Gsm Farm Cameras
Calving Camera Advice help and support, Farm Camera and Lambing Camera Help, Advice and information, Which Calving Camera to Buy? How to install a Calving Camera?
Gsm Calving Camera systems - Which is the Best calving Camera / Farm Camera or Lambing camera system to buy..
Basically a gsm farm camera system allows you to view your farm shed remotely, without any existing internet or broadband, so you can monitor calving, lambing or foaling without being present. It is very important with these system that you do NOT use a camera with a sim card as this system will keep disconnecting or failing. Basically when the gsm radio-wave hits the metal frame of the building it goes over the shed and so signal inside the shed is very poor and will not run a video feed, even if you have a lean to or open shed. The same principal applies to wifi cameras or wifi routers and dongles. You must always have a camera with a cable running to a 4g sim card router which must be placed 100% outside the shed in a waterproof box. These systems work very well and are quite reliable.
What to avoid when getting a Calving Camera?
The most important thing to get is a good quality system, that is reliable, use a seller who specializes in calving cameras and / or has been recommended and also will be there to give you customer support in the years to come. The things to avoid are - Wifi Cameras, Dongles and Cameras with Sim cards built in - these will not work for very long and as the signal part of the system is based inside the metal frame of the building or shed (even if it has an open side) will be extremely Un reliable as the signal is intermittent, it may work at 4pm and then fail at 2 am etc. The other thing to avoid is 3 x zoom or 5 x zoom rotating cameras, these are in fact 'baby monitors' or 'pet monitors'. The are normally a small bit bigger then a tennis ball, are made of plastic and have the 'speaker function' to allow you to talk to your pets, cats or dogs. They are designed to go inside the house on a worktop or table - they will not last in a cattle shed, outbuilding or stables. A rotating zoom camera for a cattle shed should be quite large and durable, around the size of a small football.
When do I need a gsm camera system?
You would need a gsm camera system to monitor your cattle calving / sheep lambing if you are more then 5000 meters from your farm shed or you do not have line of sight of the farm shed.
When do I not need a gsm camera system?
You do not need a gsm camera system if you can see the farm buildings from the roof of the house and you are less then 5000 meters / 5 km / 3 miles from the farm buildings.
I do not have internet at the house but I want to view the camera on my phone?
In this situation your main choices would be to either put in a gsm system at the shed or transmit the camera image to the house, this way you can view it on your television and then you could put your gsm router in the house which would allow you to also view it on your phone and you could also use th gsm router to provide internet in your house.
I have internet at the house but I want to view the camera on my phone?
You do not need Ip cameras or Gsm camera for this system. If you are 5000 meters from shed to house the best option is to transmit the camera back to the house and use your internet in the house. You have no monthly fees with this option and you can view the camera for an unlimited time day and night, whereas you are restricted on gsm and the service can be intermittent.
Can I put the sim card directly into the camera?
NO. These systems simply do not work or are extremely unreliable. Mobile phone signal can be quite sensitive to external barriers, especially metal sheds and metal framed buildings. For example certain parts of your house may have areas with weak or no signal. If you put your router into the shed or use a camera with a sim card you will have a lot of problems with signal etc. When you put a router or a device with a sim card inside a metal shed they become extremely unreliable and you will find they do not work a lot of the time, or work on and off. This situation is the same for even a lean-to or open shed. Any camera with a sim card going inside a shed you must run a Dual Dipolnet tri-shield cable outside the shed to a 4g Lte wideband gsm dipole antenna which supports both 3g and 4g which can work out quite expensive as it is recommended you use two, each one should be placed on opposite side of the shed.
What size camera do I need for my shed?
A fixed camera will do a cattle pen 6m (20 feet) x 10m (30 feet). For a rotating zoom camera a good rule of thumb is 1 x zoom for ever 1 meter you need to look in each direction. So if you put the camera 4 meters high and your shed is 36 meters / 120 feet wide or long and you put the camera in the middle of the shed then you would need a 18 x zoom camera. When choosing a camera only go on zoom or optical zoom, NOT digital zoom. All cameras have digital zoom, even non rotating cameras but digital zoom is just stretching and watering down the image and so once you start to zoom in the picture breaks up unless you have a 3mp / 5mp camera upwards.
If your Shed was 3.5 meters wide / 12 feet wide and 7 meters 23 feet long then a fixed camera would do.
What should I check for in a rotating zoom camera?
The main things to ensure is that the camera is a full 360 degree camera and not a 355 as you then will need to keep turning the camera back on itself as it wont do a full 360 degree movement. Also ensure that the camera should be 10 x zoom (optical zoom, not digital zoom) as this would be the standard requirement for a cattle shed. Cameras with 3, 4 or 5 time zoom don't have the range to see clearly in a cattle shed. Also ensure that the cameras are metal with a metal bracket. In plastic cameras the glues and sealants that keep the camera together and make them waterproof and durable tend to loose their contact with the plastic and so the cameras then to be damp and fogged up by the next cattle season. Also If the brackets are plastic then they tend to split sometimes when you are screwing them in with a drill.