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FOALING STALL CAMERAS
This is just a "have to share" thing.
Radio Shack has a 2.4 GHz wireless surveillance system for $150 that
includes a camera and a receiving monitor that we use to monitor our
foaling stalls. You can buy extra cameras, as the monitor will work
with up to 4 cameras at the same time. It is clear as a bell, though
we are a good 200 feet from the barn (it says it will work up to 300
feet). Wireless cameras don't go through tin siding very well, but
we cut a small 3"X3" hole at the top of the wall by the
camera and covered it up with Plexiglas (you can even paint the Plexiglas
the same color as your barn to hide it) to keep the camera dry. It
doesn't have a very wide angle lens, but for the price has been well worth
You can also use this camera with a web cam setup. You
probably only need the port in the computer to receive the TV wire, and then
WebCam32 software to ftp snapshots up every so many seconds. I'll have that
up and running in a week, I hope.
I think the model # is 49-2534
More info about installing it from an
e-mail I sent to someone:
Yes, for the money, that monitor is WELL worth
it! It doesn't have a very wide angle lens, but to get that kind of
camera takes a couple hundred more dollars, so we're making this one work.
problem we had with the camera (getting it set up) was due to our barn's
siding being tin/metal, and the house being stucco. The stucco is applied
to a metal mesh, and radio waves from most of the video monitors won't go
through metal. So what we did was put the camera up high in the stall, by
the roof, and we cut a small square--about 6" x 6"--in the tin. We covered
that opening with a small square of the white fiberglass or plastic stuff
that is in the sky lights of metal buildings (those parts that let light
through), because the signal can go through wood, plastic, and glass.
You could even paint that glass/plastic to match the rest of the barn.
The signal goes through paint just fine, too.
Then we made
sure to put the camera right next to that plastic piece on a small shelf
(attach the camera to it so it can't fall off) so it could point toward the
house (about 250-300 feet away). Inside the house, since our house is
stucco, we had to put a table by a window and put the monitor on the table,
since the signal can't go through the metal mesh in the stucco. If you have
the antenna pointing toward the camera and it doesn't come in, raise/lower
the TV monitor up and down, because you'll hit the signal if you move it
vertically. My friends who have a regular house with either wood or vinyl
siding get their signal right through a wall, so if you don't have stucco,
you'll have a much easier time finding the best reception.
We put a small
light (an 18" fluorescent light that is intended to go above a kitchen sink)
high up in the stall, and it provides adequate light. But another idea is
to put a string of Christmas tree lights (the indoor kind whose bulbs don't
get hot, or else the ones that are inside the clear plastic tube) all the
way around the stall. It doesn't take a lot of light, but the better your
light is, the better you'll see.
And even WITH
the camera, we missed two foals who foaled while I was eating breakfast or
in the shower. Those two mares were QUICK! It's like they KNEW
we were not watching the monitor for about 20 minutes, the big boogers!