In december 2011 I bought a pan-and-tilt camera at DealExtreme.com:
(from the UK warehouse). Same camera is apparently sku 900126358 from
the US warehouse, or sku 26358 straight
from China. I bought the UK version; the other two are
almost certainly the same, but there is no guarantee.
From one of the comments, I understood that this camera is (a clone
of) a Foscam
FI8908W. The official price is $109.99. Mine was $68.80,
including transport. I could
have bought it straight from China for $64.80.
The camera was useless to me in the state it was delivered, since (with the
current firmware), it will only talk to Internet Exploder, through
Active-X. I need it to communicate with non-Micro$oft software. Luckily, I
could download newer firmware, that is better standards-compliant. I needed
a Windows box for the upgrade, and needed to install the IPcamSetup tool on
that, including the Active-X plugin that you cannot avoid to have
installed. But after the upgrade, you can throw away the Windows box.
This is the firmware that I downloaded,
This is the newest one i could find that I was reasonably sure would
not brick my camera. There is a newer one, that I could not directly
download. I needed to email Foscam for that. This firmware is
FI8908W-188.8.131.52.zip. This is
currently the very last firmware. The included document implies that
you cannot install this firmware, starting with the very old initial
one. I installed in two steps; I suggest you do the same.
IPCamSetup.exe. This is the "IP Camera
Tool" version 0.0.7.6, together with IP Camera ActiveX Control
version 0.0.0.36. Both versions are required to be installed
on a Windows PC, so you can update the camera's firmware. It is the newest one that
I downloaded from Foscam's site.
motion.tbz2. This is my setup of 'motion
for Linux', a perfect tool for playing with camera's. This one has
patches for using using this cam's pan-and-tilt feature for tracking
movement. Unpack in '/'. But, if you already have 'motion'
installed, maybe you should unpack somewhere else, then move in
place. That way you can check what you would overwrite. The init
scripts in /etc in my setup are from my installed standard motion
. This is the CD. It
contains documentation. It also contains a IPcamSetup.exe, but dont
install it; you need to replace with the newer one anyway.
Upgrading firmware: I read somewhere that you should upgrade
repetatively, not skipping intermediate firmwares. But I upgraded to
this firmware in one big step, without problems.
downloads., with links to download pages for documentation,
Interesting article on GadgetVictims regarding the camera,
including firmwares etc
Blog regarding hacking this cam
IPcam CGI SDK 2.1 (pdf)
cgi spec (my additions)
Video/Audio Protocol (.doc)