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Friday, 12 February 2016

CloudCam Motion Alerts - Alternate CloudCam Uses 

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The CloudCam is a zero configuration, easy to use, IP camera. Unlike a traditional IP camera, the CloudCam doesn’t require any port forwarding or complicated network settings, works with any internet connection regardless of a IP address type, even 3G/4G/LTE networks, and is accessible from anywhere in the world.


The CloudCam has a number of monitoring and recording features to alert you to things like motion, infrared body detection, and temperature (depending on the model). For example, the CloudCam can send an email alert to up to three recipients when motion is detected. This is great for keeping track of access to secure areas like a garage, office, or external building. Coupled with the scheduling feature, the motion alerts can be configured only to go off from 9 a.m to 5 p.m while you are away at work. This way you aren’t getting false alarms while at home, but still receiving critical alerts during the day while away.

 

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(Indoor HD Pan/Tilt Model)
 

The CloudCam can also record to a locally inserted SD card, upload to Dropbox, or push to a Network Attached Storage drive (NAS). With a NAS, significantly more storage is available than the max 64GB SD card the camera can take, and files are available at any time through a PC.


As we have wrote about previously here and here, 3Gstore is using the CloudCam extensively throughout our new warehouse in some unique ways. At all times we have 6 cameras running and saving video to our NAS drive (parking lot, entry, two warehouse cameras, server room, and a dock camera), set to circular record for the last 15 days. That means at any point we can go back a full 15 days on every camera and see the recorded HD video.


Our shipping department has the dock camera up on a computer in the warehouse at all times so they can watch for incoming deliveries and open the doors for our shipments at the end of the day. This works great, except that unless they are looking at the monitor, they won’t know when a vehicle arrives. A solution was requested and here is what we came up with.


The CloudCam is set to FTP a .jpg image of the motion to our local NAS drive. The shipping computer is connected to the NAS, and a program called TheFolderSpy watches for changes to the NAS. Everytime a new .jpg is sent to the NAS, a doorbell sound is played on the computer. This happens all within about 2 seconds of the motion alert, so there is no delay and drivers aren’t waiting outside out dock for us to open the doors. Lets walk through the settings. This assumes that you have some basic networking knowledge and have a NAS drive working on the network.

 

(Example FTP Settings)
 

This first screenshot shows the FTP settings of the CloudCam. You can see we have set this for ‘Schedule’ because we don’t want this running while we aren’t here, only during working hours. We have defined our NAS address, password, and destination folder. You may need to adjust the sensitivity of the motion detection here so you don’t get false alarms. At first we had false alarms when the neighboring unit would have a delivery, but with the decreased sensitivity it takes a larger motion, like a vehicle in our dock, to setoff the alert.

 

(Schedule Settings)
 

The second screenshot shows our schedule settings. We have this running Monday to Friday only, from 8:25 a.m to 4:55 p.m.  with the email/ftp alarm set for motion. This is in addition to other alerts configured. This camera is also doing full time recording to the NAS as well. Keep in mind this setting we are looking at now is just for the purposes of our alerts for the shipping department during business hours.


Now that the camera is set up, the next step is to verify it is working. Wave your hand in front of the camera or recreate the motion you want. Check your NAS folder and make sure the .jpg saved.

 

(Mapped Network Drive)
 

Next is the set up on the shipping computer that will be playing the sound on motion. The NAS drive should be set up as a ‘Mapped Network Drive’ in Windows, and set to automatically connect when available. We now have to download TheFolderSpy , which is going to create our alerts. With TheFolderSpy running, click ‘Add item’. An item is the alert we are configuring. For the file, select the NAS folder you specified during the CloudCam set up. Uncheck ‘Monitor Sub-Folders’ so we don’t get false alerts. For file type to be spied, set this to ‘*.jpg’. This means that any .jpg added will trigger the alert, which in our case is the motion alert on the camera. On the right, set the ‘Detection types’ for ‘Created’ only.


Leave TheFolderSpy open and right click your desktop and create a new text file. Name it ‘Alert’. Open the text file and paste the following text.


start wmplayer “c:\mp3\example.mp3”


Replace the filename and location with the sound you want to play when motion is detected. Save the text file as a batch file, ex alert.bat and place it somewhere you can find it later. Back to TheFolderSpy, select your alert.bat as the action item and hit done. Click ‘Save Items’ and optionally set the program to automatically start with Windows. This way every time your PC starts, it is ready to play your alert sound on motion. TheFolderSpy can be used to create much more complex alerts using batch file or command line arguments, but for our purpose a simple sound is all we need.

 

(TheFolderSpy Settings)
 

Now our shipping department doesn’t need to keep a constant eye on the dock camera. Instead, a doorbell sound plays when motion is detected, and they act accordingly if it is for us. Our shipping department doesn’t have to spend their day looking at a screen to see if a truck has arrived, yet they are alerted anytime one arrives.

Learn more about alternate uses for the CloudCam , where we are triggering recordings from exernal sensors.

For more information on the CloudCam and its uses, contact the experts at 3Gstore and visit 3Gstore.com




Last Updated ( Friday, 12 February 2016 )
 
Thursday, 11 February 2016

Sprint Band 41 - 4G Router & Amplifier Compatibility

You may have heard of the Sprint Spark network, but you may not know what that means exactly. Sprint Spark is considered a tri-band network because it utilizes 3 different cellular frequencies (just another step towards carrier aggregation and LTE-Advanced). Last summer, Sprint turned on the last and final band for this optimized network - Band 41 - which is running on 2500MHz.

Previously, 800MHz and 1900MHz bands were used for both 3G and 4G (of course that doesn’t include the now retired WiMax network, which had also been running off 2500MHz). In 2004, the FCC gave Sprint permission to use another block (or section) of the standard PCS band (spanning 1850-1990 MHz). This is known as block G, which includes 1910-1915 and 1990-1995 MHz. This newer block is what Sprint used for their initial LTE deployment.

Band 25, which is 1900-g Mhz (g of course standing for the block), is still the carrier’s primary frequency. Bands 26 (850MHz) and 41 are said to be in place to boost the capacity of the network as well as its speed. More specifically, 2500MHz allows for more bandwidth and faster speeds, while Sprint’s 800MHz band allows for better building penetration.

This however has proved to be quite difficult in finding equipment that supports ALL 3 bands - whether that simply be to find a device that allows you to utilize the network, OR to boost your Sprint LTE signal. Technically, LTE should still work without Band 41, but to get the full benefits of the aggregated network (especially the faster bandwidth speeds), you need something that supports ALL 3 bands.

Below we’ve made a checklist showing Sprint Band 41 support, or shall we say, the lack thereof...

Not all phones supports Band 41 either. If you want to be sure you are connected to Band 41, try the following:

  1. Go into the phone keypad and type #DEBUG#
  2. Next, go through the engineering menu to LTE to see if it’s serving cell 2.

We also came across an old chart from last summer that shows which US regions are using Sprint Band 41 (see below). Unfortunately, we were unable to find an updated version, but we will continue to update this article as we learn more.

sprint_lte_region.jpg

 




Last Updated ( Friday, 12 February 2016 )
 
Wednesday, 10 February 2016

SureCall EZ 4G Easy Install Home Booster Now Available

 

ez4g

 

SureCall's new EZ4G Home Booster is now available! The EZ4G is one of the simplest solutions on the market for providing boosted 3G and 4G signal to 1-2 rooms in a small home or office - it requires no permanent mounting and nothing to install outside!

ez4g installation

Features of the EZ 4G for Home or Office include:

  • Easy Plug and Play operation – simple window set up with no outdoor antenna to install
  • Supports 2G and 3G voice and 4G data standards with highest 4G data rate in the industry
  • Supports PCS, Cellular, LTE and 4G AWS frequencies for use with all major U.S. carriers
  • Five-band solution provides “future-proofing” in case a consumer wants to change carriers or has multiple carrier needs in their home or office
  • Supports multiple users simultaneously with coverage up to 1-2 rooms
  • FCC Approved for use with all major US carriers
  • Offers the industry’s best three-year warranty

The EZ4G is available now at 3Gstore for just $399




 
Thursday, 04 February 2016

Long Range Invisible Ethernet Bridge Kit Customer Review

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The Long Range Invisible Ethernet Bridge Kit is a point-to-point antenna system that allows you to wirelessly extend a network from one location to another location up to one mile away or more. It consists of two antennas: one installed at the primary location connected to the LAN of the existing network, and a second at the secondary location to pick up the signal and feed it into a network switch, router, computer, camera, etc (whatever you need to provide internet to!). The kit comes pre-configured, so no difficult setup or networking knowledge is required. Just mount the two antennas using the included hardware, aim them at each other, and connect them to their respective devices!

 

 

Below is a recent customer review that we just had to share!

 

Date Added: 01/21/2016 by Michael M. (Maryville, TN)

I purchased the invisible ethernet bridge from the 3Gstore and love love love it. I swear a monkey could setup and install this kit. And it does exactly what it should. I have wifi at my house and needed Internet access at my shop (about 1000' away). I installed the kit (super easy) and BAM!!!! Internet at my barn. I can stream movies, download, upload, whatever I want to do just as if I was inside my house with my wifi. I was a little worried how it would do in snow and cold and rain weather, etc. So far I have encountered all the weather conditions and haven't lost a bit of signal or had any issues. I know it's a little more costly than some other bridge kits online, but with this product coming preconfigured, and the wonderful customer service from the 3Gstore, it's a much better buy. I would buy it over and over again and recommend to anyone. They say it will send a signal a lot further than what I'm using it for as well. It's a great product!!!!

 

This first video below goes over the bridge kit components in detail, along with mounting options and different ways it can be used.

 

 

The second video is a quick overview of the bridge kit, followed by a real world demonstration of the kit at long range.

 

 

The Long Range Invisible Ethernet Bridge can be used in multiple different environments where sharing network and internet access is needed. From sharing internet access between a house and an outbuilding to connecting two office buildings together, the options are limitless. The Bridge Kit isn’t just for outside use either. Have a large indoor space where WiFi just doesn’t reach, like an open warehouse? Use the indoor mounts and quickly bring network access where there wasn’t any before!

 

Learn more at 3Gstore.com!




Last Updated ( Thursday, 04 February 2016 )
 
Thursday, 04 February 2016

OpenSignal Finds T-Mobile to Have the Fastest 4G Network

Here at 3Gstore.com, we help all types of customers with their mobile broadband needs (among other things of course!). Most of the questions we get from those new to mobile broadband are typically, “Who has the best coverage” and “Who has the fastest speeds?”

In most cases, Verizon would be at the top of that list, followed by AT&T. T-Mobile boasts that it’s always expanding its coverage, though they still tend to fall short in more rural areas. Sprint is still trying to recover from its WiMax fiasco, but both certainly remain in the running and should be considered.

If you watch TV, it’s likely you’ve seen the recent commercials from Verizon and Sprint with the colored balls. Cellular networks always seem to be in a state of flux with their network optimization, whether they’re trying to expand coverage or upgrade the technology to allow for more users and faster speeds. This is why these tests, among countless others, are conducted annually in effort to answer these questions for consumers.

Most recently, OpenSignal performed some tests to grade the four major US carriers. The big surprise winner was T-Mobile. While Verizon still beat out the rest in coverage, it was a close call for average 4G download speeds between Big Red and the Uncarrier. Aside from that, T-Mobile also won 2 other awards - 3G Latency and 3G download speeds (results below).

OpenSignal collected data from more than 376 million tests, which were performed with a publicly available speed test app used on more than 180,000 smartphones. In their report, they said, “Nationally both operators are averaging 4G connections of 12 Mbps, and in a speed comparison in the 11 largest U.S. cities, T-Mobile just barely edged out Verizon. AT&T and Sprint hardly even factored in the contest.”

Some may think that surveys like this - that use crowd-sourced data - are a bit misleading. Think about it - First of all only users with the app are taking part. And what about when you can’t reliably connect to a network? Obviously, there’s no way to measure its performance or speed. OpenSignal does address this on their website, saying that the results include “an inherent bias” due to the crowd-sourced nature of their surveys. Naturally, a Verizon spokesperson commented on the OpenSignal tests saying, “Most respected, impartial third-parties that use actual testing equipment rate the Verizon Wireless network as fastest and most reliable – in fact, in four national studies in a row, Verizon has won RootMetrics awards for best overall performance, reliability and speed.”




Last Updated ( Thursday, 04 February 2016 )
 
Monday, 01 February 2016

The IP Switch - How to Remotely Restart Your Wireless Router

 

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The 3Gstore IP Power Switch is a simple product that automatically power-cycles any device when internet connectivity is lost. All you have to do is connect the included ethernet cable from the 3Gstore IP Switch to your router, and then connect the power cables of the devices that you want to be power-cycled when internet connectivity is lost, like your DSL modem and router. Once you have everything connected, press the "UIS" button, and everything will be up and running. The 3Gstore IP Switch automatically pings five different targets (which you can specify), and when it is unable to ping the specified targets, it will power-cycle any devices that are connected to its power source.

Ken Colburn of Data Doctors recently wrote an article titled 'How to Remotely Restart Your Wireless Router' and offered some excellent advice. Things like router placement, age, and firmware are discussed, along with the unreliable nature of consumer routers. For remotely rebooting your router, Ken recommends the 3Gstore remote power switch.

 

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Setup of the IP switch is simple and it works for both separate modem and routers, and modem/router combination units. For more information on the IP switch, contact the experts at 3Gstore or visit 3Gstore.com

Learn more about the 3Gstore IP Switch




 
Friday, 29 January 2016

How NASA Used the SureCall Force5 to Solve Poor Cell Reception

Getting a good cell signal can’t be rocket science, right? You may be surprised that even NASA scientists have trouble with this common issue. We recently discovered this article regarding NASA’s experience with cellular boosters - the same ones you or I may use at our home or business. The team at Goddard Space Flight Center found they were having too many problems with cell reception inside their work areas.

They reached out to the wireless experts at DAS Worldwide for a solution and were recommended the Force5 - a consumer level wireless repeater kit from SureCall. In just 3 days, with no down time at all, the system was installed with a single amplifier and 4 inside antennas. Joe Comizio, the business development executive for DAS Worldwide, had a great comment, “You might think that with all their intelligence and access to technology, NASA engineers would develop their own solution for in-building cellular reception...But their approach is, why reinvent the wheel?”

Continue reading article at Commercial Integrator.




Last Updated ( Friday, 29 January 2016 )
 

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