Nexxtech Wireless Camera and Receiver
Nexxtech wireless cameras are only partially wireless. Do Nexxtech wireless cameras work good? Nexxtech wireless camera sound? Nexxtech wireless cameras in cold, rain, or any weather? Those questions answered here.
Nexxtech wireless cameras are not wireless
They call these cameras wireless, and they are as far as the video/sound capability is concerned. However, they require 9v to operate the camera, and 12v to run the receiver. They are made by Nexxtech (the Source in Canada), and come with a power brick to supply the dc power. The attached power brick cable is only about six feet long.
This means one of two things. You have to have a power outlet awfully close to each camera location, or you need to devise a way of getting 9 volt power to them. I chose the latter method.
I purchased 18 guage lamp cord, which is available in various colours, and it small enough to secure in various ways for outside runs. Since it will be used for low voltage (9volts) there is no danger of shocks or other associated hazards. I have used it for runs over 50ft with no noticable losses. If you are using it outside in the elements, pick a rubberized type covering, and even so plan on replacement after a few years.
The method I prefer is to cut off the plug on the end of the power brick cord. Splice in the 18 ga. cord as needed and solder the plug that was cut off to the end handy the camera. That way you can still unplug the camera if needed. (Will this void the warranty? Who knows? The camera is untouched, only the cord on the power brick will be affected.)
All joints should be soldered, and covered with heat shrink tubing. Be sure to observe the polarity of the various lines, positive to positive and negative to negative. This is easily identified by a coloured stripe on the supplied power brick wires, and by unique ribbing on the additional added wire.
Temperature - (Updated: Feb. 2007)
These Nexxtech wireless cameras work well in temperatures down to -25 deg. C. I have one that fails at slightly lower than that, but comes back online as soon as the temperature rises. The other have never failed so far in temperatures beyond -25 deg.C.
The cameras are weather proof, in colour and provide sound. However sound consists of mostly wind noise. I am using them in an outside setting, and you need a real quiet day/night for the sound to be of any value. It is impossible to hear a person talking more that a few feet away.
They advertise a 300ft range, all of mine are quite a bit less than that. Each one is subject to much interference that seems intermittent depending on what is in use in the neighbourhood.
These cameras have a form of night vision, and it is amazing how well they see at night. Although you couldn't identify an intruder around your property at night, you could easily tell someone was there. If your building has outside sensor lights (motion detector), you could then easily identify someone.
f you live in snow country, one interesting note about these cameras is if there is snow on the ground the picture is almost as clear as daylight. It seems as if the infrared likes the whiteness of the snow and provides a great picture with just normal street light and skylight in the vicinity. During storm conditions the cameras don't seem to stay covered for very long.
The receiver can receive four cameras at once. In this case, the system scans each camera for 5 sec. There are small mini switches on the rear of the receiver where you can select any one or combination of cameras attached. The receiver is small (approx. 3 x 5 inches) and can be placed nearly anywhere. (Although receiver placement is critical in regards to the above mentioned interference. Moving or rotating even a fraction can mean the difference between a clear and no recognizable picture.In one case I even turned the receiver upside down and to this day it is giving a near perfect picture.) It has video and audio out terminals that can be attached to a VCR or DVD recorder for recording. Or you can just attach it to a monitor of some sort or both.
One great idea is to use a 13" LCD TV for a monitor. These have a super clear picture and are instant on so you don't necessarily need the monitor on all the time when things are quiet.
You Can Run More Than One Receiver
The receiver cost (with camera included) is relatively cheap, and if you plan on running up to four cameras I would suggest getting two receivers.
This allows you to position one receiver handy the VCR or DVD recorder which you can program when you go out, or to have the second receiver in the kitchen or bedroom for handy situations when you want to check on a prowler or who is at the door.
You could also run the receiver output to a video amplifier and feed the amplifiers output to several other pieces of equipment. I intend to try that someday and will report on it when I do.
Wireless Camera Problems
Like everything that has a good side, there is a bad side and so it is with 2.4 GHz cameras.
The receiver location and antenna position is very sensitive to interference. Even barely noticable changes can mean the difference between a clear picture and a totally scrambled one.
The following items interfere with 2.4 GHz Wireless Cameras:
|1. Wireless router or LAN system.||May have to be turned off during critical times.|
|2. Cordless 2.4 GHz phones.||Display will be overrun with black bars & distortion.|
|3. Microwave Ovens.||Temporary bars and interference.|
|4. Interference can come from neighbouring homes.||From the above items if close enough.|
|5. Receiver position critical.||Even small position changes will wipe out picture. Affects each camera separately.|
As is often the case, a product is only as good as its warranty. Out of four cameras and two receivers, I have had one camera failure in less than 3 months of use. This product carries a one year warranty or you can purchase an extended warranty for the usual fee.
Whether you rely on the one year warranty or purchase extended, it is an 'R' item. That means you have to take or have the camera sent to the repair depot (Intertan). This means waiting an extended period of time to have the unit repaired. If security is your reason for setting up these cameras, then a waiting period may not be exactly what you had in mind.
On May 29, 2006 I delivered the unservicable camera to the local Source repair depot (Intertan). On June 2nd I called to see if the unit was repairable and was told it is awaiting parts. Upon asking how long this would take, I was informed at least until June 30.
This seems a poor way to handle warranty on an eighty dollar item that is readily available off local store shelves. I immediately sent an email via their website voicing my displeasure. So far it has been unanswered.
June 10, 2006 - 2nd email sent including a copy of the original. No response thus far. To me this indicates where their customer service stands in order of importance.
July 6, 2006 0925
Called Intertan re:status, lady told me they were still waiting for parts and didn't know when they could get them.
She inquired if I purchased from a store or online. I said I wasn't sure as I had bought four of the item. I said they have a copy of the receipt. I mentioned as well that the Cole Harbour store manager had mentioned he was willing to give me one with their authorization. She then said the receipt said I had purchased that one online.
The lady advised that a replacement would be provided and she would have to find a store that has one. I said all local stores had them in stock. (You are able to check that online.) She said 'good' and said she would get back to me today or tomorrow if a store has one available.
July 7, 2006 1324
Since I had no call back, I called Intertan to inquire about the status and if a replacement was found. She said they had ordered one from the warehouse. It should arrive in 3 to 5 days and I could pick it up there.
July 14, 2006
Received a call from Intertan that my new camera had arrived. It was picked up and installed on July 15, 2006.
This item failed after a short time in use. Delivered for repair on May 29th, and as I assumed from the beginning, could not be repaired so a new one was ordered and given to me on July 14th. Over a month and a half for an eighty dollar item that was available off the shelf at any time. I'll let you decide if this is good customer service.
theSource did not to answer any email sent to their web site addresses.
These cameras have gradually began to fail, indicating their probably lifespan. One just quite altogether with no output of any kind.
Another became intermittent, and upon checking, it was found the lens had fallen out. It appeared the plastic lens was glued on the front, not snapped in to any kind of groove. This allowed moisture and dust debris to enter the electronics of the camera which likely contributed to the intermittent performance.
Life Span Of Nexxtech wireless cameras
It looks like the life span of this model of Nexxtech wireless camera is approximately 3 years maximum, when used outdoors in a winter / summer year round environment.
|Information is not official, and is only an opinion gathered from personal experience.|
If I make negative comments about any software or hardware products, it does not mean that the item or its company is bad in any way. It just means that my personal experience with it was not favourable. On the other hand if I make positive comments in a similar fashion, it only means my personal experience was satisfactory.