more than the $10 or $20 per month TEXTING (SMS) plan). And AT&T is planning on discontinuing that service in the next year or so. It was announced years ago that it would be dropped. This is going to leave TONS of people stranded that use GSM based communications for game cams and alarm monitoring system, etc. But AT&T needs the frequencies for their 4G (and 5G soon) products. Look it up online for more details.

    I'd pick a DVR over a game cam any day anyways. Full motion recording, options to email pictures automatically, etc. The game cams are too limited and too easy to STEAL also.
    Off-Grid in Central Florida since 2005, Full-Time since June 2014 | 12 X Sovello 205w panels, 9 X ToPoint 220w panels, 36x ToPoint 225w panels (12,525 watts total) | Custom built single-axis ground mounts | Complete FP2 Outback System: 3 x FM80, 2 x VFX3648, X240 Transformer, FLEXnet-DC, Mate-3, Hub-10, FW500 AC/DC | 24 x Trojan L16RE-B Batteries 1110ah @ 48v | Honda EU7000is Generator and a pile of "other" Generators | Home-Made PVC solar hot water collector | Custom data logging software
  • K4KMGK4KMG Solar Expert Posts: 50 ✭✭
    Re: Off Grid Security Cameras???

    Using a software pkg like Blue Iris, I should be able to run the cams in motion detection mode, and get notified if there's a problem. This should save some power. Also, would save hard drive space.
    Biggest problem so far is the 'hot spot'. My current plan only allows 3 gigs/mo. so I have to limit how much up/down I do. If I can ftp the video file every few days, this would save a lot of bandwidth as opposed to streaming. Since ATT hot spots are a rechargeable box, with wall wart capability, this will also require powering 24/7.

    Current, (testing), plan: I have a HikVision POE cam, TP Link switch box, router, and a spare laptop. Get everything running while I'm at camp, use my Kill A Watt and see what's what.

    I looked at the 24v 300w Samlex on the NAWS site, but then saw this notice: "If you plan to use devices for extended periods, you may want to consider the more efficient SA series of inverters from Samlex". Any idea why? Has to be more efficient than my Outback? Guess I need to call them.
  • ThomThom Solar Expert Posts: 196 ✭✭✭
    Re: Off Grid Security Cameras???

    I just use a fake cameras and a sign . I wouldn't want to have an inverter on if I was not there.

    Off grid since 1984. 430w of panel, 300w suresine , 4 gc batteries 12v system, Rogue mpt3024 charge controller , air breeze windmill, Mikita 2400w generator . Added [email protected] 100w panel with a midnight brat 
  • David and LauraDavid and Laura Solar Expert Posts: 139
    Re: Off Grid Security Cameras???

    We're using a mixture of Arecont, Geovision and Axis cameras, all over PoE.

    We use a 24vdc power supply connected to a Sixnet PoE injectors, which converts up to 48vdc required by the PoE standard.


    You can see the see the 24VDC power supply at the lower right, the Ethernet switch at the upper right, with the PoE injectors immediately to the left.

    This particular part of our system draws 0.5 amps at 25vdc (12 watts) for the switch and camera.
    House: 2x SMA SI 6048 w 24x 2V DEKA Unigy II; 2x SMA SB 3000TL-US w 24x Sharp ND-H235Q2
    Cabin: 1x Magnum MS4024 w 24x 2V DEKA Unigy II; 1x Morningstar TS-MPPT-60 w 6x Sharp ND-H235Q2; 1x 200 Watt Harris microhydro
    Intertie: 1x SMA WB 3800; 1x Lambda GEN-600 DC Supply; 2x PSL pQube
  • K4KMGK4KMG Solar Expert Posts: 50 ✭✭
    Re: Off Grid Security Cameras???

    Thanks David. You solved one of my problems. Running 12vdc equipment from a 24vdc sys. without running the inverter
  • SaggysSaggys Solar Expert Posts: 119 ✭✭
    Re: Off Grid Security Cameras???
    oil pan 4 wrote: »
    I use battery powered game trail cameras.

    I use battery powered game cameras also, at $50 a piece have one easy enough to find and hide another aimed at same area. One decoy and another hidden should do the trick for a little over $100.
  • Willow1Willow1 Registered Users Posts: 1
    Looking to set up security cameras at our cabin. Are there any cell cameras operated with lithium batteries. We do not have any solar set up.
  • jonrjonr Solar Expert Posts: 1,386 ✭✭✭✭
    If you need a stable DC voltage from some other DC voltage, use a DC to DC converter, not an inverter. They are readily available on ebay.

    I expect that a cellular based camera would use too much energy to run from batteries.

    I am available for custom hardware/firmware development

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,018 admin
    Interesting new WIFI camera that runs from internal batteries for ~4 months:

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • K4KMGK4KMG Solar Expert Posts: 50 ✭✭
    Update: Went with 3 Hikvision cameras and Hikvision NVR. I didn't want to leave the big inverter on all week while I was away from camp so I bought a Samlex 300w inverter dedicated to run only the security sys. Had to do some rewiring, but so far, the setup is working fine. NVR/cameras are drawing only about 20w. (as measured with my K-a-W meter) If interested, you can see pics of the camp here:
Sign In or Register to comment.