Updated: 20200528

Each night before we retire we place the live images from the four (4) skycams on the 32" monitor on the west wall, ready to be recorded with the OBS system. This is the main computer that we use for most of the work that we do every day.

Skycam Views

The skycams have at least one camera with its outside microphone turned on to capture any sounds, dogs barking, jet or prop engines, or a sudden drop-off of crickets chirping, etc.

View looking South showing three SkyCams pointing S,W and N.

The East camera was NOT placed on the mast because the building blocked most of the view. That camera was mounted on the east side of the building. I used (4) RLC-511W cameras by ReoLink. These are about $100 each and well-worth the price.

I staggered the cams but may not have had to. The antennas I thought were in each other's way. The West cam is at the top and the N & S are about 9" lower. All the power adapters are plugged into a long power strip which is enclosed in the 4x4 sleeve. An appropriate length of a lightweight lamp cord-sized extension cord was passed through the two sections and spacer into the building.

4x4 pvc fence post sleeve with 1"x4" spacer.

The 4x4 fence post sleeves are 6' long ($16 at Lowes) so I cut off an 18" section, leaving a 4-1/2 foot section for the main mast. The spacer is to get the mast clear of the roof extension. The 1/2" x 12" carriage bolts are a foot apart and use flat washers and wing nuts on the inside wall of the building, and 5/8" flat washers on the carriage bolt shoulders for support.

Mounting the cameras to the top of the mast I used 6-32x3/4" stainless steel machine screws. The camera company says #10 but that appears to be too tight. Remember to drill a large hole in the middle of the 3 #10 holes you drill for the templates for the wires coming off each camera (RJ45 plug on cam is large). Also a hole through both 4x4 sleeves and the spacer for the main power wire into the building if that's where you are mounting the mast.  

Buy at least 2, 4" sleeve caps (about $5 each). One for the top of each piece, maybe even a couple more for the bottoms of each section to keep bees and other insects, birds, out.

On the inside of the building I attached a power strip to the wall for chargers for the weed eaters and leaf blowers, drills, etc.  It only takes a small 18/2 lamp cord from the camera's power strip through the holes drilled into the building to run the entire system. So I plugged that into the wall power strip and I can, if needed, reboot the cameras simply by turning the switch off for a few seconds. To avoid blurry images, all cameras should be set to manual rather than auto-focus.

The computer used for the Skycams uses OBS Studio for manual recording if I elect to do so for some reason. Otherwise the MAVERIC System will automatically record all four cameras along with the audio from one of the mics.

The Skycam system cost me about $450, but well worth it.

Fran Ridge

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