New Cat and Surveillance Cameras

We adopted a new cat. His name is Carl (as in Sagan) and he's cute and ornery.

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I taught him how to fetch, and he'll regularly just bring a toy so someone (anyone) can throw it for him to grab it and bring it back. It's fun.

After talking about it for years, I finally installed some cameras at our house. Having worked with surveillance gear for years, I think I always felt like I'd be bringing work home with me if I installed stuff here. Since I don't work with that stuff anymore, it didn't feel as much like work at home.

I decided on one of Netgear's Arlo kits with 4 cameras. The devices are powered by 4xCR123A lithium batteries (sort of gross), and require no cable runs whatsoever. They connect to a base station and have inbuilt PIR motion detectors that cause the camera to record when sensing motion. I've found over the last week and a half that they work pretty well, and the nice, wide angle lenses make it pretty easy to cover a lot of area with a single camera. The cameras have selectable "quality" presets to optimize video quality or battery life as well.

Another interesting aspect is that the cameras don't write to a local DVR. The base station receives the video from the camera, encodes it and sends it to Netgear's web service, sort of like dropcam/nestcam stuff. They give you 7 days of retention for up to 5 cameras for free, and paid plans are something like $100-150/yr for 30 and 60 days' retention if you need it. It's pretty cool. I'm going to try some rechargeable lithium-ion or li-po batteries when the set in one of the cameras dies. According to Netgear's forum users, low use cameras get similar battery life from rechargeables vs lithium cells.

New Cat and Surveillance Cameras
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