Q: Where can I find International Distributor for Australia, New Zealand
and Asia Pacific Region.
A: Micronica. See www.micronica.com.au Micronica ships Worldwide
! Quickly and easily.
Q: When will NetCam Live be available.
A: It is available from Micronica RIGHT NOW today!
Q: Where can i find out more about ALL the features and how to use it in
full detail ?
A: Here is the full User Manual for
Q: Where can i download firmware and user manual updates ?
A: NetCam Download area is at www.stardot-tech.com/netcam/downloads.html for
Q: Does NetCam Live need a PC to be located at the camera site.
A: No. NetCam Live has its own built in intelligence.
Q: What sort of ethernet connection does it provide.
A: 10BaseT RJ45 Connector.
Q: What sort of frame rate can we expect over a WAN.
A: Depends on selected image size. A 320x240 image every 2-4 seconds. Or 160x120 at about 1 fps.
Q: What about future software upgrades and enhancements.
A: The firmware is field upgradable.
Q: Can you set up sites in one country but locate several NetCam cameras locally and
remotely in other countries to deliver the images upstream to your own
central site or an ISP-hosted central website. Without PC's at the sites, just the
NetCam cameras connecting to a router and ethernet bridge.
A: NetCam can connect to any LAN (ISDN, ethernet, cable modem, DSL, etc.) or
RS-232 (wireless modem, CDPD, regular modem, etc.) connection.
Q: Importantly, the images are to be available ONLY to those who access them at the website using a password. Does
NetCam provide firewall-type security that stops people getting in and "hacking" it directly? If yes, how
is it protected ?
A: NetCam has user/password security features for both administrating and
viewing. If you are having NetCam upload the images to an external web
server (necessary if you expect high traffic), then it is up to that server
to provide security. NetCam itself can always be made secure with
Q: How good is the picture quality ? We are also investigating "Brand-x" solutions.
A: Typical comment from purchaser:
"Images are a lot clearer than the Axis camera's."
What else can we say. Brand-x may have some nice stuff, but we beat them in a couple ways that may be
important to your application. Our image quality is much nicer...we've been
designing digital camera technology for years since 1994 and put a lot of effort into
producing great quality images. Brand-x is a network hardware company that
designed in an "off the shelf" camera solution into their end product, and the lack of quality
shows this. We also have more options for connecting external hardware (we
will support pan/tilt/zoom and weather stations in the next 12 months).
Some Brand-x is indoor only. Important if your application requires outdoor
images. But NetCam does great with this... we have both outdoor lenses and enclosures available for
Q: We have used "Brand Axxx" and find the picture is interlaced and
suffers from "tearing" on moving pictures. Is the NetCam CCD interlaced ?
A: In addition to much higher quality than "Brand Axxx" images, we are also 100% frame transfer on both NetCam and NetCam MP. We do not interleave like
they do so there is no motion tear. You and your customers will be happy to hear
this and enjoy the better picture quality.
Q: I wish to connect 3 Cameras via a Wireless Network to a base PC which will then upload them to the internet.
In a Ski Resort. Can this be done ?
A: You can use Wireless connectivity. Using your own preferred means
of wireless components. We have quite a few customers doing this sort of thing using Linksys WET11 bridges (low end) or SmartBridges AirBridge units (high
end). And it works great!
Q: Can I use longer power cables ? What voltage should I use ?
A: The current models identified by C1 in their Ethernet Address
can take 8-15VDC 500mA-600mA which opens up the remote and mobile applications market
for battery operation even further.
The original model identified by C0 in the Ethernet Address had official power rating of 7.5-10VDC, 900mA. Optimally, you
wanted as close to 7.2VDC at the camera connector
itself as possible. We used 9VDC because of the 50 ft. network/power cable. For each 100 ft., the voltage drops 2.1
Volts. So a 9VDC unregulated (like we shipped) can drop as low as 7.5VDC through
the 50 ft. cable. With a 200 ft network/power cable and the C0 NetCam you can use 12VDC via the cable without a
problem. Naturally, the closer the voltage was to 7.2V, the cooler the cam runs. We
can provide a lower power plugpack as an option if the plugpack is intended to be
connected directly to the camera rather than through the 50 ft cable.
Q: Is it ok to use 12vdc regulated or car battery power without the camera regulator overheating
A: That depends if you have the older Co model or the newer C1 model.
For the C0 model, not without going through a 150 to 200 ft. cable first, for 12VDC.
Keep in mind that if you intend to use it in a car you should use a
suitable cigarette lighter adapter/regulator. As the voltage in cars often
goes higher than 12VDC.
Q: The manual mentions 4 security inputs. Does it really have ins and outs on the camera to allow the user from home (on the internet) the ability to turn devices on or off where the camera is located ? How is this implemented ?
A: You can telnet into NetCam and type commands to toggle the I/O lines on the back of the camera (as well as control the relay). There is no web interface to control the I/O lines, but we can instruct you on the telnet commands.
Q: How do I check the current firmware version used in NetCam ?
A: On configuration pages, shown at lower right. From telnet session: cat /etc/version
Q: How do I get the images onto my website ?
A: There are several ways to approach this:
1. Have NetCam FTP the image to your server. If the server is Microsoft based you'll probably need to turn on the "Delete Before Rename" and "IIS 4.0" options. This is the preferred method if the client expects a
lot of traffic (20+ at one time).
2. You can also reference the camera directly from within a web page. The image tag would point to the
NetCam's jpg. For example: img src="http://18.104.22.168/netcam.jpg"
The negative here is then NetCam feeds the image directly to individual viewers. So the more viewers pulling images, the slower the cam runs. Another negative effect is now people
know the cam's IP address and can link to it directly.
3. Use our Capture
Client Java Applet
4. Use a standard HTML Meta "REFRESH" tag in your web page to refresh your whole page
including the picture every few seconds. Here is some Sample Code to do this.
Q: What is the life expectancy of the image sensor ?
A: The image sensor is a high quality proper CCD type. Not a low quality cheapie
cmos type. Life expectancy, provided its not pointing into the sun of course, is many many
Q: Any special requirements or different lenses for indoor and outdoor use ?
A: All NetCam lenses can be used indoors or outdoors, depending on where the manual iris is adjusted to. It is critical that the iris be ajdusted to a pinhole size for daylight use.
Because CCD's can be light damaged from the iris being open too much,
the cam pointing into the sun or being used outdoors pointing at the sky for
a long period of time. CCD damage caused by such misuse is not covered by warranty of course.
Q: We want to use Netcam to automatically record pictures of large bins as they are being weighed on a weighbridge.
For a record of what was in each bin and how full it was. Hoping NetCam will do the trick.
A: Use a computer or server with a sensor to provide a trigger signal. It can
then make a simple http call to http://cam-ip-address/netcam.jpg to retrieve the image. If the server is
Linux or Unix based, Lynx can do this as well. There are other ways, but pulling the image via http is
probably the easiest. Once you have played with NetCam a bit you will no
doubt find other ways to do it to suit you.
Q: The NetCam is dialling my ISP but won't log in. What can I do ?
A: Netcam uses PAP and CHAP (not mschap) and uses CHAP login by default.
This works with over 90% of ISP's but maybe your ISP does not support
that. Try setting up NetCam using the serial port or ethernet port and leave the ethernet port enabled. But then do the
FINAL setup and configuration details using any Internet browser by logging in from the browser over
ethernet. Just specify the NetCam's IP address. To do "PAP" or "CHAP" login, normally untick "Shell Login" and "CR"
To do a "Plain Text Login" tick "Shell Login" and "CR" options. That will then
do a plain text "Username + Password" login with your ISP.
For testing purposes also try and NOT enable "always up" option. Let the FTP schedule drive the
Two things usually cause dial-up to work poorly. "Always Up" and FTP'ing to an IP address instead of a hostname. It's related to quirks in
Linux. At this stage as most installations use ADSL instead of dialup it does not warrant further debugging. The workaround is
simply to NOT use "Always Up" and to be sure to FTP to HOSTNAME not IP address
(it changes the order of events in the Linux OS to resolve the hostname first)
To do some diagnosing you can use the null serial cable and hypterminal (38400 8/N/1)
and log into the camera's S1 port and do some troubleshooting. Run "cat
/var/log/syslog" for clues on why it's not dialing in.
Q: We use NetCam in dial up modem mode. As soon as it boots it connects to the internet and starts serving the images
and never disconnects even though we have not checked the "always on" box. Is there a reason
A: Check what the FTP upload delay is set to. NetCam disconnects the modem only after 5 minutes of no TCP/IP activity
to save on numerous phone calls if uploads are set to be frequent.
Q: Why does the dialup configuration not have the option "only serve images on request. no upload" ?
A: In 99.9% of cases using dialup, the customer has a standard ISP account with dynamic IP. To see live images and/or browse directly to the camera, you must know the IP address. So NetCam must FTP to a site
and the FTP drives the dialler function. That's why the option doesn't exist. Actually you can still get images from the camera directly of even with
FTP upload configured. And you can also set it to only upload ip.html and not the live image.
Q: Can I schedule pictures to be sent by email rather than by ftp uploads ?
A: E-mail isn't available on the menus but with only a little help from us, a script could be written to e-mail according to a schedule... but not to e-mail based on a
Q: Is it possible to adjust the camera to scan for infra red and other non human visable waves ?
A: If you remove the thin piece of blue glass in front of the CCD, NetCam will now become sensitive to IR light. However, you lose color and setting the iris for outdoor imaging becomes even more
important. Howver this will void the warranty.
Q: I would like to get a 360 Degree view from the top of a
building. But without using very costly software and hardware. Can NetCam
A: You can place four NetCam's pointing out from a central point (one per 90 degree quadrant), each with a wide angle lens
to provide four pictures -- a nice solid state solution. And easy to manage.
Q: I want to have 30 viewers. Can NetCam handle that ?
A: It can be done. But we don't advise 30 concurrent viewers hitting the Express 6
directly. It has limited resources and would run out of memory with this many viewers at once. 20 is the highest
we recommend. For 30 viewers, you can either a) have the Express 6 upload to your server via
the built in FTP facility. That's very easy. Or b) "Pull" the images from a script running on
another "relay" server that serves out the final stream.
Typical Linux script looks like this:
while [ 1 ] ; do
wget -q -O netcam.jpg.tmp http://user:email@example.com/netcam.jpg
mv netcam.jpg.tmp netcam.jpg
I'm not sure how long a Linux web server can run this...i.e. there's not a lot of error checking involved, but
it's a good starting point to work out your own system :)
Q: Can I use the AUX port to control an auto iris lens ?
A: There is no pin-out or info for the AUX connector. It's simply an mbus or i2c
connector and was never designed for user level interfacing. It is mainly used
with the Stardot Zoom Lens. We have our own microcontroller in the zoom lens cable that
communicates with NetCam. On a 3-motor lens, all three motors (focus, iris, zoom) are controlled the same way.
You can not control and auto iris lens with NetCam, as an auto iris lens requires an analog video signal.
NetCam does not use composite video connection.
Q: How can I use the I/O connection ?
A: For details of the I/O Connector and how to use it check out
It can be used easily to switch on remote light s using relays for example.
Q: How can I correctly set the time and date ?
Really the easiest and therefore recommended method is to specify and use a time server like time.nist.gov. That way the date/time will always be
You can also set up the time and date manually. But please note some versions of Internet
Explorer have an odd quirk in setting up the date/time page manually that it
fails to write into the memory. In which case you can try Netscape.
Overall specifying the automatic time server option is easier. You also don't miss leap year, daylight savings and other
little things the linux OS would never catch.
Q: I think I messed up all the settings in my NetCam. How do I reset it to
A: No problem. There are few ways.
- Telnet in and type:
- Browse to /config.cgi?reboot
- Or finally, browse to any config page and click on the pi symbol on the right of the version number (this leads to the advanced page) -- click "reboot