Low Power Requirement Outdoors With Mobotix

A dealer that I am working with who has several installations of Mobotix equipment told me today that one of the applications he specifically likes Mobotix for is Low Power requirement outdoor surveillance.

If anybody on here has deployed Mobotix in similar ways I'd be curious to hear your experience and a brief tidbit of why you chose Mobotix. I'm trying to get a better idea of the specific ways Mobotix provided an edge in this type environment.

I am assuming he's alluding to not having to use a heater/blower for the cameras? Absent that need, most fixed IP cameras are fairly close in power consumption.


My contact just got back to me. He said Mobotix are about 3 watts and that most outdoor cameras are at 7-10 watts….even if they are bullet.

ON a building this is somewhat minor…but on a pole using solar….or wireless etc ….its a big deal. They have had that need in the past.

I am not sure what bullet has to do with. Again, is your contact emphasizing that Mobotix does not need a heater/blower? Because otherwise, other cameras are going to be in the same 6 watts and under range.

Don't take this too abruptly, but selling a camera on the difference of 3W of outdoor power is like selecting a car only because the gas tank is 20 gallons instead of 18.

Important perhaps, but there are so many other MORE important attributes to focus on.

I'm curious for more details on how different the power supply design is for 3W versus one for 7W - 15W.

Well, one can be concerned about power as a matter of energy costs, which equals money. Not in this case, but we actually had one client who wanted the power ratings of all the equipment we were proposing so they could do an energy cost analysis, believe it or not.

Hi Luis:

I'm not saying power efficiency isn't important. I am saying that there isn't a substantial difference between 3W and 7W.

If "Low Power" meant <1.0W, then I can see it, but I don't think we're talking about reductions in supply design and overall cost of ownership to choose a Mobotix camera over other options based on power alone.

In terms of power consumption, has your contact tested power consumption with a meter? I've done some tests in the past with professional box cameras and I recall all of them being around 5 watts or less. These were fixed, without heater / blowers.

Well, I guess IPVM needs to do a low-power shootout test now?

We have a Byte Brothers PoE Power Panel and could fairly easily do that. I'll ask Ben to do that for the cameras we have here and then have Ethan do it for the ones he has.

Ben did some testing on about 15 - 20 cameras. We are going to do a post, video, chart, etc.

We mainly did fixed cameras. The range was 3 - 5 watts. A few of the more feature rich cameras hit 7 watts. None of them had heaters and blowers.

In answer to Mike's original question, 7 - 10 watts is high unless one is referring to a camera with heater / blower on.

Most cameras are fairly close to Mobotix's claimed power range. What might very well differ is the operating environment of those cameras that could indirectly drive higher power use by requiring heater / blower.

I can see it now. John's on the phone placing an order for a feezer and heating booth for the lab.

We found that multi imager cameras, like Arecont and Avigilon can go up to 15W. You are right that most fixed cameras are around 3-5W. The key things that drive power up are heater, blower and PTZ. We have seen PTZ cameras on tour that consume 30+W.

So if you are going to put a camera on solar, wind, or fuel cell in a remote location then you would want something that does not require a heater, blower or PTZ. Mobotix fits that but their proprietary protocol may trump their use. Moxa and StarDot both offer cameras with wide operating temp. This wont take care of fogging, but it will solve the problem for some applications.

Then you have to look at your communications.

I know quite a few people that like Mobotix for that solar application.

For 3 Watts (and a relatively small form-factor) you get:

  • Camera
  • Local recording (I would argue it's a tad kludgy, but serviceable)
  • A Voip audio path.

3 years ago, that was a pretty big deal, these days there are probably more contenders, but think about both camera *and* recording in 3 watts, I have to give them credit, it's pretty nice.

Mobotix has 3 POE power settings for the M24M, which does not use a heater or blower. Range is from .5 w to 12.95 w

Mobotix is a well established low power alternative energy platform with lots of quality camera operational features very well suited to security surveillance.

Many IP cameras are now POE <10w, so camera performance for misson expectations vs budget $$ is the real driver. Mobotix has been my long standing "alternative energy" power camera recommendation, that has yet to cause a customer deployment complaint or regret.

Every remote powered operational watt impacts an off-grid alternative energy design solution and cost.