How to configure a Foscam FI9900P Outdoor Camera from Mac or Linux

Foscam FI9900P Outdoor HD Camera

The Foscam FI9900P Outdoor HD Wireless Security Camera is a recent compact outdoor model from Foscam. It’s currently listing for around $125 on Amazon.

My biggest gripe with this camera is the mounting hardware. The camera can only be pointed forward and tilted up and down. There is no left or right articulation. In my case I was mounting the camera near the wall my garage. I had to put a little shim under one side of the mounting brack to get it to angle off to the side. See the image below for the final orientation. If I had mounted it straight ahead, I would have ended up with half the frame taken up by the left wall.

Had to angle camera manually to get a more centered image. The image quality is quite good though.

The camera works well with Sensr.net, so you can use our cloud DVR service with the Foscam. We have a free trial, so sign up and follow the instructions below on how to get it working with Sensr.net.

The camera is easy to setup using the Foscam app. The setup for this camera is pretty much the same as the Foscam R2 aka 1920tvl

Interesting Features in the Foscam App

The Foscam app seems to work. Sure, it’s filled with grammatical mistakes, but they will fix those over time. It let’s you share the images on WeChat and WeChat Moments, whatever that is. (Ok, it’s the Facebook Messenger of China, but not really very important to the non-Chinese market.)

Country selection Foscam Wireless Security Camera 1920TVL Wechat Foscam Wireless Security Camera 1920TVL Firware upgrade Foscam Wireless Security Camera 1920TVL

It doesn’t have a selection for United States but you can select America, which is kind of the same thing.

Maybe the best new feature is that you can upgrade the firmware in the app! Excellent! Now when there is a security issue in the firmware, the app will make it simple to perform the upgrade.

What’s missing?

It has a lot of controls but it doesn’t have the local IP address for the camera. If you’re going to setup this camera for FTP you’ll need to find it’s IP address. Normally I would recommend connecting to your router and looking for the device with a matching MAC address. This will work if you’re using the wired connection. The MAC address is printed on the bottom of the camera. However, the wireless MAC address is not. It would be nice if the app would tell you the URL to connect to the web interface. If you’ve already put your amera on wifi, you can still find it but you may have to try connecting to a bunch of different IP addresses.

Port 88!

If you’re trying to connect to the camera, make sure to use port 88. For some reason the default port for Foscam is 88. That means you’ll have to go to http://IP:88/ to get to the web interface. For example, if your camera’s IP is 172.16.20.73 you’ll need to go to http://172.16.20.73:88/.

Safari Plugins!

If you’re using a Mac, you’ll need to install plugins. I really wish these camera manufacturers would just use web standards instead of making us install software. I tried configuring the camera without the plugins, but it really seems to enforce this. Maybe future versions of the app will support FTP configuration so we can skip the browser all together.

Configure the FTP Server

Log on to your account at Sensr.net and click the add camera button. This will give you the three pieces of information you need to configure your camera: server, username, and password. Our server names are f0.sensr.net through f9.sensr.net. The usernames are camNNN where NNN is an integer. The password is generated randomly. Be careful since in a password some characters can be confused. Zeros and Os looks alike. Ones and Ls also look alike. It’s best to copy and paste the passwords.

Once you have these, you can then go to the FTP sever page on the camera, which looks like this:

Foscam Wireless Security Camera 1920TVL

The FTP server URL shows a dir at the end. On the Sensr.net side we just ignore this. You can add it if you wish but it’s not needed. Your URL should start with FTP though, like this: ftp://fX.sensr.net/, where X is the server that Sensr.net tells you to use for your camera.

Configure Snapshot Settings

Next you’ll want to configure the snapshot settings, which tells the camera to upload JPEG snapshots to Sensr.net. We recommend you send an image per second to our servers. (See No Firewall Config for more details on why we recommend this.) This way we can generate a live Motion JPEG stream (MJPEG) on the Sensr.net site. Make sure to select all in the upper left hand corner of the schedule so the camera will always upload. If you don’t want us to process images on certain days or certain hours, this is the place to configure that. Make sure to click the Save button at the top. Once you’ve done this your Foscam should start uploading to Sensr.net.

Foscam Wireless Security Camera 1920TVL

On the Sensr.net side the page should go from this:

Waiting for upload

To a page that shows the image your camera uploaded.  Something like this:

Success!

Congratulations, now you’re done with the camera config. Your camera is now on Sensr.net. We’ll archive all the motion events, giving you 30 days of archives, SMS and email alerts, guest access, and a whole lot more.  You can view the live stream on our website or in our apps. No firewall configuration is needed. No PC in the basement required.

If you have any problems, send email to info @ sensr.net and we’ll try to help you out!

Don’t Set Scheduled Recording

You might be tempted to set the Scheduled Recording. This is for MKV video files. If you upload those to Sensr.net we’ll just remove them, since we only support JPEG files right now.

Foscam Wireless Security Camera 1920TVL

Don’t Set Motion Detection Settings

You also don’t need the motion detection settings to work with Sensr.net. We do the motion detection on the server side. See our blog post The True Meaning of Motion Detection Off for more details.

Foscam Wireless Security Camera 1920TVL

Summary

Generally I’m pretty happy with this camera. I didn’t put it outside but I think it would work well outdoors if you can get it connected to power. There is another more expensive model, the FI9901EP which supports POE (power over ethernet) so you can run just a single wire to the camera.

The good:

  • Pretty cheap at $125
  • Good image quality
  • Easy to setup
  • Works well with Sensr.net

The Bad:

  • Difficult to aim
  • Live view often fails
  • Missing IP address in app

If you want to learn more, check out this YouTube video that walks through the setup.