Panasonic BL-C140A Outdoor POE Network Camera On Sale @ Amazon

Sensr.net Panasonic BL-C140A configuration

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Sensr.net Panasonic BL-C140A configuration

The]1 for $148.99, normally priced at $199.95.

It’s great that this camera comes with a POE adapter so you can power it over an ethernet cable. However, it doesn’t work with standard POE switches, which is a pain. If you already have a POE switch then you can’t power this camera from that switch, you still need to use their (included) power block. Ugh, just what I need, another little transformer wasting electricity in my basement.

Also, it’s a pain to setup on Mac or Linux. After about 30 minutes of trying to find the camera on my network by looking at my router’s DHCP table, I finally pulled out an old dusty Windows PC and ran the setup routine. It found the IP address for me and that was enough. Once I had the IP address, I was able to configure the camera from my Mac’s browser. Hey hardware manufacturers, please use standard mechanisms to setup your hardware. You know, like DHCP and HTTP. Not everyone has a Windows PC around to run you buggy setup software.

That said, the camera’s video quality isn’t bad, and $150 for an outdoor POE camera is a pretty good deal. You can see one of our more popular Panasonic CL-140A cameras here @ The Homestead Trail Cam.

This camera works well with sensr.net by using the built in FTP upload functionality. This article will show you how to setup the BL-C140A as well as the BL-C230A so you can use either with Sensr.net, giving you all the advantages of the sensr.net site, like archiving, alerts, and sharing.

Add a New Camera to your Sensr.net Account

Login to Sensr.net using your Facebook username and password. Select the “My Cameras” page. Here you will see thumbnails of the latest images from your cameras. To add a new camera to your account, click on the big green button labeled “Add New Camera.”
Select the “Add New Camera” button on the “My Cameras” Page
Sensr.net Camera Page
Tell Sensr.net About your Camera
On the “Camera Info” page you should fill in the fields marked with arrows. Give your camera a name that you like. Select an appropriate timezone. When you are done, click the “Add Camera” button at the bottom.
Tell Sensr.net about your network camera

“Add New Camera” Setup Page

The “Add Camera” step allocates a new Camera Server on Sensr.net to watch your BL-C230A. As part of creating a server, Sensr.net has created a new FTP account for your BL-C230A use for uploading images. The FTP credentials are displayed on the following page. The important bits of information are
  1. FTP server,
  2. FTP Username, and
  3. FTP Password.

These three items of information need to be entered into the camera.

Creating a camera on Sensr.net

 

Tell your Camera about Sensr.net

Now you need to configure your camera so it will send images to sensr.net. You should have already setup your camera on your home network. To configure the camera, you simply log into the camera’s admin page by pointing your browser to the IP address of your camera. Click the setup tab shown below.

Panasonic BL-C230A Setup on Sensr.net
This will take you to the setup page, where you select Trigger from the left hand menu.
Panasonic BL-C230A Trigger Settings
This model of camera lets you setup 5 different kinds of triggers. Basically the camera can perform various operations, triggered by different kinds of events. For this blog we’re simply going to configure the camera to send images to sensr.net once per second.

From the trigger page, select one of the trigger numbers (1-5) and click on the numeral. It will then take you to this page where you check Enable Image Buffer/Transfer and selectTimer from the pull down menu.

Panasonic BL-C230A Trigger Settings

Click next and you will see the page below, where you tell the camera to send an image per second, always, every day of the week. You can select the image resolution you want, but generally higher resolution is better. The BL-C230A’s maximum resolution is 640×480, which we recommend using. Under Image Buffer Frequency select “1s” and “1″ image. This will tell the camera to send an image per second to sensr.net. For the transfer method select “FTP“.

When you’ve made these changes, click the next button.

Panasonic BL-C230A Trigger Settings
You should now see the following page where you can add the FTP credentials you received from sensr.net when you went through the add camera process described at the beginning of this article. Add the server host name, login id, and password from the sensr.net site. (If you don’t have them, you can go back to your camera’s edit page on sensr.net and find them there.) For the port, use “21″, this is the default port for FTP. You can add an upload file name if you wish. Here we use “pana” but it’s not necessary. For the Overwrite settingchoose “Save as New File with Timestamp”. This means each time your camera pushes an image to sensr.net, it will create a new filename. For the Data Transfer Method be sure to select “Passive Mode”. ( If you care to know the details as to what this means, see our blog entry on pasv vs. port.)
Panasonic BL-C230A Trigger Settings
After filling out the above items, click the Save button and you should be rewarded with the following page:
Panasonic BL-C230A Success!

At this point you are done. You can close the browser window pointed at your camera and go back to Sensr.net. Click on the “Take Me To My Camera” button to see the Gallery view of images coming from your camera.

Now you can share your camera and its images with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Have fun!