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Help me keep an eye on my tortoise
May 30, 2011 12:17 PM   Subscribe

I want to set up a webcam so I can watch my tortoise via Ustream while I'm at work. Any suggestions for a good quality webcam with a good frame rate (30 FPS would be nice)?

Other info: The webcam will be in a separate room from the computer. Probably shouldn't go with a wireless cam as it seems that it is difficult (or impossible) to get a wireless webcam to jive with Ustream. Thanks!!
posted by sleepykitties to Technology (13 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
I'm afraid it is impossible to answer this question without a picture of the tortoise under discussion.
posted by zia at 12:19 PM on May 30, 2011 [10 favorites]


sleepykitties: "The webcam will be in a separate room from the computer. Probably shouldn't go with a wireless cam as it seems that it is difficult (or impossible) to get a wireless webcam to jive with Ustream."

Sorry, I'm confused. How else do you plan on connecting the computer to the camera? You don't want to push data that far along a series of USB cables.
posted by mkultra at 12:22 PM on May 30, 2011


Torti - the tortoise under discussion :) mkultra - I was planning on getting a longer USB cable to run from the tortoise room to the computer room (probably 20 or 30 feet once it's all neatly run and secured along the wall). If that is a Really Horrible Idea I'm open to new suggestions!
posted by sleepykitties at 12:37 PM on May 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is a serious question: Does a tortoise move fast enough that you need a 30 FPS camera?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:39 PM on May 30, 2011 [8 favorites]


Anyway, you might research "network cameras".
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:41 PM on May 30, 2011


Blazecock Pileon - she actually can move quite quickly. Especially when there is lettuce involved.
posted by sleepykitties at 1:02 PM on May 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


USB cables have a maximum length. link
posted by aloysius on the mixing boards at 2:16 PM on May 30, 2011


Panasonic makes some decent low cost network cameras. This one does 30fps and costs $130.

Wired Network cameras can be run 100 meters from their connection point, which would be your router or a switch rather than your computer. You could also run such a camera without leaving your computer on (though the Ustream software may still require that, I'm not exactly sure what they support.)
posted by contraption at 2:26 PM on May 30, 2011


Well, it sounds like Ustream's support for network cameras is not so hot, so I'll ask: do you need some particular feature of Ustream's for what you're trying to do? For example, are you intending to freely link your tortoisecam so that members of the general public can look in on it? Or does the Ustream phone app make it attractive? If all you want to do is watch your tortoise on your computer, most network cameras will do that out of the box (albeit with a bit of one-time router configuration.)
posted by contraption at 2:33 PM on May 30, 2011


Ustream isn't that great with bandwidth. If you really want to run the stream at 30 FPS, your video quality will have to be low, or you'll end up with huge lag and/or lots of stuttering on all but the fastest connections.
posted by WasabiFlux at 5:46 PM on May 30, 2011


Contraption - not so much members of the general public, but I'd like to make it available to family members.
I think we're going to go with a Logitech (C910) and an extension cable and see how it goes. :)
posted by sleepykitties at 7:19 PM on May 30, 2011


I'm just genuinely curious as to why you want to watch your tortoise all day. I mean... does it ever do anything interesting?
posted by Idafolk at 1:05 AM on May 31, 2011


Idafolk - I'm just curious to see if she DOES do anything interesting during the day. I don't get home from work 'til early evening, and I can see that she's kind of shoved things around in her habitat. So I know she's doing *something* at some point.
It'd be neat to see what times of day she's active, if she goes into her "pond" - etc. I wouldn't be obsessively watching her all day - it'd just be a nice mental break while at work. Who knows, maybe she's in there doing the NYT crossword puzzle.
posted by sleepykitties at 5:57 AM on May 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


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