2018 July e-Bytes

Security Camera Experience by Linda Brown
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Security Camera Experience by Linda Brown

PCC Board Member Linda Brown sent a note to Tom Kreuzer asking - Do you have experience with the remote camera $30 https://www.wyzecam.com? If so, do you use Cloud our the SD card method?

Tom Kreuzer responds to Linda - I have 2 of the first basic model of the wyze camera for $19.99 without the pan and tilt in the $30 model. I put in the December e-Bytes and then in the February e-Bytes on the camera some info. The cloud storage is free to store the 15 seconds when motion is detected. It is kept for 2 weeks. At anytime from anywhere I can pull up a live feed from either camera and even use audio without using and SD card or the Cloud. It can be used to monitor a baby, elderly parent, security, dog, cat, etc. The price and features are what impress me. It is an INDOOR camera, but if you can point it out a window it can monitor a door outside. Most other cameras cost $100-$200. I saw this camera listed by people to monitor front door for package deliveries. I could not believe the low cost and features, so I had to try it. 

In February 2018 it was named a PCMagazine Editors' Choice Home Security Camera: The WyzeCam is a tiny, but capable 1080p home security camera that's packed with features including motion and sound sensors, time-lapse video, two-way audio, and both local storage and free cloud recording.

From Tom Kreuzer - I just purchased two of the cameras and they are working great. I had a little trouble with the setup until the error message informed me to use 2.4 Ghz WiFi and not the 5 Ghz I was trying to connect. The video is 10 frames per second, which is not perfect, but good enough. Even though it is an indoor camera, I have one out in my porch and seems to be working fine in the cold January temps.

Linda responds - I happen to have purchased the one of $30 cameras over the weekend and it is coming in the mail.  The question if from the spec statement really.  I have decided to use the SDcard method.  I am now wondering if I should have purchased enough for every entry. There is a spec statement that it comes with a 6’ cord and does not work with an adaptor.  That would be different than an extension cord. Correct? 

Tom Kreuzer responds - The unit uses the cloud to store the 15 second notifications. Using an SDcard is optional to store everything all the time till it has to overwrite past data. I use a standard extension cord to plug the power adaptor in. Not sure what they are talking about with the 6' limit.

Linda responds

- I received my Wyze Cam 360 last week and installed in 15 minutes and got familiar with the settings and playback. I have it set to HighDef, auto lighting.  It works very well at night with a porch light on, too. I have the camera positioned inside the house facing outside, hidden in stacks of books so the reflections interfere with detection by assailants. I am using the SD card method and may go to cloud. I am relying on notifications to my phone via the Wyze App.  I have learned once there is the 12-second notification footage, I can see before and after that segment, from the streaming timeline when I playback. This helps get additional information around the 12second static notification footage. With both wifi and cellular capabilities, I have worked out ways to be in touch with live streaming, when notifications occur.

With a rash of robberies in the ‘hood, my camera did its job. Last night the police were summoned while I was leaving a restaurant.  Here’s the short story:

  • I received a phone/text notification that motion was detected at residence.
  • I looked at the 12 second playback of the intrusion.
  • I called 911 and I was in route, ETA 5 minutes, to rendezvous with the police. 
  • 8 squads canvassed the area around my house, when I arrived.
  • Yes, they nabbed the kid.
  • I was able to show the video evidence that was contrary to the child’s story, which he believed he was a resident of my home and he forgot his keys.  

Side note: Someone mentioned on Nextdoor that Wyze App is a China Spy tool.  They have firmware updates and 3rd party servers.  What do you know about what people are saying.  Is it because the price for the strong tool is really good. I don’t mind if China wants to watch my backyard and driveway, the more help the better.

Tom Kreuzer responds - Nice to hear that it is working for you and your real life adventure. As far as it being a China spy tool, I had not heard that before. I searched Nextdoor and did not find anything in my Nextdoor neighborhood group. I then did a search and this was the only info I could find:

None of the mainstream articles on the camera list this as an issue. You can see the responses from someone at Wyze that explains it in the link. Everyone uses 3rd party servers, 3M does (too expensive to do it all yourself, do the things you specialize in and contract out the rest). Code and app software is always being updated to fix problems or add new features. If software is not updated, it is a dead product.

Someone that is paranoid about the packets needs to stop using any electronic device and disconnect from the world. I will still use the product and do not see any problem.

Linda responds - Little more to the story: I have bought a second camera that I should receive today or tomorrow. I plan to post discretely at both entrances. I turn the pan off but can see motion detection pan an option for one of my cameras. The police said it’s not over and to keep vigilant; run my 7 motion censored flood lights, keep the sheds locked, secure the property. They also asked if I need help fixing the gate the kid busted.  2 officers are stopping by Saturday morning to help me put a new gate up – which can also be padlocked. They are messing with the wrong person. My neighbors on Nextdoor are looking into WyzeCam, since I have shared the website.  It is loosely endorsed by the Rossville Police department.  They know of the camera and I was the first patron to have used it.  I showed them the app and camera. They like.

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Ask a Question


Send any Tips & Downloads, Ask a Question, For Sale, or articles to:  TheMiningPCC@gmail.com


Q. From the 3M Home Improvement Club - How does the PCC Club publish recordings for their meetings?
A. From Tom Kreuzer, a PCC Board member. The PC Club has a free external site from Google Sites https://sites.google.com/site/theminingpcc/ that anyone has access to and follows 3M Club guidelines for naming and what info is exposed. At the site we post meeting slides, handouts, and video. The videos point to links on YouTube. I am retired and we use my laptop or other non 3M laptops with "iSpring Free Cam 8" to record the audio and screen to a local file. I then upload the file to YouTube. That should work for anyone with a 3M laptop. It does take me about 20 minutes to upload to YouTube. Another option I have looked at is to use a Chrome Browser plug-in called LOOM that can record the screen, audio, and even the video camera to a file stored in LOOMs cloud currently for free. You could then use their link or download and load to YouTube on any other machine. I have done a little testing and looks like a good option. If you record to a 3M laptop and copy to a thumb drive, that will not work on a non 3M machine. Before I retired I could upload large files to Google Drive or Google Photos, not sure if that still works from a 3M machine today?

3M Home Improvement Club responds - I am very interested in the meeting recording software. Our club will have to buy a computer so we can record to a non-3M computer. We want to have a club member set up our meeting on Skype and invite me (I have attended Skype meetings remotely) and then promote me to presenter.  Do you think we can use iSpring Free Cam 8 to record the meeting at the same time we are having the meeting on Skype?

Tom Kreuzer responds - Either package should work fine for you on a 3M laptop or a non 3M laptop to record. They both can record the full screen on the laptop of whatever is showing. So if you have Skype full screen, that is what is recorded. I also records the audio from whatever is running on the PC like Skype and can record or mute the mike on the laptop. Currently we use iSpring to record the entire screen and use the mike on the laptop to capture the presenter speaking. At the end of the presentation I save the file and upload it to YouTube. This can be done on a 3M or non 3M laptop. If you want or need to copy the recording, that is where the 3M laptop has it's limitations moving a file. You may want to try Loom because that saves the file to the internet if you need to move the recording.

The PCC has had a few people who want to listen live, but so far we have decided that the issues and hassles with having remote attendees is not worth it. Users who can not attend the live meeting, can, can view it hours latter. They can not ask questions watching it after the fact, but the meeting flows better and gets people to attend if they have questions. We may change in the future. If we went to a total remote meeting we would not have the meeting room reservation issue. 

There are a number of packages and services that can be used instead of Skype to hold a live meeting. TeamViewer is an example.

Q. From a PCC Member Tom Kreuzer - In May 2018, I upgraded my desktop PC to Windows 10 to version 1803. The update finished fine without any issues. A week latter I opened up an Excel file and updated a number in a cell. As soon as I moved to another cell, Excel bombed and closed. When I opened Excel again it went to file recovery mode showing me two version of the file I was trying to update. After several other attempts to update other Excel files and having the same problem, I determined that the last Windows update was causing the problem. I have an old version of Excel 2002 that I have never update and do not want to pay for a newer version. I did a Google search and found others were having the same issue so I was not alone. The Microsoft solution was to upgrade and there was no fix or patch comming. I had a choice to back out the Windows update, but I knew the day would come when my old Office would have problems. I decided to switch from Excel to free online Google Sheets with my files stored on Google Drive. With a little learning of where commands are in Sheets, I have been able to use it. The biggest problem has been with printing and the Heading and Footing not working well in my files like it did in Excel. Sheets is not as user friendly as Excel, but it looks like I will be able to do everything I need.