SolarCam Specifications:


- Timelapse, or SMS command to get new picture 24h a day.
- Photos 3G or wifi transmission or SD storage.
- Smartphone: Sony Xperia Sensor 8 Mega Pixels Autofocus.
- Maximum res: 3264x2448 pixels (8mega).
- Flash usable for objects at 1 meter.
- Power Supply Solar Panel 2W or 3W.
- Batteries: lithium 1000mAh or 2200mAh, or 2x 2200mAh
- Operating temperature: -5°C +40°C (Beyond battery have a reduced life +/- 12 months)
- Many SMS commands to control the SolarCam.
- Mode Timelapse Eco with photos on microSD + photo on request (Timelapses with a small 3G data)
- Input power supply 5 volts DC for connection on transformer.
- Automatic Program update with SD card.

• Web:

- Hosting on SolarCam images from 0 days to 3 months.
- FTP on your private server, to keep all your photos at home.
- Access control by password.
- Interface configuration of the SolarCam.
- Timelapse Live.
- Compatible with any support (PC Tablet Smartphone).

• Dimensions:

- Solarcam : 12x7x3cm, 290 grames;
- Solar Panel : 2W = 14x11cm ,3W = 15x15cm

• Price 2018 (excluding options):

- 350€

1- Where SolarCam is working ?


Almost everywhere with a good 3G or wifi signal, see chapter 2.
-Out of Europe, thank you to check compatibility of your 3G operator here.
You must find your operator, then check that one of these 2 standards is indicated:
UMTS 900 or UMTS 2100 (orange on the map).


wifi: everywhere and without limitation.

2- Test network speed (to do before ordering):

Your SolarCam needs a good signal to express itself, without good upload speed, SolarCam cannot work correctly.
In 3G, do not trust the reception bars! Iwebcam needs a reliable connection, here is how to test it.

First of all, test this with your smartphone on the future location of the SolarCam (Iphone or Android)
You should already have displayed top right " 3G " or " H ", if you get an " E " ou " G " SolarCam will not work.
Then start this test engine: http://testmy.net
The procedure is explained below (screenshots on a white background).
  
2- How to test the download speed of your connection with your SolarCam:


The result determines the upload speed of your ex connection (+ speeds of 500 kbps is recommended).
Ie Wifi 3G and EDGE

Note : 3G signal is degraded in a house, a big wall, metal beams, wifi or even your microwave.


3- Résolution :


Pixel racing is a marketing principle!

As a reminder a screen full HD is 1920x1080 (on the picture: FHD-1080).
SolarCam photo resolution: 3264x2448 pixels (8mega)
This sensor is already above the 4K (4K - UHD).
-With large sensor, important to have a quality optics.
-Bigger picture need long transmission and more power.

Conclusion: 8 MegaPixels are more than enough.

SolarCam wireless solar camera
Download test photos

4- How to choose my 3G subscription ?


The larger the image, the higher the frequency, the stronger your data package.
You can decrease Solarcam's resolution .
Example 4 with an image resolutions:



Estimate the size of your monthly subscription:

Image size(in ko).
Number of images per day.


5- Batteries:


A rechargeable battery, withstands negative or high temperatures badly.

In mountains during winter, your car has more trouble getting started, your phone is emptying quickly.
Recharge Cycle:
A lithium battery in theory should not be recharged by negative temperature, it can quickly deteriorate.
The battery is an important element, today the perfect and cheap battery does not exist.
In the mountains, you have to find the strategic location, use the sun to heat the box.
In the hot place, it is necessary to protect solarcam of the sun with the solar panel.
Battery will run more than 12 months, or much more.

Battery is a "consumable", it can be changed easily in case of failure.
SolarCam is dependent of weather, temperatures, quality of networks (3G wifi).

6- Getting Started Wifi/3G.

Please watch this video set up:  

6.1- Set the phone to 3G:

  Insert your standard SIM card in the correct direction.   
  
  
A- Remove the SIM password.   
  

                       

  

  
B- 3G Configuration:   
Completing the Internet APN (Access Point Name), the MMS APN is useless.   

      ie in France :   
    -Orange Name: Orange Internet APN: orange Username: orange Password: orange   
    -SFR Name: Internet SFR APN: sl2sfr   
    -Free Name: Free APN: free   
    -Bouygues Name: Bouygues telecom APN: mmsbouygtel.com   
    -Syma Nom: Syma APN: symamobile.com   

  

                             

  

  
Important, if everything is in order, you should see the 3G logo and the time displayed at the top of the screen:   

  

  
B- Wifi configuration:   

           

  

6.2- Configure your camera:

Setting up your account on SolarCam or HeliosCam.      

6.3- Note:

infinityfree offers a free ftp (htdocs directory).  
Between 2 photos wifi or 3G are cut to save energy.   

        

7- SMS Commands:

All the following SMS commands are available to those who know the phone number of the SolarCam (unless the "admin" option is enabled).
There is no special formating, ie Hello can be HELLO or hello
• "Hello" to see if all is ok.
• "Photo", "Smile" with flash, will take a picture in HD.
• "Tests" will take a picture in VGA (low quality) not broadcast on the Internet, only a link by SMS. Useful to test and adjust the webcam.
This command will also reload the configuration set up in the "Config" page.
• "Freq=xx" allows you to change the frequency of the webcam.

Club SMS:
• "Abonnement+xxxxxxxx" to recharge (+10 Photos) the account of a user thanks to his mobile number xxxxxxxx.
• "List" for a list of users and their credits. The admin have negative accounts.
• Send the IMEI of the webcam from your smartphone by SMS. A message will confirm that you are an Administrator. Nothing will be sent in case of error.

Special orders:
• "Break" to stop iwebcam ("Photo" to restart it).
• "Reboot" to restart the smarphone.
• "Offxx" to stop the smartphone (xx = the last 2 digits of imei)
• "IdCam" ask imei (from V57)

8- Installation :

  
• Do not go directly to install your solarcam at the end of the world without having tried, quietly at home.   
• Do not install in bad weather.
  
• Protect the housing from the sun, if possible use solar panel as an umbrella. Lithium batteries do not like cold or hot temperature.   
• Solar panel should be oriented as far south as possible, in a clear place (not under a tree), perpendicular to the sun's rays in winter.   
• After installation, the battery level should remain close to 4v.   
If the level drops to 3.8v, this is a sign that the solar panel does not produce enough energy.
Express installation, with PVC clip.


Startup video in french:

9- Troubleshooting :


These three logos inform you of a problem on your solarcam:
Your camera is disconnected for more than 12h, here are points to check:
-Did you pay for your operator's telecom subscription?
-After has a thunderstorm a relay antenna may break down.
-The message "Low bat" is displayed on the last pictures, battery can not recharge, it will be necessary to check the SolarCam.
If the battery looks good (above 4v), send the command 'Reboot' or 'Autoreboot' and wait for answer.
If no answer, the phone is definitely off, you will have to go on-site check the installation.
There's probably a problem with 3G :
- Decreasing the size of images, a large image is more difficult to transmit than a small one.
- Check that your data envelope is not exceeded.
- There may be a 3G antenna breakdown of your operator.
Your 12-month private subscription must be renewed:
If the subscription is not renewed, your camera will go in public mode.
Please check this page to renew your subscription .

Note: A technical report is available by clicking in the corner at the top left of your last image.

- If strange behavior of the SolarCam after a long time, do a iwebcam reset.
Follow this process:

    1: parameters/applications/iwebcam/clear data.
    2: launch iwebcam press CONFIG, and run "Test upload connection", and check results.
    3: if speed ok, launch iwebcam press START.


- Make a program update, with a microSD.
- If water in the case => leave the phone in the sun 2h without battery.
- If voltage <3.8v, recharge the battery, a good battery must remain above 4v.
- If the voltage drops quickly, it may be time to change it.

SolarCam's battery is permanently loaded, the cold and warm temperatures shorten the service life.
After 1 year, in case of doubt, it is easy to test the capacity of the battery:

How to test my battery ?


A battery, if charged regularly, should work 2-3 years.
You can test the battery of your solarcam simply:

For this you must
-Open your case,
-Disconnect the panel,
-Recharge the battery at most,
-Have configured the Wifi.

In the configuration page, check the "Test Bat"
-Press "START" in iwebcam to start the test.
Wait (2 to 6 hours):
This test will take one picture per minute, and will stop when the battery will be at 3.75 Volts.

View your webcam, to see the test evolve


The plot of your battery should be close to the reference plot.
If it is largely underneath your battery needs to be changed.

Note: Batteries are recharged via USB by PC or a phone charger (about 2h):
The red led will turn green when the battery is charged.

10- FAQ:


-How does Automatic Timelapse work?
Last image.
Last 10.
Whole day.
-You can stop timelapse at any time :
Press or click << or >> on both sides of your screen.
You can scroll image by image by a swipe.
-Zoom by clicking on "full resolution".

- Can I use another smartphone?
No, the SolarCam is sold complete, the smartphone delivered is specially modified.

- Can it work at night?
Yes, but without lighting, the image will be black.

- Is there a presence detector or PIR ?
No.

- Can images be sent to my server?
Yes by FTP.

- Can images be sent directly to my server?
No, all images are received first by SolarCam and then redirected to your server.

- How long are the images stored?
After receipt, images can be deleted directly from the server, or stored up to 30 days
(unless FTP activation or public camera, in these cases images will be stored 3 days max).

- Can images be transferred to a cloud Dropbox, iCloud?
At the moment no, a future option will be proposed to store the photos on Google Drive.

- My network is bad, what to do?
The program will try to send the photo for 1 minute, no more, if the image is not transmitted, it will be lost.
However, pictures can be stored on the phone's SD.
SMS commands let you see if the camera works.

- Can we make Video?
No.

- Is there a zoom, wide angle, motors?
No.

- Can we use GPS?
At the moment not.

- Is there a way to connect several boxes via a HotSpot Wifi?
This option will be available soon, but the range will be low (20m).

- Is the SIM card supplied?
No, there is higher in the doc a form to estimate your data subscription.

- What happens if the battery is empty?
Autoboot will restart the smartphone, once the battery full (green light) This can be quick if there is sun on the panel.
The program is smart, and constantly checks the battery level, and will adjust the frequency of pictures in case of low battery.

- How to do a test before?
Go to the place of installation, take a picture with your smartphone.
This is the best way to get a feel for the rendering.
Then check the network (there is a test, see higher in this documentation).
The SolarCam can be installed in a tree, a pole, a wall easily,
the panel has a meter of cable, for an optimal installation to the south.

- Is there a way to create a Timelapse video?
Quite possible, but this requires to establish a preliminary scenario, to draw up a quote.

- Delivery time:
1 week, anywhere in the world by UPS.

- Payment
Payment is possible by PayPal, check or bank transfer.
Invoices are available on the shop or by mail.

--But SolarCam who are you ?
Me, an independent French engineer, who uses all the means at his disposal to design innovative products.
An incredible time that allows with a simple PC to design a product.
Here is no sales team to sell, this site tries to answer all your questions, in case of doubt contact me.
Do not hesitate to submit an idea to improve the product.
Thank you Google (yes really) for its SEO and the quality of its tools (Android), thanks to my customers, after 5 years, there are SolarCams in more than 10 countries!



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