Hints and Tips

Sometimes I write up some tips or hints. I've collected some here for your amusement.

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About Wyze Cameras

I've been using Wyze cameras for some time and love them. When the cameras first came out on www.wyze.com, I was skeptical about quality but the fact that the camera was $20 led me to try it. When I opened the box I was shocked at how small the camera was. The ease of installation and quality made me a believer. Just look at the screen cap on the right. The quality is actually better than this.

Quality is, in fact, the best I've seen in a home camera (and I've seen many). The cameras have NO subscriptions at all. All cameras will sense motion and people. When they do, they will start recording. This recording is in the cloud but only lasts 12 seconds. Adding an SD card to the cameras will allow continuous recording locally. In addition to motion sensing, they also have two way audio. Like the commercials for Ring, you can say "Got off my porch ya bum". They also detect the sound of smoke alarms and glass breaking.

Everything they do can be followed by a notification to your phone. You can then use your phone to view the cameras. There's no real limit on how many you can have except your router and network connection. I've heard of people using 30 cameras. You can install a camera anywhere you can access your home wifi and have a source of power. Since much of the work done is in the cloud, you can install cameras in multiple locations as long as they all use your account. That means, if you have internet access at your vacation home, it's easy enough to install a camera there as well as at your house.

The cameras come in two varieties

The V2

The original V2 camera is stationary. The built in mount is flexible but it won't rotate. Under the mount is a magnet that can be used to mount it. They work well outside if they are protected from moisture. That is, they can be mounted under a soffitt as long as rain won't get on them. You can, however, buy a waterproof cover for about $12. For those who love these sort of things, the camera is 1080p Full HD with a 2.8mm focal length. 110º wide angle lens. 1/2.9" CMOS sensor. 1920×1080.

The Pan

The second veriety is the Wyze Pan. It will turn, remotely, nearly 360 degrees. It will also remotely tilt up and down. The motion detection feature means that, upon detection, the camera will pan and tilt to follow the trigger. It'll move to watch the UPS guy approach your door. It's a bit bigger and costs $30. Installation is exactly the same as the V2 and a water Resistant cover is available. You can set it up to "Pan Scan" moving between up to four way points. Specs: 1080p HD. 3.5mm focal length. F2.3 aperture. 120º wide angle lens. Enhanced 1/2.7″ CMOS sensor.

Sensors

Other handy devices include Sensors. The sensors connect to the internet through a bridge that plugs into the back of a camera. Thus you can use them wherever you have a camera. When you buy a Sense Starter kit ($19.99) you get the bridge, a motion sensor and two contact sensors. They're tiny little things but work well. Since these guys are completely wireless it's easy to install them. I have contact sensors on my garage door. They're stuck to the rail and a hinge. When the door opens, the hinge drops and separates the switch and magnet. I get a notification "Garage Door is open". The motion sensors are also easy to use. Put one in a closet to turn on the light. After no motion seen for a minute, turn it off.

Bulbs

The Wyze Bulbs are notable for being inexpensive. Relatively. They're $30 for a four pack which is much cheaper than most smart bulbs. You can dim them but you can't change their color. They work very well with Alexa and they're the only bulbs that can be controlled directly from other Wyze things. When a sensor or camera detects something, it can turn these things on and off. They're working on getting Alexa to recognize sensors directly but it hasn't happened yet.

Plugs

The plugs are useful if you have something you want to control that isn't a bulb. These things are also very reasonable ($15 for a Two Pack). They don't need a hub and are directly controlled by Alexa. They're handy for things like florescent lights, lamps, the coffee pot or anything with a plug.