Streaming IP Camera Range Test With Mesh Network

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This is an add on project to our wildlife remote viewing camera. The difference here is that you won’t need a local LAN because the camera has its own access point built in.

Purpose of This Project

To find the maximum range of the wireless camera to a smartphone.
To find the maximum range using a repeater system called mesh networking.

Step one in this project was to build the ESP32-cam’s streaming system without needing a router. The camera has its own access point. I will then attach repeaters and spread the system out seeing how many nodes/repeaters we can use before the system will collapse.

Line of Sight vs Forest Landscape

We have two very different environments to discuss. Without much difficulty (money) we can send this camera’s signal 20kms away and feed it to the internet for viewers around the world. Sounds amazing right? But 99 times out of 100 the areas we want to place a camera do not have direct line of sight rendering the amazingness useless. Sorry I like to use made up words sometimes, get used to it.

If you’re monitoring something with this camera on top of a mountain you’re in luck. Line of sight from mountains are great. For the rest of the world we need to figure out how to bounce the signal around our obstacles.

Goal Number One

Place the camera at the site and see how far away my Iphone 6 will pick up the video signal.

Goal Number Two

Place one repeater into the system and try to test the range to make sure the repeater is placed within its circle of range. It’ll be very tricky to make this efficient but still working. We could add in 20 repeaters every 30 feet but that’s not what we’re after here. We want to stretch out the network to its maximum capabilities and save on time and money.

Goal Number Three

To be able to view the water levels of the creek 300 meters away from the comfort of my home.

Get the Layout of the Land

The green circle in the photo above is our target location. It’s a creek flow control that makes sure the water levels don’t get too high. Its a concern for me as a home owner because the creek flows through my yard. When the water levels get to high and city worker open the flow to the main creek diverting water.

The red circle is my house.

Each yellow circle with a green dot in the center will be a repeater. The yellow circle at my house will be my cell phone.

Keep an eye on this project, once the 300 meters is complete I’ll keep moving the camera farther and farther away adding in more turns and repeaters to see what the max range really is. Stay tuned.

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