Monday, 21 December 2015

TrendNet TV-IP562WI IP Connected Wifi Camera

First Impressions

I wanted a camera for inside the garage, so after a bit of research I picked up a TRENDnet TV-IP562WI. The specs are quite impressive for something less than £70:-
  • 2 way audio
  • Night vision up to 5 metres
  • Receive motion & sound detection video via email or FTP
  • Record to MicroSD card or network storage device (samba server)
  • Free mobile apps
  • Wireless N networking
  • Built in mic + external speaker socket
  • Dynamic DNS (support for or
  • Max 20 user accounts.
  • Video Codecs/Resolution 
Video resolution is..
  • H.264: 1280 x 720 up to 30 fps 
  • MPEG4: 1280 x 720 up to 30 fps 
  • JPEG: 1280 x 720 up to 5 fps (or 640 x 480 up to 30 fps)

TrendNet TV-IP562WI - Wifi Camera

It looks pretty good, small enough to easily fit in my hand, and it comes with a solid metal stand that doubles as a mounting bracket. Also in the box was a small 5v PSU, a cat5 cable for initial config, a software CD and assorted fittings for the stand.
I ran the software from the CD and had the camera up and running in less than 10 minutes. All you need to do is set the admin password and configure your wireless settings, then once it restarts you continue using a web browser. But that's where my problems started.

Mac Problems

Yeah I know, serves me right for owning a mac,.. but I did manage to solve the problems without resorting to a windows box. My newer Mac (running OSX 10.10) wouldn't display the login box, so it kept failing authentication. I tried using Firefox instead and updating Java, but looking online it appears it has problems with El Capitan.

When I switched over to my kid's Mac Mini, which was running 10.9, it worked perfectly. I was then able to continue config, renaming the device and setting it to run on port 82 rather than the standard 80. (This I did so that I could set up port forwarding on my router and see it on the web).

Mounting the Camera

My wifi signal is a bit weak in the garage, but mounting it high up on the wall got around any potential problems. The mount itself has a sturdy metal ring base with 3 mounting holes and a gimbal jointed adapter to a standard 1/4" thread. This gives you pretty much unlimited mounting options, but it's not overly robust.

I used a couple of ½ inch screws to fasten it to one of the wooden rafters, so it's out of reach, and unlikely to be tinkered with.

View from the installed camera using night vision mode

Updating the Firmware

Initially I added the App software to my iPhone and iPad and it worked without a problem. The app is pretty straight forward, search for devices and then enter the login details. Simple as that really,.. but it didn't work on my wife's iPhone. (I suspected I need to update the firmware.)

You update the firmware by downloading the image from TrendNet's (slow) website and use the camera's mini website to apply it. After a few failed attempts in Safari I switched to Firefox, but it still didn't complete properly. Instead of automatically restarting after the file uploaded I had to use the reset to factory defaults before it reported the new firmware number. After that it worked properly on my Mac using El Capitan.

Solving that iPhone Problem

I tried my wife's iPhone again, but it still didn't work. It was an identical phone to mine, running the same version of iOS. It had to be something else.

I compared the network settings of both devices and the only difference was one was using a web proxy. I disabled this and the problem went away.

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Copy & Paste Select Options from a Web Page


Something that's always bugged me when I've looked after web based systems is struggling to grab a list of options from drop-down boxes on a web page. Sometimes you just want to be able to select them all, press control+v and paste them into an email.

Until now, the only way I found to get the list of options was to view the web page source, locate the <option> tags from the <select> and then manually hack the code about until you are left with a simple list.

... it's not exactly easy.

I've put up with this method for years for the odd quick request, but today I needed to get lists from 42 select boxes, and I didnt want to spend all day doing it.

There had to be a better way!!!

The Solution

I use Firefox for most of my web development and queries, mainly because of firebug, and I found this great add-on called SelectBoxTools which among other things allows you to copy options into a comma separated list.

Right-click from within your select box, and when the menu appears go down to SelectBoxTools > Copy as comma-separated text.

SelectBoxTools options.

Then when pasted into a text editor you'll get the visible name and it's value as a list. eg:-

 PK_ID,Pk Id
 SUPPORT_DATE,Support Date
 RISK_LEVEL,Risk Level

If you want to use the SelectBoxTools > Selection option, you'll need to select one of the picklist options on your web form first or you'll get the error:-

  TypeError:this.focused.options[this.focused.selectedIndex] is undefined

 Simple, effective and fast.