Rebooting Remote Cameras Simply and Economically

Author: John Grocke, Published on Aug 06, 2013

It happens all the time... An IP camera, access control panel, etc. loses connectivity or hangs up and needs to be rebooted at a distant facility. Dispatching a service technician to drive out to reboot the router or device is time consuming and costly. Remote network or power management can be expensive and doesn't work if you can't connect, or if the ISP changes your "static" IP address or port forwarding settings in the router.

One IPVM member, James Talmage, faced this dilemma and solved the issue with a clever and very cost-effective solution, the 3Gstore Remote Power Switch.

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Comments (16)

Currently, you can still communicate to the switch via Android's Hangout chat client. Hangouts is dropping support for the open XMPP chat protocol. It isn't clear to me that this means support will be broken by the transition - but it is certainly a point of concern.

One much needed feature, IMO, would be the ability to configure an outlet as "RESET ONLY". This would be handy for outlets that handle the internet connection for the switch itself. Currently you can mistakenly turn off your cable modem remotely - and then have no option to turn it back on. Careful!

This (see below) works pretty well for AXIS cameras.

From command prompt: ftp <IP>

root [enter]

password [enter]

quote [enter]

site reboot [enter]

I can see the value in this though if you do not have a networked UPS that can toggle your individual plugs.

This is a great idea. Most cameras I have seen have a reboot option from within the Web GUI, but that doesnt really help you if you cant reach the web GUI.

Another cool thing I have seen was one of my customers smart POE switches had an option to power down certain ports of the POE switch.

Nice review. But I'm saddened because this is the first I learned that Google's dropping XMPP. We totally need MORE proprietary chat protocols. Skype, iMessage, BBM, etc., aren't quite enough!

Sean,

There are also some switches that will automatically reboot cameras for you. Check out ubiquiti's tough switch, and this one from Korenix. My experience with the Ubiquiti unit is mixed. It does what it is supposed to do, but the Unifi AP's I am using it with sometimes continue to respond to ping even after they have malfunctioned, so the switch doesn't auto reset them. Not really the switches fault.

I need something like a microups, just to tell the noc: "no more power here", and the shutdown. Any ideas?

Hernan,

Where are you planning on putting the "microups"?

If you want something at the camera (i.e. for wireless applications) this unit from tycon power looks interesting.

Hey,

What do you know! I was about to recommend a minuteman ups we like to Hernan, and when I went to their website stumbled on these beauties.

The 8-port unit is more cost effective per port than the 3G store 2-port unit ($299). It says it has auto reset based on ping as well. No chat feature though - so you are still relying on your comcast modem retaining it's static IP and port forwarding settings (which they almost never do).

Ubiquiti also has several low cost outlet controlled power units: mPower overview and datasheet

The only downside is that you have to run a controller from somewhere (ie: laptop or desktop computer, or even on amazon) to manage all the devices.

We've used Aviosys IP Power for years and they work well. The 9258T is around the same price and has 4 ports.

The chat feature is what sets apart the 3GStore unit. With most other units you need port forwarding and either a static IP or DynDns.

If your cable modem gets reset to defaults, it's possible that the 3GStore unit will still function. I recommend leaving it set to get it's IP address set by the router via DHCP. You can then diagnose loss of config on the modem via the "get IP" (you should see the LAN address reassigned to the modem defaults).

Those mfg's of those higher port-count units need to take note and implement some form of cloud management service

Just curious if you all had seen a recent article about hacking internet enabled baby monitor/cameras as I would be VERY concerned that a hacker could easily take over an internet enabled power strip and take down a complete video surveilance syste.

Well,

If you are concerned about hacking, then you probably shouldn't connect your VMS to the internet. At which point the need for an auto-reset switch is moot.

The 3G store power strip is superior in this regard as well. You don't have to expose it by opening ports. It is going to be very difficult to hack the device over just a chat connection.

Hi, I would like to add that there is another option if you need more outlet: 8 + 2

"Web Power Switch 7" it cost around $120 http://www.digital-loggers.com/lpc.html

it has 8 outlet you can control and 2 outlets ON all time, total outlet: 10

I have about 10 units, and used around 1 year, no problems so far. this company only does this type of devices.there is also a APP on Google Store, to remote access/control the unit.

Anyway, the 2 outlet in this article, seems to be perfect for a project I have now, where I dont have to much space and only need reset 1 or 2 devices.

I second switch-based POE reset. Some challenges, given the "continues pinging after no video" problem: motion detection at the edge suggests you can never really know if it's working or not. For an integrated wired facility, a system-of-systems approach might be to constantly steam video, but use some mechanism to flag motion within the video. VMS always evaluates video presence, but only records flagged motion (if that is the desired feature). VMS with POE switch integration detects video failure of video and resets POE switch port. While this wouldn't necessarily help cameras with austere links, it might solve problems for a lot of wired facilities.

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