Wifi IP Camera + USB battery + Solar Panel = "wires free" installation?

Hey all,

I seem to be getting objections from my family to drill holes in walls to provide power for USB powered wifi IP cameras :rofl:

Has anyone got any practical experience using off the shelf components to run a wifi IP camera (e.g. the Xiaomi xiaofang) from USB battery + solar charger?
By off the shelf I mean things I can buy rather than build. Happy to source from China for cheap or EU for fast :slight_smile:

I guess the biggest questions are camera power draw, solar panel power and battery capacity.
Does the battery have sufficient capacity to run the camera during dark hours?
Does the solar panel have sufficient power to recharge the battery fully during light hours?

Combined battery + solar panel also an option it seems.

if you use a ip cam with wifi in HA it will continiously run and send data.
i wouldnt trust a battery powered cam for that. (but i have no experience with such a cam)
it might be out there but i dont think the solution will be cheap or i expect it will be unreliable.

isnt there another way to get power to it?
or you could think off a bigger solarpanel that is connected to an bigger battery and use that to power a normal 12v IP cam.

but that wont be a cheap solution either.

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I started investigating it a bit more and found a measurement of the power draw.
Seems the xiaofang consumes nearly 0.5A (5v USB) at night when its IR lights are on.
Assuming no light for 16 hrs/day (worst case: UK winter), this would need a 32000mAh battery - something that I dont believe is available. Biggest on Amazon UK is ~28KmAh for £45.
I’d then need a solar panel that could fully recharge that battery in 8 hours of (likely cloudy) UK winter daylight - it would need to be huge (= expensive).

OK I think that this idea is not going anywhere :slight_smile: at least for winter in northern europe.

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That maths is wrong…
Should be 8000mAh, which is much more do-able.

If you do manage to get this working via battery then could you please share it with us. I live in the UK and have similar restrictions in my case the cables from an ip cam hanging around.

so dont let them hang around. :wink:
i have put away the cable in a nice cable tray in the same color as the wall. (my wife doesnt want to see cable either :wink: )

For me the problem is that my porch has no sockets.
I could do it with electrician and have sockets fitted properly
Or I can do it DIY and drill through a wall or window frame to get a USB cable through.
Or I thought solar/battery could be an option.

Lol would prefer wireless to be honest but I understand the issues with WiFi which makes the device power hungry as you mentioned.

If you can have electrician run power, why not POE cam?

I guess that’s also a possibility… not as easy (cost effective) as running a new spur from an existing socket that’s the other side of wall.
Also I already have xiaofang

i have a 12v cam.
i have drilled a very small hole in the doorframe and then a cable in the corner from the floor (for 4m)
and then a cable in a cabletray going up for 3m

i prefered that option anyway because i wanted to have a network cable to the cam also.
WIFI is nice but cable is better.

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If you can wire, you should.
But also xiaofang costs £15 delivered and it’s superb for the price!

but the xiaofang isnt for outside.

I have a porch that has been built after the house was. There’s no power in it, but it’s safe from the elements.

ah oke, that would work.

Can you give us a link where I can get it for £15 please?

Unfortunately the ebay seller I bought it from is not listing it anymore :frowning:

This the cheapest I can see on ebay UK now:

Also this is a good site for finding cheap stuff in china: