February 12th, 2017

The temperature has been dipping down during the last few nights. That chilly weather presented another opportunity to check once again the security camera's performance.

Some time ago, I mentionned (in French) that the camera had problems at -27°C (-16°F) with wind chill factor. Last night, at around 23:00 (11 pm) the temperature was -20°C (-4°F) with no wind and, obviously, no sun to warm up the camera. The camera showed no signs of having problems and it did work as usual.

I did find out something new (for me at least). The Android version of Blitz Cam will not start without an Internet connection. When I checked that the camera was working I used Onvifer, because Blitz Cam was frozen at the white screen with a wolf's paw. So it looks like the software is checking for something on the Internet or reporting something.

I did notice that the time stamp on the video was all wrong and I did wonder what that was about. Later, it became obvious, we had lost our Internet and telephone connection. The cable-TV worked, which was a bit weird because our service provider is the cable company: cable-tv, telephone and Internet are all on the same wire. Resetting the modem did nothing. A short 22 minutes call (with 2 minutes of talking and 20 minutes of awful music) with a cell phone to our provider confirmed that it was a malfunction at a local service point which was affecting all clients in the area.

Once Internet became available, I could use Blitz Cam again and I noticed that it had corrected the camera's time, something which Onvifer had not done. That could be the answer; nothing nefarious going on, just the BlitWolf software contacting an NTP server to get the correct time to upload to the camera. Or I could be wrong, and someone at the company headquarters desperately wants to see a video of the nearby bird feeder which is where the camera is pointing during this initial testing period. It's an investigation that I will leave to someone more skilled than I am.

Perhaps I am repeating myself, but I noticed that the user name and password are not necessary to access the RTSP feeds from the camera even after the updated to the latest software. That is something to consider before forwarding ports on the home router to see the video feed from outside the local network.