RC8021W Wireless Camera Setup

I obtained several wireless IOT cameras that were originally used for a home ADT install.  Here I will re-purpose them for in-house monitoring of my screened in porch.  We have our offices in the front of the house and the back-porch is a great cat hangout.  Except one of the little shits has figured out how to pop the spline out of the screen framework, which allows for an impromptu cat party in the backyard.  Now we can monitor them and still get work done.

Note that this will only allow viewing internal to our house network, I.E. the local network.  If you want to monitor the camera output across the internet, you can perform this setup, but will then have a whole different set of issues to deal with.  That is beyond the scope of this post.

Step 1.

Reset the camera settings:

The first thing to do is to power on the camera by applying power.  Give a few minutes to insure proper startup.  There is a small hole in the bottom of the camera labeled “RESET.”  You will need something small like a bent paper clip to insert into this hole to lightly press and hold for at least 10 seconds.

Step 2.

Plug a network cable into the camera and locate the assigned IP address:

Your router should issue a DHCP address to the camera.  You need to find that address. You can log into your router and look at the DHCP reservations table of issued IP addresses or do a network scan using a tool like Angry IP scanner or nmap.  Note: I keep WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup) turned off on my router as it is a security issue, but I suppose you can also use that if you want.

Step 3.

Enter the IP address that you found into a web browser:

You should be presented with a screen that has links to “View Video” and go to “Administration.”  Choose Administration. You will be provided a logon prompt: user = “administrator” and password is left blank.  Yes, as in a really secure default IOT style password setting.

Step 4.

Change the default username and password:

You will find these settings under Administration, Maintenance.  You should be prompted to log back on after you save the new settings.

Step 5.

Change the IP settings to static and give it an address:

Go to “Setup”, “Network” and then click the “Use the following IP address” radio button.  Be sure to enter an IP address that cannot be issued by your router using DHCP (look at your router’s DHCP range) and use one that is not being used by any other device.  Enter the new address and make sure you remember that address.  This is how you will access your camera from now on (unless you setup DNS internally, which is out of scope for this post).  Once you save this setting, you will then need to point your web browser to the new address that you just setup and log back on as the administrator.

Step 5.

Setup wireless:

Go to “Setup”, “Wireless”, and enter your wireless settings, then save the settings.  Now unplug both the power and network cable from the camera.  Then plug the power back into the camera.  Give it a minute or so to boot up.

Step 6.

Change other desired settings:

Log back on as the administrator.  Scroll through the settings and make changes as desired.  I changed the camera name, the timezone, and video resolutions to 640*480 (for a larger image).

That’s all folks.