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I want to power a security camera using my Solar gate opener power supply. Is this possible?
 

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I want to power a security camera using my Solar gate opener power supply. Is this possible?
You probably won't have enough battery storage or solar capacity to operate the cameras, and then the gate every so often.

If the battery system is 12V, and the camera system uses 12Vdc, then theoretically, it's possible. Make sure that you use an online fuse. As stated above, the results may be underwhelming.

Cheers!
 

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If you do get the camera to work, how will you get the video back to where you will view it? Will it require power?
Think it all the way through. Then figure out if there is an inexpensive way to test any solution(s).
 

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I will be using WIFI to the camera



QUOTE=GrayHair;5695159]If you do get the camera to work, how will you get the video back to where you will view it? Will it require power?
Think it all the way through. Then figure out if there is an inexpensive way to test any solution(s).
[/QUOTE]
 

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What is current draw of camera and DC voltage? It it is 5VDC and 1.5A then you need a power supply that can deliver 8 Watts of power 24x7 sunshine, nighttime, and cloudy days.

If it’s a 12VDC battery then a switching power supply to bump it down to 5VDC would be most efficient (as opposed to a linear voltage regulator). That will have losses so say 10W continuous to overcome regulator inefficiencies.

So maybe a 50-100W solar panel into a storage battery (say about 100Ah) to power camera at night and cloudy days.





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I will be using WIFI to the camera
Are you sure your WIFI reaches there? Take a laptop to the gate, check and record the signal strength. Do this several times, different times of the day and during different weather. The average should give you an idea of whether or not you will have a reliable connection.

Follow curiousB's track with the current and voltage requirements of the camera. Only then will you be able to determine the battery and solar panel(s) you'll need. As supers05 said, the results may be underwhelming

Personally, I would keep the gate and camera systems separate. You already have a working gate system; why mess with it!
 

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What is current draw of camera and DC voltage? It it is 5VDC and 1.5A then you need a power supply that can deliver 8 Watts of power 24x7 sunshine, nighttime, and cloudy days.

If it’s a 12VDC battery then a switching power supply to bump it down to 5VDC would be most efficient (as opposed to a linear voltage regulator). That will have losses so say 10W continuous to overcome regulator inefficiencies.
Most security cameras are 12Vdc, which might make life easier. We will need to know the voltage of the camera and solar system. Otherwise, great points.


Are you sure your WIFI reaches there? Take a laptop to the gate, check and record the signal strength. Do this several times, different times of the day and during different weather. The average should give you an idea of whether or not you will have a reliable connection.
Good point. There are some solutions to medium distance Wi-Fi. (Some of which require power, and will have to be added to the requirements above.)

Cheers!
 

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Are you sure your WIFI reaches there? Take a laptop to the gate, check and record the signal strength. Do this several times, different times of the day and during different weather. The average should give you an idea of whether or not you will have a reliable connection.

Follow curiousB's track with the current and voltage requirements of the camera. Only then will you be able to determine the battery and solar panel(s) you'll need. As supers05 said, the results may be underwhelming

Personally, I would keep the gate and camera systems separate. You already have a working gate system; why mess with it!

Answer: Appreciate your feedback. I have 35 years in IT, got the WIFI stuff down. Will be putting in a Mesh network with a outdoor Orbi Outdoor Satellite. I can get electric to it.


I do not have the camera, trying to identify the requiremnts and feasibility. The gate is a 12V system with a solar panel on a pole. I am just trying to hitch hile off the existing system



Appreciate your recommendation.
 

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Answer: Appreciate your feedback. I have 35 years in IT, got the WIFI stuff down. Will be putting in a Mesh network with a outdoor Orbi Outdoor Satellite. I can get electric to it.

I do not have the camera, trying to identify the requiremnts and feasibility. The gate is a 12V system with a solar panel on a pole. I am just trying to hitch hile off the existing system

Appreciate your recommendation.
I have security cameras running on solar electric systems. It requires more panel and battery capacity than you'd expect. You just have to do the math and figure out what your load requires.

First, choose a 12VDC camera that doesn't use too much power and doesn't require a tightly regulated supply voltage. Most 12V cameras are fine. Cameras with large built-in IR illuminators are not a goof choice, since those LED arrays require a huge amount of power compared to the camera itself.

Next, MEASURE the actual operating current of the camera. The rated current is a maximum value, and they are not real careful about getting the rating just right compared to the typical operating current. It may use much less than the rated current. The current draw will change over time - pick a number that is on the high side of average. Let's say the camera actually uses 500mA.

Then multiply the actual operating current in amps by 24 to get the daily amp-hour requirement. In our example, the 500mA camera uses 12AH daily.

Now size your battery. Determine how long the system may need to run without sunlight. How many overcast days in a row can your location receive, at most? Err on the high side. If your battery runs all the way down, it will be permanently damaged (unless you add a low-voltage cutout device). I'd suggest a solid 5 days of backup power if you live in a fairly sunny location, more elsewhere. 5 days * 12AH per day = 60AH usable storage capacity. Now, you do not want to use more than 50% of your storage capacity if at all possible. Dropping below 50% charge greatly shortens battery life. 60AH *2 = 120AH battery capacity. This is a flexible number. More is better. You could go down to 100AH if you're in a sunny area, and especially if you use an undervoltage protection device.

Finally, size your solar panel. You have to withdraw 12AH daily from the battery, but since the charge-discharge cycle for a lead acid battery is only about 70% efficient, this requires that you charge with 12/0.70=17AH daily from the solar panel. Look up your location on an insolation chart to see how many hours of equivalent full sun you get IN THE WINTER. It's important to make sure you're using winter values (about half of the annual average), since this system must work year-round. If you're in Texas, you probably get about 5 hours average, 2.5 or so in the winter. So your solar panel must produce 17AH in 2.5 hours. 17/2.5=6.8A average charging current. The panel voltage required to charge a lead acid battery is about 14.7V, but realistically should be a volt or so higher to allow for the voltage drop of the charge controller. So use 16V as the target panel voltage (this is still a nominal "12V" solar panel). 16V*6.8A=108.8W rated panel wattage. More is better. Add plenty of overhead capacity.

So you need a 120-150W panel, a single T-1275 battery, and a 10A or larger charge controller. This is about what I ended up with for my single-camera system. It works well.
 

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beacoj, does the camera have to be located at the gate? How far is the gate from the house? Wifi goes for about 200'. You won't get more than that. Most places sell wifi cameras that go through your router. When I wanted a camera for my apartment, I didn't want wifi. I wanted a camera wired to a DVR. I could only get it at CCTV. You could mount a camera that has zoom capability, on the house. That way you could use either a wifi camera or a wired camera to a DVR. Even with a wired camera to a DVR, there are still ways to view it remotely.
 

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beacoj, does the camera have to be located at the gate? How far is the gate from the house? Wifi goes for about 200'. You won't get more than that. Most places sell wifi cameras that go through your router. When I wanted a camera for my apartment, I didn't want wifi. I wanted a camera wired to a DVR. I could only get it at CCTV. You could mount a camera that has zoom capability, on the house. That way you could use either a wifi camera or a wired camera to a DVR. Even with a wired camera to a DVR, there are still ways to view it remotely.
The record distance for Wi-Fi if a few km. You have to get creative past 100 ft though.

Cheers!
 

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I doubt that was at ground level unless it was in a desert.
I doubt the OPs fence is that far, lol, but yes, there was some elevation involved.

Most Wi-Fi devices use quarter wave monopole antennas. They offer omnidirectional coverage perpendicular to the antenna, but fairly weak range for a given transmitting power. Simply increasing the antenna size can greatly improve signal transmission. (to double or quadruple the length offers the best results) That same transmitting power can be focused into a more narrow beam, and significantly improve the range. Satellite dishes are a great example of one type. Most antenna types are commercially available for Wi-Fi devices with removable antennas. Most are easy to DIY build.

Unless you're talking about over a property stretching over a km, I'm pretty sure that the OP will be able to get reception. The only question will be how difficult it becomes.

Cheers!
 
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